Court Discusses Proving Negligence Under Florida Law

Pedestrians injured in car accidents will often seek damages in a civil lawsuit from the driver of the vehicle that caused the collision. Generally, this will require the pedestrian to prove the negligence of the driver caused the harm alleged. In a recent ruling issued out of Florida, the court discussed the elements of negligence a plaintiff must prove to establish liability and the potential defenses a defendant could assert to refute the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt by a reckless driver while you were walking, you should speak to an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney to assess what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Accident

Allegedly, the plaintiff was standing outside of his parent’s house with his nephew, who was three years old. The nephew wanted to cross the street, and as the plaintiff did not want him to go alone, he decided to accompany him. Prior to attempting to cross the street, the plaintiff observed a mail truck stopped on the side of the road three doors down.

It is reported that the plaintiff began quickly crossing the street with his nephew when the mail truck began moving. The mail truck driver was exceeding the speed limit and looking at his phone and did not notice the plaintiff and his nephew. The plaintiff pushed his nephew out of the way but was struck by the mail truck and suffered injuries to his head and back. He filed a negligence claim against the driver’s employer, seeking compensation for his damages. Following discovery, the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment, arguing he had not proved negligence.

Proving Negligence Under Florida Law

Upon review, the court noted that to prevail in a negligence action under Florida law, a plaintiff must establish that he or she was owed a duty of reasonable care by the defendant and a breach of the duty by the defendant. The plaintiff must also show that the breach actually and proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries and that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to suffer damages.

The court noted that while the defendant argued that the plaintiff could not establish a breach of the duty owed or a causal relationship between the breach and the harm, the plaintiff had produced sufficient evidence to establish a material dispute on the issues that must be resolved by a jury. The court found, though, that as the plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury pursuant to Florida law, he could not recover damages for pain, mental anguish, and suffering. Finally, the court found that the issue of whether the plaintiff’s comparative negligence barred his recovery of damages must be resolved by a jury.

Meet with a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney

When a person is struck by a careless driver, the collision will typically cause significant injuries and medical bills, and the driver should be held accountable. If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, the trusted Florida attorneys of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can assist you in seeking whatever compensation you may be able to recover for your losses. You can reach us via our online form or by calling 800-283-7442 to set up a meeting.

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