Multi-Vehicle Crash in Alligator Alley Leads to Fatality
In early March, an accident on I-75, locally known as Alligator Alley, led to one fatality and numerous injuries. A van carrying 15 people was travelling east in the left lane when it was rear-ended by a truck. The van was carrying individuals from Minnesota as young as 4 years old, visiting for a spring training game in Ft. Myers. When the van was struck by the pickup truck, the driver lost control. The van flipped, several passengers were ejected, and it landed on the other side of the highway. The truck also rolled over. Numerous reports state a third vehicle was involved in the crash, though specifics were not given. One van passenger was killed, Lauren Vanreese. Numerous passengers were airlifted to a hospital due to serious injuries while other van passengers and the driver of the truck were taken to area hospitals for treatment.
Liability for the Accident
The driver of the pickup truck may face both criminal and civil liability for his actions. The criminal liability is based on how prosecutors choose to charge him. Initial reports state he has been charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI causing serious bodily injury, and DUI with damage to another person’s property. His blood alcohol level was .182 when Florida’s legal BAL limit is .08. These are serious charges, which can lead to years of imprisonment, fines, and other statutory penalties. The at-fault driver’s civil liability depends on whether the family of the deceased and the injured victims choose to file insurance claims or lawsuits against him.
Car Accident Personal Injury Claims
So long as there is evidence of negligence, the injured survivors of a crash may pursue compensation from the driver. This typically begins with an insurance claim. Car crash victims may be able to negotiate an appropriate settlement with an at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider. However, depending on the driver’s policy limit and other factors, a settlement may not be possible. In this situation, the victims may each file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and seek compensation for their injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, reduced earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. Victims of car crashes should work with a Miami car accident lawyer. An experienced attorney can advise injured individuals of their legal rights and options and then guide them through the legal process, including negotiating with an insurer or filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Car Accident Wrongful Death Suits
When car crashes cause fatalities, the surviving family members of the victim must decide on what to do next. If there is evidence that the at-fault driver was careless or reckless, then a family may wish to pursue compensation for the resulting medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, the loss of their loved one’s financial contributions, the loss of their loved one’s companionship, and their emotional suffering. If a family wishes to seek justice, then the personal representative of the victim’s estate may file a wrongful death claim in court. Like with personal injury claims, many wrongful death suits are settled with insurance companies before trial. However, a family should work with an experienced Miami wrongful death attorney who is confident in facing an insurer and at-fault driver in court.
Have You Been Affected by a Car Crash?
If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision, or your relative lost their life, you need to speak with an attorney about your options. Pursuing compensation does not make it like the accident never happened, it cannot magically heal your injuries, and it can never bring your loved one back. However, obtaining the compensation you are entitled to under the law can help you and your family move forward in life after a traumatic experience. To learn more, call Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. at (877) 475-2905 and schedule a free consultation.