Florida – A Hotspot For Pedestrian Road Accidents
By Space Coast Daily // January 3, 2020
Worrying news has been released recently for pedestrians in the Sunshine State. Eight out of the top ten most dangerous communities for pedestrians are located in Florida.
Of 50,000 pedestrians who were killed by vehicles in the ten years between 2007 and 2017, over 11% occurred in Florida. Floridian roads have long been known to be perilous, but this information raises major concerns for well-being and safety in the state.
Pedestrian Accidents Are On The Rise
Traffic safety officials and travelers alike have always had concerns about pedestrian accidents since those traveling on foot are a lot more vulnerable to injuries and fatalities if involved in a crash when compared with the occupants of motor vehicles.
Over the past few years, however, the situation has become much worse.
Pedestrian deaths due to motor incidents increased by over 35% in the last decade while the number of trips on foot has only risen by 1%. Clearly, this disparity shows that something needs to be done about road safety.
The Most Dangerous Regions For Pedestrians
The top areas in the Sunshine State for pedestrian incidents include:
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
- Lakeland-Winter Haven
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers
Although the Miami-Dade metropolitan area didn’t make this list, it had the greatest number of total pedestrian deaths anywhere in the country – almost 1,550 during the ten-year timeframe.
What Happens If I’m Involved In A Pedestrian Incident?
For anyone who is injured in a pedestrian incident in Florida, one of the main concerns is how to pay for the essential medical bills.
The serious nature of most accidents means that victims usually need to stay in hospital for an extended period and receive extensive treatment.
Recovering the damages for those medical bills, not to mention work time that has been lost and the pain that has been suffered is paramount.
If you’re unlucky enough to be involved in a road accident in Florida as a pedestrian or in a vehicle, the best course of action is to seek advice from a personal injury attorney in Orlando.
There are several ways in which it’s possible to cover those costs. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage that all drivers must maintain in accordance with the state’s no-fault insurance law is often the first port of call. Pedestrians have no requirement to be covered by this type of insurance, however, for those who also drive, they may be protected.
PIP kicks in if you’ve been hit by a vehicle, whether or not you were traveling in one. If a pedestrian is injured and has no PIP cover of their own, the driver’s own PIP coverage can be extended to cover them.
Yet, there is a problem. The maximum cover for PIP is $10,000 and this can only be used to cover medical bills as well as a contribution towards any lost wages.
It’s possible for an injured pedestrian to obtain more money if they file a claim with the auto liability insurer of the driver to assert that the driver was to blame for the accident.
Those claims sometimes are paid however, the process is rarely a speedy one. A substantial amount of negotiation over settlement figures takes place first and in some cases, they even have to go to court.
Should the amount received be insufficient to cover the losses of the injured party or the driver have no liability insurance, all is not lost. It’s possible to explore a third-party liability claim against any other party which may hold responsibility or to file an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim with their own motor insurance company.
For all pedestrians, however, the most important thing is to take all necessary precautions to avoid being involved in an incident in the first place and to always be extremely vigilant while walking near roads.
Hopefully, the latest statistics will also encourage those responsible for road safety to take further action to protect all road users from harm.