Thousands of pedestrians are injured each year in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,378 pedestrians died in 2008 – of which 20% were improperly crossing the street, also known as “jaywalking.”
Determining who is negligent in pedestrian cases can be complicated. Many factors must be considered, including the following:
- Were you using caution when you crossed the street?
- Were you jaywalking or crossing in a designated crosswalk?
- Did the negligent driver run a red light or fail to yield at an intersection?
- Was the traffic signal malfunctioning?
If possible, you should write down the names and addresses of witnesses at the scene who can verify your account of the accident. In general, pedestrians have the right of way when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation. If the injured pedestrian is a child, however, and if there is a school or playground nearby, the judge or jury may find that the driver should have been aware that children were in the area. This can be used to show the driver wasn’t taking proper precautions to avoid an accident.
A third party can also be held responsible in pedestrian accidents. For example, if a crossing signal or traffic light malfunctioned, it may be possible to hold the municipality responsible for failing to adequately maintain or repair the light. In addition, a recent study on pedestrian accidents involving hybrid vehicles revealed that the quiet engines on hybrid vehicles has led to an increase in crashes with pedestrians and cyclists. This occurs because pedestrians have no auditory warning that a vehicle is approaching.
Unfortunately, pedestrians involved in motor vehicle accidents often suffer serious or fatal injuries. Many of these crashes are caused by negligent or reckless conduct on the part of motor vehicle drivers. If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. An experienced Florida pedestrian accident lawyer can help you get compensation for any medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages that resulted from the accident.