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Three People Die in Head On Crash

Chris Russo May 20, 2011

May 20, 2011.  Three men died as a result of a car accident in Apopka, Florida.  This accident happened at approxiamtely 1:00 a.m. near Orange Blossom Trail and Sprint Boulevard when a 1989 Chevrolet pickup truck crashed into a 2001 Toyota Corolla traveling in the opposite direction.  The vehicle turned over and caught fire.  The driver of the pickup truck has not been identified by police but he died at the scene.  Charles Richard Diaz, III, 21, of Apopka and Daniel Francis Morgan, 21, of Apopka (passenger) died at the scene.

This is a very tragic accident, but it inevitably involves negligence on one driver or the other.  There is not enough information reported in order to determine who may have caused the accident.  Since all three people involved died in the accident, the families of the deceased will have to open probates in order to either make a claim or defend a claim.  This is a particularly thorny situation for the family defending a claim.  It is doubtful that whoever the at fault driver was that they have any assets of significance at their age.  Therefore, it will be up to the insurance company to properly defend this.  Insurance companies seldom like to set up probates and oftentimes will tell the plaintiff that they must file a lawsuit.  Many plaintiffs do not know that they can force open a probate in the event that the family members or the insurance company fail to do so.  Further, assuming that the insurance company does the right thing by paying policy limits timely to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs will still need a probate in order to cash the check and enter into a valid and binding settlement agreement with the insurance company.  In Florida, only the personal representative has the authority to settle a wrongful death claim and the personal representative does so on behalf of all survivors.  If a survivor objects, then that survivor typically must get their own attorney for work where the personal representative has a conflict of interest.  Wrongful death claims must also be approved by the court--there is no guidance as to whether this is done by the probate court or the circuit court if a lawsuit is filed.  If you or a loved one has suffered the loss of a family member from an accident, please contact a central Florida car accident or personal injury lawyer for more assistance.  Theses types of cases are typically handled on a contingency fee basis meaning that there is no fee or cost unless there is a recovery. 

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