Pedestrian accidents often cause serious or fatal injuries. The sheer size difference between a person and a vehicle will usually lead to terrible damages. Individuals rarely have any protection between them and a car, which causes catastrophic results.
Unfortunately, this type of accident is on the rise because people are walking and jogging more for health reasons. Pedestrian injuries and deaths also spike during the summer months.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are often not the cause of an accident. Instead, drivers are often to blame. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Distractions are certainly on the rise because of texting, social media, and checking email on smartphones. Even something as simple as adjusting the radio or eating while driving can cause a driver to look down long enough to miss a pedestrian in the road. Pedestrians often have the right of way, but that does not mean that drivers are on the lookout for them.
- Speeding. When a driver speeds, they have less time to react if a pedestrian is in the road. It also takes longer to stop the vehicle, which can result in a crash, as well.
- Drunk driving. Reaction times are often significantly slowed when a driver is intoxicated. They may not see the pedestrian, or they react so slowly that it is too late.
- Backing up accidents. You may be surprised at the large number of pedestrian accidents that take place simply because a driver was not looking before they backed up. This can occur in parking lots or even out of a private driveway. Pedestrians also need to keep an eye out for drivers; do not assume that a car will stop just because it should.
Pedestrians often have the right of way in many accidents, particularly if they are following directions provided on signs and lights. While drivers should respect crosswalks and let pedestrians pass, that often does not occur. Hasty or aggressive drivers cause accidents just as much as distracted or uncaring drivers.
Who Is Likely to Be Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide some interesting statistics regarding pedestrian accidents. For example, these accidents are more likely to involve teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29. However, as people age, they are more likely to die from a pedestrian accident.
Children have one of the highest risks to pass away if they are hit by a vehicle. Pedestrian accidents cause one in five traffic fatalities for children under the age of 14.
Quick Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians
- Be predictable by following the rules of the road, lights, signs, and crosswalk markings.
- Walk on the sidewalk wherever possible.
- Never assume that a driver or a pedestrian sees you. Make eye contact if possible. If a driver is in doubt about who has the right of way, assume that it is the pedestrian.
- Wear visible clothing and avoid walking or running at night. Drivers should always have their lights on after sunset.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs while both driving and walking. They impair your abilities, judgment, and reaction time.
Who Is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
While most people assume that the driver is always at fault in this type of accident, that is not always the case. While many circumstances indicate that the driver was at fault, pedestrians can also contribute or cause accidents as well. For example, if a pedestrian was crossing the road illegally when the collision occurred, that likely contributed to the crash.
Florida is a contributory negligence state. That means that you can still recover damages for your injuries after a pedestrian accident, even if you are partially at fault for the crash. This is true even if your actions as a pedestrian were the main cause of the accident.
As long as some portion of the fault is attributed to the driver, then you can still get some monetary damages for your injuries, including medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Getting Help After a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you may have legal rights to get money to address your losses and damage.
VG Law Group LLP can evaluate the facts of your case and help you determine what your next steps should be. We can walk you through negotiating with an insurance company to actually asserting your case in court. Learn more by calling or contacting us through our online form.