Articles Tagged with Orlando car accident attorney

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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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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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Crashes in construction zones are an ongoing and serious problem – in Florida and beyond. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports in a single recent year, there were nearly 97,000 crashes in work zones – which represented an 8 percent increase over the previous year and a stunning 43 percent increase in the span of just two years. A crash occurs in a work zone every 5.4 minutes. For the roughly 70 work zone crashes that happen daily, more than 26 percent result in at least one injury.car accident lawyer

In many cases, driver error is to blame. Drivers are distracted, impaired or speeding through construction zones with disregard for workers and warning signs. However, sometimes these car accidents can involve errors on the part of the construction companies and failure to give drivers clear warning of dangerous conditions.

This is what was alleged in a fatal car accident lawsuit recently before the Delaware Supreme Court. It involved allegations of an unsafe road condition known as “raveling.” As explained by Asphalt Magazine, this is a type of pavement distress identified as the wearing away of aggregate particles from the asphalt cement. It can be caused by use of a poor quality mixture, inadequate compaction or dislodging by certain types of heavy traffic.  Continue reading →

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Three people died recently in a wrong-way car accident in Florida, including the wrong-way driver and a newly-engaged couple who had just learned they were expecting a child.

The couple, a 24-year-old man and 21-year-old woman, were traveling on Interstate 75 near Tampa when they encountered a 21-year-old motorist traveling in the wrong directcar accident attorneyion. Authorities with the Florida Highway Patrol are investigating the crash, though it’s likely the wrong-way driver will be deemed at-fault. That will open the door for two wrongful death lawsuits against his estate. Although most people don’t have the personal funds to cover the full amount of damages, but usually there are avenues for compensation, such as personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from the victim’s insurer, bodily injury liability benefits from the at-fault driver’s insurer and uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits from the victim’s insurer. Florida statute also allows for compensation from the vehicle owner (or the vehicle owner’s insurer), if that individual is someone different from the driver.

Wrong-way crashes are a serious problem in Florida, one that the state highway patrol and other advocates have begun trying to address with a number of countermeasures. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports there are approximately 1,500 wrong-way crashes in Florida annually. Not all of those are fatal, but a larger percentage of them are compared to other types of crashes. That’s because most wrong-way collisions are head-on. This type of violent crash accounts for 81 percent of all wrong-way crash fatalities. In cases where motorists are not killed, they are often seriously injured.

FHSMV reports these incidents most often occur at night and during times of transitional light (dawn/ dusk). During these hours, the agency encourages drivers to stay to the right. This can give other motorists the best chance to avoid a collision. If you see a wrong-way driver approaching, immediately reduce your speed, pull ff the roadway and call 911.  Continue reading →

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In the first nine months of 2016, traffic deaths rose 8 percent compared to the same period from 2015. During that time, nearly 28,000 people were killed in car accidents. In the first three quarters of 2015, there were 25,800 people who died. caraccident

Many people have looked for an explanation for what’s happening, and there are several. One of the most popular theories is that more people are traveling the roads and for longer distances, thanks to the economic recovery. Certainly, there is some truth to this. We do know that people are traveling more. But when we look more closely at the data, that doesn’t account for the entire trend. That’s because, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out, vehicle miles traveled from Jan. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2016 were up 3 percent as compared to that same time frame the year before. So we have a 3 percent uptick in vehicle miles traveled and an 8 percent increase in the number of people dying in car accidents.

Something more is going on, and it’s especially concerning when you consider that cars manufactured today are safer than ever. While it’s true we’ve seen record-setting auto recalls in recent years, much of that involves the auto industry catching up with years of failing to recall vehicles with serious defects they should have set straight many years earlier. Meanwhile, we have cars that come standard-equipped with rearview cameras, electronic stability control, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. All of this to say: Driving should be safer than ever, yet it’s not.  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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Florida is a prime destination over the holidays. AAA reports that just over Thanksgiving, some 49 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more for the holiday, and more than 90 percent drove a car. Over the Christmas/ New Year’s Eve holidays, the same agency opines an estimated 100 million people will be making similar trips. traffic10

According to CarRentals.com, three of the top 10 cities for holiday car rentals (an indication of top destinations) are in Florida. No. 2 is Orlando – just behind Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Holiday road trips may be an annual tradition, but that doesn’t mean drivers should be complacent. There are a host of hazards that may confront drivers, and it’s important to be aware and be prepared. Continue reading →

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A Virginia mom of a 6-year-old girl is advocating for parents to make sure their child is properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat – every time. seat belt

The Today Show reports the girl had not been in a booster seat one day in September when her father, who had simply forgotten the booster seat that day, veered off the road and struck a tree. The girl had been sitting with the shoulder strap behind her upper body, and the lap belt ran across her stomach. When her father crashed, the force of the impact was so severe, the seat belt dug into her abdomen, shredding the muscle and fat underneath. It even cut through the left side of her body, causing several inches of her intestines to spill outside of her belly.

A pediatric surgeon who treated the girl told Today the seat belt in this scenario acts “almost like a knife.”  Continue reading →

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Early one morning in November 2014, a popular 17-year-old senior left her South Carolina home – and never returned. Her family didn’t know where she was headed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, and they don’t know why she didn’t follow the highway’s sharp curve. What they can say with some certainty is that had a guardrail been positioned around that curve, she may not have careened off the road, down an embankment and head-on into a cluster of trees. guardrail

She died on the scene of blunt force trauma to her head. Her family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state’s Department of Transportation, alleging the agency was negligent in failing to erect a guardrail that could have saved her life.

Authorities with the state declined to comment on the pending lawsuit, which accuses officials with the agency of knowing a guardrail was needed, but failing to act. Coincidentally, the family’s lawsuit was filed the same week as National Teen Driver Safety Week.  Continue reading →

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The voice on the line was that of a retired police officer who had come across many accident scenes in his career. But in that 911 call to dispatch at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, that voice, although clearly and succinctly describing the situation, revealed the sheer awfulness of it.teens

“We have people trapped in the car unconscious. We’re trying to get the door open. I have one, two people in the back seat unconscious. It’s pretty bad.”

By the time active duty emergency crews arrived, they would find one of four teens inside that vehicle, an 18-year-old recent Nease High School graduate, was dead. Five others – including two 18-year-old sisters (two in a set of identical triplets) – were seriously injured. Additionally, two others in another vehicle – a 20-year-old driver and his 19-year-old passenger – were seriously injured as well. Three of the teens injured are high school students, including the two sisters. According to a GoFundMe page for the sisters, they face “a long recovery.” The decedent, according to his obituary, had been studying computer engineering at the University of Central Florida. Continue reading →

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