According to Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the 22-year-old officer was unable to avoid the man, who was in his early 20s and from Orlando. The circumstances are unique because it was dark, making it virtually impossible for the officer to avoid the pedestrian lying in the roadway. While the accident remains under investigation, FHP noted both Apopka Police Department and officer Kennedy are cooperating fully.
Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to a 2019 report by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, Florida is the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians. Orlando, Florida is the most dangerous place in the state. Specifically, Florida had a 23% increase in fatalities across the state between the years of 2014 and 2016 – from 2,500 to 3,000 annually. Moreover, the data revealed that the number of annual pedestrian-related traffic deaths increased by 35.7% between the years of 2008 and 2017. During that 10-year period, a total of 49,340 pedestrians died in the United States. This amounts to 13 deaths per day or one every hour and 46 minutes. In fact, according to the report, nine of the 20 deadliest American cities for pedestrians are located in the state of Florida.
To consult with an experienced pedestrian accidents lawyer today, call 855-686-6752
Government’s Liability for Death
The purpose of a law enforcement officer is to serve and protect the local communities he or she patrols. Sometimes, however, law enforcement officers violate the civil rights of civilians or behave negligently; this can lead to unjustified injuries or even death. When a police officer’s actions lead to the death of another, he or she may be charged in criminal court, depending on the circumstances. The surviving family members who have tragically lost a loved one at the hands of law enforcement may also have a wrongful death claim in Florida’s civil court for money damages. Some municipalities, counties, or even states zealously defend on behalf of the local police department wrongful death claims brought against a law enforcement officer while others quickly settle these lawsuits to minimize negative publicity coverage. These lawsuits are typically filed against the jurisdiction of the police department involved in the claim.
In the Apopka case, while the family of the deceased young man may try to seek a wrongful death action against the officer who fatally ran him over, it will likely be a difficult case to win because the man was lying in the roadway. Additionally, in Florida there is sovereign immunity – which oftentimes places a monetary cap on recovery.
In fact, according to the report, nine of the 20 deadliest American cities for pedestrians are located in the state of Florida.
Contact a Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney
The pedestrian accident attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns understand Florida liability law, including sovereign immunity. If you or someone you know has been hurt, whether or not a government actor was involved, contact us today to learn about your options under applicable law. Contact us today for your free personal injury consultation.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.