It’s not every day that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reports that they’re in the process of investigating an accident that involves two vehicles and one Razor electric scooter, yet that’s exactly what they’re doing right now.
The police reports indicated that late Christmas night, at 11:34 p.m. Isabel Alarcon Mateus, 20 decided to go for a ride on her scooter. Her scooter was traveling on Sheldon Road’s inside lane and she was approaching the Hamilton Avenue intersection.
The police report indicates that the scooters rear lights weren’t operating properly and that it wasn’t registered as being street legal.
At the same time, Brian Edward Joyner, 47 was heading south in a Pontiac Vibe. The lack of rear lights meant he didn’t see the scooter until he was right on top of it at which point there wasn’t enough time for him to swerve or brake. He struck the scooter. The impact pitched Mateus several feet. A few seconds later, Suzeth Ojeda Perez also struck the scooter.
When the emergency response team arrived at the scene of the accident, Mateus was still alive but died because of her injuries shortly after being transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Although police are still investigating the accident, they’re confident that alcohol wasn’t a factor and that no criminal charges will be filed.
A good wrongful death Tampa attorney would advise Isabel Alarcon Mateus to not give up and let the accident drop. The same attorney would than start investigating two things. First, they would want to know the exact reason why the scooter didn’t have any rear lights. The second thing the wrongful death Tampa attorney would look at is how well-lit that particular section of the street is and determine if the city/county has been negligent in putting up and/or maintaining lights.
Based on the information the wrongful death Tampa attorney collects, it’s likely that they’d advise the family to pursue a wrongful death case. The case would be filed in one of Florida’s civil courts and instead of legal action, the family would ask for a financial settlement. This financial settlement comes in two sections. The first is punitive damages, which includes medical bills acquired as a result of the accident, the cost of lost property, and even funeral expenses. In many cases, the Tampa wrongful death attorney asks for compensation for the wages the victim would have earned if their life hadn’t been cut short.
The second part of the settlement involves emotional loss. This is much more complicated than punitive damages because it’s impossible to attach a figure to love and heartbreak, but the court does the best it can. There are several different things the wrongful death Tampa attorney considers when they determine how much the family should demand for its emotional despair.
In most wrongful death cases, attorneys and clients are able to come to a settlement agreement during the negotiation phase and the case never goes before an actual judge.