The family of a woman killed in a horrific car crash has been awarded a verdict of $8.8 million, according to the HuffPost Miami. Myriam del Socorro Lopez was the passenger of a car driven by her husband when 17-year-old Luis Cruz-Govin smashed into their car, the impact killing her immediately. Cruz-Govin was reportedly speeding, weaving between cars, had various drugs in the car, and was believed to be texting at the time of the crash. Cruz-Govin was charged with speeding and reckless driving, leading to a $2,000 fine, a six-month license suspension, and completion of an advanced driving course but was spared of the charge of vehicular homicide. Florida is one of 15 states that continue to resist instituting at least partial bans on texting or other cell phone use while driving.
The crash, which occurred in 2008, not only killed Myriam Lopez, but seriously injured her husband as well. In the crash, Wilson Torres sustained significant injuries, including abdominal bleeding and a large chest laceration. Lopez leaves behind two young children who were not in the car at the time of the accident. According to police reports, Cruz-Govin had marijuana, cocaine, and a partially drank bottle of cough syrup in the car.
In addition, he was reportedly weaving between cars and driving between 61 and 69 miles per hour in a 40mph speed limit zone. It is also reported that a text was sent from Cruz-Govin’s phone at 8:19pm, just two minutes before paramedics were called. He had reportedly sent over 120 texts that day.
Texting while driving is a serious problem in the United States. Some research indicates that texting while driving makes a driver up to eight times more likely to get in an accident. The NHTSA reports that in 2008, 5,870 people lost their lives and an estimated 515,000 people were injured due to one or more distracted drivers.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has pushed hard for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. Legislation has passed allows officers to issue citations to offenders if they were pulled over for another driving offense. The first offense would lead to a $30 fine, the second offense within five years would beget a $60 fine and three points on the driver’s license. If texting led to a crash, six points would be added to the driver’s license.
Despite expanding laws and increased crackdowns on texting while driving, it continues to cause accidents and pose a significant danger to innocent drivers on the road. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident where texting may have been involved, you may be eligible to receive compensation.
Consult a dedicated car accident attorney and see if you are eligible to receive financial remuneration for medical bills, lost wages, attorney’s fees, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.