Serious Crash Follows Nightclub Altercation
Investigators believe that speed was the primary factor in a car wreck which occurred shortly after a shootout at an area nightclub.
Several patrons exchanged gunfire just before closing time in a lounge parking lot on Cayuga Street. The shooters then sped away and headed down Interstate 275. Two of the three vehicles collided near the Interstate 4 exchange, seriously injuring two people.
Authorities located the third vehicle and driver a short time later in Plant City. There were firearms in all three cars, according to investigators.
Speed and Vehicle Collisions
Excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in Florida. Speed increases the risk of a wreck and the force in that wreck.
Despite what TV commercials imply, a speeding car does not stop on a dime. Stopping distance, which is reaction time plus breaking time, is about six car lengths, if a vehicle is moving 30mph. At 60mph, stopping distance multiplies to eighteen car lengths. Certain factors, such as vehicle weight and road conditions, multiply stopping distance even more.
Additionally, Newton’s Second Law states that speed multiplies the force in a collision between two objects. So, a low-speed car crash is usually a “fender bender” that only causes property damage. At high speeds, these wrecks become serious injury collisions.
Speed has the same effect on small objects inside the vehicle, like cell phones. Excessive velocity transforms these items into high-speed missiles.
Most victims sustain head injuries in these collisions. Even if you do not feel injured, you should always see a Tampa personal injury attorney in these situations. An attorney can connect you with a doctor. You never know how badly you were hurt until an injury specialist examines you.
First Party Liability
In terms of legal responsibility, a speed-related wreck could involve the negligence rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine.
If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was operating above the posted speed limit, the negligence per se rule could apply. Tortfeasors are presumptively liable for damages if:
- The violate a non-penal safety law, like the speeding law, and
- That violation substantially causes injury.
Additional evidence of negligence includes erratic driving before the crash, an accident reconstructionist’s testimony about a reasonable speed under the circumstances, and physical evidence, like skid marks.
This evidence can also prove ordinary negligence. For various reasons, emergency responders often do not issue citations in these situations. And, the negligence per se presumption depends on the issuance of a citation.
Third Party Liability
In the above story, the nightclub could be financially responsible for damages, according to the dram shop law or the negligent security rule.
Florida’s dram shop law holds alcohol providers vicariously liable for damages if they sell alcohol to underage people or to anyone who is habitually addicted to alcohol. As for negligent security, property owners have a duty to break up fights and disagreements before they turn violent. The violence in the above story probably led to the car crash.
Count on an Experienced Lawyer
Liability is often difficult to determine, even in a seemingly straightforward car crash claim. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer, contact Mark H. Wright, PLLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.