Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

It’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian accidents involve some type of alcohol use – either by the motorist or the pedestrian. This can become a point of contention in an injury lawsuit because evidence of impairment – even if it’s not an illegal, given the circumstances – can still be used to discredit a witness or to show a person at-fault or at least comparatively at-fault. However, the mere fact of impairment – even if it’s against the law – does not decide liability in a civil case. That’s why even civil cases involving drunk drivers aren’t a shoe-in. pedestrian accident attorney

In Florida, a finding of comparative fault (meaning plaintiff shares some of the blame for what happened) will not prohibit a plaintiff from pursuing the case or from collecting damages. However, per F.S. 768.81, Florida’s comparative fault law, it will proportionately reduce the amount of damages to which one is entitled. So for instance, if a plaintiff is deemed 30 percent at fault and defendant 70 percent at fault, plaintiff will only be able to collect damages on that 70 percent.

In a recent pedestrian accident case out of Pennsylvania, a major sticking point was whether evidence of a decedent pedestrian’s blood-alcohol level was rightly allowed into evidence by the trial court, or whether it was unfairly prejudicial an inadmissible absent any other independent corroborating evidence.  Continue reading

Thousands of runners across Florida are in training for the upcoming half-marathon. Although the streets dedicated for the run will be blocked to traffic, a preventable tragedy at last year’s event still has many runners feeling wary. pedestrian attorneys

Fort Lauderdale police reported a driver, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, paid no mind to the orange cones along the course, nor the repeated instructions by race officials and police when he barreled onto the course, striking and killing an 80-year-old runner. Defendant in that case is now in jail, awaiting trial on a charge of DUI manslaughter. Meanwhile, The Sun Sentinel reports organizers of the race – as well as police – are carefully going over the safety plans for this year. Police say they meet months in advance to plan, driving through the course themselves a good eight times to make sure they haven’t missed any glaring safety concerns. Still, a police captain quoted by the paper said while they work to anticipate possible danger, they can’t always prevent careless drivers from circumventing those restrictions.

In general, Florida is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians – runners included. The Miami Herald reported pedestrian deaths nationally are at a 10-year high, with Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach having one of the worst rates for car vs. pedestrian fatalities. Continue reading

Recently, three tourists were injured in Fort Lauderdale after they were struck by a vehicle on Dania Beach Road. All three were family members on vacation from Utah. All were seriously injured, and one lost her foot. crosswalk

According to news reports, the trio were reportedly walking back to their hotel along Southwest 42nd Street after dinner. They were in a wide swath of grass when a pickup truck driver veered toward them and crossed over from the westbound lane to the eastbound lane and then onto the shoulder of the road. Authorities said speed and alcohol are likely factors in this pedestrian accident.

Florida – and South Florida in particular – is a perilous place for pedestrians, and has been for some time. Addressing these issues may take an approach that considers better traffic engineering and more targeted enforcement. However, those efforts can only go so far if drivers continue to disregard our traffic laws and the safety of pedestrians. Two recent reports show the problems, at least for now, aren’t getting better.  Continue reading

The Florida pedestrian accident death of a 16-year-old on Palm Coast has prompted residents in the community to advocate for increased street and traffic lights and sidewalks on the stretch of road where it happened.street lights

The are in which the teen was walking on the night she was killed is not lighted and has no sidewalks, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Palm Coast Observer reported the driver who struck her said he couldn’t see her due to her dark clothing. However, that this fact alone does not mean she is responsible for the crash, nor does it means her family is barred from pursuing litigation. These kinds of cases should be weighed by an experienced injury lawyer.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its updated numbers on pedestrian accidents nationally. The results were not encouraging. Continue reading

Pedestrians aren’t safe in Florida. In fact, this state – and the Southern part of it in particular – is the most dangerous place in America for people to venture out on foot. crosswalk

That’s according to a new study, Dangerous by Design 2016, conducted by SmartGrowth America, in concert with the National Complete Streets Coalition. In fact, eight of the ten most dangerous metro areas to walk in the nation are in Florida. Those regions in the top 10 are:

  • Fort Myers
  • Palm Bay/ Melbourne
  • Orlando
  • Jacksonville
  • Daytona Beach
  • Lakeland/ Winter Haven
  • Tampa/ St. Petersburg
  • North Port/ Sarasota

The Miami/ Fort Lauderdale/ West Palm Beach region was listed at No. 11 nationally. This was out of the 104 largest metro areas in the country.  Continue reading

A Florida man alleges he suffered permanent personal injury in a pedestrian accident he says occurred when two police officers left him intoxicated by the side of U.S. 98 North last summer. The 29-year-old says he’ll never walk again without assistance, and is seeking to collect damages from the department that employed the officers, as well as from the officers personally. crosswalk

He was one of 7,870 people injured in pedestrian accidents in Florida last year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). The agency’s latest traffic accident statistics report indicates there was a nearly 2 percent increase in pedestrian injuries in the Sunshine State last year. There was a 3 percent increase in the number of overall pedestrian crashes (from 8,838 in 2014 to 9,085 in 2015), as well as a 4.3 percent increase in the number of pedestrian accident fatalities (from 606 in 2014 to 632 in 2015).

The total number of traffic accidents last year was 374,342 – a 9 percent increase from the year before. Pedestrian accidents comprised 2.4 percent of all traffic crashes, but 23.6 percent of all fatal crashes last year.  Continue reading

Pedestrians are in a perilous position every time they step out in Florida, which is known to have the highest number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 population, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Still, one would think the sight of a person pushing a stroller would give most drivers pause and reason to exercise great caution.stroller

Unfortunately, it seems more and more accidents are involving pedestrians with strollers. Although there are no available statistics on the issue, the anecdotal evidence is mounting.

Take for example the most recent case in Florida, which occurred in Fort Lauderdale. According to the Sun-Sentinel, a mother and 18-month-old baby girl were rushed to a nearby hospital on a recent night after being struck by a car. The report was that mother and child in stroller were crossing Davie Boulevard in the crosswalk. The vehicle was traveling eastbound. Continue reading

Florida is known to have a pedestrian accident problem. Nationally, 4,735 pedestrians were killed an an estimated 66,000 injured in 2013, the latest year from which figures are available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). highway5

Florida ranks No. 2 in the nation for the most pedestrian accidents that year – 501, to California’s 701. When population was factored in, Florida was also No. 2 – tallying 2.56 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population, versus Delaware, which had 2.70 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Delaware counted a total of 25 pedestrian deaths that year. According to the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, Broward County ranked No. 2 in the state for both fatalities and injuries. Miami-Dade ranked No. 1 for both.

Pedestrian crashes are more likely to result in fatal or serious crashes than any other type of traffic accident. Most of these incidents happen mid-block without crosswalks, at intersections, areas influenced by intersections, at driveway access points, railroads, bridges and public bus stops. Parking lots too can also be dangerous areas.

In most cases of vehicle vs. pedestrian, it is the motor vehicle driver who is to blame. The driver doesn’t see the pedestrian or isn’t paying proper attention. Many victims may be entitled to compensation via a number of different avenues, but it will depend on the circumstances. Pedestrian accident victims and their loved ones must seek experienced legal council because despite the statistics, there is still much that has to be proven in order to secure damages against a driver. This is especially true where a pedestrian may have shared some responsibility for what happened. Continue reading

More than 100 miles of Fort Lauderdale sidewalks are known to be a trip-and-fall hazard to pedestrians. That represents nearly a quarter of the city’s 425 miles of sidewalks. Worse, even if you doubled the amount of sidewalk the city does have, it wouldn’t be enough to install sidewalks in all the areas that need it.
crackedsidewalk.jpg
All of this creates a potentially dangerous situation for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly in the city’s more urban areas. In fact, downtown Fort Lauderdale has some of the worst sidewalks.

This is not merely an issue of aesthetics. According to a recent report by The South Florida Sun Sentinel, the city has shelled out some $250,000 a year – amounting to $1.3 million in the last five years – for trip-and-fall lawsuits brought against the municipality.
Continue reading

A pedestrian was injured by a wrong-way delivery worker bicyclist on a one-way street. The pedestrian was crossing due to construction barriers blocking his path on the sidewalk.
pedestriancrossing1.jpg
In a lawsuit he filed several months later, plaintiff alleged a large trash bin placed on street-level parking in front of the private building under construction obstructed his view and created an unsafe condition for anyone crossing the street. His lawsuit, Bufkin v. Felipe’s Louisiana LLC, named as defendants the employer of the bicyclist, the construction company that had obstructed the sidewalk and the building owner.

The construction company sought summary judgment from the trial court, contending the trash bin wasn’t unreasonably dangerous and the potential danger was open and obvious to any who encountered it. The trial court denied this request, but the Louisiana Supreme Court later reversed.
Continue reading