Articles Tagged with car accident lawyer

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Initial investigation of a fatal South Florida car accident involving tennis star Venus Williams resulted in law enforcement’s conclusion that Williams was at-fault. However, new video evidence – specifically, surveillance footage obtained form a nearby community just south of the Palm Beach Gardens intersection where the crash occurred – led police to walk back their original findings. car accident

Although Williams is listed in a defendant by decedent’s widow, who was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, police now say it was Williams who was cut off by another vehicle upon entering the intersection. This in turn set off a chain event crash that within seconds resulted in a fatal collision with a third vehicle that critically injured a 78-year-old man who died two weeks later.

His estate, represented by his bride of 33 years, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams, alleging Williams was negligent and seeking damages for medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings, loss of companionship/ consortium and funeral expenses. Although Williams has expressed her “devastation” over the incident, her attorney insisted from the beginning that she was innocent, traveling only 5 mph when she entered the intersection with a green light.

The case underscores how determinations of “fault” in Florida car accidents may not always be a simple, straightforward matter. Eyewitnesses to the very same events can emerge with a different accounting of what happened. Experts must work to piece together what they can with accident reconstruction methodology and technology, but even that sometimes is subjective. Absent clear video footage of the crash – and even that sometimes doesn’t tell the whole story – the truth of what happened may be obscured.  Continue reading →

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“Steer clear of the state of Florida,” the lead sentence of a recent Forbes.com article reads. The reason? Our traffic safety is atrocious, particularly on South Florida highways. Of those that had the most car accident fatalities in the last decade:

  • Florida U.S. 1 – 1,079 deaths
  • Florida U.S. 41 – 772 deaths
  • Florida U.S. 27 – 614 deaths
  • Florida U.S. 441 – 442 deaths
  • Florida U.S. 17 – 420 deaths
  • Florida U.S. 98 – 465 deathshighway

Six of the top 10 deadliest highways in America are right here in the Sunshine State. The Forbes writer referred to these as “death tollways.” The numbers were based on a recent analysis of federal data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by a company called GeoTab.  Continue reading →

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Florida is second only to Louisiana when it comes to the worst states for distracted driving. That’s according to a new study conducted by an online insurance company that used an app called EverDrive to measure behaviors like speeding, aggressive turning, sudden acceleration, hard braking and other dangerous movements while the motorist’s phone was being used behind the wheel. Study authors made sure to exclude measurements of movements that occurred in the car when the phone was in sleep mode or when it was used in hands-free mode (which we know still is not as safe as you might think). iphone

The analysis proved that more than 90 percent of drivers across the country with cell phones have used them while in a moving car at some point in the previous month.

When it came to state rankings, Florida was placed at No. 2. This was based on data from 2.7 million trips and 230 million miles driven, according to the company.  Continue reading →

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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 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 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 →