Articles Tagged with car accident attorney Fort Myers

In today’s bustling world, where vehicles are an integral part of our daily lives, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. While we hope that everyone on the road is adequately insured, the reality is that not all motorists carry sufficient insurance coverage to protect themselves and others. That’s where Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) stacking coverage comes into play, and its importance cannot be overstated.

In the 50 years we’ve been in Southwest Florida, we have seen countless clients struggle with the aftermath of accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists. In this blog post, we aim to shed light on the significance of UM/UIM stacking coverage and why every responsible driver should consider adding it to their auto insurance policy.

Understanding Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

The goal of any civil injury litigation attorney is to either resolve the matter favorably for a client in a pre-trial settlement or to secure a winning verdict at trial. Unfortunately, law, as in life, is not always so clean-cut, and some cases prove more challenging than others. At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we believe in our cases and our clients and we will fight tirelessly to obtain fair compensation for their injuries.drivefast

However, we also recognize that in some situations, appealing part or all of a verdict may be in a client’s best interest. For this reason, it is imperative to make your injury lawsuit appealable. The legal war isn’t necessarily over when you receive an unfavorable trial court judgment. In some cases, you can appeal that finding. Doing so could result in a reversal, an order for a new trial or an order for increased damages. In order to get to that point, your case needs to be appealable.

What does this mean? In general, it includes:

  • Keeping the record clean by immediately correcting any misstatement by the court or the opposing counsel;
  • Taking remedial measures to clean up prejudicial evidence and preserve the evidence if it remains (i.e., filing a motion for mistrial if prejudicial evidence gets before a jury);
  • Preserve objections to the court’s imperfect jury instructions;
  • Preserve appellate arguments post-trial with careful post-trial motions (i.e., motions for judgment notwithstanding verdict, motions to modify/ correct/ reform judgment, motions for a new trial, etc.)

Continue reading ›

In its most recent CDC Vital Signs update, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that while the reduction of motor vehicle deaths over the last 50 years was one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century, we’ve still got a long way to go. carwithkeys

Each year, more than 32,000 people are killed and another 2 million are injured in traffic collisions in this country, and as of 2013, the fatality rate in motor vehicle accidents was double that of other higher-earning nations. Part of it is that we have a lower front seat belt usage rate than other countries, and still 1 in 3 of all our deadly crashes involves a driver who has been drinking. One-third also involve speeding.

The Vital Signs report was about highlighting some of these achievements, and underscoring what needs to be done to further drive down the numbers, which have hovered around this 30,000 mark for years now. If the U.S. was on par with 19 of the other high-income nations in terms of motor vehicle deaths, we’d be saving 18,000 lives every single year, bringing our annual total down to about 14,000 motor vehicle deaths yearly.  Continue reading ›

The two parents may have been divorced, but they both loved their teenage son and wanted to make sure he was adequately covered in the event of an auto accident. That’s why they each had an auto insurance policy – albeit from the same company – that named him as an insured in the event of a car accident with an uninsured/ underinsured motorist. caraccident6

Tragically, that’s just what happened. The teen was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another young friend, who lost control of her brother’s vehicle and crashed. He sustained severe, disabling and permanent injuries.

Seeking to ensure their son’s needs would be taken care of, his parents first pursued coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurer. The car was covered by its owner’s insurance, but that only offered $25,000. That was a drop in the bucket compared to what he’d need. Still, the at-fault driver’s insurer agreed to pay the policy limits. That left the injured teen’s parents to seek compensation from each of their underinsured motorist policies. It wasn’t disputed the teen’s damages well exceeded $600,000 – the total sum of both policies together. But the question in Gearhart v. Mutual of Enumclaw Ins. was whether anti-stacking provisions in each of those policies meant the plaintiff’s were only entitled to a total of $300,000 in protection – the value of just one of those policies – or whether the anti-stacking language was invalid and they were entitled to the full $600,000 sum. Continue reading ›

Underinsured motorist benefits are one of the most important types of coverage any Floridian can purchase. That’s because it will ensure adequate coverage in the event you are injured in an accident with a driver who lacks enough insurance to fully cover your damages. carcrash4

Most UIM policies, however, will require that you first exhaust the coverage limits of the underinsured motorist before filing a claim for UIM benefits through your own insurer.

This isn’t unusual. However, where one auto insurer in the case of State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Jakubowicz ran into trouble was in setting further limits and conditions that rendered its policy ambiguous. This matter was recently before the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled that because the policy was ambiguous, it would be construed in favor of the insured.  Continue reading ›

Auto insurance policies all carry limits, which specify the maximum insurer will pay per person who is injured and how much it will pay for the entire accident. stop

So for example, a policy with a $125,000 per person limit and a $250,000 per accident limit will pay a maximum of $250,000 – no matter how many people get hurt. So the fewer victims there are, the more they stand to receive – up to the per-person limit of $125,000. However, if three people are injured and each of their injuries are equal and exceed $125,000, the most each stands to receive under that policy would be $83,333.

But as in any policy or contract, the language must not be ambiguous. Any ambiguity in a policy should be skewed in favor of the plaintiff.  Continue reading ›

In most car accident lawsuits, plaintiffs take action against at-fault drivers and their insurance companies. Sometimes, plaintiffs may file uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage through their own auto insurer if the at-fault driver’s coverage is inadequate. wetroad

However, the possibility that a government agency may be responsible for poor construction or maintenance of a roadway can’t be overlooked. This is especially true in single-vehicle accidents. If it can be shown the government agency owed a duty to keep the road in a reasonably safe condition, and its failure resulted in injury to someone using the road, that may be grounds for compensation.

Such cases require extensive analysis from at least one and possibly more expert witnesses and a law firm with ample resources to ensure all necessary information can be gathered in preparation. Continue reading ›

Contact Information