Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fatal Pedestrian Accident In Gulfport

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, a 74-year-old pedestrian was struck[1] and killed by an 86-year-old driver.  The accident occurred at approximately 6:36 p.m. at a time when the pedestrian was crossing Gulfport Boulevard, east of Beach Boulevard, in Gulfport, Florida.  The driver was traveling eastbound at the time of the incident.

Florida Pedestrian Fatalities Double the National Average

Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts reports, Florida had the highest pedestrian fatality rate[2] among all states in 2011, 2.60 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 persons. Further, according to the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, prepared by The Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of Southern Florida, the 2011 Florida pedestrian fatality rates were nearly double the national average. In Pinellas County alone there were 483 accidents[3] involving pedestrians resulting in the death of 36 individuals in 2015.  

Steps to Take After a Clearwater Pedestrian Accident

       Medical Attention:  If you or anyone else is injured, contact the police and request medical assistance.  It is crucial to receive proper medical attention as soon as possible after an accident.

       Claim Against the Driver:  If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the driver is often times considered to be at fault, even if the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk. 

       Claim Against the Municipality:  Some vehicle-pedestrian accidents might be the fault of the city if there was a failure of traffic control devices such as stop lights.  

Pinellas County PIP Insurance

If a pedestrian involved in an accident owns a car and has Florida’s mandatory PIP insurance, their injuries and lost wages will be covered up to the sum of $10,000 dollars. If the pedestrian does not own a car, the driver’s PIP insurance will cover these expenses. Because pedestrian accidents can result in life-threatening injuries, it is possible that this insurance will not be sufficient to cover the total amount of your accident-related losses.

Florida Driver Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

In some instances, a pedestrian injured by a vehicle driver can file a claim based on driver negligence.  It may be necessary to show the following:

                       The driver of the vehicle owed the pedestrian a duty of care.

                       The driver breached this duty, either by disregarding traffic laws, not          paying attention to their surroundings, or driving recklessly.

                       The pedestrian sustained a serious injury as a result of this breach.

A driver may be considered negligent for any of the following:

                Pre-occupation and failure to pay attention;

                Failure to observe the speed limit;

                Failure to yield the right of way at cross walks;

                Failure to use turn signals;

                Violating traffic laws, including neglecting to stop at light and stop signs; and

                Driving under the influence.

It is important to remember that Florida is a comparative negligence state so each party involved in the accident can be financially responsible for a percentage of the damage, depending on the degree to which they were at fault.  An automobile driver involved in a pedestrian accident may try to prove that the pedestrian was partially at fault for the accident to mitigate damages.  Negligence on part of the pedestrian may refer to any of the following:

-           Darting out in front of cars;

-           Failing to use dedicated cross walks;

-           Failing to see if it is safe to cross the street;

-           Ignoring pedestrian signals at intersections.

Florida Wrongful Death

If a pedestrian does not survive an accident, their family members may bring a claim on behalf of their loved one to recover compensation for damages. They will be required to prove the same elements as pedestrians pursuing a negligence claim on their own behalf. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney will help family members who choose to file a suit hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.

Clearwater Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle, it is important to speak to a Clearwater pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900