Liability for Pedestrian Crossing Accidents in FloridaPedestrians are no match for a speeding car. When pedestrians are struck by cars, trucks, and other vehicles; there is a good chance the pedestrian will die. Survivors often suffer catastrophic injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, paralysis, internal organ damage, and multiple fractures. The families of pedestrians who die in a fatal crash have the right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver and any other responsible parties.

Pedestrians who survive a Fort Lauderdale accident or any Florida car accident have the right to file a personal injury claim for all of their economic losses and their pain and suffering if their injuries are considered “serious.” Most pedestrian survivors do suffer serious injuries.

How dangerous are pedestrian accidents?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States in traffic accidents in 2017. Another 137,000 pedestrians required emergency room care. For each trip, a pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely than a car occupant to die in a car crash.

Data from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department shows that for 2020, 715 pedestrians died in Florida car accidents, and 1,265 suffered incapacitating injuries. More than 8,000 were involved in crashes that year.

What are the risk factors for pedestrian accidents?

The CDC also reports that nearly half of the traffic accidents nationwide that killed a pedestrian were due to intoxication. Both drivers and pedestrians who are intoxicated may be responsible for a fatal car accident.

Proportionally, seniors 65 and older and children under 15 are the most common victims of pedestrian car accidents.

Some of the other causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Speeding. Increasing speeds increase the odds of a pedestrian being struck by a car and increases the odds of more serious injuries or death.
  • Distracted driving. Driving while distracted is another cause of many pedestrian accidents. Too many drivers text while driving or use their smartphones while driving. Distracted drivers often don’t even see the pedestrian until it is too late. Not paying attention to shoppers in parking lots is dangerous to pedestrians.
  • Failure to obey traffic signs. Many drivers fail to stop before they enter the intersection. Most intersections have safety lines that indicate where the driver should stop. Every driver who crosses the safety line increases the likelihood of striking a pedestrian.
  • Failure to obey traffic laws. Running through red lights, driving through yellow lights, and failing to stop where there are stop signs are other causes of pedestrian accidents. Walkers rely on drivers to obey the traffic rules at intersections. Drivers who make illegal turns at intersections can cause a pedestrian accident.
  • Other causes of pedestrian accidents include:
    • Poor lighting
    • Roads that aren’t clearly marked
    • Pedestrians who do not cross at the intersection
    • Driving in urban areas

What steps can pedestrians take to reduce the risk of being struck by a car?

You cannot control the actions of other people, so there’s no way to ensure a negligent driver won’t hit you. However, there are several precautions pedestrians can take to make things a little safer for them. These safety measures include:

  • Wearing reflective clothing (such as reflective vests) or brighter clothing when walking at night.
  • Carrying a flashlight while walking in unlit areas.
  • Crossing at the designated crosswalk or intersection,
  • Walking on a sidewalk or shoulder and not on the road itself. The CDC states that pedestrians should walk on the shoulder – and face traffic – when alternate routes are not available.
  • Not using earbuds when walking. You won’t be able to hear a driver who is honking his/her car.

Wrongful death claims and pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale

At Yeboah Law Group, we file wrongful death claims on behalf of the surviving family members – a spouse, minor or adult children, parents, and any relatives who relied on the decedent for support.

Florida law provides that damages in wrongful death claims include:

  • The funeral and burial expenses.
  • The value of the support and services the decedent would have provided if the accident had not happened. The value is based on the relationship of the survivor to the deceased pedestrian, the amount of net income available for distribution, and the life expectancies of the decedent (but for the accident).
  • A spouse is entitled to compensation for the “loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
  • Minor children and adult children (if there is no spouse) are entitled to compensation for “lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.”
  • Parents of deceased children are entitled to compensation for mental pain and suffering.
  • The loss of earnings from the date of the injury until the date of death.
  • The loss of earnings that would have been earned if the pedestrian had not been killed in the accident.

At Yeboah Law Group, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers fight for pedestrians who suffer catastrophic, permanent, or serious injuries. We work with the police, investigators, and others to show that a careless driver struck you or a loved one. We work with doctors to verify your injuries, the medical treatment you will need, and how your injuries are affecting every part of your life. We work with financial experts who can help to verify the financial impact on the survivors when a loved one tragically dies. In addition to demanding compensation for economic and non-economic losses, we often demand that the negligent driver pay punitive damages.

To discuss your rights to compensation after a pedestrian accident in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton, or Key West, give us a call today at 1-800.TELL.SAM or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.