Late-Night Stroll Turned Traumatic

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.

When a Car and a Bird Collide

I heard about a Bird accident in San Diego last week, and I had to do a double take when I read the article. I quickly remembered that there are electric scooters all over the streets now called Bird scooters! Those things seem very dangerous, so it was less surprising when I began reading that a driver had hit a scooter rider on the street. This case wasn’t a simple case of negligence, however. It took some investigating to determine whether the driver or the rider was at fault.

How the Evidence Exposed the Truth

The article explained that The Kindley Law Firm in San Diego had taken on this case. It took the lawyers quite a bit of work to determine who was responsible for the wreck. Neither the rider nor the driver’s word could be trusted because both parties were adamant that the other party was at fault.

The Kindley lawyers were able to obtain a few witness testimonies and video footage from a nearby traffic camera. Thankfully, all the evidence added up to the same conclusion. The scooter rider was at a crosswalk but had prematurely entered the street before the crosswalk lights began flashing. While the scooter rider contributed fault to the accident, the video footage proved that the driver was texting behind the wheel when they hit the rider in the crosswalk. Clearly, both parties were at fault.

San Diego’s Pure Comparative Fault Law

Because vehicle drivers have a responsibility to remain aware of their surroundings at all times when driving, the driver contributed a larger percentage of fault to the accident than the scooter rider. The driver also injured the scooter rider, whereas the driver suffered no damage from the wreck.

When the scooter rider took the driver to court for the accident, the settlement was adjusted using California’s comparative fault law. The court determined that the scooter rider was 10 percent at fault for the wreck because they entered the crosswalk prematurely. Their damages added up to $80,000, and with a 10 percent fault reduction, they ultimately received $72,000.

Thankfully, the scooter rider’s attorneys found solid evidence to support their case and prove negligence in court. Reading cases like this is intriguing to me since I spend most of my days selling houses. I wish I could spend my time gathering evidence and seeking justice for injured victims. At least I’m taking the time to write this blog and learn more about the law (and about Bird scooters) each night.

Man’s Ex-Best Friend?

Today was an exhausting day! I spent most of my time running around trying to sell houses (the usual), but I also have one apartment unit that I’m trying to sell and I’m having a really hard time with it. For some reason, this apartment has pretty strict regulations on what types of dogs are allowed in the complex and none of my potential buyers are happy with this policy. We live in a very dog-friendly area, so I’m not sure why this policy is in place, but it’s making my job pretty stressful.

Naturally, when I got home from work and began researching for my daily blog post, I had this dog policy on my mind. I wanted to understand why apartments have started putting these policies in place. I began looking up dogs and the law, and I found numerous articles on dog bite injuries—yikes! So much for man’s best friend. 

Bites in Boise

One story, in particular, caught my eye about a girl in Idaho who was attacked by a German Shepard. She was bitten in the face and the attack left her seriously disfigured. Her attorney in Boise helped her file a lawsuit against the dog owner, because if the dog wasn’t off leash in an area where leashes were required, the dog never would’ve been able to cause such significant damage.

I began looking up the laws in Idaho regarding dog bites; it seems that Idaho is a one-bite state, which means most owners are waived from liability if their dog bites someone for the first time and they weren’t aware that their dog was potentially violent. However, dog owner liability can still be based on common negligence. In this case, because the owner wasn’t following the leash law, they were still considered negligent and thus liable for all injuries. 

Apartment Laws Being Affected by Dog Attacks

I suppose apartments are beginning to take notice of dog attacks throughout the nation. Specific breeds have a tendency to be more aggressive than others, which makes it a liability for the apartment to allow those breeds in their buildings. While I see where the apartment is coming from, it’s also disappointing to judge all dogs based on the actions of another.

Hopefully, in the future, these policies will change or there will be a better solution to determine whether each specific dog is dangerous before allowing them in an apartment complex . . . that way, I can sell more apartments and my potential buyers with pets won’t have such a hard time finding places to live! 

I’d like to think that most dogs are friendly, which is why we call them man’s best friend, and some are just an unfortunate exception to the rule.