In the aftermath of a car-pedestrian collision, police officers often hear the driver’s version of what happened, but the pedestrian who has been struck is usually too injured to say anything at the time of the accident. Our experienced Miami pedestrian accident lawyer has worked with accident reconstructionists and other experts to build the strongest possible case of negligence against the driver or operator for the financial compensation you deserve!
There are very few excuses for striking a pedestrian. In the majority of cases, the driver was either fully or partially at fault. Examples of driver negligence in pedestrian accidents include:
Even if you were partially at fault, we can hold the driver accountable for his or her percentage of fault.
How fast a vehicle was driving prior to a collision is one of the most important factors in determining how severe resulting injuries will be for any pedestrians who are involved. Generally, as speed increases, pedestrian accidents become much more dangerous for non-motorists, as the impact of the collision will also increase exponentially, resulting in more severe blunt force trauma-related injuries, like broken bones, head injuries, and internal injuries. Some studies have even found that at collision speeds of 30 mph, the risk of fatal injury for a pedestrian is eight times higher than at a speed of 20 mph.
Unfortunately, low speeds are not always a good indicator of how severe a pedestrian’s injuries will be. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for instance, has found that even when a car is traveling at less than 20 miles per hour, a collision with a pedestrian can still cause serious injuries, some of which could even prove fatal.
Age is also an important risk factor in determining the severity of a pedestrian injury. Pedestrian collisions, for instance, are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related fatalities among children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old. This is largely due to the fact that children are much more likely to suffer from traumatic brain injuries and chest and abdominal injuries in pedestrian accidents, which are often fatal. Adults who are involved in pedestrian accidents, on the other hand, are more likely to sustain musculoskeletal injuries, like fractures, which are more easily treated.
Youthful pedestrians are not the only individuals who are at risk of serious injury if involved in a collision with a motorist, as pedestrians who are 65 years of age or older have a lower tolerance to physical trauma and so also tend to sustain more serious injuries than younger victims who were involved in comparable crashes.
Injury severity for pedestrians is also linked to the size of the vehicle that struck them. The risk of severe injury or death for pedestrians is, for instance, much higher for those who are struck by trucks or vans than by passenger cars. In fact, taller vehicles are generally more dangerous for pedestrians, as they tend to strike a pedestrian above his or her center of gravity, meaning that a person is more likely to be thrown forward and then actually run over by the driver, causing more extensive injuries.
Brightline opened in January of 2018, providing high-speed rail service between Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami. It is the first privately owned passenger rail system in the United States since the early 1980s. And while private ownership can offer many benefits, it also raises serious concerns about the Brightline operator’s commitment to safety.
And we’re not talking about a hypothetical concern. As of early May 2018, according to the Miami New Times, there have already been six fatal accidents involving the Brightline–including two fatalities during the system’s first week of full operation. Both of those deaths occurred when pedestrians attempted to cross the tracks after the signal gates came down.
The New Times reported that in an effort to emphasize safe crossing practices, Brightline posted 450 “cautionary signs” in multiple languages warning pedestrians not to go near the rails, as well as 20 “variable-message signs” throughout Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Management has also stationed a number of “safety ambassadors” at key intersections to prevent pedestrians from crossing the rails when a train is approaching.
Keep in mind, Brightline trains are designed to operate at speeds approaching 80 miles per hour in heavily congested urban areas. This means that motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike must exercise caution whenever approaching or crossing a Brightline intersection. Here are a few common-sense safety tips you should always observe:
If you are someone you know as been struck by a train, give our Florida pedestrian accident lawyers and they will let you know if filing a personal injury claim is the best line of action or suggest another way.
Collisions between pedestrians and motorists are some of the most dangerous in which a person can be involved, as they almost always result in devastating injuries for the pedestrian. The type and severity of these injuries do, however, depend on a few different factors, some of which can affect liability. To learn more about these factors and how their application to your own case could affect your claim, please reach out to one of our dedicated Florida pedestrian accidents lawyers today for your free consultation.
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