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Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Car Accidents > Dual Fatal Crash on U.S. 19 in Pinellas County

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.

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The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorney's advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

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