An eight year old child out riding his bicycle was critically injured over the weekend when he was hit by an SUV. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the crash happened around 3:35 p.m. at the intersection of Palm Avenue and Flagler Drive in Pasco, Florida. The 2005 Lincoln SUV was driven by a 41 year old native of Port Richey, Florida. The driver was heading north on Palm Avenue. As he approached the intersection with Flagler Drive and began to cross, the child rode into the path of the SUV and was hit.
The victim, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of what has been listed as critical injuries.
As of now, the Florida Highway Patrol has not filed any charges.
Typically, if one is the victim of a bike versus car accident, Florida law allows the victim to file a legal action against the other party in order to get compensation for their injuries. In order to have grounds to file a personal injury action, one must be able to show that the other party acted negligently or recklessly, that this negligent or reckless behavior caused the accident and, as a result of the accident, the victim suffered damages.
Based on the available facts in the case at hand, it would seem that the victim (the child) is the one who acted negligently. From what we know, it seems the driver of the SUV was driving at a normal pace and had slowed down as he approached the intersection. However, when the victim is a child, the normal standard for negligence differs. In some cases, the adult (i.e., the driver) has a heightened responsibility to assume that the child will act irrationally and thus take the necessary steps to avoid an accident. For example, if a child is riding their bike on the shoulder of a road, an approaching driver should assume that the child will unexpectedly swerve in front of them and, to avoid an accident, they have the responsibility to move over. Failure to do so could be considered negligence.
In the case at hand, it is unclear whether or not the driver saw the approaching child. If he did, he should have assumed the kid would not stop at the intersection. However, if he was unable to see the kid, then there probably will not be grounds for finding his actions negligent.
To learn more about how Florida’s personal injury law applies to your case, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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