Lakeland Woman Killed in Car Accident
A Lakeland car accident resulted in the death of a woman who was riding as a passenger in a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer on U.S. 98 South near Innovation Drive. The accident happened at approximately 2:20 a.m. on Sunday. The driver of the vehicle was Chail Lopez Villareal, 30 of Lakeland, Florida. She struck a guardrail on the east side of the road, over-corrected, and then swerved into the guardrail on the opposite side causing a rollover accident. The passenger was reported to not have been wearing her seatbelt. Villareal, who as apparently wearing her seatbelt, was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
This accident that cost the life a woman was preventable by the driver. In Florida, the driver is responsible in tort to passengers that are injured due to the driver's negligence. These two people were very likely friends and that is why they were in the car together. Notwithstanding, the passenger does have a claim against the driver. In an instance like this, the family of the woman should probably make a claim against the insurance policy of the driver. In the event that a settlement is not reached outside the court system, litigation may be necessary to resolve this matter. The driver should not take such a lawsuit personally as a lawsuit against the driver (personally) is the only legal avenue that the woman's family will have. As such, the woman's family does not have the legal option of suing the driver's insurance company while leaving the driver (personally) out of the lawsuit. In fact, if the woman's family has to sue, then the Florida law does not permit even the mention of the driver having insurance in the pleadings or at trial to a jury.
If you have lost someone close to you in a car accident, please contact a Lakeland car accident attorney or wrongful death attorney to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case. A Lakeland car accident attorney can help you sort through all of the legal hoops that you have to jump through in order to make a claim and reach a sense of justice. Oftentimes, the answers to many questions related to a car accident are not obvious. A consultation with a Lakeland car accident attorney is free.