Many Floridians assume that no one is liable in a single-car accident. This assumption is incorrect, because the driver of an automobile owes the duty of car to all the passengers in the vehicle. A recent single-vehicle accident in Bradenton demonstrates how this rule works.
The Florida Highway Patrol said that the accident occurred near the intersection of 17th Street West and 2nd Avenue East. A sedan was travelling east on 17th Street. As the sedan approached the intersection with 2nd Avenue East, the driver lost control of the vehicle, and it traveled across the media strip, spun around, and traveled into the south lane of 17th Street west. After lurching into 17th Street, the car collided with a chain link fence and then crashed into a concrete electrical pole.
The Florida Highway Patrol said that the driver and a male front seat passenger died in the collision. None of the occupants of the car was wearing a seat belt during the crash. The FHP has not issued any statements about whether the driver may have been impaired or whether he had failed to observe posted speed limits. The FHP’s investigation is continuing.
Potential claims for liability
The barebones description of the accident provided by the FHP appears to place most of the fault for the accident on the driver who lost control of the vehicle. Neither of the passengers appears to have had any role in controlling the vehicle. The fact that the accident occurred on two city streets gives rise to a powerful inference that the vehicle exceeded the posted speed limits before the accident occurred. In either case. Alcohol or drugs may have contributed to the collision. In either case, the driver would be liable for the death of his male passenger and the injuries to the female passenger.
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may wish to pursue a claim for damages. A knowledgeable accident attorney can provide a useful analysis of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income, disability, and pain and suffering.