Pedestrian Accidents in Orlando
Pedestrian accidents are, sadly, a fact of life, especially in large cities. While everyone has moments where their attention is diverted or their focus is disturbed, it can be life-threatening if this happens while you are on or near the road. If you have been hit by an automobile or a truck, you may have a case against them, as drivers have a duty of care toward all pedestrians and passengers that may have been breached by the accident.
Statistics & Trends
Recently, Orlando has had a bloody history, earning the title of the U.S.’s deadliest city for pedestrians for more than a decade running. The Orlando Sentinel reports that as of 2013, approximately 850 Central Floridians are hit by cars, with as many as 40-70 later succumbing to their injuries. This percentage is one of the highest in the country, and gets even higher when one factors in walking rates (how much people walk, or don’t, in any city).
The same reports show that of roughly 1,200 serious crashes from 2007-2013, as many as eight in ten pedestrians were ruled to be liable (in part or in full) for their own accidents, for a multitude of reasons. Many pedestrians, for example, routinely cross streets away from crosswalks or streetlights, which can raise their potential to be struck by a car not looking for jaywalkers. It is important to remember, however, that even if a plaintiff-pedestrian is ruled partly liable for their own accident, this does not rule out any possibility of recovery.
No Fault Laws
Unlike many other states, Florida does not generally permit lawsuits to be filed directly against a hit-and-run driver or other motorist who may have caused your injuries, at least not right away. The state has a ‘no-fault’ insurance system, which means that unless your accident causes permanent injuries or causes damages totaling more than $10,000, you may not bring suit because Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will pay all the relevant bills – if you have a car, you are required to have PIP coverage, and it will pay your bills even if you were not driving during the accident.
If your accident results in over $10,000 worth of damages, only then may you initiate a lawsuit against the driver and/or their insurance company. Personal injury lawsuits in Florida tend to follow a pattern – namely, that a plaintiff must be able to show four criteria have been met: (1) that the driver’s duty of care has been (2) breached (3) by the driver’s conduct, with no other supervening cause; and (4) that actual harm resulted (that is, harm that lasted longer than mere minutes or hours). It may be that you, the pedestrian, may be judged partially liable for your own injuries, but this will likely not bar recovery: Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that the plaintiff may still recover a reduced amount as long as their liability is less than 50 percent.
Contact An Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorney
With the high prevalence of pedestrian accidents in Orlando, you need an attorney who will work hard for you if you are injured, to ensure your case does not fall through the proverbial cracks. The Orlando personal injury attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group are ready, willing and able to share the benefits of our experience with you. Contact us today or at 407-871-6375.