Melbourne Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Residents and visitors alike enjoy year-round warm weather and breathtaking scenery in Melbourne, Florida. That means there are a significant number of pedestrians out and about at any given time. Unfortunately, it also means that pedestrian accidents occur at an alarming rate in Melbourne and throughout the Sunshine State.
Victims of a pedestrian accident frequently suffer serious, even fatal, injuries. When another party caused or contributed to the accident, that party may be held legally liable. Navigating an unfamiliar legal system after suffering injuries or a loss caused by a pedestrian accident can be extremely stressful. Help is available. The experienced Melbourne pedestrian accident attorneys at Layman Law Firm, P.L. are committed to aggressively pursuing the at-fault party in a pedestrian accident and making sure you are compensated for your physical and psychological injuries or loss.
Melbourne Pedestrian Accident Facts and Figures
Nationwide, walking has become more dangerous over the last two decades. In fact, the number of people struck and killed by drivers nationwide while walking increased by an astonishing 45 percent from 2010 to 2019, according to a report published by Smart Growth America, an organization dedicated to pedestrian safety. In 2019 alone, 6,237 people were killed in a pedestrian accident. That is the equivalent of more than 17 people dying per day in a pedestrian accident.
Florida consistently makes the top three most dangerous states for pedestrians year after year. In fact, the most recent Governor’s Highway Safety Association report shows that five states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas, are responsible for almost half (47 percent) of all pedestrian deaths in the U.S.
For pedestrians walking the streets of Melbourne, the statistics are even more shocking. The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area ranks as the 4th most dangerous area for pedestrians across the entire United States, according to the Smart Growth America report. With an average of 2.9 deaths per 100,000 people, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area received a pedestrian danger index of 260.9 with the number one ranked Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area receiving a danger index of 295.
Florida Pedestrian Laws
In the State of Florida, Florida Statute 316.130 governs pedestrian traffic within the state. Among the more important subsections of that statute are:
- Section 316.130(1) requires pedestrians to obey traffic control devices (including pedestrian walk signals) that apply to pedestrians unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
- Section 316.130(3) prohibits pedestrians from walking in the street and requires pedestrians to use sidewalks if a sidewalk is provided and accessible.
- Section 316.130(4) applies to pedestrians walking along and upon a highway. Pedestrians shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic that may approach from the opposite direction.
- Section 316.130(7) requires drivers to stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk with a traffic control signal or signage. If there is no traffic control signal or sign, a driver must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
- Section 316.130(8) prohibits a pedestrian from stepping into the path of a vehicle if the driver does not have enough time to yield.
- Section 316.130(9) prohibits a vehicle from passing another vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Section 316.130(10) requires pedestrians crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
- Section 316.130(11) requires pedestrians to use crosswalks with traffic control signals if they are available.
- Section 316.130(14) prohibits a pedestrian from crossing an intersection diagonally unless there is a special traffic control device for that purpose.
- Section 316.130(15) obligates drivers to use due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians and to give warning and exercise proper precaution when there is a child or confused/incapacitated person present.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
A pedestrian involved in a collision with a motor vehicle is at an obvious, and potentially deadly, disadvantage given that the pedestrian has nothing to protect or shield him/her from the impact. Consequently, serious injuries often occur, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Head, neck, and back injury
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
- Broken bones
Steps to Take Following a Melbourne Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one were involved in a pedestrian accident you need to know what steps to take to protect your right to recover compensation for your injuries or loss as well as to ensure that you receive the medical treatment you need to heal. Steps to take after a pedestrian accident include:
- Contact the police. Call 9-1-1 and report the accident immediately. Not only with this trigger emergency medical personnel to the scene to treat your injuries, but it will also result in a police report being filed which may be needed down the road.
- Go to the emergency room. Even if you do not feel like you were seriously injured, go to the emergency room, and have a thorough medical evaluation done immediately. Many serious pedestrian accident injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, may not exhibit obvious symptoms right after the collision.
- Gather and preserve evidence. When possible, get the names and contact information of anyone involved in the accident or anyone who witnessed the accident. Take photos as well of the accident scene, including any traffic signs or signals, crosswalks, road construction or obstructions, and traffic patterns when relevant.
- Consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. If a motorist was wholly or partially responsible for the accident you will likely get a call from their insurance carrier soon after the accident. Their job is to try and get you to accept a nominal sum to release them from liability for your injuries. Never agree to talk to another party’s insurance company following a pedestrian accident. Instead, contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Melbourne Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
If you were injured in a Melbourne pedestrian accident you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries even if you were partially at fault. Florida uses the doctrine of comparative negligence which means if another party was partially at-fault, that party may be held accountable. The amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of the fault; however, you could be awarded compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and other care costs
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished qualify of life
Moreover, if you lost a family member who was fatally injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation as the claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, compensation may be awarded to a claimant if the victim was a spouse or parent who can no longer provide the companionship, care, and support they provided prior to the accident.
Contact the Experienced Melbourne Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Layman Law Firm, P.L.
If you were injured in a Melbourne pedestrian accident, or a family member was killed in a pedestrian accident, contact the experienced Melbourne pedestrian accident attorneys at Layman Law Firm, P.L. to discuss your legal options. We are dedicated to ensuring that victims and surviving family members who have suffered because of a pedestrian accident are fully and fairly compensated for all their injuries and losses. Contact the team today for your free initial consultation by calling 321-773-2111 or by filling out our convenient Intake Evaluation Form online.