Accident kills Florida waitress and injuries two others

A Miami waiter faces charges for his part in a vehicle accident that killed a passenger and harmed a cab driver. During the accident, the car crossed multiple lanes and hit the cab. The accused driver and the cab driver were taken to nearby hospitals for serious injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol has determined that both the waiter and his passenger had been drinking and weren’t wearing their seat belts during the accident. They had come from an end-of-the-year bash at a local Key West restaurant.

The waiter driving the car will likely face charges for two accidents. Right before the car accident with the cab, the waitress he had been riding with had rear-ended a different car. Afterwards, she switched seats with her friend, and he drove away from the scene of the accident. In the second accident, the cab driver’s car caught fire from the impact.

When a passenger is killed in a drunk driving accident, the driver can face charges of vehicular manslaughter. In Florida, a person accused of vehicular manslaughter can receive up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A vehicular manslaughter conviction often leads to a permanent revocation of a license. Along with criminal charges, a person involved in an accident can face a civil personal injury lawsuit. If the driver loses that case, they or their insurance company may have to pay tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to the victims.

When bringing personal injury cases against drunk drivers, victims need to have proof that the driver acted negligently and that they have been harmed physically, emotionally or financially by the accident. They should keep records of everything pertaining to their cases, including copies of their medical bills. Experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to help them to gather evidence and build stronger cases against the other parties.

Source: Miami Herald, “Miami waitress killed in crash in the Keys for bartender bash“, David Goodhue, May 17, 2013