Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents result from various factors, including driver behavior, pedestrian behavior, poor visibility, infrastructure issues, distractions, speeding, alcohol and drug use, adverse weather conditions, and driver fatigue. These incidents pose significant risks. And, as you can see, most pedestrian accidents are due to driver negligence and are preventable.

A 2023 study from the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that 20 pedestrians die a day because they were struck by a moving vehicle. The statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2021 further emphasize the severity of the issue, with over 60,000 pedestrians injured in traffic crashes that year. Such alarming numbers underscore the imperative of addressing negligent driving practices. Holding drivers accountable is of increasing importance, as the Governors Highway Safety Association reports pedestrian fatalities to be at an all time high.

For individuals who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones in pedestrian accidents, seeking legal assistance is strongly advised. An attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding the incident to determine if negligence was a contributing factor. They will advocate for the victim’s rights, striving to secure compensation for medical expenses and other damages incurred due to the accident.

The preventable nature of pedestrian accidents cannot be overstated. However, the prevalence of negligence among drivers remains a significant concern. Mitigating such accidents necessitates a multifaceted approach, including enhancements in infrastructure, enforcement of traffic regulations, public awareness campaigns promoting safe pedestrian and driver conduct, and advancements in vehicle technology to improve pedestrian detection and collision avoidance systems.

Despite these measures, instances of driver negligence leading to pedestrian accidents persist. Legal recourse is essential to ensure victims receive due compensation. An attorney’s expertise is invaluable in navigating the complexities of the legal process and securing justice for those affected by these unfortunate incidents.

Most Pedestrian Accidents are Caused by Driver Negligence

Drivers are expected to adopt a defensive driving approach, which entails remaining vigilant and proactive on the road. This means constantly scanning the environment for pedestrians, cyclists, and other objects, and being prepared to react swiftly to any potential hazards. It is rare for drivers to have a justifiable reason to hit a pedestrian.

Drivers must exercise caution and reduce speed when encountering poor road conditions or adverse weather, such as heavy rain or snow. The fundamental expectation is that drivers prioritize safety above all else and take measures to avoid collisions, thereby minimizing the risk of hitting anything or anyone on the road. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, chances are high you are owed compensation.

At Anthony-Smith Law, we recognize the importance of pedestrian safety. When drivers fail to prioritize pedestrian safety, their insurance companies may be held responsible for compensating the injured pedestrians or their surviving families. Our dedicated attorneys are available to assist clients in Orlando and throughout Florida. Call us anytime at 321-900-HELP (321-900-4357) for assistance. We are here to help 24/7!

Factors Contributing to Pedestrian Accidents:

  • Driver Behavior: Irresponsible behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, significantly increases the risk of pedestrian accidents. Drivers who fail to adhere to traffic laws or disregard the presence of pedestrians put lives at risk.
  • Pedestrian Behavior: Pedestrians sometimes play a crucial role in road safety. Jaywalking, crossing streets without using designated crosswalks, and ignoring traffic signals can expose pedestrians to danger. Additionally, distractions such as texting or listening to music while walking can impair their awareness of oncoming traffic. Even if a pedestrian is distracted or fails to use a crosswalk, it is still incredibly important that drivers practice caution and vigilance.
  • Poor Visibility: Inadequate lighting and obscured sightlines contribute to poor visibility for both drivers and pedestrians, making it challenging to anticipate and avoid potential accidents, especially during nighttime or adverse weather conditions.
  • Infrastructure Issues: Deficiencies in roadway infrastructure, such as poorly marked crosswalks, lack of pedestrian signage, and insufficient pedestrian-friendly features, create hazardous conditions for pedestrians and increase the likelihood of accidents.
  • Distractions: Both drivers and pedestrians can become distracted by various factors, including electronic devices, conversations, or external stimuli. Diverting attention away from the road or surroundings impairs reaction times and increases the risk of collisions.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to react to unexpected hazards, including pedestrians crossing the road. Speeding amplifies the severity of accidents and decreases the likelihood of pedestrians escaping unscathed.
  • Alcohol and Drug Use: Intoxication significantly impairs cognitive functions and motor skills, making it more likely for drivers to overlook pedestrians or misjudge their -movements. Similarly, impaired pedestrians are at greater risk of being struck by vehicles due to diminished awareness and coordination.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: Rain, fog, snow, and other adverse weather conditions reduce visibility and traction, creating hazardous road conditions for both drivers and pedestrians. Inclement weather exacerbates the risks of accidents, necessitating heightened caution and adapted driving and walking behaviors.
  • Driver Fatigue: Fatigued drivers exhibit impaired judgment, slower reaction times, and decreased attentiveness, all of which increase the likelihood of pedestrian accidents. Drowsy driving poses a significant risk to pedestrians, particularly during late-night or early-morning hours.

What You Should Do If You are Involved in a Pedestrian Collision

Pedestrian collisions require immediate action and cooperation from all parties involved. By following these guidelines, pedestrians, drivers, and witnesses can contribute to a smoother resolution of the incident and ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to address injuries and legal responsibilities.

For Pedestrians:

  • Seek Medical Attention: The priority for pedestrians involved in a collision is their own safety and well-being. If injured, seek medical attention immediately, even if injuries seem minor. Prompt medical care can help prevent complications and establish a record of injuries for insurance and legal purposes.
  • Document the Scene: If physically able, gather information about the collision scene. Take photos of the offending vehicle and driver, and the area, including any traffic signs, crosswalks, or obstructions that may have contributed to the accident. Collect contact information from witnesses who can provide statements about what they saw.
  • Report the Incident: Contact law enforcement and report the collision. Provide a detailed account of the events leading up to the accident but refrain from admitting fault or making assumptions about the driver’s actions. Stick to the facts as you experienced them.
  • Contact an Attorney: An attorney can assess the driver’s negligence in the accident. Insurance companies and their adjusters might offer insufficient compensation, but with an attorney on your side, you can be assured that you and your loved ones will receive the full compensation you deserve.

For Drivers:

  • Stop and Assess: If you are involved in a pedestrian collision, stop your vehicle immediately and assess the situation. Check for injuries to the pedestrian and render aid if necessary. Ensure the safety of other road users by signaling and moving your vehicle to a safe location if possible.
  • Call for Help: Dial 911 to report the collision and request emergency assistance. Provide accurate information about the location of the incident and any injuries sustained by the pedestrian. Cooperate with law enforcement and provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information as requested.
  • Avoid Admitting Fault: While it is important to cooperate with authorities and provide information about the collision, refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be used against you later. Stick to the facts of the incident and avoid discussing fault or liability with the pedestrian or witnesses.

For Witnesses:

  • Stay at the Scene: If you witness a pedestrian collision, remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives. Your eyewitness account may be crucial in determining the cause of the accident and establishing liability.
  • Provide Information: When speaking to law enforcement, provide a detailed statement about what you saw leading up to the collision. Include any relevant details such as vehicle speed, pedestrian behavior, and road conditions. Provide your contact information to law enforcement and offer to assist with any further inquiries.
  • Offer Support: Help the pedestrian and driver, if needed, while maintaining a safe distance from the roadway. Your presence and support can help alleviate stress and ensure that everyone involved receives the necessary help and attention.

The Role of Insurance Companies in Pedestrian Accidents

In pedestrian accidents, insurance coverage typically depends on the specific circumstances of the incident and the parties involved. Most often the offending driver’s vehicle insurance will cover the injured party(s.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Liability Insurance: Drivers are generally required to carry liability insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage caused to others in accidents where the driver is at fault. In the case of pedestrian accidents, liability insurance would cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages incurred by the pedestrian if the driver is found to be negligent.
  2. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: In situations where the driver responsible for the pedestrian accident is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can provide compensation to the injured pedestrian. This type of coverage is especially important in hit-and-run accidents or cases involving drivers without adequate insurance.
  3. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage: Some states require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, also known as no-fault insurance. PIP coverage provides benefits for medical expenses and lost wages to the insured driver and passengers, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In pedestrian accidents, PIP coverage may extend to the pedestrian’s medical expenses, depending on the state’s laws.
  4. Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments (MedPay) coverage is optional insurance that reimburses medical expenses incurred by the insured driver and passengers, regardless of fault. In pedestrian accidents, MedPay coverage may apply to the pedestrian’s medical bills, providing additional financial assistance for necessary treatment and care.

The Role of Insurance Companies:

Insurance companies play a pivotal role in the aftermath of pedestrian accidents. They are responsible for investigating claims, assessing liability, and determining the extent of coverage available to the parties involved. However, it is important to note that insurance companies are primarily concerned with minimizing their own financial liability, which can sometimes lead to disputes or delays in claims processing.

Given the complexities of insurance coverage and claims processes, seeking legal assistance is often advisable for pedestrians involved in accidents. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate for the pedestrian’s rights, negotiate with insurance companies on their behalf, and ensure that they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Insurance plays a vital role in pedestrian accidents by providing financial protection and support to injured pedestrians and drivers. Understanding the various types of insurance coverage available and how they apply to pedestrian accidents is crucial for navigating the aftermath of such incidents and securing the necessary compensation for those affected. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help pedestrians navigate the insurance claims process and ensure that their rights are protected every step of the way.

Contact Anthony-Smith Law for expert guidance and a free initial consultation if you or a loved one has been injured. We will advocate for your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries. We help – It is our number. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case: 321-900-HELP (321-900-4357).

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