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Victims still upset on anniversary of 24-vehicle crash

Automobile crashes can change peoples' lives forever. Many people drive safely and defensively, but anyone can end up in an accident caused by a reckless driver. Sometimes weather conditions or defective auto parts are to blame. The cause of an incident under these circumstances may be more difficult to identify than in a car or truck accident obviously caused by a single driver.

Victims of one multi-vehicle crash that occurred in January 2012 may not achieve closure on the incident any time soon. Survivors have given notice that they will, however, file negligence lawsuits for the accident, which killed 11 people.

The accident occurred on a poorly lit section of highway in Florida. The highway runs from Miami-Dade County all the way to Georgia. On the day of the accident, dense fog and smoke from a wildfire combined to decrease visibility significantly. Interstate 75 was closed for several hours due to the poor visibility.

The Florida Highway Patrol debated reopening the highway at around 3 a.m. on the day of the accident after visibility improved. There were concerns that the visibility could become poor again, but there were worries that keeping the highway closed was increasing the risk of drivers having accidents on back roads.

The FHP eventually decided to reopen the highway, and within 15 minutes the fog and smoke returned, leading to a major accident that involved six crashes and 24 vehicles.

The FHP has defended its decision and has suggested that some of the blame lies with the drivers. New safety measures have been enacted on I-75, and further measures are being planned. However, it could be a year or longer before these extra measures are implemented.

People in Miami who have suffered serious injuries in a multi-vehicle accident or who have been involved in an accident due to poor maintenance or defective parts should thoroughly investigate who was at fault. Knowing who is liable makes receiving fair compensation easier.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Florida Marks I-75 Crash Anniversary; Tragedy Triggers Safety Measures, Lawsuits," Kyle Hightower, Jan. 29, 2013

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