Florida is a place people like to live in because the weather is generally nice the whole year-round. Even during the height of winter, when it’s cold and slushy in other places, Florida is just right. This is why you see so many people walking at all hours on Florida sidewalks – even late on New Year’s Eve.
The problem is that where there are pedestrians, there are accidents – and Florida sees its fair share of those. Last New Year’s Eve, an Immokalee man sustained head injuries when he was hit by a car as he was walking. In Pensacola, a man was killed when standing behind a vehicle.
Yes, there are many dangers on the roads for those who aren’t in cars, which is why it’s important to stay cautious when being powered by your own two feet.
Here is what you need to know about Florida pedestrian accidents and how the law can help you get the damages you are entitled to if you are involved in one.
The Causes of Florida Pedestrian Accidents
There are several causes of pedestrian accidents in Florida. The main factors that contribute are:
Many drivers simply aren’t paying attention for a variety of reasons. When drivers don’t see a pedestrian, serious accidents can and do occur.
Impaired drivers also cause accidents. When operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they pose a danger to anyone on the streets or walking beside them.
If a pedestrian isn’t seen by the driver, accidents happen. It may not be because the driver was distracted, but that the conditions for visibility were poor. If you’re walking at night, it’s a good idea to do things that make you more visible to those in vehicles, such as wearing reflective clothing or having a light.
When people are tired, they have poor reaction times and can be just as dangerous as someone impaired by drugs or alcohol behind the wheel.
Violating Driving Laws
Some drivers do not yield to pedestrians or follow speed limits, which are both major contributors to accidents involving cars and pedestrians.
Getting Compensation for FL Pedestrian Accidents
If you are injured this New Year’s as a result of an accident where you were walking and struck by a car, then you may be able to recover compensation if it can be shown that the driver was negligent.
Florida is a no-fault state, but the insurance company of the at-fault driver can be made to cover costs such as those related to:
- Medical bills
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medication or needed medical equipment
- Nursing services
If your own personal injury protection insurance isn’t enough to cover your expenses due to the injuries you sustained, an experienced attorney can help. A personal injury suit can be filed against the driver who was at fault and your attorney can advocate on your behalf in order to help you get the compensation you deserve.
After all, in Florida drivers have a duty of care to keep others on the roads safe by operating their vehicles legally and safely.
Statute of Limitations
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Florida, don’t delay in contacting an attorney. You have four years in most cases from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in the state, but the sooner you get help, the better.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.