Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale car accident

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

When people get ready to buy a car, they may spend a great deal of time researching the various safety features and ensuring (if it isn’t brand new) that it’s checked by a licensed mechanic. But when they rent a vehicle, they may barely give much thought to the vehicle, other than it’s size and how accommodating it will be a for a trip.keys

Yet up until very recently, it was perfectly legal for rental car companies to loan out recalled vehicles to unsuspecting customers – without making repairs or warning customers of the danger. That should alarm motorists everywhere, but it’s especially troubling here in South Florida, which has a booming rental car industry from tourism. Now consider that there have been record vehicle recall rates in recent years – with an average of 900 recalls annually breaking down to some 2.5 every single day. In the last two years, more than 100 million vehicles were impacted by safety recalls. To give you a better idea of how big that is, there are a total of 260 million vehicles registered in the U.S.

The good news is that now, following an arduous legal battle, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2015, which passed as part of a larger transportation bill, went into effect June 1, 2016 and mandates that rental car companies with 35 or more vehicles in fleet must ground any recalled vehicles until they can be repaired. Continue reading

A local auto dealership may be facing a vicarious liability lawsuit soon, following a tragic car accident in Delray Beach in which a mechanic behind the wheel lost control of the car and smashed into a motorcycle, fatally injuring one of the riders. driver1

According to The Sun-Sentinel, the Ed Morse Toyota Scion, which is part of the larger Ed Morse Automotive Group, offered condolences to the family of the decedent, a Canadian woman who was the rear passenger of the bike.

Police with the Delray Beach department allege that a mechanic for the auto dealership was speeding along Dixie Highway when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle, a 2002 Lexus sedan. He was reportedly test-driving the vehicle.  Continue reading

Just because a Fort Lauderdale car accident occurs at relatively low speeds does not mean it cannot cause serious injuries. Consider that a typical passenger car weighs about 2,000 pounds. If that vehicle makes impact at 10 mph, it’s going to strike with 3.7 tons of force.caraccident

Of course, this has the potential to cause injuries.

Still, that won’t prevent the at-fault driver from asserting the low-impact defense if they can help it. They will try to introduce as evidence pictures of the minimal amount of damage to the vehicle. They may also introduce witness testimony to illustrate the crash occurred in stop-and-go traffic or while vehicles were not traveling fast. They may also highlight the fact that plaintiff refused medical attention immediately after the crash, insinuating that plaintiff may be exaggerating the extent of his or her injuries.  Continue reading

The Florida Supreme Court recently made it clear that auto insurance companies don’t have the right to ward off bad faith lawsuits after years of unreasonable delays, denials and non-response by paying the policy limits at the last minute.caraccident7

In Fridman v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Ill., the court denied a bid by the insurer to assert it couldn’t have acted in bad faith because it did finally pay the insured. But bad faith by insurers can be revealed as much as much by the timing of the payment as the amount.

And in this case, the plaintiff – a man who was injured in a car accident by an underinsured driver – waited four full years to get a check from the insurance company. And even then, it came with settlement agreement language that effectively barred him from taking further action to collect anything further. He refused to accept it, and it was another six months before the insurer sent him another check with no such language.

But by that time, plaintiff was set on pursuing a bad faith insurance action. In Florida, people can file either a first- or third-party lawsuit against insurance companies for delaying or denying reasonable claims for benefits under the policy. If the court finds the insurer was liable for the underlying claim and acted in bad faith toward the insured, it can be made to pay triple damages. That’s not three times the policy limit – that’s three times the actual damages.  Continue reading

Jurors in Broward County have awarded more than $300,000 to a woman who was seriously injured following a Fort Lauderdale car accident with a police officer six years ago.policecar

Unfortunately, because the defendant is a municipality, the award is capped at $100,000. The city hasn’t yet said whether it will appeal the decision.

Plaintiff, 52, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her son just a few weeks before Christmas 2010. Defendant Daniel Gowans, a Fort Lauderdale police officer, was responding to a domestic violence call when he arrived at the intersection of Southeast Fourth Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard. His cruiser collided with the vehicle driven by plaintiff’s son. As a result of that impact, plaintiff’s wrist was broken in eight different places. Continue reading

The Florida Highway Patrol has launched an investigation into a fatal accident that involved a vehicle owned by a local car dealership. Based on the preliminary investigation, the FHP reported, it seems the vehicle was being taken for a test drive, with the employee and two passengers inside.Honeymoon, Day 3

The crash, which occurred in Stuart, about 90 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale, killed an 83-year-old man named Donald Maloney, who was a passenger in the Honda CR-V. That Honda had just been taken out for a test drive, though the dealership employee was behind the wheel at the time of the crash, according to WPBF ABc-25 News.

Investigators say the dealership employee was traveling south and then turned left at an intersection – and into a Chevy Tahoe. The sport utility vehicle impacted the passenger vehicle on the right front passenger seat. That’s where Maloney was sitting. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Continue reading

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