Fatal Accident Involving Alligator Takes Life of Steven Lee Purdy of Cape Coral

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A Cape Coral accident left one man, Steven Lee Purdy, dead after his car was struck by another car, driven by Lazaro Zarza. The Florida Highway Patrol investigation showed that Zarza swerved to avoid hitting an alligator that was on the roadway, as he did so, he swerved into Purdy’s vehicle.
The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed against Zarza. The accident caused the death of 27-year-old Steven Purdy and injured 3 others, including Zarza and his passenger.
Due to the wildlife in Florida it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to understand the risks involved in swerving to avoid an animal. Often, swerving to avoid an animal can cause the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle and other accidents, such as the one involving the death of Steven Lee Purdy, can result. An article written in Bloomberg Business Week states that a safety rule is to maintain your lane when approaching an animal because the damage can be far less from hitting the animal than attempting to avoid it.
In Florida, surviving family members (spouse, minor children, etc.) can file a claim for Wrongful Death when the death is caused by negligence or the intentional acts of another. While the claim is brought against the individual, in cases involving car accidents, the at-fault driver’s insurance would most likely be the one to pay the claim if the driver maintained bodily injury (BI) coverage. If the at-fault driver did not, but the victim carried uninsured or underinsured (UM) coverage on his policy, then the Wrongful Death action could be brought against the victim’s own insurance.
Florida Wrongful Death actions for negligence must be filed with the Court within two (2) years of the date of the incident to preserve the case.

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