A pedestrian is a person on foot, whether that person is walking, jogging, running, or skipping. When we’re talking about a pedestrian accident, we’re talking about a person on foot getting hit by a car, motorcycle, motor home, golf cart, or any other kind of motor vehicle. In other words, if you’re on foot and get hit by a vehicle, that’s a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian accidents are remarkably common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nationwide pedestrian accident statistics, 76,000 people were injured in pedestrian accidents in 2019. In the same year, 6,205 people died as a result of pedestrian accidents. For perspective, 49,000 people were injured in bicycle accidents. This means a pedestrian died in a pedestrian accident every 85 minutes during 2019.
If you’ve been hit by a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, and we believe you should contact an Orlando pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your pedestrian accident. The Orlando pedestrian accident lawyers at Spetsas Buist PLLC know what it takes to pursue a pedestrian accident claim, and they will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
As you could probably guess, distracted and unfocused drivers cause a significant percentage of pedestrian accidents. Technology is everywhere now, including inside vehicles. When a driver looks away from the road to select a song or a podcast or to enter a new address in the GPS system, the driver is much more likely to hit a pedestrian. In reality, there are many ways a pedestrian might be injured by a negligent driver, and we have listed some of the more common causes of pedestrian accidents below.
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Driving while distracted;
- Ignoring traffic lights, traffic signs, and traffic signals;
- Failing to give a pedestrian the right-of-way;
- Striking a pedestrian on a sidewalk; or
- Striking a pedestrian on a crosswalk.
Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles compiles traffic accident data and pedestrian accident data for Florida every year. Below are some of the pedestrian accident statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Report from 2018 to 2021.
Total Pedestrian Crashes in Florida
In this context, the FLHSMV defines a crash as the operation of a motor vehicle in the state which results in property damage, complaint of bodily injury, bodily injury or death to any person.
- 2018 / 9,356 Pedestrian Crashes
- 2019 / 9,736 Pedestrian Crashes
- 2020 / 8,117 Pedestrian Crashes
- 2021 / 7,281 Pedestrian Crashes (as of 10/26/2021)
Total Injuries From Pedestrian Crashes in Florida
In this context, the FLHSMV defines an injury as the total number of people who sustained bodily hurt or damage or complained of bodily hurt or damage as a result of a traffic crash.
- 2018 / 7,935 Injuries from Pedestrian Crashes
- 2019 / 7,893 Injuries from Pedestrian Crashes
- 2020 / 6,304 Injuries from Pedestrian Crashes
- 2021 / 5,576 Injuries from Pedestrian Crashes
Total Fatalities From Pedestrian Crashes in Florida
In this context, the FLHSMV defines a fatality as a death that results from a traffic crash. Only fatalities that occurred within 30 days of the crash are considered traffic-related.
- 2018 / 720 Fatalities from Pedestrian Crashes
- 2019 / 734 Fatalities from Pedestrian Crashes
- 2020 / 715 Fatalities from Pedestrian Crashes
- 2021 / 611 Fatalities from Pedestrian Crashes
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Unlike a driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle, a pedestrian has no protection in a traffic accident. Additionally, when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian is often thrown against the unforgiving pavement. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a pedestrian accident to cause serious injury or death. Here are some of the more common types of injuries that result from pedestrian accidents in Florida.
Head & Brain Injuries
Your average pedestrians don’t walk around with a helmet on. Additionally, when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, there are typically two impacts: (1) the impact with the vehicle and (2) the impact with the concrete below. Therefore, a serious head injury is a common result of a pedestrian accident. These types of injuries can cause traumatic brain injury, concussions, skull fractures, and brain bleeding. Furthermore, head and brain injuries can cause the victim to suffer long-term cognitive and mental impairment.
Neck, Back & Spine Injuries
For the same reasons pedestrians are at high risk for brain injuries, they’re also at high risk for a variety of spinal cord injuries. Spinal injuries can result in paralysis or death, as well as lasting effects, like numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness. Overall, a neck, back, or spine injury can result in lifelong complications for the victim.
Soft Tissue Injuries
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the force of the impact from both the vehicle and pavement often causes contusions, lacerations, sprains, dislocations, lacerations, and road rash. These injuries not only cause serious pain but can also leave lasting and disfiguring scars and marks on the victim’s body.
After being hit by a vehicle, a pedestrian will often suffer a broken ankle, leg, rib, arm, or wrist. More serious types of bone injuries involve compound fractures or bones splitting and pushing through the skin. Therefore, bone injuries can be extremely horrific and often require multiple surgeries and lots of time to heal.
If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation, and we recommend you contact an Orlando pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you can.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
As we talked about above, pedestrian accidents are scary because you’re exposed when a car crashes into you, as well as when you hit the concrete. With all the horror and adrenaline involved in a pedestrian accident, it can be difficult to think or make decisions. Therefore, it is a good idea to know how to respond before you’re ever involved in a pedestrian accident. Hence, we have prepared a checklist of things you should do after you have been struck by a vehicle.
Get to Safety
Move out of the way of danger as soon as you can safely do so, especially if it’s too dark for drivers to be able to see you.
Call 911 or Local Authorities
You should call 911 after a pedestrian accident if you are seriously hurt and able to make the call. If you can’t physically make the call, ask someone nearby to make it for you. However, even if the accident is not severe, you should call the local police to get a police report because it will help you establish the facts of the accident later.
Get Medical Help Quickly
If you feel like you sustained injuries in your pedestrian accident, seek medical help as soon as possible, even if you’re only experiencing slight or minor pain. If you don’t get your injuries treated soon after the accident, they may get worse. Additionally, if you seek medical help, you can put your injuries on the record, which may help you establish your damages later in your future pedestrian accident lawsuit or claim.
Get the Driver's Contact & Insurance Info
If possible and safe to do so, get the contact and insurance information of the driver that hit you. Also, if there are any passengers in the car, get their contact information too if you can safely do so.
Get Contact Info of Witnesses
Witnesses often disappear after a pedestrian accident. As a result, if you don’t have their contact information, you may not be able to reach them after you file your claim. So, if there are any witnesses around when a car runs into you, and if the witnesses seem willing to help, ask if they will give you their contact information.
Take Pictures & Videos of the Scene
If possible, gather evidence of your pedestrian accident as soon as possible. Try to take pictures of the vehicles involved, as well as the accident scene. Also, you should try to take a quick video of the scene of the accident. If you take good pictures and videos, this kind of info could help your Orlando pedestrian accident attorneys prove important facts of your case.
Don't Talk to the Insurance Folks
Don’t make any statements to the insurance folks or sign anything they want you to sign until you speak with your Orlando pedestrian accident attorney. You should not speak to them any more than you have to, but you should certainly avoid saying anything that may undermine your claim. Typically, the goal of the insurance adjusters and the lawyers for the insurance company is to resolve any issues as cheaply as possible. Thus, we recommend you speak with a personal injury attorney before talking to the insurance folks.
Don't Say More Than Necessary
If the police get involved, cooperate with them. However, don’t say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault. Also, don’t apologize for anything or state your opinion about what happened. Finally, do not talk too much to anyone at the scene. Instead, try to keep quiet as much as possible.
Don't Talk About the Accident on Social Media
Resist the urge to talk about your accident on social media. The insurance lawyers can use what you say on social media against you, and it happens all the time. Therefore, only talk about your pedestrian accident with your attorney, and definitely do not post about it on your social media accounts.
Contact an Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorney ASAP
We recommend you contact an Orlando personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your pedestrian accident. That way, you can be sure you have someone to fight for you and protect your rights. At Spetsas Buist PLLC, our personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to victims of pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian & Driver Safety Tips
We are all pedestrians at one time or another. Thus, we should all strive to make sure we do everything we can to ensure the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors in our communities. We have listed some of the NHTSA’s safety tips for pedestrians and drivers below to help everyone safely enjoy walking around.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Be predictable; follow the rules of the road; and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times and don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate an area with good lighting where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely, and be sure to continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Instead, make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure they see you.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and use reflective materials and a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
Driver Safety Tips
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians everywhere and all the time. Safety is a shared responsibility.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop a safe distance back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians. That way, the other drivers can stop too.
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk because there may be pedestrians crossing that you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
- Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Be extra cautious when backing up because pedestrians can move into your path.
Do You Need to Speak to an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
When you’re facing a financial burden caused by another party’s negligence, you need an attorney who will fight for you like family. Spetsas Buist is based in Orlando but serves clients in all of Florida, as well as in South Carolina and North Carolina. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.