When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the results are usually devastating. Since pedestrians have no protective armor, their injuries after an accident with a vehicle are frequently quite severe. In fact, the statistics indicate that after a pedestrian accident, the most common injuries include, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, broken bones, paralysis and quite often death.
Over 4,000 pedestrians are killed annually in roadway accidents in the U.S. The causes of pedestrian accidents are diverse, however, most pedestrian accidents are attributed to poor visibility, pedestrians or a motorist’s failure to yield the right of way, pedestrians improperly crossing a roadway or intersection, pedestrian or driver physical impairment, “darting” or running into the road.
Moreover, roads in the U.S. are not pedestrian or bicyclist friendly. Our streets tend to cater to automobiles, rather than pedestrians and bicyclists. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pedestrian Safety Guide indicates that traffic speed is often the most critical aspect to street walk-ability and pedestrian safety. Streets accommodating faster speeds are more likely to have more pedestrian-related safety problems. Obviously, when traveling at high speeds, motorists may not be as likely to spot pedestrians or stop in time to avoid a crash.
Many pedestrian accidents frequently involve children. Since children are small and less visible, and because they are less predictable, for example, they are more likely to dart into the street. Children are more likely to be the victims of pedestrian accidents than adults. With regard to legal liability, drivers are expected to exercise the utmost care around children, especially while driving near a school or park. Some of the typical examples of pedestrian negligence cases involve pedestrians’ failure to obey traffic signals, pedestrians’ failure to use marked crosswalks, and pedestrians darting out into traffic.
Florida is a comparative negligence state. That means that in instances where both parties are at fault, the fault is apportioned in accordance with the parties’ respective culpability. Likewise, in pedestrian accident cases, Florida courts analyze both the behavior of the driver and that of the pedestrian in apportioning liability. Drivers have a duty to drive safely and reasonably to avoid hitting pedestrians. On the other hand, pedestrians are also under a duty to exercise due care and avoid injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, it is of utmost importance that you immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney. For those interested in pursuing compensation after a pedestrian-vehicle accident, you should immediately contact the experienced Law Offices of Jorge L. Flores, PA, to represent you aggressively.