Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the U.S. for pedestrian deaths. There are a variety of reasons why Florida drivers don’t seem to be as careful around those traveling on foot as they need to be. If you live in Florida, it’s important to understand why there are so many pedestrian accidents and why you should obtain legal representation if you’ve been injured by a vehicle while on foot.
How Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Pedestrian accidents can happen at any time and at any location, but data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 75 percent of accidents happen when it’s dark. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities often occur due to:
- Uncontrolled crosswalks. An intersection with an uncontrolled crosswalk—one where there is no stop sign or traffic light—is often a common location for pedestrian injuries.
- Left turns. Drivers turning left frequently fail to see a pedestrian crossing the street, either due to inattention or to the vehicle’s frame interfering with vision to the driver’s left.
- Distracted driving. Texting, talking, eating, or inattentiveness to the road are major factors in many pedestrian accidents.
- Electric vehicles. Hybrid or all-electric vehicles often run more quietly than combustion engine vehicles, and pedestrians may not hear this type of vehicle coming until it’s too late to get out of the way.
- Drunk driving. Driving while intoxicated on alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medication, or over-the-counter remedies results in slower reaction time, interferes with vision, and causes poor judgment of distance and speed. A drunk driver may never see a pedestrian until it’s too late.
Data from the NHTSA shows that there were almost 6,000 pedestrian deaths nationwide in 2016—an increase of 9 percent over the previous year. Florida ranked third in the nation behind California and Texas for pedestrian deaths in 2016, with 652 lives lost. Twenty percent of all pedestrian deaths were children aged 14 and under, and another twenty percent were age 65 and older.
Recovering From a Pedestrian Accident
The injuries that a pedestrian sustains after being hit by a car are often severe and can be life-altering. Contusions, bruises, cuts and scrapes, and broken bones are common, and the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are very high. A TBI can result in the need for years of intensive (and expensive) care and require long-term rehabilitation.
Victims can seek to hold the driver who caused the accident responsible for the costs. A personal injury lawsuit can help victims with a financial recovery for expenses related to the crash, including:
- Ambulance transport and emergency medical care
- All surgeries, medications, and other follow-up care related to the crash
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Skilled nursing assistance
- Long-term care needs or nursing home costs
Injured pedestrians may also be able to seek additional compensation for the mental anguish, pain, and suffering that the accident caused.
How to Get Legal Help
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, legal assistance is available. The Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg is here to help you start the financial recovery process, so you can focus on the most important thing after your injury—getting better. Call us, or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation to see how we can serve you.