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    When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car – Step-by-Step Guide

    Florida is the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrians with 5,433 pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017. During that 10-year period, Orlando had 656 pedestrian deaths. In 2018, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 720 pedestrian fatalities and 7,935 pedestrian injuries.

    Catastrophic Injuries are Common When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car

    As you can imagine, pedestrians who survive getting hit by a car tend to suffer catastrophic injuries. Common pedestrian injuries include traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, chest and abdominal injuries, and c-spine dislocations.

    The catastrophic nature of pedestrian injuries typically results in lengthy hospital stays, ambulance and medical bills, rehabilitation, surgeries, loss of income, and other long-term damages.

    In Florida, pedestrian accidents have been trending up, and the COVID-19 pandemic could have an effect we’ve yet to fully understand. The pandemic has prompted more people to participate in outdoor activities including walking and jogging.

    Meanwhile, a surge in speeding and reckless driving has been noted across the United States after stay-at-home orders went into effect. At Leighton Law, we’ve noticed an increase in devastating pedestrian accidents and injuries this year.

    Contributing Factors for Pedestrian Injuries

    There are many risk factors for pedestrian injuries including:

    • Age and socio-economic status — Children, the elderly, and those of lower socio-economic status are especially at risk. Pedestrians aged 65 and up represented 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in 2017.
    • Alcohol impairment — 47 percent of pedestrian fatalities involved alcohol impairment on the part of either the driver or the pedestrian.
    • Vehicle speed — The likelihood of a pedestrian accident and the severity of pedestrian injuries both increase with vehicle speed.
    • Time of day and location — Night is far deadlier than day for pedestrians as are urban areas and non-intersection locations.

    What to Do When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car in Florida

    When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the first priority is to get emergency medical care. Recovery will likely be a long, involved process. The steps below can help the pedestrian and their loved ones navigate it.

    • Seek medical assistance immediately — Call 9-1-1 and render emergency first aid. Even if the pedestrian appears to be okay, it’s important to be evaluated by a medical professional.
    • Call the police — You’ll also want police on the scene to create a police report, evaluate the parties for drug or alcohol impairment, and investigate the cause of the accident.
    • Document injuries — Emergency responders and doctors will create medical records of their interactions with the pedestrian, but you should also document these injuries along with any symptoms that may appear once the pedestrian has been released and is recovering at home.
    • Document the scene of the accident — Use your smartphone to document the scene of the accident, ideally at the time it occurred. This may be the furthest thing on your mind if your loved one has been hit by a car, but it could be vitally important in the future. Thus, once emergency responders are on the scene and attending to your loved one, take a few minutes to videotape the scene. This may help your personal injury lawyer later establish contributing factors. Afterward, consider posting on your community’s social media page, asking if anyone witnessed the accident or has dash cam footage they can share. Dash cam and security footage is evidence, but it’s also short-lived and at risk of being recorded over by newer footage.
    • Do Not Discuss Fault — This is a conversation you’ll want to avoid, both on the scene as well as on the phone with the motorist’s insurance company. The only people you should share your version of the accident with are: your personal injury attorney, medical personnel, and your own insurance company. Why? These are the people looking after your best interests. Likewise, refer the other motorist’s insurance representatives to your attorney when they call or send correspondence.
    • Contact your own auto insurance company — While you weren’t in a car, as a pedestrian injured in an auto accident, your auto insurance policy likely provides coverage for pedestrian accidents. You’ll want to get the accident on record should you later need to file a medical or disability claim related to the pedestrian accident.
    • Schedule a consultation with Leighton Law — As noted earlier, pedestrian injuries are often catastrophic injuries resulting in significant damages. You may be facing long-term, if not permanent, disability, never-ending medical bills, pain and suffering, and a future without an income. An experienced trial lawyer specializing in pedestrian injuries can help secure your future by holding the responsible parties accountable and obtaining an equitable award that addresses all of your losses.
    When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car – Step-by-Step Guide

    When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car – Step-by-Step Guide

    Leighton Law is on your side. John Leighton is a board-certified personal injury lawyer specializing in catastrophic pedestrian injuries. We have obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Florida, and we are committed to take our cases all the way through to a verdict. We work on a contingency basis, so there’s no upfront out-of-pocket expense to you. Rather, we’re paid out of the final settlement amount.

    We have a long history of representing pedestrians who are injured and families whose loved ones were killed. In this day and age of distracted driving, pedestrian injuries and deaths are becoming even more common. The lawyers at Leighton Law have litigated and tried many distracted driving and pedestrian-strike cases. Sadly, many involve children and senior citizens.

    We want you to recover — physically, mentally, and financially. We understand this is a defining battle in your lifetime, and you do not have to fight it alone. Let the experienced trial attorneys at Leighton Law discover the facts surrounding your pedestrian accident and pursue legal action on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.


    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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