Articles Tagged with West Palm Beach car accident lawyer

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An auto parts company recently agreed to settle a wrongful death car accident lawsuit involving a 29-year-old mother, her 12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old killed on a New York highway two years ago when their vehicle was struck by one of the company’s truck drivers. Multiple sources have reported the truck accident occurred when the mother called 911 for help after running out of gas. The woman was in the driver’s seat, her niece in the front passenger seat and her daughter in the rear. (The crash also killed two dogs that were in the vehicle.)

Traffic homicide investigators concluded the woman was stopped in the right driving lane with her flashers on when the smaller vehicle was rear-ended by the tractor-trailer, driven by AutoZone’s 52-year-old employee. Defendant company, based in Tennessee, did not comment on the settlement agreement which resolves the estates’ wrongful death claims. There is no indication based on media reports that the defendant conceded any wrongdoing, which is typical of most injury and wrongful death settlements prior to trial.

Why File Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida Trucking Accident?

While money is never going to come close to compensating survivors for such a profound loss, it’s nonetheless important to pursue wrongful death litigation in crash cases for two reasons.

The first is that in many cases, those who died were active, contributing family members whose loss has a huge financial impact to survivors. But even in a case like this, wherein those killed were teenagers/ not contributing family members, many survivors find legal action one of the key means through which to hold individual drivers and companies accountable for their negligence. Specifically as it relates to businesses and professional drivers, such sizable settlements serve as an incentive for implementation of and strict adherence to critical safety measures.  Continue reading →

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A recent survey conducted by Travelers insurance found that 4 in 10 drivers conceded they use a phone while they are driving, usually because they feel compelled to be available for work at all hours and/ or they don’t want to upset their boss. 

Of the 43 percent who are on their phone while behind the wheel:

  • 38 percent were talking on the phone;
  • 17 percent were texting
  • 10 percent were emailing

Of those who admitted they were engaged in work-related communication while driving, more than half were between the ages of 18 and 44. The Washington Post reports the survey was intended to analyze the common practice of people using their personal vehicle for work. Of those who responded, three-fourths said they use their own personal vehicles for some work-related function, outside of simply traveling to and from the office. This raises an interesting legal question with regard to liability for resulting crashes because someone who is acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of a crash could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if the employee was found to be at-fault, the company could be vicariously liable to pay damages to the injured victims under a legal doctrine known as respondeat superiorContinue reading →

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A fatal car accident in West Palm Beach over the summer involved tennis superstar Venus Williams. Initially, police indicated they believed Williams to be at-fault in the crash that killed a 78-year-old man, who was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his wife. However, authorities later altered their position, saying Williams was not unlawfully in the intersection. Williams was not injured in the crash.

As we are seeing with the events still unfolding, the civil case does not have to be halted by the conclusions reached by police. It is ultimately the judge and jury who make the call on civil liability. It should also be noted that the state’s comparative fault law, F.S. 768.81, allows that partial liability by a plaintiff won’t prohibit a claim from being filed. It only means that damages will be proportionately reduced. So if Williams were found to be just 1 percent at-fault for this Palm Beach County crash, decedent’s estate could collect on that 1 percent.

That’s not to say all cases with such slim odds are worth filing. However, damages in wrongful death cases tend to be substantial. Let’s say a jury finds damages in the case to be $1 million, but find decedent’s wife to be 95 percent at fault and Williams only 5 percent to blame. Once damages are proportionately reduced, that would amount to a $50,000 payout. So in a case like that, it may still be worthwhile to pursue a claim, even when the police have already made their determination. The conclusions of law enforcement investigators will only be one piece of the evidence.  Continue reading →

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While uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits are essential for any driver, these benefits have some limitations that you should understand. Specifically, F.S. 627.727(7) limits UM/UIM coverage only to economic damages caused by car accident injuries. By this statute, legal liability of a UM/UIM insurer specifically by this statute does NOT include damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish or inconvenience UNLESS the injury is described as:

  • Significant/ permanent scarring/ disfigurement;
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability;
  • Significant/permanent loss of important bodily functions;
  • Death.

A recent bad faith insurance claim asked whether a UM/UIM insurance provider wrongly failed to settle a lawsuit with an insured for the $75,000 policy limits when it could have and should have done so. In order to answer this question, it was essential to determine whether plaintiff had proven she had suffered a permanent injury within the meaning of the state’s “permanency threshold” statute.  Continue reading →

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