Articles Tagged with car accident lawsuit

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Part of securing damages for your car accident injuries means not only proving the defendant motorist was at-fault in the crash, but also showing that the causal nature and extent of your injuries. Some Florida car accident trials center solely around these facts, with defendants arguing you weren’t as seriously injured as you allege or that the injuries you attribute to the crash were caused by something else. car accident lawyer

Proving negligence means showing:

  • Defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care (in these cases, that driver had a responsibility to drive with reasonable care);
  • Defendant breached that duty;
  • Breach caused plaintiff’s injuries.

A recent case out of Nebraska shows how critical that causal element is in securing financial compensation.  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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The first question that often arises in injury litigation is whether the defendant was negligent in causing plaintiff’s injuries. But the second – and equally important – element is damages. That is, to what extent did plaintiff suffer? How can that suffering be quantified? car accident

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers do this with a number of approaches, depending on the individual circumstances. It could include production of medical bills. It could include testimony of expert witnesses, such as orthopedic surgeons. It will mean looking at how the plaintiff’s ability to earn money and make a living has been impacted, both in the past and in the future. It could mean delving into the effect the incident has had on plaintiff’s personal relationships and overall quality of life. The question of damages cannot be overlooked.

Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy to prove as it may seem. In the recent case of Gilliam v. Immel, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed a ruling in which plaintiff proved that defendant was liable for the crash, but failed to show her injuries should compel him to pay damages.  Continue reading →

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Typically when someone is injured at work, the exclusive remedy they will have from their employer is workers’ compensation. This is true even if it was the wrongdoing of the company or the co-worker who caused the accident that resulted in serious injury.driving

There are some very narrow exceptions in which the law will allow workers to go outside these bounds and seek additional compensation from these parties. One of those involves some type of intentional harm or actions that the company knew would likely cause the worker to be injured. This is often very difficult to prove. However, a case out of Washington State recently carves out another interesting exception. It won’t apply to every case in which a co-worker is negligent in causing a work-related injury, but it may be worth considering when weighing whether to take legal action.

The case is Entila v. Cook, and it was decided recently by the Washington Supreme Court. This was a case where plaintiff was on his way in to work, crossing an access road on company property, when he was struck by a car driven by a co-worker and seriously injured. The injured worker was able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Normally, this would mean his co-worker would be immune from any liability. However, plaintiff alleged his co-worker was not immune from a third-party liability claim because the co-worker was not acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the crash. Continue reading →

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As Fort Myers personal injury attorneys, we handle many cases that involve third-person liability. Regardless of the type of incident – whether it’s a construction accident or a car accident or a slip-and-fall – there are four necessary elements one must prove in order to prevail. Those are:

  • Duty.
  • Breach.
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People might assume that a vehicle legally owned by a multi-million dollar corporation is adequately insured. But when it comes to rental cars, they may find themselves disappointed. car crash

Approximately 1 in 4 drivers in Florida has no insurance, despite law that requires it. Florida’s vicarious liability laws consider motor vehicles to be a dangerous instrumentality, which means vehicle owners (if different from the driver) can be held responsible for injuries caused – even if the owner wasn’t directly negligent. It used to be that rental car companies were included. However, the 2005 passage of a federal law known as the Graves Amendment eliminated this avenue of financial recovery. The Graves Amendment, codified in 49 U.S.C. 30106, preempts and abolishes any state statute or common law precedent that held rental or leasing agencies vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their drivers – except when the owner was negligent or engaged in criminal wrongdoing.

When drivers rent a vehicle, he or she is given the option to purchase insurance through the rental car company. However, they aren’t required to do so and many don’t. Further, it’s not unheard of for rental car companies to rent vehicles to drivers with no insurance. But that effectively leaves the vehicle with no insurance in the event of a crash. So what’s the best way to protect yourself? Uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. Yet even then, as the recent case of Martin v. Powers shows, injured plaintiffs may still find themselves in for a fight.  Continue reading →

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Uninsured/ underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage is essential for all Florida motorists, as it provides the policyholder and other insureds with coverage in the event of collision with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. cars

However, F.S. 627.727(7) allows insurers to avoid paying damages under UM/UIM policies for claims of pain, suffering, mental anguish or inconvenience unless the injury or disease involves:

  • Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability (beyond scarring or disfigurement);
  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement;
  • Death.

This was the statute that felled the bad faith insurance claim made by plaintiff in Cadle v. GEICO, recently weighed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Continue reading →

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Headlines recently centered on a pregnant reality television personality who is being sued in connection with a car accident – despite the fact that she was nowhere near the scene when it happened. caroncurve

Blac Chyna has been named in a personal injury lawsuit that seeks damages for medical expenses, lost wage and pain and suffering. The makeup artist and fiancee of Rob Kardashian reportedly allowed a friend to drive her BMW last November. That friend was later accused of felony hit-and-run when she allegedly ran a stop sign and struck plaintiff’s sport utility vehicle, causing injury to herself and a passenger.

Now, plaintiff alleges the owner of the vehicle should be liable for negligent entrustment, which is that defendant knew or should have known the person to whom she loaned her vehicle was a poor driver but allowed her to drive the car anyway.  Continue reading →

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The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ruled that the $900,000 limit and the amount of premiums paid for an underinsured motorist policy is irrelevant to a claim for benefits and breach of contract. As such, that evidence was excluded from trial. carcrash6

In Lucca v. GEICO, plaintiff suffered injuries after he was involved in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver.

At-fault driver had a $100,000 bodily injury policy. However, plaintiff alleged this was insufficient to cover all his damages. His car at the time was insured by defendant GEICO.  Continue reading →

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The family of four was on their way to a school play at a local high school. They were just minutes from it starting. Meanwhile, a 20-year-old driving a turbocharged BMW was heading home after picking up some Chinese takeout for his family. He was traveling at a mind-bending 115 mph – 70 mph over the speed limit on the Maryland road. hotvehicles1

The crash was described by The Washington Post as “thunderous.” The BMW struck the Chevrolet Volt at a broadside angle. Although horrified onlookers tried valiantly to rescue the family in the Volt – uprooting a metal sign so they could fight to pry the door open, smashing the rear car window and a doctor who crawled into the car to try to administer medical attention – three of the four inside perished. The sole survivor lost her mother, father and her 18-year-old brother, her only sibling, in that crash. She suffered life-threatening injuries, but ultimately survived.

Meanwhile, the driver of that BMW was in hysterics nearby. “It’s all my fault!” he could be heard screaming.  Continue reading →