2018 Road Rage Victim Back In Hospital
A 3-year-old girl who was shot in the head during an October 2018 hit-and-run road rage incident is back in the hospital, according to her family.
Doctors say that an exit wound in 3-year-old Preslie Jenkins’ body developed an infection. The toddler was in a truck along with her 7-year-old brother and their mother’s 38-year-old boyfriend when a traffic dispute turned violent.
Police have very little to go in in the underlying investigation. They are still looking for a black or Hispanic male who was driving a late-model, dark-colored sedan.
Road Rage in Florida
The Sunshine State does not have a “road rage” law, which may be one reason that Florida drivers consistently rank as some of the most discourteous drivers in the country. Since there is no applicable law, in most cases, road rage crash victims must prove cause.
A legal doctrine, along with a scientific ailment, can make cause difficult to prove in Florida road rage crashes.
Contributory negligence sometimes comes into play in these cases. Many times, road rage incidents begin when one driver operates recklessly or cuts another vehicle off in traffic. If that’s the case, the state’s comparative fault law may apply. If both drivers are partially at fault for the crash, the judge will reduce the victim/plaintiff’s damages in accordance with the fault.
Fortunately, Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim is 90 percent responsible for the crash, the victim still receives a proportional share of damages. That’s not the case in most other jurisdictions.
Furthermore, many drivers suffer from Intermittent Explosive Disorder. These individuals are prone to violent outbursts over items which may be trivial to most other people. If IED is the underlying cause of a road rage crash, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) might be able to avoid liability altogether.
In IED cases, an attorney normally asks an independent doctor to examine the tortfeasor and/or review the tortfeasor’s medical records. This independent doctor normally has a much different opinion about the tortfeasor’s IED than the insurance company physician.
The jury must determine which side has the more credible evidence. Jurors often base this decision on things like the doctor’s experience and the amount of money, if any, the doctor received to perform the evaluation.
Hit-and-Run Incidents in Port St. Lucie
In general, the number of hit-and-run incidents is on the rise. Many of these situations are like the one in the above story. The tortfeasor in this incident was clearly afraid of the consequences of his or her action.
The standard of proof in these cases is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Given this low standard of proof, a little evidence goes a long way. This evidence includes things like:
- Additional Witness Statements: For various reasons, many people do not want to talk to police officers. But they will talk to a personal injury attorney, or the personal injury attorney’s representative.
- Nearby Surveillance Video: If footage from a few blocks away shows the license plate number, that one bit of information may be sufficient to hold the vehicle owner liable for damages.
In many cases, attorneys partner with private investigators to obtain the evidence they need to win damages. These damages usually include compensation for medical bills and other economic losses, as well as pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses.
Work with Experienced Lawyers
Road rage crash victims, even in hit-and-run cases, usually have legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout the Treasure Coast area.