Earlier this month, a Tamarac man was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide for his role in a fatal accident that claimed the life of his passenger. According to one local news source, the district attorney’s recent decision to file charges was after an eight-month investigation.
Evidently, the man was driving a black 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with one passenger, a 21-year-old woman, when he lost control of the vehicle. Upon losing control, the car slid off the roadway and wrapped around a nearby utility pole. Both the driver and the passenger were trapped inside, where they remained until emergency responders were able to free them. After they were taken out of the vehicle, both were taken to the hospital. Sadly, the passenger was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival. The driver survived.
Police conducted a roadside sobriety check on the driver, who passed. However, police believed that there was more to the story and initiated an in-depth investigation as to the cause of the accident. As it turns out, evidence suggested that the vehicle was traveling 77 miles per hour in the moments preceding the accident. The speed limit on that stretch of road was 35 miles per hour.
The driver told investigators “I wasn’t going that fast,” and explained that there was oil or water on the road that caused him to lose control. He also claimed that his traction control and anti-lock brakes didn’t kick in. Investigators did discover that the vehicle’s rear tires were very worn, which is consistent with quick acceleration and “burn outs.” Additionally, the vehicle’s Stability Control System had been manually turned off prior to the accident.
Driver Liability to Passengers in Florida Car Accidents
All drivers have a duty to everyone on the road to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. Of course, this includes a duty to those inside the driver’s vehicle. While many personal injury cases arising from serious or fatal car accidents are brought against parties in separate vehicles, the law allows for passengers in a vehicle to file suit against the allegedly negligent driver of the vehicle they are in at the time of the accident.
In order to be successful in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of a vehicle, the passenger must establish that they suffered some kind of injury that was caused by the driver’s negligence. In addition, the passenger should be prepared to explain why they did not “assume the risk” involved by voluntarily getting into the car with another driver. This most often comes up in drunk driving situations when the accident victim was aware that the driver was drinking prior to getting behind the wheel.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for all that you have been through. It is important to keep in mind that these lawsuits can be brought against almost any party that was alleged to have been negligent, including the driver of the vehicle. To learn more about these kinds of lawsuits, and to speak with a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney, call 800-753-5529 to set up a free consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Coral Springs Motorcycle Accident Kills One, Injures Another, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published June 9, 2015.
Two Motorcycle Accidents in Palm Beach County Leaves One Man Dead and Another in Serious Condition, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 9, 2015.