There were an estimated 70,000 reported pedestrian injuries in 2010 (that were actually reported to police) nationwide. Out of those, 4,280 involved fatalities. With about 8,084 auto / pedestrian collisions, involving 7,551 injuries, and about 504 fatalities per year, Florida leads the country in traffic collisions with pedestrians per capita.
With pedestrians accounting for over 13% of fatalities in America but only 10.9% of total trips, it is clear that walking is statistically more dangerous than driving. These numbers are higher in Florida, including 16.5% of all fatalities in 2008. Importantly, Florida does not have the most people or even the most pedestrians.
In my blog and other pages of this site, I have made a lot of comments relating to the fact that Florida simply offers a lot of distractions. Lets face it, we live in a beautiful state. We have more waterfront property than any other state in the lower 48, and warm weather year around.
But distracted drivers and pedestrians don’t mix. When a 3000+lb car or truck strikes a person, the forces are well beyond what our bodies ever had to experience in evolution without a fall off a cliff. Your body does not stand a chance. Broken bones, damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons, brain injuries are some of the injuries that I see regularly.
The ability of a car to inflict such terrible injuries to a pedestrian with so little inattention has been recognized by our legislature. In Florida, all personal injury attorneys know that a car is considered a “dangerous instrumentality,” which means that when someone allows another person to drive their car, the owner becomes automatically liable for all negligent damages they cause by the driver. Lawmakers thought this would make us more careful about who we allow to drive our cars. However, it appears that most of the public do not know about that law.
Before lending your cars to anyone (including your kids) you must make sure that you have Bodily Injury (BI) and Underinsured Motorist (UM) insurance with adequate coverage. If they hit a pedestrian, the odds are that there will be some injuries. Also, your UM coverage may actually cover your injuries as a pedestrian if you are hit by an underinsured motorist.
While cars and trucks do have a duty to yield to pedestrians, it is not automatic that a car or truck driver is liable for pedestrian injuries. The classic example is when a person wearing dark clothes darts out from behind an obstacle and the driver does not have time to react.
Nevertheless, all car, truck and motorcycle drivers have a duty to be aware of their automobiles, their speed, and their surroundings. If failure to do so leads to injuries, they may be held liable for those injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a pedestrian by being struck by an automobile, it is imperative that you find a Florida personal injury attorney who knows the nuances of pedestrian accident claims and law suits. It is important that the attorney meets with you one on one, and works up your case properly. A consultation with me is free. You will owe me nothing unless I recover for you.
I growing portion of my practice involves cases referred to me by other attorneys. I do work with other attorneys to litigate pedestrian collisions cases, and I do pay referral fee or will split attorneys’ fees when appropriate. If you are an attorney and have an automobile – pedestrian case, do not wait until you are in over your head and trial is scheduled to call me and obtain assistance. The trial will be costly, complex, and it may be too late for me to obtain the necessary discovery or properly prepare experts and witnesses for trial. I will be much more effective if you call early on.
Please contact me online or call toll free 888-821-3195 or 727-821-3195.