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Seriously Injured FHP Trooper Finally Returns To Work

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Nearly a year after he was hit by a drunk driver as he stood on the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike, Trooper Mac Mickens is back on duty.

The 30-year veteran was issuing a speeding ticket to another vehicle when a 26-year-old man driving an SUV first hit Trooper Mickens, knocking him to the ground, before it slammed into the parked vehicle. “I’m walking back to my car and all of a sudden I see lights coming right at me,” Mickens recalled. “I threw my hands in the air and said, ‘This is it.’” Mickens sustained a broken leg, broken pelvis, and other serious injuries. He has yet to watch the dashcam video of the incident. Police arrested the tortfeasor, who was later convicted of DUI. Upon his release, which is scheduled for November 2020, he faces possible deportation proceedings.

Palm Beach County ranks second in terms of the number of move-over law crashes; the statewide figure has increased 50 percent since 2013.

Medical Bills in Car Crash Cases

A year of ongoing medical bills costs a staggering amount of money. In fact, when considering emergency care, follow-up care, physical rehabilitation, and all other expenses, injury-related hospital stays cost about $80 billion a year and account for roughly a third of the hospital visits in the country. So it is no surprise that medical bills are usually the most significant economic damages in car crash cases.

Because of the specialized nature of their injuries, especially conditions like whiplash, car crash victims usually need specialized care from professionals who regularly handle these kinds of cases, since many doctors and physical therapists are unfamiliar with car crash injuries. Money may be an issue as well. Health insurance companies typically deny coverage in car crash cases for liability reasons,and since the victims are normally not working, there is no money coming in to pay mounting medical bills.

An attorney takes care of both these issues. First, by referring victims to accident care specialists, attorneys make sure their clients get the attention they need to help them recuperate as quickly as possible. Second, attorneys send letters of protection to medical providers. Since the letters guarantee payment when the case is resolved, there are no upfront medical expenses. Furthermore, near the end of the case, attorneys can usually negotiate with providers to lower their expenses, which puts more of the lawsuit proceeds into the victims’ pockets.

Other Damages Available

Medical bills are only one component of economic damages, a category which also includes tangible losses such as:

  • Current and Future Lost Wages: Attorneys usually partner with accountants or other professionals to calculate probable future lost wages in catastrophic injury cases that involve disability or wrongful death.
  • Property Damage: Cars, motorcycles, and other such items have emotional as well as financial values, both of which are compensable.

Even victims of non-serious injuries are entitled to their economic damages, because of Florida’s no-fault insurance law.

Serious injury victims are also entitled to additional noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium (companionship), emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life. Although it is impossible to put pricetags on these losses, money damages are the only remedy available in civil court.

Partner with Experienced Attorneys

Car crash victims are usually entitled to significant compensation to help them recover physically and emotionally. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Home and hospital visits are available.

Resources:

hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb18.pdf

officer.com/news/12306174/florida-trooper-struck-by-drunk-driver-recalls-brush-with-death

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