When a car strikes a pedestrian, the consequences can be devastating if not deadly. Unfortunately, these accidents happen all too often in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami Gardens, and communities throughout Florida. Too many drivers fail to pay attention to pedestrians or simply refuse to yield the right of way to them when the law requires it.
At Englander Peebles, our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers aggressively protect the rights of injury victims and fight for the compensation they are due when negligent drivers hit them. We also provide outstanding client service for pedestrian injury victims by handling every aspect of their case while they focus on their health. If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, contact our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers now at (954) 231-1384 to discuss your case.
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Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Motorists are not the only ones in danger on Florida roads. Given the number of vehicles on the roads in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and throughout South Florida, a large number of pedestrians are injured and killed each year in pedestrian accidents. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that in 2013:
- There were 8,410 crashes involving pedestrians in Florida
- Almost 500 pedestrians were killed in these accidents
- Another 7,500 pedestrians suffered injuries ranging from minor scrapes and cuts to catastrophic and permanent injuries
Pedestrian accident injuries are some of the most severe of any type of motor vehicle crash. A pedestrian that is struck by a car, a commercial truck, or even a motorcycle is likely to suffer broken bones, spine, head injuries, and even death. The Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers at Englander Peebles can help pedestrian accident victims and their families recover financial compensation if their injuries are caused by another person’s careless actions.
Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Florida?
As we have seen at Englander Peebles, driver negligence serves as a leading cause of pedestrian accidents in Florida. Drivers often fail to recognize or respect when pedestrians have the right of way. For instance, when a pedestrian crosses the street in a marked crosswalk, with a “walk ” signal or green light, the pedestrian has the right of way, and the driver must yield. Additionally, pedestrians have the right to walk on the side of the road where no sidewalk is available.
In many cases, pedestrian accidents occur because car, truck, and motorcycle drivers simply fail to see the pedestrian on time in order to avoid the collision. This may be due to:
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving too fast for the road, weather, or traffic conditions
If a negligent driver hit you while you were walking or struck your loved one, you can count on Englander Peebles to work hard to hold that driver accountable. Our goal will be to recover maximum compensation for you.
What Should You Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you or a loved one have just been injured in a pedestrian accident in South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, and Plantation, you are likely feeling overwhelmed confused, and possibly afraid of the future. These feelings are natural and appropriate. But it is important, if you can, to take appropriate steps to protect your legal rights:
Call the Police
It is very important to your case that the police come to the scene to investigate the accident. Many times, the police are able to interview witnesses and make observations that can be very helpful to your case.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Even if you feel okay or your loved one says they are fine, you should still be evaluated as quickly as possible by a medical professional. This evaluation may reveal certain internal injuries that have not yet manifested any symptoms.
Identify Witnesses and Preserve Evidence
If possible, the pedestrian or someone with him or her at the time of the accident should attempt to collect the names and contact information for witnesses who might have seen or come upon the scene of the crash. In addition, take photographs of the scene of the accident, the car or cars involved, any tire marks, the victim’s injuries, and other evidence as this can make preparing for a pedestrian accident trial much easier. Make sure this information and these photographs are also stored in a safe and secure location for future use.
Meet With an Attorney
Finally, you should contact Englander Peebles’ Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys as soon as possible.
How Can You Determine Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
Your ability to recover compensation after a pedestrian accident will depend on whether you can establish fault on the part of the driver that hit you. Our attorneys at Englander Peebles in Fort Lauderdale have extensive experience with investigating these types of accidents. We will know how to preserve, gather, and study evidence pointing to fault, including:
- Accident scene photos
- Surveillance video footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Black box information
- The driver’s cell phone records
- The driver’s blood, breath, or urine test results
Often, we consult with knowledgeable professionals in fields such as accident reconstruction, traffic safety, and engineering. They can examine the evidence and help us to determine the cause of your pedestrian accident and to identify who should be held accountable for it.
What If You Were Partially at Fault for Your Pedestrian Injury?
Insurance companies often try to blame pedestrians for the injuries which they suffer in collisions with motor vehicle drivers. This is because Florida has a pure comparative fault system. In this system, the damages which you claim in a personal injury lawsuit can be reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if you are deemed to be 40 percent at fault, your damages would be reduced by 40 percent.
Our attorneys at Englander Peebles know how insurance companies operate. We won’t let them take advantage of you. By conducting a thorough investigation of your case, we will be prepared to challenge any attempts to put underserved blame on you for a pedestrian accident that has left you with serious injuries.
What Damages Can You Pursue After a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrians lack any structural protection that will absorb the impact of a collision with a motor vehicle. A pedestrian may also get knocked several feet and hit the ground hard after a motor vehicle strikes. This is why pedestrians often suffer life-changing injuries in collisions with motor vehicles, including:
- Skull, hip, and other bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Friction burns
- Loss of limbs
- Soft tissue injuries
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Our attorneys at Englander Peebles know how these injuries can require extensive medical treatment and prevent victims from being able to work and earn income. If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, we will work tirelessly to pursue compensation for you such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and reduced earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages (if your loved one died in a pedestrian accident)
We prepare every case for trial. Doing so allows us to resolve many of our clients through settlements. Insurance companies know that we will be ready to take a case to trial if they fail to make a full and fair settlement offer.
How Long Do You Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?
Florida law places a limit on how much time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident. This is called the statute of limitations. So, if you fail to file a claim within that time period, you will likely be barred from recovering any compensation.
Because of the statute of limitations, it is important to seek help from an attorney as soon as possible after you or a loved one suffers harm in a pedestrian accident. At Englander Peebles, we can investigate your case right away and take steps to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
No matter how badly you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you can expect the insurance company to try to keep your payout as low as possible. The insurer may even deny a valid claim for compensation. When you work with Englander Peebles, however, we won’t back down. We will fight for what’s right. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our Fort Lauderdale personal injury firm today and receive a free consultation about your case.