City, Utility Company Sued After Bike Lane Accident Kills 3-Year-Old Girl
A utility company is being sued alongside a prominent U.S. city after a three-year-old girl was struck and killed while her parents were attempting to bicycle around a utility truck. The girl was in the front seat with her mother when the accident occurred. Her bike struck a second truck that was attempting to get by and her daughter was run over by the truck.
The mother has since filed lawsuits against both companies that operated trucks that day, but the bulk of the allegations are against the utility company that unlawfully parked their truck in a bike lane. Secondary allegations have been filed against the city for failing to enforce the parking policy.
The plaintiffs contend that had the policy been enforced properly, the utility truck would not have been in the bike lane, the mother would not have had to go around the utility truck, and her bike would have never struck a second truck.
In response, the city has said they will place concrete barriers in bike lanes to avoid this type of accident in the future. Meanwhile, the illegally parked utility truck has a serious problem.
Analyzing the allegations
Can a parked vehicle “cause” an accident? The answer is absolutely, yes. To understand this, let’s take a different angle on the allegations.
Let’s say that I operate a gas station and on a windy day, a defective sign blows off and lands in the road. The defective sign creates a road obstruction that causes an accident. Am I responsible for the accident? The answer is yes. Why? Well, at any point, I could have fixed the sign, made it safe, and failing that, I should have moved to remedy the road obstruction immediately. If I can’t get to it in time before it causes an accident, that’s bad luck. If I can, then no one is injured. Either way, I’m responsible. I’m responsible for resolving the dangerous condition or I’m responsible for making injured parties whole. The former tends to be much cheaper than the latter.
So, the trucking company that employed the driver who illegally parked the vehicle is going to be held responsible for this death.
The second truck
The City’s failure to enforce parking restrictions in bike lanes was the first negligence in the chain that led to the child’s death. The second negligence was the illegally parked vehicle. Thirdly, another truck enters the fray and strikes the mother’s bike, running over her child. The plaintiffs can argue that the second truck contributed negligence by failing to keep a proper lookout, speeding, or other traffic violations, but being third in the chain will help the company reduce its liability. The illegally parked truck will take the brunt of liability.
Talk to a Miami Traffic Accident Attorney Today
While Florida is a no-fault state, lawsuits can be filed in cases of serious injury. Even without lawsuits, negotiating settlements with insurance companies can be tricky. Call the Miami personal injury lawyers at Payer Law today to schedule a free consultation and hold negligent parties accountable.