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Contributory Negligence Could be a Factor in Orlando Car Crash

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on October 3, 2018

Two young sisters were tragically killed in a recent Orlando head-on-collision. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the accident was caused when an Acura sedan, driven by a 24-year-old female, crossed the double yellow line and crashed into an oncoming Toyota Corolla. The two girls, both age nine, were passengers in the Toyota and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Also in the car was a 14-year-old female and a nine-year-old male, both of whom were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and remain in serious condition. The driver of the Toyota, a 52-year-old male, was also listed as having suffered serious injuries

The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending against the driver of the Acura. The police report does note, however, that only the oldest child was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

From the facts at hand, it can be assumed that the driver of the Acura was at fault. Perhaps she was texting while driving or talking to a passenger? Regardless, the cause of the accident – and the resulting injuries – was her car crossing the center line. In all likelihood, she will be found to have acted negligently (if not criminally), and thus could be held liable for the deaths and injuries she caused. For example, if the surviving driver and passengers and/or the surviving family of the deceased children, file a Florida personal injury lawsuit against the Acura’s driver, a jury could find her liable for the injuries/deaths, in which case she would be responsible for compensating the victims for their losses

That being said, the driver of the Acura could argue that although her negligent action caused the accident itself, it was the victim’s negligent act of not buckling up that caused (or partially caused) the resulting injuries/deaths. This type of counter-argument is called contributory negligence and, if the jury agrees, any compensation awarded will be reduced in accordance with the victim’s level of negligence. Thus, if the failure to wear a seatbelt is deemed to have been 50% responsible for the injuries/deaths, then any monetary award will be cut in half.

As seen in the case at hand, Florida personal injury cases can quickly become complex. To ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today.


James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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