When deadly motor vehicle accidents occur, the family members of the victim will look to hold someone responsible. Even if a car is damaged and involved in an accident due to factors such as driver or mechanical errors, there still may be a way to file a lawsuit that compensates the victim’s family.

An accident on Florida’s Turnpike caused multiple injuries and one death just south of West Palm Beach in the Delray Beach area.

Multiple juveniles transported from accident scene to Delray Beach area hospitals

Several minors were riding in a Toyota 4Runner SUV that was travelling northbound when it rolled over near the exit for Atlantic Ave, also known as Exit 81. The Florida Highway Patrol responded to the scene to find that all six juveniles riding in the vehicle had been hurt, and all of them were sent to local hospitals. The police believe that the incident occurred as the vehicle was approaching a curve on the entrance ramp for the turnpike. At some point, the vehicle went off of the road surface, turned over, and landed on the passenger side. No specific cause of the accident was given and it appears no other vehicles remained at the scene, although it is unclear whether other vehicles may have been involved.

One of the passengers was a 15 year old boy who died later at Delray Medical Center. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue also responded and helped bring four of the victims to a trauma center for their injuries, while the rest went to regular hospitals.

The intersection of Atlantic Ave and the Florida Turnpike is approximately twenty miles southwest of downtown West Palm Beach.

Who is at fault when only one vehicle remains at the accident scene?

In a single vehicle accident, the driver may not always necessarily be at fault. There may be unsafe conditions on the roads due to construction or weather. The vehicle itself may also have issues due to improper maintenance, or unsafe parts that need to be recalled by the manufacturer. It is also possible that if the driver was negligent, they can be sued by the victims inside their car for causing injuries to passengers. Civil lawsuits are often filed against multiple parties, then they will be removed as the discovery process unfolds and a specific cause of the accident or responsible entity is identified.

Whoever is found to be responsible for the accident will be named as the defendant in a civil lawsuit. This is true whether the passengers end up suing the driver, or another driver or business that was involved must answer for their actions in court.

If another car was involved and they left the scene before law enforcement arrived, they may be charged criminally by the police for leaving the scene of the accident, in addition to the civil lawsuit filed by the victims. The criminal and civil lawsuits will need to be handled separately in this scenario.

The process of holding the person or entity at fault responsible through a civil lawsuit

When an attorney for the plaintiff identifies the driver or business that caused the accident, they will file an initial complaint in the local court which states the facts surrounding the accident and the type of relief requested. In negligence cases, the plaintiff’s attorney will add up the total value of losses related to property damage, medical treatment, emotional pain and suffering, and other problems and ask for this amount in the pleading. In a deadly accident, there may also be a similar claim for a wrongful death that provides the victim’s family with funeral and burial expenses, in addition to the other losses.

After this initial filing, the attorneys for both sides will begin to exchange information through the discovery process. This is essentially a required information exchange between both sides of the case that will make it easier to determine an exact cause and resolve the case more efficiently. In car accident cases, information usually includes this like the police accident report, photos of the scene, testimony from witnesses and victims, and depositions where anyone who has information about the incident can be called into an office to make statements about what they know under oath.

Once this information has been shared, there may be a decision to settle the case if it becomes obvious that one side has a much better chance of a favorable outcome. Otherwise, there will be a full trial with testimony from the people involved and a final decision made by a jury.

Learn more about how to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for an injury

Lawyers who handle civil accident cases and related matters can consult with you about the process of filing a lawsuit and receiving other forms of help. To speak with an experienced attorney in the West Palm Beach area, contact Smith and Vanture.