Hit by a Car While Walking in Florida?

A pedestrian is in danger when walking near any moving vehicles – cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and even bicycles and skateboards. Anything that’s moving faster than you are has a risk of hurting you if you collide, and the faster and bigger the object, the greater damage that it can inflict.

Unfortunately, Florida ranks as the second most dangerous state for pedestrians, with 3.32 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people as of 2023. The most dangerous city for pedestrians is also in Florida – Fort Lauderdale, with an incredible rate of 8.1 annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents. These numbers do not take into account the many thousands of pedestrians seriously injured every year. 

Interestingly, in Florida, pedestrians include not only walkers and runners, but also bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters, and Segway riders. So if you are injured in a collision with someone traveling in this manner, the accident would be considered between two pedestrians. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be seriously injured. And if a bicyclist is hit by a car, according to Florida law, the automobile driver hit a pedestrian. 

Why so many pedestrian accidents?

Every pedestrian should exercise extreme caution when walking or jogging near traffic of any kind. Follow all laws and signs, and wear bright-colored clothes for walking during the day and reflective strips when walking at night. And NEVER assume a car will stop for you. 

But even when you are careful, accidents can occur. Some of the reasons why Florida, in particular, sees so many pedestrian accidents include:

  • A large number of tourists, both pedestrians and drivers, who are unfamiliar with the area or are distracted while looking for their destination
  • Careless drivers – unfortunately, again, Florida ranks very high among states with careless drivers
  • Road debris, causing drivers to swerve
  • Road repairs, changing driving patterns
  • Densely populated area with many walkers
  • Many people out exercising because of our wonderful Florida weather 

Other causes, found throughout the country, include:

  • Drivers failing to come to a complete stop or rolling into an intersection
  • Speeding
  • Driving in reverse
  • Driving under the influence
  • Smartphone use, both by drivers and pedestrians
  • Left-hand turns
  • Busy intersections 

What should you do after an accident?

Pedestrians who are involved in an auto accident are usually badly injured and will be taken immediately to receive medical care. Even if you feel like you can get up and walk away, don’t! Allow medical personnel to come for you and assess your condition while at the scene. It is common to have injuries that become apparent shortly after leaving the place of injury, and your movement may worsen your condition. 

Try to remember as many clear details of the accident as possible. Record them in some way, or ask someone you are with to make some record of the event. Take pictures if you can, or ask someone to do it for you. If you have no one else to talk to, tell the police who come to the scene.

Do not apologize or take any blame. In almost all cases, the pedestrian is hurt more seriously than any driver. Try to get the driver’s information, or ask someone else to collect it. 

Can you receive compensation?

Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence” standard, meaning fault is distributed between parties in an accident. If you were walking on the crosswalk, and you started when the crosswalk signal said it was safe to walk, and a car sped around the corner and hit you, the driver would be 100% at fault because you were following the law. If a jury awarded you $1,000,000 for your injuries, you would receive the full amount. 

However, if you were in a crosswalk when the signal did not indicate it was safe to walk, but you saw no one coming so you stepped out into the road and a driver sped around the corner and hit you, you would be considered partly at fault. If a jury decided you were 30% at fault, and the jury awarded $1,000,000 for your injuries, you would receive $700,000. 

Therefore, even if you believe the accident was partly your fault, you are most likely entitled to compensation. Like many other personal injury cases, you can sue for any of the following situations that apply:

  • Medical costs, current and future
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other expenses caused by the accident, such as necessary changes to your home to accommodate your injuries
  • Loss of companionship in the case of serious permanent injury or death 

As a personal injury attorney and Floridian, I am committed to “fighting for the little guy.” Every case I take on becomes personal to me as if one of my friends or loved ones had been injured, and I work vigorously to uncover every possible expense or complication for my clients to help them get the maximum settlement for their injuries. I’m not afraid to go to court if necessary, and I have a track record of winning significant awards. Contact me today at (954) 448-7288 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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