Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
FREE Consultations Available
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Car Accidents > Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Tampa Pedestrian

Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Tampa Pedestrian


Investigators are looking for the driver of a Chevrolet Trailblazer who fatally struck a woman as she tried to cross a road.

Few details were available, except that the Trailblazer’s driver sped away from the scene after striking the woman. 40-year-old Chanda Grant, of Tampa, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she later died.

Legal Options in Hit-and-Run Cases

Statistics vary by jurisdiction, but generally, hit-and-run drivers are rarely prosecuted in criminal court. The burden of proof is simply too high. Prosecutors must establish guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. So, unless the tortfeasor (negligent driver) confessed or s/he was apprehended near the scene, there is seldom enough evidence.

Civil court, however, is different. The burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). As a result, identifying the vehicle is usually enough. It’s more likely than not that the owner of a vehicle was also the driver at any given time.

Nevertheless, a Tampa personal injury attorney must have substantial evidence in hit-and-run claims. The evidence that first responders gather at the scene, like a witness’ glimpse of the tortfeasor’s vehicle, is usually insufficient. Additional evidence includes:

  • Additional Witness Statements: For various reasons, many people do not loiter at accident scenes and talk to police officers. But these individuals will talk to injury attorneys when approached.
  • Video Evidence: Security cameras and red-light cameras are almost everywhere. Chances are, a camera a few blocks from the scene probably caught part of the tortfeasor’s license plate number. That seed of evidence is usually enough to start with.
  • Inquiring at Auto Body Shops: Hit-and-run drivers will probably not take their damaged cars to Service King. But, whoever works on the vehicle must get the parts from somewhere. Attorneys have the patience and connections to follow these trails which ultimately lead to the tortfeasor.

Even the most diligent attorney cannot identify every hit-and-run tortfeasor. But that’s okay, because victims usually still have legal options in these situations.

Typically, these victims can file claims against their own insurance companies. Since attorneys are usually good negotiators, these claims often settle quickly and on victim-friendly terms. If the two sides cannot resolve the dispute, it probably goes to arbitration instead of trial.

Speed and Pedestrian Fatalities

Many fatal hit-and-run incidents involve pedestrians, and speed is the critical element in these accidents. If the tortfeasor is travelling 20mph or slower, the pedestrian death rate is less than 10 percent. The fatality rate skyrockets to 90 percent if the tortfeasor is travelling faster than 40mph.

Speed multiplies the force in a collision between two objects, according to Newton’s Second Law of Motion. That’s largely why excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in Florida.

Pedestrians have no protection whatsoever from oncoming cars. Vehicle occupants have multiple restraint layers and steel cages, but pedestrians almost literally only have the clothes on their backs.

Damages in a hit-and-run claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are often available as well. Many Hillsborough County jurors hate hit-and-run drivers, and they want to punish them.

Connect with Experienced Lawyers

Hit-and-run drivers often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer, contact The Matassini Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in injury cases.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

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.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609