The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 677 bicyclists were killed in car crashes in 2011 alone. In fact, statistics show that Florida accounted for 125 of the 667 total incidents across the U.S. – more than any other state. In many of these fatal accidents, bicyclists are killed due to intoxicated or distracted drivers.
Those who are injured in an accident due to the fault or negligence of another may consider seeking legal counsel from a hit and run lawyer in Florida to protect their legal rights. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the situation, the injured individual may be entitled to file for damages and seek compensation for their injuries. If you have been involved in an accident, a hit and run lawyer in Florida can review your case and help you to determine if you have a valid claim.
Florida Man Hits Bicyclist, Family May Work with a Hit and Run Lawyer in Florida
On December 17, 2013, a bicyclist in Broward County, was left in critical condition after a driver hit him with his 2003 Ford Mustang and continued to travel for two straight miles with the cyclist caught in the rear window of the vehicle. According to police documents, once Axel Inostroza arrived at his residence, he pulled the cyclist off of his vehicle and left his body behind bushes and a trash bin in a nearby wooded area.
According to Inostroza’s confession, he hid his smashed car so that his girlfriend would not ask questions and went back inside his residence to sleep. The next morning, a landscaping crew found the cyclist in serious condition; they called authorities, and the man was transferred to a nearby hospital. Sources report that the cyclist suffered from a nearly-severed ear, a gash on his head and spinal injuries which may leave him paralyzed.
Police found Inostroza at a local mechanic who was repairing his car. According to police records, the damage to the vehicle was consistent with the accident; blood was splattered near the back of the car, the rear and front windows were smashed and the front bumper was missing as it was recovered near the scene of the accident.
Although Inostroza initially told deputies that he had hit a stop sign, he later confessed to investigators. Inostroza had also admitted to drinking alcohol before the accident, but officers could not request a DUI test due to the amount of time that had lapsed in between questioning and the incident.
Police arrested Inostroza on criminal charges, but the man may face a civil liability lawsuit as well. The cyclist and his family may consider seeking legal counsel from a hit and run lawyer in Florida to file for damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Axel Inostroza versus Ethan Couch
When a driver is acting out of negligence and injuries or kills a bicyclist, the insurance company of the driver is often legally liable for the damage that resulted from the accident. However, many drivers may attempt to flee the accident scene to avoid civil and criminal liability. If police officials are quickly notified, odds are increased that they will be able to track down the driver and file the appropriate charges.
Just as Axel Inostroza was arrested on criminal charges although the man had not been killed, Texas teenager Ethan Couch also received criminal charges for a similar incident in Texas when he killed four people in a car accident. Couch, 16, was allegedly drunk when he took his father’s company’s truck and was drunk when he struck another vehicle, killing four and injuring two others. Rather than sentencing him to jail on the criminal charges for which he was convicted, the judge decided that Couch would instead receive 10 years’ probation and participate in a long-term treatment program at a nearby facility. Both men may face civil liability lawsuits, regardless of the outcome criminal charges, from the surviving families of those they injured or killed.
Injured? Contact a Hit and Run Lawyer in Florida for More Information
If you have questions about personal injury damages in civil or criminal cases or if you have been involved in an accident, contact a hit and run lawyer in Florida to learn more about your legal rights. We will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation and answer your questions to the best of our ability. We will connect you with an affiliated hit and run lawyer in Florida who can counsel you in the differences between civil and criminal lawsuits and who will attempt to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.