I was saddened to read this article on the Orlando Sentinel website about a tragic crash that occurred near our offices - on University Avenue and Bibb Lane -- just east of Winter Park.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a Boca Raton man who is a student at UCF rammed his 2019 Audi into the rear-end of a 2016 SUV being driven by a Sanford man, Angel Dominguez. Mr. Dominguez' vehicle was hit so hard that it was caused to flip over. Mr. Dominguez' was pronounced dead at the scene.
Apparently, the Boca Raton man exhibited the classic signs of someone who was driving impaired -- glassy and bloodshot eyes, and smelling of alcohol. In addition, investigating law enforcement officers reported that the man admitted to have been drinking alcohol and and was laughing obnoxiously and frequently interrupting while officers were trying to do their investigation.
Drivers AND Owners Can Be Liable Under Florida Law
Hopefully, Mr. Dominguez' family will receive some good advice regarding their legal rights. Mr. Dominguez' family members will likely be able to pursue a Wrongful Death claim under Florida law against the man who caused this crashed, as well as the owner of the 2019 (if the Boca Raton man is not the owner.) For the Dominguez family's sake, hopefully the driver and owner of the 2019 Audi carried plenty of liability insurance.
Punitive Damages Might Also Be Available
In addition to a standard liability claim, Mr. Dominguez' family may also be entitled to pursue punitive damages against the the man who caused this tragic crash. Punitive damages are available in cases where outrageous conduct (for example, drunk driving) causes injuries or damages. Punitive damages have little to do with medical expenses, lost wages, or other typical special damages. Punitive damages are intended to both punish the wrongdoer, and to set an example to others that outrageous injurious conduct will not be tolerated in our society.
Our prayers to out to Mr. Dominguez' family - as they do to any family who experiences this kind of sudden and completely senseless loss.
Our lawyers have been helping victims of drunk drivers for over 25 years. If you have any questions about a Florida car accident - and especially one involving a drunk driver -- call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.