Baltazar Perez Garcia, 32, was killed in a car accident in Lake Worth, Florida yesterday. According to news reports, Michael Steinberg, 65, was driving the car that ran over Baltazar Perez Garcia on South Dixie Highway.
While it appears as though Baltazar Perez Garcia was hit by Michael Steinberg’s car after he stepped in front of it, Michael Steinberg may still be held accountable for Garcia’s death.
As an injury attorney, I can tell you that this is a classic case of pedestrian versus car. Fatality cases like these will hinge on the totality of the circumstances present.
If the facts show that Michael Steinberg failed to use due care or failed to yield to a pedestrian in the roadway, Baltazar Perez Garcia’s family may be entitled to a lot of money for his death.
Given my perspective as an injury lawyer, the purpose of this blog entry is to review the facts of this case, as they are presently known, and identify the legal issues that may be presented should this matter proceed into court.
When a car accident lawyer works on a case of this type, he/she is looking to establish three very important factors:
1) That the victim party was injured. In this case that is obvious because Baltazar Perez Garcia was killed by Michael Steinberg’s vehicle.
2) That the defendant party acted with negligence. In this case, further investigation is needed to determine who was really at fault. However, if it can be shown that Michael Steinberg was speeding, talking on his cell phone, or failed to yield when he was supposed to, liability may be easy to prove.
3) The defendant party must have adequate insurance or personal assets to pay the settlement or judgment owed to the victim. According to news reports, Michael Steinberg was driving a Rolls-Royce. As one might expect, I think it is reasonable to assume Michael Steinberg was responsible enough to carry adequate insurance in the event that he were to injury someone with his car. If not, his personal assets may be at stake.
Given the complex nature of fatality car accidents, Baltazar Perez Garcia’s family should hire an injury lawyer as soon as possible. Collecting all the necessary police reports, photographs, witness statements, crash reports, as well as making sure that important evidence is preserved, such as the damaged Rolls-Royce and its on-board computer, is extremely important.
The computer will tells us how fast Michael Steinberg was driving just before and during the accident. It will also tells us when he applied his brakes, if at all.
According to new reports, Baltazar Perez Garcia was dragged underneath Michael Steinberg’s car. This tells me that Steinberg was either speeding, didn’t apply brakes in time, or Baltazar Perez Garcia literally jumped right in front of the on-coming car.
Fortunately, cases like these produce ample forensic evidence, such as tire tread, crash debis, and computer data, not to mention the possibility of nearby surveillance video, that can shed light on what happened.
Again, it is still too early to determine who was really responsible for what happened. Rather, a full case analysis and investigation is needed to draw ultimate conclusions.
Putting all the legal mumbo-jumbo aside, I am sorry that someone had to die in this case. Traffic fatalities are always regrettable since most of them are almost always preventable. Sometimes it takes something as simple as paying attention to avoid a serious accident.
My condolences go out to Baltazar Perez Garcia’s family. Hopefully they will remember him for good things and recover from their grief sooner than later.