Car Runs Over Orlando Man Near Local Convenience Store
According to witnesses, the intersection of George Road and Hillsborough Avenue sees more than its share of jaywalking pedestrians. Most of them survive the crossing, but on this day, a 49-year-old man did not.
Investigators from the Florida Highway Patrol say that the man was trying to cross the westbound lanes of Hillsborough Avenue. The man died at the scene. The pickup driver who fatally struck him is not facing charges at this time.
Advanced restraint systems and engineering changes have made today’s cars and trucks much safer than the ones which rolled off assembly lines in the 1990s. Today’s vehicles are also larger and faster than those earlier cars and trucks, which is one reason the vehicle collision fatality rate has actually increased since 2007.
However, pedestrians literally only have the clothes on their backs to protect them from onrushing vehicles. As a result, these individuals often sustain catastrophic injuries, like:
- Blood Loss: External trauma injuries bleed significantly. Furthermore, the violent motion causes internal organs to smash against each other. Since these organs have no protective skin layer, they usually bleed very badly. As a result, many pedestrian accident victims have lost about a third of their blood by the time they reach a hospital.
- Head Injuries: The force of an impact usually propels victims through the air. The hard landing often causes a severe head injury. Usually, these injuries are permanent. When brain cells die, they don’t regenerate. At best, doctors can ease the symptoms, so these victims can live somewhat longer lives.
- Broken Bones: These injuries are normally not life-threatening. However, much like head injuries, they are normally permanent. Since doctors must often use metal components to reconstruct severely broken bones, some permanent loss of use, like reduced range of motion, is normally inevitable.
The medical bills alone related to such injuries usually exceed $50,000. If the insurance company drags its feet in paying these bills, as is usually the case, a Tampa personal injury lawyer can send a letter of protection to a medical provider. Since this letter guarantees payment when the case ends, the provider usually defers billing, or at least collection, until that time.
Even if the victim was jaywalking across the road, compensation is still available, as outlined below.
First, let’s talk about permanent crosswalk accidents. If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk and walking with the light, the tortfeasor is most likely fully liable for damages as a matter of law.
These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Yellow-light collisions are a bit different. Frequently, traffic lanes are so wide and red lights are so short that if a victim has any mobility impairments, it’s almost impossible to cross the street before the light changes. So, the pedestrian does not technically have the right-of-way at the time of impact. However, the tortfeasor still has a duty of care to avoid accidents. Therefore, the jury must divide fault between the two parties on a percentage basis.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, perhaps because s/h inexplicably stopped while crossing the street, the tortfeasor is liable for a proportionate share of damages.
This rule, which is called comparative fault, also applies in jaywalking pedestrian injury claims. Sometimes, insurance company lawyers try to use the sudden emergency defense in these wrecks as well. This legal doctrine excuses negligence if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency. However, the defense usually does not apply in these situations. A jaywalking pedestrian is an everyday hazard and not a “sudden emergency.”
Contact a Thorough Hillsborough County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident attorney, contact Mark H. Wright, PLLC. Home, virtual, and hospital visits are available.