Dual Fatal Crash on U.S. 19 in Pinellas County
Two women were killed after a driver turned into the path of an oncoming car while attempting a left turn against traffic.
The wreck happened when 84-year-old Diane Pires tried to turn left from southbound U.S. 19 to Royal Boulevard. In so doing, she pulled directly into the path of an oncoming Audi, driven by 56-year-old John Boussias. Both Pires and a passenger in her vehicle, 69-year-old Diana Rakauskas, were rushed to a local hospital, where they later died.
Authorities say alcohol was not a factor and they do not plan to press charges against Boussias.
Car Crash Injuries
Head injuries are perhaps one of the most common, and most serious, kind of car crash injury. These wounds are common because vehicle collisions combine all three major head injury causes, which are:
- Trauma: In high-speed crashes, small objects inside a vehicle, like cell phones, become high speed missiles which often strike a victim’s head. Furthermore, even the most advanced restraint system does not completely eliminate head trauma injuries.
- Motion: The forces in a car crash usually cause the head to snap forward and back. When that happens, the brain slams repeatedly against the inside of the skull. The result is like shaking an egg and scrambling it without breaking the eggshell.
- Noise: Witnesses often say the noise of a car crash is like an explosive blast. These sudden loud noises create shock waves which can permanently disrupt brain functions, much like electromagnetic pulses disrupt electrical functions.
Head injuries are serious partially because they are hard to diagnose. Many victims do not suffer signature symptoms, like unconsciousness or vomiting. As a result, their symptoms are masked and can become worse.
Additionally, head injuries are always permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. Instead, victims continue to lose functions, and slow bleeding and swelling may continue unabated.
Because of these and other serious injuries, the average car crash-related hospital bill often exceeds $100,000. Most families do not have the resources to pay these bills, and most health insurance companies refuse to pay all of these expenses. Hiring an experienced lawyer can help.
The Last Clear Chance Defense
Crashes like the one in the above story are legally complex as well, because of the last clear chance defense. This doctrine shifts fault for the accident in some cases.
Assume Driver A has a reasonable chance to avoid a crash, perhaps by changing lanes or speeds, yet Driver A does not take such action. If that’s the case, Driver A might be legally responsible for the crash, even if Driver B drove on the wrong side of the road, rear-ended Driver A, or was somehow faulted at the scene.
Significantly, there is a difference between the last clear chance and any possible chance. Frequently, things happen so quickly that the driver did not have a reasonable chance to avoid the crash.
So, even if first responders said you were at fault for the crash, it’s important to have an attorney evaluate your situation. You may still have a claim for damages. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Contact Aggressive Lawyers
Vehicle collisions often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer, contact The Matassini Law Firm. Home and hospital visits are available.