Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Driving while impaired carries a definite stigma. But driving distracted often still does not – even though we know it kills hundreds of people in Florida every year. October is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort that aims to change that. West Palm Beach injury lawyers

Drivers who are distracted are a threat not only to themselves but everyone else on the road. Looking away from the road for even just a few seconds can double your risk of a crash.

As West Palm Beach injury lawyers, we understand that distracted and impaired drivers are actually quite similar to each other. like those who are impaired by substances, drivers whose attention is momentarily diverted have significantly reduced reaction times. They may swerve about the road. They may not realize they’re speeding or approaching an intersection or stopped traffic.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, distracted driving was verified in 213 fatal crashes in 2018 resulting in 231 deaths. Among the riskiest distractions:

  • Use of a cell phone (texting in particular).
  • In-vehicle technology (including GPS).
  • Passengers in the vehicle (particularly hazardous with younger drivers with passengers of the same peer groups).

Continue reading

People are hurt every day in Florida in all different kinds of accidents. For example, there are nearly 700 people are injured in Florida car crashes every day. An average of 1.2 boating accident injuries occur in Florida daily. Nationally, there are approximately 30 million injuries every year due to unsafe consumer products. These are just a few examples, but despite the commonality, there remains a great deal of misunderstanding about personal injury claims.West Palm Beach injury lawyers

Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers are writing today to help clear up some Florida injury lawsuit myths. 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

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

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