The Ledger reports that Kristina Fitts crossed over a double yellow line and a safety zone to cause a car accident with a vehicle driven by Elmer Lear in Lake Wales, Florida. Fitts was driving a 2012 Cadillac northbound on Scenic Highway in Lake Wales when she crossed over. Elmer Lear was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and died at the hospital. Janet Lear was a passenger in Mr. Lear’s vehicle was is reported to be in critical but stable condition at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Fitts was treated and discharged from Lake Wales Medical Center.
Possible Distraction As Cause Of Collision
This accident is clearly Ms. Fitts’s fault based on the description given by The Ledger. Unless there is evidence of an unforeseen mechanical failure that caused her to cross over into the southbound lane (which would raise a product liability claim), Ms. Fitts’s actions can be fairly considered negligence. A likely possibility of the cause of this collision is distracted driving. Regardless of whether the distraction is due to a cellular phone, texting, operating the radio, or operating the GPS system on the vehicle or a smartphone, it is all negligence and is all preventable. Based on the way that this accident happened, it is not likely that Ms. Fitts made a simple misjudgment about the roadway or traffic conditions.
Florida Wrongful Death Claims
When a death occurs in Florida due to the negligence of another, the death is called a wrongful death and falls under Florida’s wrongful death statute found in sections 768.16-768.26, Florida Statutes. Under Florida law, the surviving spouse may recover for the value of lost support and services, a loss of companionship and protection, and for mental pain and suffering (See section 768.21, Florida Statutes). There is also a claim for funeral expenses. Mr. Lear’s automobile policy will also provide a $5,000 death benefit. The Lears may also have purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage which pays in addition to the underlying policy limits from the person who caused the accident. Speculation would have it that Ms. Fitts is not adequately insured for this accident. In addition, while still possible, it is unlikely that the Lears had minor children who would be “survivors” under Florida’s wrongful death statute.
Contact A Lake Wales Car Accident Attorney For Help With Your Case
If you have a family member who died as a result of a Lake Wales car accident, please contact a Lake Wales car accident lawyer for a free consultation. Our attorneys handle Lake Wales personal injury as well as Lake Wales wrongful death claims.