Losing a loved one is one of the most heart wrenching experiences imaginable. The pain of loss is only magnified when their death could have been prevented if only someone had looked up a second sooner or had been more attentive. Sadly, Florida roads are not a safe environment for pedestrians.
Pedestrian deaths are more prevalent in Florida, in particular, because of the many urban areas that put pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle drivers all on the same roads, the warm weather that allows people to be active outdoors year-round and our infrastructure, with many roads not designed with pedestrians in mind.
Tampa Bay consistently ranks near the top of the Pedestrian Danger Index, meaning walkers in those cities are the most likely to be killed. Not surprisingly, this makes Florida one of the most dangerous states to simply walk down the street.
Common Causes of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
- Driving impaired (causes almost half of all pedestrian deaths)
- Failing to check crosswalks for people
- Driving distracted (such as by texting)
- Failing to yield right of way (driver doesn’t stop at signal or sign)
Most of the time, it comes down to the driver not paying attention to his or her surroundings. Driving a vehicle is taken for granted as being easy, but requires alertness and attention with the potential to change lives in an instant.
When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the whole body is exposed and serious injury or death is highly probable. Although pedestrians account for only 1% of traffic accidents, they make up 22% of fatalities. According to Human Transport, 45% of pedestrians will die when struck by a car moving at 30 miles per hour. At 40 miles per hour that number jumps to 85%.
Common Types Pedestrian Accidents
- Pedestrian struck in intersection by turning vehicle
- Person hit while running or jogging through an intersection
- Pedestrian is hit mid-block crossing (crossing while not at an intersection)
- Vehicle backs up into or over person
- Pedestrian is crossing a driveway or parking lot entrance on the sidewalk when hit
What to Do Now
In Florida, the survivors of someone who dies because of a careless or reckless driver have the ability to be compensated for their loss. This is called a wrongful death claim.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act controls which survivors may be entitled to compensation. The decedent’s spouse and children under 25 years old, and in some situations parents, adult children and other family members may have a claim. The law also describes the kinds of losses which may be awarded, including emotional pain and suffering, loss of parental guidance and financial support and others.
Florida has a two year time period within which claims must be brought. There are specific steps which must be taken and procedures which must be followed to file that claim.
Successfully pursuing a wrongful death claim requires the skillful guidance of an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer. You need to turn to someone you can trust who been helping families like yours for many years.
Has A Loved One Died Due To The Negligence Of Others?
If your loved one has died due to the negligence of someone else an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you hold them responsible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.