You never expect to be involved in a pedestrian accident while you are out for a walk or jog, but the unexpected happens every day. If you or one of your family members have been hit by a car, the dedicated team of pedestrian accident attorneys at FlorinIRoebig are ready to fight aggressively for your right to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
For many people, traveling by foot is a daily occurrence. Walking may seem like a relatively safe activity, but it can be extremely dangerous when cars are nearby. Even a short walk in a parking lot can be a perilous journey. Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in pedestrian accident fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,283 pedestrians were killed on the streets of America in 2018 alone, the highest number recorded since 1990.
Pedestrian fatalities accounted for 17 percent of all crash fatalities. It is easy to discern that walkers are the most vulnerable of all roadway users. Reduce your risk for being among these statistics by implementing these proactive safety tips, as outlined by the NHTSA:
- Follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic signs.
- Always use sidewalks when available. Where there is no sidewalk, walk on the side that is facing oncoming traffic, as far away from the road as possible.
- Avoid any distractions that take your eyes or ears off the road, especially smartphones and earbuds.
- Refrain from jaywalking by crossing streets at crosswalks and intersections.
- Before crossing the road, look left and right twice.
- Try to make direct eye contact with oncoming drivers to alert them of your presence.
- Increase your visibility by wearing bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night.
- Don’t rely solely on traffic signals because not all drivers obey them.
- Avoid walking while drunk or intoxicated. Alcohol impairs your decision-making abilities and reflexes.
- Be alert when walking in or around parking lots, as these spaces tend to be the scene of many pedestrian car accidents.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
No matter how cautious and mindful you are when walking, you can still be the victim of a driver’s negligence. A motorist who fails to obey traffic laws can put a pedestrian at risk for severe injuries or even death. The most common causes of pedestrian accidents are identified below:
- Distracted drivers: Drivers can be distracted by their cell phone, loud music, adjusting controls in the car, eating, passengers, or any other activity that takes their attention off the road. It only takes a split second to cause a serious pedestrian accident.
- Impaired drivers: Some drivers are irresponsible enough to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication. Drunk driving accidents are bad enough when two vehicles are involved. Pedestrians who get hit by drunk drivers often suffer from life-threatening injuries, if not death. Most of the victims of hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians, while the majority of drivers who leave the scene of an accident are impaired.
- Drivers who fail to yield: Many walkers, joggers, and bicyclists get hit after a driver fails to stop or yield at an intersection. When a motorist does not yield the right of way as required by state law, he or she can be held liable for the accident and any resulting injuries.
- Drivers who are making a left-hand turn: Oftentimes at an intersection, the driver has a green light when pedestrians have a walk light. Although this can be confusing, pedestrians have the right of way in this particular scenario. Recent statistics show that left turns trigger a quarter of all pedestrian-vehicle accidents in the United States.
- Drivers who are backing up: Backup accidents happen when a driver is reversing and does not see a pedestrian, causing a collision. These types of crashes commonly occur in parking lots and driveways. In the event that a vehicle is moving in reverse at the time of an accident, the driver will usually be at fault for the crash.
- Drivers who speed: Speeding decreases a driver’s reaction time, while increasing the amount of time a driver needs to stop the car. Drivers who are traveling well above posted speed limits are more likely to hit pedestrians. The higher the impact speed at the time of the crash, the greater the risk of serious injury and death.
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Types Of Pedestrian Injuries
Almost every time a pedestrian is struck in an auto accident, serious injuries are sustained. Our law firm has successfully represented many pedestrian accident victims who suffered from the following types of injuries:
- Soft tissue injury: After an accident, pedestrians often report soft tissue damage to muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the body. Although these injuries are thought of as minor, they can cause chronic pain and suffering, especially when medical treatment is delayed.
- Broken bones: Many victims of pedestrian collisions sustain fractures and broken bones. These types of injuries can be extremely painful and may require surgical intervention to make a full recovery.
- Traumatic brain injury: Head injuries are among the most common causes of long-term disability and death in pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. Some accident victims are able to recover from a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury relatively quickly. Others who suffer from more severe TBI may need extensive or life-long medical care.
- Spinal cord injury: Since pedestrians are not protected by the shield of a car, they are more likely to sustain a catastrophic injury. One of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents. Possible effects of SCI include paralysis, difficulty breathing, and loss of bowel or bladder control. Depending upon the severity of the injury, victims may face enormous medical expenses.
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What Should I Do After Being Hit By A Car?
If you are reading this article, it is likely that you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident as a pedestrian. The actions you take immediately following the crash can significantly impact your ability to protect your physical and financial recovery. At the exact moment the wreck happens, you won’t know if you will need to sue the liable party for damages. Follow the steps listed here to increase your chances of a favorable outcome for your pedestrian accident case:
1. Seek Medical Attention
As an injured pedestrian, it is your duty to seek immediate medical treatment. Don’t assume that a bystander will call emergency services for you. The longer you wait to get evaluated by a medical professional, the harder it is for you to prove that your injuries are a result of the accident.
2. Take Photos At The Scene
If you are well enough, get your cell phone out and take pictures. Be sure to include photos of any visible injuries you sustained, the accident scene and surrounding area, as well as any property damage. Photos are the best way to paint an accurate picture of how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
3. Report The Accident To Police
After being struck by a car and sustaining injuries, you should contact the police as soon as possible. Give an honest description regarding how the accident occurred, but do not make any statements admitting fault. The other party’s insurance company will utilize any police reports to make a determination on liability based on who was cited for the accident.
4. File An Insurance Claim
Time is of the essence when filing an insurance claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a pedestrian accident is four years, while you must file a wrongful death claim within two years.
5. Get Follow Up Medical Care
If you want to make a full recovery and simultaneously build a strong personal injury case, you will need to show that you are compliant with medical care. Therefore, it is important that you listen to your doctor’s advice and follow your treatment plan carefully.
6. Keep All Your Receipts
Be sure to keep track of all your accident related expenses. Medical bills will shed light on how much your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering cost you. Documentation showing lost wages and any other out of pocket expenses relevant to the wreck will help you obtain reimbursement as well.
7. Retain A Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney
When you are seriously injured in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else, you should always seek legal advice to determine the best course of action. You probably have a valid claim against the at fault driver and the driver’s insurance company. Depending on the accident, you might also bring a claim against the local municipality where you were hit.
What Are Pedestrian Accident Claims Worth?
When a pedestrian accident leaves you seriously injured, it is normal to wonder how much compensation you can expect to receive. Finding the average settlement won’t help you get an accurate estimate of what your personal injury claim is worth. Many factors have the potential to affect your settlement, some of which are out of your control. The outcome of your case is largely dependent on the nature of your injuries and expenses incurred in treatment for those injuries, but having the right pedestrian accident lawyer on your side matters too. Luckily, this is something you can control.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at FlorinIRoebig have been helping clients recover damages related to pedestrian accidents since 1985. We believe our impeccable track record, client review ratings, and testimonials speak for themselves. To date our award-winning trial lawyers have obtained over $1 billion in results, including:
- $1.5 million pedestrian injury settlement
- $1.1 million pedestrian injury settlement
- $1.1 million child pedestrian injury settlement
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Contact Our Florida Pedestrian Injury Attorneys Today
Don’t let the insurance adjusters determine what your injuries are worth! Contact us today for real-time assistance at 800-226-6581 to get a free consultation and detailed case review. With office locations in Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas, FlorinIRoebig has a team of personal injury attorneys that are looking forward to helping you get a full and fair settlement for your pedestrian injury case.