The young Tampa mother-to-be wanted a little girl more than anything, and family members say she was doing everything right. She was eating healthy, abstaining from alcohol and keeping all her regular prenatal visits.
In fact, she was on her way to an obstetrician appointment when it happened. As she crossed a St. Petersburg street, a tow truck came barreling into the intersection. Witnesses told authorities the woman had just moments to react, and with those few seconds, she turned to shield her belly from direct impact.
Miraculously, the fetus survived. Still, her mother was in critical condition, having suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her in a coma.
Our Tampa injury attorneys understand that for weeks, the mother was unresponsive. But although her body was broken, it continued to nurture the child inside her, until just recently, when doctors made the decision to deliver the child about one month prior to her due date.
The girl weighed 6 pounds and was doing well, despite the early delivery.
However, her mother is still in critical condition. Doctors believe now that her body is no longer burdened with pregnancy, it may heal faster.
In the meantime, her husband says he is struggling financially. They weren’t prepared for any of this. They didn’t have much savings stockpiled. They hadn’t even bought the essential baby items yet. Now, medical bills are quickly mounting, and his health insurance is only going so far.
Family members have established a gofundme.com account to help cover medical bills, and so far, $9,000 has been raised.
This is a situation where civil litigation would likely be a worthy pursuit, particularly as it does not appear the tow truck driver is going to face any criminal charges. Authorities say he was at-fault for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. However, he wasn’t drinking at the time, nor was he driving recklessly, investigators report. He also had a valid driver’s license. That means the most he could probably face is a civil infraction. That could affect his commercial driving license, but if it’s his first offense, it probably won’t.
However, he and and possibly his employers and relevant insurance companies could be required to pay compensation to the family for the enormous damages incurred. We’re talking about huge medical bills covering everything from surgery to rehabilitation, lost wages and pain and suffering. This family has effectively been robbed of what should have been one of the happiest times in their life.
Although the woman has since awoken from the coma, has her eyes open and is responding to stimuli, doctors believe it’s going to be a long and arduous recovery.
If the woman and/or her husband carried any type of underinsured motorist coverage, that too might be worthy of pursuit. UM coverage is applied when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limit does not cover all damages, or if the other driver doesn’t have any insurance. It can be used even when the injured insured was not driving, so long as the injury was the result of a vehicle accident.
An experienced injury lawyer can help individuals in these situations explore all potential avenues of recovery.
If you have been a victim of a traffic accident, call Chalik & Chalik at (954) 476-1000 or 1 (800) 873-9040.
Woman hit by tow truck gives birth to ‘miracle baby,’ Oct. 30, 2014, By Katie Mettler and Tony Marrero, Tampa Bay Times
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Pope v. Babick – Third Party Driver Sued in Crash Case, Nov. 2, 2014, Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Blog