Have You Been In A Pedestrian Accident In Florida?
Florida’s weather makes it an environment in which pedestrians can spend lots of time outside. However, this also increases the chance of being injured in a pedestrian accident, simply because of the heightened traffic. If you have been in an accident with a vehicle, it is important to be aware of all your options in figuring out what to do from here, as medical bills can be very high after these types of crashes.
Florida has one of the highest rates of injury and fatality for pedestrians in the nation, with almost 8,000 recorded injuries to pedestrians in 2018, and countless more unrecorded by law enforcement. The simple volume of traffic goes a long way toward explaining these high rates, but in addition, driver distraction and poor infrastructure also play a significant role. Smart Growth America, a think tank that advocates for walkable cities, reports that significantly more pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur in lower-income neighborhoods (which are the last to receive updated infrastructure, as a rule) than in higher-income neighborhoods.
While sometimes pedestrians are wholly or partially at fault for their own injuries, a large portion of these types of accidents are due to distracted driving. Car and truck drivers routinely fail to pay attention to pedestrians crossing the street, or they may not be able to see them depending on their own speed and position. This lack of attention is in addition to normal poor driver behaviors such as speeding, substance use, or texting and driving.
If you are able to bring suit against the driver who struck you, you must be able to establish that they violated the duty of care that every driver owes while on the road – for example, to observe road signs, to pay attention to those around them, and obey the speed limit. Generally, a negligence action requires that the plaintiff show the defendant breached their duty of reasonable care, and that the plaintiff’s injuries were directly because of the defendant’s actions that breached the duty – in other words, no intervening cause can be present.
Pedestrians in Florida do also have certain duties in their interactions with vehicles and other people on the road – for example, the duty to cross roads at crosswalks, or obey walk signals – and if you fail to uphold these duties, it can be more difficult for you to obtain damages in your accident. Florida law does not totally preclude recovery; it states that you may still recover, but any amount may be reduced by your percentage of fault (for example, someone found 40 percent at fault would have any recovery reduced by 40 percent).
Contact A Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents can wreak significant havoc in a person’s life, given the physical, mental and financial toll. If you have been struck by a vehicle while out on Florida’s streets, an experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group may be able to help you determine how best to seek compensation. Contact our office today for a free consultation.