Davenport Car Accident Results In One Death and One Serious Injury

Car Accidents

Vanessa Miller died as a result of a car accident in Davenport, Florida on US27 near the intersection with Legacy Park Boulevard.  Miller was 26 years old.  Luigi Grieco sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident.  Grieco is 22 years old and was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center.  Both Miller and Grieco are from Kissimmee, Florida.  The accident happened when the 2015 Toyota Corolla that they were riding in went off the highway and flipped while headed southbound on US27.  The news media has not reported who was the driving the car or who the owner was.

Legal Liability For Car Accidents In Florida

Whether there is any legal responsibility for this accident depends on the way that the circumstances play out.  In Florida, the owner of a motor vehicle is generally responsible for any accident under the “dangerous instrumentality” doctrine.  This means that the owner is legally responsible when anyone is injured as a result of negligence while using the vehicle.  Normally, the owner’s insurance policy is primary before any insurance from the driver.

Liability For Injuries To Passengers

Further, Florida recognizes that a driver of a car is responsible for injuries to passengers in the event of an accident.  You do not have to be in another car in order to sue for negligence under Florida law.  However, just because you have a legal right to sue does not necessarily mean that there is insurance that is collectible.  For instance, if a driver and a passenger are family members and live in the same household, then the “family” exclusion on the insurance policy will exclude the claim from coverage.  On the other hand, if the driver and passenger are unrelated, then the insurance policy will pay.

Types Of Applicable Insurance

Florida is presently considering a bill to repeal Florida’s no-fault insurance law.  At the moment, we do not know whether that bill is going to pass and become law.  However, there is a $5,000 death benefit under Florida’s no-fault law that will be payable to Ms. Miller’s estate or her parents regardless of whether she was driving or not.  Grieco’s first $10,000 of medical expenses should also be covered under no-fault coverage regardless of whether he was driving or not.  Thereafter, there must be a determination of legal liability before liability insurance (aka “bodily injury”) will pay as well as UM coverage.  To make those determinations, the police should determine who the owner of the vehicle was as well as who was driving as those facts will make a difference to the legal outcome in the case.

Investigation Into Seat Belt Usage

Additionally, the police should determine whether Miller was wearing her seat belt.  It should not be assumed without a proper investigation that the reason why she was ejected from the vehicle is because she was not wearing a seat belt.  There have been many accidents where the force of impact as well as the way that the impact happened causes a person who is wearing a seat belt to be ejected.  Slipping out of a seat belt is certainly a possibility in an accident where a car has flipped at least one time, if not more.

Have A Polk County Personal Injury Attorney Help Investigate Your Case

If you have been injured in a car accident or have lost a loved one in a car accident, then you may want to a Lakeland personal injury attorney about whether you have a case.  In Florida, car accident cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you are not obligated to pay an attorney fee unless money is recovered.  Schedule your free case review with an attorney today.


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May 03, 2017