On November 14, 2022, a woman died along the Orlando Turnpike. Witnesses reported she ran out from behind a bush and lay down in the middle of the highway. Three vehicles struck her, and troopers pronounced her dead at the scene.
Who is liable?
On first look, liability seems obvious. A pedestrian put herself in danger and died as a result. So, this incident is a tragic accident rather than one born from careless driving.
But there are some scenarios where the three drivers could be held liable. For example:
- Excessive speed: The drivers traveled at an excessive speed. They could have seen the woman and avoided the collision if they were moving at lower speeds.
- Failure to brake: The drivers could have braked or slowed down safely and avoided hitting the woman.
- Poor lookout: Light conditions were good, and the drivers could have avoided the pedestrian–if they had paid attention, weren’t distracted by mobile devices, etc.
However, there is a scenario where the woman’s estate could be liable. While these drivers weren’t injured in the collision, they could hold her responsible for behaving recklessly if they sustained injuries trying to avoid hitting her.
Wrongful death and other possible claims
At the time news outlets reported this accident, it was still under investigation. Since the pedestrian died, there is no understanding of her motives. The drivers will likely face lifetime impacts from this ordeal.
But if the drivers were negligent due to any scenario listed above, they could face wrongful death claims from the woman’s family. Likewise, if the woman’s reckless behavior injured these drivers, they could have negligence claims against the woman’s estate.
Call an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh if your loved one died due to someone else's negligence or recklessness.