Brandon & Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

Judge Hands Down Sentence In 2015 Fatal Wreck

bike1

A 42-year-old man will spend at least the next four years in prison after he plead guilty to charges stemming from a hit-and-run crash that killed a fifth-grade bicyclist.

The man hit a 10-year-old girl as he exited a drugstore parking lot in January 2015; the victim was thrown off her bike and flew almost forty feet. She was rushed to a nearby hospital with a serious brain injury and other wounds, and she was later pronounced dead. According to investigators, the driver had two of his own children in the car with him at the time. According to his own testimony, the man panicked, fled the scene, and returned about two minutes later; some witnesses disputed that account and claimed the delay was more like fifteen minutes. Emotions ran high on both sides. Advocates for the victim pushed for the maximum seventeen years. On the other side, many character witnesses came forward for the driver, who is a convicted felon that, according to testimony at trial, has turned his life around.

A Circuit Judge refused to consider the driver’s alleged reckless driving when setting sentence at a maximum seven years, because prosecutors had dropped those charges.

Bicycle Crashes

Although bicyclists account for less than one percent of vehicle traffic, bicyclists account for over two percent of roadway fatalities. Additionally, over 50,000 bicycle riders a year are seriously injured in bicycle-auto collisions, and that figure has steadily increased over the past decade.

The serious injury/fatality rate is so high because riders are completely exposed to danger in these situations. Vehicle speed is a significant factor as well, because collisions at over 40mph nearly always cause either serious injury or death. Some common injuries include:

  • Head Injury: Brain injuries are always permanent, because dead brain cells do not regenerate. However, after aggressive medical treatment and extensive physical therapy, other areas of the brain usually learn to take over lost functions.
  • Broken Bones: This tissue does eventually regenerate and victims do regain use, but only after painful corrective surgery that normally requires metal pins or screws and long-term physical therapy.
  • Wrongful Death: As mentioned earlier, the injuries are often so serious in these cases that victims cannot survive them.

If victims are seriously injured, they are entitled to compensation for both economic damages, such as lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as loss of consortium (companionship).

Permanent Injury

In most cases, bicycle-vehicle crashes are exempt from the no-fault law. But in many other kinds of crashes, victims must meet the threshold established in Section 627.737 of the Insurance Law to obtain noneconomic damages. The recognized injuries include:

  • Paralysis: “Loss of function” can be either total or partial, but it must be permanent and regularly interfere with everyday life.
  • Permanent Injury: This phrase is somewhat vague, so an aggressive attorney can use this provision in many different situations.
  • Scarring: Ordinarily, the scars or disfigurement must be on the face, hands, legs, or some other visible body part.

Family members and legal representatives of victims who do not survive may be able to sue for damages as well.

Count On Aggressive Lawyers

Vehicle wrecks often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an aggressive personal injury attorney in Orlando, contact Reed & Reed. From our office in Brandon, Reed & Reed helps clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida.

Resources:

orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-aubrey-clark-ocoee-sentencing-20161013-story.html

pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm

Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations

Brandon

101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521

Lakeland

248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716

Tampa

401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682

Clearwater

13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915

Memberships

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from www.NeedReed.com

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2017 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab