FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2011-02-27
A serious car and truck accident on I-95 involved four vehicle and seven people, leaving a trail of twisted wreckage and two dead in Palm Bay. A semi-truck struck two cars and a pick-up as the vehicles slowed for a lane change caused by road construction.
Highway patrol on the scene stated that the truck never applied any brakes until it struck the first car, then a second car, and finally the pickup, which caught fire. An off-duty police officer with a fire extinguisher, who was working traffic control for the construction company, rescued the driver of that vehicle.
The Florida Highway Patrol placed the blame on the truck driver: “The full responsibility of the crash falls on the semi-tractor driver. We’re looking at everything involved but anytime you have a change in road conditions, whether it’s a pre-planned closure or something sudden, drivers need to be paying attention.”
Sorting Out the Florida Truck Crash
While the Highway Patrol was assigning blame, this type of fatal car accident provides a window on the complexity of sorting out legal responsibility in a multi-vehicle crash. The truck struck an Infiniti, destroying the vehicle and killing the two occupants. The car and truck then overran the next car, a Saturn, severely injuring the two occupants, and finally, the pick-up truck was struck by the truck and pieces of the two cars. A construction worker was also injured as he ran to avoid the crash.
Two people killed, five people injured, three cars and a semi-truck owned by American Fruit and Produce involved in the crash on a highway under construction.
In a lawsuit, the parties could include the truck driver, the trucking company, their insurance company, the drivers of the Saturn and pickup, and their respective insurance companies, the estate of the deceased occupants of the Infiniti and their insurance company. The construction company employee, the construction company, their insurance company and the governmental entity (city, county or state) responsible for the construction work on I-95. Additionally, if American Fruit and Produce contracts out for maintenance of their trucks, that company could be brought in to the lawsuit.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
This is why it is necessary to hire an attorney anytime you are involved a car crash or truck accident. There could be additional parties, for instance, if it was discovered that the brakes failed because of a defective part or design, the manufacturer of the part or parts could be involved as partially responsible.
Your attorney is your advocate, and their sole responsibility is ensuring your interests are protected. The other parties are not looking out for you, not even your insurance company, as they are all working to minimize their own liability.
While it may be the case that the truck driver was distracted and wasn’t paying attention to the slowing traffic in front of his truck and just plowed into the cars, there is no simple way of determining that, absent a full examination of all the facts, something that frequently requires a lawsuit and trial.