Key West & Marathon Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise in The Keys. Over a three-year period from 2017 to 2019, pedestrian crashes, injuries and deaths in Monroe County went up dramatically – crashes rose by more than a third, injuries increased by over 42%, and the number of fatalities doubled every year. Statistics for Monroe County in 2019 reveal 42 pedestrian crashes, 4 deaths, and 37 injuries; only one person involved in a pedestrian crash escaped injury or death that year. Needless to say, pedestrians are the group most at risk of serious injury or death out of all motor vehicle accident victims.
Why are pedestrian accidents going up? A likely answer is an increase in distracted driving (and distracted walking) coinciding with the increase in smartphone ownership, social media engagement, and the innumerable distracting apps which pull people’s attention away from the critical tasks of driving and being aware of their environment and the traffic flowing around them.
Florida is in fact the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians. Nine of the 20 most dangerous cities for pedestrians in America are in Florida. The Keys are an attractive and enticing place to walk, but the combination of local and tourist traffic can make walking risky. Pedestrians lack even the simplest protections of a bicyclist or scooter rider, such as a helmet and knee or elbow pads.
Why Use Florida Keys Injury for Your Pedestrian Accident Claim?
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident in The Keys, you likely are facing significant costs for hospital visits and rehabilitation, time missed from work, and a long and painful road to recovery. There’s no reason you should have to bear the financial burden of the injury as well, especially when your injury was caused by a negligent driver who could have avoided the crash by paying better attention or driving more carefully.
At Florida Keys Injury, our job is to help you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve after getting hit by a speeding, careless or reckless driver in a pedestrian accident in The Keys. We do this by listening to you and staying in touch with you throughout your case while at the same time aggressively going after the insurance company responsible for paying the costs of your injury. We’ll settle your case for the right amount or go to court if that’s what is needed to get you the best recovery. Trust Florida Keys Injury to go all-out in obtaining an outstanding result for you, as we have already done for so many of your neighbors in the Florida Keys.
Don’t Pedestrians Have the Right of Way When Crossing the Street?
While crossing the street at an intersection inside a marked crosswalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way. Cars are required to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Stopping and staying stopped means that the driver should wait until the pedestrian has passed over to the other half of the roadway before proceeding. If the pedestrian is coming from the other half of the street or is stepping into the road from the curb, the driver should stop and wait until the pedestrian is finished crossing over. This is the law in Florida, and drivers who hit pedestrians in crosswalks are nearly always liable for the injuries they cause.
You might feel safe as a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, knowing you are crossing where you are supposed to. Sadly, though, crosswalks turn out to be the most dangerous places for pedestrians to get hit. Drivers hit pedestrians because they don’t yield the right-of-way and wait for pedestrians to get safely across the street, but for other reasons as well, including making left or right turns without checking for pedestrians and yielding when necessary, running a red light, or trying to beat a yellow light that is turning red. Another serious problem is when a driver has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross, but an approaching driver decides not to stop but instead swerves around the stopped car and hits the pedestrian. This maneuver is illegal in Florida, precisely because it is so dangerous to pedestrians.
Are Pedestrians Ever Responsible for Causing a Crash?
When crossing the street where there is no marked crosswalk, whether in the middle of the street or at an intersection, pedestrians are required to yield the right-of-way to motor vehicles. It is legal to cross in the middle of the street in Florida, but only when it is safe to do so and if there is no oncoming traffic. Pedestrians should obey traffic signals, look both ways before crossing, and never dart out into the road unexpectedly. Pedestrians are also required to use sidewalks wherever they are available and to walk on the left shoulder of the road if no sidewalks are present.
A pedestrian who violates these rules and duties could be at least partially to blame in a pedestrian accident and might not be able to achieve a complete financial recovery or any at all. Talk to an experienced accident attorney at Florida Keys Injury if you are concerned about your case. It won’t cost you anything to talk to us, and we’ll give you our analysis of your case and what you can likely expect.
Will I Have to Sue the Driver?
If your injuries aren’t too serious, you can get no-fault benefits through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you or any member of your household has a covered automobile, you can access this coverage as an injured pedestrian. If not, you can get no-fault benefits from the driver who hit you. PIP benefits can cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000 on a basic policy.
If your injuries cross the “serious injury” threshold under Florida law, you can file a negligence claim against the at-fault driver and recover the full amount of your medical bills and lost wages, plus pain and suffering and other legal damages. You’ll need to be able to prove the driver was at fault and caused your injuries, so you’ll need a lawyer to help you. Oftentimes, we can negotiate a fair settlement without having to file a lawsuit, but sometimes filing suit is necessary to get the best result.
Even if a lawsuit is filed, this doesn’t mean your case will go to court. We can still settle your case any time before trial, but our lawyers will be ready to take your case to a jury if that’s what it takes to get you the amount of money you need and deserve based on the accident.
Trust Florida Keys Injury Attorneys to Help You After a Pedestrian Accident in The Keys
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Key West or Marathon, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal crash in the Florida Keys, call Florida Keys Injury at 706-605-8500 for a free consultation with a compassionate and dedicated Key West & Marathon pedestrian accident lawyer.