Did FHP Pursuit of DUI Driver Lead To Orlando Crash With Serious Injuries?
There is absolutely no debate that people who drive under the influence of alcohol (DUI) make the roads dangerous for everyone. This point was driven home for me when I saw this story about a horrific crash that happened on S. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando early Wednesday morning.
As an Orlando car accident attorney, a crash like this one presents a host of legal issues that may have serious consequences to the victims of this crash.
For example, under normal circumstances, the people injured by the idiotic actions of the accused drunk driver, James Maddux, would have bodily injury liability claims for damages against him. However, because he presented a fake drivers’ license to he FHP at this DUI checkpoint, something tells me that he is not going to have insurance. Hopefully, he was a permissive user, and the Toyota Prius he was driving was owned by somebody who had insurance.
I also hope that his passenger, Zachary Poirrier, as well as the injured people in the other vehicle, including Terris Byrd, either had Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage, or were resident relatives of people who had UM coverage. Residency — for purposes of establishing UM coverage — can often present complex legal problems.
Finally, I would be curious to know exactly what FHP’s pursuit policy is when it comes to DUI suspects. According to the media, Mr. Maddux avoided a checkpoint some distance away from where this significant crash occurred. It would be interesting to know how many additional lives were put at risk by FHP’s decision to engage in a high-speed pursuit of Mr. Maddux. If FHP violates its own policy, it would seem that FHP could have exposure to damages.
Accidents like this one can be complicated for the average accident victim. If you have any questions following 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.