The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that Nicholas Kirk, 20, from Palm Harbor, was killed and a 19-year old female passenger has been seriously injured in a three-vehicle swamp buggy crash at the Redneck Yacht Club offroad park.
The accident occurred when Kirk drove his 2008 Suzuki Quadsport between a swamp buggy and another buggy it was towing. The driver of the swamp buggy was a 37-year-old man from North Fort Myers. When Kirk’s vehicle went between the other two craft, he hit the tow strap, causing his female passenger to fall from the vehicle. The vehicle rolled to a stop nearly 300 feet from the collision area.
Kirk was pronounced dead at the scene by Charlotte County Emergency Medical Services. His female passenger suffered “incapacitating injuries” and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital. The others involved in the crash were not injured.
The case is still under investigation and alcohol results are still pending for Kirk.
Liability When the At-Fault Driver is Killed
When a victim is involved in a serious accident, the responsible party can be held liable for causing the crash. This means that the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company can be held responsible for any damages the innocent party suffered, from medical costs to pain and suffering. However, how can a victim seek compensation if the at-fault driver is killed in the accident?
Even when the at-fault driver is killed, he or she can still be held responsible for the accident. Just as if they had lived, you will file an injury claim against his or her auto insurance or personal estate. In the majority of injury cases, compensation for damages actually comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, not from the driver. This remains true even if the driver is severely injured or killed in the accident.
What If I Feel Guilty About Filing a Claim?
Fatal accidents are extremely tragic and can cause the surviving victim to feel remorse in filing a claim against the deceased and at-fault driver’s insurance. This is especially true if the victim knows the at-fault driver or was in the vehicle with that person at the time of the crash. While these feelings are completely understandable, insurance claims for compensation for your injuries are not something to feel guilty about.
All drivers are legally required to cover their vehicles with insurance in case they are in an accident and someone is injured. This is true whether they were friends with the victim or not. If you have been injured in an accident and you have questions about your legal options, contact Bernstein & Maryanoff in Miami today for a risk-free consultation.