A rear end car accident in Auburndale at US 92 and Berkley Road was reported in The Ledger and caused the death of Linda Jean Baptiste on January 12, 2020. She was a passenger in a 2005 Nissan Altima driven by Loissaint Thermitus. The Altima was struck from behind by a Chevrolet HD3500 Crew Cab by Salvador Manual Juarez Trejo. The Ledger reported that three injured adults and one child were taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with injuries.
Liability For Rear End Car Accidents In Florida
News reports indicated that the Altima was stopped at the traffic light facing west at the time of impact. Florida law provides for a presumption of negligence in rear end car accident cases. This presumption is rebuttable but it operates to find in general that the vehicle striking another car in the rear is legally responsible.
To rebut the rear end presumption in Florida, the driver of the rearward vehicle must be able to offer evidence that the accident is not their fault. For instance, the driver in the rear might say that the cars in front stopped suddenly or that the car was illegally stopped in the roadway. No such evidence exists in the news reports for this case.
The force of the impact is also a factor in determining legal liability. The impact force in this case appears to be very substantial.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Law And Auto Insurance Death Benefit
Many people are unaware that there is a $5,000 no-fault death benefit under every automobile insurance policy in Florida that is required by section 627.736, Fla. Stat. This benefit can be paid to family members, a funeral home with an assignment of right, or the estate of the deceased.
Further, Florida’s wrongful death law operates in ways that many people might not expect. Insurance companies are permitted to make tentative settlement agreements before a formal personal representative has been appointed. This is something that frequently happens when the insurance company plans to offer policy limits to settle.
How To Get Help With Your Car Accident Case
Getting the right help for your car accident case is essential to winning. You need the right tool for the job. At Russo Law, we help families where a loved one has been injured in an accident. In cases such as this, help may involve strategically settling claims to minimize liens and to maximize the available insurance for the family. Call us to schedule a free consultation with a Lakeland car accident attorney.