Pedestrian accidents in Florida claim hundreds of lives and injure thousands of people every year. Florida has a unique mix of families, tourists, retirees and immigrants who enjoy year-round outdoor weather. The problem is our roads were not designed with foot traffic in mind. The result is Florida is the most dangerous state in the U.S. for pedestrians.
In fact, about 1 in 6 fatal pedestrian accidents occur right here in Florida.
Smart Growth America’s annual Dangerous by Design report notes the majority of the top 10 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are right here in the Sunshine State. The Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area was ranked No. 11.
Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm know South Florida especially is a perilous place for those navigating streets in anything but a motor vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates nearly 5,400 pedestrians are killed in the U.S. annually, a figure that has been steadily rising in recent years. On average a pedestrian is killed every 1.6 hours.
Vulnerable populations, according to Smart Growth America, include:
- Older adults;
- Lower income individuals;
- People of color.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents may include factors like:
- Densely-populated urban areas;
- Distracted driving;
- Failure to yield right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks;
- Failure to signal while turning;
- Disregarding traffic or weather conditions;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Disobeying traffic signals or signs.
Those who cause pedestrian accidents because of their own negligence may be liable. Auto insurers are the entities most likely to pay these claims. Though most claims are settled long before trial, our injury lawyers will not hesitate to take a case to court if it’s in the best interests of a client.Broward Pedestrian Accidents: Free Consultation
Pedestrian accident claims in Broward are among the most complicated because they so often involve catastrophic or fatal injuries. Pedestrians don’t have the built-in protection of those in a motor vehicle – no seat belts, no air bags, no windshields and nothing to shield their bodies from a direct impact of thousands of pounds of speeding metal and hard concrete. That’s why, as the NHTSA reports, approximately 15 percent of all traffic fatalities are pedestrian deaths.
Pedestrian traffic regulations are outlined in F.S. 316.130, but as our injury lawyers can explain, pedestrians have the right-of-way in nearly all circumstances. Still, a sizable number of crashes involving pedestrians are caused by motorists who fail to yield.
Some of the types of pedestrian accident cases The Ansara Law Firm has successfully handled includes:
- Child Pedestrian Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents/ Older Adults
- Pedestrian Accidents/ Parking Lots and Backover Injuries
- Pedestrian Accidents/ Tourists
- Pedestrian Accident Injuries
- Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
- Compensation for Pedestrians
- Hit & Run Pedestrian Accidents
When you consider that the number of pedestrians killed in the U.S. every month is equivalent to a jumbo jet full of passengers, the scope of the problem starts to come into focus.
Our attorneys for injured pedestrians are committed to fighting vigorously on behalf of those whose lives have been forever altered by a negligent driver. We offer free initial consultations, and our services are offered on a contingency fee basis – meaning you don’t pay attorney fees unless we help you win your case.Collecting Damages in a Florida Pedestrian Accident
Although Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, pedestrians (defined as anyone on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down) are not required to carry auto insurance. However, pedestrians can still collect initial compensation from their own personal injury protection (PIP) policies – regardless of who was at-fault – up to $10,000, per FL. Statute 627.736(4)(e)(1). This provision stipulates that even though one was not in or operating a motor vehicle at the time of a crash, they can still collect PIP if they were struck by a vehicle.
If pedestrian injuries rise to the level of a “serious injury” (F.S. 627.737) AND the motor vehicle driver was at-fault, one can pursue bodily injury liability damages against the other driver. A serious injury is defined by statute as consisting in whole or in part of:
- Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury (within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, other than scarring or disfigurement);
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement;
However, even if Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident victims meet this criterium, it still doesn’t mean they’ll be fully compensated. For one thing, Florida doesn’t require most drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage (unless they have previously been in a crash or were convicted for certain offenses). However, the state does have a Financial Responsibility Law which requires anyone at-fault for an accident provide financial coverage of at least $10,000 per person and $20,000 per crash. Most auto insurance policies will offer this standard.
If you are involved in a serious crash, though, you know this money is not going far to fully cover your damages. Of course, this assumes the driver even stopped. The NHTSA reports 1 in 5 fatal pedestrian accidents involve a hit-and-run driver. For these reasons, most pedestrian accident victims will pursue compensation through their own uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
UM/UIM coverage is purchased by the insured (and/ or resident relative) and provides additional auto accident coverage in the event the other driver:
- Lacks sufficient insurance to cover your damages;
- Doesn’t have any insurance at-all;
- Was an unidentified/ hit-and-run driver.
There may be other options for compensation. Consulting with an experienced injury attorney can give you a better sense of your options.
Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer – (954) 761-4011 – Free Consultation