Sadly thousands of people are killed every year, and many more injured, in pedestrian accidents. These tragic events can be caused by negligent drivers of cars, buses, trucks, taxis, and motorcycles. Some examples of the most common accidents involving pedestrians include:
Pedestrian hit at a crosswalk,
Pedestrian hit and run,
Pedestrian hit in a parking lot,
Driver fails to stop at an intersection, and
Driver fails to yield to a pedestrian.
The number one cause of accidents in the United States, Including Florida, is driver distraction.
With the advent of alcohol-related accidents, plus the growing use of cell phones and other distractions, the risk of hitting someone increases dramatically. Children and the elderly are the most common victims of pedestrian accidents. Children can be easily distracted and not entirely aware of their surroundings, while older citizens can be slower to complete the distance of a crosswalk. The driver carries most of the responsibility of avoiding pedestrian accidents, and is expected to be alert and aware at all times.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases include claims for serious bodily injury and the death of a family member through the negligent actions of other individuals or companies. This category of the law encompasses a broad range of cases where injury or death is the result of such things as trucking accidents, motor vehicle crashes, accidents caused by drunk drivers, roadway construction accidents and pedestrian’s being hit by vehicles. The lawyers at Rue and Ziffra, have years of experience in handling cases of this type. Those injured through the fault of another are entitled to compensation, but insurance companies fight to keep the compensation as low as possible. We hold your interests first. Our purpose in all types of claims is to pursue and prove your case, and obtain maximum compensation commensurate with your injuries, damages and losses.
Our firm will assess your case to confirm that your injuries and damages were caused by another person’s or a company’s negligence. As part of developing a solid strategy to win your case, our firm investigators work in close alliance with our attorneys and a network of experts to gather evidence and supporting testimony. We engage in negotiations with insurance representatives and other parties on your behalf. We take your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached with the parties responsible for causing your injuries and damages.
Some of the types of tangible and intangible damages that are sustained in complex personal injury cases are:
Medical diagnosis and treatment costs
Loss of wages
Loss of job and earning capacity
Emotional pain and suffering
Negative impacts on capacity for enjoying life and on lifestyle
Negative impacts on relationships with spouse, children and other family members
We are experienced with the serious, disabling and often degenerative medical problems that arise when clients are injured by the negligent actions of others. Our attorneys work with specialized doctors who are expert in diagnosing and treating some of the more complex conditions associated with trauma, such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a severe neurological condition that causes serious pain, has proven to be real, but is not widely understood by all doctors.
Negligence in Florida
Any death carries significant emotional and financial consequences. If the death was the result of negligence on the part of an individual or a corporation, the issues involved are even more complex. Our attorneys have the experience and compassion to provide clients with support and sound legal counsel. The lawyers at Rue and Ziffra have the knowledge and skills to effectively pursue and prove a wrongful death claim. We have helped numerous clients to receive the compensation required to meet their needs and move forward with their lives.
Although it is very difficult, if you have lost a loved one, you should address legal issues as early as possible. If you are a relative of the deceased, you may have a wrongful death claim. Once one of our attorneys has the facts in your situation, they will explain what damages can be claimed. These may include compensation for pain and suffering associated with grief and sorrow, medical bills and funeral expenses, loss of support from future earnings, loss of benefits such as pensions and insurance coverage, loss of a future inheritance and loss of companionship.
Common wrongful death claims in Florida include:
Loss of son or daughter
Loss of husband or wife
Loss of father or mother
No sum of money can bring back the loved one and sometimes the family has feelings of guilt, perhaps because they feel like they are putting a price on a person’s life. Unfortunately, a monetary award is the only way civil law can recognize the value of the victim’s life, compensate for the death and subsequent losses, and penalize the party or parties at fault.
Defining Negligence and Its Consequences
Negligence is essentially the failure to act with the care expected of a reasonable person. When the operation of a motor vehicle is involved, this definition encompasses a wide array of situations, from a person distracted by a cell phone, to speeding and reckless driving, or even to driving under the influence.
Negligent Drivers at Fault for Pedestrian Deaths and Injuries in Florida
Sadly, everyday unwary pedestrians are injured or killed by negligent drivers in Florida and throughout the nation. With so many distractions, is it any wonder drivers can be so careless? Obviously, pedestrians are at greater risk of death when being struck by a moving vehicle than are those inside of another vehicle.
Drivers can be negligent in many ways that would likely distract them from focusing on the road and on pedestrians. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Putting on makeup,
Eating or drinking,
Texting while driving,
Talking on the phone,
Changing the radio station,
Reading a newspaper,
Conversing with a passenger,
Dealing with crying babies and other child issues,
Driving under the influence of drugs (illegal or prescribed), and
Driving under the influence of alcohol
Risk of Injuries to Pedestrians in Florida
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, most pedestrians are at risk of injury between the times of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is increased traffic between 3 to 6 p.m., which is when the bulk of these accidents occur. After dark, more pedestrians are at risk of death because of poor visibility or drunken driving. 60% of these accidents happen at places other than intersections, where it is relatively safe for pedestrians to cross.
Florida Statute of Limitations Regarding Pedestrian Death
According to Florida state law, the period for which a wrongful death claim must be filed is within two years of the death. If you are considering filing a lawsuit to recover damages resulting from the wrongful death of a loved one, contact our office as soon as possible and we will discuss your options.
Pursuing Compensation for a Pedestrian Wrongful Death in Florida
The death of a loved one is not only devastatingly emotional, it can also cause an enormous financial strain. Our wrongful death lawyers have experience protecting the rights of citizens. We strive to recover damages for:
Lost wages, past and future,
Loss of companionship,
Pain and suffering,
Funeral expenses, and
Loss of insurance and benefits
The Families of Wrongful Death Victims Have Rights under Florida Law
If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, or any other type of wrongful death accident, we want to help you. The survivors of wrongful death accidents have rights under Florida law. If a child loses a parent due to the negligence of another, that person can be held monetarily responsible for compensating the child and ensuring them the same financial protection that the missing parent would have. A spouse who is deprived of their life partner is likewise entitled to support and compensation. Immediate family members of wrongful death accident victims may seek this monetary compensation in a civil court.
Florida Leads Nation in Pedestrian Deaths
The automobile has brought many positive changes to the modern world, but it’s also given rise to a serious epidemic in the United States: pedestrian deaths. In a recent study, Dangerous by Design 2011, published by the Transportation for America, Florida led the nation in the number of automobile accidents that resulted in pedestrian accidents and fatalities.
According to statistics, from 2000 to 2009, 47,700 pedestrians were killed, equivalent to a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing roughly every month. Despite the magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, little public attention or resources have been committed to reducing pedestrian deaths and injuries. Over 688,000 pedestrians were injured over the decade, a number equivalent to a pedestrian being struck by a car or truck every 7 minutes.
Between 2000 and 2009, more than 5000 people were killed while walking in Florida, which cost the state $22.20 billion. 11.1 percent of pedestrians and 17.4 percent of bicyclists killed in the United States died in the Sunshine State.
Florida Claims Four Spots on Top Ten List of Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
The top ten list of the most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians is outlined below; four of the slots are filled by communities in Florida:
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL – 557
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL – 905
Jacksonville, FL – 342
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL – 1,555
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA – 938
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV – 421
Memphis, TN-MS-AR – 266
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ – 867
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX – 1,024
10. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX – 942
This staggering list highlights the fact that pedestrian deaths are all too common in the Sunshine State, but what is causing that to happen?
Why is Florida so Dangerous for Pedestrians?
Wrongful death due to automobile accidents is a major problem for pedestrians in the state of Florida. Some people attribute the problem to the large number of vacationers and tourists who flock to the state every year. Some of the more popular reasons include the following:
Massive population growth, Florida has developed faster than any other state in the nation,
Tourism, with 94.7 million visitors checking in last year,
Climate, as people spend more time outside when temperatures are warmer.
Solving the Problem
We believe that more can be done to put an end to this dangerous problem. Florida Pedestrians deserve to live longer and should not have such high fatalities.
The Transportation for America Dangerous by Design 2011 study shows that a disproportionate number of pedestrian deaths involve elderly persons and minorities. This may be due to the individuals living in high traffic areas with busy roads and lower income neighborhoods. In many cases, sidewalks are few and far between. .
We encourage all drivers across the country to do their part in reducing the number of pedestrian deaths. A few simple steps include the following:
Staying Alert at all times when driving
Communities can design neighborhoods that are pedestrian friendly.
Build new sidewalks and providing safer access for pedestrians