Lakeland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Over the past ten years in the U.S., pedestrian accident fatalities have increased by 53%, while fatalities from all other traffic accidents have increased by only 2%. Whether due to changing demographics, more people walking, more motor vehicle traffic, or a combination of factors, this increase is disturbing – especially for those who visit and live in Florida, the state that consistently ranks as the most dangerous one for pedestrians.
Although Florida has made various efforts in enforcement, engineering and education to decrease the number of pedestrian injury accidents, they continue to increase. Across the state, pedestrian injury crashes increased from 9,356 to 9,736 and fatalities increased from 720 to 734 between 2018 and 2019. In Polk County alone, pedestrian crashes increased 9% during that same time period.
If you or a family member has been injured in one of these pedestrian accidents, you may be able to hold the driver accountable and get compensated for your injuries, pain and suffering. An experienced Lakeland pedestrian accident attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, we have helped hundreds of accident victims and their families throughout Florida and want to help you get compensated fully and fairly.
Causes of Lakeland Pedestrian Accidents
Florida’s roadways were not designed for the heavy traffic or number of people walking in recent years. Some improvements have been made, but reports still show how dangerous walking can be. People in high traffic areas or at night are especially at risk when walking near or in the roadway, and large vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks prevalent in Lakeland, also present an increased risk for pedestrians.
Accidents involving pedestrians are usually referred to as “pedestrian accidents,” but most are caused wholly or partially by people driving cars or trucks. In fact, many of these accidents involve motor vehicle safety violations, such as:
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a traffic light or sign
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving or other distractions
To decrease the number of pedestrian crashes, traffic safety engineers suggest the following precautions:
- Driving very slowly when turning or driving through a crosswalk.
- Always yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Being especially cautious when it’s hard to see your surroundings, such as during bad weather or at night.
- Always following speed limits, especially slower speed limits in school zones and in residential areas.
- Being extra cautious when driving in reverse, especially when backing out of a driveway.
- Always being on the look-out for pedestrians.
- Never driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Responsibility for a Lakeland Pedestrian Accident
Motorists and pedestrians are both responsible for following state safety laws when on the roads. For example, under Florida law, someone driving a motor vehicle has to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk at an intersection once the pedestrian has stepped into the roadway. In contrast, when there is no designated crosswalk at an intersection, pedestrians trying to cross the street must yield to motor vehicles.
Many times in pedestrian accidents, the fault lies clearly with the person driving a motor vehicle. However, sometimes the fault is shared by the pedestrian and the motorist. In these cases, an injured pedestrian may still be able to obtain compensation even if he/she was partially at fault for the accident.
Compensation for Lakeland Pedestrian Accident Victims
If you have been injured by a motor vehicle while walking in Lakeland, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compensation may be obtained for:
- Medical expenses – Present and future medical expenses, including emergency services, hospital bills, diagnostic imaging, surgery, post-operative care, travel to and from doctors, prescriptions, medical equipment and rehabilitation.
- Reduced or lost income – Income lost for time off work because of injuries from the accident.
- Diminished earning capacity – Decreased or lost earning capacity because injuries from the accident prevent returning to your job or seeking one that pays as well.
- Pain and suffering – Pain, stress, trauma, and emotional problems stemming from the accident.
- Diminished quality of life – Decreased ability to enjoy life.
- Loss of consortium with a spouse – Loss of companionship and support.
- Other economic and non-economic damages applicable under Florida law.
If a Family Member Was Fatally Injured in a Lakeland Pedestrian Accident
Nothing can really compensate you for the loss of a loved one; however, holding the person responsible liable can give you a sense of justice. As the claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to obtain compensation for actual expenses, such as medical bills that accrued prior to death and burial costs, as well as compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of companionship and support.
Experienced Legal Help for Victims of Lakeland Pedestrian Accidents
If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident, getting help from the experienced Lakeland pedestrian accident attorneys of Dennis Hernandez & Associates is in your best interest. We have helped hundreds of families throughout Florida get compensated fairly for their injuries and are committed to putting our legal experience and expertise to work helping you obtain justice and get the compensation you deserve.
As your attorneys, we will advise and support you throughout the entire legal process – from gathering the necessary evidence, through filing a lawsuit, to negotiating with insurance companies and going to trial, if necessary. Unlike other personal injury attorneys, we won’t back down in our fight for justice. We are well prepared to negotiate vigorously on your behalf and, if warranted, put our trial experience and litigation skills to work fighting aggressively in court for the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 855-LAW-DENNIS or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to get started on your case.
Smart Growth American. (2020). Dangerous by design.
Smart Growth America. (2019). Dangerous by design.
U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.). Pedestrian safety. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety