Some fatal traffic accidents cause the state to file criminal charges related to driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, or other crimes. In these situations, there may be multiple cases against the defendant in both civil and criminal court.
A truck driver who is being criminally charged for running over a pedestrian will remain in jail while awaiting his trial.
Reckless truck driver kills pedestrian in Tampa Florida
During a hearing regarding the possibility of the defendant’s release, witnesses testified regarding his conduct in the moments leading up to the crash and afterwards. One man who was driving nearby said that based on the suspect’s rate of speed and driving pattern, he knew people in the area would be in danger. The witness also stated that the truck looked like it had problems with the suspension, based on the way it was swerving. The vehicle was changing lanes several times within a short distance.
The suspect eventually hit and killed a jogger on the side of the road on Bayshore Boulevard. The victim’s body was knocked into the water that borders the roadside from the impact. At the time, the suspect was driving a work truck for the pool supply company Pinch A Penny.
An interview with police on the scene after the truck accident revealed that the defendant had consumed marijuana, xanax, and suboxone in the hours before the crash. The officer from the Tampa police who spoke to the suspect said that the 30 year old male seemed to have slurred speech and give incoherent answers. The defendant also admitted to consuming a double shot of liquor shortly before he began driving.
A prosecutor who represented the state asked for the defendant to be kept in custody while awaiting his trial, due to multiple other traffic offenses where he was driving on a suspended license. The judge granted the prosecutor’s request and the suspect will not be allowed to bond out.
What should a victim do when the driver is already facing criminal charges?
While this driver is facing serious criminal charges, the victim can still file a civil lawsuit against the same defendant to be compensated for injuries, property damage, and even funeral and burial expenses. The criminal and civil cases will be handled separately in their own court systems, the burden of proof is different, and the outcome of one case will not necessarily affect the other.
Wrongful death lawsuits
Florida has enacted laws that allow a victim’s family to be compensated after a fatal accident. The information about how this process works is codified in the state’s wrongful death statute. This can be done after a negligent, reckless, or intentional act by a person or entity results in the death of another person. Someone who was financially dependent on the victim, usually a spouse of children, can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the dead person’s estate to cover losses such as future lost wages, medical expenses, and burial.
Learn more about these issues from an attorney in your area
To get help from experienced lawyers in the Tampa area, get in touch with The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet. They can discuss your specific incident and give you professional guidance.