Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed when crossing at intersections, walking through parking lots, and simply sharing the road with negligent and reckless motorists. Florida has been cited as one of the worst states when it comes to pedestrian safety, with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. over the past decade. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 8,000 pedestrian accidents in 2020 alone, leading to 6,333 injuries and 708 deaths.
If you or someone you love was involved in a pedestrian accident in Leon County or the nearby areas, we at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. are here to help. Since 1997, our firm has been representing seriously injured individuals, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed in devastating pedestrian-vehicle collisions. Our Tallahassee pedestrian accident attorney, Paul Shapiro, is an experienced trial lawyer who is not afraid to aggressively represent his clients’ rights. Our team understands the pain and trauma you have been through, and we are ready to help you meet the challenges ahead. Our goal is to secure maximum compensation for you so that you can get back on your feet.
Are Drivers Always at Fault for Pedestrian Accidents?
Motorists have a responsibility to drive carefully and utilize every precaution to avoid hitting pedestrians. This is because people on foot are entirely unprotected against the size and weight of a massive, fast-moving vehicle. When they are struck by cars, trucks, and even motorcycles, pedestrians often suffer catastrophic injuries and fatalities. As such, drivers have a higher duty of care to pedestrians, meaning they are largely responsible for avoiding accidents whenever possible.
However, pedestrians also have certain responsibilities when it comes to sharing the road with motor vehicles. In Florida, pedestrians must obey certain laws intended to keep them—and others—safe.
Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of some of Florida’s pedestrian laws:
- Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in marked or unmarked crosswalks (unmarked crosswalks include intersections where there is no specifically designated pedestrian crossing)
- When traffic control devices are in effect (signals, “do not walk/wait” signs, etc.), pedestrians must obey them and yield the right of way to vehicles accordingly
- If there are sidewalks available, pedestrians must use them and may not walk in or along the roadway when a sidewalk is present/available to use
- If there are no sidewalks available, pedestrians should walk along the roadway as far into the shoulder/left side of the road as possible, facing oncoming traffic
- Pedestrians must use overhead crossings and tunnels when present/available and must yield to vehicles when crossing roadways where designated pedestrian crossings are present
- “Jaywalking” is prohibited in Florida; pedestrians may not cross a roadway between two adjacent intersections with traffic control devices in effect unless in a marked crosswalk
- Pedestrians may not cross intersections diagonally unless there are specific markers/traffic control devices authorizing diagonal crossing
- No pedestrian may leave a place of safety (such as a curb or sidewalk) and enter the roadway when oncoming vehicles are too close/traveling too fast to yield the right of way
- Pedestrians may not stand in any portion of the road intended for vehicle use to solicit rides (hitchhike) or for the purpose of soliciting business or employment
Pedestrians who are found to have violated the law may be considered partially or even wholly responsible for accidents. Although Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule allows an injured pedestrian to file a personal injury claim when they were partially at fault, the injured party’s total recovery will be reduced by their at-fault percentage. This means if the court finds you 25% to blame for the accident, you can only recover 75% of the total amount of your damages.
Injuries & Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Because pedestrians tend to sustain such severe injuries when they are hit by large, heavy motor vehicles, pedestrian accident cases tend to involve high-value damages. This means that insurance companies are even more likely to dispute or deny pedestrian accident claims than other types of personal injury claims involving less-severe injuries and lower-value damages.
After being struck by motor vehicles, pedestrians often suffer catastrophic bodily injuries, including but not limited to:
- Accidental amputation
- Broken bones/fractures
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Neck and back injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
These and other serious injuries typically require immediate medical attention, as well as ongoing care, various treatments, and rehabilitation. Victims are often unable to return to work for weeks or even months and, when their injuries are disabling, they may never be able to work again. This can lead to significant financial hardships for victims and their families. All of this is compounded by the physical pain and emotional trauma associated with these types of accidents.
At Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., we fight to help our clients recover fair compensation for all their damages, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning ability
- Lost enjoyment of life
- In-home assistance and care costs
As your Tallahassee pedestrian accident lawyer, Attorney Shapiro will fight for you. Our team can help you understand your options after a devastating accident and begin building a case to protect your rights.
Contact Our Firm for a Complimentary Consultation
At Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., we know the immense impact pedestrian accidents have on victims and their loved ones, and we have seen firsthand how a fair settlement or jury verdict can provide families with the financial resources they need to heal. We are proud to serve clients right here in our community and have spent more than 25 years fighting for the rights of ordinary individuals against the best interests of major insurance companies and other powerful entities.
If you have been injured or if your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident in Tallahassee, Leon County, or the surrounding areas, turn to our team for the compassionate, aggressive representation you need.
Paul A. Shapiro
I became a personal injury attorney because I wanted to help people. What we do here is really about you – it's about your injuries… your rights… and it's about fairness and justice for you. After 25 years in practice in Tallahassee, I'm proud to have provided counsel, and helped so many people get what they really deserve. At Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., we will always keep the personal in personal injury law.
— Paul A. Shapiro, Personal Injury Lawyer" Read Full Bio
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