Law Offices of Lewis & Williams
Anyone who has spent time in Florida understands that pedestrians are a regular sight, especially in the state's larger cities. Not only do millions of tourists come to Florida every year to enjoy what it has to offer, but people who live and work here tend to take advantage of the climate at times and use their feet for healthy transportation. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to Florida pedestrian accidents, and many of them occur in crosswalks. Our Florida personal injury attorneys have represented pedestrians in crosswalk accidents for many years and work to compensate victims to the fullest extent of the law.
At our law firm, we handle pedestrian accidents caused by:
Drivers distracted by cell phones
Drunk and or impaired drivers
Below you'll find information regarding Florida pedestrian accident statistics, the manner in which a negligence standard would apply to these situations, the types of damages that could become relevant for someone who has been injured in an Florida crosswalk accident and finally how you should proceed if you or someone you love has been injured in an Florida crosswalk accident and you need the help of an Florida personal injury lawyer.
Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents in Florida occur at an alarming rate. Statistics indicate that every year, more than 1,500 such accidents occur, and these accidents lead to more than 1,300 injuries and more than 100 fatalities. These overall numbers have remained relatively steady in recent years, and there is no indication that they will decline.
Our Florida Attorneys Prove Negligence in Florida Crosswalk Accidents
When someone is injured or worse in an Florida crosswalk accident, those who have been harmed may have legal options that include the filing of a personal injury lawsuit with the help of our Florida pedestrian injury attorneys. If such a lawsuit was filed, its result would largely depend on the specifics of the accident at issue. Those specifics will determine which party was negligent and whether comparative negligence is an appropriate consideration.
The most common defense used in pedestrian cases is that the pedestrian "came out of nowhere." We have successfully defeated this defense in past cases through the use of accident reconstruction experts and human factors experts. Our experts have been able to establish that the driver of the automobile was simply not paying proper attention.
Crosswalks in Florida are governed by basic traffic laws. Pedestrians are allowed to cross the streets of the state inside these crosswalks and when a traffic signal allows them with the opportunity to cross. At intersections where there is no electronic traffic signal, pedestrians are expected to look both ways for oncoming traffic and to cross inside the crosswalk when it's safe to do so.
Once a person is in a crosswalk and has entered it reasonably, that pedestrian has right-of-way relative to other travelers. This tends to be where Florida crosswalk accidents occur at the highest rate. Motorists may assume that either they have the right-of-way in a particular situation or they misjudge whether or not their continuation on their path will put the pedestrian in danger. Another leading cause of Florida crosswalk accidents is when a motorist is distracted and does not see a pedestrian in the street. This type of gross negligence absolutely deserves the attention of an effective accident injury attorney.
Florida Crosswalk Accidents - Damages and Comparative Negligence
Generally, the situations described above would lead to a finding that the person that harmed a pedestrian was negligent, and would entitle the pedestrian to obtain damages that compensate him or her for medical costs, lost income and pain and suffering among other forms of compensation. However, there are situations where both a pedestrian and a motorist are at fault for an accident.
When this situation arises, Florida uses what's known as the comparative negligence standard. In these cases, the court will decide which party is responsible for which percentage of the total fault, and if the defendant is liable for any of the harm the plaintiff's damages are reduced by the amount that he or she was also negligent. These cases tend to arise when a pedestrian was crossing against traffic or suddenly darted into the street without much of an opportunity for the motorist to avoid the collision.
Here are a few safety precautions for Florida pedestrians to utilize in order to decrease pedestrian accidents:
A recent report from the Federal Bureau of Transportation Safety concluded that the pedestrian was solely at fault in 43% of car-pedestrian collisions and that both were at fault in 13% of collisions. You can significantly reduce your chances of death or injury by obeying traffic rules and being aware of dangers posed by cars in your vicinity. For example: 58% of pedestrian-car crashes occur while the pedestrian was crossing the street. Pay close attention to cars in your vicinity. Make eye contact with drivers if possible.
Don’t “Drink and Walk”
Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, walking will probably not result in the death or injury of someone else - but it could very well result in yours. As an inebriated pedestrian your chances of suffering an accident increase significantly.
If you’ve been drinking, take a cab or a bus, or let someone sober drive you home.
Take extra care at night and at dusk Walking at night increases your chances of death or injury. Drivers cannot avoid what they can’t see. When walking at night, wear retro-reflective outdoor clothing or shoes or lights to make yourself more visible. Avoid wearing dark clothing. Most importantly, don’t assume that drivers can see you. Always walk on the left hand side of the road or on the side walk. This way, motorists can see you and will not be approaching you from behind.
Provide proper supervision and training for children
Young children up to age 9 often lack the judgement and experience to make good choices when dealing with traffic. Their smaller stature also makes them harder for motorists to see. Adults need to take special care to teach children to behave safely when they are around automobile traffic. Supervision is crucial through about age 9. Motorists are also responsible for child pedestrian safety.
Slow down in school zones, near parks and pools and in neighborhoods. Parents dropping off children at school are a major threat to walking children and to those leaving motor vehicles. Stay cautious after dropping off your own child.
How an Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Florida crosswalk accidents, as the statistics indicate, lead to a high rate of injuries and fatalities. If this includes you or someone you love, you need to seek the help of Florida personal injury lawyers who have been handling these sometimes-complicated cases successfully for many years. Contact the Florida personal injury law firm of Lewis & Willimas P.A.
Call today to schedule a free initial consultation 561-444-2260