Pedestrian Accident Facts
According to the CDC, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2016 across the United States—one pedestrian death every 1.5 hours. In addition to these pedestrian fatalities, 129,000 pedestrians were treated in ER departments for traffic accident-related injuries. Pedestrians are a very vulnerable group as they have no protection whatsoever in the event they are hit by a car, truck, or even a motorcycle. In fact, for each trip made by pedestrians, they are 1.5 times as likely than the occupants in a vehicle to be killed.
At least 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths are among those 65 and older. Older Americans may not be able to move as quickly to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle or may take longer crossing the street. Children are also a vulnerable group as far as pedestrian accidents; in 2016 one in every five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians. The majority of pedestrian deaths occur at night, in urban areas, and at non-intersection locations. Pedestrians injured in an auto accident desperately need an experienced, assertive personal injury attorney to help them through the trauma of their accident.
The attorneys at Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti hold ourselves to a higher standard and these standards consistently benefit our clients. We believe in a personal approach to every client and that each client’s situation is unique. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you may have experienced serious, even life-threatening or life-altering injuries. Our many years of experience will be put to work on your behalf whether you need a skilled negotiator or an aggressive litigator.
South Florida Pedestrian Accidents
For Floridians, in particular, it could be especially dangerous to be a pedestrian. A 2019 article in the Miami Herald named Florida as the riskiest state in the U.S. to be a pedestrian, with nine of the 20 deadliest pedestrian cities in the nation being in Florida. In the Sunshine State there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017—an annual average of 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people.
Compare this to the national figures of 1.55 average annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people and you can see how dangerous it might be to walk in the state of Florida. Among the Florida pedestrian deaths, the rates were disproportionately high for older adults, minorities, and those walking in poorer communities. Older adults were more likely to be hit in a crosswalk or intersection than younger victims, plus the growing popularity of large SUVs—which are 2-3 times as likely to kill a pedestrian in a crash than a smaller car—led to more pedestrian fatalities.
Factors in Pedestrian Accidents
Although every pedestrian accident is unique in some way, there are certain factors which are usually responsible for pedestrian accidents. Every year there are more motorists on the road, perhaps currently due to lower gas prices and an improved economy, which immediately creates a higher likelihood of a pedestrian being hit. Both drivers and pedestrians have become multi-taskers—and not in a good way.
Drivers are more distracted today than ever before, talking on their cell phone, texting, eating entire meals, turning around to check on the children, talking to passengers and fiddling with the car’s controls. Pedestrians may also be talking, texting or listening to music. These distractions can mean the difference between a potentially deadly pedestrian accident and a close call.
The uptick in sales of activity trackers, such as Fitbits, have also resulted in more and more people lacing up their sneakers and walking to work, to run errands, or simply for exercise or enjoyment. More drivers exceed the speed limit than ever before because everyone is constantly in a hurry. This can lead to a higher risk of pedestrians being struck and the likelihood of more severe injuries among those who are struck.
Left-hand turns are particularly dangerous for pedestrians as far as the risk of being hit by an automobile. During a left-hand turn, the driver and pedestrian may be looking in different directions, making left-hand turns riskier for pedestrians than right-hand turns. While signaled crosswalks dramatically reduce the risk, many drivers are simply not paying attention or not watching out for pedestrians when they make a turn, or when they are backing out of a driveway or parking space. Because they are much quieter than regular gasoline vehicles, hybrids and battery-operated vehicles are more often involved in pedestrian accidents, simply because pedestrians detect oncoming traffic with their ears as well as their eyes.
Since most pedestrian accidents happen at night, it is important that pedestrians not wear dark clothing if they will be walking after dark. Particularly in less-populated stretches or in places with poor street lighting, bright or lightly-colored clothing is much easier for drivers to spot. Poorly marked construction zones are also common places where pedestrian accidents occur—a problem which can be rectified through the use of road cones and other hazard markings. A final factor in pedestrian accidents is drivers who do not obey traffic signals. Stop and yield signs exist for a reason; a pedestrian who is expecting a driver to obey traffic signals could step off a curb and be hit.
Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents
Because a pedestrian has no protection when hit by a vehicle, the injuries are likely to be serious, even catastrophic and may include:
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Spinal cord injury;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Injuries to arms and legs, and
- Emotional trauma.
A pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle could face months or even years of rehabilitation. The pedestrian may be unable to work for a period of time—or may never be able to return to work again. Medical expenses may be mounting alarmingly, and, if unable to work, the individual hit by a vehicle could be unable to pay regular monthly expenses as well. Catastrophic injuries can lead to the necessity of lifelong assistance, particularly traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. If you are the victim of catastrophic injuries following a pedestrian accident it is even more imperative that you have an uncompromising, hard-hitting attorney from Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti in your corner.
Hit and Run Pedestrian Accidents
There is a high rate of hit and run pedestrian accidents in the state of Florida—in 2015, there were 186 hit and run fatalities in the Sunshine State with over half of those being pedestrians. Further, in almost one out of every four pedestrian crashes, the driver of the vehicle left the scene of the accident. Under Florida law, the driver of a vehicle is legally required to stop at the scene of any crash which results in injury or death. Drivers often panic following a pedestrian accident because they know that even the slightest impact from a vehicle can potentially result in traumatic injuries to the pedestrian. Leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury or death is a felony in the state of Florida.
Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Accident
Following a South Florida pedestrian accident, the injured pedestrian should, if able, get out of the way of traffic to avoid being hit again and the driver of the vehicle should, if possible, get their vehicle out of the way of traffic as well. Emergency medical services and the police should immediately be contacted following a pedestrian accident. A pedestrian who is not severely injured should memorize or write down all pertinent details including the driver’s license plate number, insurance information and driver contact information.
If the driver left the scene, there could be traffic cameras or eyewitness testimony to provide evidence of the accident. Once the pedestrian has been checked out medically, he or she should keep careful records of medical expenses, the effect the accident and injuries have had on his or her life, and any other information relevant to the accident.
How a Key West Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
If you are the victim of a Key West, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Islamorada pedestrian accident, you need an advocate in your corner who will work hard to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. The Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti lawyers are knowledgeable, aggressive attorneys with more than 80 years of collective experience. We are well-known for providing a level of personal attention to each and every client that few other law firms can reach. We are available 24/7 to help, whether in our office, your home, or even the hospital. We are compassionate to your current situation, both physical and financial and you will pay nothing unless we win your pedestrian accident claim. Whether your case requires an experienced negotiator or a skilled, aggressive litigator, our firm can help. Do not suffer alone—contact Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti today.