Articles Tagged with car accident lawyer

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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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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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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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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

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 majority of Fort Myers car accidents are the direct result of human error. Someone wasn’t paying attention. Someone was too sleepy. Someone was speeding or drunk or misjudged how much time they had before a light. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking to improve safety by mandating in-vehicle technology systems that will allow vehicles to communicate directly with other vehicles and certain infrastructure to counteract the danger caused by human mistakes.driver

It’s called vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication (also sometimes referred to as Connected Vehicle Technology), and the goal would be to require cars, trucks, buses and trains to communicate key safety and mobility information with each other. Creators say it could prevent serious and fatal crashes, reduce congestion and delays and help lower the carbon footprint of the millions of vehicles in motion in the U.S. every day. Considering that car accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for people ages 4 and 11 through 27 (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), this is feature that has the ability to make a huge impact on people’s lives.

Last month, the agency proposed a rule that would require V2V communication on all new light vehicles, allowing them to “talk” to each other and help drive down the number of serious crashes. The agency, in explaining how V2V works, noted that connected vehicles may well transform the way Americans travel. The systems would be connected via short-range communications technology, similar to WiFi. It would be fast, secure and reliable. In addition to vehicles, infrastructure like traffic lights, toll booths and school and work zones would be able to tap into this network to communicate information. Essentially, it will give drivers a 360-degree awareness of what’s happening in situations they can’t possibly see with their own eyes at any given moment.  Continue reading →

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With the goal of reducing the serious risk posed by distracted drivers toying with their cell phones, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed voluntary guidelines to manufacturers of phones and software. One of the key measurements involves a the creation of a “Driver Mode,” akin to the “Airplane Mode,” which shuts off wireless communication that might interfere with modern aircraft systems. In the same way, this “driver mode” would block or modify certain cell phone apps so that a motorist’s attention could stay on the road. phone

These voluntary guidelines were introduced amid news that traffic deaths over the last two years have increased sharply. Yes, part of that is due to falling gas prices and an improved economy, which has more people on the road. However, cell phone distraction is believed to be a substantial part of the problem. If drivers can’t be trusted to put the phones down on their own, then technology companies may need to step in and do it for them – not just for their own sake, but for the safety of those with whom they share the road.

The guidelines call on manufacturers of electronics, such as Samsung and Apple, to alter future operating systems in a way that curtails functionality and simplifies interfaces while the device is inside a vehicle that is moving. There are also requests to develop technology that would be able to determine when devices are being used by a motorist who is driving, while still allowing others who are in the vehicle full access to those features.  Continue reading →

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Holiday road trips are a tradition in the U.S., but they are also a perilous one. With rising costs in airfare, most travelers choose to drive to their destination. traffic

AAA predicts travelers this season will top 100 million. That reflects not just a continuation of the steady year-over-year increase in holiday travel over the last decade, but also the fact that 1 out of every 3 Americans is going to be taking a trip. Rising incomes and lower gas prices are the primary catalyst for this surge. Approximately 92 percent of travelers will drive to their destinations.

Although people often take these trips for granted, complacency is not an option for drivers, who must be sober and alert and prepared for:

  • Dangerous trucks;
  • Impaired drivers;
  • Fatigued motorists;
  • Disabled vehicles;
  • Congested traffic;
  • Careless truckers;
  • Defective vehicles;
  • Inclement weather;
  • Poor road conditions.

Continue reading →

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An elderly south Fort Myers couple died in a car accident as they pulled onto Summerlin Road from their RV resort community, on their way to church. The driver of the vehicle that struck them was also injured. Investigators have concluded the 89-year-old decedent driver was at-fault in the collision. stop sign

According to The News-Press, the crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. when the driver of a 2012 Toyota tried to make a left turn onto Summerlin Road from M-Street, the primary entrance/exit to Siesta Bay RV Resort. He apparently misjudged the time he had to safely clear oncoming traffic and pulled into the path of a driver operating a 2007 Infiniti. Both occupants of the Toyota, the driver and his 87-year-old wife of 60 years, were rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead right away. he died shortly thereafter. The Infiniti driver also had injuries, though is expected to make a recovery.

The collision is still under investigation, but authorities have said that speed and alcohol are not suspected to have been factors. Decedent driver’s brother called the crash a bad mistake. He said his brother didn’t see the other vehicle as it approached. Reporters with Wink News spoke to several residents at the resort, who say they have expressed concerns that the intersection of Summerlin and M Street isn’t safe. There is no traffic light that gives those exiting the neighborhood an opportunity to safely enter traffic, which zooms by at 45 mph (or more, depending on whether motorists are obeying the speed limit).  Continue reading →

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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 →