As a Weston pedestrian accident lawyer, I was sorry to read that a crash has claimed the lift of an elderly woman. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Dec. 13 that 75-year-old Patricia Wardrop of Weston died that day of injuries she sustained in a parking lot accident the Friday before. Wardrop was at a shopping center in Pembroke Pines around 12:30 when driver Josephine Curatolo, 65, drove out of a parking spot, through some bushes and over a curb. Curatolo’s vehicle also hit two children, 10-year-old Luis Finol and 12-year-old Ana Finol, who suffered minor injuries. It was not clear whether they were with Wardrop. Law enforcement believes Curatolo may have hit the wrong pedal, and is asking witnesses with more information to contact the Pembroke Pines police department or CrimeStoppers.
The response to this accident has stirred up a politically volatile topic here in South Florida: driver’s license retesting for older drivers. Proponents believe this would cut down on preventable accidents caused by older drivers who have problems with vision, reaction time or cognitive decline. Opponents, including many people who would be affected, believe this is nothing more than ageism. Florida does require drivers over the age of 80 to renew their licenses every six rather than eight years, and requires a vision test at each renewal after that age, but critics charge that problems can begin before 80 and go beyond vision. As a Coral Springs pedestrian accident lawyer who sees a substantial number of very serious accidents, I believe it’s worth looking into. If scientific research shows that accidents decrease when older people are retested at each license renewal, I would support it.
Pedestrian accidents are among the most serious crashes on South Florida roads. Unlike crashes between two cars, pedestrian accidents pit an unprotected human body against a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds and traveling at many miles per hour. This is no contest at all, and the resulting injuries tend to reflect that. The most serious pedestrian accidents cause wrongful deaths as well as serious head injuries, spinal cord damage and other permanent disabilities. And because Florida law gives pedestrians the right of way in most situations, the crashes are almost always the fault of the person behind the wheel. This may be cold comfort for victims and their families, but it can be important later if they choose to pursue a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
At Cohn, Smith & Cohn, we understand that no amount of money can ever reverse a terrible accident. But all too often, victims and their families discover that the catastrophic injuries from their accidents have caused devastating financial problems as well. Medical care for a serious injury can run into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, even when the family does have health insurance. In many cases, this is compounded by the fact that the injured person cannot work, at least right now — which means paychecks the family expected and depended on stop coming. Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys help families transfer the financial responsibility for these injuries back to the negligent drivers who caused them. In a lawsuit, victims and their loved ones can win back all of the costs the accident caused, including medical bills and lost income, as well as compensation for their losses, pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love was hit by a careless driver in Florida, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn to learn more about your rights and your legal options. To set up a free, confidential consultation, you can call our main Pembroke Pines office at (954) 431-8100 or contact us through the Internet.