Earlier this month, a recently retired man from Maine was killed when a car jumped the sidewalk and struck him as he was walking near the Harbor Island Bridge in Tampa. According to one local news source from the man’s home state of Maine, the man was with his wife and one other person near the Tampa Convention Center when the fatal accident occurred.
Evidently, 68-year-old driver of the car suffered some kind of medical episode, causing him to lose control of the car and sending it up over the nearby curb. Before hitting the three pedestrians, the car slammed through two poles. One nearby witness told reporters that he saw people “flying” and that it was “something you never want to see.”
The two others who were with the deceased that day suffered serious injuries but are currently in stable condition. Police are currently conducting an investigation into the accident to determine whether there was any wrongdoing on the part of the driver.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Florida
The State of Florida publishes comprehensive data regarding the State’s pedestrian accidents. Over the past few years there have been between 5,400 and 6,400 accidents involving pedestrians each year in Florida. Of those, approximately 500 accidents involve the death of at least one pedestrian. About 40% of the accidents involving pedestrians occur at an intersection, and roughly that same amount occurs away from an intersection.
Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
In Florida, the determination of fault is crucial to an accident victim’s lawsuit against the driver. If a pedestrian is partially at fault for an accident, that will not prevent him or her from recovering, although it may reduce the amount of damages that the jury awards to the plaintiff. This is due to the doctrine of comparative fault, which acts to reduce a plaintiff’s award by their own percent-at-fault.
Medical Issues and Pedestrian Accidents
As the article noted, the cause of this accident may have been due to a medical issue that the driver suffered, causing him to lose control of the car and leading to the fatal accident. To the uninitiated this may seem like a true “accident” with no fault to be attributed to the driver. However, Florida law suggests that a driver may be held responsible for an accident caused by a medical-episode in some situations.
For instance, if a driver is prescribed a certain medication and he chooses not to take it, that may show that the driver was negligent. Another possibility is that the driver may have had a diagnosed medical condition that made driving dangerous. If you have been injured in an accident that occurred when another driver suffered a medical episode, speak to a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney to see if you may be eligible for monetary compensation.
Are You in Need of an Attorney?
The skilled advocates at the Dean Law Firm have years of experience bringing all types of personal injury cases against negligent drivers, including those who suffered from an accident caused by another’s preventable medical episode while behind the wheel. To learn more about how you may be able to recover for your injuries, call 352-387-8700 to set up a free consultation with one of the skilled advocates at the Dean Law Firm.
More Blog Posts:
Canadian Motorcyclist Killed in Accident in Florida, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 22, 2015.
Florida’s “2 Drunk 2 Care” Driver Pleads Guilty to DUI Manslaughter in Fatal Crash, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 3, 2015.