Articles Posted in Car Accident

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A new audit takes vehicle safety regulators to task for delayed reaction in its oversight of automobile recalls that likely left consumers in the dark about dangerous defects for months.injury attorney

The vehicle recall oversight audit, issued by the U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General (requested by Congress in 2015), concluded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn’t doing enough to make sure vehicle manufacturers are following through on their safety recalls and the public is deprived of critical information about the safety of their vehicles. The analysis delved into several years’ worth of data, with particular interest in the several years during which vehicle recalls spiked. It includes the time frame during the Takata airbag recall, now recognized as the largest and most complex vehicle safety recall ever. A total of 15 deaths and more than 220 injuries in the U.S. have been linked to the airbag defect, which involves spraying shrapnel at drivers when deployed. (A total of 23 Takata airbag-related deaths have been reported globally.) Vehicles involved include 21 vehicles manufactured by Honda and two by Ford Motor Co.

The inspector general noted the number of light passenger vehicle recalls issued annually rose from 180 in 2012 to 346 in 2016 – a stunning increase of 92 percent. The number of actual vehicles involved in those recalls also rose during that time, from 15.6 million to 46.6 million – a rise of 200 percent. Overseeing those recalls at the NHTSA was an office of just eight people, including five recall specialists, one program management, an assistant and a single engineer. Continue reading →

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When customers order takeout pizza, they are expecting it to arrive hot, fresh and fast. But pizza shops that promise prompt delivery (i.e., under 30 minutes) may find themselves moving from the dinner table to the defense table. pizza delivery injury

Firstly, that’s because vicarious liability – specifically, respondeat superior (Latin for, “let the master answer”) – allow employers to be held responsible for the reckless or negligent conduct of employees who are acting in the course and scope of employment. Pizza delivery drivers are typically employees (as opposed to independent contractors) and the delivery of food is a core function of the job. In a vicarious liability case, a plaintiff doesn’t need to prove the employer necessarily did anything wrong. However, one might also alleged negligence by the company if indication exists the company’s practices were causal in the crash.

That’s what happened recently in Kansas, where a Congressman filed a lawsuit against a pizza company, alleging the recklessness of a pizza delivery driver – abiding the company’s delivery practices – was to blame for a crash that killed his mother and seriously injured his grandmother, reports. Continue reading →

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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, 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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