Pedestrian accidents have become a significant problem over the years as more pedestrians roam the streets in urban cities and more drivers are negligent behind the wheel. It turns out that Florida has the highest number of fatalities from pedestrian-related car accidents.
Once I discovered this statistic, it wasn’t as surprising to come across a story about a retired man who had been severely injured while going for his nightly stroll in West Palm Beach. While the story wasn’t surprising, it didn’t make it any less traumatic to read about.
The Fault of the Driver and the City
Florida is filled with elderly individuals because the state has excellent weather and a bustling retirement community. The accident that I read about involved a 75-year-old retired man and a 28-year-old male driver. The article reported that the retired man took the same evening walk every night. On his route, he only had to cross one main street. During this particular walk, he pressed the walk button and the light flashed, signaling that he could safely cross the street.
In the middle of crossing, the crosswalk light malfunctioned and stopped flashing, which also stopped signalling oncoming drivers that there was a pedestrian in the street. When the signal went off, a speeding and distracted 28-year-old driver hit the retired pedestrian and severely injured him.
Holding All Parties Accountable
Once a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer investigated the accident, the crosswalk malfunction was discovered. Although the driver was still at fault because he should have been paying attention to the road in front of him regardless of whether the crosswalk signal was flashing, the city was also at fault for the malfunctioning crosswalk signal.
Thankfully, the retired man survived the accident and received a settlement that helped him heal from his injuries. It was a long road to recovery, and unfortunately, his nightly strolls turned into nightly rolls in a wheelchair. He also took a different route each night that didn’t involve crossing a main street because he no longer trusted drivers or crosswalk signals.
The Consequences of Negligence
The 28-year-old driver is now paying for his negligence. Not only must he deal with the guilt of injuring an old man, but while still in his twenties, he had to go through an intense court battle. Thankfully for him, he didn’t kill the retired man or else his conscience would have been much heavier. He now knows that using his phone while driving isn’t worth the potential risk of hurting others on the road.