Venice Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Any car accident could have potentially serious consequences for those involved. Certain types of collisions, however, including crashes between cyclists and pedestrians, are notorious for being particularly devastating. In these cases, the most severe injuries are almost exclusively suffered by the cyclist or pedestrian in question, who doesn’t have the benefit of seatbelts, airbags, or thousands of pounds of metal between themselves and the road.
Unfortunately, collisions between motorists and bicyclists and pedestrians are extremely common in Florida, where thousands of people walk and bike to their destinations. It is, however, possible for injured bicyclists and pedestrians to recover compensation from those who caused their accident, so if you were injured in this type of accident and have questions about your own legal options, it is critical to speak with an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney who can advise you.
Earlier this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association published a report revealing that Florida is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians in the U.S. In fact, according to the report, Florida, along with four other states, accounted for nearly half of all pedestrian deaths in the country. With the risk of injury in a pedestrian accident so high, it is critical for Florida residents to have a thorough understanding of Florida’s no-fault auto insurance laws and how they could affect a pedestrian’s ability to recover compensation for accident-related losses. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced Venice pedestrian accident attorneys today.
Why is Florida So Dangerous for Pedestrians?
Researchers believe that there are a number of different reasons for the increase in pedestrian deaths over the last ten years, but primarily point to the fact that Florida’s roads were designed first and foremost for the movement of vehicles and not for pedestrians. State transportation policies and funding, for example, are still based on sprawling growth patterns, which necessitated the design of wider roads and longer blocks. These designs have proven to be advantageous for motorists, but not for cyclists and pedestrians, who are more at risk of injury as a result of a lack of safe road crossings, sidewalks, and bike lanes.
The growing popularity of trucks and SUVs have also been linked to an increase in pedestrian fatalities, as it is estimated that these types of larger vehicles are two or three times more likely to result in a pedestrian’s death than a passenger vehicle.
In 2018, Florida was ranked the most dangerous state for pedestrians in the country, a frightening statistic that can largely be attributed to poor pedestrian infrastructure, high speed multi-lane surface streets, and congested roadways. These characteristics all work together to significantly increase a Florida resident’s chances of being involved in this type of accident, which are often the result of motorist negligence, including:
- Failing to abide by traffic laws;
- Drinking and driving;
- Falling asleep at the wheel; and
- Driving while distracted.
While this kind of negligence is always dangerous, it can prove deadly when pedestrians and cyclists are involved, as these individuals are much more likely to suffer serious injuries, like spinal cord injuries, head trauma, amputation, severe lacerations, and crushed or broken bones, all of which are both painful and expensive to treat.
Pedestrian Accident Scenarios
Collisions between motorists and pedestrians can and do take place in a variety of situations, but most are the result of:
- A driver’s failure to fully stop at an intersection;
- Excessive speeding;
- A driver’s failure to stop when necessary in school bus zones;
- Distracted driving; and
- Drunk driving.
In many cases, when a person is injured in a car accident, he or she is required to first attempt to recover compensation from his or her own insurer, regardless of who was at fault. This is not required, however, for victims whose injuries qualify as serious or whose treatment exceeds the limits of their own policy. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained by pedestrians are almost always serious. This does, however, mean that victims have a better chance of recovering compensation from the at-fault party for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future income, permanent disability, and pain and suffering.
Proving Fault in Your Accident
Most drivers who cause accidents in which cyclists and pedestrians are involved attempt to shift liability to those parties to avoid paying damages. It is possible, however, for a cyclist or pedestrian to defend him or herself against unfair allegations of negligence by presenting strong evidence demonstrating the real cause of the crash, such as:
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Accident scene reconstruction;
- Proof of the traffic laws and signs at the scene of the accident;
- The accident report;
- Photographs from the scene of the accident;
- Video recordings of the collision; and
- The parties’ medical records.
Fortunately, even if a cyclist or pedestrian did contribute to an accident in some way, he or she could still be entitled to damages under Florida’s theory of comparative negligence. This standard allows accident victims to recover compensation even if they contributed to an accident, although the amount they receive will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. If, for instance, a cyclist is found to be ten percent at fault for an accident and suffered $500,000 in damages, he or she could expect to lose ten percent, or $50,000, of that award.
An Experienced Venice Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses, even if you were partly at fault for the accident. To learn more about your own recovery options following a collision with a motorist, please call the experienced Venice pedestrian accident attorneys at Hale Law today. We can be reached at our office at 941-735-4529 or via online message.