Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Florida truck accidents have steadily risen in recent years. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports in a single recent year, there were more than crashes involving large trucks, resulting in more than a dozen deaths and 1,000 injuries – 57 of those catastrophic.truck accidents

Still, there is little denying how critical trucks are to our economy – especially right now in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. They have proven a lifeline to goods people desperately need right now, such as food, medical supplies and key household goods.

Using the declared state of national emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) relaxed hours-of-service rules for commercial drivers carrying essential goods. It remains to be seen whether this might lead to an uptick in more Florida truck accidents. Continue reading

A city police officer struck by a van and seriously injured while directing traffic in Florida secured a claim for workers’ compensation and a settlement of $1.5 million against the at-fault driver. More recently though, he lost his claim for bad faith insurance. Florida car accident lawyer

Florida’s bad faith insurance law is designed to protect people why buy insurance and fulfill their contractual obligations (paying their premiums) by making sure the insurer acts in good faith when investigating, handling and settling an insured’s claims. Insurers are compelled to settle claims when a reasonably prudent person would. Failure to settle when extended a reasonable offer to do so can give rise to a bad faith insurance action.

In deciding whether an insurer has acted in bad faith, courts are supposed to consider the totality of the circumstances. The standard isn’t negligence but whether the insurer acted diligently with the same speed, care and rigor it would if it were in the insured’s shoes in working to avoid an excess judgment.

In many bad faith insurance claims stemming from auto accidents, the third-party injured person can obtain from the right to step into the shoes of the at-fault driver insured and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurer. That was what happened in the recent bad faith insurance case involving the Florida city police officer. Continue reading

Insurance companies play a key role in the aftermath of any South Florida car accident – no matter who is at-fault. Although you may be able to manage a very minor fender-bender claim on your own directly with an adjuster, anything involving injuries or substantial property damage warrants a consultation with an attorney. Florida car accident attorney

The reason is that regardless of the feel-good slogans of auto insurers, they are not “on your side.” This is true even if it’s your own insurer you’re dealing with. The fact that you’re the one paying the premiums every month generally doesn’t make insurers any more inclined to issue a payout.

Possible Insurance Claims in a Florida Car Accident

The types of claims you can file in a South Florida car accident will depend heavily on what exactly happened, how seriously you were hurt and the terms of the insurance policies involved. Continue reading

A South Florida trucking accident has the potential to completely upend and alter innocent lives forever. The way you proceed in the hours, weeks and months that follow can have a big impact on your ability to recover damages for your injuries. In order to know what to do, you must know what to expect. South Florida truck accident lawyer

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 12.5 million commercial large trucks and buses are registered in the U.S., logging some 300 billion miles nationally every year. Of the more than 37,000 fatalities on our roadways every year, nearly 4,900 – or 13 percent – involve a large truck or bus. Annually, there are more than 450,000 large truck and bus accidents reported to police. Of those, 23 percent involve a serious injury – some 345,000 in all. The vast majority of those injured and killed in South Florida truck accidents are occupants of other vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists also face an out-sized risk against these highway behemoths.

Florida is among the top five worst states for large truck and bus fatalities nationally. Between 180 and 300 Florida truck accident deaths have been reported every year in the Sunshine State since 2007. Many more are injured. Continue reading

The widower and surviving children of a 36-year-old woman killed in a Florida car accident three years ago have secured a $13 million verdict against the estate of the driver who caused the crash by making an illegal pass. The family’s wrongful death lawyer says the next step is to pursue a bad faith insurance claim against the auto insurance company that acted in bad faith in failing to settle this claim before trial. West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers

As our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers can explain, bad faith insurance claims are those stemming from an insurance company’s failure to act in a reasonable manner when processing, investigating and paying a claim. This remedy exists because legislators and courts recognized that when it comes to settling claims, insurers are in the driver’s seat. They have more expertise, negotiating strength and financial resources than any claimant. That makes good faith and fair dealing of insurers essential. But that doesn’t mean they always do.

Working with an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help reduce the chances that an insurer will attempt to undercut you with a low-ball settlement or refuses to settle for a reasonable amount. If that doesn’t happen, a good lawyer can help you begin to gather evidence to build a solid case for bad faith insurance. Continue reading

Although most tend to think of New Year’s Eve as the most dangerous for holiday travelers, the truth is Thanksgiving is typically far more perilous. Hundreds of people a year are killed in crashes during the Thanksgiving travel period. In fact, Thanksgiving Day was reported to be the single deadliest day on U.S. roads in several of the last 15 years.South Florida car accident lawyer

AAA reports the 2019 Thanksgiving travel season will see the second-highest volume of holiday road traffic since the agency began keeping track almost 20 years ago. An estimated 55 million people will be taking a trip of 50 miles or more, and 49 million of those will be driving. In Florida, there will be at least 3 million travelers.

AAA predicts major road delays throughout the entire week, peaking Wednesday afternoon the day before Thanksgiving. Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale are listed as prime national destinations for holiday travelers, which means Florida roads especially will be crammed – and dangerous. Continue reading

A $14.4 million verdict awarded in a catastrophic injury lawsuit was recently overturned by Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal, citing the binding settlement agreement plaintiff’s father had entered prior to trial for just $10,000 and the insurer’s good faith effort to pay the policy limits. Plaintiff is in a vegetative state following a 2010 car accident in which he was a passenger.South Florida injury lawyer

The case is a cautionary tale in why it is critical for anyone acting on behalf of a loved one after a catastrophic injury to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Only certain individuals are authorized to handle financial and health care matters for someone who is incapacitated, but there is often confusion about how that process works.

It’s also not uncommon for insurers to swoop in as your “friend” early on in a case like this, trying to secure a low-ball settlement. Your case may be worth a great deal more than what they’re offering, but you won’t have the right to pursue it if you cash that check and release them from all future claims.

Why Catastrophic Injury Cases Require Experienced Plaintiff Lawyers

Catastrophic injuries are those that permanently prevent a person from performing work and enjoying life as he/she would have prior to the accident. Examples include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Severe burns;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Amputations;
  • Paralysis.

Most commonly, catastrophic injuries are the result of motor vehicle crashes, but they can also stem from construction site falls, medical malpractice or intentional acts of violence. Continue reading

Although both municipal and school buses are relatively safe forms of travel, school bus injuries often spike at the beginning of each school year. It’s important for parents to understand the unique challenges of filing these cases, how fault is determined and what to expect. school bus accident lawyer

Recently, a teen driver was cited in a Lehigh Acres school bus accident when he struck a bus on the very first day of school, resulting in injuries to a second grader. According to the Associated Press, the teen allegedly ran a stop sign, slamming the bus and pushing it into a ditch. An 8-year-old was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and the bus driver was hurt as well. Five students were on board at the time of the accident, with four of those wearing a seat belt.

Although every accident is different, there are some unique factors that more frequently play into causation of bus accidents and exacerbation of injuries to occupants and pedestrians. These include:
  • Frequent stops;
  • Bus drivers who are fatigued;
  • Improperly-maintained buses;
  • Frequent stops;
  • Child pedestrians interacting with traffic;
  • Lack of child occupant restraints (seat belts) on many buses;
  • Higher-than-average rollover risk.

Continue reading

A Palm Beach County wrongful death lawsuit is the second in three months against automaker Tesla Inc. involving its driver-assisted Autopilot feature – one that plaintiffs say give drivers a false sense of security and fail to live up to the express and implied promises made to consumers. truck accident lawyer

According to Insurance Journal, plaintiffs in Banner v. Tesla allege the 50-year-old driver of a Tesla sedan was killed in March when the vehicle, using the Autopilot feature as advertised, failed to steer or brake in order to avoid striking a semi-tractor trailer that had run a stop sign on a South Florida highway.

The system had been engaged for at least 10 seconds prior to the crash. His survivors say the vehicle manufacturer is and has been aware that the system was defective, yet continued to sell it anyway. They are also suing the driver of that semi-truck for negligence in causing the truck accident. Continue reading

Amid concerns that large trucks driven by tired operators pose a greater-than-ever risk to Florida motorists, federal officials are contemplating loosening existing rules. As our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers well know, driver fatigue is cited in hundreds of the thousands of deadly truck crashes each year. truck accident attorney

Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Carrier’s implementation of many new rules and regulations pertaining to trucking rules and regulation – including Hours of Service rules designed to reduce drowsy driver accidents, there has been a 20 percent jump in the number of commercial truck crashes over the last 10 years.

Rules such as those for Hours of Service and mandated electronic logging devices (ELD) were introduced to curb the practices of so many trucking carriers that reward drivers based not only the amount of time they drive, but rather on the miles driven. Many industries truck drivers to push the envelope to make their living. Continue reading