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Tampa Bay Times Goes In Depth On One Victim’s Struggle

A recent article by The Tampa Bay Times put the spotlight on one auto accident victim’s struggle to recover a record $18 million verdict from the city and the struggles he endured since the accident. The article follows the story of Ramiro Companioni Jr., a man who almost died in a horrific motorcycle crash with trucks from the city’s water department.

The victim’s tale began in 1996 when the victim was riding his motorcycle on Hillsborough Ave to meet up with some friends. According to the victim, three massive trucks from the city’s water department drove along the road, completely blocking traffic and traveling no more than 25 miles an hour.

A miraculous survival

The victim attempted to maneuver out of the way of the huge vehicles but was side swiped by one of the trucks, according to his lawyer. Experts for the plaintiff testified that if he had been traveling any faster, he would have certainly died.

The Tampa Bay Times describes the victim’s injuries as “being split open from the waist down.” The rider suffered catastrophic injuries including a broken pelvis, and removal of part of his small intestine, his large intestine, spleen, and two-thirds of his liver. The accident also left him with four fused vertebrae, a fused hip, and the inability to bend one of his knees or ankles.

Justice denied

At trial, jurors found the city to be 90 percent at fault for the accident and awarded the victim $17.8 million for his damages. Unfortunately, Florida’s sovereign immunity laws limit the amount of damages injury victims harmed by the state may recover to only $100,000, no matter how terrible the injuries.

According to the article, in the ten years since winning his case, the victim has only received $100,000 to provide for this lifetime of care and suffering. Unless the Florida legislature passes a claims bill to authorize the rest or even part of the award, the victim may not see another dollar.

Since taking the state to court of its refusal to comply with the award, defense lawyers, mayors, and state legislators have lambasted the victim. As so often in personal injury claims, wrongdoers often blame victims for their own injuries and cry foul when jurors of their peers find compassion in their souls to do what is right.

Tampa Bay motorcycle accident lawyers

Although The Pendas Law Firm did not provide representation to any of the parties involved in this particular lawsuit, our personal injury law firm understands the struggles that victims may sometimes have to endure to claim their awards. Our law firm strongly believes that wrongdoers should be held liable for their negligent and careless behavior and appropriate victims accordingly and in a timely manner.

If you or a loved one was hurt in an auto accident, contact The Pendas Law Firm for a consultation about your case. Our office represents clients in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, and Jacksonville and work hard to help auto accident victims and their families get the justice they deserve.

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