Jury Returns $8.8 Million Verdict Against Distracted Driver
Car accidents in Miami are sometimes unavoidable. However, a 2008 car accident caused by a 17 year old habitual texter, is the very definition of an avoidable accident that was caused by a distracted driver.
As reported by The Miami Herald, Myriam del Socorro Lopez was a passenger in a car travelling eastbound on Bird Road, when Luis Cruz-Govin, 17 was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic in his father’s Subaru when he slammed into Lopez’s vehicle. Lopez died on the scene.
According to evidence presented in the case, Cruz-Govin was driving between 61 and 69 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone. Records showed an outgoing text at 8:19 p.m. On the day of the accident Cruz-Govin had sent 127 texts. Asif speeding and texting was not enough, there was marijuana and cocaine in the Subaru, and a partially consumed bottle of Delsym cough syrup.
Police at the scene charged Cruz-Govin with speeding and reckless driving, but not vehicular homicide. He was given a $2,000 fine, and his license was suspended for six months. In addition, he had to complete a court- ordered advanced driving course.
As I recently wrote, The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that the Federal Government ban the use of all cell phone and texting devices during driving. Studies show that Distracted Drivers are 8-10 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
As a Miami Car Accident Lawyer, this case is a text book example of the problems caused by the Florida Legislatures refusal to pass a ban n texting and to require mandatory bodily injury liability insurance.
Florida is one of 15 states that does not have a ban on texting while driving. The Republican leadership has constantly shot down any attempts to pass meaningful legislation on this issue. I can only imagine, Why? Let me count the reasons $$$$$.
Another issue is that Florida does not require motorist to maintain bodily injury liability insurance. All a person needs to get behind the wheel of a car in Florida is a drivers license-at 16 years of age, and PIP/PD Liability Insurance.
PIP is an outdated broken system that allows unscrupulous doctors/clinics to bill $10,000 for bogus medical care.
Property damage liability is used to repair the car of the accident victim.
That’s it. The above is all the law requires. No Insurance required to compensate the victim or the victim’s families for tragic damages caused by irresponsible drivers.
I doubt the family will ever see a penny of this much deserved $8.8 Million judgment.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.