In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention. That’s about one death every 88 minutes.
Startling Pedestrian Accident Facts:
- 1/5 of the children between ages 5-9 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians
- 40% of young (under 16) pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3pm and 7pm
- Alcohol involvement was reported in 48% of all pedestrian accidents
- 74% of pedestrian-vehicle crashes occur where no traffic control exists
- The top four states for pedestrian fatalities are California, Florida, Texas, and New York
More than 70% of pedestrians killed were in urban areas and 28% were killed in rural areas. Pedestrian accidents can happened anywhere—schools, shopping centers, construction sites, major highways, side streets, or driveways.
The severity of injuries often depends on how fast the vehicle was traveling. Some common pedestrian injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paraplegia and quadriplegia, broken bones, scrapes and bruises, and even death.
Our trial attorneys handle a variety of pedestrian accident cases, including those caused by a car, truck, or bus driver who:
- Was inattentive or distracted (cell phone, texting, eating, putting on make-up, etc.)
- Ignored traffic rules, traffic signals, stop lights, or traffic signs
- Was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Was speeding or driving recklessly (road rage, street racing)
- Failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian
- Failed to look right when turning right into a crosswalk
- Failed to stop for a school bus or slow down in school zones
- Failed to confirm it was safe to back up (back-up collision or back-over accident)
We are experienced in complex pedestrian accidents. In some pedestrian cases, there may be contributing factors that also lead to the accident. Sometimes the design of the intersection itself causes or contributes to the accident (non-working signals or failure of signage, lack of maintained property [impaired viewing such as overgrown shrubs], etc.).
Florida Pedestrian Laws
Pedestrian-related traffic laws in Florida are designed to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and drivers on the road. Here's an overview of some key pedestrian laws in Florida:
- Right-of-Way: Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way at marked crosswalks and at intersections where there are no traffic signals. However, pedestrians should not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close it is impossible for the driver to yield.
- Traffic Signals: Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and crosswalks. They should only cross the road when the pedestrian signal indicates it is safe to do so.
- Jaywalking: Jaywalking, or crossing the road at a location other than a marked crosswalk or an intersection, is generally prohibited. However, pedestrians can cross a road mid-block if no vehicles are approaching and it is safe to do so.
- Yielding to Pedestrians: Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and at intersections when they have a green light. When turning at an intersection, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are legally crossing their path.
- School Zones: In school zones, drivers must reduce their speed and be extra cautious. They must obey reduced speed limits and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Pedestrian Responsibility: Pedestrians also have responsibilities. They should not suddenly dart into traffic or cross a road when it is unsafe to do so. It is illegal for pedestrians to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they are on the road.
- Blind Pedestrians: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to visually impaired or blind pedestrians who are using a white cane or guide dog.
- Sidewalks: Pedestrians are generally required to use sidewalks where they are provided. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
- Bicycles: Bicyclists on sidewalks or crosswalks have the same rights and duties as pedestrians. They must yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal (such as a bell or horn) when passing.
- No Passing Stopped Vehicles: It is illegal for drivers to pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian.
Pedestrian Accidents In South Florida
Pedestrian accidents occur frequently in South Florida. It is important to understand what your options are when it comes to filing a claim for compensation. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions our South Florida pedestrian accident attorneys receive. With offices in Naples, Boca Raton, Hollywood, and Coral Springs, we serve clients across Florida.
Who Can Be Held Liable In a Pedestrian Accident?
In a pedestrian accident, liability for the incident can fall on various parties depending on the specific circumstances and the laws of the jurisdiction. Here are some of the parties who may potentially be held liable in a pedestrian accident:
- Driver of a Motor Vehicle: In many pedestrian accidents involving vehicles, the driver of the motor vehicle is often considered the primary party at fault. Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care, obey traffic laws, and be vigilant for pedestrians on or near the road. If a driver fails to yield the right-of-way, speeds, runs a red light, or otherwise acts negligently, they may be held liable for the pedestrian's injuries.
- Pedestrian: In some cases, the pedestrian may be partially or entirely at fault for the accident. Pedestrians are expected to exercise due care for their safety as well. If a pedestrian crosses a road illegally, ignores traffic signals, or engages in reckless behavior that contributes to the accident, they may be found partially or wholly responsible for their injuries.
- Property Owners: Property owners, such as businesses or homeowners, may be held liable if a hazardous condition on their property contributed to the pedestrian accident. For example, if a poorly maintained sidewalk or parking lot caused the pedestrian's injuries, the property owner might be held responsible.
- Government Entities: In cases where road design, maintenance, or traffic signal operation is a factor in the accident, government entities responsible for maintaining roadways may be liable. This is often seen in cases involving poor road conditions, missing or poorly marked crosswalks, malfunctioning traffic signals, or other roadway defects.
- Vehicle Manufacturer: In rare cases, the manufacturer of the vehicle involved in the accident may be held liable if a vehicle defect, such as brake failure or steering problems, played a significant role in causing the accident.
- Other Third Parties: Depending on the circumstances, other third parties may also be liable. For instance, if a pedestrian was struck by a commercial vehicle, the driver's employer or the company owning the vehicle might share liability.
What Kind Of Compensation Can I Expect?
The compensation awarded after a pedestrian accident varies from case-to-case. In many cases, individuals can receive compensation for financial hindrances such as medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain, and suffering. In addition, individuals can also receive compensation for any future costs like medical bills and lost wages due to not being able to return to work.
Do All Pedestrian Accident Cases Go To Court?
The simple answer is no. There is always a possibility for an out-of-court settlement. Many who are involved in these types of accidents tend to seek out this possibility because court expenses can be quite costly for an individual, as well as unpredictable. However, we do recommend that you hire a knowledgeable South Florida pedestrian accident lawyer to help you make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Your attorney will then advise you on when the best time to file a lawsuit is in regard to your specific case. In most instances, the sooner you file, the better. Every state has a statute of limitations for these types of accidents, so it important to understand how long you have to file in your state of residence.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of a car or truck driver, motorcyclist, or due to premises liability and would like to learn more about your legal rights.
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