If you stop by our Panama City accident law office, you will often find families sitting together in somber silence. Even if a lawsuit is ultimately filed in the name of one individual, families come to support each other through the legal process when the underlying matter is an unexpected tragedy. This is particularly true in situations when the victim is a child or teen, situations that are much too common. When an accident leads to a teen fatality or causes major injury to a teenager, we understand that it impacts entire families. We promise to explore claims on behalf of individual victims and their families, and also to provide a supportive environment that helps all members of the affected family begin to heal.
Three families are coping with the shock of a tragic accident that occurred in Jackson County last weekend, a crash detailed by WJHG. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the crash occurred on Saturday at 4:15 A.M on State Road 71 South. Three teens were riding in a southbound Chevy Silverado when it drifted off the road's east-side shoulder, collided with a utility pole, and began to rotate. Ultimately, the vehicle overturned. The driver, 16-year-old Nolan Bailey Musgrove of Altha, died in the accident. Two passengers, Emily Sewell of Blountstown and Tristen Cole Miller of Altha, both also 16 years of age, suffered minor, non-life threatening injuries.
In a Teen Drivers Fact Sheet, the Center for Disease Control ("CDC") discuss the accident rate for U.S. teens. In 2010, per the CDC, approximately 2,700 teens aged 16 to 19 died in motor vehicle crashes, and an additional 282,000 were treated for accident-incurred injuries in emergency rooms and released. This averages out to 7 deaths every single day. Such statistics make motor vehicle crashes the top cause of death for U.S. teens.
How do these figures compare to accident rates in the general population? For every mile driven, teen drivers between ages 16 and 19 are 3 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when compared to drivers aged 20 years and older. Likewise, while 15 to 24 year-olds are only 14% of the population, they are tied to 30% of all costs related to automobile injuries among males and 28% of the costs associated with motor vehicle injuries in women.
Some other important facts on teen drivers:
There are few things more painful than facing the death of one's child. Despite the foregoing figures, one should never simply assume a teen was at fault. Our firm believes in looking at the facts of each case to determine who was at fault. If your teenage child is injured or killed in a Northwest Florida car accident, you should engage counsel to investigate the cause of the collision.
Should you choose our Panama City injury law firm, we promise to always treat you and your family with the utmost respect. At The Pittman Firm, you are always a person and never simply a case number. While some conversations must be held in private for legal reasons, we encourage you to bring a loved one for support when you visit our office for a (free) initial consultation.