Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident victims may find it difficult to obtain full and fair financial compensation after their ordeal. For one thing, 1 in 4 Florida pedestrian accidents are hit-and-run crashes, meaning the driver who caused the crash fled the scene. Secondly, even if the driver stays, 1 in 5 are uninsured, despite statutory requirements. Finally, Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, meaning crash victims’ own insurer covers up to $10,000 in damages, and it’s only if you’re seriously injured that you can step outside of that no-fault system. Pedestrians aren’t required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, though they can use it if they or a member of their household has it. More likely, they’d be relying on the driver’s PIP. But if the driver doesn’t have insurance or flees the scene, securing compensation becomes more challenging.
Working with an experienced Fort Lauderdale injury attorney helps ensure you’re leaving no opportunity for compensation off the table.
Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Walking is dangerous business in South Florida, the state that ranks No. 1 in pedestrian deaths in the United States, according to thinktank Smart Growth America.
There have been nearly 1,700 pedestrian deaths just in South Florida between 2010 and 2019, which works out to about 2.8 deaths per 100,000 residents. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach region of Florida ranks No. 13 in the nation for pedestrian danger, but Florida holds 7 of the top 10 most dangerous places for pedestrians (Orlando, Palm Bay, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Lakeland and Jacksonville). Cape Coral-Fort Myers ranks No. 11.
Smart Growth America uses a Pedestrian Death Index to rank metro areas and states. The analysis measures how deadly it is for people walk there based on the number of people struck and killed there while walking compared to the percentage of individuals who routinely walk as part of their work commute. south Florida’s PDI was 172. Orlando, which ranked No. 1, had a PDI of 295. Florida overall had a PDI of 201.
Those at highest risk for Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accidents included:
- Older pedestrians (those who may have challenges hearing, seeing, and moving).
- People of color (Blacks were killed in pedestrian accidents at a more than 80 percent higher rate than White, non-Hispanics).
- Pedestrians in lower-income neighborhoods (often where there are fewer crosswalks, sidewalks, and slower speeds).
How a South Florida Injury Lawyer Can Help
As mentioned before, Florida requires PIP coverage as the first resource to which traffic crash victims can turn. PIP is coverage every driver is supposed to carry, and it provides up to $10,000 in damages (medical expenses and a portion of lost wages) regardless of who was at-fault.
Some pedestrians carry PIP because they are also drivers who just happened to be walking at the time of the crash. PIP can cover household members (as will often apply to children, teens, and young adults living with their parents, etc.). However, if the pedestrian is not covered by their own PIP, the driver’s PIP carrier should provide them with this coverage – even if the pedestrian was at-fault for the crash.
But pedestrian injuries are often quite serious, and $10,000 only scratches the surface. Florida requires anyone wishing to step outside the no-fault system to pursue a claim against an at-fault driver have injuries that meet the serious injury threshold criteria, as spelled out in F.S. 627.737.
However, let’s say the driver was not identified, does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. Your primary option at that point is likely your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This is optional coverage that comes standard with most auto insurance policies, and it extends coverage to you if the at-fault driver is not identified, doesn’t have insurance, or lacks adequate insurance to compensate you for your injuries.
If you do not have UM/UIM coverage, your options from there may be limited to your own health insurance coverage, unless there are potential third parties who may be liable.
Initial consultations with an experienced Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney can help protect your rights and ensure you are exploring all viable legal avenues.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Dangerous By Design 2021, Smart Growth America
More Blog Entries:
Mistakes When Dealing With an Insurer After a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident, July 1, 2021, Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer Blog