People make snap judgments. We look at a few noticeable traits and conclude we know everything about an individual we encountered just moments before. Often, a person's choice of transportation causes people to jump to conclusions: Motorcyclists are wild, aggressive, rough-hewn; Sports car drivers are arrogant, show-offs, fond of speed; Skateboarders are young, rebellious, somewhat junior motorcyclists. Generalizations, by their nature, will be wrong at least some of the time.
Having served as a Panama City Florida skateboard accident lawyer, we've found most skateboard riders take care to skate smart. Far too many skateboard accidents occur because of a motor vehicle operator's negligence. We help skateboard riders dealing with catastrophic injuries and families coping with loss overcome biases and recover monetary damages,
Tragedy struck on Sunday night in Panama City on West 11th Street. Witnesses told MyPanhandle ABC that a car hit a 15 year-old boy who had been skateboarding, dragging the teen for more than 50 feet. Eventually, the driver backed up to free the boy and then took off at high speed. One witness said the boy remained conscious but repeatedly said he couldn't breathe and had bad road burn on his entire body. Emergency responders transported the teen to an area hospital. As of the time of the report, his condition was unknown. Police are looking for the driver and anyone with information is urged to call Panama City Police (872-3112) or the anonymous CrimeStoppers hotline (785-TIPS).
Each year, Skaters for Public Skateparks, a non-profit focused on providing safe skateboarding parks, publishes a list of U.S. skateboarding deaths. Released in February 2014, their2013 Skateboard Fatalities report lists 21 individuals who died skateboard.jpgwhile skateboarding including 19 killed on public streets (one was in a private parking lot, one on a golf course). Two of the deaths involved hit-and-run incidents. Approximately half died in collisions with motor vehicles. The oldest victim, age 50, was using a skateboard for transportation and was struck by a police cruiser.
Of note, the 2013 deaths were a significant decline from 2012 when the group memorialized 30 deaths (2 died in 2012 due to incidents occurring in 2011), all due to roadway incidents and 24 riders were hit by a motor vehicle. 2012's deaths also marked a decline from the prior year with 2011 seeing 42 fatalities. Discussing the 2012 fatalities, the group concludes "bodily blunt force trauma caused by a collision with a vehicle" was the leading cause of death.
Florida law provides that skateboarding is only allowed on public lands or government property if the government specifically okays the activity. Skateboarders are required to assume the possible risks of the sport/transit method. Some local ordinances regulate whether or not skateboarding is permitted on sidewalks.
We certainly agree with the principle that skateboard riders should be aware of the risks. However, if a skateboarder is hurt or killed because of a driver's negligent or wrongful acts, we believe the driver should be held liable. Do not be intimidated by a defense attorney and do not go it alone. A consultation with Panama City personal injury lawyer Wes Pittman is always free and injury cases are typically handled on a contingency basis meaning you only pay our firm if you recover money.
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