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One Critically Injured, Two Dead in Car Accident near Brooksville

Chris Russo Apr 20, 2010

A car accident near Brooksville, Florida killed two and critically injured another.  The driver of the car lost control of the vehicle on a wet road south of Brooksville on Sunday evening.  Shelton K. Rodgers, 24, of Brooksville, Florida was driving a 1996 Ford Mustand southbound on Culbreath Road, nort of Chenoak Road, after 6:00 p.m.  The car then suddenly hydroplaned and Rodgers lost control.  The car hit a culvert on the shoulder of the roadway and overturned.  Rodgers and a passenger, Christina L. Taylor, 18, of Spring Hill, Florida, were pronounced dead at the scene.  The other passenger, Allesha C. Burton, 18, of Spring Hill, Florida was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa in critical condition.  Apparently no one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.  The accident is still under investigation.  It is not clear at this time whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Car accidents are, unfortunately, a major cause of death for young people especially and a source of injuries to the public in general.  Many people, including judges in judicial opinions, have written specifically on the "carnage on our roadways."  While many people may not like the idea of suing another person, and particularly may not like the idea of suing the driver of the vehicle that they were riding in as a passenger, the fact of the matter is that the passengers do have a right to sue the driver and owner of the at-fault vehicle.  What many people do not understand is that the effects of a car accident involving death or serious injury can have effects that  drastically change the lives of the survivors and/or the injured forever.  Filing a lawsuit, while emotional for some, is merely a mechanism to obtain the only damages that our society allows by law, money.  From the information provided above, it appears that the estate of the deceased passenger has a right to sue the driver/owner of the vehicle.  The next of kin of the deceased passenger have a right to collect a no-fault death benefit.  The critically injured passenger also has the same right to sue the at-fault driver/owner in addition to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits (also called no-fault benefits).  Both passengers may also qualify any uninsured/underinsured (UM) motorist benefits from either their own auto policy or any auto policy in which each respective passenger lived with a resident relative household member.  In the event that this crash involved alcohol as a factor, the passengers would have a right to claim punitive damages against the estate of the at-fault driver/owner.  Further, in the event that no one comes forward on behalf of the at-fault driver/owner to open an estate, the passengers would have a right as creditors to force open a probate estate and sue that probate estate.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or wrongful death in the greater Central Florida area, including Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Haines City, Davenport, or Polk County, Florida, please contact a personal injury attorney with Moody Law today to discuss your case.  Our personal injury attorneys will do home or hospital visits by appointment.  A consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys is free. 

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