Florida is an unsafe state for pedestrians. Florida is actually ranked as the number one most dangerous state for pedestrians.
In total, there have been approximately 5,893 pedestrian fatalities in Florida between 2010 and 2019. And hundreds of thousands of people have been injured because of pedestrian accidents in the same timeframe.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident case in the state of Florida, you may be stressed, confused, or just plain angry. At The Eberst Law Firm, we understand what you’re going through. That’s why we created a list of frequently asked questions that we hope can calm your mind.
How Does the Law Define a “Pedestrian”?
Florida law defines a pedestrian as anyone who is “afoot” or anyone who is walking on the side of the road or close to traffic. Basically, if you walk your daily commute, if you’re walking to the store, or even if you’re just taking a nice walk to get some exercise in, you’re a pedestrian.
Why Are Pedestrian Accidents So Common in Florida?
Florida pedestrian accidents are more commonly caused by an error on behalf of the motor vehicle driver. This means that the driver was driving negligently. That can look like:
- Drunk driving
- Excessive speeding
- Distracted driving
- Road rage
Accidents may also occur because of poor intersection design or not enough safety measures for pedestrians. While these types of flaws cause more accidents, these accidents are still usually directly caused by motor vehicle drivers.
Does No-Fault Apply to Pedestrians?
Florida is one of 12 states that has a no-fault law put in place. This no-fault law states that no matter who is at-fault for the accident, both parties are able to receive compensation for their damages.
When this occurs, your own no-fault or personal injury protection insurance will cover your damages. If you have car insurance and this type of coverage, you’ll be able to claim compensation even if you were at-fault for the accident and if you weren’t in your vehicle.
If you’re a pedestrian who doesn’t have car insurance, you won’t be able to claim no-fault insurance, as you don’t have the coverage.
Is a Driver Always at-Fault for Pedestrian Accidents?
In most cases, a motor vehicle driver will be at fault for the accident. When pedestrians are walking safely and following the rules of the road, it’s nearly impossible for them to cause an accident. However, if they’re drunk, crossing at places that don’t have crosswalks or standing/walking in the road, they may cause an accident to occur. However, this is rare.
What Do I Do After Being Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
After you’re involved in a car accident, there are a few procedures that you should follow, including:
- Contact the police to have a police report filed. Police reports are great evidence for your case. While the at-fault party may try to talk you out of filing one, you shouldn’t listen.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident, including your injuries and the vehicle that hit you.
- Record a statement for yourself so you can remember exactly what happened.
- Talk to anyone who may have witnessed the accident and get their contact information.
- Head to the hospital to receive medical treatment. Possible severe injuries include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and internal bleeding.
Should I Contact the Driver’s Insurance Company Immediately?
This is a great question, as many people believe that they should get the process of filing a claim started as soon as possible after their accident. However, you should always contact a personal injury attorney before you speak with any insurance companies.
Insurance companies may try to get you to settle for a minuscule amount, offering you quick money in an attempt to prevent you from filing a lawsuit.
You should always hire an attorney first to ensure that you get the most compensation possible. When you hire an attorney, they’ll speak to the insurance company on your behalf.
Do I Need to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
If you’ve experienced severe injuries and a high amount of damages associated with your case, you’ll be better off hiring an attorney. An attorney will ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve while handling all the heavy lifting on your behalf. While they speak with insurance companies and negotiate your settlement offer, you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Our team of experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyers is ready to help you get compensated for your injury claim. For more information or to schedule a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 352-269-0017.