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Lakeland Pedestrian Accident Attorney

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The beautiful weather of Central Florida is amenable to walking, and the many attractions in Lakeland and throughout Polk County only encourage pedestrian traffic. Unfortunately, the presence of careless drivers can make our streets, intersections, and parking lots dangerous for those who choose to get around on foot. When negligence causes an injury or wrongful death, victims have rights.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Polk County or anywhere in the surrounding area, a Lakeland pedestrian accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo can help you seek fair and just compensation for your losses.

Major Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Lakeland

A painted crosswalk on a city street

According to a 2022 study, the Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area ranked as the ninth most dangerous place in the United States for pedestrians. Among the most dangerous local stretches are U.S. Highway 17-92 at Memorial Boulevard, Florida State Road 60, and the Highway 27 corridor.

Why are Lakeland and Polk County so dangerous for pedestrians? Road design and infrastructure plays a role. In some areas, pedestrian crosswalks are few and far between, forcing pedestrians to make dangerous and hurried crossings where drivers aren’t expecting foot traffic.

Lack of crosswalks and pedestrian bridges in highly trafficked areas adds to the danger. Too-high speed limits and too little time between traffic signals can also put pedestrians at risk.

Dangerously Bad Drivers in Polk County

An aerial overhead view of pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk

While infrastructure needs improvement, and Polk County officials are taking steps in that direction, a persistent danger remains in the form of reckless and negligent drivers.

Some of the biggest dangers pedestrians face on Florida streets and highways include:

  • Distracted driving: Drivers who multi-task behind the wheel pose a major risk to pedestrians. Texting while driving is especially dangerous, as it occupies the driver’s eyes, hands, and mind. When pedestrians are present, distracted drivers may not have time to brake or may not notice the pedestrian at all. An experienced Pedestrian accident attorney in Lakeland can find facts and evidence that support claims of distracted driving and other forms of driver negligence.
  • Inattentive driving: Even if they are not distracted, inattentive drivers can pose a serious threat to pedestrians. Motorists must be attentive and aware of their surroundings at all times. Failure to pay attention in crosswalks, especially when executing turns, can result in dangerous collisions. Drivers who pull out of parking spots in reverse without checking their rear-view mirrors may also strike defenseless people walking behind their vehicles.
  • Drunk driving: Walking at night is more dangerous than walking during daylight hours, for more reason than one. The presence of drunk drivers on Lakeland roads poses a grave threat for anyone who is walking. If you must walk at night, avoid wearing dark clothing. Reflective clothing, wearable lights, and other accessories can make you more visible to all drivers.

Even if you are certain a driver violated your rights and injured you, you may be daunted by the prospect of trying to prove that driver’s negligence in the legal system. An experienced Lakeland personal injury attorney can take that burden off your shoulders, conducting a thorough investigation of the cause of your accident and working to hold the negligent party or parties accountable to the full extent of the law.

The Severity of Pedestrian Accident Injuries

A traffic signal showing that it's safe to cross the street

We sometimes take for granted the safety features of automobiles, from seat belts and airbags, to lane assist and crash detection systems. Pedestrians have none of these protections and are completely vulnerable to injury when involved in a collision with an automobile.

Pedestrian accidents often result in:

  • Broken bones: The point of impact in a pedestrian accident is often the pedestrian’s hips, pelvis, and thighs. The force of a moving vehicle, even at slow speeds, can easily break these bones.
  • Secondary injuries: When a car strikes a pedestrian, the accident victim is often pushed to the ground or into another stationary object, resulting in secondary injuries to the hands, wrists, head, and shoulders.
  • Head injuries: Whether sustained as a primary or secondary injury, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change the life of the victim forever. Serious head injuries can result in impaired memory and cognition, making it difficult for the victim to concentrate and perform mental tasks that were once easy.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the neck and back can be especially painful and their effects wide-ranging. Orthopedic spine injuries include fractures and herniated discs. Damage to the nervous system can result in paralysis and, in extreme cases, paraplegia or quadriplegia.

The injuries pedestrians suffer are often severe and life-threatening. All too often, they prove fatal. Pedestrian deaths in the U.S. are at a 40-year high, with nearly 20 people dying every day in collisions with automobiles.

Florida ranks high on the list of pedestrian fatalities. Why are our streets and roads so dangerous? Some experts posit that communities are more spread out in large states, causing people on foot to have to travel greater distances to get to their destinations.

Another cause may be the nice weather, which encourages foot traffic. The large presence of SUVs may also contribute to pedestrian deaths, as they pose a greater risk to people on foot than smaller vehicles.

Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Case

A printed medical billing statement with a stethoscope on top of it

For those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents, one question that often surfaces is: What damages am I entitled to?

While every case is unique, some of the damages an injured pedestrian may receive after an accident include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgeries, medication, physical therapy and adaptive equipment such as crutches, braces, and wheelchairs.
  • Lost wages, including past and future earnings.
  • Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life.

Assessing damages is a complex undertaking that should be handled with care and attention to detail. By thoroughly assessing the many ways this accident has affected your life, a knowledgeable Lakeland pedestrian accident lawyer can help you maximize the value of your claim.

The Importance of Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

People crossing a crosswalk across a street by the beach

Whether you were injured in a crosswalk in downtown Lakeland or a street or highway anywhere in Polk County, the injuries you face may cause you significant pain, suffering, and financial hardship. The lawyer you choose at this time can make a critical difference to your future.

If an insurance company contacts you after your accident, they will likely try to persuade you to accept a settlement offer that is worth less than the actual value of your case. To protect your financial future, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer before signing anything. Your medical bills and other expenses may last far into the future—possibly for the rest of your life.

A settlement offer may sound generous now, but it might fall short on a longer timeline, and once you sign your name, you can’t go back. This is your one chance to obtain compensation for your injuries and other hardships.

At Kogan & DiSalvo, an experienced Polk County pedestrian accident lawyer is here to help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation available under Florida personal injury laws. We have successfully handled numerous personal injury claims involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

Contact the Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo

Lawyer with pen explaining document next to gavel and scales

You don’t have to face this complex legal issue alone. A Lakeland pedestrian accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo can help you pursue the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, make up for lost wages, and make you whole after a careless driver injured you. Contact our law offices today to arrange a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.

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