In 2016, Florida had the 2nd highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) with a fatality rate of 3.22 per 100,000 residents. Walking should be a safe and easy way to get around, but when drivers don’t follow the rules, the results can be deadly. Accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians often cause very serious injuries including fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries because a human body doesn’t stand a chance against a two-ton passenger vehicle.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
When a pedestrian is seriously injured in an accident, it is usually the result of some negligence on the part of the driver. Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Missing signal lights or not paying attention to signs
- Impaired or drunk driving
- Excessive speed
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Passing a stopped bus
- Failure to look for pedestrians when making turns
- Backup accidents in parking spots and parking lots
Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents
When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they are automatically covered by either their own or the driver’s no-fault car insurance benefits. These benefits cover economic losses such as a portion of the medical costs and some lost wages. No-fault claims insurance must be filed in a timely manner, so it is important to seek medical attention and act quickly.
However, if a pedestrian has sustained a serious injury, he or she may be able to file a negligence claim against the driver who caused the injury. In a negligence claim, the pedestrian may be able to recover for non-economic damages such pain and suffering as well as compensation for all economic damages including lost wages and past and future medical expenses. In these cases, negligence on the part of the driver and the existence and cause of the serious injury will have to be proven.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
When confronted with a reckless driver, sometimes there is not much a pedestrian can do, but there are steps you can take to stay safe:
- Cross at crosswalks only
- Don’t cross against the light
- Check for turning vehicles even when you have the right of way
- Stay alert and don’t text and walk, especially when approaching an intersection
- Walk on the sidewalk and not along the road
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
If you were a pedestrian who was seriously injured in an accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.