Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Florida has more fatal pedestrian accidents than anywhere else in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Administration reports 625 annually in the state. Even when factoring in population, Florida ranks No. 2 for the most pedestrian deaths per capita.
As far as pedestrian accident injuries, these account for 3 percent of the total people hurt in traffic crashes yearly, amounting to 130,000 hospital emergency department visits.
Our best Broward pedestrian accident lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm know pedestrians are extremely vulnerable in a collision with a motor vehicle.
First, there is the sheer size of a car or truck in comparison to someone on foot or in a wheelchair or stroller. Pedestrians do not have the benefit of airbags, seat belts or other built-in protections. Secondly, approximately 15 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve a hit-and-run driver. That leaves victims with fewer avenues to pursue compensation.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys are committed to fighting for just outcomes of all our clients. That includes identifying all possible causes and responsible parties. In almost all circumstances, pedestrians have the right-of-way. That means there is usually some angle from which we can pursue a claim against the driver. Every injury will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Initial consultations are free and services are offered on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no attorney fee unless we are successful, either with settlement negotiations with insurers or in a trial verdict.Common Florida Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians are at risk of all kinds of injuries because no part of the body is adequately shielded from impact. But researchers have noted some common injury patterns over the years.
One study published in the California Journal of Emergency Medicine noted injury patterns tend to vary depending on age, gender and socioeconomic status of the individual, with children, older adults, men and those of lower socioeconomic status most commonly affected. The global economic impact of these injuries totals a stunning $500 billion. In the U.S., it accounts for more than $230 billion in medical costs, lost productivity, emergency services, legal and court costs, insurance administration, travel delay, property damage and workplaces losses.
Frontal collision patterns in adults tend to result in three distinct impacts:
- The lower leg and bumper;
- Contact between the thigh area and upper edge of the hood;
- Impact between the head and shoulders to the hood/ windshield.
When these crashes occur at lower speeds, the pedestrian accident victim remains on the hood. When they occur at higher speeds, the increased momentum will cause the legs to rotate above the head before falling back on the hood. When the car is moving at a very fast clip, the individual may flip up and over the hood and onto the pavement, where pedestrian may slide, roll or bounce.
The severity of the resulting injuries will depend on the speed of the vehicle, the angle of impact, the center of gravity (height) of the victim, the vehicle design and the part of the body first impacted.
Most pedestrian accident injuries will involve trauma to the:
- Head (including traumatic brain injuries
Among adults, musculoskeletal injuries are also common. Older adults and children are more likely to suffer head and neck injuries. All of this can lead to long-term disabilities. Head injuries, of course, are generally more life-threatening.
In another study conducted by the Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, which studied crash-related pedestrian injuries over a 10-year stretch, the most frequently injured parts of lower extremities were to the leg and knees, while loss of consciousness was the most common head injuries. Injury to the shoulder and arms were the most frequently-reported injury to the upper extremities. Older road users (over age 70) are overrepresented in this data.A Pedestrian’s Duty of Care
Pedestrians are required to obey all traffic laws (as outlined specifically in F.S. 316.130) and to use reasonable care in protecting his or her own safety. This care should be in proportionate to the danger and in regard for the consequences that are reasonably foreseeable.
Failure to do so may be a form of contributory negligence. The good news about this is that firstly, pedestrians have the right of way in most traffic scenarios. Secondly, Florida is a pure comparative fault state. What that means is per F.S. 768.81, the presence of contributory negligence will not bar your right to a claim for damages in a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident. It can, however, proportionately lower the amount of damages to which you are entitled.
One of our goals as Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys is not just to prove negligence of defendant driver, but also to challenge evidence of contributory negligence. This helps improve the clients chances of winning more damages for their injuries.
Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer – (954) 761-4011 – Free Consultation