Even though Florida has numerous laws on the books that are meant to protect pedestrians and plenty of sidewalks and crosswalks to ensure safe travel, far too many people are hit by vehicles as they are walking here each year.
In fact, one report was recently released that found Florida to be the second most dangerous state for pedestrians in the United States. In 2021 alone, Florida saw an increase of over 30 percent in pedestrian deaths.
How do these accidents happen, and what legal action can be taken when they do? Read on to find out more about how to stay safe in the Sunshine State, and what legal options are available to you if you’re injured as a pedestrian.
Common Causes of Florida Pedestrian Accidents
What causes all these accidents that make Florida such a dangerous place for people on the street? There are many reasons that accidents involving pedestrians and cars occur. Some of the most common causes include:
- Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drivers who are texting or talking on their phones while operating a vehicle
- Those who ignore traffic signals or violate traffic laws
- Drivers who operate their vehicles recklessly
- Drivers who disregard the speed limit
- Drivers who do not use caution in residential areas
- Drivers who fail to yield right of way to pedestrians
The injuries that can result from these types of accidents can be catastrophic. In collisions between two cars, the vehicles offer some protection to the people inside.
But when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, there’s no protection and the body takes the full force of the impact, leading to injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, head injuries, paralysis, and even death.
How Can an Injured Florida Pedestrian File a Claim?
If you are struck by a car and injured as a pedestrian, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. In these types of suits, pedestrians who are injured can establish liability against the driver and work to recover damages from the accident.
A skilled and experienced attorney can use the theory of negligence to prove that the driver of the vehicle was at fault for the accident by establishing negligence through:
- Showing that the driver had the duty of care, as any other reasonable driver in a similar situation would
- Showing that the driver then breached that duty
- Showing that the breach of duty by the driver lead to injuries and damages
Is There a Statute of Limitations in Florida?
There is a statute of limitation in Florida for filing these types of personal injury claims.
In accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians, the statute of limitations is typically four years from the date of the accident. If a death resulted from an accident, you have two years in the state of Florida to file a wrongful death claim.
What Damages Can Floridians Seek?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, then you must be able to show you sustained damages from the accident. There are many types of damages that you can seek compensation for. The most common damages plaintiffs receive compensation for include:
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Loss of income, both past and future
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
Your attorney can work with you to get you the damages you deserve from a pedestrian accident.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing 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, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– 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 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.