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When Can a Pedestrian Be Held Responsible for an Accident?

Pedestrian Accidents are Too Common in South Florida  

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) keeps excellent statistics on pedestrian accidents in the United States. One of the more interesting facts concerning pedestrian accidents as they relate to South Florida is that “Pedestrians ages 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10% of all pedestrians injured in 2017.” Because of the already large and rapidly growing senior citizen population, Florida is the leading state in senior citizen pedestrian fatalities. Interestingly, alcohol use was present on the part of the driver or the pedestrian in nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities. Over one-third of all pedestrians who were killed and had alcohol in their system and were over the legal limit if they had been driving. This leads one to presume that substance abuse may play an integral factor in South Florida pedestrian accident fatalities.

When alcohol or drug use — or even just negligence or a mistake — a pedestrian may not be able to fully recover all of the possible compensation for their injuries. Similarly, if the pedestrian caused a car accident, the driver may be able to place liability on the pedestrian. Don’t assume you know who is at fault, however. Let the Maus Law Firm evaluate your claim and help you decide what to do next.

Potential Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Prescription Medication
The older one gets the more likely he/she will be taking multiple prescription medications. When mixed with alcohol, the combination can alter a person’s balance and senses. Thus, a person may walk straight into traffic or jaywalk.

Alcohol Use
There is hardly a person in Florida, let alone a senior citizen, that doesn’t partake in some form of a happy hour once or twice per week. Having a drink or two with dinner can sometimes lead to more affecting a person’s ability to detect the rate of speed of oncoming traffic, or become disoriented while trying to navigate a busy road.

Delayed Response Times Due to Age 
As obvious as this sounds, when a person gets older his/her natural reflexes and response times deteriorate and their mental awareness can be somewhat diminished leaving them accident prone when walking. Motor skill diminishes when people get to be 65 to 75, let alone when they are in their 80’s or 90’s – the same age as many Floridians.

Safety Tips for Florida Pedestrians

A few simple safety tips are all seniors and other pedestrians need to stay safer when walking in South Floridians.

If you are walking at night, carry a flashlight and turn it on.  There are many lights which attached to a shirt or belt than can be worn at night to alert drivers of your presence.   At least, drivers will be able to see you.

Be extra careful when crossing an intersection at or around dusk as the setting sun makes it difficult to see. If you’re looking east and can see fine, the driver coming at you may be looking into a blinding glare.

If you do go out for happy hour or nighttime cocktails, it’s probably best to take Uber or a taxi.

When the Worst Happens, Contact the Maus Law Firm

Sometimes, a driver or pedestrian simply can’t avoid an accident. If you find yourself injured and needing compensation, contact an attorney at our South Florida Law Firm. We’re here to help with a free first meeting.



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