When a child or adult is injured as a result of a Florida Automobile Accident, there are many challenges presented including but not limited to the payment of medical bills. Let’s say that a child or an adult is walking across the street and then is hit by a driver who was not paying attention. The injured pedestrian suffered a fractured leg and other injuries. The driver was 100 % at fault for the crash as a result of looking down at a text message as the driver approached a red light. Under this fact scenario, one would assume that the at-fault driver would be liable or on the hook for all of the medical bills and related damages. Under Florida law, this is not the case if the injured pedestrian owned a vehicle OR if the injured pedestrian resided with a relative who owned a vehicle. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) under a Florida Automobile Insurance Policy may end up covering the medical bills for the injured pedestrian.
Let’s bring up a few more facts to illustrate how this works. Let’s say that the injured pedestrian is a twelve year old boy named Johnny who resides with his mother Mary Jones. At the time of the pedestrian accident, Mary Jones owned a vehicle that was insured with GEICO Insurance. The at-fault driver was insured through State Farm Insurance. Even though the vehicle of Mary Jones was no where near the crash site where the pedestrian was injured, GEICO – the insurance company for Mary Jones – will most likely pay the medical bills of Johnny Jones, the twelve year old injured pedestrian. Under some circumstances, a pedestrian can qualify for PIP coverage for the at-fault driver IF AND ONLY IF the injured pedestrian did not own a vehicle AND if the injured pedestrian did not resident with a resident relative who owned a vehicle and had insurance on the vehicle.
Certainly, there are a host of challenges in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident when a child or adult suffered personal injuries. The payment or responsibility for the payment of the medical bills is just one piece of a complicated puzzle. It is important for the injury victim and the family to retain the services of a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to get guidance, advice, and, yes, legal representation to get through these tough and confusing issues.
On March 2, 2015, there was a crash in Jacksonville Florida that caused the death of four people – two deaths and two children. The crash took place on the Buckman Brigde which was later shut down. The ripple effect of this crash was felt throughout the roadways of Duval and Clay County. Tragically, four people died as a result of this rear end crash involving a semi-tractor trailer and two SUVs – a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Nissan Murano.
The Florida Highway Patrol Released a Media Report following the crash with the following details:
Excerpt from Florida Highway Patrol Media Report
October 1, 2013 marks the date the drivers in the State of Florida will be subject to Section 316.305, Wireless Communications – Prohibition. The pivotal part of the statute is as follows:
A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.
It is clear that the statute prohibits texting while driving as well as e-mailing while driving. It also prohibits the reading of text messages, e-mails, web pages, and other content on a wireless communications device / mobile phone while driving.
With more and more accidents being caused by distracted driving, some legislators and safety advocates in the State of Florida are strongly advocating for a ban on texting while driving. While there is no formal law in place at this time banning texting while driving in the State of Florida, a person may still be held liable for an accident if the driver was negligent. Furthermore, if the driver was reckless, criminal charges can be pursued.
It should be noted that the lack of legislation or laws banning certain acts does not mean that the acts should be continued. Distracted driving is causing more and more injuries as well as wrongful deaths on Florida roads and highways.
In Jacksonville (Duval County) Florida, it was reported that the number of automobile accident related deaths rose from 69 to 98 in 2011. The increase in vehicular deaths may be related, in part, to increased distracted driving due to mobile phone use, web browsing, and, yes, text messaging. You can read more about this topics at Risks and Dangers of Texting – Distracted Driving in Florida.
A Florida lawmaker (State Representative Irv Slosberg) is seeking to pass a Florida law that would ban texting while driving. Technology has made great advances over the past decade or so. We can communicate faster and better through devices like laptop computers, iPads and touchscreen devices, and, yes, smart phones like the iPhone and Droid. Unfortunately, these same devices have caused many Florida automobile accidents, Florida bicycle accidents, and Florida pedestrian accidents. Many of these accidents have resulted in serious personal injuries and deaths to children. One such victim texting while driving was James Caskey, Jr. who was riding a tricycle in North Naples when he was struck by a driver who was allegedly texting while driving. See Florida Lawmaker Looks to Ban Texting While Driving.
In Florida, drivers should do their best to limit distracted driving. Wait until you arrive at your destination to respond to that text or e mail. Waiting a few minutes to respond can save a life and avoid a serious Florida automobile accident. Florida drivers should drive with the utmost of caution and otherwise follow Florida’s traffic laws and regulations and pay attention to road conditions and traffic. See Florida Traffic Statutes, Rules and Regulations – Frequently Asked Questions.
In Orange Park, Florida, a family is mourning the death of a 13 year old son – Brien Andrew Alvezios who died while riding his bicycle in a hit and run accident. Brien was a student at Wilkinson Junior High School. The family is seeking help to find the driver of the vehicle that his Brien and fled the scene of this Florida automobile / bicycle accident.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating this accident. It is most unfortunate and tragic that a young life was lost. Even worse that the driver did not have the decency to stop and offer assistance to Brien. See Family Mourns 13 Year old Killed in Hit and Run Bicycle Accident / Automobile Accident.
The death of this child is a tragedy and a moment in time that will never been forgotten by the family of Brien Andrew Alvezios. When a child suffers an injury or death from an automobile accident or bicycle accident in the State of Florida, there are often many issues and questions for a family to deal with. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Damages / Compensation, Automobile Accidents, Medical Bills / Treatment and other topics
Florida’s year round weather allows bicyclists and pedestrians to be out on the sidewalks, and streets virtually every day. The Florida Department of Transporation is trying to prevent pr aty least reduce the number of incidents leading to personal injuries / deaths to bicyclists and pedestrians in Florida. See Campaign Aims to Stop Bike and Pedestrian Personal Injuries and Deaths.
It is important for drivers to slow down in any area where there are bicycle riders or pedestrians. This is especially important when there are children riding bicycles or walking on or near the streets and roadways. It is also important for all drivers to follow and obey Florida traffic rules and regulations and otherwise drive with caution depending on weather conditions and traffic. See Florida Traffic Rules and Regulations – Frequently Asked Questions.
In Jacksonville, Duvall County, Florida and other locations throughout the United States, there is a problem with motorist ignoring stops school buses. In Florida, it is the law that a driver must stop when a school bus is stopped with flashing red lights activated and stop signs extended. Unfortunately, Florida drivers tend to ignore these flashing red lights and stop signs and drive right pass stopped school buses. The Florida times Union website recently reported a news story on this problem. It is estimated that almost 2,000,000 incidents (that’s right Two Million incidents) take place every year involving a driver who ignores stopped school bus and drives past the school bus. In Florida, a driver can be find up to $500 for this driving violation or this traffic citation. It is important for the safety of children that all drivers be on the lookout for school buses whether stopped or not. Unfortunately, many such incidents have resulted in serious personal injuries to children. Many of these Florida pedestrian accidents / automobile accidents would have been avoided if the driver has stopped and obeyed Florida traffic rules and regulations pertaining to school buses. For more information on this topic see Drivers Frequently Ignore Stop School Buses in Jacksonville Florida in other cities.
In Florida and Other States, red light cameras are becoming more prevalent. The safety goal is to prevent or discourage people from running red lights. Of course, municipalities like the City of Miami also get a financial windfall from the revenues produced from traffic ticket and money saved and time saved from the automation of the process. Whether you drove up to a light with a camera or not, do not run stop lights or disobey other traffic signals or conditions. The safety of you, your passengers and others are far more important than the few minutes you might save from running or gunning through the light. You can read more about this story at Miami Red Light Cameras Will Be Turned On January 1, 2011.