Can a Child or Parent be Held Comparatively at Fault for the Child’s Injuries Caused by a Florida Pedestrian Accident?
Can a child or supervising adult be held partially at fault when a child suffers personal injuries as a result of a Florida Pedestrian Accident? In most Florida communities at some time during the year, you will read about a pedestrian accident leading to serious personal injuries or even the death of the child. The local police and possibly the Florida Highway Patrol will conduct an investigation to determine the cause, preventability, and fault of the accident. The police investigation may lead to a traffic proceeding or a criminal proceeding. It is left to the discretion of the police to issue a citation and then up to the State Attorney if any criminal proceedings move forward. While the police investigation is an important part of the puzzle, the results from the police investigation are not necessarily binding on a potential civil or insurance claim / case that is pursued by the parents on behalf of the injured child.
In child pedestrian injury cases in the State of Florida, the concept of comparative fault may come into play when evaluating and pursuing the case. Comparative fault means that the Judge or Jury may determine that the fault or cause of the accident is attributed to more than one person. Let's say a 10 year old child is hit while crossing the street with a green pedestrian light. A driver runs a red light and runs over the child. The incident is witnessed by two witnesses who testify that the child had the right of way and that the vehicle was speeding. In this particular instance, comparative fault probably would not apply since it appears that the at fault driver was 100 % at fault for the pedestrian accident. Another example has a different set of facts. Let's say a 15 year old child is crossing the street outside of the crosswalk and that the driver in question had a green light. This is a much different case as the Judge or Jury may decide that the 15 year old should be assessed at least a portion of the fault for the Florida Pedestrian Accident. It should be noted that a child under the age of 6 years old cannot be help liable or partially at fault under any circumstances; however, an adult or parent, who was with the child at the time of accident, may be assessed some fault for the Florida Pedestrian Accident.
Whether the Florida Pedestrian Accident takes place at busy intersection, commercial shopping district, school, residential neighborhood, parking lot, or other location a child often times suffers serious personal injuries as a result of a Florida Pedestrian Accident. Florida has a system of law in place that allows for the assessment of comparative fault when there is an accident leading to personal injuries.
Because of the complexities of comparative fault in the State of Florida, a parent or guardian should contact a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and legal representation.
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