Pedestrian Accidents and Florida No Fault Laws
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian suffers injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident every 8 minutes in the United States.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Below is a closer look at some of the most common scenarios at play in pedestrian accidents:
- Accidents During Turns – When drivers wait to make a right-hand turn, they normally focus their attention on drivers coming from the left and fail to look right for pedestrians who may be crossing the road. This can occur at major intersections or when the driver is leaving a driveway or parking lot, and result in a serious or fatal pedestrian accident.
- Back-Over Accidents – Sometimes, drivers fail to use their mirrors when backing out of a parking spot or driveway. If a pedestrian is crossing behind the vehicle at this time, he or she may be struck by the vehicle and sustain serious injuries, even if the vehicle is moving at a slow speed. If children are passing behind the vehicle, this can easily result in fatal injuries for the child.
- Failure to Use a Crosswalk – Pedestrian accidents can also occur if a pedestrian fails to use a crosswalk or walks onto the road from behind a parked vehicle that has obscured him or her from view. Children who are playing in the road may dart into traffic without looking for oncoming traffic first.
Groups at High-Risk for Pedestrian Accidents
While anyone can be at risk for a pedestrian accident, some groups are at a higher risk.
Population groups who are the most at-risk for a pedestrian accident injuries include:
- children between the ages of 5 and 9;
- adults over the age of 70; and
- people who are under the influence of alcohol.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident
When pedestrians are struck by a motor vehicle, they are at risk of being thrown onto the hood, the ground, or over the vehicle. This blunt force can produce injuries such as:
- broken bones;
- spinal cord injuries;
- head injuries;
- nerve damage; and/or
Florida No Fault Laws and Your Clearwater Pedestrian Accident
Florida created no fault laws in order to keep the legal system from being overwhelmed with personal injury lawsuits resulting from motor vehicle accidents. However, the laws can complicate the process of recovering damages if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Florida.
According to the law, every driver must have $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP). In the event of an accident, each party involved in an accident must use their own PIP coverage before filing a claim against the responsible party.
In a Clearwater pedestrian accident, a pedestrian with PIP insurance on his or her vehicle may use that benefit to cover medical expenses and lost income. If the pedestrian does not have PIP insurance, the responsible driver’s PIP may be used to cover the pedestrian’s expenses.
As anyone who is familiar with the medical system today knows, $10,000 offered by PIP insurance can be very quickly met and exceeded. An ambulance ride to the hospital alone will take up a sizeable portion of that compensation, not to mention comprehensive and long-term treatment for your injuries.
If a pedestrian suffers serious or permanent injuries in a Clearwater pedestrian accident, he or she may file a lawsuit against the driver in order to recover additional damages. An injured pedestrian may be entitled to damages for past and future medical costs and lost wages, as well as mental distress, disfigurement, pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
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