Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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April is distracted driving month. phone

Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Florida Sheriffs Association and AAA are teaming up to promote Distracted Driving Awareness month, and urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Last year in Florida, approximately 50,000 crashes involved a driver who was distracted. It’s an action that substantially impairs reaction time, resulting in an estimated five crashes in this state every single hour.  Continue reading →

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Florida senators overseeing the state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a bill that would establish regulations and insurance mandates for popular ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. driver at a glance

SB 340 passed by a margin of 7-2.

If the bill makes its way through the entire state senate, it would establish a statewide regulatory framework for all drivers of the ridesharing service. This would include parameters regarding how much insurance coverage drivers would need to carry when they are not covered by the rideshare service’s plan. Continue reading →

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Car accidents are increasingly common in the U.S. A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that unfortunately, children are not immune to the risks. child

As you may know, motor vehicle crashes are on of the main killers of children under 14, who comprise about 19 percent of the total population. Of the more than 35,000 people killed in traffic crashes in 2015, 3 percent were children. What’s especially troubling is that there were 1,132 children reportedly killed in car accidents in 2015, and this marked a 5 percent increase from the 1,073 who lost their lives in 2014.

What this means is that every day, three innocent children were killed in crashes. Another 487 were injured, amounting to 178,000 for the year. Of those fatal crashes in which we know the status of child restraint use (775 cases), 39 percent weren’t wearing a seat belt or properly strapped in to a car seat. We also can’t overlook the fact that children made up 4 percent of all pedestrian accident fatalities (223 out of 5,376) and five percent of all bicycle accident deaths (44 out of 818). Additionally, 16 percent of child crash victims died in alcohol-related crashes.  Continue reading →

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A recent analysis by The Tampa Bay Times, looking at figures from the Florida Highway Patrol, reveals hit-and-run crashes in Florida are on the rise. road

This creates a troubling situation not just for law enforcement companies, but for victims who are injured by someone else’s negligence with no one to hold accountable. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers know there are sometimes a few different avenues to pursue in these cases, but it does often make the process more difficult.

Last year, there were more than 99,000 hit-and-run crashes in Florida, representing a 26 percent uptick since 2013, when there were about 78,660. Some of these were simple fender-benders, while others were major collisions, resulting in serious personal injury and death. In fact, 179 people did lose their lives in these crashes.  Continue reading →

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The Japanese auto product manufacturer pleaded guilty recently to fraud as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in which it agreed to pay $1 billion in penalties for concealing an airbag defect that’s been blamed for at least 16 deaths and dozens of injuries.drive

However, this is likely not the end of the story. For one thing, there are pending civil lawsuits in Miami alleging product liability resulting in serious injury and wrongful death.

Additionally, Ford recently issued a safety recall of approximately 32,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to replace defective Takata airbags in newer models. The automaker reported that while it was unsure whether any accidents or injuries were connected to the defect, the issue was certain airbags had been shown not to fully inflate in the event of a crash. In some instances, the airbag even became detached from the wheel.  Continue reading →

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Thirty-seven years this May is the grim anniversary of the collapse of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg. In 1980, the southbound span, which opened in 1971, was destroyed when a freighter collided with the pier during a thunderstorm. This caused some 1,200 feet of the bridge to go tumbling into Tampa Bay, taking six cars, a truck and a Greyhound bus with it. In all, 35 people were killed. Only one man survived the bridge collapse.bridge2

Liability was later deemed to be on the shoulders of the shipping company, though it called into question the structural integrity of bridges statewide. These are the kinds of incidents one must anticipate: Crashes, natural disasters and everyday erosion.

Recently, reporters from The Washington Post conducted an analysis of the structural integrity of bridges nationally, creating a database searchable by county.  Continue reading →

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A federal appeals court reversed a $3 million judgment in favor of a personal injury plaintiff who alleged a defective vehicle caused him to suffer serious injuries in a 2012 car accident. The court ruled that expert witness testimony pertaining to the speed control cable should not have been admitted. Specifically, the appellate court ruled, the precedent set in the 1993 case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals meant the trial court had a duty to perform certain gatekeeping functions with regard to its expert witnesses, and yet the court failed to do so.gavel

According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the most recent case, plaintiff was driving his pickup truck, which he had recently purchased, on a road in West Virginia. He was traveling about 50 mph when he realized he was unable to slow down when he let up on the accelerator pedal. He tried to slow the pickup by applying the brakes, but this did not work. In order to avoid hitting anyone else, he turned the truck off the road, drove over a curb and crashed his vehicle into a brick wall of a local business. The tires continued spinning for about half a minute after the engine shut down.

There was no indication the vehicle previously had problems with the accelerator, throttle or cruise control.  Continue reading →

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The question of whether a person is a permissive user of a motor vehicle under a standard auto insurance policy can be an important one in determining whether indemnity and coverage will be provided.car

This is usually of great interest to both parties in an injury lawsuit. The defendant wants to make sure they are going to have their legal expenses covered and not be personally liable for any damages awarded at trial, while plaintiff wants to make sure they have the best shot at actually recovering damages if they win. Most people do not have the personal wealth to cover these kinds of verdicts, so it’s usually in everyone’s best interest if the insurer provides coverage.

Different states have taken different approaches to whether permission is given.  There is express permission, in which a person just before that trip hands over the keys and says, “Here, use my car.” There are variations of this ranging from the initial permission rule (permission is initially given and coverage continues even though the user deviates from the original terms of use), minor deviation rule (user deviates to a small extent from the original terms of use) and conversion rule (vehicle has to be used in the scope of permission granted). Continue reading →

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Florida received one of the worst rankings for gaps in highway safety laws, which are costing lives on our roads every day. The ranking was issued by Advocates for Highway Auto Safety in its most recent report, 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. The 58-page report begins by detailing the fact that we’ve had two consecutive years nationally of rising death rates on our roads. In 2015, there were nearly 35,100 people killed in motor vehicle accidents, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. That’s a bigger increase than we’ve seen in almost 50 years, and Florida has followed similar trends. car accident

The Florida Department of Transportation reported in 2015 that there were 374,350 total crashes that year, an increase of almost 9 percent from the previous year. As far as fatal crashes, there were 2,700 in 2015, which was an increase of 15.5 percent from the year before. There were an average of 1,025 crashes every day in the Sunshine State in 2015, versus 943 the previous year.

One of the main reasons, according to Roadmap researchers, has to do with the fact that states are failing to enact – or maintain – the kinds of legislation that we know can help save lives. Florida in particular is failing on this front.  Continue reading →

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When word spread that traffic deaths had increased 8 percent in the first nine months of 2016, continuing an alarming surge in roadway fatalities, one of the many explanations offered by traffic safety experts was that there were more people on the roads. However, as The Associated Press pointed out, this is only half the story.traffic

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did note that drivers are logging more miles on the road these days than ever before. However, that doesn’t really give us the full picture because the increase in car accident deaths is actually rising faster than our collective increases in mileage. While crash deaths are up 8 percent, vehicle miles traveled only rose 3 percent during that time frame, according to the NHTSA.

In the first three quarters of 2016, there were nearly 27,900 traffic deaths nationally. That’s compared to the 25,800 recorded during the first eight months of 2015. Continue reading →