It is not surprising to learn that Florida ranks high when it comes to the number of pedestrian accidents, as the state’s population makes it the third largest in the US. However, it is disturbing to realize the risk when you look at the rates of crashes involving people on foot. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida is #4 for pedestrian fatality rates, with 696 deaths across a population of 21.73 million people. In South Florida alone, there are 3,100 pedestrian accidents that cause more than 200 fatalities and almost 2,400 injured victims.
Your life could be turned around if you were hurt while walking, so it is wise to pursue all available remedies under Florida law. Though you may be entitled to compensation, there are several factors that impact your claim. You should trust a Miami pedestrian accident lawyer to assist with the legal process, from filing an insurance claim to litigation. Some information on the common causes behind these incidents also helps you understand the risk.
How Pedestrian Accidents Happen
The underlying cause of traffic collisions is negligence, a theory of liability in law practice. The concept refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle, as all motorists are subject to a duty to drive safely. This duty applies to all road users, including people walking on crosswalks, sidewalks, road shoulders, and other spaces.
Pedestrian accidents are often the result of a driver’s negligent acts, such as:
- Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions;
- Not obeying traffic signs, signals, lane markings, and other controls – including Walk and Don’t Walk signs;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or other permitted areas;
- Distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, and other risky activities that take the motorist’s attention away from the road.
Factors that Affect Damages
Compensation in pedestrian accidents aims to make a victim whole after suffering injuries, so it is possible to recover reimbursement for medical expenses and lost income. You may also be entitled to amounts for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and other losses that diminish the quality of life.
However, there are two key factors that impact your damages:
- You must have solid proof that the at-fault driver caused the crash. Pictures, recollections of witnesses, and skid marks are examples.
- If you were also negligent in causing the accident, your compensation could be affected by Florida’s new comparative fault law. Your damages are reduced by your own percentage of fault, and you cannot recover any amount if you were 50 percent or more blameworthy.
Rely on a Miami Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Legal Assistance
For more information on how to recover compensation after a collision, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can call (305) 371-6000 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation. A skilled lawyer will meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.