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Fatal Pedestrian Crash In Tampa


An area teenager is dead after he was struck by a car while crossing the street.

The accident happened near the intersection of Rome and Sligh. According to police, a 16-year-old boy crossed north on Sligh outside of a marked crosswalk. At that moment, a westbound 1992 Honda Accord hit him, causing serious injuries. First responders rushed the boy to a nearby hospital in critical condition. He died there the next day.

The other driver’s name was not released and no charges are pending at this time.

Injuries in Tampa Pedestrian Accidents

Speed is one of the most dangerous elements in Florida car crash cases. Excessive velocity transforms rather minor “fender-bender” collisions into serious injury crashes. That’s especially true in vehicle-on-pedestrian crashes. Vehicle occupants have several layers of restraint, as well as a steel cage, for protection. Pedestrians have nothing. They are completely exposed to danger. That exposure leads to serious injuries like:

  • Broken Bones: The force of the impact usually propels the victim at least several hundred feet. When the victim lands, bones are effectively crushed. Therefore, they require special interventions during corrective surgery, like metal plates or pins. As a result, they need even more extensive physical therapy thereafter.
  • Head Injuries: The same impact often causes massive head trauma. Since dead brain cells do not regenerate, these injuries are always permanent. The best possible outcome is a combination of surgery and physical therapy which can ease the symptoms.
  • Internal Wounds: When victims hit the ground, their internal organ usually smash up against each other. The resulting holes sometimes leak vital body fluid for many long minutes or even hours.

Due to the serious nature of these injuries, most Tampa pedestrian victims are entitled to compensation for both economic damages, such as medical bills, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in cases like alcohol-related wrecks with a very high BAC.

The Sudden Emergency Defense in Tampa Pedestrian Wrecks

Based on the police accident report, it appears that the young victim was crossing the street recklessly and “darted out” directly in front of the car. But bear in mind that, since the victim died, the report only contains one side of the story. So, an attorney must obtain additional evidence in cases like these. That could be nearby surveillance camera video footage, additional witness statements, or information from the car’s Event Data Recorder.

Facts like these usually give rise to the sudden emergency defense. In Florida, this defense excuses negligent conduct if the tortfeasor (careless driver):

  • Reasonably reacted to
  • A sudden emergency.

It appears that the tortfeasor stopped at the scene, and that is a reasonable reaction. However, a jaywalking pedestrian is usually not a “sudden emergency.” That category is reserved for hood fly-ups, tire blowouts, and other completely unexpected situations. A jaywalking pedestrian on the other hand, is more like a large pothole or a stalled car. Driver should anticipate these things and be ready to deal with them.

Trust Experienced Lawyers

Pedestrian-auto collisions almost always end very badly for the victim. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.



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