Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Ocala, Florida
While they are much smaller with less power than others they share the road with, pedestrians in Ocala deserve the same courtesy and respect that other motorists do. Whether walking is a part of their daily commute, done for health and exercise, or social activity, all pedestrians should feel safe being out and about on foot.
Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries and insurmountable damages. Those with injuries from such an accident can significantly benefit from the services of an experienced Ocala pedestrian accident attorney.
If you or your family member suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, the time to reach out for legal help is now, and Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. is ready to help.
Your Ocala Pedestrian Accident Law Firm
Our legal team has extensive experience handling all types of vehicle accident claims in Ocala. We obtain settlements and awards in the six and seven figures for injured clients, and we can advise how much your claim is worth.
Pedestrians face many risks in Ocala, and some areas are more dangerous than others.
Some dangerous intersections and areas for pedestrians include:
- College Road and SW 27th Avenue
- Silver Springs Boulevard and Pine Avenue
- Silver Springs Boulevard and SE 25th Avenue
- Publix or Walmart parking lots
While these are higher-risk areas, pedestrians can suffer injuries anywhere in the area.
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No matter the location, pedestrians typically have the right-of-way in crosswalks, sidewalks, and public roads. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all Florida intersections, including those with no crosswalk markings, called unmarked crosswalks. Drivers may not block or keep part of their vehicle in the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or stop sign. When a motor vehicle blocks a crosswalk, it creates a danger for pedestrians.
A motorist must stop for a pedestrian crossing at a marked crosswalk when they are in or within one lane of the half of the road where the motorist is or is turning. Vehicles aren’t permitted to pass other vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. Additionally, when stopping at a crosswalk on a multi-lane road, a driver should stop approximately 30 feet before the crosswalk. This will reduce the chances of blocking a driver’s visibility in the other lane.
Drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians or who overtake or pass cars stopped for pedestrians face traffic citations, fines, and points on their license. More severe consequences apply if the driver causes serious bodily injury to a pedestrian due to a failure to yield.
However, far too few drivers stop to think about what they can do to protect pedestrians. For example, over 7,000 pedestrians lost their lives on U.S. roads in crashes involving motor vehicles in one recent year. This figure represents about one fatality every 75 minutes. One in six individuals who lost their lives in crashes in 2020 were pedestrians. Furthermore, there were about 104,000 pedestrian emergency department visits for non-fatal crash-related injuries in the same year.
Understanding the causes of all of these pedestrian versus automobile accidents is crucial in preventing and decreasing the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities each year. Common causes of accidents involving pedestrians in Ocala include:
About three times as many pedestrians get hit by cars turning left than by vehicles turning right, even at intersections with crosswalks signals. Why? Because turning drivers focus on other vehicles. They forget to look for any pedestrians.
Far too many pedestrian accidents happen when the motorist isn’t paying close attention to the road.
Distracted driving includes:
- Talking on a cell phone, texting, emailing, or otherwise using a smartphone
- Adjusting the vehicle’s air conditioner/heater
- Manipulating a navigation or infotainment system
- Tending to children or pets sitting in the backseat
- Eating or drinking
- Personal hygiene tasks
When a driver takes their eyes or mental focus off the road for even a split second, they place pedestrians at risk.
While many intersections have painted, designated crosswalks, many others don’t. The lack of clearly marked crosswalks can cause a motorist to forget to look for pedestrians, increasing the risk of pedestrian accidents. However, it’s still the driver’s responsibility to always be on the lookout for pedestrians—whether in a crosswalk or not.
People often say that every solution leads to new problems. This certainly applies to eco-friendly cars that are near pedestrians. Because of their inherently quiet nature, battery-operated vehicles and hybrids are 40 percent more likely to hit pedestrians than traditional gas-powered cars.
It’s only natural that pedestrians detect nearby traffic not just by sight but also by sound. In fact, the risk to pedestrians increases to 50 percent in residential areas. This is becoming such an issue that some countries even require that electric cars make more noise to prevent pedestrian collisions.
Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs (illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter) are far less likely to see or respond adequately to a pedestrian. They lack the thought process and reflexes necessary to realize a pedestrian is there and either stop on time or act to avoid hitting them. Impaired driving significantly increases the risk of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Studies show that there is an increase in pedestrian accidents during the evenings and on weekends, which is probably related to an increased time of alcohol use. About 13 percent of pedestrian collisions involve motor vehicle drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rates of at least 0.08 percent.
Traveling at higher speeds, drivers might not have the time necessary to react to an upcoming pedestrian. Speeding also increases the severity of any potential injury to the pedestrian. The higher the speed, the more likely an accident will occur, and the more likely the injuries will be severe.
If a vehicle doesn’t come to a complete and proper stop at a stop sign or traffic signal, the driver may fail to notice any nearby pedestrians. Instead, they may proceed through the intersection before they see a pedestrian.
Drivers without much experience are less likely to understand where pedestrians are likely to be present. They are also less likely to watch for and appropriately respond to pedestrians.
Improperly Installed or Defective Traffic Lights
Pedestrians and motorists alike depend upon the proper functioning of traffic signals. As such, a defective or improperly installed traffic light or pedestrian signal can lead to a devastating accident. You can hold the government entities responsible for these signals and lights for any accidents they cause.
Speeding in School Zones
Unfortunately, children are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. Safety in school zones is paramount to decreasing these risks, which is why school zones require significantly lower speeds. However, if drivers don’t adhere to the posted school zone speed limit, the risks to children increase significantly.
Failure to Follow Traffic Laws
All motorists on the road must follow traffic laws. By taking such actions as making illegal U-turns, failing to follow posted directional signs, and speeding, they contribute only to pedestrian accident risks. If their failure to follow the law results in an accident, they will be found negligent and therefore liable for the damages they cause.
Pedestrians are no match for motor vehicles. Drivers and their passengers get the luxury of seatbelts, crumple zones, airbags, and other safety features in the event of an accident. Pedestrians get nothing. As a result, pedestrian vs. automobile accidents are often quite severe and sometimes catastrophic or even fatal.
Common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Soft tissue damage: Including lacerations, contusions, sprains, strains, dislocations, and tears. While it typically takes less time to recover from a soft tissue injury, this injury can cause serious pain, scars, and sometimes long-term problems or disabilities.
- Broken bones and fractures: Pedestrians often break the bones in their wrists, hands, arms, shoulders, legs, ankles, hips, pelvis, and back in motor vehicle-involved accidents. Serious fractures can occur, including compound fractures when the broken bone breaks through the skin. Broken bones are usually quite painful and can result in long-term problems. Doctors may need to amputate irreparably broken or crushed limbs.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Head and brain injuries, including TBIs and concussions, are sometimes life-altering and common in accidents with pedestrians. A single forceful blow to the head can inflict severe damage. Symptoms of a TBI include loss of consciousness, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, headaches, drowsiness, difficulty speaking, sleep difficulties, dizziness, decreased coordination, light or sound sensitivities, mood swings, anxiety, depression, concentration problems, and clear fluid leaking from the ears.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI): Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of SCIs in the U.S. today. Still, thousands of SCIs happen in pedestrian accidents as well. Spinal cord injuries are serious and can sometimes result in lifelong paralysis or even death. They are often life-altering and usually require long-term care.
The statute of limitations is a law regarding how much time someone has to file a legal claim. Florida personal injury cases, like those stemming from pedestrian accidents, have a four-year statute of limitations. This means that the injured party has four years from the date of the accident to file a legal case in civil court.
Since you must go through the proper actions before filing a case, contacting a lawyer isn’t something to do at the last minute or as a last resort. Your Ocala pedestrian accident lawyer will need time to investigate your injuries and accident, file your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company.
If we cannot reach a fair agreement with an insurer, then we can litigate your case. If you call a month before the applicable statute of limitations expires, we will not have as much time to properly build your case. Contacting us as soon as possible is in your best interest.
If you fail to file a claim within this strict legal deadline, it won’t be viable. You can still file a claim, but the at-fault party’s insurance company or attorney will file a motion to have the case dismissed because of the expired statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations has truly expired, the judge will grant their motion and throw out your case. Then, you will have no legal recourse to recoup your losses from the accident.
Unfortunately, there’s no average settlement amount for pedestrian accident claims. How much your claim is worth depends on the specific details surrounding your case, which may include losses such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as those that are difficult to track, such as pain and suffering costs.
If you desire an informed estimation as to what your pedestrian accident injury claim is worth, you will need to talk to an experienced Ocala pedestrian accident attorney. After we complete an initial case evaluation, our legal team can estimate what your case might be worth.
These factors can affect the value of your pedestrian accident claim:
- The value of your damages
- The type and extent of your injuries
- How many parties are at-fault for the accident
- The insurance coverage limits for the at-fault parties
- Your auto insurance coverage limits (even though you weren’t driving, your policy might cover your injuries)
- The insurance company’s track record of setting claims
- What similar cases in your area have recently settled for
Do You Need an Experienced Ocala Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Being in a pedestrian accident can come as quite a shock. You may not know what to do next or what your rights are. Rest assured, when you call our experienced legal team at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., you have come to the right place. We will take care of all of the details.
“My experience was beyond satisfactory, from the first call with Mr. Bagen for consultation, to working with Megan to achieve the end goal. I definitely want to thank them for their hard work and dedication to my case along with the warm and friendly care. My calls were always returned in a timely manner, and no matter the question I had Megan always helped. I would highly recommend.
Once again I can’t thank you guys enough!” – Teresa S.
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1521 S Pine Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471