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

Police Move Closer To Capturing Hit And Run Driver

After a months-long investigation, Orlando police issued an arrest warrant for the person they say is responsible for an alcohol-related hit and run crash that killed one woman and seriously injured several others.

Last December, according to authorities, a 46-year-old man slammed into a Ford Taurus that four women, as the vehicle sat at a stoplight at the intersection of East Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue. The driver, who left the scene on foot, was travelling at a high rate of speed and possibly intoxicated, according to witnesses. Both the suspect and victim vehicles were nearly totally destroyed; according to the report, “the trunk of the [victim’s] vehicle was almost completely flattened into the rear passenger compartment.” First responders had to extricate one victim from the wreckage. Of the four women, two were injured, one was paralyzed from the waist down, and one was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police are looking for the alleged hit and run driver, who has twice been convicted of DUI.

Hit and Run Crashes

While the actual percentage varies significantly from place to place, about half of all hit and run drivers are later caught. Many voluntarily turn themselves in or are detained a short distance from the crash site. Others are tracked down either by law enforcement or a personal injury attorney’s private investigator, using such methods as:

  • Interviewing witnesses,
  • Canvassing the area for additional witnesses,
  • Inquiring at local body shops, and
  • Reviewing physical evidence, like surveillance video from nearby businesses.

There is a lower standard of evidence in civil court than there is in criminal court – a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt – so, in negligence cases, hit and run cases are easier to prove.

A private investigator is often more efficient that police officers. Some witnesses are not willing to talk to police officers, for various reasons. Furthermore, first responders are at the scene to care for injured victims and determine fault, not to collect evidence for a negligence case.

In addition to compensation for serious injuries, if the driver is identified, jurors often award punitive damages in these cases.

First Party Alcohol Liability

In most cases, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) submits to a breath or blood BAC test, and these test establish nearly conclusive proof of impairment. But in other cases, the driver refuses to submit to a test or cannot be immediately located. In these instances, the plaintiff can use circumstantial evidence to prove impairment. Such evidence includes:

  • Erratic driving,
  • The opinions of witnesses and police officers,
  • Bloodshot eyes, and
  • Unsteady balance.

Impairment begins with as little as one drink, so any evidence that the tortfeasor was drinking is typically sufficient to establish breach of the duty of reasonable care.

Partner with Determined Lawyers

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car crash, contact an aggressive attorney in Orlando for a free consultation. From our office in Brandon, Reed & Reed helps clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida.

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