Last month in Jacksonville, a four-vehicle accident involving a school bus, tractor trailer, SUV, and a Volkswagen Beetle left two people dead and several injured. According to a report by the local NBC affiliate, the school bus was stopped on eastbound Dunn Avenue letting children off the bus. Behind the school bus were the SUV and the Volkswagen. Evidently, the tractor-trailer approached the stopped vehicles at a high rate of speed and did not break in time. The tractor trailer slammed into the two vehicles behind the school bus and then tipped over, eventually colliding with the school bus as well.
Both the driver and the passenger in the SUV suffered fatal injures from the accident and were pronounced dead at the scene. Of the thirteen students on the bus, four were injured and taken to the hospitals, as well as the drivers of the Volkswagen and the tractor trailer. All are expected to fully recover from their injuries.
Police are currently investigating the accident and considering whether to file criminal charges against the driver of the tractor trailer.
The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Liability
In the article cited above, it notes that the police are considering whether to press criminal charges against the driver of the tractor trailer for his role in causing the accident that killed two people. If charged and found guilty, the driver of the truck may face fines and perhaps prison time.
However, there is also the potential for a civil cause of action against the driver of the truck brought by the families of the two who died. This type of action is called a “wrongful death action” and is typically brought by a family member of the deceased.
Generally speaking, a wrongful death action seeks compensation for the loss of a loved one due to the reckless or negligent behavior of another. In a Florida wrongful death case, the person bringing the suit must prove that the other driver was at least negligent in causing the accident which resulted in the death of their loved on. To do this, a wrongful death plaintiff may use as evidence the fact that a driver was criminally liable for the accident. In other words, the civil plaintiff can point to the verdict in a criminal trial as evidence of negligence.
Are You Considering Bringing a Florida Personal Injury Claim?
If you have recently lost a loved one in a car or truck accident that was caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your loss. To find out what you may be entitled to, and to speak to an experienced attorney about the facts of your case, contact the Dean Law Firm. The Dean Law Firm has a team of dedicated Florida personal injury attorneys ready to speak to you about your Florida wrongful death claim. Click here, or call 352-387-8700 to speak to an experienced Florida attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Florida Plaintiff Almost Loses Opportunity to Recover Based on Sloppy Filings, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 31, 2014.
Florida Court Corrects Arbitrator’s Error of Law in Recent Court of Appeals Case, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 31, 2014.