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Passenger Injuries in South Florida Car Crashes

In many car crashes, we see one at-fault driver, and one or more drivers who were not at-fault in causing a serious or fatal South Florida car wreck.  However, in some cases, there are two drivers who are acting in a negligent manner and responsible for injuries to themselves and possibly for injuries of passengers in one or both of the vehicles. There are a variety of different ways in which two or more drivers involved in a single traffic crash could be engaged in negligent behavior.

One situation, that while not an everyday occurrence, but one which happens far more often than it should, is when two or more cars are engaged in an illegal street race. This could be a pre-planned (though still illegal) semi-organized street race like we see in the movies an in many shows on reality TV, or it can simply be two drivers who see each other and decide to start racing each other.  This is not only very dangerous, but is also illegal, and could be the basis for an arrest for reckless driving.  As our Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain, this might also be an example of gross negligence, which goes beyond ordinary civil negligence if there is proof of a wilful and wanton disregard for the safety for others. In some cases, it is not that the two drivers decide to race each other, but end up offending one another and get involved in a road rage type of behavior that is tantamount to an illegal street race. In some cases, it will not be only one or both drivers who are injured or killed in a high-speed accident, but also one or more passengers.

According to a recent news article from ABC News, two were killed when one speeding car crashed after was seen traveling at high speed with another vehicle.  The other vehicle was a pickup truck that stayed on the scene for a short time after accident, before the driver allegedly fled the scene resulting in what could be considered a hit and run depending on the circumstances. Witnesses do not know if they were engaged in a race, but they did report seeing the truck and car speeding alongside each other before the sedan crashed into a tree on the median resulting in the death of the driver and a rear seat passenger.

With respect to passengers being injured in a South Florida car crash, there is very little chance the passenger can be held civilly liable for causing the accident. The only way a passenger could be liable is if he or she actually took physical controls of the car while it was driving and this resulted in the crash.  It is very unlikely a passenger in the back seat could take control of a vehicle. This means the passenger, or the passenger’s family in the case of a fatal South Florida car accident, would have a valid personal injury claim against the driver in the car in which he or she was riding as well as possibly the other driver if they were engaged in a street race.  This is not to say the passenger could not have assumed some risk if he or she knowingly got into a car when they were going to race, but this is something about which you should discuss with an experienced car accident lawyer.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

2 killed when speeding car crashes into tree off I-95 in Miami, police say, July 2, 2018, By Madeleine Wright, ABC News

More Blog Entries:

Court Favors Plaintiff in Crash Lawsuit Involving Emergency Vehicle, May 18, 2018, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog

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