A pedestrian carrying discharge papers from Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center died after being struck by a car on US98 near Innovation Drive on May 16, 2018 at approximately 10:25 p.m. was reported in The Ledger. The newspaper indicates that the driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer, Maria Mendez, was driving southbound in the middle lane of US98 when the pedestrian “suddenly appeared.” The newspaper further reported that the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing that the lighting in the area is dim.
Advice For The Family Of The Deceased Pedestrian
As an attorney, my advice for the family of the deceased is to obtain a copy of the homicide report for this accident (or retain legal counsel to obtain a copy for you). Homicide reports often contain significantly much more detail than the statutory crash report required by Chapter 316, Florida Statutes. In addition, an autopsy is required for any accidental death, such as this one.
Careful Not To Judge
Assumptions about placing blame for accidents should be held until the information from these reports becomes available. Likewise, the family of the deceased should not presume that no legal responsibility exists based on newspaper reporting or statements made the driver.
Instead, the family should independently look into what happened and evaluate whether there is coverage available under all available insurance sources (note-there is a $5,000 death benefit available under the no-fault portion of all Florida automobile insurance policies regardless of legal responsibility).
Get An Opinion From An Attorney
If you have questions about this incident, how insurance applies, or legal responsibility, you should contact a Lakeland personal injury attorney to discuss your questions in a free consultation. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with an attorney.