When a pedestrian is hit by a car the result is often horrific. The pedestrian has no protection and is being hit by a moving object that weighs thousands of pounds. Even at slow speeds, there is so much mass and energy being transferred to the pedestrian that is like the pedestrian is colliding with a brick wall. For this reason, the pedestrian is often left with severe and debilitating injury or is killed as happens often.
According to a recent news article from the Miami Herald, a woman was waiting at a bus stop in Lauderhill when she was killed as result of a two-car accident that occurred adjacent to the bus stop at which she was waiting. Authorities have said the two cars were engaged in reckless driving and that is the result of the crash and her death. While this woman at the bus stop was the only fatality, there were seven total injuries. One of the injured was ejected from a car that was involved in what is being described as a chain reaction crash.Witnesses have said both vehicles were traveling in the same direction when they crashed into each other and then spun into the bus stop. One woman at the stop suffered severe lower body injuries, but is expected to survive. While one of the cars crashed into the bus stop, the other took out a utility pole, and the car was nearly split in half. Power was out in the surrounding area due to the damage to the utility pole following the crash. It appears that one of the suspects managed to flee the scene and police were looking out for that suspect.
As our Miami car accident lawyers can explain, in most car accidents, damages include what is necessary to compensate the victims or their families for the loss suffered as result of a serious or fatal car accident. This can include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, and other specials. These are called compensatory damages and are not made to punish the defendant, but rather to compensate the victims as the name implies.
In some cases, there are additional damages known as punitive damages. There are designed to punish the defendant and to send a message that this conduct will not be tolerated, by this or any other future defendant.
Pursuant to the Florida Statutes, punitive damages may not exceed three times the compensatory damages or $500,000 (whichever figure is greater) in most personal injury cases. In order to get punitive damages, it must be established that defendant’s conduct went above and beyond mere negligence. We must see a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.
For example, if a window washer is on a scaffold high above the street and carelessly places a tool in a position that it could fall, and it does fall and hits a person, that would be an example of negligence. If, on the other hand, that same window washer was upset for some reason and started tossing tools off the scaffold without regard to who was below, that would be an example of recklessness. It is not that he or she intended to hit anyone, but the conduct showed and extreme disregard to the safety of others.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Woman waiting at a bus stop killed in two-car crash in Lauderhill, June 8, 2017, By Elizabeth Koh, Miami Herald
More Blog Entries:
Distracted Driving Alleged in Bus Crash That Killed 13, April 19, 2017, Car Accident Amputation Lawyer Blog