Florida Rated Second Worst State In The Country For Pedestrian Deaths
According to a recent study, Florida was ranked the second worst state in the U.S. for pedestrian deaths. While many blame the problem on distracted drivers and pedestrians, Florida cities lack proper bike lanes, crosswalks, crosswalk lights, and even sidewalks. This has resulted in an unprecedented number of personal injury lawsuits brought by pedestrians and cyclists injured by motorists.
The question then becomes: what kind of duty do these cities have to maintain and create a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists? In other words, do the cities themselves share a part of the blame for the volume of pedestrian deaths in the state?
The answer may be: sometimes.
City Municipalities May Be Liable Under Certain Circumstances
While it’s true that a pedestrian who files a lawsuit for personal injuries against the city in a motor vehicle accident is unlikely to win, there may be certain instances in which a case against the city can succeed. One major factor would be that neither the driver nor the pedestrian was at fault for the accident.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s imagine that a cyclist is riding along the side of the road and they are obeying every law. The cyclist hits a pothole in the road causing them to swerve into traffic where they’re hit by a car. In this instance, it’s hard to put blame on either the cyclist or the motorist for the accident. The most obvious cause of the accident was the pothole.
Now the question is: can the city be held liable for the cyclist’s personal injuries and the motorists property damage? The answer again: sometimes.
Government entities enjoy a certain immunity from civil liability. On the other hand, it is expected that whichever government entity has aegis over the roads will maintain those roads to provide safe passage for its citizens. In this sense, an accident caused by a pothole is no different than any other kind of personal injury lawsuit. That is to say, negligence is the key factor in a successful personal injury suit of this nature.
What does that mean? It means the city has a duty to repair potholes once it has become known to them that there is one. If they don’t act in a timely manner, and someone is injured as a result, then the city can be held liable, particularly when there is no one else to blame for the accident.
Practically speaking, is this a good strategy for your personal injury suit? That depends entirely on whether or not there are other avenues open to you. Suing the city for a failure to maintain the roads is a difficult task. A much easier task would be suing the driver if their insurance does not cover your full expenses. Nonetheless, the city can be sued.
We Can Help You Today
If you have been injured in Miami, we can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact our attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. and we’ll do the research necessary to ensure that you get the best possible settlement for your case.