Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
The bustling streets of Fort Lauderdale pose threats on every corner for pedestrians. Pedestrians are “vulnerable road users,” or those at the greatest risk of injury on the roadways. Broward County has several initiatives and committees working hard to make the streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians. The city has made investments into improving the safety of pedestrian paths and to creating walk-able neighborhoods. Still, pedestrian collisions happen in the city every year. If you or someone you love was recently the victim of a pedestrian-vehicle collision, you may be eligible for significant financial recovery. For a free, no obligation case evaluation with a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney at Chalik & Chalik Law Offices, call us now at (855) 529-0269.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Anywhere there are pedestrians crossing paths with vehicles, there is a risk for deadly collisions. There are certain factors that can increase the risk, such as poorly designed crosswalks and distracted drivers. In Fort Lauderdale, pedestrians face these risks and many others. In our decades of legal experience at the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik, we’ve represented clients in pedestrian accidents from a number of causes. We’ve noticed that there are three main factors involved in most pedestrian collisions:
- Driver negligence. Drivers who do not pay full attention to the roadway run the risk of colliding with pedestrians in crosswalks or walking alongside the road. The increasing rates of texting and driving in Broward County have heightened this significant risk for pedestrians.
- Pedestrian negligence. Pedestrians don’t automatically have the right of way in Fort Lauderdale. They have responsibilities just like drivers do to obey the rules of the roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks. A pedestrian who steps into the road without waiting for the “Walk” signal, for example, may be at least partially responsible for a subsequent collision.
- Unsafe crosswalks. The City of Fort Lauderdale is working toward a “Complete Streets Policy.” This policy aims to increase public safety, reduce traffic volume, and create a safer environment for pedestrians and motorists alike. The policy will ideally improve the planning, design, and maintenance of pedestrian pathways in the city. Until then, however, pedestrians still face risks from poorly designed and dangerous crosswalks.
A single collision could involve two or three of these factors, as well as others, such as the negligence of a third-party driver on the scene. It is possible to file claims against more than one party for a pedestrian accident in Fort Lauderdale. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning the courts can split fault between two or more parties for an accident, making claims fair but complex. Even if the pedestrian was partially responsible, he/she could still be eligible for recovery.
The Truth About Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian is defined as a person walking, running or jogging along a street, whether it is in a quiet neighborhood or a busy city street. Many people do not consider the potential risk of an accident before choosing to walk down a street with a high volume of automobile traffic. Although pedestrians are known to have the right of way when crossing a road, they can be vulnerable to accidents that can result in injury and even death.
Pedestrian accidents often involve unsuspecting people who are hit by a car despite making reasonable attempts to protect themselves from injury. Even if a pedestrian waits on the sidewalk for a protected signal before crossing an intersection, they cannot predict the actions of vehicle drivers. Drivers are expected to respect the right of way of those traveling on foot and share the road with them. While the majority of pedestrian accidents occur due to reckless and negligent driving, pedestrians are also responsible for following safety rules and traffic signs in order to avoid accidents.
According to the latest data released by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA),
• In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians died in traffic crashes and an estimated 66,000 were injured. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes.
• Pedestrian deaths comprised 14 percent of all traffic fatalities resulting from automobile crashes.
• Age is a significant factor in pedestrian accidents. Senior citizens aged 65 and over and children under the age of 15 accounted for a combined 27 percent of fatalities and 34 percent of injuries.
• The majority of pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas and in the dark — 73 percent and 72 percent respectively. In addition, 69 percent of accidents happened at non-intersections.
• Alcohol was a factor in 49 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes.
• With 501 deaths, Florida had the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States after California.
• Among all U.S. cities with a population of 500,000 or more, Jacksonville had 3.92 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population, the second highest pedestrian fatality rate.
How To Avoid a Pedestrian Accident
• Be aware of surroundings
• Follow all rules and pay attention to traffic signs and signals
• Avoid using electronics when on the road
• Be visible
• Be cautious when sharing the road with vehicles.
How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
Jason and Debi Chalik have practiced personal injury law in Fort Lauderdale since 1995. They are heavily invested in the local community and work hard to offer top-quality legal services to injured pedestrians in South Florida. They have a firm understanding of the city’s pedestrian laws and know how to maximize the odds of compensation in a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident claim against a negligent driver, motorcycle rider, the city, or another party. Call today for a free, no obligation consultation.