Lawsuits Filed over Highway Crashes in Florida

Thirteen lawsuits were recently filed against the state of Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from family members of people who were killed on Interstate 75 or from individuals who injured in those accidents. Eleven people died on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on January 29, 2012.

It is highly unusual for such a large number people to die in auto accidents in such a short period of time. The numerous crashes occurred in the early morning when a mixture of smoke from wildfires and fog gathered in the area and decreased driver visibility in an area of roadway that also was unlit. A highway patrol officer suggested the road be kept closed due to the unusual conditions, but allegedly, someone higher up in his chain of command decided to keep the roadways open. Six separate fatal crashes in the area, involving six tractor trailers, a motor home, a van and a number of cars. Eighteen people were hospitalized in addition to those that died.

The Florida Highway Patrol later stated that the crashes were unavoidable, while a report from April developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that errors made in decision-making by the Florida Highway Patrol contributed to the deadly accidents. The Department of Law Enforcement said there were not enough signs available to provide motorists with much-needed information about the lack of visibility and danger. The Florida Highway Patrol countered that it is the responsibility of the Department of Transportation to provide proper signage. The highway patrol also stated that some motorists did not reduce their speed, even though they were driving into low-visibility conditions, which contributed to the number of accidents. Separate analysis of different reports conducted by the local newspaper did identify alcohol use in two accidents, but there were no injuries or deaths associated with them.

Of course, it isn’t surprising that no state agency wants to accept the blame. The accidents in January caused a tremendous loss of life, which, at this juncture, appear to have been avoidable. The lives lost caused incalculable anguish on the part of family members who lost loved ones. While lawsuits have been filed, it could be many years for the survivors and their relatives to be handed judgment and resolve the suits.

Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012. Filed under Auto Accidents, News & Press.

Child Seriously Injured in Florida Interstate Crash

A 6-year-old boy was seriously injured in an accident on Interstate 10 in Santa Rosa County in western Florida on Friday night. The driver of a Ford F-150 veered off the roadway onto a shoulder to avoid a vehicle directly in front that slowed suddenly. In the process, the truck’s driver from Crestview struck a tree near the road. The 6-year-old boy was in the truck at the time of the accident and was seriously injured. Minor injuries were sustained by five others, including one adult.

Injuries sustained in accidents like this can be deceptive. What first seemed to be a superficial cut or bump may progress into internal pains or symptoms like dizziness or a loss of balance. If such problems emerge later, it is very important that they are documented correctly at the time of the accident because, if they are not, there may not be a sound basis for pursuing a legal case.

In this particular instance, the driver who caused the truck to veer off the road to avoid a rear-end collision was at fault. She was charged with impeding the flow of traffic, failure to display registration and failure to provide proof of insurance. The official documentation of these charges and the police investigation is what allows a case to be made and prosecuted.

Similarly, if someone is injured in such an accident, all of the medical details must be documented properly, so the victims can bring a case to court if there is good reason. Victims of personal injury sometimes don’t know the full extent of their injuries until after the accident. Soft tissue injuries, vascular injuries and even traumatic brain injuries may not appear immediately, and yet their diagnosis and documentation is key information in a personal injury case.

And in an accident like this one where children are involved, the consequences of an injury are greater. Children’s bodies and minds are growing at a continuous rate, and untreated medical injuries could interfere with their physical, mental and social development. Having a competent Florida personal injury attorney can help cover the finances required to care for victims of auto accidents.

Posted on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012. Filed under Auto Accidents, News & Press.