Speeding Motorist Kills Ft. Pierce Pedestrian
A 50-year-old man is dead after he tried to walk across a rural road and a vehicle struck him during the attempt.
The wreck occurred near the intersection of Interstate 95 and State Road 60. Investigators are unsure why the man was crossing the road at that location. But at any rate, a speeding Mercedes C250 fatally struck him and then continued down the road. After about four miles, the driver turned around, called 911, and doubled back to the scene of the accident.
The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
These incidents occur more frequently in Florida than some other states, particularly in areas like the Treasure Coast. The year-round mild weather and relatively high population density keeps people outside more. Typically, pedestrian accidents are like the above story. They take place outside marked crosswalks and on through streets.
So, speed is often a critical factor in these incidents. Speed is also an important serious injury factor. If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is travelling less than 30mph, the pedestrian fatality rate is only about 10 percent. But the pedestrian death rate suddenly skyrockets to about 90 percent if the tortfeasor is travelling more than 50mph.
According to the laws of physics, speed multiplies the force in a collision between any two objects. Some of the serious pedestrian injuries include:
- Head Injuries: These wounds are often either fatal or near-fatal. Either way, they are always permanent. Dead brain cells never regenerate. However, extensive physical therapy can usually ease the symptoms. Sometimes, long-term therapy can even make brain injury symptoms almost unnoticeable.
- Exsanguination: Blood loss comes about both from external trauma injuries, like head injuries, and internal injuries. In fact, blood loss is often the official cause of death in cases like these. Many times, victims are already on the edge of hypovolemic shock by the time emergency responders arrive.
- Nerve Damage: When vehicles strike pedestrians and toss them into the air, most people naturally extend their arms to break their fall. If that happens, they often suffer permanent nerve damage in the vital brachial plexus area.
Speed also increases the risk of these injuries. Speeding motorists have less time to react and adjust to a hazardous situation, like a pedestrian in the road.
Insurance Company Defenses in Pedestrian Accident Claims
Due to the serious nature of the injuries described above, significant compensation may be available. That compensation usually includes money for economic damages, like medical bills, and noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering. However, the insurance company does not simply give this money away.
The sudden emergency defense is very common in these cases. This legal loophole excuses the tortfeasor’s negligent conduct if the driver:
- Reasonably reacts to
- A sudden emergency.
If the above claim went to court, neither of these elements would probably apply. Factually, driving down the road and then doubling back is not a reasonable reaction. Only immediately pulling over to the side meets this test. Legally, a pedestrian in the road is not a “sudden emergency.” A jaywalking pedestrian is like a stalled car or a large pothole. While these things are unexpected, drivers should still be ready for them.
Other defenses include the contributory negligence defense. This doctrine shifts part of the blame for the accident onto the victim. So, the rule reduces the amount of compensation the victim receives. However, contributory negligence only applies in a few cases.
Connect with a Diligent Lawyer
Pedestrian victims are at risk for serious injury. For a free consultation with an experienced Port St. Lucie car accident attorney, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.