Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

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

Whether we’re talking about a tractor-trailer or merely the junk in your trunk, failure to properly secure loads to your vehicle is a crime in Florida. That means it has to withstand the wind, railroad tracks, a pothole-pocked roadway – all the common things can loosen those items and turn it into road debris if it isn’t properly strapped down.unsafe trucks

Falling or shifting cargo such as ladders, furniture, tools, tarps and building materials can cause serious South Florida crashes resulting in catastrophic injuries and even death.

AAA reported that over a recent four-year stretch, more than 200,000 crashes were caused by unsecured debris on U.S. roads. These resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths during that time frame.

Of those incidents:

  • 37 percent of all deaths were caused by drivers swerving to avoid the object, typically overcorrecting and causing the driver to lose control.
  • One-third occurred between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – when many are hauling/moving heavy items like construction equipment or furniture.
  • Most occurred on Interstate highways, which makes sense given that driving at increased speeds heightens the risk for vehicle parts to become detached.

Continue reading

A coalition of freight and logistics firms recently testified before Congress on the urgent need for improved trucking standards and safety, noting that while large trucks our indispensable to our economy – they’re killing us. truck accident attorney

In the last year reported per federal data, there were 415,000 large truck accidents, within which:

  • 4,761 people died
  • More than 600 truck drivers were killed
  • 148,000 were injured.

Further, more truckers were killed in 2017 crashes than in any other year in the past decade.

In recent testimony before the House’s Infrastructure Sub-Committee on Highways and Transit. The trucking Alliance spoke at a hearing titled, “Under Pressure – the State of Trucking in America.” Members of the Trucking Alliance in a prepared statement said the greatest pressure on the trucking industry should be on reducing these truck crashes and the deaths and injuries that result. Continue reading

Professional golfer and Florida resident Tiger Woods and his girlfriend, who manages a restaurant owned by Woods, have been named defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the drunk driving death of an employee in December, The Miami Herald reports.Florida drunk driving death lawyer

When drunk driving results in death, there are a number of avenues through which a Florida wrongful death lawyer may seek to establish liability. Typically, this includes the drunk driver, the owner of the car, the host of an underage party and sometimes, the vendor that sold or served the alcohol.

That last one is formally known as a “dram shop lawsuit.” Continue reading

Florida medical malpractice law needs to change. That’s the stance of the surviving family of a U.S. Marine veteran who died after allegedly receiving negligent medical care following a South Florida motorcycle accident. Despite this, the man’s survivors haven’t been able to file a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit because of a provision of Florida statute that prevents such claims from being brought by anyone accept for a spouse, minor children or parents of an adult under the age of 25. West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

The specific law in question (which our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers can explain has been in place for nearly three decades) is F.S. 768.21. Its effect is that if a person dies as a result of suspected medical malpractice, there will be no recourse if the patient was unmarried, over the age of 25 or had no minor children. It is a law ripe for challenge considering the very same acts of negligence that would underlie a medical malpractice injury lawsuit would be grounds for litigation – if the person lives. There are no available avenues for accountability, however, if that same individual dies as a result of medical negligence.

NBC-5 in West Palm Beach reports the patient in question was a 32-year-old man from Port St. Lucie, a veteran with a fiancee who was helping to raise her 3-year-old daughter, whom he planned to adopt. He was involved in a Florida motorcycle accident. He reportedly hit a deep pothole, swerved to avoid striking a friend’s motorcycle and in so doing put his leg down when he crashed, resulting in a broken leg. Continue reading