Many people are familiar with the popular myth that the pedestrian always has the right of way. Although the vulnerability of pedestrians makes it important that drivers of all types of motor vehicles exercise caution when pedestrians are present, there are circumstances where a driver will not be liable for a fatal pedestrian accident. If the truck driver was operating his big-rig lawfully, the trucking company and the commercial driver might avoid liability if he has taken all reasonable actions to avoid the pedestrian accident. In this blog, our Miami tractor-trailer accident attorneys analyze a recent decision by the Florida 2nd DCA that provides an example of the type of evidence a court will consider when determining whether the driver of a large truck is liable for the death of a pedestrian.
In Panzera v. O’Neal, a pedestrian was struck by a tractor-trailer after he scaled a fence and tried to cross the interstate. The man attempted to cross where no street lights were present at 3 a.m. After the tractor-trailer had stricken the man, his estate filed a wrongful death action because the man failed to survive his injuries. The driver of the semi-truck testified that he could not see the pedestrian until he crossed the emergency lane into the lane occupied by the semi-truck. The truck driver also testified that he applied the brakes hard immediately upon seeing the pedestrian in an attempt to prevent the tragedy. Continue reading →