Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Can a company that sold synthetic marijuana to a man who later became intoxicated on it, drove and crashed, killing three people, be held liable for those deaths? The Florida Supreme Court will decide. West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer

A jury in Tallahassee awarded family members of the three victims $37 million after the 2012 crash. The driver was a defendant in that case too. However, as our South Florida wrongful death attorneys can explain, the only hope the family would have of a payout anywhere close to that would be if the verdict against the synthetic pot manufacturer was affirmed. However, a three-judge panel with Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal overturned that verdict in June, finding the maker of the intoxicating substance couldn’t be held liable because the sole cause of the victims’ deaths was the criminal conduct of the driver.

Now, the case is being appealed to the highest court in the state. Continue reading

Americans have been driving less in recent months, and some auto insurance companies recently announced they’ll be extending financial breaks to policyholders through June. That may help more drivers hang onto their policies, but many have already had their coverage either canceled or reduced. Even before the Florida unemployment rate topped 13 percent, the Sunshine State had the highest percentage of uninsured drivers at nearly 27 percent. If you’re in a Florida auto accident with an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver, it’s important to understand your rights as well as the means by which you can still be compensated.West Palm Beach car accident attorneys Continue reading

Teenage drinking and driving continues to be a serious problem in Florida and throughout the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 10 teenagers (16 and older) in high school has driven after drinking at least once in the previous month. Young drivers (those under 20) are 17 times more likely to die in a fatal car accident when they have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 compared to when they aren’t drinking. West Palm Beach injury lawyer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in December 2019 that 26 percent of fatal crashes in Florida involved a drunk driver (someone with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher). Seventeen percent involved someone whose BAC was nearly double the legal limit.

We all know there are criminal consequences to drunk driving, such as arrest, conviction and imprisonment. Administrative penalties can include fines, community education requirements and mandated ignition interlocks. But our South Florida wrongful death attorneys in West Palm Beach want to underscore that civil remedies may also be available to victims. As a recent fatal drunk driving case out of Gainesville shows, there may actually be several avenues of accountability. Continue reading

With more children and families sticking closer to home this summer, the risk of a Palm Beach bicycle accident resulting in severe injuries is higher than ever. Safe Kids Palm Beach County reports that traumatic injuries suffered by children in Palm Beach County bicycle accidents has shot up nearly 170 percent in recent months. Eight kids were treated locally for serious bike crash injuries in just five weeks.Palm Beach injury lawyer

The non-profit kids’ safety organization indicated most of the bicycle accidents involved collisions with cars. More than 90 percent of riders treated at local hospitals weren’t wearing helmets and suffered some type of brain injury.

“Kids think they’re invincible,” the SKPBC director told WPTV recently.

That may be true, but our Palm Beach County injury attorneys want to stress it doesn’t give a free pass to drivers who are distracted, speeding or otherwise careless – particularly in residential neighborhoods where one would expect to see more children on bicycles right now. The failure of a child to wear a helmet won’t excuse a negligent motorist from liability either. Continue reading

Online shopping has soared in recent months. Supermarket News reporting online grocery sales rose 20 percent last yer and are poised to spike 40 percent this year. CNBC reports digital sales of traditional retailers like Target and Best Buy are up more than 250 percent, while Amazon delivery sales are up 25 percent in the first quarter. But who is liable if one of the growing number of delivery vehicles is involved in a Florida car accident? grocery delivery accidents

The answer depends on the company for whom the driver is delivering.

Every driver on the road in Florida by law must have valid auto insurance. Companies will generally provide employee drivers with commercial auto insurance, which would cover crashes that occur in the course and scope of employment.

As our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers can explain, many delivery service drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. That means it may be incumbent on the driver’s own auto insurer to cover damages for grocery delivery accidents. Some insurers have denied coverage because insured’s failed to purchase any add-ons for business use of their vehicle. Auto insurance companies will conduct thorough research on accident claims before they pay. If the driver was using the vehicle for business purposes at the time of the crash, the insurer will undoubtedly find out about it. Claims can be denied if the at-fault driver did not have appropriate insurance. Continue reading

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. They have proven a lifeline to necessary products.

Recently, 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

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