Earlier this month, a hit and run accident claimed the lives of two children and injured four others. In the wake of the accident, investigators scoured the scene for evidence. Ultimately, their investigation led them to a man whom they believed was driving at the time of the accident. During an interview, the man confessed to driving the car that was involved in the fatal accident.
Since then, prosecutors announced that the man will face serious felony charges related to the accident. According to a recent news report, the man’s first court appearance was last week, when he temporarily left the courtroom, “objecting” to the proceedings against him. While the outcome of the trial remains to be seen, the family members of the deceased accident victims—as well as those injured in the accident—may choose to pursue a civil personal injury claim against the driver.
After a serious accident involving potentially criminal activity, the person alleged to be at fault may very well face criminal charges. A criminal case is intended to hold the allegedly at-fault driver for violating the law—not necessarily for the harm caused to the victims. Along those lines, if the driver is subsequently found guilty, they can face various punishments, including fines, probation and jail time.
While criminal judges can order a criminal defendant to pay restitution to an accident victim, there is no guarantee that the defendant will have the assets to cover the restitution award. Other than that, criminal judges are unable to force a defendant to compensate an accident victim.
However, accident victims can pursue their own case against a driver. These personal injury cases are civil in nature, and seek monetary compensation from the at-fault party. However, because most drivers have car insurance, the insurance company is ultimately on the hook for the damages. This means that, if an accident victim is successful in bringing a personal injury case, they do not need to worry about the other driver having sufficient assets to cover the damages award.
However, because an insurance company is defending the lawsuit, an accident victim must be prepared to go up against the insurance company’s lawyers. For this reason, most accident victims reach out to an experienced Florida personal injury attorney for assistance with their claim,
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident?
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a South Florida car accident, reach out to the dedicated injury lawyers at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing accident victims and their families in all types of personal injury cases, including Florida car accidents. Over this time, we’ve recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our many clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, give Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada a call today at 877-448-8585. You can also reach us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our legal services unless and until we can recover compensation on your behalf.