Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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

The family of a girl killed in a drunk driving crash fueled by alcohol given to her and her boyfriend by a 22-year-old high school basketball coach sought to sue the school district for liability in the case. drunk driving injury attorney

However, the Washington Supreme Court held that the school district could be neither directly or vicariously liable in the case. That does not mean the family is wholly without options in pursuing a claim for wrongful death, but it does mean this is the end of the claim against the school district.

As our dedicated drunk driving death attorneys in West Palm Beach can explain, unlike most car accident lawsuits, drunk driving litigation usually involves more than one defendant, especially when the person who was impaired behind the wheel was a minor who couldn’t lawfully consume alcohol in the first place.

Suing the at-fault driver responsible for your South Florida car accident injuries is really just the first of what could be several legal options. The other driver might be liable for negligent operation of that vehicle, but the vehicle’s owner might be vicariously liable. So too might the driver’s employer, if the driver was acting in the course and scope of employment when they crashed. If the crash was caused in whole or in part due to a defective vehicle or faulty vehicle part, the product designer, manufacturer and/ or marketer could be held responsible too.Palm Beach car accident attorney

Thoroughly investigating the case and identifying and naming potential defendants is imperative because failure to do so could result in you not receiving all the compensation to which you would otherwise be entitled.

In any injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the court will be asked to apportion fault. The defendant driver shares a percentage (sometimes all) of the fault. Sometimes you, the plaintiff, will be assigned a percentage of fault (known as comparative fault, though thankfully in Florida, F.S. 768.81 does not bar you from collecting compensation, even if your damages will be proportionately reduced). Other named defendants may also be apportioned fault, and they will be responsible for paying their fair share. However, if the court finds that a non-party is responsible for some percentage of the blame, you may not be able to collect their share of the damages.

However, there is a bit of good news for plaintiffs who acknowledge there is another potential defendant, but don’t know his/ her identity. (We see this in hit-and-run crashes and so-called “phantom vehicle” cases). The saving grace there is uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) benefits.  Continue reading

Auto insurers in Florida have two duties with regard to their insureds:

  • A responsibility to indemnify, or pay damages for which insured would otherwise be liable (up to policy limits);
  • Duty to defend insured from legal action (i.e., hire a lawyer and help mount a defense).car accident attorney

Even if an insurer argues it doesn’t have a duty to indemnify (the incident is not one that is covered or the person is not one for whom coverage should be extended), there is often still a duty to defend. Failure to adhere can be a form of bad faith insurance. This could ultimately be an issue for plaintiff to deal with directly if the at-fault driver assigns whatever claims he or she might have had against the insurer for this over to plaintiff as part of whatever settlement is ultimately reached.

Insurers are within their rights to outline the parameters under which they will provide coverage, and there are unfortunately a host of rules and exceptions in almost every policy. However, many times insurers will interpret their policies a bit more broadly than they should, which is why it’s important to have an experienced car accident attorney in South Florida who will fight for you and take them to task. Continue reading