Articles Tagged with Fort Myers accident attorney

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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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You may have wondered why in injury litigation, we refrain from naming the insurer in the initial action. This is why, for example, you will see spouses suing each other for crash-related injuries, rather than suing the insurance company – even if that’s ultimately the goal.

The reason has to do with the fact that courts have found that the presence or lack of an insurance policy can be prejudicial in a civil case. The thinking is that if a jury is aware that a defendant has ample insurance, they may be more likely to award much higher damages to the victim than they would if they knew the defendant has no insurance and would be personally liable to pay damages.

The courts take this matter extremely serious, which is why the Court of of Appeals of Maryland (the highest court in that state) recently affirmed a reversal of a truck injury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial for a violation of this standard. The court noted that lack of insurance coverage is irrelevant and inadmissible in a lawsuit alleging negligent hiring where the evidence doesn’t establish the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries.  Continue reading →

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Hit-and-run accidents in Florida are on the rise, according to new data from the Florida Highway Patrol. drivefastsaab

Authorities say there were 9 percent more drivers fleeing the scene of serious accidents last year than in 2014. When compared to 2013 figures, there was an astonishing 17 percent hike.

Florida law requires drivers to stop immediately at the scene of a crash that results in injury or death.  Continue reading →

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Everyone knows a texting driver is a dangerous driver. But the consequences for doing so – particularly in Florida – are weak in comparison to the penalty paid by victims. That’s why it keeps happening, and why the number of crashes nationally attributed to texting drivers is now at 340,000, according to the National Safety Council. textinganddriving

In an effort to combat this problem, a group of Florida lawmakers have reintroduced a measure that would empower local law enforcement to make enforcement a greater priority throughout the state. As it now stands, F.S. 316.305, known more broadly as the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law,” stipulates that the violation is a secondary offense. What that means is a law enforcement officer isn’t allowed to stop a driver solely for breaking the texting law. There has to be some other valid reason for the stop, and only then can an officer issue a citation for texting-while-driving.

House Bill 537, introduced by W. Keith Perry (R), would revise this statute to make the violation a primary offense, meaning officers can stop drivers and issue citations for texting. If it passes the legislature, the measure would become effective Oct. 1, 2016 – exactly three years after the initial ban went into effect. Continue reading →

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Auto insurance is required of drivers in Florida, and we trust that when we pay our premiums in full and on time, the insurance companies will do as they promise.carinsurance

However there are many cases in which insurers don’t follow through on their end of the bargain. Even victims who are seriously injured often don’t receive adequate compensation until an experienced personal injury lawyer gets involved. It is the attorney who initiates negotiations that lead to just compensation, usually after the insurance company throws low-ball settlement offers or outright refuses payment. And when insurers dig in their heels and refuse a settlement, it is the lawyer who fights for the rights of the injured at trial.

In a recent case out of Miami, it took 10 years, but a former doctor and his wife may finally be receiving the insurance compensation they deserve, following a horrific crash on I-95. Continue reading →

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Florida courts do not allow plaintiffs in most car accident cases to raise the issue of defendant insurance due to concern that jurors would treat insured defendants differently from those who lacked insurance. traffic

It is in a similar vein that courts generally don’t allow defendants to mention whether plaintiff seeking compensation for medical bills had health insurance coverage. Courts don’t want jurors giving less compensation to plaintiffs who had coverage (and maybe only paid a fraction of billed costs out-of-pocket) than those who didn’t (and are therefore solely responsible for paying bills in full). This is known as the collateral source rule, and the key is that wrongdoers shouldn’t be allowed to benefit just because plaintiff received compensation from some other source. A plaintiff’s compensation from a third party doesn’t make the actions any less wrong.

However, that also doesn’t mean plaintiffs are necessarily entitled to receive double recovery. Usually, the insurance company intercedes and collects its fair share. Continue reading →

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Lee County had a record number of traffic deaths in 2007. It was the height of the housing bubble burst, and the county’s population had ballooned rapidly. There were a host of construction vehicles, trucks and an influx of new residents. There were 106 people who died on our roads that year. highway5

But then the recession hit, the price of gasoline spiked and fewer people were driving. There was also an exodus of residents and commercial vehicles weren’t seen as frequently.

Now, we’re back on the upswing financially. But that’s apparently not all good news, as The News-Press recently reported. As of June 30, county officials tallied 52 roadway deaths. The year is only half-over, which means at this rate, we are going to either meet or surpass the number of traffic accident deaths that occurred here in 2007.