Articles Tagged with car accident lawyer

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Although Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance, personal injury protection (PIP) benefits (paid to insureds, regardless of who is to blame) only goes so far. You’ll get up to $2,500 for emergency medical coverage and up to $10,000 total for medical expenses. If you’re in a serious crash, that won’t go far. PIP also won’t cover your damages for pain and suffering. However, you can step outside of the no fault law and file a liability claim against the at-fault driver for damages that extend beyond PIP, but only if you’ve suffered a disabling condition, permanent scarring, broken bones or your loved one died. car accident attorney

You can’t expect, though, that it will be an easy win. In most cases, insurers put up a fight, whether it’s about the issue of liability or how much they should pay in damages. The fact that this is the norm made it somewhat rare when recently a big name auto insurer agreed to pay the maximum limit on a liability policy to the families of three teens killed in a crash – even though the teens were almost certainly at-fault and the insured was also injured.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, a representative for the insurer insisted that while there was no evidence the insured was at-fault, it was only trying to protect its 29-year-old insured when it paid out $20,000 – the liability limit on the policy – to the families of the three teens who died in the crash and a fourth who survived, but was injured. The insured was injured too, and is still using a wheelchair and enduring physical therapy.  Continue reading →

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Florida law – specifically, F.S. 95.11(3) allows claims of damages for personal injury resulting from negligence (such as those for car accidents) must be filed within four years. This is the statute of limitations. The circumstances under which one can file an injury lawsuit after for years are extremely limited. car accident

However, there is one means by which a new legal claim for which the statute of limitations has expired could be raised: In an amended complaint, so long as they are based on the same facts set out in the original complaint. In fact, the Florida Supreme Court just ruled on this issue to clarify earlier this year. Previously, there had been two lines of interpretations on the “relate back doctrine” (Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.190) in the state’s appellate courts. Justices stated in the new opinion that they sided with the interpretation making it clear an amendment asserting a new cause of action can relate back to the original pleading – so long as the claim arises out of the same conduct, transaction or occurrence as the original. That ruling makes it less complicated to amend complaints and counterclaims.

The case that clarified the rule was actually a family business deal gone south – not a personal injury case – but the rule can be applied to injury cases all the same. Recently, the Arizona Supreme Court did consider an injury case involving the relate back doctrine. Although that ruling technically has no bearing on Florida cases, state high courts will often review sister court rulings in considering how to proceed when similar circumstances arise.  Continue reading →

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Florida follows a pure comparative negligence theory when it comes to sharing blame for incidents resulting in personal injury. What this means is per F.S. 768.81, share of the blame for the car accident or pedestrian accident will not prohibit you from pursuing or collecting damages from other at-fault parties. However, it will have the effect of reducing how much you can collect, so your injury lawyer will try to argue for as little comparative fault as possible.pedestrian accident lawyer

Florida is pure comparative (compared to modified comparative), which means plaintiffs can (in theory) recover 1 percent of damages from a defendant even if plaintiff is 99 percent liable for the accident. Other states only allow one to recover if they are less than 50 percent responsible.

This is important point to make for many clients, because it’s a fear that often keeps them from seeking attorney advice in the first place. They are afraid that because they were partially at-fault, they don’t have any right to file a claim. In some other states, that’s true. In Florida, it’s not. 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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As the national rate of traffic fatalities fell by more than 20 percent between 1975 and 2015, the rate in Florida spiked by 47 percent. That’s according to recent data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Where there were 1,998 people killed in 1975, there were 3,357 in 2006 and 2,939 in 2015. Although these figures fell by about 12 percent between 2006 and 2015, there was a jump of 18 percent just between 2014 and 2015.car accident attorney

Meanwhile in the U.S., there were 44,525 traffic deaths in 1975, compared to 35,092 in 2015. This latest figure is a slight increase since 2006, but it’s still overall a lower number. That’s great news, but clearly, we here in Florida need to be doing more to curb the number of traffic accidents that cause serious injury and death.

To our Orlando car accident attorneys, this is bigger than the numbers. The fact is, these are not merely statistics. These are real people with spouses and children and parents and loved ones and communities who rely on them. For us, seeking compensation is personal. We work tirelessly to help our clients be made whole by seeking recompense from at-fault drivers, automobile owners, vehicle manufacturers, insurance companies and those responsible for road design and maintenance. Continue reading →

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As Florida personal injury attorneys, our legal team has seen numerous cases wherein car accident victims aren’t sure whether they have uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage (often denoted UM/ UIM coverage) as part of their auto insurance plan. In fact, many people don’t even know what it is. car accident lawyer

This is troubling indeed when you consider that this is often the primary source of recovery for those in accidents with drivers who either don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance to fully cover the damages incurred in a serious crash.

As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida car accidents rack up a total of $32 million in medical costs and nearly $3 billion in work loss costs every single year. More than $2,450 people are killed in Florida crashes annually, and motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for people under the age of 54. Many of these people are the primary breadwinners in their family, and they can’t afford to be saddled with crippling debt for medical costs and other expenses that stem from a car accident. Continue reading →

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Statewide rules on Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services went into effect earlier this month, after Gov. Rick Scott agreed to create uniformity as it relates to the services, which had previously been regulated by a patchwork of local statutes.car accident attorney

The new law went into effect July 1st. HB 221 establishes long-debated statewide regulations for so-called “transportation network companies.” The new law, codified now in F.S. 627.748, sets forth a number of provisions these rideshare services will have to meet, some of which the companies had been voluntarily following anyway.

Among the provisions of the bill:

  • Insurance for bodily injury and death is $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident and $25,000 per property damage while the driver is logged into the app. This can be paid by the driver’s own plan, through the insurance provided by the rideshare company or some combination of both.
  • Insurance for bodily injury and death of $1 million when the company is engaged in an active ride with a passenger.
  • Rideshare services will be required to conduct background checks on their drivers.
  • Drivers will be required to show their picture and license plate numbers to riders before they are picked up.

Continue reading →

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Florida has been ranked the second-worst state in the country when it comes to distracted driving, tailing only Louisiana for the dubious distinction. iphone

The study was conducted by the online insurance firm EverQuote Inc. Although we normally wouldn’t highlight the findings of an auto insurance company as any sort of gospel, EverDrive, the  motion-sensing app used to conduct the analysis gleaned information from some 2.7 million trips and 230 million miles driven. Plus, these same kinds of results have been underscored in previous studies on distracted driving.

What the findings showed was that more than 9 in 10 drivers across the country who have cell phones used those phones while in a moving car at some point in the previous month. Study authors created a point system that analyzed certain maneuvers, such as bard braking, speeding, aggressive turning, sudden acceleration and other movements while the phone was in use (not in sleep mode). Based on this calculation, Florida was ranked the second-worst.  Continue reading →

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We all rely on bridges in everyday transportation in Florida, whether commuting for work or heading to church or just out for a fun family day. Bridges are not just historical and aesthetically valuable to our skylines – they are integral to modern transportation.bridge

However, there is growing concern that a number of these structures are not actually safe. Not all are built with parts or structural integrity that are entirely sound. Even those that are can degrade and erode over time with exposure to the elements. Some sustain more severe damage in natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Recently, the Washington Post developed a user-friendly, searchable database using figures from the National Bridge Inventory, breaking down which areas have the highest percentages of structurally deficient bridges that pose the greatest risk to drivers.  Continue reading →

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When the negligent actions of an employee acting in the course and scope of that employment result in injury to a third party, that individual has a few different avenues he or she may pursue for recovery of damages. taxi

The first involves seeking accountability of an employer per the doctrine of respondeat superior, which is Latin for, “let the master answer.” Under this rule, it isn’t necessary to show the employer was personally negligent in any way, only that it employed someone who acted in a negligent manner while on-the-job, thus resulting in plaintiff’s injuries. The second way involves asserting direct liability of the employer. That means plaintiff is arguing employer was in some way directly negligent for what happened. Some possible claims that fall under this category would be: Negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent vehicle maintenance, etc.

Courts in different states have reached different conclusions about whether injured parties should be able to pursue both types of claims if an employer concedes vicarious liability. For example, the Tennessee Supreme Court rejected the so-called “preemption rule” last year. The court held comparative fault could still apply for direct negligent claims when an employer had already admitted vicarious liability for a plaintiff’s injuries.  Continue reading →

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