As a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney, I was disappointed to see a short news story about a fatal accident that took place in Miami. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Jan. 4 that Jean Ginst Eugene, 40, died after his SUV rolled over on Interstate 595. The newspaper said traffic slowed on the highway around 1 p.m., possibly due to a ladder left in the road. Eugene and another driver, Robert Mintz, both moved into the inside lane to avoid the problem. The right front of Eugene’s Mitsubishi Montero Sport struck the left rear of Mintz’s vehicle, causing the Mitsubishi to roll over and hit the median. Mintz pulled over into the breakdown lane and was not hurt, but Eugene suffered fatal injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol said the crash was under investigation.
There are several aspects of this accident that interest me as an attorney. First and foremost, the rollover aspect of the accident suggests that fundamental structural problems may have led Eugene’s SUV to tip over. SUVs became notorious in the late 1990s and early 2000s for being involved in rollovers at a much greater rate than smaller cars or even pickup trucks. Safety experts blamed this on their high centers of gravity, which made them prone to tip over even during ordinary driving. This is a serious safety problem because rollovers are one of the most dangerous accident types. Because rollovers throw vehicles’ occupants around and out of the vehicles, they substantially raise the likelihood of death, brain damage, spinal injuries or severe burns. This is made worse by the fact that SUVs are exempted from standard passenger-vehicle roof strength standards, making their roofs more likely to crush under the weight of the vehicles.
As a Boynton Beach car crash lawyer, I would also be interested in what happened to create the obstacle in the road in the first place. Driving with an improperly secured load is illegal in Florida. More importantly, if the driver responsible for securing the load realized the problem and drove on the highway anyway, he or she could be held legally responsible for this crash in any lawsuit the victims choose to file. This is not to say that Mintz, or Eugene himself, may not also be held partly responsible for the crash in the FHP’s report. If they are, the jury in any lawsuit filed would have to divide up responsibility between all of the parties involved. This would diminish, but by no means eliminate, the compensation available to Mintz or to Eugene’s family.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury or a death in the family because of someone else’s bad decisions on the road, you should talk to Cohn, Smith & Cohn. We have more than 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of seriously injured people in Florida, including numerous auto accident victims. Frequently, our Pembroke Pines car wreck attorneys see clients whose devastating physical injuries lead directly to financial problems, as they’re hit with high medical bills right when they lose an income. In a lawsuit, victims can claim all of these financial expenses and others back from the irresponsible drivers who caused them. We also help clients claim damages for their injuries, pain, suffering and any permanent disability or wrongful death.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn offers free, confidential consultations, so there’s no risk in speaking to us about your options and your case. To learn more and have your case evaluated for free by an experienced attorney, please send a message through our Web site or call our main office at (954) 431-8100 today.