It is hard to imagine a more tragic accident than one in which a life is lost. Such an event will likely change the life of everyone involved for the rest of their lives. Recently a pedestrian accident involved a jogger who was struck by a vehicle during an evening run. In this sad case, the jogger ran into the path of an SUV, and the driver was unsuccessful in swerving to avoid her. Tragically, the jogger lost her life.
What Can Be Learned?
Cases such as this can serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining vigilance, whether you are a jogger or a driver. As a jogger, there are things that you can do to help to minimize the chances of being involved in an accident. Be aware of your surroundings and use running paths and sidewalks when at all possible. If running paths or sidewalks are not available, stay as far to the side of the street as you can. Jog during daylight hours or, if you do jog during early morning or late evening hours, wear clothes that help drivers to see you. Wearing bright clothing and reflective safety gear is particularly advisable during those hours in which the darkness can make it difficult for drivers to see you. Drivers also need to stay alert for joggers. Give plenty of leeway when passing a jogger and pay close attention to sudden movements that may indicate the jogger is not aware of your presence. Especially during the early morning and later evening hours when visibility is limited, extra care is imperative.
Who Is To Blame?
Despite everyone’s best intentions and safeguards, however, accidents do still happen. When they do, who is to blame? Often times the cause of an accident can be directly attributed to one person’s actions, but more often than not, the cause is a combination of several people’s actions that ultimately lead to an accident. In Florida, when an accident occurs and a lawsuit is filed, the court will seek to determine how the behavior of each party contributed to causing the accident. A court will enter judgment against each party based on each party’s percentage of fault – a concept known as contributory fault. If a party is partially at fault for an accident in which they suffer harm, their recovery of damages will be reduced. Any contributory fault on the part of the plaintiff will diminish the potential recovery but not completely prevent a plaintiff from recovering damages.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in an Accident?
If you have been involved in an accident, we encourage you to reach out to a legal professional for assistance in learning about your rights. An attorney will help you by looking objectively at the facts of your case and determining your best course of action. You need to know all of the options available to you and how to proceed, and you do not need to go through this process alone.