While it is healthy to walk outside, being a pedestrian is becoming increasingly more dangerous. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian deaths have increased 46 percent since they reached their lowest level in 2009. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed—the highest number since 1990. If you or a family member were injured in a pedestrian accident, our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Why Do Negligent Drivers Injure and Kill Pedestrians?
Many pedestrian accidents occur in urban and suburban areas on major busy roads. Often happening at night when pedestrians are less visible and drivers are less attentive to their driving. SUVs and other high-powered vehicles are more likely to be involved in deadly crashes. Some of the types of pedestrian accidents include:
- Intersection accidents. While pedestrians have the right of way in intersections, drivers may fail to see them. Many drivers also fail to yield to pedestrians when making a left or right turn or changing lanes.
- Hit and run accidents. A driver is required to stop and provide aid to pedestrians and other victims of a collision that he causes under Florida law. Unfortunately, some drivers flee the scene after striking a pedestrian in a hit and run accident.
- Backover accidents. Backover accidents are accidents where a driver is reversing and does not see another person who is behind his vehicle—backing over him. Tragically, small children are often the victims of backover accidents. They often occur at residences, with a parent, other family member, or friend being the negligent driver. This type of accident can also happen in parking lots when a driver is backing out of a parking space.
- School zones. Children are also at high risk of being the victim of a pedestrian accident in school zones. When drivers do not stop for a stopped bus and are trying to pass the bus while small, less visible children are exiting or entering the bus, the likely consequence is that a child will be tragically injured or killed.
- Side of road accidents. Joggers and walkers can be hit along the side of a road if a driver does not see them, veers to the side of the road, or loses control of his vehicle. Many of these accidents occur at night.
There are a wide-range of causes of pedestrian accidents, and drivers may be engaged in more than one negligent behavior that results in a pedestrian being injured or killed. Some of these reasons include:
- Drowsy driving
- Texting, talking on a cell phone, eating and drinking, looking at a GPS, or other distracted driving practices
- Inexperienced drivers
- Aggressive driving
- Not driving for weather conditions
- Road conditions, such as unmarked crosswalks
What Compensation Are You Entitled to If You Are Injured as a Pedestrian in Florida?
If you are injured as a pedestrian, you could suffer catastrophic injuries due to the lack of protection you have from the much larger vehicle hitting you. Common injuries caused in pedestrian accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal injuries—including paralysis
- Broken and crushed bones
- Soft tissue injuries
In Florida, the negligent driver who caused your accident may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. As a pedestrian, you could be entitled to these types of compensation:
- Medical expenses for your doctor visits, surgery, physical therapy, medications, and more
- Lost wages, which can include lost sick and vacation time, commissions, perks of your job, and lost earning capacity if you are permanently disabled
- Pain and suffering for the trauma you experienced in the accident and in coping with your injuries
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one died in the crash
Take These Five Steps Following a Pedestrian Accident
You need to take immediate steps to protect your health and rights to compensation from the negligent driver if you are involved in a pedestrian accident. Here are five important first actions that you want to take:
- Seek immediate medical care if you know you are injured and soon after your accident if you do not believe you were hurt. Some symptoms take days or longer to emerge.
- Contact the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
- Obtain contact information for the negligent driver, his insurance company, and any witnesses.
- Take pictures of the damage to the vehicle, the accident scene, your injuries, and anything else that you believe would be helpful.
- Retain an experienced pedestrian accident attorney soon after your accident.
If you or a family member were injured in a pedestrian accident, the skilled and compassionate legal team at Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, are here to guide you through the process of filing your claim and fighting for the compensation that you deserve. Start an online chat to schedule your free initial consultation today to get your questions answered and learn more about how we can help.