Hallandale Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking is the most basic form of transportation. Today, people recognize the benefits of walking, such as transportation to school, to work, for their health, or pleasure. Hallandale Beach is a beautiful and vibrant city, perfect for walking. However, pedestrians face many dangers, including slip and falls, scooter crashes, and especially motor vehicle accidents.
Pedestrian accidents often cause serious injuries or death. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you need the right Hallandale Beach pedestrian accident lawyer to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today for more information.
Factors that Contribute to Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian deaths account for 17 percent of all traffic deaths. According to a report issued by Smart Growth America, between 2010 and 2019, there was a historic 45 percent increase in pedestrians hit and killed by drivers. In 2019, fatalities were the highest in over 30 years.
According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, from 2010 to 2019, Florida was the most dangerous state for pedestrians. From 2018 to 2019, Florida experienced a 3 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. According to more recent statistics, there were 712 pedestrian fatalities, and 57 of these were in Broward County.
Pedestrian deaths are most likely to occur in urban areas. According to Smart Growth America, even when data is adjusted for walking rates and population size, older people, people of color, and those walking in low-income communities are disproportionately represented in fatal pedestrian crashes. In addition, the CDC reports that one out of five children between the ages of 5 and 9 killed in motor vehicle accidents were pedestrians.
Road engineers usually design roads to facilitate motor vehicle traffic rather than pedestrian traffic. Accidents tend to happen in highly populated areas or on congested roads. They often happen in or near intersections, which indicates a need for better visibility and safer crossings. In the United States, in 2018, 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred after dark. Road construction is also a contributing factor to many accidents. Sudden lane changes, detours, and road debris may confuse both motorists and pedestrians.
Florida is known for its excellent weather and outdoor activities, as well as popular tourist destinations. When driving, tourists may become lost or disoriented. Unfortunately, in some areas, there are no sidewalks available, increasing the chances of a crash.
The pandemic has also affected pedestrian accidents. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council indicates a 24 percent increase in total traffic fatalities in 2020, the largest increase in the past 96 years. While fewer people were driving, those on the roads tended to drive faster due to the lack of congestion. There was also an increase in distracted and impaired driving. A National Public Radio report indicates that people have been driving much less because of the pandemic, but the cars on the road were more likely to hit and kill a pedestrian.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Hallandale Beach
Sadly, when you are sharing the road with numerous motor vehicles, walking is risky. All drivers must exercise reasonable care, and failing to do so is negligence. Risky behaviors increase the likelihood of an accident.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. When a driver fails to yield, they often hit a pedestrian, even when the pedestrian has the right-of-way.
- Failure to come to a complete stop. If a driver makes a rolling or incomplete stop, the vehicle is still moving and may hit a pedestrian.
- Failure to signal before turning. No matter how carefully a walker crosses the road, a driver who turns without signaling their intentions may cause an accident.
- Failure to back up safely. Small children are often injured when a driver backs up without thoroughly checking behind them. In addition, it is often difficult to see small children behind a car.
- Failure to obey school regulations. Florida’s drivers must take extra care when they know or should know that children are present. This is especially true when school is starting or ending or in other areas where children may congregate.
- Failure to obey traffic signals or signs. When drivers fail to obey all traffic signs and signals, they put pedestrians at risk.
- Distracted driving. According to the NHTSA, 3,142 people died as a result of distracted driving in 2019. There are three types of distracted driving: manual, visual, and cognitive (CDC). Texting involves all three. Whether someone is walking or driving, using devices such as cellphones or earbuds greatly increases the risk of an accident.
- Impaired driving. Nearly half the 2018 pedestrian accident deaths involved someone who was driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Again, whether someone is walking or driving, drinking or drug use affects your judgment, skills, and reaction time.
- Speeding. Driving over the speed limit plays a part in nearly 55 percent of accidents in the U.S. A driver who is speeding has less time to react and to stop. It also affects how badly a pedestrian is injured because a speeding car hits with more force.
- Drowsy driving. Driving while fatigued is strikingly similar to driving under the influence. A drivers’ ability to pay focus, react, and respond all become worse.
If you have been injured in a Hallandale Beach pedestrian accident, contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today.
The Law in Florida Regarding Pedestrian Accidents
The rights and responsibilities of both drivers and pedestrians are addressed in Florida Statute Chapter 316, State Uniform Traffic Control. The law states that “Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give a warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.”
Pedestrians must obey all traffic control devices unless a law enforcement officer directs them otherwise. They have the right of way on a marked crosswalk. In other situations, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles. If there is a sidewalk available, walkers must use it. The legal definition of a sidewalk is “that portion of a street between the curb line, or the lateral line, of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for use by pedestrians.”
It can be difficult to walk along a road with no sidewalk, especially after dark. The shoulder of the road, or grassy strip next to the road, may be uneven or hard to walk on due to landscaping or rough terrain, and walkers may walk too close to the road. They must walk on the left side of the road, against the flow of traffic. Pedestrians should obey traffic lights when crossing a road but must always be sure that vehicles are stopping. People are not permitted to stand on a road to seek a ride, a job, or similar reasons.
Florida is a “no-fault” state. All Florida drivers must carry certain minimum amounts of car insurance coverage. Florida’s insurance laws do not require bodily injury liability coverage. Instead, accident victims must rely on personal injury protection (PIP) to cover injuries. This coverage takes effect whether you were in a vehicle or hit by one. If a pedestrian suffers an injury and has no PIP insurance of their own, the driver’s PIP coverage can cover them.
If the driver does not have liability insurance or the amount received does not cover the victim’s losses, then the victim may file a third-party liability claim against any other party that may hold responsibility or an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim with their own motor insurance company.
Who May Be Liable in a Hallandale Beach Pedestrian Accident?
It is always important to determine who was at fault for an accident. For example, when a driver hits a pedestrian, the driver is often negligent and may be at fault. If the victim sues the driver, the victim must establish that the driver was negligent at the time of the crash. The law defines negligence as “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Establishing negligence in a personal injury case requires four elements. These are that the person at fault owed the victim a duty of care; the person at fault did not uphold the duty of care; that negligence caused the victim’s injuries, and the negligence injured the victim.
In some cases, other parties may be liable, such as:
- The municipality. A city, town, or other local government responsible for maintaining roads, traffic signals, and crosswalks may be responsible for the accident.
- A manufacturer or designer. If a designer or manufacturer produced a defective car or car part, for example, if the car contained a faulty steering system, that company may be liable.
- Another person or entity. Construction sites are particularly hazardous for pedestrians. Often barriers block pedestrians, signage is unclear, and a pedestrian must walk too close to traffic.
Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn to get started.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
A person can be badly hurt in any type of accident, but the size of the vehicle, the speed at which it was traveling, and other factors may affect the severity of the injury. The human body was simply not designed to take the impact of a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds. For example, if an SUV hits a pedestrian, the victim is twice as likely to die as someone struck by a passenger car.
Some of the most common injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident include:
- Soft tissue damage – Painful contusions, lacerations, sprains, strains, tears, and dislocations are common injuries. Such injuries may lead to scars and other long-term problems.
- Bone fractures and bone breaks – When a car hits a pedestrian, the victim often breaks bones in their back, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and legs. Serious breaks, such as compound fractures, can lead to more serious complications.
- Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries may affect sensation, mobility, and body functions below the site of the injury. In some cases, the injury results in paralysis and even death. This type of injury usually requires rehabilitation and other long-term care.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A pedestrian is extremely vulnerable. They may suffer a forceful blow to the head, resulting in head and brain injuries such as TBIs and concussions. These injuries are often catastrophic, and symptoms may not show up right away.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident
For anyone who is injured in a Hallandale Beach pedestrian accident, paying for medical bills and recovering from lost wages is usually the first concern. Because pedestrians are largely unprotected, their injuries are often serious. They may need a lengthy hospital stay and enormously expensive medical care. Compensatory damages typically include hospital and medical bills, starting with emergency care and extending as far into the future as necessary. This usually includes physical and occupational therapy. In addition to lost wages, the victim may never be able to return to their previous job or career and may be unable to support themselves and their family.
Other damages may include compensation for disfigurement or scarring, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. If the victim dies, the family may file a lawsuit for wrongful death. In rare cases, if the defendant’s action were shockingly bad, the court may award punitive damages.
What Should You Do After a Hallandale Beach Pedestrian Accident?
- Call 911. File a police report as soon as possible.
- Seek medical treatment. You may think you have not been injured or that your injuries are not serious, but you should always seek medical attention after an accident. You may not immediately feel the symptoms of some “delayed onset” injuries, such as internal injuries and head injuries. Medical records may be important evidence to prove liability or damages.
- Take photos. If you can, take pictures of the accident scene. Include pictures of the scene of the accident, vehicles, traffic signs and signals, and your injuries. Note any video cameras in the area that may contain footage of the accident.
- Obtain contact information. Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Be cautious. Anyone involved in a pedestrian accident will naturally be upset. Therefore, it is best to be cautious about whom you talk to and what you say. Remember that photos and comments posted on social media can come back to haunt you if you file a lawsuit.
- Consult a Hallandale Beach pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Do not sign documents or agree to any settlement without speaking to your own attorney.
The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn has a strong record in pedestrian accident cases. All lawsuits have time limits for filing. Therefore, consult a Hallandale Beach pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. For more information and your free consultation, call 1-866-HIRE-JARED or contact us online.
“What a great team. Took care of my accident case and got me a very great settlement. Thank you so much to the team for their great efforts and always being transparent with all the information they provided. Highly recommend they will take care of you like family.”
800 SE 4th Avenue, Suite 806
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009