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St. Augustine Beach Man Critically Injured When Teen Driver Strikes Him in His Wheelchair

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on December 2, 2015

A man riding in a motorized wheelchair was left with life-threatening injuries after he was struck by a car on A1A South in St. Augustine Beach and pinned under the vehicle on November 20th. When St. Augustine Beach Police arrived at the scene, they found a motorized wheelchair operated by Craig Lightner, 67, had been struck by a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis operated by Zoe Walker, 19. Craig was pinned under the Mercury, and was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries. Witnesses at the scene told investigators that Craig’s wheelchair may have become disabled in the roadway just prior to the crash, the Sheriff’s Office said. However, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents involving the elderly are not uncommon, especially in Florida, which has repeatedly been ranked as one of the states with the highest pedestrian accident rates. Pedestrian accidents happen every day in Florida due to drunken drivers, negligent automobile operators distracted by cell phones, drivers running red lights, and numerous other causes. While children and the elderly are typically more at risk, a pedestrian accident can involve visitors and residents of all ages.

In today’s fast-paced world filled with on-the-go calls and texts, inattentive driving only heightens the risk of being struck by a vehicle while you are walking, running, skateboarding, riding your bike, or using a wheelchair or motorized scooter. The state of Florida has responded to the frequency of these accidents by developing state laws that work to prevent these accidents and, when they do occur, to compensate pedestrians and their loved ones for their losses and damages. This being said, a victim’s legal representation will need to prove that the driver was to blame for the incident. According to the law, pedestrians are responsible for contributing to safe roadways, as well. Pedestrians should, for example:

  • Utilize crosswalks.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Avoid jaywalking.
  • Walk on the left side of the road when sidewalks are absent.
  • Yield to traffic if no crosswalk is available.

But even if you were partially at fault, under Florida law, you could still be eligible to receive compensation. Under some circumstances, the percentage of fault is calculated, and damages are allocated accordingly. Regardless, in order to recover compensation after an accident, victims should seek an experienced pedestrian accident attorney such as James O. Cunningham to navigate accident reports, expert testimonies, driver and witness statements, photographs from the scene, and more in order to prove that the accident occurred because the driver had been reckless, intoxicated, breaking the law, or otherwise at fault for the incident.

If you or someone you care for has been struck and injured in a pedestrian accident, call Florida pedestrian accident attorney James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation.

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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