Articles Tagged with car accident

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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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In many Florida car accident claims, there is more than one tortfeasor (wrongdoer) who may be compelled to pay damages to the injured victim. Prior to 2006 and the passage of F.S. 768.81, Florida’s pure comparative fault statute, injured car accident victims could seek the full amount of damages from a single defendant – even if that defendant was only partially responsible for the crash. That defendant then had a right of action to pursue action against the other responsible parties to pay their fair share. This is the doctrine of joint and several liability, but it was effectively abolished with the introduction of Florida’s comparative fault law, along with the 2009 decision of the Second District Court of Appeal in T&S Enterprises Handicap Accessibility v. Wink Indus. Maintenance & Repair Inc. In that case, the court held that defendants who intend to assert fault on a non-party joint tortfeasor need to do so as an affirmative defense. Another ruling in 2011 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (relying on the decision in Wink) rendered any contribution-related claims “obsolete.”injury attorney

The issue of joint liability is one that varies widely from state-to-state. Recently in Illinois, the state supreme court held that a counterclaim for contribution by joint tortfeasors following an injurious truck accident was rightly dismissed, despite defendants’ claims that a prior settlement was not reached in good faith because the settling defendant’s conduct was intentional.

Here’s what happened: Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on the interstate around 1:30 a.m. At the time, three lanes were closed due to construction. One defendant, a truck driver, was traveling in his semi truck behind plaintiff. He was operating this truck on behalf of his employer and the carrier of the truck, which are the other named defendants. At the same time, another defendant, a driver under the influence of cocaine, was traveling the opposite way on the interstate, made an improper U-turn through the median and collided with the vehicle in which plaintiff was riding. Plaintiff’s vehicle rotated and defendant truck driver did not have enough time to stop. He slammed into the passenger door of that vehicle, causing plaintiff serious and permanent injuries.  Continue reading →

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Can you sue your Uber driver if they cause a wreck and you’re injured in it? uber accident attorney

The short answer is yes – but you may not need to.

Let’s start by explaining that Uber and other ride-sharing services like Lyft have completely revolutionized the transportation system. It’s typically faster and cheaper than a taxi, but it may not necessarily be safer as ride-sharing services sometimes aren’t as well-regulated as livery vehicle services. However, many states, counties and cities have imposed regulation on ride-sharing services to bolster safety for the general public. And while Uber and other services have fought tooth-and-nail to avoid having drivers classified as “employees,” the technology giant does now have insurance coverage for each driver. As Uber explains, it breaks down like this:

  • If a rider is in the car, Uber offers up to $1 million in third-party liability for injuries of riders in the vehicle, other drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists (assuming the Uber driver was at-fault). There is also $1 million in UM/ UIM coverage if another party is at-fault but that person doesn’t have enough coverage to fully compensation for losses. It also covers hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver flees the scene.
  • If a driver is on the way to pick up a rider, Uber offers the same $1 million in third-party liability and UM/UIM coverage.
  • If the app is on and the driver is waiting for a pickup request, Uber pays at least $50,000 in injury liability per person and $100,000 total per crash plus $25,000 in property damage liability.

Continue reading →

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When you take your vehicle for repair or service, you have the right to expect the work will be performed competently. That’s part of the duty of care held by the party servicing the vehicle. When the servicer or repair shop fails in this duty, resulting in injury, it can be cause for legal action.car accident lawyer

Auto mechanic liability alleges the mechanic or shop is responsible to pay damages caused by negligence. For instance, if a mechanic rotates the tires on a vehicle but does not properly reattach the lug nuts on one of those wheels and it results in an injurious crash, that could be cause for injured parties to seek damages against the mechanic. Shops may also be liable if they negligently hire mechanics who are not properly qualified for the work they perform.

Recently in Massachusetts, parents of a teen killed in a car accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the auto repair service that had allegedly improperly installed tires on her vehicle.  Continue reading →

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Your auto insurance policy is, at its core, a contract. It outlines the scenarios under which your insurer will cover you for an accident, the maximum it will pay and your responsibilities as an insured. car accident

Those responsibilities can include things like paying your bill on time or notifying your insurer if you have an accident. It can also include things like cooperating with the investigation. Failure to meet those responsibilities can result in a denial of coverage for your injuries.

Working with the best Orlando car accident attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and also that you meet your obligations.  Continue reading →

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An auto manufacturer was ordered to pay $1 million to a man who was catastrophically and permanently injured in a rollover crash when his seat belt failed to protect him. He was rendered quadriplegic, though has retained some limited use of his hands through therapy and a nerve transplant.car accident attorney

However, after the close of the trial, the judge granted defendant auto maker’s motion for judgment as a matter of law, finding the evidence insufficient to support a plaintiff win. Plaintiff appealed this JML ruling, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed, reinstating the jury verdict, but allowing for a new trial on the issue of damages.

According to court records, it was five years ago when plaintiff, driving two of his sons and a group of other boys home from a Boy Scout camp, was seriously injured when he struck a boat and trailer towed by a pickup truck. The initial impact didn’t cause any severe damage, but then the sport utility vehicle he was driving overturned.  Continue reading →

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An insurance company is liable to cover a $15 million trial verdict won by the mother of one victim of a horrific drunk driving crash in South Florida several years ago. car accident

The insurer might have had a leg to stand on in its assertion that the claim isn’t covered, but because of its failure to comply with the Claims Administration Statute, F.S. 627.426, and did not give proper notice of its refusal to defend (based on the assertion defendant was not a named insured).

In fact, the insurer hired a defense lawyer to represent the defendant throughout the trial. It also failed to obtain a non-waiver agreement from defendant or retain an independent counsel mutually agreeable to both insurer and defendant.  Continue reading →

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Car insurance is essential. It’s mandated in all states, to varying degrees, but it ensures that when we are involved in a car accident, those damages will be covered, whether that is through no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) benefits or through bodily injury liability coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurer. Other times, it’s derived from uninsured/ underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, which protects those who are insured in case they are struck by someone who lacks insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the full extent of the damages. car

Previous reports in Florida show that 1 in 4 drivers in the Sunshine State are driving without any insurance at all. A far greater number are driving on only the minimum amount of coverage mandated by law.

Now, a recent study by the Federal Insurance Office reports that millions of Americans live in regions where car insurance is not affordable. The agency looked at auto insurance premiums for basic liability coverage of motor vehicles in some 9,000 zip codes that have a high number of “under-served” consumers – including those with low to moderate incomes and those who are minorities. What they discovered was that the rates were not affordable in 845 of those zip codes analyzed. That’s approximately 9 percent of those areas, which equates to about 19 million people nationally.  Continue reading →

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Florida has the most senior driver traffic fatalities in the country, according to a report released a few years ago by TRIP, a national transportation research group. The study showed that in a single year, 271 drivers over 65 were killed in auto accidents that year, and more than 500 traffic deaths of all ages involved at least one senior driver. Those totals are higher than any other state, including California, which has the most over-65 drivers in the nation (3.1 million, which is about half a million more than here in the Sunshine State). old woman

We can only expect these figures have increased as not only has the number of overall auto accidents and fatalities spiked in recent years, but so too have the number of over-65 drivers. Back in the 1970s, roughly half of all American seniors had a driver’s license. Today, 84 percent of them do.

Recently, a study by Pew Charitable Trusts highlighted the fact that by 2030, more than 60 million senior drivers are going to be on our nation’s roadways. Many states – including Florida – have laws already on the books that seek to restrict the licenses of elderly drivers, either through required vision tests or more frequent renewals. However, in the last few years, researchers noted, there has been reticence in state legislatures to enact additional measures – despite the growing number of older drivers. In fact, some states have even been rolling back these restrictions.  Continue reading →

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When a 40-year-old Ohio man crashed into a semi-truck on a Florida highway last May, the initial assumption was that this was simply another tragic accident. drive9

But as investigators would later come to find out, the Tesla (TSLA.O) Model S sedan in the fatal crash was running on autopilot at the time of the collision. While troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol continue their investigation, authorities with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have launched their own inquiry.

A nine-page letter has been sent by the NHTSA to Tesla, requesting answers to a myriad of questions regarding the crash and the features that were reportedly supposed to be engaged at the time but seem to have failed. Specifically, the auto-braking system and forward collision warning system do not appear to have worked as intended. But Tesla has insisted that its vehicles are safe when used as intended. One unnamed Tesla executive quoted by The New York Times said that while the autopilot feature of the vehicle can operate a car on its own for up to three minutes on the highway, drivers have to be ready to take control at a moment’s notice.  Continue reading →

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