Orlando Pedestrian Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury
Each year, Smart Growth America (a think tank focusing on urban planning) puts out a report called Dangerous by Design, grading the infrastructure of various metropolitan areas and how friendly it is to pedestrians. For several years running, the list of the top 10 most dangerous metro areas for those who walk or bicycle has included 8 Florida locales, with Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford coming in at number one. Many Florida cities have infrastructure that is overtly unfriendly to pedestrians, but Orlando is at the top because of the sheer number of accidents that befall those who use the roads and are not driving. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Why So Many?
There are a variety of reasons that Florida cities report such high numbers of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. One is the sheer number of tourists who come to Florida each year; with such high numbers of people who are unfamiliar with city infrastructure, the odds are higher that more people will meet with accidents. Another reason for the elevated numbers is infrastructure that is not well maintained; missing traffic lights or sidewalks can force pedestrians into more dangerous positions than they would be in otherwise.
In addition to the issues specific to Florida and its cities, more standard causes may also play a role in pedestrian accidents – for example, distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for collisions between those in vehicles and those walking or cycling, or another common factor seen is recklessness, either natural or induced by alcohol or other substances. If you have been involved in an accident with a vehicle, and you believe that the driver was acting negligently or recklessly, you have the right to seek compensation for the medical bills you will have incurred.
Can I Sue?
Something that is important to keep in mind if you are injured in a Florida pedestrian accident is that unlike in many other states, most personal injury cases are settled via insurers, not lawsuits. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that in order to get medical bills and other expenses paid after an accident, one usually must apply to their personal injury protection (PIP) insurer, given that every Florida driver or vehicle owner must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
If your injuries are “significant and permanent,” or if your medical bills exceed your PIP coverage, Florida law does allow you to file suit against the defendant, but this does not always mean that you will prevail in court. You must be able to establish that the defendant motorist breached their duty of care (which exists in Florida between all road users), and that because of their breach of duty, you were injured – in other words, that there was no intervening cause that played a role in causing your injuries. This is not easy, but far from impossible, if you have the right attorney on your side.
Contact An Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorney
An injured pedestrian after an accident with a vehicle is in a difficult and vulnerable position, especially if their injuries are serious. If you have been through this, and are wondering how to proceed, contacting an Orlando personal injury attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can be a big help. We are ready and willing to try and help you with any questions you may have about your case. Call us today for a free consultation.