A crash on I-95 near Northwest 119th Street left one child dead and four people injured.
As reported by the Sun Sentinal The car accident happened shortly after 9 p.m. near Northwest 135th Street when a Chevrolet Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed hit the back of a Toyota. After impact, the Toyota caught fire.
FHP spokesman Alex Annuziato told the Sun Sentinel that a woman and two young children inside the Toyota were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where the 4-year-old died, and that a male and a female from the Camaro also were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the young child who died in this accident.
As a Miami Car Accident Lawyer, It is vital to look at the different causes of action available to the family of the young child and the injured occupants of the Toyota.
The family of the young child has a claim for Wrongful Death against the driver and owner of the Camaro. In addition depending on what the evidence shows was the cause of death, the family may also have a claim against Toyota for products liability. This would be the case if the Toyota caught fire because of a design flaw or manufacturing flaw, and the resulting fire was the cause of death. Notwithstanding the potential claim against Toyota, the driver of the Camaro is still responsible for all damages that flow from his/her negligence. This area of law was established in the case of Stuart v. Hertz Corp., 351 So.2d 703 (Fla. 1977). In the Hertz case, The Hertz Corporation was vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver of its vehicle. Hertz sought to limit its financial burden by blaming a treating doctor who, it claimed, made the crash victim’s injuries worse through medical malpractice. The Florida Supreme Court said No.
The Hertz case stands for the proposition i that the initial tortfeasors are fully responsible for all reasonably foreseeable damages resulting from the original accident. Medical malpractice is considered a foreseeable outcome.
Alternatively, the family may also have a case against Toyota for what is known as The Enhanced Injury Doctrine. The doctrine is a principle of law that allows civil courts to hold those responsible for damages caused by their negligence that exceed the damages due to the initial fault.
The doctrine was discussed in D’Amario v. Ford Motor Company, 806 So.2d 424 (Fla. 2001). which involved a minor passenger in a vehicle that struck a tree. Following the impact, a fire began that ended in an explosion, causing the minor to lose three limbs and suffer burns to much of his body. The minor and his mother sued Ford alleging that a defective relay switch in the automobile caused the fire. They alleged that but for the defective switch, the fire would not have started and the minor’s injuries would have been limited to those from impacting the tree. Consistent with the enhanced injury doctrine, they limited their claim for damages to those caused by the fire. The case went to trial and was ultimately appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held Ford Motor Company responsible for the enhanced injuries, thus establishing the doctrine.
I represented a young child who tripped at fell at an apartment building and went on to develop a Retinal Detatchment. In that case we sued the landowner for not maintaining the premises, and the child’s resulting injuries including the Retinal Detachment that was caused by the subsequent Medical Malpractice of the Doctors that treated the young boy. We then drafted a special release that allowed us to pursue a claim for Medical Malpractice against the doctors for the Retinal Detachment.