With its mild year-round temperatures and refreshing ocean air, Port St. Lucie is an ideal place to go for a stroll or run. City dwellers may even opt to walk for most of their errands, such as going to the park or the grocery store.
Although Port St. Lucie and the rest of Florida have pedestrian crossings, they do not make the streets any safer for foot traffic. Since a pedestrian’s body is unprotected when struck by a moving vehicle, these accidents are some of the deadliest that can occur on the road. The resulting injuries are typically devastating and life-threatening.
Pedestrians can also contribute to collisions. However, most of the time, they are the result of reckless motorists. If you or a loved one in Port St. Lucie has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, Fetterman & Associates, PA can help.
Get in touch with a Port St. Lucie pedestrian accident lawyer today by dialing (561) 983-4771 to discuss what happened, how badly you were injured, and what legal options are available.
Statistics on Pedestrian Accidents in Port St. Lucie, FL
Walking the streets of Florida can be risky. In 2021, there were 9,549 pedestrian accidents reported in Florida, as documented by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Thousands of pedestrians were injured, and at least 844 were killed in traffic accidents. It was estimated that 134 pedestrian accidents occurred in St. Lucie County during the same year. Tragically, 12 lives were lost due to these car crashes.
Furthermore, Florida is the most unsafe state for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America’s recent “Dangerous by Design” report for 2021. The Sunshine State is home to seven of the ten deadliest metropolitan areas for pedestrians.
The Leading Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Port St. Lucie
Accidents involving cars and pedestrians can be caused by a variety of factors, with some happening more often than others. Here are some of the usual reasons:
Speeding is a major contributing factor in many car collisions. It’s easy for motorists to lose awareness of how fast they’re going. On the other hand, some people just don’t care about the rules regarding speed limits. Regardless of the circumstances, there is a high chance of an accident whenever somebody is speeding.
Too often, pedestrians are injured when a car moves too fast and collides with them. If the car is unable to stop in time or steer clear of the pedestrian, tragic consequences could follow. In addition, the high speed of the car when it hits a person can inflict significant damage as opposed to other types of accidents.
Ignoring the Rules of the Road
Many motorists disregard stop signs and red lights even though doing so is illegal. A pedestrian accident often occurs as a result of this. Any pedestrian crossing the road who anticipates that drivers would stop at stop signs and red lights is at risk of being struck by a car that disobeys these signals.
Alcohol or Drug Impaired Driving
Intoxicated drivers are a contributing factor in some pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles. Although alcohol is the leading factor in these accidents, opioids, hallucinogens, opioids, amphetamines, and other drugs can all lead to impaired driving. Drinking and driving are not only risky for the driver but also for other road users and pedestrians. Furthermore, doing so is against the law.
The abuse of drugs or alcohol could also be an issue among pedestrians. Walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs increases the risk of being involved in a pedestrian-vehicle collision. The same problems with judgment, motor control, and perception might also arise from this, increasing the risk of an accident.
Nevertheless, a pedestrian may be judged at least somewhat at fault if they exhibit careless or reckless behavior, such as crossing the street in the middle of an intersection. Because of this, their accident claim may be affected.
Failing to Yield
Drivers may become irritated when pedestrians block their paths. Some people don’t show the patience and consideration that the law dictates. Drivers must give way to pedestrians, who have the legal right of way. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and pedestrian accidents can result.
Poor or Insufficient Car Maintenance
Many pedestrian accidents happen because a driver is unable to stop in time to keep from hitting a pedestrian. However, it is not necessarily the fault of the vehicle. All vehicles need regular maintenance to keep them roadworthy and in good working order. If the owner fails to maintain their car, they could be held legally responsible for injuries sustained by pedestrians because of a collision.
What Kinds of Injuries Commonly Occur in Pedestrian Accidents?
Many pedestrians suffer from the following injuries after being involved in an accident:
- Spinal cord injury: Although car collisions are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, thousands of pedestrians also sustain these injuries yearly. When the spine is injured, it can be fatal or incapacitating. Injuries of this nature are frequently debilitating and require ongoing medical attention.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Accidents involving pedestrians frequently result in serious head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions. A hard hit to the head is all that is needed to cause significant injury. Disorientation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, drowsiness, trouble speaking, and loss of consciousness are all common signs of a traumatic brain injury.
- Fractured bones: Arm, leg, hand, shoulder, wrist, and back fractures are common among pedestrian accident victims. Compound fractures, in which the shards of a shattered bone pierce the skin, are also possible. These injuries can be incredibly painful and troublesome in the long run. Extreme cases may call for amputation.
- Soft tissue damage: Injuries such as contusions, cuts, sprains, strains, tears, and dislocations fall under this category. Soft tissue injuries are rather common in pedestrian accidents and tend to heal more quickly than other injuries, although they can still cause significant discomfort, scarring, and even long-term complications.
What Damages Are Available in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
As a result of their injuries, pedestrian accident victims may be eligible to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Damages that can be quantified are called economic losses, whereas more intangible losses are referred to as non-economic. You can seek compensation for things like those listed below.
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental and physical anguish
- Loss of consortium
How to Claim Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents
In the event of a pedestrian accident, the victim typically has two options for pursuing compensation. One is through insurance, and another is to file a lawsuit.
For the most part, the rules that apply to car accidents also apply to pedestrian accidents. A pedestrian’s first port of call in pursuing financial support for such claims should be their own PIP insurance. All Florida drivers must have at least $10,000 in medical payments insurance, so this is the first place to look when trying to pay for accident-related medical expenses.
The second option is to file a lawsuit and have the court (or the parties themselves) decide whether to reach a settlement. During the course of a lawsuit against the negligent party in the accident, you and the defendant (and their lawyer) will have an opportunity to discuss a settlement that will compensate you for your losses. Your case can proceed to trial if you and the defendant are unable to come to an agreement.
If your case proceeds to trial, the judge or jury will consider all the evidence and decide on whether you should receive compensation and, if so, how much. The economic and non-economic losses you’ve suffered will be considered as they calculate the compensation you’re owed.
How A Port St. Lucie Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
A pedestrian accident is a terrible experience for anyone. However, what happens following a crash is often the most trying. Stress and confusion might arise when negotiating with the insurance provider, recovering from a serious injury, missing work, or addressing estate affairs. Having a Port St. Lucie pedestrian accident lawyer on your side can help you with the following:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the pedestrian accident and collect evidence to determine liability.
- Provide you with a ballpark amount for the compensation you can pursue.
- Communicate with the insurance company.
- Represent you in court.
Let Fetterman & Associates Represent You In Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
As a pedestrian, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries and other damages if you are hit by a vehicle. Our seasoned Port St. Lucie pedestrian accident lawyers can discuss your options and assist you in pursuing just compensation.
To ensure you get the money you need to cover your expenses and medical bills, we’ll look through your case and support you in putting together a solid defense. We have handled countless cases with great success over the years, and we can use that experience to help you. Schedule a free initial consultation with us today.