There is a definite downside to my job as a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney. While I am able to help a lot of people who have been hurt by others, and I can be there when the financial burden is lifted from their shoulders, I am also all too aware of the devastating consequences that come from accidents. Every day, the news is littered with headlines about accidents that left people severely injured or that ended in a fatal crash. Those stories are even more depressing when the victims are children.
This was the case with a recent Florida headline. Earlier this week, a large section of Interstate 75 was closed after a serious accident left multiple people injured. The 22-year-old driver of a Ford Mustang failed to abide by the posted speed limit. Her excessive speed meant that she failed to react to a slow moving van ahead of her. The other vehicle was carrying a family and had, unfortunately, suffered a mechanical error. The driver turned on the hazard lights and continued to move, slowly, toward safety. Caitlin Marie Grace was cruising up behind the van in her Mustang and was unable to stop. The two vehicles collided with tremendous impact, while in a construction zone.
The van was sent careening, out of control, hit a construction barrier, and overturned. While Grace will recover from the non-life threatening injuries that she suffered in the crash, she will undoubtedly struggle to overcome her part in the death of a five-year-old child. All members of the family, who were traveling in the van that day, were rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, the five-year-old did not survive.
These stories are devastating and, yet, they are not uncommon in Saint Petersburg newspapers, as well as elsewhere. There are too many people who feel invincible on the road. However, we are all human and we are all susceptible to injury and death. The risk of these fates is increased when we drive with reckless abandon. It is not yet clear whether Caitlin Marie Grace will be penalized for her speeding, or if she will be forced to face a personal injury attorney in court. However, she will pay for her poor decision for the rest of her life, as she is forced to remember the young child who was not so fortunate.
This is also a reminder of how important it is to get off the road and to a safe location when contending with vehicle trouble. This accident occurred close to the Dade City exit. Perhaps the driver of the van was headed for the exit before the crash happened. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to forego the idea that you can get to an exit ramp. If at all possible, pull over to the side of the road and get out of the way of danger. You never know when a person will come speeding up behind you who is not paying close enough attention to matters on the road.
If a mechanical error or another driver’s negligence leads to you being harmed, or a loved one being killed, you do have the right to hire an attorney and to collect financial damages to help cover related expenses. However, even the best personal injury attorneys cannot bring your loved ones back to life. Please drive carefully.
This story is heartbreaking on so many levels. We wish the very best to everyone involved. It will, undoubtedly, be a difficult recovery period.