Everyone is a pedestrian on almost a daily basis. Many people in Tampa choose walking as a primary form of transportation whenever possible. However, even if a person is only walking a short distance through a parking lot, there still exists the risk of accidents and injuries every time an individual walks near traffic. When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, catastrophic and often fatal injuries can result.
Injuries In Pedestrian Accidents
As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 66,000 pedestrians sustained injuries in traffic collisions in 2013 alone. In addition, more than 4,700 pedestrians died as a result of their injuries, accounting for 14 percent of all traffic-related deaths. Pedestrians so commonly suffer severe injuries for several reasons.
First, they generally have no protection from the impact as a victim of an accident involving two vehicles would. Unlike bicyclists, it is not a common practice for pedestrians to wear helmets, leaving their entire bodies exposed to a potential impact. When a pedestrian is hit, the force of the impact can send them flying–either to the ground, over the car, or onto other objects or vehicles. For this reason, many pedestrians sustain multiple serious injuries from the multiple points of impact. Some of the common injuries in pedestrian accidents can include:
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis;
- Traumatic brain injury, fractured skull, and other head trauma;
- Shattered bones or crushed limbs;
- Serious back or neck injuries;
- Internal bleeding;
- Internal organ damage; and
Following an accident, it is important for a pedestrian to visit the emergency department or the doctor as soon as possible for a full medical evaluation. Some injuries–such as a mild traumatic brain injury–may not be immediately apparent though they may have serious symptoms arise over time. In order to recover for injuries, a pedestrian should have all injuries properly diagnosed as soon as they can. Timely treatment can also reduce complications and the overall effects of the injuries on the accident victim’s life.
Determining Fault In Pedestrian Accidents
In many pedestrian accidents, a seriously injured pedestrian may be able to seek compensation for their losses if another party was at fault in causing the collision. Therefore, it is extremely important to evaluate the circumstance of the collision to identify anyone who was negligent. Some causes of pedestrian accidents that can lead to financial recovery include:
- Distracted driving;
- Failing to yield to individuals in crosswalks;
- Not paying attention at intersections;
- Violating traffic signals;
- Drunk driving.
In some cases, the pedestrian may also be partially at fault for a collision. For example, if a pedestrian crosses the street at a place with no crosswalk and a texting driver looks up too late and cannot stop, the pedestrian may be deemed partially at fault for the accident. In this situation, Florida law still allows the injured pedestrian to recover from the distracted driver, however, their recovery will be less due to their contribution to the accident.
How A Lawyer Can Help
Because pedestrian injuries can be severe, many victims incur extensive losses due to medical expenses, the inability to work and earn income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement or disability, and more. It is always worth it to discuss a potential legal claim with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Tampa. An attorney can help to determine fault and to pursue a legal claim against negligent parties so that an injured individual can focus on their physical recovery. Having a knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer is important to ensure a pedestrian accident victim obtains the full amount possible for their losses.