A Brevard County, Florida deputy died last weekend when his patrol vehicle was hit by a semi-truck. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the 32 year old deputy was on his way to work in Viera, driving southbound on Interstate 95 just north of State Road 50, when he was hit by the semi-truck carrying car parts.
Although the incident is still under investigation, FHP believes it was caused when the tread on the semi-truck’s front left tire separated. The tread then wrapped around the axle, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. In reaction, the driver immediately steered left, hitting the back of the patrol car.
Investigators say that it is still too early to know whether or not the driver of the semi-truck will face charges, but that it seems that the crash was an accident. However, this does not mean that the surviving family members of the deceased deputy don’t have the right to seek compensation. Although typically one would have to show negligence on the part of the driver in order to be able to sue for damages, because this case involved a commercial truck, things are slightly different.
First, any surviving family members (i.e., spouse and children) would have to file a Florida wrongful death action. The purpose of Florida’s wrongful death statute is to compensate family members who depended on the deceased for income and stability. Second, assuming that the driver did not act negligently, the family members would likely file their action against the owner of the truck. Their argument would likely be that the company was negligent in the maintenance and repair of their vehicle – specifically the tires – and that as a result of this negligence, the tread came loose and caused the accident and the death of the deputy.
If successful, the family could receive compensation for:
- The value of the support and services the deceased had provided
- Loss of companionship and guidance
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Medical and funeral expenses
To learn more about Florida’s wrongful death statute, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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- Rear End Car Accident:
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- Semi-Truck Accident:
$1.5 Million Recovery
- Van Rollover:
$1.2 Million Wrongful Death Recovery
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- Truck Collides with Cow: