The Orlando Sentinel reported the sad news after a year-long fight for his life that ended recently in a hospice facility in Central Florida. He was just 40-years-old. Friends and family told reporters Liddy loved the open road, whether it was driving his tractor-trailer or bicycling across the state – a hobby he had fervently dedicated himself to in recent years.
The truck accident that caused his injuries occurred last July. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Liddy’s truck collided with another tractor-trailer on the Turnpike in St. Lucie County one morning shortly after 5 a.m. Investigators later told WPTV NBC-5 that the two trucks were traveling southbound with the other truck a short distance ahead of Liddy. For an undetermined reason, Liddy’s semi struck the rear trailer of the other vehicle. Liddy then struck a median guardrail and jackknifed.
The violent collision resulted in tomatoes barrels of tomatoes to be scattered all across the highway. Liddy, meanwhile, was left critically injured. He suffered a serious skull fracture and had to undergo numerous injuries. For months, he was in a medically-induced coma.
Still, his family and friends held out hope that he would improve. After all, he not only had a beloved wife and three children – ages 22, 9 and 15 months – he had built strong friendships with those in the Florida cycling community. Those cyclists rallied around him and his family for the full year, cooking meals, doing yard work and organizing numerous fundraisers, including a 100-mile ride in his honor.
He transferred medical facilities a number of times, but there was hope of his improvement. He awoke. He could, with prompting, squeeze someone’s hand or raise his arms. He was even able to say a few words. He told his wife he loved her. He told her he missed her. He said her name.
But then, his condition started to decline. He suffered sky-high fevers and seizures. Then last month, he was transferred to a hospice unit. His cycling friends kept vigil by his side.
Now that he has passed, the family is no doubt reeling with what happens now.
Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers know that in terms of financial security, there may be several avenues worth exploring. Of course, health insurance may cover some of the costs and community fundraisers are welcome. But long-term, those aren’t going to make up for the wages Liddy would have earned to help support his family.
Because Liddy was on-the-job at the time of the crash, we would first want to explore whether workers’ compensation benefits might be available. These benefits generally cover medical bills and a portion of lost wages and survivor benefits when an injury or death happens at work – regardless of who is at-fault.
Beyond that, we would want to look closely at what caused this crash. Generally when one vehicle rear-ends another, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver in the rear (in this case, Liddy), is at-fault. It would be necessary to see whether any evidence suggests he was not at-fault or that the other driver may have shared some of the blame. This would allow for a third-party civil action against the other driver and/or that driver’s employer and/or the owner of that truck.
Another element to examine is whether any mechanical issues may have played a role in the crash that might give rise to a product liability claim.
It can be difficult in the wake of such tragedy to think about finances, but it’s often critical to helping families form a steady foundation for the next chapter.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Central Florida cyclist Chris Liddy dies after yearlong battle with crash injury, June 2, 2016, By Bethany Rodgers, Orlando Sentinel
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Sorenson v. Batchelder – Injury Lawsuit Nixed Due to Misfiled Paperwork, May 29, 2016, Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Lawyer Blog