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.

car%20accident.jpg

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.

Continue reading "Hit and Run Driver at Large After Triple Fatal " »

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.

Ignition.jpg

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:

Continue reading "Innovative Technologies to Prevent Child Hot Car Deaths" »

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.
drivefast3.jpg
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.

Continue reading "Miccosukee Tribe v. Bermudez - Broad Theories of Vicarious Liability" »

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.

self-driving-google-car-2.jpg

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.

Continue reading "Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart Over Truck Accident Injuries" »

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.
driving3.jpg
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.

Continue reading "Gray v. Richbell - Requirements for Compulsory Medical Exam" »

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.
blackcar.jpg
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.

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

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.
cardamaged.jpg

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.

Continue reading "Loyacono v. Travelers Insurance - New Trial for Car Accident Victim" »

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.
blackandlight.jpg
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.

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

Nuisance Animals and Car Accidents - Sholberg v. Truman

June 19, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Anyone who has ever struck a deer or other large animal recognizes the extensive damage such an impact can cause.
horsecloseup.jpg
While there is no way to sue wildlife, Deerfield Beach car accident attorneys know you are entitled to take legal action if the large animal you hit is owned by someone who negligently failed to keep it in a proper enclosure. Prime examples would be cattle or horses, but could also potentially include goats, sheep and pigs.

A stronger case be made if it's proven the animal owner has a history of being derelict in keeping the animal away from public roads.

Continue reading "Nuisance Animals and Car Accidents - Sholberg v. Truman" »

Whritenour v. Thompson - Bankruptcy Discharge of Personal Injury Debts

June 14, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

A plaintiff in a Florida car accident case is entitled to a jury trial on the issues of negligence and damages, despite a trial court's earlier ruling to the contrary. That's per Florida's Second District Court of Appeal in the case of Whritenour v. Thompson, where the strategic bankruptcy filing of a defendant threatened to derail the case.
money43.jpg
Palm Beach County car accident lawyers know there are some personal injury debts that can be discharged in a bankruptcy filing. Where motor vehicle accidents are involved, the bankruptcy court excludes injuries caused by drunk drivers or those where the injuries were caused by willful or malicious intent.

Still, all others, considered "creditors" in the bankruptcy case, can file an "adversary proceeding," requesting the court to set aside the automatic stay and discharge and force the debtor to pay.

Continue reading "Whritenour v. Thompson - Bankruptcy Discharge of Personal Injury Debts" »

Guillen v. Vang et al - Fifth District Sets Aside Allegations of Fraud on Court

June 9, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

The plaintiff in a Florida car accident lawsuit was reportedly captured on surveillance cameras engaging in activities he had purportedly claimed in his deposition testimony to be unable to perform following the crash.
carcrash.jpg

As a result, the trial court issued a final judgment dismissing his claim in Guillen v. Vang et al. He appealed to Florida's Fifth District Court of Appeal, requesting reversal of that ruling - which was granted. The court found the video evidence alone wasn't enough to prove the plaintiff had set in motion some unconscionable scheme designed to trick the court and enrich himself.

Broward car accident lawyers believe the justices here reached the right conclusion because there is a fine line between what constitutes fraud and what is actually forgetfulness, a misunderstanding or a genuine mistake. In some cases, even when plaintiffs have been caught in outright lies, the court has held this is not necessarily proof of fraud on the court.

Continue reading "Guillen v. Vang et al - Fifth District Sets Aside Allegations of Fraud on Court" »

Bees Swarm After Florida Cargo Truck Overturns

June 6, 2014 by Dean H. Freeman

Highway truck collisions can pose dangers to motorists if there is impact, but they can also create serious hazards depending on what cargo is being transported. In a recent case, a big-rig overturned on I-95 releasing approximately 16 million to 20 million bees onto a Delaware highway. The truck was transporting the bees from Florida to Maine at the time of the accident. According to police reports, the driver and his two passengers were taken by ambulance and treated at a nearby hospital. All three of the accident victims were stung by at least 50 to 100 bees.

bees.jpg

The tractor-trailer accident and swarming bees continue to pose a risk to motorists on the Interstate. Drivers have been advised to keep their windows closed and not to pull over or stop unless they are in an emergency. Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys are experienced in handling complex cases involving collisions and highway injury. We are abreast of legal developments and cases in Florida and nationwide. Our firm is committed to holding responsible parties accountable to prevent future accidents and injury.

Continue reading "Bees Swarm After Florida Cargo Truck Overturns" »