Pedestrians that are involved in an accident with a moving vehicle often suffer from life-altering injuries. The lack of physical protection during the accident and the potential for being thrown on impact leads to more severe and multiple injuries in most cases.
Since pedestrian accidents include moving vehicles, these accidents are covered by car insurance policies. However, since Florida is a No-Fault state, pedestrian accident victims cannot immediately file a lawsuit against the person responsible for their accident.
Because of the No-Fault laws, pedestrian accidents can become complex. To protect your rights as a pedestrian accident victim, consult with a personal injury attorney about your case.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian is defined as anyone using the sidewalks or roadways that is not in a motorized vehicle. This includes people who are walking, jogging, running, bicycling, skateboarding as well as similar activities.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were over 131,000 people critically injured as a pedestrian in 2017 (the last year data was available) and almost an additional 6,000 people killed as a result of a pedestrian accident. The report further shows that 20 percent of all pedestrian accidents involve a person 65 or older.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over 25 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur between the hours of 6 and 9 pm. The NHTSA report also states that the only exception to this time frame is during the summer months when the highest rate of pedestrian accidents happens between 9 pm and midnight.
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Alcohol – either the driver or the pedestrian being under the influence
- Failure to obey traffic laws at intersections
- Environmental factors
- People darting out between cars
Of course, there are many reasons that a pedestrian accident can occur. If you or your loved one has been harmed in a pedestrian accident, you are encouraged to speak with a personal injury attorney about your case.
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents
Although a majority of all pedestrian accidents are the direct result of negligent actions by the driver of the vehicle, there are things you can do to help protect yourself.
Make Sure You Can Be Seen
You will want to make sure that you can be seen by any vehicles when you are a pedestrian. If you are out when the sun is not at full brightness, make sure that you are wearing reflective clothing and are carrying a flashlight if you are walking. If you are on a bicycle or other wheeled vehicle, make sure that you have reflectors on your vehicle and, if possible, a light.
Stay On Walkways and Paths
If there is a walkway or path, you are encouraged to use them, even if you are riding a bicycle. Most sidewalks now have ramps at the ends, so cyclists will not have a hard time going up and down the sidewalks.
If you must walk or ride in the street, make sure that you stay as close to the shoulder as possible and always obey traffic rules.
Treat Intersections Cautiously
Intersections are the most common spot for pedestrian accidents. Make sure that you obey all traffic rules at an intersection.
Don’t use earbuds when you are a pedestrian and do not go out if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These can impair your abilities to hear oncoming traffic or make quick decisions.
Injuries Associated With Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are often associated with life-altering injuries. Pedestrians are often thrown when hit by the car, which compounds the injuries that are received. Some of the most common injuries associated with pedestrian accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Multiple broken bones
- Road rash
- Internal bleeding
Sadly, many of these accidents result in multiple injuries to the victim. It is important to protect the rights of the victim and secure legal representation as soon as possible after the event.
Consult With A Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents are complex issues that can leave the victim in a bind if not managed correctly. It will always be in your best interest to have a pedestrian accident lawyer manage your case. This will give you the protection you need as a victim and help you negotiate the best settlement.
The medical care associated with a pedestrian accident may be long-term and require specialists. Your attorney will make sure that the insurance companies do not deny any medical care that your doctors deem necessary. Many insurers will deny expensive treatment plans and request cheaper, and often less effective, treatments instead. Having an attorney manage your case will help prevent this from happening.
The insurer may also push for you to return to work sooner than your doctor feels it is safe. Your attorney will also handle this issue with your insurer. Your lawyer will make sure that if you return to work, it will only be when your doctor has stated that it is okay.
Your attorney will also work with all of the insurance companies involved in the accident. Florida No-Fault laws require that the personal policy of the victim is charged first and then the insurance company of the negligent party.
In addition to the No-Fault laws, Florida is also a comparative negligence state. This means that the victim can also be partially held responsible based on the evidence. If the victim is found even partially at fault, it can impact their compensation package. Your attorney will aggressively research the evidence to make sure that the victim is not wrongfully held responsible for the event.
Your attorney will also negotiate with the insurer to make sure that any compensation package you receive is fair and complete. Many times the insurer will low-ball the compensation or “forget” types of compensation that should be included. Your attorney will make sure this does not happen to your claim.
There is no reason to delay. Schedule a free consultation with South Florida’s most trusted pedestrian accident attorney today.