Miami High School Math Teacher Involved in Tragic Accident with Hialeah Police Officers

A Miami high school math school teacher was recently involved in a tragic collision with a City of Hialeah police cruiser that left the teacher dead and two Hialeah police officers injured. According to a report from the Miami Herald regarding the accident, the teacher was driving in Hialeah near the intersection of East Fifth Avenue and Hialeah Drive when his car collided with the police cruiser, which had two officers inside. The teacher, Orestes Amador Jr., 51, taught math at Design & Architecture Senior High School, a Miami-Dade County magnet high school that focuses on industrial and fashion design and architecture in Miami’s Design District. He was killed and the two police officers were injured, both being airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami after the accident for treatment of their injuries. Police and the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office have been investigating the accident, but have yet to release any details regarding the accident, including who has been determined to be at fault or what the officers were doing at the time of the accident.

Potential Legal Claims in This Accident

Although this accident’s cause remains undetermined at this point, including which party was at fault, the deceased schoolteacher likely would have a claim against the Hialeah Police Department if the officers were found by a jury to have been negligent in connection with the accident given that the officers were on duty at the time of the accident. This is because the officers, and consequently the police department as their employer, would be responsible for their actions because they took place in the course and scope of that employment when the accident took place. This leads to another issue recently covered in our firm’s blog regarding claims and lawsuits against subdivisions of the state of Florida like municipal police departments. Such lawsuits are subject to statutory caps on damages, so if a jury determined the Hialeah police officers rather than the deceased teacher to be at fault in connection with this action, then only the first $100,000 of damages assessed by the jury would be paid by the City of Hialeah. Any remaining amount of damages that jury assessed over $100,000 would either require an Act of the Florida Legislature or a voluntary payment by the municipality or subdivision of the state, in this case the City of Hialeah or its Police Department, for any damages assessed by the jury in excess of $100,000.

If the deceased teacher himself were determined to be at fault in connection with the accident, then the police officers themselves also would potentially have claims against the driver’s automobile liability insurer as well as the driver’s estate, depending on the extent of their damages and how much insurance the school teacher had if he was found to be at fault by a jury in connection with this accident. Those claims would be against the teacher’s insurer for whatever his automobile policy insurance limits were and then any amount of damages assessed by a jury over and above that amount would be the responsibility of the deceased schoolteacher’s estate, to the extent there were sufficient assets in his estate to pay any judgment in excess of the decedent’s policy limits.

Contact the Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Schwed Law if You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident

At Schwed Adams Sobel & McGinley, P.A., many of the cases that our firm handles relate to motor vehicle accidents. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have over 150 years of combined legal experience and we have represented thousands of accident victims, including many injured in accidents involved police officers or other municipal employees. We are therefore well aware of the special rules that apply when suing municipalities and other state and local subdivisions of the state of Florida and the ways around the damages caps under Florida law applicable in such cases. Therefore if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a police officer or municipal or state employee in Florida, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 to discuss your legal options today.

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