Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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

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

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

Distracted driving leading to South Florida car accidents has long been a serious problem, especially since smartphones have become so ubiquitous. But while government data puts the number of distracted drivers at roughly 660,000 a day, a recent analysis by Zendrive says it’s 100 times worse. The revelation isn’t exactly stunning to our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys, but it’s nonetheless concerning.West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney

In a study of 2 million drivers traversing some 4.5 billion miles of road over the course of the three months, Zendrive (a motorist behavior analytics firm) concluded that:

  • 60 percent of drivers use their phone at least once daily while operating a vehicle.
  • 40 percent of drivers do so every hour.
  • 69 million drivers use their phones every day.

What’s more the number of drivers distracted by smartphones has increased 10 percent in the last year. Most drivers – nearly 9 in 10 – agree distracted driving is a serious issue, but only half admit to engaging in this behavior. In fact, 90 percent consider themselves safe drivers. Analysts determined those considered “heavy phone users” – those who spend three times more than the average – engaged in phone use while driving – spent nearly one-third of their time ignoring the road. Continue reading

From the time they burst onto the traffic landscape, ride share services like Lyft and Uber have been touting their success in driving down the number of drunk drivers and making streets safer. However, Southeast Florida auto accident lawyers are aware of a growing body of evidence suggesting in fact the opposite may be true. South Florida Lyft accident lawyer

In cities throughout Florida – indeed, throughout the country – there is evidence that Uber and Lyft drivers create more danger in cities where they opposite – for a myriad of reasons.

Uber and Lyft accidents in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach have been mounting, as too has litigation. Both companies offer a maximum $1 million of insurance for bodily injury liability and/or wrongful death caused by rideshare drivers.

Among the factors cited in Uber and Lyft accidents: Continue reading

Drunk driving accidents in Florida claim thousands of lives – 12 percent more than the national average. West Palm Beach injury attorneys know it’s a serious problem especially in South Florida. When it comes to liability, obviously the drunk driver can be held responsible, but there are circumstances under which others can be held responsible too.West Palm Beach drunk driving injury lawyer

For example, there are dram shop liability cases, which in Florida per F.S. 768.125 only includes vendors who served alcohol to individuals who are either under the age of 21 or who are known to be habitually addicted to alcohol. Other states have broader laws for what encompasses liability.

There may even be circumstances when one’s employer can be responsible. For example, some employers have been deemed liable for alcohol-related injuries (primarily drunk driving accidents) if they encourage employees to drink on-the-clock or compel workers to attend after-hours events consuming alcohol with clients, etc. These aren’t always slam-dunk cases, but a recent ruling out of Oregon shows that employers won’t necessarily be automatically entitled to a summary judgment either. Continue reading

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it doesn’t stay that way for long when drunk drivers hit the streets of South Florida over the end-of-year holidays. An although it’s been said many times, many ways, “Stay Sober, or Get Pulled Over.”

Miami drunk driving injury attorneys know no matter how many times motorists are warned, there will seemingly inevitably be drunk drivers out on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.drunk driving injury lawyer

We have more drivers of all ages expected on the roads through the end-of-year festivities, with more than a few loaded up on liquid courage and ready to play Russian roulette with their lives on the way to their next destination. If only it was solely their own future with which they were gambling.

Some will become the last among an estimated 34,500 people to die on our roads in 2018. Others will be among the first of 2019. On any given day, seven people die in Florida drunk driving accidents, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, each have an average of 11 drunk driving deaths. (Keep in mind: That doesn’t include the serious injuries that result from these collision too.) The riskiest time on the road December 31st is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (when nearly 44 percent of that day’s crashes occur) and on January 1st between midnight and 3 a.m. Jan. 1st (when about 30 percent of the day’s fatal crashes occur).

Police Report Miami Drunk Driving Numbers Down

On the bright side, it does appear appear some drivers are catching on, with Miami-Dade police reporting overall DUI arrests were down 65 percent last year compared to 2014, according to NBC-Miami. The previous running average was about 1,500 DUI arrests a year, last year it dropped to 600 arrests. In the City of Miami, DUI arrests are reportedly down 31 percent. Continue reading

An Orlando car accident lawsuit alleges vehicle manufacturer Tesla has mislead consumers into believing the autopilot feature of these vehicles is more capable – and safer – than it truly is. Florida car accident attorneys know that while claims against car makers isn’t a new phenomenon, this case could foreshadow what we can expect in the courts when the auto industry is rolling out ever more advanced tech for use on our roads.car accident lawyer Orlando

According to Wired, the autopilot feature was a key reason he opted to buy the Tesla Model S vehicle last year. His daily work commute was 250 miles round trip, most of it on the highway, and he concluded the semi-autonomous driving system would make his life easier. He used the feature on a regular basis, allowing it to keep the car in his lane and avoid other moving vehicles. During his ride, he relaxed, checked his emails, private messages and social media – though he insists he never completely stopped paying attention. Then a few weeks ago, as he was returning home to Winter Garden from his job in Fort Pierce, Autopilot engaged at 80 mph on the Florida Turnpike, something unexpected happened: He crashed. He struck a disabled, empty Ford Fiesta that was abandoned in his lane of travel.

Now his car accident lawsuit, filed in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, alleges severe permanent injuries, including a fractured vertebrae. In a written statement, a company spokesperson indicated the automaker has no reason to believe the feature somehow failed, stressing that when Autopilot is engaged, it is still the driver’s duty to stay alert to their surroundings and “in control of the vehicle at all times.” The company insists it has never advertised the feature as a fully autonomous system and never promised that Autopilot would make the car crash-free. Prior to using Autopilot for the first time, drivers are required to watch the road and keep their hands on the wheel. If a driver goes more than a few seconds without their hand on the wheel, a warning bell starts to ding. Continue reading

Anyone involved in a West Palm Beach car accident should become familiar with the acronym, “PIP,” which under Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law refers to “personal injury protection” benefits, as outlined in F.S. 627.736.West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney

As our car accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can explain, it basically works like this: You’re  in an auto accident. You’re hurt. It doesn’t matter which driver is at-fault, the PIP auto insurance will cover its own insured (and passengers, qualifying resident relatives and in some cases, non-vehicle occupants such as pedestrians or bicyclists).

However, the most you can possibly recover is up to 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost wages – maxing out at $10,000 (assuming your injuries are emergent; otherwise, you’re capped at $2,500). It’s only in cases of serious, debilitating, permanent or fatal injuries, as outlined in F.S. 627.737, that one can step outside of that no-fault system to file an injury lawsuit against the negligent driver or file a claim for your own uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits.

Tort Reform Advocates Claim Frivolous Crash Claims Clogging the System Continue reading