Two Serious Accidents Reported in Polk County

News Events

Two serious accidents were reported in Lakeland and Polk City, Florida on Saturday afternoon. The first accident was a rear end collision near the intersection of Rockridge Road and Gator Creek Ranch Road. This accident happened at approximately 1:30 p.m. One person died and three people were taken in serious condition to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center for treatment. No further details were available.

The second accident was a head-on collision on State Road 33 close to Polk City, Florida. This accident happened at approximately 2:50 p.m. One person died and two others were seriously injured.

These car accidents are constant reminders of the carnage on the roadways. It is the reason why we spend so much time as a society trying to make our cars safer, our roads safer, and a major reason for having health insurance in addition to minimum car insurance. Everything in the industry centers around safety and yet these incidents cannot be stopped from happening.

Minimum Financial Responsibility Requirements In Florida For Car Accidents

While there are minimum financial responsibility requirements in Florida, bodily injury liability coverage is not mandatory. Even if it were mandatory in Florida, there would still be people who break the law and drive without insurance anyway. The reason Florida does not require bodily injury liability coverage is because section 324.021(7), Florida Statutes give a driver the option of “proving” the ability to “respond in damages” for liability in the amount of $10,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any single accident and $20,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more or persons in any single accident.

Commercial drivers and bus drivers have different requirements. The ability to “respond in damages” under Florida law means the ability to pay a civil judgment. Failure to satisfy a judgment arising out of a car accident (and without having bodily injury liability insurance) results in a suspension of the person’s driver’s license until a release has been reached or payments totaling $10,000 have been made to comply with the law. It is important to notice that this process for suspending a person’s driver’s license after an accident requires a civil judgment.

Talk To A Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer About Your Case

The decision whether to bring a case may very well be impacted by the presence or lack of insurance coverage. To help you reach the most financially productive route for your case should you get into one of these situations, a Lakeland car accident lawyer can provide a free consultation. If your situation involves a potentially uninsured motorist in Lakeland, Florida, please contact us today. For the potential wrongful death cases above, the families of the deceased should seek counsel to sort through the situation. A Lakeland wrongful death lawyer may be needed to establish a probate and bring a lawsuit on your behalf.



The Ledger updated their report of the State Road 33 accident to include that 31-year-old Laura Lynn Miller died as a result of the accident. Miller was driving by herself in a 1997 Nissan Altima while two teenagers were coming the opposite direction in a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe. The collision was described as “head-on off-center.” I take that to mean that police are not sure as to who crossed the center line.

From a car accident lawyer’s perspective, this presents a situation where both may have to pay out policy limits unless there is evidence that the impact clearly occurred on one side of the road or the other. In other words, it is possible that both vehicles may have some blame for the accident by being too close to the center line. As lawyers in Florida, we call this comparative fault. If you took this case to a jury and a jury had a difficult time figuring it out, a likely result could very well be a 50-50 split on liability.

In Florida, automobile insurance companies have a fiduciary obligation to buy a release of liability where reasonable and when possible. Failure to do so may result in the insurance company having to pay damages in excess of the policy limits. Florida’s insurance bad faith statute can be found in section 624.155, Florida Statutes. If you have a question or concern about insurance bad faith cases in Florida, please contact a Florida insurance bad faith lawyer for help with your situation.


July 17, 2016