Fort Lauderdale Attorney for Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are a nationwide issue for both young and old individuals. The problem is especially acute in Florida, which has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the country. Fort Lauderdale, in particular, has a high rate of pedestrian accidents, given its busy roads.When a pedestrian in the Fort Lauderdale area is struck by a vehicle, they will need an experienced Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer in their corner. Compensation may be available for injured individuals, but the insurance industry and legal system will likely present obstacles. An attorney at Maus Law Firm can help you obtain the financial recovery you deserve.
Potential Pedestrian Injuries in Florida Accidents
When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian’s injuries tend to be severe. Unlike a vehicle occupant, the pedestrian does not have a car frame or safety features to protect them. Even impacts by slow-moving vehicles can cause serious injury or death, especially since the pedestrian can fall and hit the pavement or other surface.
The following are some common injuries for pedestrians hit by vehicles in Fort Lauderdale:
- Bone fractures
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
Depending on the severity of these injuries, the pedestrian may also miss work and lose income. Further, in addition to incurring medical expenses, the injured pedestrian could need rehabilitation or therapy to recover.
Causes of Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can have many different causes. While the pedestrian could be partially to blame for the accident, he or she may still be able to recover compensation if the driver was also at fault. The following are some common types and causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Intersections and Crosswalks: Any intersection where pedestrians cross the street is an obvious possibility for a vehicle-pedestrian collision. It is common for both drivers and pedestrians to be careless at intersections and crosswalks. However, the pedestrian generally has the legal right-of-way, as well as a far greater chance of injury. It is also possible the crosswalk was improperly designed or had faulty equipment, such as a malfunctioning crosswalk sign. This might result in the government being the party legally at fault.
- Passing Vehicles: When a vehicle passes another vehicle stopped on the side of the road, this creates another potential danger for pedestrians. This is especially true for stopped buses, since passengers typically get on and off the bus at each stop. For school buses, Florida law requires other vehicles to stop when the bus stops and turns on the “stop” signal.
- Vehicles Merging or Turning: When drivers are either merging or turning, they are prone to only pay attention to other vehicles and may not notice pedestrians. A driver turning onto another street, for example, may only pay attention to oncoming traffic and fail to note pedestrians crossing that street.
- Streetside Vendors: Food trucks and other streetside vendors are common in Fort Lauderdale. This creates dangers for patrons of those vendors who may be struck by vehicles while waiting in line or going to and from the vendor. A variety of parties could be legally at fault in these situations, which turns many of these accidents into complex cases.
- Vehicles Backing Up: It is all too common for motorists to hit pedestrians while driving in reverse. This often occurs when drivers back out of spaces in parking lots. If the driver was inattentive or distracted, it is likely they will be at fault.
- Drunk or Distracted Drivers: Many pedestrian collisions are caused by intoxicated drivers who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The driver may also be impaired in other ways, such as due to a lack of sleep. Distracted driving is also very common, with cell phones, GPS and other devices all vying for a driver’s attention.
- Negligent or Reckless Drivers: There are numerous ways in which negligent or reckless driving can result in pedestrian collisions. The driver could be speeding, disregard traffic signs or signals, or fail to yield right-of-way to pedestrians. The driver’s failure to drive cautiously in inclement weather could also play a part in causing an accident.
- Pedestrian Dart-outs: When the pedestrian rushes out into the road or “darts out,” this may initially seem to be a case where the pedestrian is at fault. However, drivers often claim the pedestrian darted out when, in fact, the driver was actually the person who was inattentive at the time of the accident. Depending on the circumstances, what appears to be a “dart-out” accident may be one where the driver is partially or completely at fault.
A Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer can flesh out the facts of your accident to pinpoint the most likely cause or causes.
How Can a Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Pedestrians injured by auto collisions can obtain compensation, but the process can be daunting. Insurance companies are likely to challenge your claim of liability. They are also likely to delay or underpay your claim and they will undoubtedly retain legal counsel to defend themselves.
Injured walkers and runners will need a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney to have a chance at recovering compensation. Your lawyer will be able to do the following for you:
- Investigate the accident, including interviewing you and your witnesses and obtaining the police report or other accident reports
- Obtain and review your medical records
- Communicate and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- File a lawsuit and potentially retain experts to prove your case
- Go to trial, if necessary
Speak with a Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at the Maus Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a pedestrian in South Florida, contact the Maus Law Firm. A Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer from our office can assess your case, help identify the responsible parties and start working to obtain just compensation. For a free consultation, contact us today.