Deadly Crash in Hillsborough
A recent severe car accident in Hillsborough County killed two people and left another with debilitating injuries. The deadly car crash occurred on Sept. 26, 2023, and was confirmed by the Florida Highway Patrol.
According to reports, the fatal accident happened on US-41 north of the intersection with Old US-41A. The sedan driver was traveling south and lost control on a curve in the road. The vehicle veered into the west shoulder and hit a tree. Then, the car spun around and slammed into a utility pole.
Unfortunately, the 39-year-old driver from Tampa and his 45-year-old female passenger suffered fatal injuries. Another vehicle occupant, a 46-year-old woman from Tampa, suffered severe injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident.
Can A Car Passenger Sue The Car Driver For Their Injuries?
This severe Hillsborough County accident raises a key question: Can a severely injured car passenger sue the driver for their injuries? In Florida, as in many states, negligence is the key to most personal injury lawsuits. Negligence is when someone does not exercise the appropriate duty of care that a reasonable person would in the same situation. When drivers do not meet the duty of care, they could be liable in a car accident lawsuit.
Florida has a no-fault system for car accidents, so the injured passenger must first use their personal auto insurance to pay for their initial damages and injuries. However, this doesn’t mean the passenger cannot sue the liable party if their injuries exceed their personal insurance coverage.
In the Sunshine State, a car passenger may sue the driver of their vehicle if the injuries meet what Florida law calls the ‘serious injury threshold.’ Injuries that usually meet this standard include a significant and permanent loss of a critical body function, a permanent injury, or death. If the passenger has such injuries, they may sue the driver for what their personal injury protection (PIP) does not cover. Many Florida drivers have PIP coverage covering only the first few thousand dollars of damages and injuries.
However, it can be a complex question whether an injured Florida passenger can sue the driver of their vehicle for injuries and damages. It is best to consult an experienced Tampa car accident attorney to determine if a lawsuit is possible. It essentially boils down to the severity of the passenger’s injuries and whether the vehicle's driver was at fault for the accident.
Contact Our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers at Matthews Injury Law
If you are seriously injured in a Tampa car accident, you could have overwhelming injuries and be unable to work for months. How will you pay for your medical bills and regular expenses? Fortunately, if you were a passenger injured in the crash, you are not barred from suing the driver of your vehicle. With the help of a Tampa car accident attorney at Matthews Injury Law, you can move forward with your life. Our attorneys could help get you the money you need for recovery and future financial security. Call us today at (813) 530-1000 for a complimentary consultation.