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Intentional “Accidents” and Personal Injury Claims

A woman driver struck a man on I-4 just north of Hillsborough Avenue around 7 p.m., Thursday, April 25th, 2019, and police at the scene say that it looked like it was intentional. According to witnesses, a man exited his stopped pickup truck and walked across the interstate. After, the woman driver then crossed all three lanes and struck him and kept driving.

Police apprehended her a short distance away. The breathalyzer showed her to have a BAC of .219 which is almost three times the limit in Florida. They took the passenger to a local hospital with serious injuries and booked the driver into Hillsborough County Jail without bond. She faces numerous charges including DUI and vehicular assault.

Intentional “Accidents”

Criminal charges for intentionally injuring someone in an auto accident can bring up a lot of questions regarding personal injury. Many people wonder if the defendant being in jail or prison will affect their personal injury claim.

In Florida, the law allows the judge in a criminal case to order restitution for injuries and damages done to their victim. Therefore, the law allows for the following restitution:

  • The cost of necessary medical and related professional services, and services relating to physical, psychiatric, and psychological care, including nonmedical care and treatment rendered in accordance with a recognized method of healing.
  • The cost of necessary physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Reimbursement of income lost by the victim as a result of the offense.
  • An amount equal to the cost of necessary funeral and related services if an offense that resulted in bodily injury also resulted in the death of a victim.

However, often, the defendant is unable to pay these themselves, and you can’t use auto insurance payments to pay a court-ordered penalty or fine. So, this leaves the victim to turn to the civil courts for compensation.

Personal Injury Claim

Fortunately, there is no requirement that an “accident” actually be accidental before an insurance policy will cover the losses. Hence, if the defendant was insured with a typical insurance policy, all that is required for the company to pay is that the injuries come from the operation of the insured car.

Incidentally, the injured person still has to prove that the collision was the fault of the driver and that the driver was negligent in the operation of the vehicle.

One issue that comes up is whether doing something intentionally is considered “negligent” for making a personal injury claim. The answer is yes. By definition, if a person does something recklessly and without care to others, and that causes a personal injury, then they are negligent.

Damages in an intentional personal injury

A person can claim any losses in an intentional personal injury that they could in a typical accident. Some of the most common are:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages Past and Future
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Quality of Life
  • Mental Anguish
  • Rehabilitation
  • Job Training

Punitive Damages in Intentional Personal Injury in Florida

Florida allows for punitive damages against someone who does something particularly egregious. If this is the case, the court can award up to three times the compensatory damages as punitive damages. However, Florida specifically precludes punitive damages done by the insured if the act was intentional.

Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer

Lastly, if you’ve been injured in by someone intentionally, talk to our personal injury team about possible compensation for your injuries. Don’t let the insurance company tell you that their policy doesn’t cover the damages. Rather get advice from someone on your side.

RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head-on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”