Florida State Trooper Suffered Life-Threatening Injuries After Being Struck By A Vehicle During Car Stop
A Florida State Trooper conducting a motor vehicle stop on the Dolphin Expressway near Miami, FL suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by an out of control car. The Miami Herald reported that the trooper was in stable condition and must undergo several surgeries. This tragic accident is another reminder of how dangerous working roadside is for people. The Southeastern personal injury lawyers at Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law remind all motorists to be aware of dangers lurking on the side of the road.
On Friday, March 17, 2017, the 12-year veteran of the Florida State Police was making a traffic stop on the Dolphin Expressway in Miami-Dade County. The trooper walked toward the car he had just signaled to pull over. Without warning, a car heading in the opposite direction spun out of control and struck the trooper and the trooper's patrol car. The trooper suffered critical injuries to his face, spine, and lower extremities. Doctors performed emergency surgery on Friday. The trooper's condition improved as of Sunday, March 19, 2017, and he was slated for additional surgeries to repair the damage.
Law enforcement officers from the state police, including accident reconstructionists, are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident. There was no indication initially as to the cause of the crash or why the car spun out of control and nearly killed the trooper.
This most recent incident is a reminder that motorists must be alert for emergency and other vehicles on the side of the road. Florida, like many other states including Georgia, has enacted a "Move Over" law. In Florida, the move over law obligates drivers to slow to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit on a two-lane road or, if there is no room, to move over when passing vehicles in the breakdown lane. The driver must move over if there is a second lane and space to change lanes safely. Failure to move over can result in fines and fees as well and can adversely affect your driving record.
The move over law applies to specified vehicles. However, the safest driving practice is to change lanes or slow down when any vehicle is in the breakdown lane. Move over laws apply to:
- law enforcement vehicles,
- fire engines,
- tow trucks,
- utility vehicles,
- department of transportation vehicles, and
- sanitation vehicles.
The move over law is designed to protect those who are exposed to the hazardous duty of working along the side of a road. However, those workers are at the mercy of dangerous driving behavior. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting, sleepiness, inexperience, and other careless driving behaviors imperil those who work on the side of the road. All of the things that distract drivers can be prevented. The only issue that cannot be avoided is a medical emergency. Even then, if the driver has epilepsy or poor vision, the person should not be driving.
Workers, or their families, who work roadside may be able to receive monetary compensation for their injuries. An injured roadside worker might be able to collect damages, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost time at work and future earning costs,
- Future health care costs,
- Amputation or disfigurement, and
- Pain and suffering.
Each case is different. If you have been involved in any type of accident involving negligence, you should contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Montlick & Associates to learn about your legal rights as well as what steps are necessary to protect those rights.
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