Recent Spate of South Florida Pedestrian Accidents Troubling
Gregg Hollander | October 5, 2014 | Personal Injury
A number of South Florida pedestrian accidents have resulted in serious injury and several fatalities in recent weeks.
Many cases involved pedestrians-versus-cars, a situation that makes those on foot extremely vulnerable even if the vehicle is moving at a relatively slow speed.
Among the cases recently reported by local news affiliates:
- A man was seriously injured in Naples when he was struck by a vehicle on Airport-Pulling Road south of Davis Boulevard.
- A 36-year-old pedestrian was killed in Punta Gorda on U.S. 41 south of Pinetrail Road when she was struck by the mirror of a truck driven by a 29-year-old who said he never saw her.
- A 21-year-old tourist from New York was killed in Fort Myers after he was also struck by a truck mirror as he walked along Daniels Parkway near American Colony Boulevard.
- In Sarasota, a pedestrian was struck and killed on Fruitville Road on afternoon.
- In West Boca, several people were seriously injured after a vehicle struck multiple pedestrians on Central Park Boulevard at State Road 7.
- In Tallahassee a 17-year-old high school student was killed and another injured after they were struck by a car on Chaires Cross Road.
Our Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyers know none of this is especially surprising when you consider how ill-equipped Florida is to handle the influx of residents, visitors and guests. For years now, Florida has consistently been ranked No. 1 for pedestrian fatalities in the nation, and much of it can be attributed to the fact that our roads were designed solely with motor vehicles in mind. That means wide lanes, high speed limits, few sidewalks or bike lanes and few safe places to cross.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported the counties with the highest number of pedestrian deaths between 2007 and 2011 were:
- Palm Beach
Palm Beach also ranked third in the state for the highest number of pedestrian injuries.
When a crash involves a vehicle and a pedestrian, it’s more likely the pedestrian will suffer serious injuries, but compensation for those injuries isn’t always a given. The injured party and/or his survivors will have to show the driver was largely responsible for what happened, either because he or she violated traffic laws, was operating carelessly, was distracted or drunk.
It’s worth noting that even if the pedestrian shared some measure of responsibility (was distracted, intoxicated, not wearing bright clothing at night, crossing at some place other than an intersection etc.), it does not a bar recovery of damages. It could, however, lessen total recovery available under comparative fault. This basically holds that a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit is only required to pay the portion of damages that correlates to his or her share of fault.
In cases where pedestrians are struck by a driver who does not stop (hit-and-run), there may be possibility for recovering damages under an uninsured motorist policy, even though the person walking was not behind the wheel when the accident occurred.
All options should be carefully considered with the help of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in South Florida.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (561) 347-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
Pedestrian identified in fatality along U.S. 41 in Punta Gorda, Sept. 26, 2014, By Chris Gilmore, NBC-2
More Blog Entries:
Injured Pedestrian to Receive Sanctions From Insurer of Dishonest Driver, Sept. 20, 2014, Boca Raton Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Blog