It’s the most dangerous road in America—a 382-mile stretch of I-95 that’s keeping insurers, emergency rooms, and Florida wrongful death attorneys burning the midnight oil.
According to data compiled by the National Highway Safety Administration, there were a staggering 1.73 deaths per mile on I-95 from 2004 to 2008. Each one of those events devastated a family somewhere in the state, and many led to wrongful death cases pitting victims against insurers and drivers.
The highway’s dubious distinction has become a focal point not just in the courtroom, but in the media as well. The popular NBC news magazine, Dateline, covered the history of the deadly route; producers analyzed five years of federal crash data and concluded that the most perilous segment of the road is in Palm Beach County.
It isn’t a case of poorly built roads or poor sightlines. Most often, the culprit is excessive speed, which explains why many crashes that at first glance look like tragic accidents ultimately become wrongful death cases. The I-95 speed limit ranges from 55 to 65 miles per hour, but drivers often travel faster—frequently more than 85 or 95 miles an hour. And as Dateline discovered, Florida law enforcement officials often see speeds that surpass even these.
Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is another concern—and another source of lawsuits keeping Florida wrongful death attorneys busy.
The problem isn’t limited to the highways around Miami. Nationwide, DUI deaths make up some 40 percent of all automobile fatalities. Here, too, I-95 has more than its share of preventable tragedies. While criminal cases often put the offenders behind bars, it’s the wrongful death lawsuits—litigated in civil court—that helps families damaged by the crash find some measure of recovery and compensation for what can often be enormous medical bills and loss of income.
Settlements and jury awards for those families impacted by an on-road death, while greatly needed, only go so far. The most tragic consequence—losing a loved one—is something that not even the best wrongful death attorney can reverse.