I-95 Wrong Way Collision Kills Fort Lauderdale Motorcylist

August 16, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Wrong-way accidents continue to be a threatening and fatal phenomenon in South Florida and nationwide. While some of these accidents are caused by drunk driving or negligence, others are related to improper signage and confusing on or off ramps. Wrong-way accidents pose a significant threat to drivers and other motorists because they often result in fatalities. In another tragic case, a fatal wrong-way accident on I-95 resulted in the death of a motorcycle. A recent report published the 911 calls that came in after the accident. The details of the collision demonstrate the devastation caused by wrong-way collisions and the high-risk of fatalities.

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According to witnesses, a 41-year-old motorcyclist was struck head-on by a 20-year-old in an Acura Integra who was driving the wrong-way. The motorcyclist was killed in the accident but the driver survived. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their families. Understanding the trends in highway accidents can help to prevent future collisions and injuries. This case highlights the frequency and danger of wrong-way accidents and is a reminder to all drivers on the road to be wary of signage when entering the freeway.

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Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Sends Six to Hospital

August 11, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Accidents involving public transportation can result in significant injuries, wrongful death, and complex litigation involving multiple plaintiffs and defendants. In a recent South Florida case, a bus crash near Fort Lauderdale sent six victims to the hospital. According to reports, the accident involved a city bus as well as a four-door Jeep. In addition to the number of injuries arising from the accident, the crash left the Jeep heavily damaged. This case is a reminder of the potential dangers of bus accidents, as well as the complications that may arise in personal injury litigation.

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Nationwide, public transportation companies, as well as city buses, have been the target of lawsuits for serious injury or accidental death. These cases can be complicated as they often involve multiple plaintiffs and formidable defendants. Our Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and maximizing compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, long-term care needs, funeral expenses, and other personal losses or property damage rising from a collision. We will take the time to review the facts of every case and identify all responsible parties.

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Valedez v. Watkins Motor Lines - Zero Fault Verdict in Crash Case Reversed by Federal Appeals Court

August 8, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Two commercial drivers were involved in a wreck on a highway exit ramp that resulted in serious and lasting injuries to one.
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A lawsuit was filed by the injured driver, and a jury returned a verdict finding zero fault by both parties. But that verdict was recently reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, after the panel determined the lower court had allowed improper admission of evidence at trial that likely had a substantial influence on the jury's decision.

Broward County truck accident lawyers understand the primary dispute in Valedez v. Watkins Motor Lines, et al. was testimony derived from the investigating officer's crash report, which was barred from the evidence prior to trial.

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Harris v. FedEx - Truck Crash Lawsuit Hinges on Trucker's Employment Status

August 4, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

When it comes to holding a company responsible for the negligent actions of its employee, there are several possible legal theories that may apply. The first involves holding the company indirectly (or vicariously) liable, and the second involves the assertion of direct negligence by the company, via negligent hiring, training and/or supervision.
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Our Hollywood truck accident lawyers know that in crashes where commercial vehicles are involved, determining to what extent an employer is responsible is important. While drivers may carry individual liability insurance, to which injured parties may be entitled, corporate insurance policies for commercial vehicles tend to have higher limits, meaning the total amount recoverable by injured parties is likely to be higher.

However, before you can collect, your attorney is going to have to prove the driver worked for the company. This may seem simple enough. But the reality is, there are all kinds of employment arrangements, and the type the driver had in your case could be critical in determining whether you are entitled to seek damages from the employer.

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Hit and Run Driver at Large After Triple Fatal

July 25, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Hit-and-run accidents are an ongoing threat to Florida’s pedestrians, bikers and motorists. Florida has one of the highest hit-and-run rates in the nation. In a recent case, police are on the search for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed three women. Police reports indicated that the suspect was traveling at high speeds in a Chrysler when it struck a car carrying three women at the entrance of a parking lot. The crash caused the gas tank to rupture and the vehicle was consumed in flames. According to Reuters, all of the women were single mothers and left behind a total of six children.

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This is a tragic case that should raise awareness about the danger of hit and runs and the challenging nature of accident investigations and liability. In any accident case, it is important to consult with advocates who can help to identify responsible parties and hold negligent drivers accountable. Our Palm Beach car accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals and families who have been impacted by injury or death. We are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent future accidents and to ensuring that negligent drivers are held liable, both criminally and in civil court.

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Innovative Technologies to Prevent Child Hot Car Deaths

July 20, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

With recent tragedies making headlines, more parents are becoming aware of the dangers of leaving their children in hot cars.

In some cases, parents forgetfully have left their children behind or did not realize that their children crawled into a hot car until it is too late. Now innovation is responding to the dangers of hot cars with technology that could prevent accidental death. According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, new technologies are making advancements to prevent heat stroke and to alarm parents of children who may have been left behind.

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Researchers have found that once the windows are up and air conditioning has been turned off, a car can quickly rise in temperature, over 120 degrees on an 80 degree day. Leaving children even for a few minutes can be deadly. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries. We are also abreast of recent trends and innovations to ensure car and road safety. Here are some technological advancements, highlighted by CBS News, that could help remind parents and other caretakers to ensure children are out of a parked vehicle:

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Miccosukee Tribe v. Bermudez - Broad Theories of Vicarious Liability

July 15, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

As a general rule, civil courts both in Florida and across the country have held liability for third-party actions is not allowed, save for rare circumstances.
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In crash cases, our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys know there are a myriad of exceptions. These include cases where a car owner can be held liable for negligently entrusting their vehicle to someone they knew or should have known would not operate it safely. It could also extend to situations where a person served alcohol to a minor, who subsequently got behind the wheel and caused injury. Employers, too, might be held vicariously liable for crashes involving employees if it can be proven the company failed to properly vet, train or supervise the worker.

But should a third-party who aids in the legal defense of another be held liable?

Initially, a circuit court judge in Miami-Dade answered affirmatively to this question in Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of South Florida, etc. v. Bermudez, et al.. However, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal reversed, finding such a precedent opened the door for a host of troubling scenarios, though the justices noted sympathy for the plaintiff and questioned why the tribe wouldn't simply pay what was owed. Still, there was no legal basis, the court ruled, to force the defendant to pay.

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Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart Over Truck Accident Injuries

July 10, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Walmart is now facing a lawsuit after the tragic trucking accident that left comedian Tracy Morgan severely injured and killed another passenger. The New Jersey accident in June made national headlines after a truck driver slammed a tractor trailer into the rear end of the comedian’s limousine. The lawsuit, filed on July 10th in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, was filed by Morgan and three other survivors, naming Walmart as the defendant. According to the complaint, Walmart was negligent and responsible for the driver that slammed into the limousine.

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In the event of a trucking accident, it is important to conduct an independent investigation to determine the cause of the accident and identify all responsible parties. Our Broward County car accident attorneys are dedicated to uncovering the facts about every case and in identifying negligent individuals and entities. In the event that a vehicle was owned by a defendant company, such as Walmart, it is important to consult with experienced advocates who can move aggressively to protect your rights. In such cases, the driver is considered an agent of the company and both can be held liable for accidents and injuries.

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Gray v. Richbell - Requirements for Compulsory Medical Exam

July 6, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

The tragic death of a young woman following a Florida car crash prompted her parents to file a lawsuit against the driver who struck her head-on after she was rear-ended while attempting to pass a semi-truck.
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In preparation for that lawsuit, the plaintiffs requested the defendant undergo a compulsory medical exam, asserting the defendant's age, mental state and alleged dementia (as asserted by a plaintiff's expert witness) were factors in the crash.

West Palm Beach car accident lawyers know it's common for compulsory medical exams to be requested of plaintiffs in injury cases. This is because the plaintiff's injuries are an essential element of the case, upon which issues of causation and damages rest.

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Spaid v. Integon Indemnity Corp. - 1st DCA Remands Crash Case for Ambiguous Insurance Policy

June 29, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

An ambiguously-worded insurance policy was cited by Florida's First District Court of Appeal in its reversal of an earlier summary judgment in favor of the insurer. Instead, the court ruled, the plaintiff's request for coverage of all reasonable medical expenses related to the crash - without limit of liability - should be honored.
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The case of Spaid v. Integon Indemnity Corp. is just one of many examples in personal injury cases where the exact language of the insurance policy requires careful analysis by an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer.

According to the background facts provided in the court records, the crash in question occurred in February 2011 in Pensacola. The plaintiff/policy holder was injured and incurred more than $10,000 in medical bills as a result.

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Loyacono v. Travelers Insurance - New Trial for Car Accident Victim

June 26, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

In successfully securing damages for our clients injured in Fort Lauderdale car accidents, our attorneys must generally prove two key points: Fault of the defendant driver and proof of injuries incurred as a direct result of the defendant's negligence.
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Of course, every crash case presents its own unique and sometimes complex legal issues, but these are typically the two primary points necessary in order to obtain compensation.

In the recent case of Loyacono v. Travelers Insurance Company, those two points were virtually undisputed. And yet, the jury returned a verdict awarding the plaintiff $0 in damages. This set off a series of appeals, with the case going all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which affirmed the appellate court decision to remand the case back to trial - though there was still disagreement as to the legal justification for that decision.

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Universal Ins. Co. v. Office of the Ins. Comm’r - Rental Car Company Must Pay for Driver Negligence

June 23, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Florida's most critical industry is tourism, so we tend to have a large number of individuals at any given time who rent vehicles while traveling in our state.
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While these individuals bring dollars to our state, they unfortunately sometimes cause crashes as well. Visitors may be unfamiliar with the area, unfamiliar with the vehicle, distracted, drunk and potentially very fatigued after a long trip.

For years, rental car companies could be held vicariously liable for negligent customers under the same standards as private citizens who allowed third-parties to drive a vehicle. The problem, as our Hollywood car accident lawyers know, was that state laws vary when it comes to liability, so the federal government sought to establish a uniform standard via the Graves Amendment. This statute had the effect of carving out an exception to vicarious liability for rental car companies.

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