An eight-year-old girl was killed Sunday when she was hit while crossing Silver Star Road and Dardanelle Drive in Orlando. According to Orlando Police, a 19-year-old female driver was traveling on Silver Star Road when the front of her car hit the girl, who was crossing the street. The police report does note that the victim was not crossing at a dedicated crosswalk. The girl was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where she was pronounced dead. Police say the accident remains under investigation.
Typically, if someone runs in front of an oncoming vehicle – outside of an intersection or marked pedestrian crosswalk – and is hit, the driver will not be found negligent. However, when the victim is a child, the rules can change. In the case at hand, one will first want to know whether or not the driver was driving recklessly or negligently. For example, were they texting or speeding and, as a result, did not see the girl or were unable to stop in time? If so, then it is likely that a court would find the driver at least partially responsible for the girl’s death.
Second, we would want to know whether or not the driver saw the girl as she approached. Part of being a responsible driver is to anticipate things. In some cases, courts have ruled that a driver who sees a young child alongside the road should anticipate that the child may do something unreasonable – such as cross the road. Knowing this, the driver is then required to take actions to mitigate the risk of an accident should the child act unreasonable. To illustrate, if there is a kid on a bike ahead of you, anticipating that the child could swerve in front of you, you should thus slow down or even move one lane over. In the case at hand, if the driver saw the young girl on the side of the road, she should have slowed down and have been prepared to suddenly stop if the girl acted unreasonably and ran in front of the oncoming car.
To learn more about liability in Orlando car accidents, 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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