Accessible Legal Services in Florida
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating and sometimes deadly. Even at relatively low speeds, a pedestrian accident has the potential to be fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving pedestrians in Florida, our pedestrian accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale can help protect your rights.
Pedestrians typically have the “right of way.” If a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian or drives in an otherwise careless, reckless, or negligent manner injuring a pedestrian, they should be held responsible. Our attorneys can often make a credible and compelling case against the negligent driver, especially if a bus, truck, or train was involved.
At Ginnis & Krathen, P.A., we can give you access to experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys. With our extensive knowledge of the laws and statutes that apply to pedestrian accidents in combination with our focus in representing individuals in pedestrian litigation, you can get the supportive, personal attention you deserve. Whether you live in Miami, West Palm Beach, or the surrounding areas, we want to aid you in acquiring reimbursement for your injuries, property damage, or pain and suffering.
For a free consultation in Florida, call our law office at (954) 905-4600 or contact us online. We apply a personal touch to each of our cases because our clients deserve quality service.
On This Page:
- How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
- Florida Pedestrian Laws
- How Much Compensation Can You Get?
- Common Pedestrian Injuries
- Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Usually Occur?
- What If You Were Partially At-Fault?
- Let Us Help
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Florida is known for having the highest risk of death in pedestrian accidents than any other state, according to research. In the 2019 “Dangerous By Design” report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, for instance, nine of the 20 deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians are in Florida alone.
Though we don’t expect to be struck and killed by a driver when we’re walking around our neighborhoods or running errands, it can happen. Unfortunately, these accidents are all preventable because they’re mainly caused by errors made by negligent drivers.
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents that entitle you to seek compensation in a claim include:
- Intoxicated driving: People’s reaction times, judgment, and motor skills are all impaired when they consume alcohol or drugs, which creates a danger for others on or near the roads, including pedestrians.
- Speeding: Pedestrians who are struck by speeding vehicles may suffer severe injuries or die as a result of the force of the impact. A car driving at 60 miles per hour is more likely to cause damage than a car going 15, for example.
- Failing to check mirrors: Unfortunately, vehicles can injure pedestrians in parking lots and driveways just as easily as they can injure them on the road as a result of failing to check blind spots or mirrors before backing up or making turns.
- Failing to stop or yield: Pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing the street at crosswalks, but vehicles don’t always honor this right. Some speeding cars will attempt to drive through crosswalks when they should stop and wait for the pedestrian first.
What Are Florida’s Pedestrian Laws?
Florida has a statute that maintains that vehicles approaching pedestrians who are legally crossing the street at an intersection must yield or stop for them. Failure to yield results in a fine of $164 and three points on the driver’s license. Drivers also are prohibited from passing cars that are stopped at crosswalks and must stop for crossing pedestrians when they make left-hand turns.
While pedestrians have the right of way when using crosswalks, there are also some laws in place to prevent them from crossing elsewhere. For example, pedestrians are prohibited from leaving the curb to walk into the path of a vehicle so close that is’ impossible for the driver to yield. Pedestrians also can’t cross intersections diagonally, but unlike in many other states, jaywalking is not illegal in Florida.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Pedestrian Accident?
Every case is unique, so it’s impossible to estimate what fair compensation may be without first knowing the details of your case. For example, if your injuries were somewhat minor and resulted in you missing a few days of work, but recovering quickly, your compensation will be less than for someone who suffered permanent damage as a result of a pedestrian vs. car accident.
When calculating a fair settlement your attorney will take the following into consideration:
- Medical treatment/bills
- Missed work or lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term disability or rehabilitation
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
What Are the Most Common Injuries Suffered By Pedestrians Hit By Cars?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2017 alone there were over 5,900 pedestrian deaths and an estimate 137,000 pedestrian injuries related to car accidents. Other studies have shown that some of the most common pedestrian injuries include:
- Head, neck and face injuries (including fractures, dislocations, TBIs, lacerations, and concussions)
- Upper torso, arms, hands, wrists (including broken bones, fractures, bruises, lacerations, etc.)
These injuries are particularly common in pedestrian accidents because of how a car strikes an unprotected pedestrian. Secondary injuries may also occur if the victim is thrown by the impact and then hits the ground.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Usually Occur?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 about 82% of pedestrian traffic deaths occurred in urban locations. 73% occurred on the open road, with only 26% happening at intersections. At the same time, most pedestrian fatalities involving car accidents occur in the evenings when it’s dark outside; this can be attributed to low visibility.
However, roadways aren’t the only places where pedestrian accidents can occur. Other common locations for pedestrian vs. car accidents include:
- Business parking lots
- Parking garages
- Residential neighborhoods
- Bike lanes
- Sidewalks paralelling roadways
Can You Still Recover Compensation if You Were Partially At Fault?
Like several other states, Florida follows a comparative negligence law which still allows a party to recover compensation for their injuries as long as they are less than 50% responsible for the accident. This means that if the jury finds you 30% responsible for the accident because you were crossing the street when the Do Not Walk sign was lit up, but the driver failed to brake in time because they were texting and driving, you may still recover compensation for your injuries. However, in cases of comparative negligence, your settlement may be reduced by the percentage of which you are found to be at fault. So if you are 30% responsible, your settlement may be reduced by 30%.
We Can Help You Heal
If you or a family member was injured in a pedestrian accident in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas, it’s crucial that you reach out to a knowledgeable attorney today. It can be complicated to comprehend the specific laws regarding pedestrian accidents, but you don’t have to do it alone.
A pedestrian accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale with experience in this area can help you to find your way through these problematic situations. It is essential to do so as quickly as possible. At Ginnis & Krathen, P.A., our team has both the experience and resources to aid you in bringing the negligent driver who caused the accident to justice, getting you the compensation you deserve for damages like lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, disability, and more.