A driver told police he could not avoid hitting a 70-year-old man as he walked across Highway 192. But his claim is dubious, to say the least.
Few details were available about the accident, which occurred near the Simpson Road intersection. The 31-year-old driver told police he did not see the man crossing the highway. The victim was declared dead at the scene.
None of the names were released.
Speed and Pedestrian Accidents
Excessive velocity is by far the leading factor in fatal pedestrian accidents. At impact speeds slower than 25mph, the pedestrian death rate is less than 10 percent. The fatality rate catapults to 90 percent at impact speeds faster than 55mph.
Most pedestrian accidents occur outside marked crosswalks and in non-intersections. So, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is often traveling at or near full speed at the moment of impact. Jaywalking pedestrians create some complex liability issues, as outlined below.
Even if the victim survives, the impact usually causes catastrophic injuries, such as head injuries. Vehicle occupants have multiple restraint layers, as well as a steel cage, to protect them during collisions. Pedestrians quite literally only have the clothes on their back.
The serious injuries pedestrian accidents cause often trigger tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Compensation is available for these economic losses. Other damages usually include compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
The Sudden Emergency Defense
It’s not enough for an Orlando car accident attorney to make a bare-bones case. The evidence in the case must be strong enough to refute some common insurance company defenses, such as the sudden emergency defense.
In court pleadings, insurance company lawyers often claim the pedestrian “darted out into traffic.” This line sets up the sudden emergency defense. This legal loophole excuses negligence if the driver:
- Reasonably reacts to
- A sudden emergency.
This first prong is usually present in pedestrian accidents. Most people react reasonably to injury crashes. They pull over, render aid if possible, and wait for emergency responders to arrive.
The second prong is almost impossible to show in pedestrian accident claims. In this context, a “sudden emergency” is a completely unexpected situation, like a lightning strike or a hood fly-up. A jaywalking pedestrian is like a large pothole or a stalled car. Drivers should anticipate such hazards and deal with them appropriately.
Despite the sudden emergency defense, injured pedestrians are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Orlando, contact JustCallMoe. You have a limited amount of time to act, and we’re accepting new cases.