Articles Tagged with auto accident attorney

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Most car accident lawsuits are a simple matter of proving negligence, shown by establishing:

  • Duty owed to plaintiff (i.e., duty to other motorists to obey laws and act in a reasonably prudent manner);
  • Breach of duty (carelessness or violation of law);
  • Causation (breach of duty caused the accident);
  • Damages (plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the accident).personal injury lawyer

However, there are some Florida auto accident cases that delve into more complex areas of law because they involve a negligent driver who was either on-the-job or at least furthering an employer’s business at the time of the crash. In these cases, the employer can be held vicariously liable for the worker’s negligence. This means plaintiff doesn’t have to prove employer was negligent, only that worker was in fact an employee (as opposed to an independent contractor) and was acting in the scope of employment when crash occurred. This legal theory is referred to as “respondeat superior,” which is Latin for “Let the master answer.”

If there is evidence an employer was negligent also (i.e., negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision, negligent vehicle maintenance, etc.), the company could be found both directly and vicariously liable. A skilled personal injury attorney in Fort Myers can help you sort out the type of case you have and identify all potential defendants.  Continue reading →

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While 90 percent of all auto accidents are caused by human mistakes, 1 in 10 are caused by some other factor, including poor road conditions. That could include some dangers posed by inclement weather, but primarily, we’re talking about conditions of the actual road or traffic engineering that make it unsafe.cracked yellow line

Some examples might include:

  • Obscured road signs;
  • Worn/ uneven surfaces;
  • Defective guardrails;
  • Tar overbanding;
  • Potholes;
  • Poor drainage;
  • Ill-positioned tree/ pole/ bridge;
  • Faded paint on the road;
  • Inoperative/ non-existent traffic signals.

All these elements are the responsibility of city, county or state governments to maintain. A 2009 study commissioned by the Transportation Construction Coalition revealed that over the course of 18 months,  poor highway design and conditions are a factor (if not the cause) of about half of all fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. Study authors opined bad highway design played a role in more motor vehicle deaths than speeding, failure to wear a seat belt and alcohol use. Continue reading →

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A foreign exchange student from Spain, seriously injured in a crash while riding in a friend’s car, was insured by her host family’s uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled. highway12

In a case that could serve as a guide in other jurisdictions, justices reviewing the facts of Serra v. Estate of Broughton sought to clarify whether the term “ward” in the auto insurance policy should be defined as a court-ordered arrangement or as its ordinary meaning. The court chose the latter, thereby extending benefits to the injured teen.

Although every auto insurance policy may vary, most contain provisions that extend coverage to resident relatives, frequent drivers and, in some cases, “wards.” In this case, the term “ward” wasn’t defined in the policy, but the trial court decided it should be defined as it had been statutorily. That meant applying a statutory definition in which the individual had a formally-appointed guardian or conservator over his or her person or property. On appeal, plaintiff argued that “ward” should be defined as an ordinary term because the policy lacked a definition and thus was ambiguous in this regard. When insurance policies are ambiguous, courts have generally held disputes should be determined in favor of the insured. Continue reading →