An eight year old Tampa girl was injured after being hit by a motor vehicle while walking to school this week. The car versus pedestrian accident happened on North Florida Avenue. According to a local news report, the girl was on her way to school when she was struck in the face by the side view mirror of a passing car. The accident happened as she stepped of the curb to cross the street. The girl was taken to a nearby hospital where she received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, at this time Tampa police say they do not expect to cite the driver for any legal wrongdoing. However, even though no criminal act is likely involved does not mean that the victim cannot seek compensation for her injuries. For example, if the driver is found to have been negligent in any manner, and if that negligence is the cause of the girl’s injuries, then, according to Florida law, the girl can sue the driver for damages. Examples of a negligent act that could have caused this accident would be if the driver was distracted and did not see the girl step off the curb.
Even if the girl is at fault for stepping off the curb and into the street without looking, she still might have grounds for a lawsuit. This is because, when it comes to young kids, drivers have a unique standard of care. According to some case law, when a driver sees a child near a road they have the responsibility to expect that the child will do something unpredictable – such as step into the street – and thus must act accordingly. In other words, if a driver sees a child on the sidewalk, he or she should expect that they will step out in front of them and, as a result, should slow down or even yield to the child. Failure to do so could be found as a form of negligence that, if established, would allow the injured child to seek compensation from the driver.
To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, 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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