Unfortunately, drivers are not always as careful as they should be around pedestrians. All collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, however, are not the driver’s fault. Pedestrians also have a duty of care. The pedestrian and driver may share responsibility for an accident. In some cases, the pedestrian may be found to be the sole proximate cause of the accident, especially if the driver made reasonable efforts to avoid the accident.
The Second District recently upheld an order granting summary judgment in a case involving a truck that hit and killed a man trying to cross the interstate in Panzera v. O’Neal. At approximately 3 a.m., a man climbed a fence and attempted to cross I-75 on foot in an area with no street lights. He was struck by a tractor-trailer and died as a result of his injuries. The man’s estate filed suit against the driver and his employer.
The driver testified that he did not see the pedestrian until he ran across the emergency lane into the truck’s lane. He further testified that he braked hard and tried to swerve but could not avoid hitting the pedestrian.