Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Distracted driving continues to be a major problem in Florida – one a Palm Beach County lawsuit alleges has been compounded by the “inherently dangerous” technology employed by one of South Florida’s popular rideshare companies.Palm Beach Car accident lawyer

Plaintiff was a pedestrian who sustained serious, life-long injuries in a crash several months ago. The driver who struck her had himself been struck seconds earlier by a Lyft Inc. driver. Plaintiff alleges the Lyft driver was distracted by the company’s digital app, which requires the independent contractors to check their phones constantly behind the wheel.

Are Rideshare Apps Unreasonably Dangerous?

Although this isn’t the first time rideshare drivers and even other technology companies have been accused of liability in distracted driving cases, this matter is a bit different than many of the others our Palm Beach County car accident attorneys have seen. In addition to asserting Lyft’s negligence, plaintiff also raises the issue of product liability. The technology is unreasonably dangerous as designed, according to the complaint. Continue reading

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys can tell you there is no such thing as a “safe” car crash. Anytime a large mass of hot, moving metal collides with anything, there is the potential for serious injury or even death. Still, there are undoubtedly some types of collisions statistically known to be worse than others. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

These include:

  • Pileup car accidents
  • Rollover crashes
  • T-bone collisions
  • Head-on collisions

The National Safety Council reported that last year, more than 40,000 people were killed in U.S. car accidents – the third straight year in a row they were that high after decades of declines. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers know this doesn’t even encompass everyone affected, as there are hundreds of thousands who suffer severe injuries. Motor vehicle collisions are one of the No. 1 causes of death in the U.S., as well as a leading cause of unintentional injury and property damage.

Although every crash is unique, the reality is there are certain kinds that tend to result in substantial medical expenses, lost wages, extended recovery time and pain and suffering.

When it comes to compensation for these losses, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys typically first help you start with claims to your own auto insurer through personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to a maximum $10,000 (80 percent of your medical losses and a portion of your lost wages). Florida is a no-fault state for auto insurance claims, but you can step outside that system and pursue bodily injury liability coverage from the insurers of those at-fault if your injuries are considered serious, disabling and/or permanent. Continue reading

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol will be cracking down on unsafe driving habits this month as part of their Operation Safe DRIVE (Distracted Reckless Impaired Visibility Enforcement), noting they’ll be watching in particular for infractions involving commercial vehicles. As one official noted to a local news outlet, a “surprising” number of highway crashes involve commercial vehicles of some type. Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney

Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers don’t find this surprising at all, in particular after viewing the latest U.S. Department of Transportation data on Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Analysis Division.

The data shows there were nearly 4,900 trucks and buses involved in deadly crashes in 2017 – which was a 9 percent increase from the number recorded just a year earlier. Further, the number of large trucks (defined as those over 10,000 pounds) and buses involved in fatal crashes spiked 42 percent from the record low of 3,432 in 2009.  Continue reading

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are supposed to mark a fond farewell to the past and a celebration of the promise to come. Too often though, a Miami drunk driving crash leads to injury, or worse, death. Miami drunk driving injury lawyer

Florida news outlets reported that between 2014 and 2016, a total of 34 New Year’s Day crashes were reported in the Sunshine State, averaging about 11 annually. It’s widely known the first and last days on the calendar are some of the worst for drunk driving accidents, injuries and deaths. In Florida, only five other days averaged more, though none with more than 13. The riskiest time on the roads is from midnight to 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. That’s when nearly one-third of all New Year’s Day car accidents occur. On New Year’s Eve, 44 percent of crashes occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. This pattern of drunk driving on New Year’s is seen all over the country, year after year.

Miami drunk driving injury lawyers know holidays in general tend to see a spike in Florida car accidents, starting around Thanksgiving and continuing on to Christmas and New Year’s and then through spring break in March. Mothers Against Drunk Driving teamed with Uber last year to encourage folks to designate a sober driver before they are too drunk to drive home themselves.

How to Avoid a Miami Drunk Driving Accident This New Year’s

If you can’t stand the thought of simply staying in this holiday or you’re planning on throwing a party, consider the following:  Continue reading

Police and other law enforcement investigators play an integral role in your Florida car accident injury claim. As Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers can explain, a traffic crash investigator provides a credible, unbiased and third-party documented observation of details like the date, time and location of an accident, names and contact information of everyone involved, description of injuries documented at the scene, descriptions of vehicles – down to the license plate and VINs. Investigators also provide details about any potential crash causes they may note, statements from witnesses and, if possible, those involved, road and weather conditions noted at the time of the collision and the nature and extent of any damages to personal or public property. They may even take photos or clips of video footage and sometimes in serious crashes or those involved in a DUI or other criminal investigation will continue to gather evidence even after they have left the scene. Fort Lauderdale car accident injury lawyer

Sometimes, citations for traffic violations will be issued, with conclusions drawn about who was at-fault for the Florida car accident.

But while police reports can be very persuasive and valuable in a crash case, they aren’t the only evidence considered, nor are they generally deemed the last word in any crash case. (In fact, the crash report itself is generally considered “hearsay,” and can’t be presented as evidence at trial absent the testimony of the officer who wrote it.) Continue reading

An appellate court recently affirmed a Florida car accident victim’s right to uninsured motorist benefits from her insurer after successfully arguing a 12-foot ladder left in the road had fallen from a truck whose owner/ driver were not identified. This personal injury case before Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals was interesting for the fact that:

  • It involved a phantom motor vehicle;
  • The court inferred the ladder in the road had fallen from a pickup truck that had parked in the right emergency lane;
  • The court inferred the ladder had fallen into the road (causing a chain collision) due to negligence in securing the ladder.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

These conclusions were based primarily on circumstantial evidence and witness statements. Plaintiff’s uninsured motorist (UM) insurance carrier argued there was no proof of those last two points, the assertion relying wholly on circumstantial evidence and failing to exclude other possibilities. Defense sought a directed verdict in its favor. The court denied the motion and jurors decided the case in favor of plaintiff. The phantom vehicle was found 60 percent at-fault for the collision, while the soda company truck that rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle when she made a sudden stop on the highway was 40 percent at-fault. The UM carrier is liable for damages caused by the “phantom vehicle. Continue reading

A South Florida injury lawyer can give you advice if you were injured as a result of negligence by someone who died in the accident itself or soon thereafter. A personal injury claim doesn’t die when the defendant does, though there can be complications because the case will be filed not against the person, but his or her estate. Typically though, it will still be an insurance company that stands in to represent the defendant and that ultimately foots the bill – especially in Florida car accident lawsuits.car accident lawyer South Florida

An appellate court in California recently addressed several issues that arose from such a situation in Meleski v. Estate of Holtlen, where a plaintiff sued the estate of a decedent, alleged to have been the at-fault driver in a crash in which plaintiff was injured. Although this was an out-of-state case, the same general principles apply with regard to Florida injury litigation.

In this case, plaintiff was injured when defendant ran a red light, colliding with her vehicle. Unfortunately, by the time plaintiff filed her lawsuit, defendant was deceased, apparently of unrelated causes. Decedent had no estate from which she could recover, but he had purchased an auto insurance policy for $100,000 that covered the accident. Plaintiff brought her complaint pursuant to the state’s probate statutes, which allowed her to serve her complaint on the insurance company directly and recover damages from that policy, though limiting recovery of damages to policy limits. Continue reading

It’s almost become second nature when something major happens to us: Update social media. However,  if you are injured in a Florida car accident, our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys urge caution,. The reality is you could inadvertently harm your claim for damages. personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

We’re all familiar with those “gotcha” news clips of a person who claimed they were seriously hurt and video evidence showed it clearly wasn’t as bad as they’d alleged. We’re not even talking about those cases. The insurance company and other defendants, they will want to damage your credibility any way they can. Defendants in personal injury lawsuits can request the court grant access to review your page – your posts, your likes, your photographs, your videos and even private messages. (Some courts have held that privacy settings matter when it comes to these requests. For example, a federal appellate court ruled in Crispin v. Audigier Inc. that when a user’s settings are “private,” their posts there are to be treated as private and not-discoverable, based on a 1986 electronics communication law. Yet the Supreme Court of New York, Suffolk County, ruled just the opposite in Romano v. Steelcase, finding the court could compel plaintiff to consent to turning over all current and deleted contents from her social media accounts, absent any consideration for her privacy settings, so long as the information contained therein was “material and necessary.”

What you need to bear in mind is that everything has the potential to be used against you. This is true even among injury plaintiffs that are truthful about how the accident happened and the extent of the injuries they suffered. Sometimes, it’s as seemingly innocuous as emojis or “likes.”  Continue reading

Work zone crashes are an incredibly serious problem that continues to plague our Florida roads and highways. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports in a single recent year, there were an estimated 97,000 work zone crashes, an increase of nearly 8 percent from just a year earlier – and a 42 percent rise since 2013. Although most only result in property damage, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers know that every single day, there are at least 70 work zone crashes resulting at least one injury and every week, at least a dozen deaths. Even while overall highway traffic deaths decline, work zone crash fatalities are rising. Of those killed, 85 percent were drivers and passengers in cars and 25 percent of those fatal crashes involved a large truck (compared to 12 percent of highway deaths overall).Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney

Recently, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a $3 million verdict for plaintiff in a highway construction zone crash lawsuit, after defendant construction company sought a new trial or alternatively a remittitur (reduction of damages).

Work Zone Crash Causes Serious Personal Injury

The work zone crash occurred in June 2010 on a two-lane U.S. Highway where the construction crew was replacing the bridge and approaches to it. The state Department of Transportation had prepared plans for the project, including traffic control, and had supervisors on site to ensure compliance. Defendant construction worker was operating a Caterpillar motor grader in the northbound lane. Plaintiff, with four passengers in his van, attempted to go around the motor grader by crossing the double-yellow line into the southbound lane. The motor grader then turned left, and the two vehicles collided. Plaintiff suffered a double-fractured jaw, broken leg and bruised lung.  Continue reading

When a Florida drunk driver causes serious injury to his or her passengers, occupants of other vehicles or non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, it is likely that driver will be named as a defendant in both a criminal and civil case. As Florida DUI injury lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm can explain, these are two totally different processes in different courts pursued for different purposes. However, that does not mean one will have no impact on the other. One of the most notable is the issue of compelling defendant’s testimony in a civil lawsuit, which then becomes public record that can be used against him or her in the pending criminal case. But of course, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives those accused of criminal wrongdoing the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. That silence and refusal to answer questions cannot be used against them for the jury to infer wrongdoing.Fort Lauderdale DUI injury lawyer

Courts in Florida have held that defendants in wrongful death lawsuits can invoke their Fifth Amendment right during the civil litigation process if compelling that testimony could potentially amount to self-incrimination in the pending criminal case. However, as noted in the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Baxter v. Palmgiano, the Fifth Amendment doesn’t guarantee negative inferences against a defendant in a civil lawsuit when they refuse to answer pertinent questions regarding the evidence against them. This doesn’t mean the judge or jury in the civil DUI injury lawsuit can simply point to defendant’s refusal to answer questions and declare that alone as basis for a decision in plaintiff’s favor. However, the court is entitled to draw inferences against a defendant who chooses to invoke the Fifth Amendment right to silence. In U.S. ex rel. Bilokumsky v. Tod in 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, “silence is often evidence of the most persuasive character.”

Fort Lauderdale DUI injury lawyers can use this to their advantage in drunk driving civil litigation.  Continue reading

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