Largo Car Accident Injures Deputy and 18-Year-Old Woman
This crash involved a Pinellas County deputy and an 18-year-old woman. It was the woman's 18th birthday. The deputy, Kevin Benett, reportedly stopped for an ambulance in his 2007 Chevrolet Impala and was rear-ended by Ashley Lambert. Lambert apparently saw Bennett but was unable to stop in time to avoid the collision with the police cruiser.
While this accident unfortunately occurred on Ms. Lambert's 18th birthday, the accident may not be all her fault. The legal outcome of this case will likely be that of some degree of comparative negligence on both drivers. While Deputy Bennett may be a 24-year department veteran and perhaps a very good driver, he has a duty to make sure that he does not do anything to cause other people to hit him. For instance, Deputy Bennett had a duty to pull over and stop for an ambulance with its lights on, but despite the ambulance with the emergency lights, he cannot stop so suddenly as to cause a danger to other motorists on the road. In other words, Deputy Bennett likely had a newer vehicle compared to that of a much older vehicle for an 18-year-old. Thus, even though Deputy Bennett probably has some of the best brakes on the roadway, he has a duty to avoid using them in a way that causes danger to other people (i.e. sudden stop). On the other hand, Ms. Lambert has a duty to maintain control of her vehicle at all times and to keep a proper lookout for things that just happen on the roadway around her. Thus, even with an inferior vehicle, the driver of a motor vehicle should be able to avoid most collisions if they are watching and act quickly. Therefore, Ms. Lambert has a duty to know the capabilities of her vehicle, even if inferior, and to keep a proper distance from other vehicles so that she has the extra time and distance needed to stop should an emergency stop occur directly in front of her as appears to have happened in this case. Many of us call both of these things (staying away from other people and getting out of the way of other people) defensive driving. Notwithstanding my subjective interpretation of the events that took place, both drivers would likely dispute my read on the facts.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident, please contact a Central Florida personal injury or car accident lawyer for more information about how an attorney can help you. At Moody Law, we accept personal injury, wrongful death, car accidents, and medical malpractice cases on a contigency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing unless there is money recovered from a third party. Please contact a Central Florida personal injury or car accident lawyer for a free consultation.