Despite recent improvements, Florida has more pedestrian accidents than nearly any other state. According to research from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Florida was the fifth-most-dangerous state for walkers in 2013. For every 100,000 people, 2.56 sustained fatal injuries while walking. Fifth place may sound bad, but it is a noteworthy improvement. Florida was the most dangerous state for pedestrian five years in a row! However, it has since upgraded its safety features to help prevent accidents. Better lighting for roads and sidewalks plays a role in lowering the number of injuries and fatalities. New bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks also have helped. If you or a loved one has suffered serious or fatal injuries from a fall or being struck by a car because of inadequate lighting on a sidewalk or road, call the Montero Law Center for a free consultation. Our legal team is standing by to help you seek justice and fair compensation.
How does inadequate lighting contribute to pedestrian injuries?
The most serious pedestrian accidents usually involve vehicles. Inadequate lighting makes it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians walking along or crossing roads.
A study from Florida’s Department of Transportation shows that street lighting plays an important role in preventing accidents. The study finds that street lights reduce the odds of fatal injuries by 54 percent while crossing at an intersection and 42 percent while crossing midblock. The percentages pertain to dark roads without any street lighting.
When intersections have adequate lighting, motorists can see pedestrians as they cross. Without abundant lighting, it is difficult for drivers to see pedestrians before it is too late.
Inadequate lighting also can cause pedestrians to sustain slip and fall injuries. When people cannot see sidewalks well, they may trip over cracks and holes. Adding light to pedestrian walkways reduces the risk simply by helping walkers see obstacles. Without enough light, these otherwise benign obstacles essentially turn into traps that can cause serious injuries.
What are some injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents?
Inadequate lighting can contribute to a wide range of pedestrian injuries. When poor lighting makes it difficult for pedestrians to see walkways, it puts them in danger of slip and fall injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries that can cause mobility issues and decreased cognitive abilities.
- Broken hips and other bones that may require expensive surgeries and months of rehabilitation therapy.
- Back and neck injuries that can cause chronic pain and may require surgery.
- Spinal cord injuries that can result in paralysis.
Injuries often become even more serious when vehicles are involved. Even a small car traveling at a low speed can strike a pedestrian with tremendous force. It doesn’t take much of an impact for someone to suffer a concussion or broken bone.
The most serious injuries usually happen when cars strike pedestrians head on. When a pedestrian is struck by the front of a car, he or she may sustain several injuries. The pedestrian’s legs are often injured when struck by the front fender. If there is enough force, the pedestrian may then get injured by hitting the car’s hood or window. Finally, the pedestrian can sustain another injury by falling off the car and striking the pavement.
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If inadequate lighting caused injuries to you or someone you know, then you may need to seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Florida has a four-year statute of limitations for personal injury suits. Claims against the government, however, have three-year limits. Because you likely will name a city or county government in the suit, it is important to file paperwork within three years of the accident.
Contact the Montero Law Center to learn more about how you can get compensated for lost wages, medical bills, disabilities, and suffering. Having an experienced law firm on your side could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.