“Lawsuit” isn’t a word most people want to hear, but if you’ve been involved in an accident it may be the only way to get the help you need. Injury attorneys can help you determine what compensation you are owed to help pay for medical bills, car damages, and lost work time – and we can help you fight an insurance company or an uninsured driver to help get it. But what happens if the person responsible is a friend or relative?
These situations are uncommon but they do come up. A recent example is the tragic story of two New York families who were on their way home from a trip to Florida. They had come to Florida for a wedding and had been on the highway driving all night when disaster struck.
For unknown reasons, their van veered into a clearly marked truck. There was no sign that the driver, Luis Arroyo, ever hit the brakes. The truck was a large dump truck assisting a road crew and it was traveling only a few miles per hour. The van hit it at high speed. The van was totaled, and the crash took the lives of three of the 10 people inside.
Police officers believe Arroyo may have been tired from driving too long and his sleep loss could have affected his driving. Arroyo was among those who died in the accident.
The two families were close: Arroyo, his girlfriend and their children, plus her sister and her sister’s children. They were members of the same church and had made the 2,000-mile round trip as a group. From a legal point of view, Arroyo is the one responsible for the accident – but blame may not be what the two families want to focus on as they grieve together.
While nothing can bring back the three people who died, appropriate legal action can help make sure that the survivors receive proper care. The accident hospitalized a number of children, and insurance companies seldom pay out enough on a claim like this to cover 100% of medical bills.
What would a good personal injury lawyer recommend in a case like this? It depends on what the families themselves want, but it may be best to present a unified front. Instead of suing Arroyo’s estate for compensation, which would almost certainly destroy the relationship between the families, both families could join forces to seek payment from his insurance company. Faced with a skilled injury lawyer and two families working together, many insurance companies will offer to settle immediately to avoid a costly court battle.
There are many ways to approach a personal injury case. No matter what the details of your accident, it’s always best to talk to a lawyer and see what your options are. If you were injured in an accident in Florida, we’re ready to evaluate your case for free today.