As of 2011, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano region of Florida was named as the fourth most dangerous metropolitan area in the nation for pedestrians to move about, according to Transportation for America. South Florida has a large elderly population, and Miami-Dade County has the largest amount of elder pedestrian with vehicle accidents in the state. Our Miami personal injury lawyers understand that efforts have been made to make South Florida safer for our elderly population, but such efforts have not proven to be successful.
As people grow older, their ability to move, see and hear becomes a limitation on their activities of daily life. The elderly feel healthier in today’s world than they did ten, twenty or even thirty years ago, so many of these individuals are choosing to live in their own homes as opposed to assisted living facilities. While assisted living facilities offer care in helping the elderly walk down the street to the market, or for simple exercise, many elderly individuals living in their own homes do not have this luxury.
What Can Be Done To Limit Elderly Pedestrian Accidents
There are a variety of safety measures that can be taken in South Florida to help prevent our elderly population from suffering significant injuries and even death from accidents, whether they are hit by a cyclist, or by a motorist. The measures listed below, if followed, could be a step in the right direction in preventing tragic, unnecessary injuries and deaths.
• Elderly individuals often lose their reflexes when reacting to particular action, so it is important that all elderly citizens have someone they can call to help guide them when walking on a street or sidewalk.
• The implementation of signs in South Florida that indicate a high population for elderly individuals, much like the signs that warn us of children crossing by school zones would alert motorists and cyclists.
• Driver education to instruct motorists to be cognizant of the high elderly population in South Florida would bring awareness to the growing problem of elderly pedestrian accidents.
• Elderly individuals should be evaluated by their physicians to ensure they are physically able to walk, as many people tend to travel by foot when they aren’t physically capable of doing so.
While Miami-Dade County has taken the above-measures into consideration, there simply has not been sufficient communication of these efforts to the community. With elderly pedestrian accidents being so prevalent in South Florida, something must be done. Day after day there is a story of some pedestrian being hit, and the fatality rate is fairly high, as pedestrians are not afforded the same protection as motor vehicles that shield their passengers from impact.
Who Is At Fault In Elderly Pedestrian Accidents?
Sometimes it is very easy to determine who is at fault in a pedestrian accident. For example, if the driver of a motor vehicle (either a truck, car or motorcycle) was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time he or she hit a pedestrian, then fault would likely be placed on the driver. However, in situations where it is unclear and a driver alleges he or she simply could not prevent the collision, further investigation is warranted. Under Florida law, as in all states, the reasonable person standard is used to determine fault. The two questions below must be addressed when determining fault.
• Was the driver acting as a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances?
• Was the elderly pedestrian acting as a reasonable elderly person would under the same or similar circumstances?
More often than not, the driver is found negligent, and this is because a driver is in a better position to prevent an accident. The driver has the ability to stop quickly, swerve around a pedestrian, and a driver is more protected in the event of a collision, unlike the pedestrian, especially elderly pedestrians who have limited mobility. Our firm has successfully respresented 100’s of elderly people who have been struck while crossing streets and driveways. We have tried a good number of pedestrian cases to verdict successfully and settled many more.
If you are an elderly pedestrian who has suffered an injury due to a pedestrian accident, or if your loved one has suffered an injury, you should speak with an attorney right away to answer those two questions above to determine who is at fault in your particular case. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our South Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation
The law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano employs Miami Pedestrian Accident Lawyers who have over 100 years of combined experience in advocating for their clients who have suffered personal injuries as a result of another’s negligent conduct. Our skilled attorneys have been named “Superlawyers,” giving them the title of being some of the best lawyers in America. Our Miami Pedestrian Accident Lawyers have also earned a rating of “AV” by Martindale Hubbell and have been voted “South Florida’s Top Rated Lawyers” by the Miami Herald. They have also been invited to be members of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Call Greenberg Stone and Urbano today to schedule your free consultation. One of our dedicated pedestrian accident lawyers will investigate and evaluate your potential personal injury claim. You may contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.