A head on collision on US Highway 17-92 near Bates Road in Haines City, Florida was reported on March 7, 2020 with two deaths in The Ledger. The newspaper reported that Keith E. Mitchell and a 9-year-old child died in the collision
It was reported that Mitchell, driving a 2016 Kia Sorrento, was heading northbound on US Highway 17-92 and struck the rear end of a 2015 Ford Escape. The impact caused the Ford Escape to cross the center line but did not hit anything else. Mitchell’s Sorrento also crossed over the center line and struck a 1998 Toyota 4Runner driven by Alexayra Morales head on.
How To Deal With The Insurance Claims
There is no changing the tragedy of what occurred. My condolences go out to the families involved. However, I can offer some advice that might be helpful.
First, anyone injured in the crash should be eligible for no-fault benefits from their own automobile policy.
Second, both decedents are covered by a $5,000 death benefit on their applicable automobile policy.
Third, while this accident appears to be clearly Mr. Mitchell’s fault, how to resolve claim to the bodily injury liability coverage on his policy may not be so clear. This is a case where I can see the insurance company wanting to have a “global” settlement conference and to see how many claims they can get resolved within coverage. At such a settlement conference, the insurance company’s goal would be to buy off as many claims as they can within coverage, starting with the most serious claims first.
Depending on the policy limits and the injuries involved, the policy limits may be divided any number of ways. The parents of the 9-year-old child should be able to claim a full per person coverage limit for their wrongful death claim while the other claims may share the remaining coverage. A decision on whether to pursue any independent assets belonging to the responsible driver should be made before accepting a settlement.
Finally, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may be available and would apply to claims in excess of the underlying bodily injury liability coverage.
Ask A Lakeland Personal Injury Attorney
Russo Law offers a free consultation for personal injury and car accident cases. We do not charge unless we recover money for you. If you have questions about your case, please call us to schedule a free consultation with a Polk County car accident attorney.