For most residents of Florida, the memory of the series of chain reaction motor vehicle accidents that occurred this past January on Interstate 75 are likely still fresh. The incidents, which occurred in part due to the smoke and fog blanketing the stretch, resulted in 11 deaths and the hospitalization of 18 people.
A report issued after an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement indicated that the Florida Highway Patrol opened the stretch of highway too soon. Shortly after it did so, the first accident occurred.
Life for individuals who are injured in car accidents and for those who have lost loved ones is often quickly and unexpectedly changed forever. Serious car accidents can result in devastating injuries such as broken bones, brain and spinal injuries, the recovery for which is usually long and hard. Family members of people whose lives are lost are left to deal not only with the emotional aftermath, but sometimes financial difficulties as well.
Civil personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits provide a way for those impacted by the negligence of another person which results in death or injury to seek financial damages for among other things, their pain and losses. While the money obtained in successful lawsuits does not undo the harm that has been done, it often makes life easier for the recipients.
Individuals who were injured in the Gainesville, Florida incident, as well as family members of those who died have reportedly provided notice to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of the intent to file civil lawsuits. In total, so far 13 such notices have been received.
Source: Washington Post, "At least 13 lawsuits filed against Florida over deadly crashes on foggy stretch of I-75," Associated Press, Aug. 7, 2012
• Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Miami car accidents page