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In many car crashes, we see one at-fault driver, and one or more drivers who were not at-fault in causing a serious or fatal South Florida car wreck.  However, in some cases, there are two drivers who are acting in a negligent manner and responsible for injuries to themselves and possibly for injuries of passengers in one or both of the vehicles. There are a variety of different ways in which two or more drivers involved in a single traffic crash could be engaged in negligent behavior.

car accident Lawyers South FloridaOne situation, that while not an everyday occurrence, but one which happens far more often than it should, is when two or more cars are engaged in an illegal street race. This could be a pre-planned (though still illegal) semi-organized street race like we see in the movies an in many shows on reality TV, or it can simply be two drivers who see each other and decide to start racing each other.  This is not only very dangerous, but is also illegal, and could be the basis for an arrest for reckless driving.  Continue reading →

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The conservator of a woman catastrophically injured as a passenger in a motorcycle crash was unsuccessful in a bid to hold accountable a city government for alleged negligent failure to maintain a road, which she claimed was a causal factor in the crash. Motorcycle accident attorney

The City of Denver, CO, defendant in this action, argued entitlement to government immunity. Plaintiff countered the facts of this case allowed for exception to governmental immunity because the road was in unreasonably dangerous condition, which posed an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the public. The trial court disagreed, granting summary judgment to the defense. The appellate court reversed, but then the Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s summary judgment.

Plaintiff hasn’t walked away completely empty-handed, though. She settled her claim against the other driver without litigation and with the operator of the motorcycle prior to trial. This premises liability claim against the city was the only one still pending.  Continue reading →

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A $19 million damage award to the widow of a man killed when a train struck him as he attempted to cross the tracks has been affirmed.

Defendant railroad company had sought a new trial based primarily on a typo and alleged “intentional non-disclosures” by a single juror. The Missouri Supreme Court found these arguments unpersuasive.

Court records reveal decedent was a 53-year-car accidentold businessman who died when his pickup truck was struck by a northbound freight train at an unguarded crossing on a county road. The crossing is marked by “passive railroad crossbuck signs,” but no flashing lights, bells or crossing gates to warn people of oncoming trains. Furthermore, the road crosses the tracks at what is described as “an extreme angle,” which plaintiff alleged created a hazardous intersection that was made even more dangerous by visual obstacles, such as overgrown vegetation.

Plaintiff presented evidence of numerous “near-misses” at this intersection before this fatal crash in 2012. The crossing, decedent’s widow argued, did not meet basic industry safety standards (specifically because they did not trim the vegetation that had become overgrown around the crossing), the railroad company defendant knew that and yet failed to seize on numerous opportunities to correct this danger. Continue reading →

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The families of three people (including two children) killed in a horrific North Florida crash are suing the manufacturer of a product consumed by the at-fault driver prior to the collision. car accident attorney

It’s an interesting case that many car accident attorneys are watching carefully. It’s noteworthy because makers of products like alcohol or opiates generally are not held liable for the actions of those under the influence of those products. In this case, WCTV.com reports the families are suing the product manufacturer for making and selling a product called “spice” knowing and intending for it to be consumed – knowing it was unsafe to do so.

The product in question was named “Purple Chronic,” and plaintiffs allege the company manufacturer specifically named it this as a play on words, knowing “chronic” is slang for marijuana. The company manufacturer insisted in recent testimony the product was never intended for human consumption – a fact that is expressly stated on the label – and for this reason, did not feel compelled to print warnings on the product indicating the dangers of consumption or even list the ingredients. Continue reading →

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Drivers are increasingly relying on in-vehicle technology to help them navigate, know when it’s safe to switch lanes, remain inside a lane and stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision. Yet the more advanced and commonplace this technology comes, the more questions are raised about liability when these systems fail or when drivers lean too heavily on them. car accident

Recently, the family of a man killed in a horrific car accident involving a Tesla vehicle that was engaged in autopilot mode has indicated they are preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit against manufacturer Tesla, who made the car the man was driving. Decedent is survived by his wife and two young children (ages 3 and 6).  An early review of the crash by the family’s wrongful death lawyer has reportedly unearthed numerous complaints to Tesla regarding navigational errors that occurred when motorists had engaged the driver-assisted systems. The law firm handling the plaintiff’s case says it appears the autopilot feature of this model of vehicles is defective – and probably what caused the fatal crash in this case.

It is the suspicion of the firm’s crash investigators that the autopilot feature misread the lanes on the road and didn’t detect the concrete median, which meant the car’s automatic brakes weren’t engaged and the vehicle barreled right into the median. The system manufacturer has confirmed the sport utility vehicle’s autopilot feature was engaged when the crash happened and that the driver reportedly removed his hands from the wheel for a a total of six seconds before slamming into the barrier. Continue reading →

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He survived the loss of both legs due to crushing injuries sustained in a crash as he was helping his Uber driver move a stalled car onto the shoulder. Now, a 23-year-old California man is suing Uber, the Uber driver, Uber’s insurance carrier and the driver of the vehicle that struck him. car accident attorney

According to local news reports, the victim was an Uber customer passenger in a newer model Jeep around 1 a.m. in March when the Jeep ran out of gas. The driver attempted to coast onto the shoulder, but instead the vehicle came to a rest in one of the lanes of the freeway. Both the driver and the passenger got out and started to push the vehicle onto the shoulder. It was at that time a second driver lost control of his vehicle and struck the customer. The severity of crushing injuries required that both legs be amputated.

Plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit, which his injury lawyers have valued at between $25 million and $50 million, alleges the driver was not fit to operate the vehicle, and that this was a “substantial factor” in causing him to be in a position where he was hit.  Continue reading →

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Emergency vehicles are given special privileges and legal protections in Florida, specifically as outlined in F.S. 316.126. However, that does not mean that cities, municipalities or states (which generally own/ operate emergency vehicles as part of public service) are immune from liability when public servants are involved in collisions that result in injury. In fact, part of that statute specifically indicates, “This section does not diminish or enlarge any rules of evidence or liability in any case involving the operation of an emergency vehicle” and further, “does not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.” car accident attorney

Recently in a case out of West Virginia, the state supreme court there affirmed a trial court ruling in favor of a plaintiff, denying defendant a new trial in this personal injury lawsuit.

According to court records, a city police officer was assigned to work at a local high school. Shortly after arriving, he had to return home to attend to a homeowner emergency. After briefly meeting with a plumber, he left to return to work. While en route, he overheard a radio dispatch from another officer, in distress and pursuing a suspect on foot. The officer activated his lights and siren and traveled at a high rate of speed. Meanwhile, plaintiff pulled out from a parking lot into the same travel lane as the officer. The officer, traveling 65 mph, skidded more than 150 feet before rear-ending plaintiff. An investigating deputy sheriff testified that the skid marks and speed of the officer’s vehicle indicated plaintiff could not have seen the patrol car when he entered the roadway.  Continue reading →

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The majority of Florida car accident claims are settled prior to a trial, and one form of settlement is called a “high-low agreement.” This is when the parties in the case agree that no matter what the outcome of a case, defendant will pay a minimum amount – but no more than an agreed-upon maximum amount. This takes some of the “all-or-nothing” guesswork out of the trial process, and ensures a plaintiff will receive some amount of compensation no matter what. car accident attorney Orlando

However, injury lawyers can explain it might still be risky, and it must be done with all parties – including insurers – being appropriately informed.

Although certain procedures and timelines can vary from state-to-state, the same basic principles of high-low agreements typically apply across the board. In a recent case out of New Jersey, a plaintiff who agreed to a high-low agreement ran into trouble by failing to inform his uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage carrier of the arbitration, high-low agreement, completed jury trial or verdict. When it came time to collect, the UM/UIM insurer refused.  Continue reading →

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The myth of the so-called “professional plaintiff” has been pushed by certain interest groups intent on tort reform legislation, which ultimately harms those who most need relief. car accident attorney

It’s not that auto insurance fraud is an impossibility or never-event, but it’s far less common than defense attorneys and some others would have you believe. Unfortunately, sometimes this misconception has a real impact on actual victims.

Recently, the Hawaii Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s judgment in favor of a car accident defendant whose attorneys repeatedly raised the question of a plaintiff’s “motive” for filing the claim in the first place, repeatedly insinuating – despite a lack of conviction or even formal accusation – that plaintiff had committed workers’ compensation insurance fraud. The state high court ruled the “plaintiff’s motives for bringing suit were irrelevant to the merits of her claim and her credibility as a witness.” At minimum, the trial court in the case should have granted the plaintiff’s requested jury instruction underscoring the fact that her motivation for filing the lawsuit was barred from jurors’ consideration. What matters, ultimately, is the merits of the claim.

An experienced injury lawyer who routinely handles car accident cases understands the damage these kinds of insinuations can have on a jury, and also how to effectively challenge them.  Continue reading →

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Auto insurance companies have a responsibility to defend their clients when they are accused of liability. Almost all auto insurance policies make these two promises to their insureds:

  • A promise to indemnify, which is pay for the insured’s legal liability, up to the policy limits;
  • A promise to defend, meaning the insurer hires legal counsel and defends insured against the lawsuit and cover legal fees. Orlando car accident attorney

If an insurer is faced with a covered third-party claim, the insurer is responsible to defend the claim and pay any monetary award entered for that covered claim. Sounds straightforward, but in practice, insurers don’t always make it so easy. There are often exceptions and rules – not all of which may be explicitly spelled out on the policy. When disputes arise, it can impact the third-party case, filed by the person injured in the auto accident.

One such dispute was recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, following a serious crash in Illinois. It involves a case of several teenagers and a “borrowed” car. The car belonged to a 16-year-old girl, who borrowed it on August 2013 night in question to go to a party. Another, also 16 and defendant in this action, ultimately obtained the keys to that vehicle. How she got those keys was in dispute, as the girl whose mother owned the car said she never gave them to her, but rather to another friend. Nonetheless, defendant left the party with that vehicle and picked up several passengers – plaintiff among them.  Continue reading →

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