One of the many benefits of living or vacationing in the “Sunshine State” is the year-round beautiful weather. Sunshine and warm temperatures encourage people to be outside and to walk instead of driving whenever possible. Unfortunately, Florida also has an exceptionally high number of pedestrian accidents each year. If you or a loved one were injured in a Florida pedestrian accident, knowing what to do next is crucial for your physical, emotional, and financial recovery.
If another party caused or contributed to a pedestrian accident that resulted in injuries or death, that party may be legally responsible for compensating injured victims or surviving family members. As a victim or survivor, however, it can be difficult to navigate the legal system while also trying to focus on healing physically and emotionally. An experienced Melbourne pedestrian injury lawyer at Layman Law Firm, P.L. can help. Let us put our skills and resources to work pursuing the at-fault party (or parties) to recover the compensation to which you are entitled.
What Should I Know about Florida Pedestrian Accidents?
While motor vehicle accident injuries and deaths have steadily been trending downward over the past several decades, pedestrian accident injuries and deaths have been increasing. According to Smart Growth America, pedestrian deaths reached an all-time high in 2020 with more than 6,500 pedestrian deaths, or an average of 18 people per day killed in pedestrian accidents across the United States. While all other traffic deaths only increased 13 percent from 2010-2020, pedestrian deaths increased a shocking 54 percent, according to figures published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
Moreover, the percentage of pedestrian fatalities involving speeding rose to 8.6 percent in 2020, up from 7.2 percent the year before. Even more troubling is the fact that the percentage of pedestrian fatalities among children younger than 15 in which speeding was a factor more than doubled in just two years (from 2018 to 2020), according to the GHSA.
For Florida residents and visitors, the statistics are especially grim. Not only does the State of Florida rank second in the nation on the list of most dangerous states for pedestrians, but Florida has seven of the top 20 most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America, including the number one spot. Preliminary data published by the GHSA from 2021 indicates that 899 pedestrians were killed in Florida that year, an increase of over 25 percent from the previous year.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
When a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, the resulting injuries are often serious, even deadly, given the size and weight disparity between a person and a vehicle. Pedestrian accident injuries can run the gamut from simple bumps and bruises to life-threatening injuries; however, some common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Road rash and abrasions
- Fractures and dislocations
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage with or without paralysis
What Are Some Steps I Should Take after a Florida Pedestrian Accident?
The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be physically and emotionally traumatic for a victim and the victim’s family. Knowing what to do to protect yourself and your right to compensation is crucial following a pedestrian accident. Take the following steps if you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident:
- Notify the police immediately. Regardless of the apparent extent of your injuries, contact the police and report the accident immediately. Given the likelihood of serious injury, you need emergency rescue personnel to evaluate you before you are cleared to leave the scene of the accident or to transport you to the hospital. In addition, making a police report serves to document the accident and the parties involved for later use.
- Get a thorough medical evaluation. Whether you are transported by ambulance or of your own accord, get to the nearest hospital and have a thorough medical evaluation completed to check for injuries. Some of the most serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury and internal organ damage, do not always manifest obvious symptoms immediately following the injury.
- Preserve evidence. If your injuries allow, obtain contact information from anyone involved in the accident as well as witnesses before you leave the scene. When you can do so, also take photos of the accident scene, paying particular attention to traffic signs or signals, crosswalks, road construction, obstructions, and problematic traffic patterns that might have contributed to the accident.
- Consult with an experienced Melbourne pedestrian accident lawyer. Talking to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible protects you and your rights. If another party was responsible for the accident, you may be contacted by that party’s liability insurance company shortly after the accident. It is never a good idea to talk to an insurance adjuster without first speaking to an attorney. Not only might you inadvertently say something adverse to your interests but remember that the job of an insurance adjuster is to pay out as little as possible when their insured is at fault. The adjuster may tempt you with what sounds like a substantial sum of money to settle your claim when, in fact, you are entitled to considerably more compensation.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Florida Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
If you were injured in a Florida pedestrian accident, and another party was wholly or partially responsible for the accident, you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages compensation. Economic damages represent the direct, objective expenses while non-economic damages include the indirect, subjective costs associated with your physical and emotional injuries and include things such as:
- Medical expenses, including doctor and hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, and related expenses.
- Rehabilitation, counseling, and other care costs
- Lost income to date as well as anticipated future lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
If you are a surviving family member of someone who was fatally injured in a Florida pedestrian accident you may also be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit if the fatally injured victim was a spouse or parent who can no longer provide the companionship, care, and support they provided prior to the accident.
Contact An Experienced Melbourne Pedestrian Injury Lawyer at Layman Law Firm, P.L.
If you were injured in a Florida pedestrian accident, or you lost a family member in one, contact the experienced Melbourne pedestrian accident attorneys at Layman Law Firm, P.L. to discuss your legal options. We are dedicated to seeking justice, including full and fair compensation, for pedestrian accident victims and surviving family members. Let us use our extensive experience and vast resources to make sure the responsible party (or parties) are held accountable. Contact the team today for your free initial consultation by calling 321-773-2111 or by filling out our convenient Intake Evaluation Form online.