Increase in Citrus and Lake Accidents Outpaces State Average
Auto accidents and resulting injuries on the roads of Citrus and Lake counties in Central Florida have been on the rise in recent years and outpaced the state average increase in 2017, according to a recent report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
From 2016 to 2017 in Citrus County, the total number of crashes rose from 1,682 to 1,781, a 5.9 percent increase. In Lake County, the number of crashes rose from 4,339 to 4,731, a 9.0 percent increase. Injuries also rose in both counties in 2017, although fatalities fell in Lake County and increased in Citrus. By comparison, the state average increase in accidents from 2016 to 2017 was less than 2 percent, with fatalities following in tandem.
The region seems to be prone to deadly accidents. The intersection of State Road 40 and State Road 19 in Astor, Lake County, once had the unfortunate distinction of being one of the 12 most dangerous crossings in the country, according to Time. In Lecanto, in Citrus County, in October 2018, two women were killed in a fiery head-on crash on State Road 44, caused by one of them driving westerly in the eastbound lane. On the same highway, near Inverness, Citrus County, in January 2019, a motorcycle was killed in a collision with an SUV that was attempting to make an illegal U-turn.
Serious or fatal auto accidents have grave legal repercussions. Drivers who cause such accidents, if they survive, can be prosecuted for reckless driving and other offenses, possibly including vehicular homicide. They can also be sued for money damages by the injured victims or, if someone is killed, by their families in a wrongful death case. Catastrophic accidents like these are exempt from the usual restrictions imposed by Florida’s no-fault law, which means recoveries for pain and suffering are allowed.
For the drivers at fault, unsafe driving that leads to an accident can result in fines, license suspensions, increased insurance premiums and other complications. The penalties are even more severe when alcohol or drugs are involved. All of these consequences are costly.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, or if you are facing criminal or traffic charges as the result of an accident, a knowledgeable attorney at the Largey Law Firm can help. Call us at 352.508.1485 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at one of our three offices in Clermont, Tavares and Inverness.