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Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accident

South Dakota’s Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg hit and killed a pedestrian Saturday night while driving. The death was discovered after he told the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office that he collided with a deer, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

deer-2053106_1280-300x205Ravnsborg told police that he survived the crash involving a deer unscathed. The highway accident occurred at about 10:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, according to the department of public safety. 

The body of the pedestrian he hit, a 55-year-old man, was found on Sunday morning.

It is unknown whether Ravnsborg stopped to check the scene after the collision. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem held a press conference Sunday morning stating that there will be an investigation conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol. The fatal crash will be investigated in the same manner as all other fatal accidents. 

Ravnsborg is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation, according to reports, 

Ravnsborg is a Republican who was elected in 2018 as South Dakota’s attorney general. 

It will certainly be interesting to see how this case pans out. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motor vehicle accidents involving deer are responsible for about 1.5 million crashes across the United States. These accidents cause about 150 deaths per year and $1.1 billion in property damage. Most deer-vehicle accidents happen between October and December which is the mating season for deer. The majority of these accidents do happen at night as deer are nocturnal animals who are on the hunt for food during night-time hours. 

Losing a loved one is not an easy thing to accept. This is even harder to do when their death was caused by the negligent actions of another person. Our Florida Pedestrian Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how difficult it can be to deal with the death of a family member or loved one. While there is no dollar amount that any state can place on the value of your loved one’s life, we can help you recover financial compensation to help with bills, supplement lost income, and help you start over with your life following a devastating loss. 

Wrongful death claims are usually filed after the untimely death of a loved one by their family members, such as children, spouses, parents, and even siblings. Wrongful death cases must be filed in a certain amount of time and aim to recover a financial award for medical bills and/or funeral costs, loss of benefits, pain and suffering by survivors, and loss of companionship. 

A wrongful death claim can be made when a person’s death is the direct result of another person’s reckless or negligent actions. There are various types of wrongful death cases, including pedestrian-car accidents, and these claims all seek financial compensation in civil court rather than criminal court. While criminal court is designed to punish a person for breaking the law, civil court is designed to help injured victims or surviving family members recover financial compensation for their loss. 

Florida has its own set of rules and regulations on when and how certain family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. set restrictions on when and how a certain family member can file a wrongful death claim. Florida statutes (section 678.18) state that surviving family members can proceed with a wrongful death claim when their loss resulted from one of the following: 

  • Breach of contract (default) 
  • Negligence 
  • Wrongful act

In Florida, as well as other states, there is also a statute of limitations set in place for wrongful death suits. This is a time constraint placed that outlines how long surviving family members have to file a claim in civil court. In Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the death. However, there are special conditions that may allow for an extension for the claim. 

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A new study from Smart Growth America has found that between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets across the United States.

The study shows that 5,433 of those people died in the state of Florida, but an alarming 656 of those fatalities occurred in Central Florida.

That makes the Orlando, Sanford and Kissimmee metropolitan area the most dangerous place in the United States to walk, according to the report.

The top six spots on the list of most dangerous metro areas for walking in the United States are in Florida. No. 1: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, No. 2: Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, No. 3: Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, No. 4: North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, No. 5: Lakeland-Winter Haven, No. 6: Jacksonville.

The next most dangerous states for pedestrians in the United States after Florida are Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia.

You can view the full list on Smart Growth America.

Pedestrian deaths are at an all-time high. In addition to the above report, according to findings from a Governors Highway Safety Association report, pedestrian traffic deaths are at a 30-year high. According to the study, there were 6,227 traffic-related pedestrian deaths in 2018. This does not include those who were injured in pedestrian traffic-related accidents. One of the main contributing factors to this increase is distracted driving. 

Pedestrian accidents are far from rare, and actually happen all too frequently in the state of Florida. Pedestrians may not only include those walking along city streets, but joggers, skateboarders, people in wheelchairs or other assistive devices, and scooters. Pedestrians also include anyone who may be on or near a roadway, such as people crossing the street to visit their neighbors, or children playing on the sidewalk.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident approximately every two hours, and a pedestrian is injured in a traffic-related event accident about once every eight minutes. Pedestrian accidents can be especially dangerous because pedestrians do not have the same protections that drivers and passengers have being inside a vehicle.

As we mentioned before, many pedestrian accidents are the result of distracted drivers who are not paying sufficient attention to their surroundings. Pedestrians are frequently struck by a car while:

  • The car, truck or SUV is turning at an intersection or into a driveway or parking lot
  • The pedestrian is walking through a parking lot and the vehicle is driving through
  • The car, truck or SUV is backing up out of a parking space or driveway

Drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a responsible and safe manner. This duty of care is extended to motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, people in wheelchairs, and so on. Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton like to point out that this means drivers should be defensive on the road, rather than aggressive. 

Drivers need to be especially careful when driving through areas that are likely to have more children present, such as residential neighborhoods, school zones, shopping areas, and parks. Drivers need to be vigilant as young children are usually less aware of their surroundings and of the dangers posed by moving vehicles. Also, children are often harder to spot because of their small stature. It is equally important for parents to educate their children about the dangers of vehicles and roadways, as tragic parking lot and back-over accidents are common among this age group. Parents with young toddlers along roadways should always have them by the hand or carry them, if at all possible.

Distracted drivers that hit pedestrians usually fail to notice them crossing the street or walking behind a vehicle. Sadly, it is the pedestrian, not the motorist, who pays the price. Our Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton represent pedestrians and surviving family members who have been injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents. We can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf, or a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one who has been killed in a pedestrian accident in Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakeland, Daytona, Jacksonville, or the surrounding communities.

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