Everyone will be a pedestrian at some point in the walk of life (pun intended). Whether you decide you just need to take a stroll or you have somewhere important to be, traveling as a pedestrian comes with risks. While the health benefits are great, pedestrians are vulnerable to accidents that can have lifelong consequences.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute, pedestrian deaths increased 53 percent from 2009 to 2018. They occur mostly in urban areas and are more likely to happen on weekends. While the risk is higher for people 70 and older, anyone can be a victim of a pedestrian crash.
Recently, Trinidadian-American artist, Nicki Minaj, lost her father, Robert Miraj, to a tragic hit and run accident. The authorities were able to locate and arrest the man who struck and killed Mr. Miraj.
Florida law mandates pedestrians follow traffic rules and cross intersections at marked crosswalks. Pedestrian safety guides advise staying on sidewalks, staying alert, wearing bright, visible clothing, traveling in well-lit areas when possible, etc.
However, even when pedestrians follow these rules, they can become victims of drivers who are either negligent or not alert. Much of this increase is attributed to distracted driving, which is defined as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Florida has been deemed one of the most dangerous states in the United States for pedestrians and it’s not uncommon to see a sad news report about a pedestrian who was hit or killed because they were struck by a motor vehicle.
These accidents can leave pedestrians (which also includes bicyclists) with traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, chronic pain, and other ailments that cause victims and their families to incur exorbitant medical bills for surgery and recovery. Some incidents are also fatal.
In some cases, motorists stay on the scene, but in others, they flee. This is what is commonly referred to as a hit and run, which makes it more difficult for the victim to take appropriate action. There are also other factors to consider including whether or not a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In all cases where injury or death occurs, it is wise to consult an attorney who can help the victim (or family of a deceased victim) bring a lawsuit against any liable parties – particularly if the crash results in life-altering consequences.
According to Attorney Josh Jones, Florida law states pedestrian cases wherein a party injured must be brought within four years of the date of the incident. For a case that involves a fatality, the window is shortened to two years.
Make sure you consult a personal injury firm with attorneys who specialize in pedestrian crashes as soon as possible to avoid missing your window to file a claim.
Download the “Florida Injury Toolkit” HERE!
If you’ve been a victim of a pedestrian crash, you don’t have to face the fallout alone.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone’s negligence, give our offices a call at (305) 239-HURT (4878). We’d be happy to help you determine if you have a case and answer any questions you may have about your claim. Consultations are free.
All information and tips provided in this blog are meant for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.