Earlier this month in Martin County, a volunteer football coach was killed in an early-morning accident. According to one local news report, the accident occurred just before five in the morning on the 10000 block of Southwest Pratt-Whitney Road.
Evidently, the coach was heading southbound on Pratt-Whitney Road when another vehicle traveling the wrong way collided with the coach’s vehicle, hitting him head-on. The coach was tragically pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by emergency workers. The driver of the other vehicle was also injured, although he survived the initial collision and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Investigators told reporters that the coach was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, but the other driver was not.
Police are currently in the midst of a homicide investigation and have not yet released their findings. Criminal charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.
Florida Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents we see, since they often result in head-on collisions. Barring some kind of extenuating circumstance, all one-way roads in Florida are clearly marked, and they should indicate to drivers that they are not permitted to travel against traffic. However, each year we see dozens of serious or fatal wrong-way accidents across South Florida. Often, these accidents are the result of drunk or distracted driving.
Liability in Wrong-Way Accidents
Unlike some other kinds of accidents where there may be some gray area when it comes to determining who is at fault, wrong-way accidents are almost never the fault of the driver who was traveling in the appropriate direction. Establishing liability in these types of cases, therefore, is less a matter of determining who was at fault, and more a matter of determining if the wrong-way driver was being negligent or reckless at the time of the accident.
In cases where there is evidence that the driver was intoxicated or distracted, this can be fairly straightforward. However, where no such evidence exists, the case can be more difficult—although not impossible—to prove.
Most often, these types of cases proceed on circumstantial evidence, the most important piece of which is often the fact that the driver was indeed traveling the wrong way on the highway. In Florida, a judge or jury is permitted to find negligence based merely on that fact alone. Additional evidence, such as a traffic citation, may also be helpful in establishing liability on the part of the wrong-way driver.
Have You Been Injured in a Head-On Collision?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other driver’s negligence. Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies will almost certainly be involved and are known for trying to escape liability, even in the most clear-cut cases. To ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process, speak with a dedicated and experienced Florida personal injury attorney about your case prior to proceeding. At Cecere Santana, we have over 35 years of collective experience handling Florida personal injury cases, including those arising out of head-on collisions. Call 800-753-5529 to set up a free consultation with an attorney today.
See More Blog Posts:
Miami Lakes Car Accident Claims Three Lives Earlier this Month, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published April 26, 2015.
Florida Supreme Court Weighs In on Hit-and-Run Liability, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 6, 2015.