Articles Tagged with car accident lawyer

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

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

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

If you’ve ever lived up north, you know potholes are something of a way of life. They’re less ubiquitous here in South Florida, as we don’t have the constant freezing-and-thawing cycles of our northern neighbors. What we do have that erodes our roads significantly is rain.Florida injury crashes

For example on the Gulf Coast, the community of Cape Coral’s record rainfall in 2016 resulted in nearly 3,000 potholes in the span of two months.

Although many cities have procedures you can follow to claim compensation for pothole damage, actually getting reimbursed can be tough. NBC Miami reported that of more than 300 claims made in Miami-Dade over a recent two-year span, only 63 – less than one-third – were reimbursed. The county reportedly repaired more than 26,000 potholes over that time frame. In Broward, there were 17 claims made for pothole vehicle damage, yet only 1 was paid. Continue reading

Florida’s new texting-and-driving law, in effect July 1st, broadens the circumstances under which police can initiate a traffic stop for texting drivers and increases the penalty for a violation.Broward bicycle accident attorney

If it’s well-enforced, it may also help in the goal of reducing Florida bicycle accident and pedestrian accident fatalities, which our Broward wrongful death attorneys have long known to be a serious problem.

Why Is Distracted Driving Such a Big Problem These Days?

The driving factor in the uptick of distracted motorist deaths is undeniably: Cellphones. The lure of constant connectivity has proven quite powerful, and many are still under the mistaken assumption people have the ability to multi-task (they don’t, not with high-level functions like reading, writing and driving).

Technically though, distraction can be anything that takes a driver’s full attention from the road. Examples include:

  • Turning to scold a child in the backseat
  • Personal grooming
  • Eating/drinking
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Having an unsecured pet in the car
  • Adjusting music or other in-stereo dials

Still, Florida lawmakers shied away from expressly naming any of these in the new statute. As our Broward injury lawyers can explain, individuals who engage in these behaviors may or may not be cited for a traffic infraction if they cause a crash. From a civil case standpoint though, any of these could represent a breach of a driver’s duty of care, the foundation for establishing negligence compelling compensation.

The biggest change that will come from Florida’s new distracted driving law will be to bump it from a secondary to a primary offense. That means an officer’s observation or reasonable suspicion that a driver is texting behind the wheel will be cause  enough in its own right to prompt a traffic stop. Previously, police had to have another reason to initiate a traffic stop before they could also issue a citation for texting/driving.

Fines under the new law will still be $30 for a first-time offense, $60 for a second offense, etc. Additional fines are added when offenses take place in certain areas, like school zones.

Cyclists Face Out-Sized Injury Risk From Distracted Drivers

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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

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

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

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?

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