Thousands of auto accidents occur in Florida every day, but in most of them, serious injuries are avoided due to air bags, seat belts, and other features that protect a car’s occupants. In pedestrian accidents, however, there are no protections, and even a minor impact from a car, motorcycle, or truck can cause life-changing injuries or cause a victim’s death.
According to the Miami Herald, pedestrian accidents in Florida are at an all-time high. In a 2016 report that ranked the U.S. metro areas most dangerous for pedestrians, Orlando was number three and Jacksonville number four. Studies as to the causes of the rise in pedestrian accidents are ongoing, but these factors play a role:
- A lack of sidewalks in heavily populated areas
- Poor design of streets and thoroughfares with fast-moving traffic
- An increase in distracted driving due to texting, talking on the phone, and using built-in technologies such as GPS systems
Types of pedestrian accidents.
Whether a driver or a pedestrian is at fault, these are some of the most common ways that pedestrians are injured by vehicles:
- Jaywalking: Drivers can’t anticipate the presence of pedestrians who don’t cross the road at a marked intersection.
- Back-over accidents: Drivers who aren’t fully aware of their surroundings can hit a pedestrian when backing out of parking spaces or driveways.
- Distracted walking: Pedestrians who are focused on their mobile phones may not notice that a traffic light has turned red or see an obstacle that can cause them to fall into the path of a vehicle.
- Crosswalk accidents/failure to yield: Drivers may strike pedestrians who are legally in a crosswalk and who have the right of way.
- Reckless driving, distracted driving, and/or loss of control: Drivers may lose control of their vehicles for a number of reasons, including speeding, causing them to sideswipe a pedestrian or drive onto sidewalks or other walkways.
- Driving or walking under the influence: Statistics suggest that in almost half of pedestrian-vehicle accidents, one of the persons involved was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
What to know if you are a victim of a pedestrian accident.
If you are ever struck by a motor vehicle, you must immediately seek medical attention, even if you do not think you’ve sustained serious injuries. Some types of injuries—such as internal injuries or traumatic brain injuries—may not result in symptoms right away, so it’s critical to be examined by a medical professional.
From a legal standpoint, pedestrians have rights under the law. In Florida, a no-fault insurance state, pedestrians’ medical expenses must be covered by drivers’ insurance policies. In addition, pedestrians may be eligible for compensation related to disability, loss of wages, potential loss of employment, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and more.
Seek legal counsel from a pedestrian accident attorney.
To determine if you have a case if you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, we offer free, no-obligation consultations. Contact our personal injury lawyers online or call us at 904-251-1111 or toll-free at 1-800-251-1111 today.