Several families remain in mourning after five victims were killed in a wrong-way crash in Miami on August 20, 2022, but they may soon see justice for the loss of their loved ones. According to Miami’s Local 10 News Channel, Florida Highway Patrol arrested the at-fault driver as he lay hospitalized for the injuries he sustained. The current charges are five counts of vehicular homicide, though FHP may add counts if it is determined that the man was impaired at the time of the collision. Officials stated that the wrong way accident occurred when the man was heading east in the westbound lanes of Palmetto Expressway around 4:30 a.m. He smashed head-on into a Honda sedan carrying the five victims, who were all pronounced dead at the scene.
After a fatal auto crash, family members typically have remedies under Florida wrongful death laws. However, there are certain factors in this recent collision that could create challenges, so retaining a Miami wrong-way car accident lawyer is essential. It is also helpful to review some information on the causes behind these horrific incidents.
Common Causes of Wrong-Way Auto Collisions
It is shocking and disturbing to realize that the wrong way motorist was drunk driving in 58% of all wrong way car accidents. Officials report that drivers were either at or in excess of the legal limit, which is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Florida and all other US states. This fact may be what prompted FHP to arrest the suspect on five counts of vehicular homicide while lying in his hospital bed, and it may be the basis for additional charges.
However, there are other reasons that wrong way auto crashes occur. For instance:
- Elderly drivers can often be confused by signage, especially driving at night.
- Miami is a popular tourist hot spot, so there are many motorists that are not familiar with the streets they are driving.
- Construction zone signage can also be confusing, leading some drivers to get on the wrong ramp.
Challenges for Victims’ Families
There are several factors that might create hurdles for family members of the deceased victims, and one is the at-fault driver’s background. He did not have a valid driver’s license, as it was revoked in 2014 when he was charged for driving 109 mph on a South Florida highway. The man continued to drive without a license, incurring tickets for speeding, failure to yield, and running red lights.
As a result, it is unlikely that the wrong way driver carries auto insurance. Family members of the victims cannot file a claim, but may have options under their own policies. If the at-fault motorist owns substantial assets, a civil lawsuit for wrongful death may be possible.
Our Miami Wrong Way Car Accident Attorneys are Prepared for Challenges
If you were hurt in a traffic collision of any kind, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to schedule a free consultation. You can reach our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or visiting us online.