Pinellas County, Florida has unfortunately acquired notoriety for being among the most unsafe locations for pedestrians and cyclists. Within recent years, the frequency of accidents involving individuals on foot or bicycle in this area remains alarmingly high. Concerns arise among St. Petersburg residents regarding the potential correlation between these incidents and the increased likelihood of sustaining injuries in automobile accidents.
The impact of a car accident to a person on foot or on a bike is extreme. Catastrophic injuries or fatalities are much more likely. The financial burden of these types of incidents can be immense. PIP insurance law in Florida can be tricky to navigate and makes these collisions even more problematic. Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorneys are an invaluable resource in the wake of such accidents.
Statistics on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accidents in Pinellas County
According to recent data, the stunning shores and bustling streets from St. Petersburg up to Clearwater have become increasingly perilous for vulnerable road users. In 2021, after a couple died while crossing at a crosswalk on Central Avenue, the Tampa Bay Times published an article about the already shocking rise in pedestrian deaths. At the time, the number had shot from 49 to 85 pedestrian lives lost from a car accident.
Naturally, the Pinellas County local government and police force set out to use measures to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths. Nonetheless, the statistics for 2022 resulted in 107 deaths, a 25.8% increase. This year shows 40 deaths and 100 injuries. Clearly, despite some current improvements, the danger for pedestrians and cyclists from vehicular collisions is still significant.
What’s Causing So Many Vehicle-Pedestrian Incidents?
Forward Pinellas, a local organization, has been studying what’s causing accidents. Their Safe Streets Pinellas plan called “Vision Zero” hopes to reduce the number of pedestrian or cyclist deaths to zero by 2045. They have a very comprehensive amount of data on traffic collisions. Sadly, driver negligence is the cause of most accidents. This includes speeding, failure to yield, and distracted driving.
Keep in mind that intersections are the most dangerous places for all kinds of vehicular accidents. This is especially true for those involving people on foot or on bicycles. When drivers are rushing or not paying attention, the chances of an accident go way up. Pinellas County only grows more dense with residents and visitors every day. Respectively, traffic collisions are also likely to increase without serious measures in place.
Some of the Main Factors Contributing to Risky Conditions for Pedestrians and Cyclists
Poorly designed infrastructure and the absence of proper sidewalks or bike lanes pose significant risks for pedestrians and cyclists in all parts of the St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area. When roads lack dedicated spaces for walking and biking, individuals are forced to share the road with vehicles, increasing the chances of accidents. In Largo, efforts to repair sidewalks were completed in August with hopes of reducing pedestrian accidents.
The high traffic volumes in congested areas further contribute to the hazardous conditions faced by pedestrians and cyclists. The bustling streets of downtown St. Petersburg can result in decreased visibility, limited maneuverability, and heightened potential for collisions between motorists and vulnerable road users.
Driving above the recommended speed is a leading cause of accidents in the area. Ulmerton Road in Largo is known for being one of the most dangerous areas for accidents due to speeding. Park Blvd. from Pinellas Park over to Seminole is so problematic that it’s where Forward Pinellas chose to implement the pilot study for their project to improve driver behavior.
Distracted driving is a menacing problem that puts pedestrians and cyclists at great risk in Pinellas County. Motorists using mobile phones, engaging with in-vehicle technology, or being generally inattentive divert their attention from the road, making it more likely for them to fail to notice pedestrians or cyclists.
The surge in population within the St. Petersburg area introduces added intricacies to the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety. As there has been a notable 2.2% growth in residents from 2021 to 2022, the roads now experience increased congestion. This is heightening the risk of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists taking place. Efforts are being made on particular bad patches for traffic, such as new construction on U.S. 19 from State Road 580 to County Road 39. This should help with the congestion-related accidents between Tampa commuters and Dunedin or Palm Harbor.
What Kinds of Injuries Result from Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents?
Pedestrian and bicycle crashes can result in various types of injuries, ranging from minor bruises to severe traumas. These incidents often occur due to negligence, lack of awareness, or failure to follow traffic rules. It’s essential for pedestrians and cyclists to prioritize safety by following traffic regulations, wearing proper helmets, being vigilant of their surroundings, and utilizing designated paths whenever possible.
Here are the different kinds of injuries that may arise from such accidents:
Fractures and bone injuries are commonly seen in pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The impact from a vehicle collision or fall can lead to broken bones, particularly in the limbs, pelvis, or spine. Depending on the severity, fractures may require immediate medical attention and potential surgeries for correction.
Head injuries are a big risk for pedestrians and cyclists. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can occur even if a person is wearing a helmet. Concussions, skull fractures, and brain hemorrhages are some complications one might experience due to head trauma. Proper safety gear like helmets can reduce the severity but not eliminate the risk altogether.
Cuts and scrapes
Lacerations and contusions are superficial injuries commonly observed in pedestrian-bicycle incidents. Abrasions caused by sliding or falling on rough surfaces while getting struck can result in cuts that require medical attention for cleaning, stitching or bandaging.
Spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries have devastating consequences for victims of pedestrian-bicycle crashes. A strong impact on the back leading to damage to the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis. Such injuries often require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and adaptive equipment to enhance the quality of life for the affected individual.
Soft tissue damage
Sprains and strains can also occur when pedestrians or cyclists are struck. Whether by impact or by an attempt to brace themselves during an accident, there is often excessive pressure on ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Internal injuries may be concealed at first but can have severe implications. Organ damage caused by direct impact or sudden deceleration can result in internal bleeding, organ failure, or long-term health complications if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
Mental Health problems
Psychological trauma is another significant aspect often overlooked in pedestrian-bicycle accidents. Survivors may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, or other mental health issues following such incidents. Supportive therapy and counseling become essential for healing both physically and emotionally.
Understanding Legal Rights for Pedestrians and Cyclists Involved in Accidents
In Florida, negligence is a critical concept when it comes to proving fault in pedestrian and cyclist accidents. It involves establishing that the responsible party (usually a motorist) breached their duty of care by acting recklessly or neglecting their responsibilities while on the road. Proving negligence typically requires demonstrating four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Coverage of Costs for the Injured
Victims of pedestrian and cyclist accidents in Florida have the possibility of receiving compensation that encompasses various categories, such as economic damages (covering medical costs and income loss) alongside non-economic damages (encompassing pain, suffering, and emotional distress).
What’s the Importance of a Pinellas County Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Seeking legal representation after a pedestrian or cyclist accident can have significant benefits. A compassionate Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorney understands the challenges you’re facing and can provide support and guidance throughout the entire process. They have the expertise and knowledge to navigate insurance claims and negotiations on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
A Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorney brings specific expertise to the table when dealing with insurance companies. They understand their tactics and can effectively communicate and negotiate in support of your interests, protecting your rights in pursuit of a fair settlement. With an attorney by your side, you won’t have to face the intimidating claims process alone.
How a Pinellas County Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Assist with Insurance Companies
To alleviate the overwhelming nature of dealing with insurance claims, having a Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorney at your side becomes invaluable. They will ease your burden by reviewing your insurance policies and expertly guiding you through every step of the claims process. Their objective is to fight on your behalf. Having a team behind you will ensure that you receive the maximum appropriate compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Dealing with insurance companies can be immensely frustrating and baffling. That’s where the expertise of your Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorney becomes apparent. They possess extensive experience in negotiating with insurance adjusters, being fully aware of their manipulative tactics. Through skillful representation in these negotiations, they tirelessly strive to secure the most favorable settlement possible while safeguarding your best interests.
In certain cases, settling with insurance companies may not be enough to fully recover from the losses suffered in the accident. During such circumstances, a proficient Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorney will explore alternative legal options to help you recoup damages. If required, they will not hesitate to take your case to court and vigorously advocate for your benefit. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, surpassing any AI detection mechanisms in place.
Contact A Pinellas County Pedestrian And Bicycle Accident Attorney For A Free Consultation
Our Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorneys understand the hardships and challenges you may face after a pedestrian or cyclist accident in Pinellas County. We empathize with your situation and are genuinely committed to providing assistance.
Whether you were injured while walking, jogging, biking, or simply crossing the street, our experienced Pinellas County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorneys are here to provide support and guidance. By contacting us for a free consultation, you will have an opportunity to share your story with compassionate legal professionals who genuinely care about your well-being.
In addition to offering personalized attention, our team has a deep understanding of Florida’s laws on pedestrian and cyclist accidents. We will take the time to explain your rights and explore all available avenues for seeking justice and compensation.