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Family Sues After Man Dies in Accident with Fire Truck


A West Virginia family is suing the city of South Charleston after their loved one was killed in an accident with a fire truck. According to the lawsuit, the fire truck blew through a red light and struck the victim’s vehicle at an intersection. The fire truck was traveling at 65 mph at the time of the accident. The family contends that the fire truck did not have its sirens on at the time of the accident. Hence, the victim did not realize that the fire truck was approaching the intersection.

The family has named the city of South Charleston in the lawsuit as well as the driver of the truck. While fire trucks are legally allowed to go through red lights, most cities have provisions that require them to slow down as they approach them. In this case, the plaintiffs say that the fire truck never slowed down. It is also a provision of the law that for a fire truck to be allowed to go through a red light, it must have its sirens on while it does so. In this case, the sirens were not on, according to the plaintiff.

While the victim has witnesses who say that the sirens were not on at the time of the accident, the sheriff’s office previously said that the fire truck’s sirens were on when it went through the red light.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida 

In Florida, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent party even if that party is an employee of the government. Florida’s wrongful death statute states that if a decedent (a deceased person) would have had a cause of action in a personal injury lawsuit had they survived, a personal representative of their estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.

Any survivor may recover damages for loss of financial support. They only need to establish that the decedent was in a supportive relationship with them and that they relied on their income. If the decedent has a spouse, the spouse can recover damages for loss of consortium (companionship) and their emotional grief and suffering. Minor children can file claims for loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction as well as their emotional grief and suffering. Parents can recover damages for emotional grief and suffering.

Sovereign immunity in Florida

 In Florida, there are certain rules when filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the government. Firstly, damages tend to be capped at $200,000 per claim unless your attorney files a claims bill with the legislature. The legislature would have to approve the claims bill to recover more money. In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff’s argument would be strengthened by the fact that the fire truck driver violated policy when going through the red light.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Wrongful Death Lawyer Today 

The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. represents the interests of Tampa residents who have lost loved ones to acts of negligence. Call our Tampa personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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