Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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

Electric scooters are gaining traction in urban hubs throughout Florida and the country. Many of these cities have already invested in bicycle share programs – several of them “dockless.” Successes on this front have prompted them to explore other alternative modes of transportation, particularly those that are cheaper and better for the environment and traffic infrastructure systems than motor vehicles.scooter injury lawyer

Here in South Florida, the trendy Miami suburb of Wynwood became one of the most recent communities to host an electric scooter share program. Problems that have arisen in recent months in other cities have include safety hazards from the dockless scooters being left in random places, obstructing sidewalks and public rights of way. The company that launched scooter share in Wynwood, LimeBike, has promised the city it will collect scooters that obstruct sidewalks and public ways during business hours. Other complaints involve rounding up enough of the scooters at any given time to accommodate a large group (or even just two riders) and the fact that one of the models maxes out on speed at walking pace (though some do go up to 15 miles per hour).

For us as Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, the bigger issue is the interaction electric scooter riders may have with cars and trucks, particularly on crowded streets and considering many motorists aren’t used to seeing this type of transportation mode (so they aren’t watching for it). Already in a number of other locations, electric scooter crashes have resulted in serious personal injury and even death. Continue reading

A South Florida woman has filed a car accident lawsuit in Broward Circuit Court, alleging negligence resulting in serious injury, pain, disability, disfigurement and something known as “loss of life enjoyment.” car accident attorney Fort Lauderdale

Such damages are typical to seek in Florida crash injury claims, but this last one is what we want to focus on here. While serious injury, disability and medical costs can be established with documentation such as medical records, bills, bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns (among other types of evidence), loss of life enjoyment is a little trickier because it is highly subjective. It’s also sometimes referred to as “hedonic damages,” “loss of life’s pleasures” or “lost value of life.” It is a type of non-economic damages, which means there is no clear-cut value for the loss, as opposed to economic damages, which are the result of monetary losses suffered as a result of an injury or wrongful death.

In this case, as reported by the Florida Record, the motorist alleges defendant struck her vehicle in December 2016, causing her to sustain severe injuries that required hospitalization and ongoing nursing care. It also had the effect of exacerbating an existing medical condition. Details of the injuries and crash circumstances weren’t given in the initial complaint, except that it occurred at an intersection of the southbound I-95 ramp in Fort Lauderdale and plaintiff alleges defendant failed to maintain control of her vehicle or exercise proper lookout for other vehicles.  Continue reading

A $3 million Florida bad faith insurance claim was affirmed recently by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which found the auto insurer refused to tender its $250,000 policy limits to a plaintiff, even though it was well-established her injuries were clearly in excess of that. Broward car accident attorney

As our Broward car accident attorneys can explain, bad faith insurance, as outlined in F.S. 624.155, occurs when an insurer either unreasonably refuses to pay or properly investigate a claim (first-party) or when an insurer unreasonably fails to defend, indemnify or settle a claim within policy limits or investigate for a different party (third-party). As outlined in the 1995 Florida Supreme Court case of State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Laforet, an insurer’s duty of good faith involves the duty to refrain from acting solely on the basis of their own interests in settlement.

Claims for bad faith are separate and apart from the original negligence claim that is filed for crash liability, and can result in plaintiffs being awarded triple their actual damages.  Continue reading

Florida’s no-fault auto insurance coverage – also known as personal injury protection (PIP) – is controversial and the subject of ongoing legislative debate. Earlier this year, as reported by FloridaPolitics.com, a bill to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance died in committee. Lawmakers haven’t given up on the prospect of reintroducing a similar, if modified, measure in the future. car accident attorney

As it now stands, PIP coverage, as outlined in F.S. 627.727, is required of all motorists and extends a maximum of $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits – regardless of fault. It is only if one’s condition crosses the “serious injury” threshold that they may seek additional coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurer and/ or their own uninsured/ underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) carrier.

Recently, it was reported litigation filed earlier this month in the Southern District federal court alleges three separate medical clinics wrongly billed an auto insurer for services through PIP, ultimately cheating the insurer out of $4.7 million. Although the lawsuits don’t specifically allege fraud by crash victims, it’s incumbent on Floridians and car accident attorneys to be mindful of these developments, as they may impact the types of challenges auto insurers may raise to deny medically necessary treatment following a crash.  Continue reading

Following the stunning and tragic collapse of a pedestrian bridge under construction over Southwest Eighth Street at Florida International University in mid-March, resulting in the death of six people killed and several others injured, a total of six lawsuits have so far been filed. It’s likely more will be forthcoming. probate litigation

Each plaintiff was represented by a different Florida personal injury or wrongful death law firm (with the exception of two plaintiffs represented by the same firm), each tasked with the massive undertaking of conducting their own investigations and gathering their own evidence as to what happened and who should be responsible. In some instances, law firms dispatched investigators on the ground while cleanup of the site was still underway, helping to gather critical evidence, while others joined in the weeks that followed. Some of the initial questions raised when there are negligence lawsuits involving that many people for the same incident are:

  • How closely will they work together? For instance, will they pool resources during the discovery process, which is likely to converge?
  • How many will file against the exact same defendants?
  • What degree of independence will they maintain in hiring experts and investigating what went wrong with the design, construction, installation and testing of the bridge?

Continue reading

A $19 million damage award for the widow of a fatal railroad car accident victim was affirmed in Missouri, finding the circuit court didn’t err when finding the railroad company 95 percent liable for failure to trim vegetation surrounding the railroad tracks. car accident attorney

The appeal from the railroad company stemmed from the argument a new trial was warranted due to an alleged error by the trial court of not granting a motion for a new trial based on the intentional nondisclosures of prior car accident litigation by a juror. Ultimately, the state supreme court determined that defense attorneys could have discovered the juror’s litigation history had they re-ran her name through a standard background search once they became aware (at the juror’s notification) that her name was misspelled by the clerk of courts.

The case is worth noting for the fact that this is one of those errors that could potentially happen to either attorney in this case, and there are so many technicalities can impact the outcome. That’s why it’s so important to have an eagle-eyed personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale working on your behalf. Continue reading

Many ranches, farms and other agricultural companies arrange for employee housing in addition to wages for their workers. This can raise some interesting legal questions if workers are involved in a collision traveling to-and-from work, especially if one or more is paid during that time.car accident

Typically in workers’ compensation law and with vicarious liability claims, the time in which workers are going to are leaving from work is subject to the “coming-and-going rule.” The coming-and-going rule holds an employee is not acting in the course and scope of employment while traveling to and from work. Therefore, injuries occurring during that time are generally not covered by workers’ compensation and vicarious liability lawsuits.

In a recent case out of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court weighed whether the lower courts had properly granted summary judgment to an employer in a fatal crash case. The court ruled that judgment was improper, reversed and remanded the case to trial for further proceedings.  Continue reading

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