Study: Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Risk High

Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accidentTaking a stroll in South Florida could be hazardous to your health. Smart Growth America, an organization dedicated to pedestrian safety, ranks the Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach-Miami metro area as 13th in the country for the most dangerous to thoseĀ  traversing traffic on foot.

In its Dangerous by Design 2021 report, Smart Growth America notes that 1,675 pedestrians have died in Florida from 2010 to 2019, which amounts to 2.8 pedestrian accident deaths per 100,000 residents. The analysis establishes a Pedestrian Death Index to assess the risks and rank the road safety status in cities and states. It looks at how dangerous it is for people to walk in a given area based on the number of people injured and killed in pedestrian accidents controlled for the population and the number of folks who walk to work as a measure of average overall walking in the region. South Florida’s PDI was 171.9. The metro area with the highest PDI was Orlando, with a PDI of 295 and 3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Among states, Florida was once again No. 1, with nearly 5,900 people killed and a PDI of 201.4. Most other states with high pedestrian danger were in the South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. New Mexico, Arizona and Delaware were also high on the list. Among the top 13 most dangerous metro areas, regions in Florida held nine of those slots.

Demographically, the report revealed some groups were at higher odds for injury than others. Among those:

  • Older pedestrians.
  • People of color.
  • Pedestrians in low-income neighborhoods.

Over the last decade, Black pedestrians died at a rate that was 82 percent higher than White, non-Hispanic pedestrians. One contributing factor could be a greater likelihood to live in areas lacking marked crosswalks, sidewalks and safe design that supports slower speed (and therefore less serious injury in the event of a collision).

As for those over 50 (particularly those 75 and older), challenges with moving, hearing and seeing may be contributing factors.

Recovering Damages After South Florida Pedestrian Accident

As longtime Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys, we have represented many survivors of pedestrian accidents and sometimes loved ones left behind. Recovering damages after a South Florida pedestrian accident can be a bit different than pursuing claims in a typical car accident case. This is because not only do pedestrian accidents tend to result in more serious injuries than most other types of crashes, but people on foot aren’t required to carry insurance like drivers do.

One of the first places we’ll look to for recovery is the pedestrian’s own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This is no-fault medical bills and lost wages coverage of up to $10,000 that would be on the pedestrian’s personal auto insurance policy, which will cover them even though they weren’t driving and regardless of who was at-fault for the collision. If the pedestrian didn’t own a car, it’s possible they could make a PIP claim on a policy held by any relative with whom they were living.
If they didn’t own a car or live with a relative who had car insurance, the PIP coverage of the driver who struck the pedestrian could cover medical bills. However, if the pedestrian wasn’t a Florida resident, PIP may not extend coverage. One’s health insurance might also cover their medical bills, though won’t cover lost wages.
Of course, $10,000 doesn’t go very far when someone is seriously injured. In the event PIP is not enough to cover the full extent of one’s damages, plaintiffs can file a claim against the at-fault driver for bodily injury liability coverage – assuming the driver was at-fault in the collision. If that’s the case, not only the driver but the vehicle owner may be liable.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state, meaning you can still collect damages if you were partially at-fault, but your damage award will be proportionately reduced. So if you are found 25 percent at-fault, you would be entitled to collect only 75 percent of the damages.
If the driver didn’t have insurance or only carried the minimum amount, a pedestrian could file a claim with their own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) carrier.
Most Florida pedestrian accident claims can be settled without a lawsuit. If you have questions on how the process works or the steps to take, our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers can answer your questions.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

South Florida is 13th-most dangerous region in America for pedestrians; Florida is most dangerous state, March 21, 2021, By Chris Perkins, The Sun-Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

When Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Injuries Exceed Insurance Coverage, Jan. 21, 2021, Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Contact Information