You were injured as a pedestrian, here, in Florida, and now, you’re wondering what your options are for seeking compensation. A lot will depend on whether you were following traffic laws and, if so, how the driver was negligent.

The question of negligence is important when considering the rise in pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. To be specific, they have been going up continually since 2009 after seeing a long decline beginning in 1988.

What the GHSA found out

The Governors Highway Safety Administration made a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths using data from the first half of 2019, and it estimates that 6,590 pedestrians died that year: 5% more than in 2018 and 60% more than in 2009 when 4,109 deaths were recorded. It represents the highest that the number has been since 1988. The fatality rate, the highest since 1997, came to two deaths per 100,000 people.

Per state, the highest fatality rates were found in Florida as well as in New Mexico and Hawaii. The lowest were in Vermont, Wisconsin and Idaho. Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and California together accounted for 47% of the fatalities.

Reasons for the upward trend

This trend is seen only among pedestrians. All other traffic deaths increased 2% between 2009 and 2019. Compared to 1975, the number of passenger vehicle occupant deaths was 25% lower. The GHSA suggests several reasons for this: Vehicle safety features have improved occupant safety whereas more frequent phone use among drivers has put pedestrians in greater danger.

Also, more SUVs and light trucks are on the road. According to the GHSA, pedestrians struck by one of these vehicles are twice as likely to die when compared to pedestrians hit by cars.

What injured pedestrians can do

When drivers are to blame for pedestrian accident injuries, victims can file a claim against the auto insurer. Before you do this, though, you may want legal advice and guidance. A lawyer be helpful with negotiations in particular as you strive for a settlement that covers all your economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, and non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.