Posted on Dec 28, 2010

I recently read a piece in Orlando Sentinel that was interesting to me.  Unfortunately, the main part of the story was about the tragic deaths of Karl Kruppenbacher II  and a Lake Panasofkee man in a head-on crash that occurred on Highway 301 at SW 90th Place, near Bushnell, in Sumter County.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mr. Kruppenbacher was southbound on Highway 301 when his vehicle crossed the center line and collided with the Lake Panasofkee man’s truck.

As a lawyer who has handled many wrongful death claims as a result of automobile accidents, my condolences certainly go out to the families of both men.  Loss of life in auto accidents like these is almost always devastating to families.

However, my particular interest in this story as a FL accident attorney has to do with the inclusion in the story of information regarding which man was wearing a seatbelt and which man wasn't.  Apparently, Mr. Kruppenbacher was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, but the Lake Panasofkee man wasn't.

As I have been pointing out in at least one previous post, my experience has been the seatbelt use has only an average correlation with serious injuries (or death) in a crash.  Nevertheless, many insurance companies advance a seatbelt defense even when it cannot be shown that wearing a seatbelt would have lessened or eliminated the injury.  For example, in this instance, Mr. Kruppenbacher was reportedly wearing a seatbelt, and still tragically lost his life.

If you have any questions about the seatbelt defense, or whether the failure to wear a seatbelt is fatal to a personal injury claim, call Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444.