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Every year, there are roughly 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roadways, killing some 17,000 and injuring another 500,000. That’s according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been pushing for years for automakers to make collision avoidance systems standard in all vehicles. The NTSB estimates 80 percent of deaths and injuries resulting from rear-end crashes could be avoided with such systems, available in some makes and models, but not yet all. Fort Lauderdale rear-end collision

As Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers can explain, the occasion of a rear-end collision carries with it the rebuttable presumption of negligence by the driver in the rear. A rebuttable presumption is a legal presumption made by the court, taken as try unless someone can prove otherwise. Thus, it is presumed that the driver in the rear of a rear-end collision was in the wrong because he/she is required by law to maintain an assured clear distance.

An increasing number of rear-end collisions are caused by driver distraction, particularly with smartphones. Evidence that a driver was distracted at the time of a collision can be used as additional evidence of negligence in car accident litigation.

However, as noted in a recent Florida car accident lawsuit ruling by Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal, the presumption that the rear driver’s negligence was the only cause of a crash can be rebutted if there is any evidence from which a jury can infer the front driver was also negligent. In other words, the rear-end collision rebuttable presumption doesn’t supersede the state’s comparative negligence system, as outlined in F.S. 768.81, wherein a claimant’s own fault contributing to an injury proportionally diminishes the amount of damages he or she can collect. Continue reading

Motor vehicle manufacturing and design defects can’t be overlooked as possible catalysts in fatal or injurious Florida car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 30 million vehicles recalled last year, down just slightly from the 29 million the year before, though a significant drop from the record-high 50 million recalled in 2016. A quarter of the cars recalled haven’t been repaired, and these figures don’t include the vehicles with defects not yet identified/admitted by manufacturers.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain that when a vehicle defect or defective vehicle part plays a role in a crash or exacerbation of injuries, product liability claims may be filed against the auto maker.

Tesla is among the latest to come under intense scrutiny after a number of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from a range of alleged defects that plaintiffs in numerous injury and wrongful death lawsuits say rendered their electric cars unreasonably dangerous. Continue reading

When a close relative is no longer able to manage his or her own affairs, many difficult choices must be made. One of those is the type of authorization necessary to handle one’s affairs for them – the two most obvious being guardianship and power of attorney (POA). guardianship lawyer

As a Ft. Lauderdale guardianship lawyer can explain, the terms are sometimes referred to as interchangeable, but in fact they confer very different rights for very different purposes.

Both power of attorney and guardianship can be used when a person is unable to pay their bills, cash checks or make important decisions. One can obtain both guardianship and power of attorney, but sometimes only one or the other is necessary. Continue reading

For those injured in a car accident, the term “subrogation” can seem foreign. Given that it deals with complex insurance benefits and contracts and that such negotiations often occur between insurers and attorneys behind the scenes, most never have much cause to consider it. But if you’re injured in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, health insurer or auto insurer subrogation rights can have a substantial impact on the amount you actually collect, so it’s important to have at least a basic concept of what it entails.car accident lawyer

What is Subrogation?

The term “to subrogate” means to substitute one party for another with regard to a legal claim or debt. The purpose of subrogation is to enforce final payment of compensation from the driver who was at-fault – and to prevent double recovery.

So after a car accident, let’s say your underinsured auto carrier covers a percentage of your lost wages. If you win a claim against the other driver – and part of the damage award includes lost wages – your UIM insurer would have a subrogation right to reclaim all or some of its money from your damage awards. Continue reading

Errors made while changing lanes are among the most common causes of Florida car accidents, one of the more frequently-cited of the 73,000 right-of-way violations issued in Florida last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates approximately 9 percent of all crashes are caused by improper lane changes.car accident attorney

Causes of improper lane change accidents can include changing lanes without signaling, waiting to signal until after the lane change has begun, driving between lanes for an extended period of time, changing lanes on a stretch of road where lanes are separated by solid instead of dashed lines, driving impaired or driving distracted.

One of the first questions people think to ask in any crash case is how they can prove the crash was the other driver’s fault. Before answering this, it should be noted, that Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. That means you can usually recover some damages no matter who is to blame (up to $10,000 for medical bills and a percentage of your lost wages).

However, if your injuries or serious or someone died (meeting the threshold to step outside the no-fault law, as outlined in F.S. 627.737(2)), you will need to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale injury attorney to advise you on filing a claim against the other driver. To collect any damages, you will be required to prove fault (legally referred to as “negligence”). Continue reading

With baby boomers increasingly aging into their golden years, issues of elder financial exploitation are being paid more attention. Many schemes involve caregivers who take advantage of elder dependents. One means of this that has recently come to light are marriage scams. This involves caregivers or others marrying older dependents for the sole purpose of obtaining power over their finances.probate lawyer marriage scam

These cases can be tough to prove, but some are occasionally successful. Perhaps the most infamous of these cases was that of Marshall v. Marshall, a U.S. Supreme Court case that involved the estate of an elderly billionaire, of which his son was executor, and his much younger wife, former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith.

It was difficult not to see the fact pattern in that case and jump to the conclusion that Smith had married the 89-year-old oil tycoon for his riches. But state law gives spouses broad legal powers over one’s estate and assets after they die. Proving that they shouldn’t receive it can be difficult, though not impossible. Continue reading

Florida personal injury lawsuits are among the most commonly weighed in our state courts. To avoid overwhelming the courts, most personal injury claims settle prior to trial. Additionally, F.S. 627.737 sets a seriousness threshold has been set for recovering damages from an at-fault driver. If injuries don’t meet that threshold, then claimants will have to rely on their own personal injury protection policy issued by their own auto insurer.Broward injury lawyer

A bruised arm or a scratched leg likely isn’t going to cut it. PIP provides up to $10,000 in damages for medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost wages for the time you were forced to take off work. It will also cover things like travel expenses to doctor appointments. It will not cover things like pain and suffering or loss of consortium that would be available in lawsuit.

If your injuries are more serious and $10,000 will not cover your losses, a Broward injury lawyer can review the facts and help you determine if the injuries you’ve suffered medically meet the statutory threshold. Continue reading

Recovering physically is the first step after a serious car accident. But financial recovery is another key step.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

No one ever plans to get in a car accident, so it’s understandable few have given much thought as to how the civil claims process will unfold. Some of the most common misconceptions include:

  • “I have to sue the other driver to collect damages.”
  • “My car accident claim will go to trial.”
  • “My auto insurance will cover me if I have serious injuries – that’s what it’s there for!”

The truth of the matter is, you may not have to sue anyone at all, and even if you do, your case isn’t likely to go to trial. Most Florida car accident injury claims are resolved through settlement negotiation. Continue reading

The estate of an elderly, incapacitated woman who was sexually assaulted by a nursing assistant in an alleged case of nursing home abuse will have to take its case back to trial after a state supreme court reversed a $1.7 million award for damages and ordered the case retried.injury lawyer

Central to the decision to retry the case was the fact the trial court removed the question of whether the nursing home aide who reportedly raped the woman was acting in the course and scope of employment.

As Broward nursing home injury attorneys can explain, skilled nursing facilities can be held vicariously liable for the negligence and even intentional misconduct/criminal acts of employees – but only if they were acting in the course and scope of employment. This is known as the doctrine of respondeat superior, Latin for “let the master answer.”

In many cases wherein a plaintiff seeks to hold a company accountable for damages inflicted by a worker, key issues will include:

  • Whether the worker was an employee or an independent contractor (respondeat superior doesn’t apply where the worker is an independent contractor);
  • Whether the worker’s actions occurred in the course and/or arose from the scope of his/her employment.

Employers can also be held directly liable under theories like negligent hiring, negligent retention and negligent supervision. Continue reading

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