Several weeks ago, a Miami man lost control of his car and crashed into a bus stop, killing one woman and injuring several other people. The man faces several criminal charges in the case and has now come forward with his account of what happened.
This driver said last week that another car cut him off, forcing him to swerve to avoid hitting it. Although the man claims that he only crashed into the bus stop because he was trying to avoid another driver's mistake, the wreck could still end up leading to personal injury claims. Negligence law involves a number of ways in which a driver could liable - even if another driver's dangerous error contributed to the crash.
At a very general level, a driver is negligent when he or she does something that a reasonably safe person would not do. This concept figures into many legal arguments but the general idea is that drivers are liable when they act more dangerously than the average person in a given situation.
We can look back at this driver's statement about what happened to see how this concept could work in real life. Assuming that the driver really did swerve to avoid another driver, the question would become whether he did that dangerously or if he responded the same way a reasonably safe person would. The big point is that another person's mistake does not necessarily mean that this driver is off the hook for how he responded. The same rule generally applies - victims can potentially seek to recover damages for negligence if the other party fails to react to changing road conditions like a reasonably safe person would.
Of course, every case is different and this post only looks at very general ideas without any inside knowledge of the facts in this case. Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident should consult with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to talk about a specific case.
Source: CBS Miami, "Exclusive: Man Charged In Fatal Bus Bench Crash Apologizes To Victims," Oct. 31, 2012