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Fatal Lake City Auto Accident

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Mary Frances Laws, 82, of Lake City, suffered fatal injuries following an auto collision in Columbia County on February 18, 2014. According to Florida Highway Patrol, the victim was traveling in a 2012 Nissan Versa, headed eastbound on U.S. 90, when her vehicle veered off the roadway. Thereafter, Laws’ vehicle collided head-on with a tree. FHP reports that the victim was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of collision. Tragically, Laws was pronounced dead, after being transported to Lake City Medical Center.

As our community grieves over the loss of Mary Frances Laws, we also hope that a moment is taken to contemplate the beneficial use of seatbelts, and other passenger restraint systems. Rare is the occurrence of an accident that we thought to ourselves ‘if only the occupant was not wearing a seatbelt.’ While this type of anomaly may certainly be a possibility, the truth, by and far, remains to be that seatbelts save lives.

Often time, motorists consider seatbelt usage in terms of preventing the legal consequences of receiving a traffic ticket, as opposed to considering the safety benefits seatbelts offer in preventing injury and fatality. While the Personal Injury Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. urge all motorist to operate their vehicles in accordance with the laws, we also encourage motorists to contemplate the meaningful purpose behind traffic control laws—public safety.

While there is no indication that the victims age played a factor, accidents associated with older driver risk-factors have become an increasing problem nationwide. So much so, in fact, that recognition of the issue has prompted a variety of independent and government funded research studies, public service announcements, and the expansion of driver education and training programs that cater to the specific needs of older drivers.

No broad implications are being made regarding the general capabilities of older motorists, rather, it is important to remember that for some drivers, the passage of time can greatly impact an older person’s reasonable operation of an automobile. For example, the traffic laws may have changed significantly since the initial receipt of a driver’s license, or most recent participation in a driver education program. Also, as we age, many of us experience deficiencies in cognitive functions, which can greatly affect one’s driving ability.

There are also other accident risk factors that, although more commonly associated with older drivers, actually occur amongst drivers of all ages.  For example, roadway changes that alter lane placement, traffic signals, posted speed ranges, and the location of entrance and exit ramps, are causal factors often associated with auto collisions. Florida’s roadways, in particular, are notorious for roadway expansion projects, which often involve ongoing construction.

The attorneys of Alba & Yochim P.A. encourage continuing driver education for all motorists. For more information provided through our website on older driver programs, please see Improved AARP Smart Driver course Debuts in 2014.

The Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. send our sincere condolences to the loved ones of Mary Frances Laws. No matter what the cause of an accident, when severe injury or fatality results, it is important to allow a legal professional to assess the matter and discuss your legal rights and remedies. With decades of experience, our attorneys have witnessed numerous scenarios, where a client, prior to consultation, was unaware as to the availability of compensation.

For many, contacting an attorney serves to benefit the client far beyond auto insurance claims. This is particularly true in accidents involving a fatality, because clients often need assistance with life insurance policies, probate matters, and sometimes even family law matters. The professional, aggressive, and compassionate attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., believe that following an accident, your primary focus should be recovering from injuries, and/or grieving—Let us handle the rest.

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