Articles Tagged with car accident lawyer

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car accidentFlorida lawmakers have passed a tougher measure aimed at texting drivers. Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys continue to see far too many collisions caused by distraction and view this as a long overdue step in the right direction.

The new law, which awaits Gov. Ron Desantis’ signature, makes texting (including messaging, emailing and other forms of typing on a mobile device) a primary violation, meaning an officer can stop and cite a motorist without other cause for the traffic stop. Under current law, a texting violation is a secondary offense, meaning a motorist can only be cited once stopped for committing another traffic violation.

In January, we wrote on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog about the lack of progress Florida lawmakers have made when it comes to improving traffic safety. Florida continues to lag far behind most other states by almost every measure. AAA reports 44 other states already have laws as strong or stronger on the books. More than half of all states ban all hand-held cell phone use by drivers as studies continue to show hands-free options contribute to a significant number of serious and fatal distracted driving accidents.

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A 36-year-old North Port man was killed this week in a rollover crash in North Fort Myers.jeep-300x200

The Florida Highway Patrol reports the incident happened about 10:15 p.m. Saturday on U.S.-41 near the intersection of Avenue A. The victim was traveling southbound with a female passenger and three children in a 2000 Jeep Wrangler when he veered into the median, causing the vehicle to overturn and flip several times, according to NBC News. 

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and was killed. FHP reports he was not wearing a seat belt. The female passenger and a 5-year-old child were both critically injured. The other two children were treated for injuries described as minor. Both were wearing seat belts.

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As we end Distracted Driving Awareness Month we wanted to take a look at the most common causes of driver distraction besides cell phones.

Without question, introduction of the smartphone in the last decade has been the biggest factor when it comes to the increased risk of distracted drivers on the road. Today’s drivers not only use their phones to talk and text, but also for navigation, music, and social media. Each of these activities involves all three types of distraction – visual, cognitive and manual – making them among the most dangerous distractive behaviors engaged in by drivers.driver at a glance

But similar concerns met introduction of the AM radio into automobiles, as well as introduction of the 8-track tape deck as a standard option in the 1960s. When it comes to driver distraction, our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know it’s a safety mindset that will best protect you from being involved in a collision.

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The Florida Highway Patrol brought extra enforcement to Southwest Florida to open the spring break and baseball spring training season.

“Operation Safe DRIVE” is the patrol’s campaign to reduce serious and fatal traffic accidents through Distracted Reckless Impaired Visibility Enforcement.car accident

“Motorists can reduce crashes if they share the roads safely, avoid aggressive driving behaviors and exercise additional caution when driving near larger vehicles,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have posted here about the added risks of driving in Southwest Florida, particularly from now until Easter.

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Self-driving cars, while not yet fully autonomous, provide motorists with the opportunity to cede some of the control behind the wheel. There is much evidence that this is a whole lot safer, as driver error is the primary cause of auto accidents in Florida. However, it has also meant the question of liability has become a vexing one. If a crash happens, who was in control – the driver or the auto manufacturer? car accident lawyer

Recently in California, the state Department of Motor Vehicles announced it would not adopt a rule (recommended by General Motors) that would allow manufacturers of automobiles to evade liability for car accidents wherein the self-driving vehicle hasn’t been maintained to the letter of the manufacturer’s specifications. Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog calls the decision a “major victory for consumers,” according to the Associated Press. The rules, as proposed by the automaking industry, would have effectively absolved producers of these vehicles of product liability for things like the owner’s failure to properly clean the vehicle sensors or having a tire that was slightly under-inflated or not precisely meeting oil change recommendations.

Although it is true that vehicle owners have a responsibility to adequately maintain their vehicles (or face potential liability when failure to do so results in an injurious crash), these kinds of stringent maintenance requirements don’t exist for the standard human-driven vehicle.  Continue reading →

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Although the majority of car accident lawsuits in Florida are either settled or dismissed prior to trial, it’s important to work with an attorney you know will be prepared for the possibility of a trial. In the event that settlement negotiations break down and defendants are unwilling to extend a fair agreement to our clients, our Fort Myers trial lawyers are willing to do exactly that, and have a long history of success in such matters. It’s important that when you’re looking for a car accident attorney in Lee County that you ask about their trial experience, even if it seems unlikely the case will proceed to that point. This is especially important in cases involving serious injury or death. car accident attorney

Recently in Miami, a wrong-way crash victim was awarded $4.7 million by jurors in a car accident lawsuit that advanced to trial.

The Daily Business Review reports the head-on collision occurred in 2012 on Interstate 95. Although fault in a case like this may seem relatively easy to prove, this case was made even more challenging by the fact plaintiff was adamant about not testifying in front of the jury. In fact, she didn’t even want to enter the courtroom during the proceedings, citing the immense trauma she suffered after the crash. Just 20-years-old at the time of the crash, plaintiff had been a passenger in her friend’s vehicle when they were struck in Broward County around 3 a.m. by the wrong-way car. Continue reading →

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When examining liability for a South Florida car accident, our injury lawyers in Cape Coral will of course first examine the negligence of the other. We’ll examine the potential vicarious liability claims of the vehicle owner, the driver’s employer and the motor carrier (if applicable). We may even look closely at whether there was a vehicle defect that would render the auto manufacturer or repair shop responsible to cover damages. In some cases, the local county or municipality could be liable too if there is evidence the entity failed in its duty to maintain public roads.car accident

It’s not often in these cases that we will lodge a premises liability claim – but it’s not something that should be discounted. Premises liability involves the responsibility of property owners to maintain their site in a reasonably safe condition. Usually, these types of claims would include things like slip-and-fall accidents or trip-and-falls or drownings. However, it may arise in a car accident claim if there is evidence some condition on the property that posed a danger to drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians. There are a number of successful Florida premises liability claims that have stemmed from car accident injuries.

The California Supreme Court recently considered one such case involving a pedestrian accident that resulted in the injury of a church member who was struck crossing the street from the church overflow parking lot to the main parking lot on his way to attend services. The court ruled that a landowner does not owe a duty of care to assist invitees to cross a public street when the landowner maintain a parking lot requiring invitees to cross the street to access the landowner’s main site – as long as the typical dangers of a public street aren’t in some way magnified or hidden by some condition of the landowner’s property or by some action taken by the landowner.  Continue reading →

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When someone’s negligence causes injury to another, victims can pursue compensation. Negligence is generally understood as the failure to use reasonable care when one was required to do so. In some cases, injury to another is the result of a criminal act. On the road, some criminal acts also amount to negligence, though the criminal and civil cases will be handled by the separate courts, respectively. car accident

The primary purpose of a criminal court is to attain justice for the state (on behalf of the victim). The purpose of civil court is to ascertain whether one is owed compensation, and if so, determine how much is necessary to make the victim “whole.” Restitution to the victim is not the primary purpose of the criminal justice system – but it can be a consideration for certain crimes. The impact this will have on a pending civil case should be discussed with an experienced injury attorney in Cape Coral.

F.S. 775.089 holds that restitution can be ordered by the court (in addition to any punishment) for:

  • Damages or losses caused directly or indirectly by defendant’s offense;
  • Damages or losses related to the defendant’s criminal episode.

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Most car accident auto insurance settlements are handled quietly and often rather quickly. Those involving the death may take longer, but even then, it often doesn’t generate headlines. A recent case out of South Florida was different for the fact that an auto liability insurer, while conceding all the evidence unequivocally shows their client to be the clear victim, agreed to pay families of several teens who died while joyriding in a stolen car. car accident attorney

It’s somewhat of a unique case, but it also illustrates the various avenues of recovery that may be available to those involved in serious car accidents, even when there is evidence they are partially (or, as in this case, largely) to blame.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, the 29-year-old insured was on his way to work at a grocery store in Tampa around 4 a.m. when a sport utility vehicle barreled through a red light at 112 mph, slamming into his compact car. He would later learn that the vehicle had been stolen and the driver was 16-years-old with no license. The driver and two of his three passengers – all young teens – were killed. A fourth survived and was later charged with grand theft auto.  Continue reading →

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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 →