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Safety regulators in Florida shuttered a large, third-party commercial drivers license testing company after an investigation uncovered practices that posed “an immediate serious danger to the public health, safety and welfare” of others who share the road. Specifically, the state found the firm was not properly training its workers, left out key portions of a multi-part skills test and altered testing data to make it seem as if its students scored higher than they actually did. truck accident attorney

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has canceled its contract with the driving school, which up until then was the No. 3 biggest commercial driver license testing firm in the state, which locations from Miami to Labelle. Taking it even a step farther, the state agency ordered some 1,500 commercial truck drivers whose licenses were issued by the company to rush for a retake of their CDL tests, or else they would lose their right to legally operate a commercial vehicle (and thus likely their jobs).

According to TheDrive.com, when state investigators started examining claims that the books were cooked at the school, they sat in on the training and testing for existing students. With those investigators overseeing the process, the pass rate for CDL applicants plummeted from 60 percent to just 11 percent. That’s a solid indicator that the school had been passing students who weren’t properly trained and lacked the necessary skills to operate a mammoth commercial truck. Continue reading →

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The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an appellate court’s decision to grant a second trial to a plaintiff in a car accident injury case was the right move, thus securing the $250,000 in damages she won in the second jury verdict after suing her mother for alleged negligence while driving.car accident attorney

It’s important to point out that anyone reluctant to pursue damage claims against loved ones (spouses, children, parents, siblings, cousins, friends, etc.) that naming your loved one as a defendant is really only a technical matter. What you are really after is fair and just compensation from the defendant’s insurance policy. It’s not an indication that you harbor the notion your loved one meant you harm or even that you expect them to pay anything directly from their own coffers. Auto insurance is required for the registration of any motor vehicle in Florida, and therefore if you are a passenger in a vehicle driven by a relative or friend whose negligence caused or contributed to a crash that resulted in your injuries, you may be entitled to pursue damages on that claim just like anyone else. In most cases, plaintiffs cannot name the insurance company as a defendant because courts generally agree that jurors’ knowledge that defendant had insurance can be prejudicial.

Some auto insurance policies have exclusions for “resident relatives,” which are those related by blood or marriage who also reside in the insured’s household. The question of whether benefits are payable to the injured party will depend on the exact language of the policy and the relationship between the insured and claimant. Continue reading →

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Florida truck accident lawsuits are among the most complex in motor vehicle litigation for numerous reasons. Successful truck accident attorneys know this is in large part because the sheer size and weight of these vehicles and the fact that collisions often occur at high-speeds on highways inevitably means a greater severity of injuries. Another reason is there are often numerous defendants. It’s not just the driver, but the driver’s employer and the carrier and the owner of the cargo and possibly others. Employers or companies acting as employers may be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of a driver who was acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident.truck accident attorney

Although occupants of passenger vehicles most often suffer the worst outcomes in truck accidents, truck drivers aren’t immune from injuries, especially if the collision involved another large vehicle. That typically opens another avenue of recovery in workers’ compensation, though this doesn’t necessarily foreclose on other legal remedies.

In a recent case weighed by the Wyoming Supreme Court, justices reversed in part a summary judgment in claim filed by a truck driver who was struck by another large truck while he worked to free his truck from its stationary position on a snow-covered highway. The court ruled that while claims against plaintiff’s co-driver and the owner of the cargo they were hauling for direct negligence were correctly decided in defendants’ favor, plaintiff’s claim for damages on the issue of vicarious liability should have survived summary judgment. That means he may continue with his claim, though justices noted in their ruling, “(plaintiff) will undoubtedly have a difficult case to try,” namely because he bear the burden of proof on issues of negligence, causation and damages, as well as probable assertions of comparative fault.  Continue reading →

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We know that 2015 and 2016 were record years for auto recalls, fueled largely by defects in airbags and ignition switches. This rush of recalls began over the last couple of years after it was revealed a number of potential fatal flaws – often ones that could have been fixed for just a few dollars per vehicle – were hidden from the public, in some cases for decades.car accident attorney

Unlike the typical Orlando car accident lawsuit, those that involve defective vehicles name a product manufacturer, as opposed to another driver, as the defendant. In some cases, litigation will name both. Defective vehicles or flawed vehicle parts are always a possibility that our best accident attorneys in Orlando explore following a crash, given the pervasiveness of these problems, which include everything from wiring and fuel problems leading to fire hazards to airbags that fail to deploy – or deploy with explosive force – putting drivers, passengers and other motorists at serious risk of injury or even death.

Just since the beginning of this month, Cars.com has issued nine vehicle recall notices. That doesn’t necessarily encompass the full number, but it gives you a sense of the fact that these problems are near constant and ongoing. A dedicated accident attorney will not overlook this critical fact when reviewing the details of your accident and injury.  Continue reading →

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Following a car accident in Florida, it is not uncommon for auto insurers to contact either insureds or third parties, seeking to reach a settlement on the claim (sometimes even before it’s been formally filed). Our injury attorneys urge great caution in these interactions. car accident attorney

Insurers essentially have two goals with these contacts:

  • To glean information about the collision;
  • To extend a low-ball settlement offer before you have a chance to fully comprehend the scope of your damages.

This is not to say auto insurers never offer a fair deal on the first go, but it’s best to have your auto accident attorney review the offer to determine if you are entitled to more – and if so, to help you negotiate for it.  Continue reading →

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The best Orlando car accident attorneys know that when it comes to the burden of proof in crash cases, your word alone may not be enough to prove fault or damages. That’s why it’s so critical to involve a lawyer early on in the process, someone who can help you investigate the facts, gather evidence and build a strong case. The sooner we get involved the better, as this gives us time to conduct an independent analysis of the facts, identifying possible witnesses, relevant photos or videos and consulting with expert accident reconstructionists and auto engineers.car accident attorney

Even in cases where liability seems relatively straightforward (for instance, in a rear-end collision where there is a rebuttable presumption the rear driver was responsible), there are still elements of the case that are going to require some independent backing.

This is not to say that conflicting evidence will kill your case, but the more you have to prove the key elements, the stronger your chances of recovering just compensation.

A recent case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court underscores the importance of fathering sufficient evidence at the scene to prove liability.  Continue reading →

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When a fatal Florida car accident occurs, there will be additional types of damages apart from what is typically awarded in other cases. Fatal crash claims are still generally filed under a theory of negligence, but there can also be a wrongful death component which allows for additional damages. In our state, there is a specific wrongful death act that is governed under Section 768.16 and the several sections that follow of Chapter 768 of the Florida Statutes. One of the more important components of the Wrongful Death Act that provides for the ability to file such an action can be found in Section 768.19.

pedestrian accident lawyerSpecifically, Section 768.19 provides that if a person could otherwise bring a negligence case against a person under the laws in Florida, and the alleged negligent act resulted in a death, the plaintiff may bring a wrongful death action.  Continue reading →

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While we typically hear about more teen car crashes during the summer months, they can happen any time of year.  There are a variety of reasons for the seemingly excessive teen crashes including the inexperience of new drivers and also the riskier behavior in which teens tend to engage.  This riskier behavior also applies to driving and that can result in a serious or even deadly car accident. When a plaintiff is killed a car wreck, or dies later as a result of the injuries sustained in the serious accident, this can lead to the need to file a wrongful death lawsuit pled under a theory of negligence.  This is not only true of teen drivers, but also young adults.

car accident attorneyAccording to a recent news article from TC Palm, an eighth-grade student was killed in a fatal car accident at the end of the 2017/2018 academic-year winter break. The victim’s mother said her son was on his last day of the winter break and was complaining of being bored.  He wanted to go out for a ride even though it was raining hard.  There was no destination in mind so he was looking to go for a joyride as kids often like to do.  Continue reading →

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It was a simple denial of a defense motion for continuance that resulted in overturning a $2.5 million verdict in favor of a plaintiff whose wife had died in a truck accident. That doesn’t mean plaintiff has lost, but it will start the lengthy process of trial preparation all over again. It’s possible when faced with this prospect (and already knowing how a jury might weigh the facts of the case), that a settlement will be worked out before it comes to that. truck accident

Still, it’s disappointing news for the plaintiff, whose truck crash case was recently weighed by the Alabama Supreme Court.

On the day of the accident, pursuant to a contract with the owner of a local paper mill, defendant instructed his employees to drive two company dump trucks to gather debris and take it to a nearby dump site. After loading the trucks, the drivers traveled to the dump site, which required them to travel down a narrow, two-lane road for part of the way. Continue reading →

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Any person or business owning a vehicle is responsible to use reasonable care in ensuring the vehicle is properly maintained. An owner may be liable particularly if they had notice or were aware the vehicle had a malfunction that could affect the vehicle’s safety. An example might be failure to respond to a factory recall of the vehicle/ part, allowing tires to become “bald” and worn to an unsafe tread depth or ignoring dashboard service or warning lights for an unreasonable length of timetruck accident lawyer

Section 396.3 of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations requires commercial trucks to undergo systemic inspection, repair and maintenance, which is generally understood to mean a regular or scheduled program to keep vehicles in safe operating condition. The statute doesn’t specify the exact intervals, as the question of how often maintenance is needed may be fleet specific, but the carrier has to keep proper records of those inspections and repairs. Failure to do this can result in the malfunction of a part or system that could have devastating consequences on the road.

Our auto accident attorneys are committed to carefully combing through these records to determine whether vehicles were adequately maintain and, if not, whether this was a causal factor in the crash. This should be done for collisions involving any vehicle, but especially commercial trucks. Continue reading →

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