Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in Miami?
A pedestrian accident can cause devastating injuries that will upend the pedestrian’s life in the blink of an eye. With no protection from a collision with a motor vehicle, whether on two wheels or four, a pedestrian can suffer significant injuries.
A pedestrian accident could result in broken bones, orthopedic injuries, internal damage, and spinal or brain injuries that require months of treatment and rehabilitation. Despite the risks of a pedestrian accident, people still walk. Pedestrians don’t usually think about the potential dangers of a collision with a motor vehicle when they walk on a road or street.
Because Miami enjoys good weather year-round, people often walk for exercise or recreation or get to work, school, or errands. But you may walk down a street or through an intersection in Miami without even realizing that the location poses serious risks for pedestrians. For more information, reach out to a Miami pedestrian lawyer.
Read on to learn more about the most dangerous places for pedestrians in Miami and about your legal rights and options if you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident with a motor vehicle.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Sadly, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in recent years. The Governors’ Highway Safety Association reports that pedestrian fatalities across the U.S. have recently reached the highest rate in the last four decades, with an average of approximately 20 pedestrian accident fatalities daily.
According to the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a total of 8,117 pedestrian accidents occurred statewide in one recent year, including 5,039 accidents resulting in non-incapacitating injuries, 1,265 accidents resulting in incapacitating injuries, and 715 fatal pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian accidents in the Miami area in one recent year include:
- 1,221 total crashes
- 960 crashes resulting in pedestrian injuries
- 84 fatal pedestrian accidents
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Miami?
An analysis of crash data by StreetsBlog USA identified some of the deadliest intersections in the U.S., based on the number of traffic fatalities, with a few of these intersections located in the Miami area, including:
- State Road 9 and Southwest 7th Street
- Northwest 54th Street and State Road 944
- Northwest 116th Way and U.S. 27
Other dangerous roads include:
- U.S. 1, particularly the stretch running between I-195 and I-395
- 12th Avenue in Little Havana, particularly the stretch between Southwest First Street and Flagler Street
Pedestrian accidents also occur in parking lots, parking garages, and on streets or areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, such as Ocean Drive, A1A, the Lincoln Road Mall, and Brickell Avenue.
Unfortunately, due to population density, the number of vehicles on the road, the size of many intersections, and Miami’s popularity as a tourist destination, many roads and intersections through Miami and South Florida pose a serious hazard to pedestrians.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents result from negligence on the part of motorists, such as:
- Aggressive driving/road rage
- Reckless driving, including excessive speeding or swerving around traffic
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Disregarding yield signs and lights
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk or intersection
- Turning without signaling, checking mirrors, or looking for pedestrians crossing the street
- Backing up without checking mirrors/cameras or looking behind
- Distracted driving, especially texting while driving
- Drowsy/fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver inexperience or unfamiliarity with traffic patterns
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance, such as failing to replace brakes or tires or repair broken lights and indicators
Other factors that can contribute to pedestrian accidents include poor road conditions, poor visibility due to heavy precipitation or low lighting, and unsafe road/intersection design that puts pedestrians at risk of accidents.
What Injuries Do Pedestrian Accidents Cause?
Pedestrians have little or no protection from a collision with a motor vehicle.
As a result, pedestrian accidents tend to cause:
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Degloving injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Broken bones
- Ligament sprains/tears
- Tendon and muscle strains/tears
- Whiplash injury
- Nerve damage
- Herniated spinal disc injury
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injury
- Traumatic amputation or limb loss
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
After a pedestrian accident, protect your interests and legal options and:
- Call 911 if you need immediate medical assistance or contact law enforcement directly to report the accident
- Get contact insurance information from the driver who hit you and any other motorists involved in the accident
- Notify your auto insurance provider
- Seek prompt medical attention to have a doctor examine you for injuries you suffered in the accident
- Keep any bills or invoices of expenses you incur because of the accident
- Request copies of the police accident report and your medical records from your treatment
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements if you need to take time off work due to your injuries
- Keep a journal to document the physical pain and difficulties you experience during your recovery from the accident
- Avoid posting on social media about the accident or your injuries, and refrain from posting photos or videos of yourself while undergoing treatment and rehabilitation for your injuries
Finally, reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation from the driver who hit you and their insurance companies.
Proving Fault for a Pedestrian Accident
In some cases, a driver may deny fault for hitting a pedestrian. You may need to rely on different kinds of evidence to help prove that the driver who hit you is liable for the accident and your injuries.
This evidence may include:
- Police accident reports
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Logs from the event data recorder (black box) in the driver’s vehicle
- Cell phone records
- Surveillance/traffic camera footage
- Dashcam footage
- Traffic signal and road sensor data
- Eyewitness testimony
- Accident reconstruction reports
Even if the evidence indicates that you share some responsibility for the accident, you can still pursue a compensation claim against an at-fault driver. Florida has a pure comparative negligence rule. This rule allows an injured party partly at fault for the accident that caused their injuries to file a claim against other at-fault parties.
However, this system also reduces a partly at-fault accident victim’s compensation in proportion to their percentage of responsibility for the accident. A pedestrian accident lawyer can advocate to maximize your compensation, even if an at-fault driver or insurance company tries to pin some of the blame for the accident on you.
Compensation Available to Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
After suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may have multiple options for recovering compensation. First, you can file a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits if you have a car insurance policy. Auto insurers in Florida must provide PIP coverage with car insurance policies. PIP can help pay for medical expenses to treat your injuries and reimburse you for lost wages up to the policy limits.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might also have the right to file an injury claim or lawsuit against the driver who hit you to recover compensation for expenses and losses you sustained due to the accident.
You might recover compensation for your:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Costs of long-term care and support services for disabilities that result from your injuries
- Personal property damaged or destroyed in the accident, such as damaged clothing or a broken phone or glasses
- Loss of income from missed work or temporarily reduced earning ability
- Loss of future income and job benefits if you suffer permanent disabilities
- Physical pain and emotional distress/suffering
- Reduced quality of life
If the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance or their policy limits won’t fully compensate you for your losses, you may have another option. You could file a claim with your auto insurance company if you purchased optional uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
How Can a Lawyer Help After a Pedestrian Accident?
While you focus on treating and rehabilitating your injuries from a pedestrian accident, a lawyer can help you secure the money you need for your recovery by:
- Investigating the accident to acquire evidence to help build a persuasive case for your right to compensation
- Working with accident reconstruction, medical, vocational, and financial experts who can provide opinion testimony to bolster the strength of your case
- Determining the cause of the accident and identifying the driver(s) and other parties who may have liability for your injuries and losses
- Evaluating your options for where to obtain compensation, including applicable insurance coverage from your insurance and the at-fault driver’s insurance
- Helping you get the medical care or specialist treatment you need for catastrophic injuries
- Dealing with medical bills and debt collectors on your behalf to take that stress off your shoulders during your recovery
- Preparing and filing insurance claims and demand letters to begin pursuing claims to recover compensation for your injuries and losses
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys to reach a fair and full settlement of your claims or taking your case to court and trial if liable parties refuse to pay you a fair settlement
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations in Florida Statutes Section 95.11 provides a four-year window for you to file a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident. If you file suit after the statutory period expires on your claim, the trial court may permanently dismiss your case. If that happens, you can lose the right to pursue compensation in court from the driver who hit you.
If a state government vehicle hit you, you must provide the Florida Department of Financial Services with notice of your claim. Florida Statutes Section 768.28 requires you to give notice within three years of the pedestrian accident. DFS then has 180 days to review your claim. You may not file a pedestrian accident lawsuit against the state until DFS denies your claim or the 180-day review period expires. Municipalities in the Miami area also have different claims notice requirements.
How Long Do Pedestrian Accident Claims Take?
Unfortunately, no one can predict how long you may need to wait to recover compensation after a pedestrian accident.
Different factors will affect the timeline of a compensation claim, including:
- The severity of your injuries and whether your injuries result in permanent disabilities
- The duration of your medical treatment and rehabilitation period
- Whether you miss time from your job or become temporarily or permanently disabled from working
- Whether other people also suffered injuries in the accident
- The number of at-fault/liable parties
- The availability of insurance coverage
- The financial resources of liable parties
- Whether you bear any share of responsibility for the accident
- Whether you need to file a lawsuit to pursue your claims
- The schedule imposed by the trial court on your court case
Will I Need to Go to Court to Get Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident?
Most injury claims resolve through settlement rather than by going to court or trial. Settlements help parties avoid the time and expense of litigation when the evidence strongly demonstrates that the driver bears responsibility for the pedestrian accident.
However, filing a lawsuit may become necessary if an at-fault driver or their insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement. Your attorney can advise you when going to trial will give you the best option for recovering full compensation for your injuries and losses.
Do I Need an Attorney to Negotiate a Settlement With the Insurance Company?
Don’t assume you can recover full compensation from the insurance company after a pedestrian accident without a lawyer. Insurers want to minimize the compensation they pay you and have various tactics they can use to deny or undervalue your claim. Having legal representation can give you the best chance to maximize your compensation.
A pedestrian accident attorney can investigate your claims, recover evidence to build a persuasive argument in favor of your right to compensation, and negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.