Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney

Florida lawmakers are looking to ditch the decades-old no-fault car insurance law that has dictated personal injury recovery from crashes since the 1970s. As our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain, the new law, if signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, will do away with requirements to purchase no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and instead require bodily injury liability coverage. Ultimately, this will fundamentally change the way we pursue damages in Florida car accident cases. Florida car accident lawsuit

Both the Florida House and Senate signed off on SB 54, a bill subject to substantial back-and-forth to close out the end of this legislative session.

Current law requires all vehicle owners to purchase PIP that covers $10,000 for their own medical, disability and funeral expenses if they’re hurt in a crash – regardless of fault. But as any Florida car accident attorney will tell you, $10,000 isn’t nearly enough to cover healthcare costs after most accidents. (The amount hasn’t changed since 1979.) Besides that, only $2,500 is available if injuries don’t require emergency treatment. Furthermore, PIP isn’t always as easy to obtain as it should be, and many injured motorists need assistance from an attorney to ensure they’re fairly compensated. The only way to step outside the no-fault system and pursue compensation from the at-fault driver is if one’s injuries meet or exceed the serious injury threshold, as outlined in F.S. 626.737. Continue reading

With more than 15 million licensed drivers and even more annual visitors, Florida roads are never wanting in traffic. The problem is not all those drivers are insured. In fact, Florida is No. 1 for uninsured motorists in the country for driving uninsured. More than 27 percent lacking the proper coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers

There are many theories about why this is, but the bottom line for us as Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers is that many accidents involve an uninsured driver. This poses some definite challenges in terms of how we approach an injury case.

You can still often recover damages if you’re injured in a crash with a driver who isn’t insured, but it will depend on your own coverage, the personal finances of the at-fault driver, who owns the vehicle that was driven and whether any third-parties were at-fault. 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 $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

In a multiple vehicle car accident, where witnesses may give widely varying accounts of what actually happened and who is at-fault and to what degree, the credibility of each witness and party becomes critical.  It’s not uncommon for defense attorneys to challenge the credibility of plaintiffs to challenge their own client’s liability.personal injury attorney

In a recent case before the Hawaii Supreme Court, this was precisely what the defense attorney did, via alleging at various points during the trial that plaintiff was not even in the vehicle, was not injured in the course and scope of employment (she was a home health aide reportedly helping transport a patient to a doctor’s office at the time of the crash) and that she had filed this personal injury lawsuit  as a money grab on top of her fraudulent workers’ compensation claim. He went so far as to tell the jury during closing arguments that if they sided with plaintiff, they should be ashamed of themselves as it would consummate plaintiff’s fraud. Mind you, this was not something of which she’d been formally accused or convicted.

Plaintiff sought a jury instruction that would stipulate they could not consider her motive in filing the case, but rather only whether defendant was negligent. Trial court rejected that request, and jurors returned an 11-1 verdict in the defense favor, finding defendant – the rear driver in a three-car pileup – was not the legal cause of plaintiff’s injury.  Continue reading

Florida has one of the weakest protections against driver distraction in the nation. While a proposal to toughen our state’s anti-texting-and-driving law was passed by the state House and given Gov. Rick Scott’s blessing, the state Senate has reportedly pumped the brakes on the measure, with news outlets reporting Sent. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, allowing it to stall in his committee for well over a month. car accident attorney

For his part, Bradley has cited concerns about potential racial profiling and the scope of police authority to view drivers’ cell phones during a traffic stop.

As it now stands, F.S. 316.305 prohibits motorists from texting, typing or reading messages, emails and social media posts while engaged in active driving. However, there are a plethora of exceptions, including no restrictions on radio broadcasts, engaging GPS navigation services or wireless communication that doesn’t require reading or the manual entry of data. A fine for a violation is just $50, but even those are rare given that it’s only a secondary offense, as opposed to a primary one. That means police cannot legally stop a driver observed texting-and-driving if that is the sole violation noted. The officer must also observe some other violation, such as speeding, weaving or red light running.  Continue reading

A bill that would repeal Florida’s no-fault insurance law appears to have stalled out.car accident attorney

The state senate’s Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee overwhelmingly voted not to approve the measure, which would repeal Florida’s no-fault system requiring drivers to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The bill would resulted in a requirement to carry bodily injury coverage in its stead. Florida House members approved a similar version of the measures (HB9) in the first week of the legislative session. Although the bill is technically still alive, the legislative session ends in two days. A committee chairwoman (who voted against the bill) filed a motion to reconsider and temporarily postponed it, meaning it could potentially arise again. However, that committee isn’t expected to meet again prior to the close of the legislative session.

Florida’s no-fault system has long been the target for reform advocacy. PIP laws, codified in F.S. 627.736, require all drivers to carry at least $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits. (It should be noted the $10,000 rate was set in 1979, and is only worth today about one-eighth of what it was when the law was signed.) One can only access $2,000 of those injury benefits unless their injuries are severe and emergent. This no-fault coverage is extended regardless of who was at-fault for the crash. In order for a car accident victim to pursue damages from the at-fault driver and other third parties, they must meet the serious injury threshold, as outlined in F.S. 627.737, which requires proof that victim suffered:

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

Continue reading

Every year, thousands of people in the U.S. die in distracted driving accidents – 3,400 in 2015, to be exact. While most states, including Florida, have some type of law on the books that aims to curb these incidents. But there are plenty of traffic safety advocates who say these measures aren’t doing enough. phone

Just take Florida, for example. F.S. 316.305 went into effect in 2013 (and was one of the last texting-and-driving bans in the country to be enacted). The statute prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a phone or wireless communication device. So far so good, right? But there are a few issues. First off, it’s a secondary offense, which means police can’t initiate a traffic stop on this basis alone; they can only issue a citation if they stop a driver for another offense. Even if they do ticket the driver, it’s only a $35 citation for a first-time offender. Not much of a deterrent. Beyond that, the law doesn’t ban talking (which studies have shown can be just as distracting) or dialing a number (and it can be tough for an officer to discern the difference between that and texting from outside the vehicle, especially if it’s moving). Also, it doesn’t address the expanding technology, which includes video chats.

Now, there are two bills on the table to enhance penalties for those who violate Florida’s current ban on texting and driving. HB 47 would increase the fine (doubling it for offenses in school zones or designated crossings) and also make the violation a primary offense, as opposed to a secondary offense. Meanwhile, HB 69 targets drivers 18 or younger, and would make the offense primary only for these motorists.  Continue reading

A motorcycle accident effectively ended the football career of a UCLA offensive lineman seven years ago in California. Amir Ekbatani’s leg was severed when a taxi van driver who failed to yield the right-of-way while making a left turn. The impact of the collision severed the football player’s left leg. He would undergo a total of 13 surgeries and he know walks with a prosthesis. He is fortunate to have emerged from the wreckage with his life. motorcycle

But now, it’s not just the other motorist whom he blames. It is also the State of California, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road on which the crash occurred. Specifically, he alleges poor road design that made it difficult for the taxi driver to see the plaintiff as he traveled north on the state highway.

There had reportedly been numerous complaints made to the state’s Department of Transportation regarding the condition of the intersection, but the government agency failed to take action, according to the injury lawsuit.  Continue reading

Three year ago, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law amendments to F.S. 90.702 to F.S. 90.704 that changes the standard by which Florida courts determine whether expert witness testimony should be admissible. Previously, we used the “Frye standard,” which asks only whether the technique of the expert is generally accepted as reliable in the relevant scientific community. The legislative change has now instead using the “Daubert standard,” which is more stringent and requires something of a mini-trial in front of a judge before the case can proceed. Questions raise include not just whether the technique is generally accepted, but questions whether there has been empirical testing, whether there has been peer review and publication, whether there is a known or potential error rate, whether there is a maintenance of these standards and more. Cars

The Florida Supreme Court is considering a proposal that would revert the courts back to the Frye standard. (The Florida courts can take action without the legislators on this point because it concerns a procedural element of the court.) Civil plaintiff attorneys argue the Daubert standards are too stringent and serve as a barrier to legal remedy in legitimate claims.

To understand why the importance of this standard matters in civil personal injury lawsuits, we look at the recent case of Sims v. Kia Motors of America, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Here, the viability of expert witness testimony was critical to the product liability claim in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a fatal car accident. Continue reading

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