Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hit And Run Driver Arrested In St. Petersburg After Killing Pedestrian

On February 15, 2016, at approximately 2:22 a.m., a 36-year-old Riverview woman was allegedly heading north on Interstate 275 on the Howard Frankland Bridge.  At that time, a 43-year-old man was standing outside of his Ram truck, which was parked on the outside shoulder.  As the female driver’s Volkswagen passed the truck, the front of her vehicle struck the man and killed him.  The female driver then fled the scene, parking her vehicle at the Crown Plaza Hotel near the Westshore Mall.  According to the St. Petersburg Police Department[1], a tip was called into the agency around 9:00 p.m. on Monday after which time the female driver was arrested in St. Petersburg. 

Florida Hit-and-Run Statistics

The Florida Highway Safety[2] and Motor Vehicles provides that although the majority of Hit-and-Run crashes result only in property damage, more than 180 people were killed in hit and run crashes in 2015.  The Department further provides:

        In 2015, there were more than 92,000 hit-and-run crashes in Florida.

                There were more than 19,000 injuries resulting from hit-and-run crashes, with over 1,200 of those involving serious bodily injury.

                Vulnerable road users are particularly at risk. In fact, there were 186 hit and run fatalities in 2015, over half of which were pedestrians.

                Approximately one out of every four pedestrian crashes resulted in the driver leaving the scene.

                Under Florida law, a driver MUST stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property which results in injury or death.  Article XXIII, section 316.061 of the Florida statute[3] provides:  The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only in damage to a vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such crash or as close thereto as possible, and shall forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at, the scene of the crash…”

                In 2015, 18-27 year-olds received over a third of all hit and run citations issued, 70 percent of which were written for males.

Who is Liable After a Hit-and-Run Accident in St. Petersburg?

Usually, the reason you purchase automobile insurance is to provide coverage in case you are liable for injuries or damages to a third party after a car accident. In a hit-and-run accident, you do not know the identity of the other driver or any information regarding their insurance.  In that instance, your own insurance coverage may be the only choice for obtaining compensation for injuries and damages. 

Florida PIP Insurance

In the state of Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage pays for medical expenses and lost wages for anyone who has been injured in a car accident. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, you could probably make a claim under the PIP coverage in your own policy.  The state requires $10,000 in PIP benefits. This coverage will ensure that 80% of the medical bills will be covered.

St. Petersburg Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage can be obtained through your own insurance company. The coverage is elective and allows the victim of an auto accident to receive compensation if they are injured by an uninsured vehicle that caused the accident.  Uninsured motorist coverage is a contractual agreement between an insurance company and their insured. According to most policies, the carrier will compensate for injuries, pain, suffering and mental anguish caused by an uninsured driver.

St. Petersburg Automobile Accident Lawyers

Victims of hit and run accidents need the help of an experienced hit and run lawyer that can help them get them the best settlement from their insurance company. As in most cases of insurance claims, the insurance company will only pay the bare minimum and will often offer a quick settlement to resolve the issue. Having an experienced auto injury attorney on your side can make a large difference in the amount of financial compensation that you receive.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to speak to a St. Petersburg automobile accident attorney.  Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm and learn more about seeking monetary compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Common Questions Regarding a St. Petersburg Wrongful Death

St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Statute

Florida Statutes section 678.18[1] states that when a person's death "is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract" of another person or some other entity, the estate of the deceased person may bring a civil lawsuit in Florida's courts, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from that death.  Wrongful death claims may arise from any accident or intentional act including fatal car crashes, death by hospital malpractice, dangerous premises, defective products, and aircraft accidents.

What is a St. Petersburg Wrongful Death?

In personal injury cases that result in death, the family members and loved ones of the decedent often wonder if they can file a lawsuit. These types of cases are known as wrongful death lawsuits, and they are a common kind of personal injury case. After facing the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are questions common to many wrongful death cases including:

           What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is the legal term that describes the death of someone that results from someone else’s wrongdoing, negligence, or intentional action. In a wrongful death case, the person who has died can obviously not file a lawsuit him or herself. Instead, that person’s spouse, parents, children, or even other family members can file a lawsuit for wrongful death.

           Is a wrongful death claim the same as murder?

It can be easy to confuse wrongful death lawsuits with murder, or other types of crimes because both types of situations involve someone dying as a result of someone else’s actions. When you are talking about a wrongful death claim, it is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case. Even though the person responsible for the death of someone might be criminally liable for the actions that caused the death, a wrongful death case is not the same thing as a criminal charge.  It is also important to note that under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an individual cannot be charged with the same crime twice.  Wrongful death is a civil wrong, known as a tort, that is prosecuted in a civil lawsuit separate and apart from a criminal lawsuit.  As a result, neither proceeding affects the other and a person can be found innocent in a criminal proceeding and still be liable for wrongful death. 

                       What are damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In any civil lawsuit, the person filing the lawsuit is asking a court to order the wrongdoer to pay compensation for the damage the wrongdoer caused. In wrongful death cases, these damages can arise for many reasons. In addition to economic damages, wrongful death cases can also involve damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship or affection, and loss of consortium (sexual relations) for the spouse of the deceased person.

                       How do I win a wrongful death lawsuit?

There is no single way to answer this type of question. Any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in accordance with Florida laws. There are many procedural and substantive rules that apply to these kinds of cases, and only an experienced St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer can give you advice.  To be successful with a wrongful death claim it is necessary to demonstrate the following:

-       The loved one's death was caused by the defendant or that the defendant's actions or lack of action contributed to the death.

-       The death occurred as a direct result of the defendant's negligence or wrongdoing.

-       The decedent's death affected family members, survivors or dependents financially.

-       The loved one's death resulted in expenses or monetary damages.

St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Attorneys

If a loved one was killed as a result of the actions of another person or business entity, it is important to speak to a St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney to discuss the complex legal issues that apply to these types of cases. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are skilled wrongful death attorneys and they are ready to review and evaluate your case.  Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal case evaluation and consultation.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922