Accident South Florida Avenue in Lakeland
A 75-year-old man died in a car accident on South Florida Avenue on Thursday night at approximately 6:11 p.m. The 75-year-old man is reported to have ran a red light at the intersection of Lime Street and then to have struck two other vehicles. It was reported that witnesses indicated that the 75-year-old man was slumped over forward and was perhaps unconscious. The 75-year-old man has been identified as Aquilino Pinon. Pinon struck the rear end of a 2007 Dodge that was driven by Dedrea J. Patterson of Mulberry. Pinon also struck a 1991 Plymouth driven by Glen R. Marvan of Winter Haven. It is reported that an autopsy is planned.
Based on what has been reported, the autopsy could very well reveal a cause of death that would have occurred before the accident ever occurred. In particular, Mr. Pinon may have had a stroke or heart attack prior to the accident. This unfortunate situation can leave the damaged parties (Patterson and Marvan) holding the bag unless they have the right insurance coverages. Patterson and Marvan hopefully had collision coverage for their vehicles as well as uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Many people may not understand that a person (or that person's estate) is only legally responsible for an accident when there is negligence. In other words, the person must have been able to do something to prevent the accident from happening but chose not to take that action to avoid it. While some people may think that Mr. Pinon perhaps should have known that he was going to have an emergency medical condition behind the wheel of his vehicle and, therefore, should not have been driving, particularly if he has had the same or a similar problem before. However, unless Mr. Pinon was instructed by a doctor not to drive or had some other restriction placed upon him where he was not supposed to be driving or driving under certain conditions, then there is no liability because there is no negligence. In other words, Florida law generally does not hold a person responsible for an accident caused by a sudden medical condition. This is precisely why collision coverage and UM coverage are important. Collision pays for the damage to your vehicle regardless of fault. UM coverage may pay benefits for a sudden emergency medical condition. If you or a loved one have been injured in a Lakeland car accident, please contact a Lakeland personal injury or car accident attorney for a free consultation. A free consultation may answer your questions regarding the liabilities under Florida law and the way that your insurance works.