Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Recently, a 29-year-old car accident victim was awarded $16 million+ following a protracted Florida legal battle against her own auto insurance company. Although multi-million dollar verdicts are not the norm for most Florida crash cases, our Palm Beach car accident attorneys are sometimes asked about what type of damages one can expect in a typical crash case.Palm Beach car accident lawyer

It’s important to note that every auto accident case is different. Still, factors that can play into the amount a person expects to receive can include:

  • The severity of injuries involved.
  • Who was at-fault (and to what extent – if at all – the plaintiff/injured person shares fault).
  • Whether the at-fault parties are adequately insured.
  • How many victims there were (the more victims, typically the less money available per victim).
  • Whether the injured parties are covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Now let’s look at the facts of the recent $16 million car accident verdict, as detailed by The Florida Times-Union. Continue reading

Good Samaritan laws have been enacted throughout the country with the initial intention of protecting medical personnel from legal liability for rendering aid to someone in a medical emergency outside a traditional hospital setting. Here in Florida, F.S. 768.13 protects not only health care providers and those licensed to practice medicine but any person from liability when they gratuitously and in good faith rendered emergency medical care or treatment either in direct response to an emergency situation or arising out of a declared public health emergency. West Palm Beach injury lawyers

While a health care professional’s code of ethics might compel them to offer medical assistance in an emergency situation, the state’s Good Samaritan law does not require anyone to help others in an emergency situation. However if they choose to do so, they must exercise reasonable care. The law will impose liability when someone’s failure to exercise reasonable care exacerbates the risk of injury to another person. It doesn’t apply in cases where the victim rejects help or when the volunteer is somehow compensated for their help.

But what happens when the Good Samaritan is the one injured?

As South Florida car accident lawyers, we’ve come across this scenario more than once. Recently in Riverview, Florida, a Good Samaritan in his 20s was killed while assisting others just after a multiple vehicle crash on I-75 just before 3 a.m. Local news outlets reported a 19-year-old in a Toyota swerved out of his lane, striking the back of a semi-truck before overturning in the outside lane of the highway. The semi truck driver, who was not hurt, stopped and pulled over on the shoulder to assist. The driver of a third vehicle then slowed down to pull over onto the shoulder when a fourth vehicle failed to slow down and rear-ended the third vehicle. Then the Good Samaritan approached and pulled over to help the other motorists. Just then, a semi truck carrying plywood approached, struck the first vehicle that was turned over on its side, then the back of the next car which was shoved into the next car. The Good Samaritan was struck by that third vehicle. The semi truck pulling the plywood crashed into a guardrail, where the load separated and fell into a ravine. The Good Samaritan was the only one killed. Continue reading

Thanksgiving is all about gathering and good eats. Lots of folks are especially excited about this year’s festivities, as pandemic-related restrictions have increasingly eased. However, many holiday safety concerns persist year after year.Palm Beach injury lawyer

As longtime South Florida injury lawyers, the cases we handle almost all involve preventable injuries resulting from the failure of someone else to use reasonable care – not necessarily because they meant to cause harm, but simply because they weren’t careful. If at all possible, we want people to avoid associating joyful holidays like Thanksgiving with sadness or regret. That’s why we urge everyone to take a few minutes to ensure they’re being as safe as possible – behind the wheel, in front of the stove, through the stores, and at the table.

Driving Dangers on Thanksgiving

Emotional and mental distress are common for anyone who’s been injured in a violent car accident. However, when considering claims for emotional distress or mental anguish, the Florida impact rule (also called the physical impact rule) requires claimants prove either:

  • They also experienced some physical impact, OR
  • Their emotional injuries were somehow manifested physically.

There are a few exceptions, but mostly, you will have a very tough time securing damages for emotional distress (anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, etc.) in Florida if you didn’t personally suffer a physical injury too.car accident lawyer

Generally speaking, a physical injury is a key element in crash claims. Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys often also seek compensation for emotional distress on behalf of our clients, but not without this element. Claims solely involving emotional distress can be exceedingly difficult, though not entirely impossible. It really depends on the individual circumstances. Clients should know upfront the potential challenges of such claims, and consult with several injury attorneys before deciding the next step. Continue reading

Florida lawmakers want to put the brakes on the state’s decades-old no-fault car insurance law. Both the state Senate and House passed a measure that would repeal the seventies-era statute requiring personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in favor of a system that would instead require all drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage.West Palm Beach car accident lawyer

Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys know the decision, which is now in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ court, could have a significant impact in the way we pursue damages in Florida car accident cases.

This state is one of only a handful remaining that uses the no-fault system of car insurance. As it stands, all vehicle owners are required per F.S. 627.736 to purchase PIP, which offers up to $10,000 in medical expense and wage loss reimbursements per crash and $5,000 for funeral expenses, regardless of fault. Those figures have stayed the same since 1979 (seven years after the law first went into effect), failing to keep a realistic pace with current medical expenses and other costs. Further, a more recent update to the law caps the recovery amount to $2,500 if the injuries don’t require emergency treatment. Continue reading

Many Floridians are tired, overworked or even exhausted. Behind the wheel, this can be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 700 people are killed annually in drowsy driving accidents. The true number is probably much higher. Unfortunately, driver fatigue isn’t as easy to ascertain as conditions like alcohol impairment, even though the effects are similar. An earlier analysis indicated nearly 40,000 accident-related injuries in the U.S. annually are caused by sleepy drivers.West Palm Beach car accident lawyers

In Florida recently, three people – including two sisters – were tragically killed in an overnight highway crash while returning from vacation. Authorities speculated drowsy driving was the cause.

“We believe this driver may have been just tired,” an FHP official told the local news station. “Just drowsy. He did not state that, but that’s indicative of this type of crash that we see especially in the overnight hours.”

How Does Sleep Affect One’s Driving Abilities? 

As noted by the Sleep Foundation, drowsiness can have a significant impact on a driver’s judgment, coordination, attention, vigilance, decision-making skills, and reaction time. Continue reading

Personal injury litigation is the most common type of civil action in Florida courts. Car accident claims in particular are ubiquitous. Many of these will be settled prior to trial, but it’s important to understand that unless your degree of injury meets something called the “serious injury threshold,” your case won’t gain much traction.South Florida injury attorney

Florida is one of the few states that adheres to a no-fault system when it comes to car insurance. Vehicle owners are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as outlined in F.S. 627.736. This provides up to $10,000 in coverage for medical bills and lost wages incurred in a crash, regardless of who caused it. Property damage liability coverage is separate.

For minor car accidents, PIP coverage may be more than enough. But if someone suffers serious injuries, that amount won’t go very far. Still, Florida law sets a serious injury threshold for personal injury recovery in car accident cases. In other words, your injuries must meet certain criteria in order to pursue damages against the at-fault driver. Some bruising on your arm and face probably won’t cut it, but if you’ve suffered broken bones or torn tendons, it might. Continue reading

Any car accident can be traumatic and stressful. But when you are pregnant, all of this is compounded two-fold. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that car accidents are a top cause of injury and death for pregnant women and a leading cause of traumatic fetal death. pregnant car accident Florida

As our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys can explain, crashes can present unique and scary complications for both mother and child. Knowing some of these unique risks and what should be done immediately after can help empower victims and increase your chances for fair compensation from negligent drivers.

See a Doctor – Even if You Feel Fine

First thing’s first: If you’re in a crash, get to the doctor right away, even if you aren’t transported to a hospital via ambulance. This is a critical precautionary measure for both you and your unborn child. Continue reading

Holidays are often cause for gathering, good food – and spirits. Although we typically think of New Year’s Eve as the most boozy, it’s Thanksgiving weekend that has the worst track record for drunk driving crashes and deaths.Thanksgiving drunk driving

More than 800 people died on U.S. roads over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday evening to Sunday evening surrounding the fourth Thursday in November) in a recent five-year period. That’s according to the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even more were seriously injured in drunk driving crashes. Forty-five percent of drivers involved in fatal drunk driving crashes over the holiday weekend were between the ages of 21 and 34.

Some have taken to calling these alcohol- and marijuana-laden holiday gatherings “Blackout Wednesday” and “Danksgiving.”. Upserve reports bar sales for beer increases 270 percent for  for beer 114 percent for liquor over the Thanksgiving holiday. Continue reading

If you’re thinking of allowing someone to borrow your car, you may want to think twice. Florida’s longstanding dangerous instrumentality doctrine allows vehicle owners to be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of those permitted to operate their vehicle. It can even apply to Florida vehicle owners when crashes occur in other states (more on that later).Palm Beach car accident lawyer

The dangerous instrumentality doctrine holds that an owner of an inherently dangerous tool can be legally responsible for any injuries that result from operation of that tool. Most people don’t consider cars to be “tools,” but they were established as such by the Florida Supreme Court in the 1920 decision of Southern Cotton Oil v. Anderson. The effect of that ruling was that vehicle owners could be subject to strict vicarious liability, meaning that basically the owner – and everyone whose name is listed on the title – could be held financially responsible for a crash as if they themselves were in the driver’s seat. Continue reading

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