Florida is not regarded as the safest place to cross the street, and with good reason. Florida ranks the second-highest in the country for pedestrian-involved accidents, and rates have been on the rise. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 8,838 pedestrians were involved in automobile accidents in 2015 — 7,737 which resulted in injuries, and 606 which ended in fatalities. For those who have sustained injury from an accident, a Miami personal injury attorney will play an essential role in ensuring justice is served.
Here is an overview of what a pedestrian should know if he or she falls victim to a vehicular accident.
Understanding the Law
Interestingly enough, Florida only classifies those who are actively moving as pedestrians. Therefore, someone stopped along the road would not necessarily be a pedestrian. There are laws established to protect these individuals, just as there are laws they must abide by. The latter enforce that pedestrians abide by traffic signals, utilize sidewalks whenever available, and make a reasonable effort to avoid being harmed by a vehicle. Pedestrians, however, are granted the right of way within crosswalks, on sidewalks, and even on public roads and highways when reasonable care is taken.
The driver is not always found to be at fault in pedestrian-involved accidents, and thus proving fault requires the assistance of a skilled Miami personal injury attorney. It all comes down to proving negligence, which can be demonstrated in one of two ways:
- The driver failed to abide by Florida’s “duty of care” requirements, which mandate that the driver be responsible for proceeding cautiously if a pedestrian appears to be moving in an unsafe manner.
- The driver neglected to take special care after observing a pedestrian child near the path of his/her vehicle.
The best way to prove the driver holds liability is for the pedestrian to create a paper trail of evidence from the time of the accident. After seeking any necessary medical care, the pedestrian should immediately contact the police and the auto insurance providers of everyone involved (including his/her own). It is also advisable for the pedestrian to avoid speaking with the driver and his/her insurance company directly, as any comments made could be used against him to prove reckless behavior occurred.
If you are the victim of a car accident, our team is here to see you through it. Give us a call today to get the restitution you deserve.