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Daniel Kocik Killed in I-95 Crash in Pompano Beach, Florida

Daniel Kocik was killed in a Pompano Beach, Florida car accident early yesterday morning. Tragically, Kocik was only 30 years old when he was killed in this crash.Thumbnail image for Injury Lawyer Fort Lauderdale.jpg

In today’s entry, I will be discussing Kocik’s case from my perspective as an injury lawyer. Since the issues in traffic fatality cases can get very complicated, it would make sense for Daniel Kocik’s family to hire an experienced injury attorney from the start.

According to accident investigators, Daniel Kocik was killed when his car crashed into a metal pole after being struck by another vehicle. The other vehicle was a Suburban allegedly driven by Debra Cardente, also age 30.

Crash investigators believe that Debra Cardente’s Suburban crashed into Kocik’s car after she veered into another lane while pulling a trailer. However, it is unclear why Cardente’s Suburban veered into another lane.

Was Cardente drunk? Did she fail to pay attention while driving? Did she lose control of the trailer?

Also present in Debra Cardente’s vehicle was Kevin Evers, age 19. Both Cardente and Evers were visiting from out of state.

While no amount of money will ever compensate Kocik’s family for their loss, the remainder of this blog will be devoted to explaining how injury attorneys can build a winning case using three basic legal elements.

From an injury lawyer’s perspective, Kocik’s claim against Cardente and her insurance company will boil down to three specific issues:

1) Whether Cardente was negligent,

2) Whether Kocik’s death was caused by Cardente’s negligence, and
3) Whether or not Cardente was insured or is otherwise collectable.

If injury lawyers are able to prove the first two elements and if Cardente has adequate insurance or is otherwise collectible, Cardente would be placed in a position she would have no choice but to enter into an out of court settlement with Kocik’s injury attorneys.

Otherwise, Cardente will find herself in a substantial predicament where she will be forced to defend against a case she will probably lose.

Cardente’s Negligence

When a person gets behind the wheel of a car, they assume an awesome responsibility. Cars, like guns, are instruments of lethality. When handled correctly, freak accidents are naturally inevitable. However, when a person acts negligently the likelihood of a terrible accident is that much more magnified.

For this reason, the law requires each and every person to operate motor vehicles in a safe and responsible fashion.

At its most basic level, this means drivers must pay attention to what they are doing. It also means they are responsible for any malfunctions that may occur to their vehicles while driving, such as losing control of one’s trailer.

Under Florida law, it is a violation of the traffic code to fail to maintain a single lane. Based on the description of Debra Cardente’s driving pattern, it appears as though she violated this rule when she veered into another lane.

Thus, Debra Cardente likely acted with negligence in two respects. First, she failed to maintain a single lane. Second, she collided with Daniel Kocik’s vehicle.

As a result, I suspect Kocik’s injury lawyers will be able prove that Cardente acted with negligence which resulted in her Suburban colliding with Kocik’s car.

Cause of Kocik’s Death

When a driver’s negligence causes their vehicle to crash into another person’s vehicle, as is the case here, the negligent driver is responsible for any injuries or damages caused as a result. However, in some cases, a driver may be negligent and may crash into another vehicle, but the damage is nominal and injuries may be non-existent.

Clearly in this case, the injuries are terrible. Daniel Kocik was killed. No injury could be worse.

It is equally clear thay Kocik’s death followed the crash caused by Cardente. As a result, Kocik’s injury lawyers should be able to easily prove that Cardente is responsible for causing Kocik’s death.

As horrible as this outcome is, these facts make this case easier to prove because Kocik’s death is an incontrovertible fact.

Cardente will never be able to successfully challenge this part of the case. As a result, I expect injury lawyers to prevail on this part of the claim.

Cardente’s Collectibility

Based on what I have read in the news, I suspect that Daniel Kocik’s injury attorneys will be able to build a winning case against Debra Cardente. Negligence seems like it can be proven and the injuries are both pervasive and obvious.

However, to translate a case from paper to an actual recovery, the defendant has to be collectible. This means, Cardente must have adequate insurance or personal assets that can be attached to satisfy a judgment.

When Kocik’s family retains an injury lawyer, ascertaining collectibility will be one of the very first things investigated. Identifying the name of insurance providers, policy numbers and coverage limits must be determined.


As I mentioned earlier, absolutely no amount of money will ever truly compensate Daniel Kocik’s family for their horrific loss. However, my role as an injury lawyer is to analyze cases like these for the benefit of family members who require legal representation.

Hiring the right injury attorney can make all the difference in the world. Acting early will help because these cases tend to get more complicated as time passes, witnesses move, and evidence spoliates.

While a lot of important information has been provided in the media about this case, it is important to note that ultimate conclusions cannot be drawn until a full case analysis is completed.

I hope all those affected by this accident recover from its loss as soon as possible. My condolences go out to Kociks’ family. I am sure this process will be both long and challenging as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

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