Florida Appeals Court Resolves Summary Judgment Issue in Deadly Pedestrian Accident Case

Unfortunately, pedestrians are injured and killed throughout the United States every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 4,735 pedestrians were killed in 2013, while an estimated 66,000 were injured. The state of Florida has a major issue when it comes to pedestrian accidents and has one of the highest pedestrian accident rates in the country. If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, it its important to speak to a Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

In Panzera v. O’Neal, a man was hit by a semi-truck while he was trying to cross a multi-lane interstate on foot in 2011. After the accident, the man’s estate filed a negligence claim against the truck driver and his employer.

The defendants responded by filing a motion for summary judgment. In a negligence claim, granting summary judgment is improper unless the defendant can show the complete absence of negligence or that the plaintiff’s negligence was the sole reason for his or her injury. As a result, the party seeking summary judgment has the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

At the hearing on the defendant’s motion, it was brought to light that the plaintiff climbed a fence in order to get to the interstate. He was wearing a dark shirt at the time. The accident took place at around 3:00 A.M., and there were no streetlights at the location of the crash. In addition, the truck driver testified that he was traveling just below the speed limit at the time and tried to slam on the brakes to avoid the pedestrian, but he could not do so in time. Data records verified the truck driver’s testimony. Law enforcement officers also confirmed that long skid marks were left on the road by the truck, indicating that the driver could not have done anything else to avoid hitting the pedestrian.

Based on this information, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

On appeal to Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision. This is because the plaintiffs kept insisting the truck driver could have done more to avoid the accident without offering any concrete evidence to substantiate their claims. Since the plaintiffs failed to offer evidence to establish that the truck driver was at fault, and no material facts were in dispute, summary judgment was proper.

If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a truck accident, you must act quickly. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our experienced Miami injury attorneys believe in holding negligent parties responsible for the harm they cause. We can meticulously examine the facts of your case and come up with a legal strategy to pursue the compensation you deserve. We proudly serve clients throughout South Florida. For more information, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.

More Blog Posts:

Parking Lot Accidents in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 9, 2015

Ordinary Negligence vs. Medical Negligence in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 9, 2015

Information of Subsequent Accident Admissible in Florida Car Wreck Case, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 9, 2015

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