What are the Legal Rights of Students / Pedestrians During Morning Hours Walking to or Near School in Florida?
In Florida and other states during the school year, there is a common danger in and around schools. Student pedestrians who walk to school or who are walking near a school are at risk for being hit, injured, and even killed. Disturbingly, student pedestrians are hit far too often while doing someone we, as parents, encourage them to do - attend school. It should be noted the Florida is a Comparative Fault state. In other words, the negligence or fault for the incident does not have to fall 100 % on any particular person or party in order to pursue a case or claim on behalf of the injured student. When a student / child is hit and suffers injuries or dies as a result of the incident, there can be a cause of action or case pursued on behalf of the injured child.
When a child suffers a serious personal injury or dies as a result of the incident, there is a full incident report / police report completed as to the cause and preventability of the incident, injuries, and / or death. It should also be noted that the conclusions of the investigating officer is not binding on a civil case or claim. While it is helpful to the pursuit of the case or claim if the police officer cites the driver for the cause and fault of the pedestrian incident, such a finding or citation is not necessary to pursue a case or claim on behalf of the injured child or on behalf of the surviving parents of the child who tragically dies as a result of a pedestrian accident or incident.
Florida has laws in place for drivers and pedestrians alike as to the use of crosswalks, schools zones, speed limits, etc . . . Here is a link to read Section 316.130, Florida Statutes - Pedestrians and Traffic Regulations has the applicable rules and regulations for crosswalks.
When evaluating a pedestrian accident case or any other personal injury case including automobile accidents, there are four essential elements to pursue a case or claim:
- Breach of Duty;
- Causation; and
There are also two other concepts that typically become part of the analysis: foreseeability and preventability. It is important for each case or claim to be evaluated on its own facts and merits. It is helpful to have the advice, guidance, direction, and representation from a Florida Child Injury Lawyer when there is an incident or accident involve harm or injuries to a child.
Just recently it was reported that a teenager died while crossing the street walking to school. Elizabeth Ross was only 15 years old when she was hit by a vehicle near Sandalwood High School. Due to the fact that there was a death, it is anticipated that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and / or Florida Highway Patrol will conduct and complete a Traffic Homicide Investigation. The initiation of the investigation does not necessarily mean that the driver or the pedestrian were at fault for the tragic death of the child.
The death of a child especially the sudden death from a traffic, automobile, trucking, bicycle, or pedestrian accident has a ripple effect through the family, school, and community. The death of Elizabeth Ross is a strong reminder of the dangers that present themselves for pedestrians in and near school zones in the State of Florida.
David A. Wolf is the author of 9 books including the book titled Florida Automobile Accidents - Personal Injuries - Keys to Protecting and Enforcing Your Legal Rights. You can get this book for free at Florida Automobile Accidents.
He is also the author of the book titled When the Wheels Stop Spinning - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.