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Speeding Car Kills Bicyclist Near USF Tampa

Chris Russo Feb 14, 2011

Robert J. Niebalec, 52, of Temple Terrace was killed in a car accident on Sunday.  The accident happened near USF in Tampa at 1:46 p.m. on Sunday February 13, 2011.  Niebalec was riding his bicycle in a designated bike lane on Fletcher Avenue heading east when a black Ford Five Hundred struck him.  The car is reported to have veered to the left, went over the median, and into the westbound lanes before crashing into a wooden fence at the entrance to USF Riverfront Park.  Authorities have mentioned that the Ford Five Hundred lost control while traveling at a high rate of speed in tandem with another car.  They also mentioned that the two vehicles appeared that they may have been racing.  The Ford Five Hundred was driven by Christina Perenzuela, 20, of Tampa.  The other car was a Honda driven by Armando Perez, Jr., 34, from Tampa.  Authorities are currently seeking witnesses.

This is a very sad accident where an innocent bike rider died as a result of what appears to be entertainment by young people.  This accident very likely would not have happened but for the aggressive and foolish driving on the part of the two vehicles.  There are several things that the family of Mr. Niebalec need to consider.  There is a PIP/No-Fault insurance claim for a $5,000 death benefit.  There is also a liability and/or uninsured/underinsured motorists' claim (UM) with an insurance company.  Further, in order to bring and/or settle any of the Mr. Niebalec's claims, the survivors need to set up a probate and have a personal representative appointed by the court.  Under Florida law, only the decedent's personal representative has the authority to resolve a wrongful death claim even though the purpose of the settlement is to compensate the survivors.  Under Florida law, the personal representative must apportion in an equitable manner the settlement proceeds between the estate and the survivors.  As such, there are instances where the estate receives nothing because there would not have been any accumulations during the decedent's lifetime and, again, the main purpose of the settlement is to compensate the survivors and not to pay the debts of the decedent.  If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident, please contact a Central Florida personal injury or wrongful death lawyer for a discussion of your rights.  A consultation with a Central Florida personal injury lawyer is free.  Home and hospital visits are available upon request.

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