Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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In South Florida, many people try to stay healthy and lead an active lifestyle. Walking, jogging, and bicycling are three common exercises people of all ages enjoy. However, our lawyers know that danger lurks around every corner. Hundreds of pedestrians are injured or killed each year in Florida. This number hopefully will not go up, but one cannot be sure given the number of distractions people have while driving these days. Our personal injury attorneys know how to protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

As experienced Miami personal injury lawyers, we see many cases just like the one that appeared in the Miami Herald on September 25, 2016. A driver left the scene of a fatal crash with a person who was jogging according to Florida Highway Patrol. Unfortunately, the man did not have identification on him and police sought the community’s help identifying him.  The driver ultimately identified herself to law enforcement because she believed she hit something along the side of the road. The crash occurred around 6:30 in the morning on State Road 84 in West Broward. The initial investigation reveals that the right front portion of the car struck the jogger. Continue reading →

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This is the second installment in our two-part blog post discussing the potential danger to children when vehicles back out of a driveway.  Although motorists might not consider this simple driving maneuver a high risk activity, hundreds of kids die and over ten thousand are injured by vehicles backing up every year.  This installment discusses legal changes and safety strategies designed to prevent these tragic child pedestrian accidents.

New Rear Visibility Safety Standards

Fortunately, The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act has prompted new standards from the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Under the final rule issued April 7, 2014, the required field of vision for all passenger vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds has been expanded.  The regulations mandate that the area behind a vehicle be visible to a driver when the vehicle is put into reverse.  The DOT presumes that motor vehicle manufacturers will install rear back up video monitoring systems with in-dash displays to comply with the requirements. Continue reading →

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Although most people recognize the danger posed by intoxicated and distracted drivers on Florida roadways, the risk of injury or death posed by a motor vehicle can exist much closer to home.  The family driveway can be a dangerous place for small children.  Vehicles backing over children while pulling out of driveways claim the lives of fifty children per week according to the website kidsandcars.org.  The site also indicates that approximately 7 in 10 fatal back up accidents occur when a relative is behind the wheel.  In this two-part blog post, our Miami personal injury attorneys provide important safety information that can reduce the risk of a back over crash.  Part I of this article focuses on important risk factors while Part II discusses new safety standards and preventative measures.

Many of these tragic fatal pedestrian accidents are the result of something referred to as the “Bye-Bye Syndrome.”  This situation occurs because children do not want adults to leave, so they frequently follow departing adults outside into the driveway.  The drivers are unaware that their kids are no longer safe inside the home because they do not check behind the vehicle before climbing into their car.

These types of auto accidents have a particularly high fatality rate because extremely young children often lack the experience and cognitive skills to fully appreciate the potential danger of an approaching vehicle.  This mean that small children who are not visible through rearview mirrors and not protected by safety equipment face a disproportionately high risk of suffering a severe injury like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), or even death. Continue reading →

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On any given day, you and your family will likely walk through a parking lot.  Parking lots are everywhere and provide essential parking close to your favorite stores, attractions, and more.  While generally no harm will befall you when walking or driving in a parking lot, on occasion, parking lot accidents can occur.  Last year, a parking lot accident turned fatal when an older woman trying to back out of a space hit a group of people, killing three of them.  Our Miami pedestrian accident attorneys have found a report, released by the Florida Highway Patrol, that states the 79 year old driver was backing out of a parking spot in a Chevrolet Tahoe when she kept going and rammed the group of pedestrians.  Three died as a result of their extensive injuries.

A Fort Lauderdale accident the year prior killed two men.  A young woman who was intoxicated at the time of the crash killed two homeless men.  She failed to negotiate a turn and drove into a parking lot, striking the men that had been sitting there.

The Miami pedestrian accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano have assisted in a number of parking lot accidents, some involving pedestrian accidents and others involving multiple vehicles.  Pedestrian accidents are among the most serious of parking lot accidents.  The following is a look at some parking lot safety tips designed to keep you and your family safe while parking or walking in a parking lot. Continue reading →

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This is Part II of our two-part blog post reviewing why Florida has been deemed the most dangerous state for pedestrians and discussing the benefits and difficulties faced by injured pedestrians pursuing legal remedies.  As this post makes clear, pedestrian accident lawsuits often involve severe injuries and aggressive attempts by insurance companies to transfer blame to the pedestrian.  If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Miami, we invite you to contact our lawyers about your specific situation.

Florida Criminal Justice System Often Fails to Achieve Justice for Injured Pedestrians

If you are a pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle or a family member of someone who dies in a pedestrian accident, your grief and anguish can be intensified by a lack of justice.  Negligent drivers who cause injury to pedestrians often receive sentences in Florida that do not provide the victim and/or the victim’s family with a sense of justice.  The Orlando Sentinel article that closely analyzed pedestrian accidents in Florida reported that out of 54 criminal cases involving drivers who ran over pedestrians, motorists who caused serious injury and death faced negligible or no jail time.

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Florida offers enviable tropical weather, an abundance of beaches, and tourist attractions that draw visitors from around the globe.  Foot traffic is extremely common whether we are talking about University of Miami students headed to the beach or nightclubs on the weekend, tourists visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, or fitness minded individuals jogging to stay in shape.  During a six year period ending in 2012, 333 pedestrians were killed in pedestrian accidents in Orlando with similar pedestrian death tolls in Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa, which makes Florida the nation’s deadliest state for pedestrians.  This two-part blog post examines the risk of injury and death faced by a Florida pedestrian, as well as the challenges and benefits of pursuing a legal claim for injuries or wrongful death.

Florida Receives Notorious Title “Most Dangerous U.S. State for Pedestrians”

During the 2000 decade and so far this decade, the author of a widely cited study based on census data that evaluated pedestrian safety ranked Orlando as the nation’s deadliest city.  Tampa was the second most dangerous city with Jacksonville not far behind in third.  Approximately 850 pedestrians are hit by motor vehicles in Central Florida annually with about 150 suffering debilitating injuries and 40-70 dying.

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Parking lots are spread across the United States, and especially concentrated in bustling South Florida.  Parking lots can be found near shopping centers, businesses, schools, beaches, hotels, apartment complexes, and many more high traffic areas.  An astonishing one out of every five motor vehicle accidents takes place in a parking lot.  Recent studies show that the number of pedestrians injured in parking lots is on the rise.  In fact, about 20 percent of all pedestrian accidents now happen in the parking lots of malls, shopping centers, supermarkets, and big box stores.

Child Victims

            Many pedestrians killed in parking lot accidents in Miami are children between the ages of five and nine.  More than 22 percent of all fatal child traffic crashes were pedestrians.  Most of these accidents happen when drivers fail to see children while backing up in their vehicle.

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The weekend of March 21, 2014 proved deadly for South Florida walkers after two adults and a child died and three other individuals were injured by car crashes. Our Miami personal injury lawyers know how these deaths have sadly become a part of South Florida’s lethal history for walkers:

• On a Friday night, in Coral Springs, two men were crossing North University Drive around 9 p.m. They were midway across when they were hit by a vehicle. Jose Gutierrez, a 22 year old young man, died instantly as a result of his injuries, while 20 year old Tyler Sanders-Nielson was airlifted to Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach with life-threatening injuries.

• Twenty-four hours later, four year old Abdallah Staih, his mother Natalie Munzer Alja’Ouni, and eight month old brother Ahmad Staih, were walking along the sidewalk on Pine Island Road in Sunrise. The two young boys were riding in a dual stroller. A driver, who was attempting to avoid collision with another vehicle, lost control and hit the family. The stroller was impacted heavily, and four year old Abdallah was killed. Abdallah’s mother and brother were sent to the hospital, were both are said to be in stable condition.

• On Sunday afternoon, 19 year old Jacqueline Elizabeth Postrel-Jambor was skateboarding in North Miami Beach along Northeast 23rd Avenue. A Ford sedan traveling on Northeast 137th Street fatally struck the young woman.
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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.
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Transportation for America, a group that advocates for the rebuilding of our nation’s road infrastructure, has named four Florida metropolitan areas at the top of the country’s 52 most dangerous large metros for pedestrians: Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale.

Nearly 50,000 pedestrians died in the United States from 2000 to 2009. This is the equivalent of a full jumbo jet crash every month. Florida suffered 5,100 pedestrian deaths during the period, giving the state the highest Pedestrian Danger index in the nation.

Vehicle Fatality Rates Down

Although Transportation for America’s “Dangerous by Design” report states that overall traffic fatality rates have gone down across the nation, it also found that pedestrian fatalities have decreased only half the rate of motorists and passenger fatalities. In fact, in 15 of the largest metro areas, death rates for pedestrians have increased.

Vehicle Transportation Given Priority Over Pedestrians

According to einnews.com, the reason why Florida ranked so badly is the state’s rapid growth during the last 50 years. For example, the unprecedented growth in areas of Central Florida has given priority to people traveling long distances between home, school, work and errands, therefore designing easier routes for cars, trucks and buses and not for pedestrians.

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation:

  • 22.7% of all traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries involve pedestrians
  • and bicyclists
  • 48% of pedestrians are killed when crossing the road, but not at an
  • intersection
  • 43% of pedestrian traffic fatalities occur at night on illuminated streets
  • 40% of all pedestrian fatalities are alcohol related.

South Florida Not Far Behind

South Florida continues to be a place where pedestrians get killed almost on a daily basis. Most recently, a 58-year-old man was killed as he crossed a street in Fort Lauderdale last weekend. According to miamiherald.com, Lawrence Weir of Lauderdale Lakes was crossing Northwest 31st Avenue near 13th Street just before 7 pm Saturday when he was struck by a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500. The driver, Donald Evans, stopped and waited for police to arrive. Unfortunately, Mr. Weir was pronounced dead at the scene.

Additionally, an elderly woman lost control of her SUV and hit another pedestrian, this time in Miami. The accident happened in the parking lot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on North Miami Avenue just as service let out, stunning parishioners. Fortunately this pedestrian survived and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is still recovering from his injuries. The elderly driver was given a citation.
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