The crosswalk laws in Miami, and throughout Florida, are very clear. Pedestrians have the right to cross an intersection when the signal is green and indicates it is safe. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when they are legally using a crosswalk and drivers should not pass any vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. Although the laws are very strict, not all motorists comply with them. Below, our Miami pedestrian accident lawyer outlines the most common causes of crosswalk accidents, and the serious injuries they cause.
What Causes Crosswalk Accidents in Miami?
Any negligent act can result in a crosswalk accident. However, there are some negligent acts that cause accidents more commonly than others. These include:
- Distracted driving: Any time a motorist is distracted, it places pedestrians at risk. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, they may not see a pedestrian in a crosswalk until it is too late. Using a phone while behind the wheel is also not the only distraction motorists must contend with. Eating, drinking, rowdy passengers, and loud music are just a few other examples of distractions that can cause a crosswalk accident.
- Fatigued driving: Driving while tired is so dangerous, it has been likened to drunk driving. When drivers are drowsy while on the road, they may have slower reaction times, experience perception issues, and exhibit poor judgment.
- Impaired driving: Alcohol and drugs can severely impair a motorist’s ability to drive in a safe manner. Impaired drivers may not see or hear a pedestrian in a crosswalk and crash into them.
- Improper road conditions: When roads are not properly maintained, it can lead to a crosswalk accident. Some of the most common negligent conditions that cause accidents are a lack of crosswalk signs and signals, for lighting, and poorly maintained roads.
Although drivers are usually to blame for crosswalk accidents, that is not always the case. Pedestrians may also be at fault if they did not follow crosswalk signals properly, or if they were not paying attention to their surroundings. Still, drivers are expected to always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, particularly when they are in a crosswalk, and so it is not uncommon for accident victims to recover compensation even when they were partly to blame.
Common Injuries Sustained in Crosswalk Accidents
The injuries sustained in crosswalk accidents are some of the most serious. Pedestrians do not have any protection while they are out on the road. They are completely exposed and so, they feel the full force of the impact. Some of the most common injuries sustained during a crosswalk accident are as follows:
- The lower extremities: When a pedestrian is hit in a crosswalk, the first part of the body to be struck is the lower extremities. In fact, up to 50 percent of pedestrians experience injuries in the lower part of the body. This is due to the fact that a car’s hood is level with a person’s lower extremities. Broken legs are very common but other parts of the body can also become injured. Trauma to the muscles and ligaments, lacerations, and pelvis fractures are also all very common.
- The face, head, and neck: Approximately 38 percent of pedestrians experience injuries to their face, head, and neck when they are hit in a crosswalk. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained are vertebrae injuries, shoulder displacement, jaw fractures, neck injuries, lacerations, skull damage, and concussions. These injuries typically occur when an accident victim’s body hits the hood or windshield.
- The upper extremities: Approximately 27 percent of pedestrians experience injuries to their upper extremities during an accident. These injuries are more common when a pedestrian is thrown over the vehicle or when they land on the hood. Injuries to the wrists, arms, and hands are the most common.
Regardless of the injuries sustained in a crosswalk accident, they are all very serious. They require extensive medical treatment, which also incurs high medical bills and can cause you to lose income if you cannot return to work right away. You can file a claim to recover compensation for all of your losses, but it is important to work with a lawyer who can help you obtain a fair settlement.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Miami for a Free Consultation
If you have been hurt while in a crosswalk, you need sound legal advice. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our Miami pedestrian accident lawyers can provide it so you can make the best informed decisions and obtain the maximum damages you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.