Articles Tagged with Fort Myers car accident attorney

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Florida law establishes strict requirements for auto insurance, including requiring all drivers to carry a type of coverage called personal injury protection, or PIP. Per F.S. 627.736, this PIP coverage provides up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits resulting from bodily injury, sickness disease or death arising from the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle. This applies to crashes, regardless of who is at-fault.car accident

When lawmakers established Florida as a “no-fault” state, the goal was to make it easier to obtain fast coverage for injuries suffered in a crash – even if the other driver didn’t have insurance – and to reduce the burden on the court system.

However, our accident lawyers know that while there are some benefits to this PIP system, the problem is far too many victims who have suffered serious injuries are denied benefits, or else they are offered settlement “deals” that are far less than the actual losses they suffered. Plus, there are a number of exclusions. Still, the only way a person can step outside the boundaries of PIP is to meet the threshold of injury as outlined in F.S. 627.737. Continue reading →

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The number of traffic deaths in Lee County soared higher than at any point in a decade – and more than 10 percent in just a single year. airbag

That’s according to the latest report from The New-Press, which as of Jan. 1st still only had numbers through early December 2016. There were more than 100 deaths by that time, which is the first time they went over that mark since 2007. And actually, the early 2016 figure was slightly higher – 109 compared to the 106 counted in 2007. There were 121 in 2006 and 150 in 2005. But the numbers had been steady falling the last ten years. The number of Lee County roadway deaths dipped to the lowest point in 2012, when there were 64 who lost their lives on our roadways.

These figures fail to take into account the hundreds of more people who were seriously injured – sometimes permanently – as a result of careless drivers in Southwest Florida. Statewide, the news agency reported there were 3,161 traffic deaths as of Dec. 30th. That marked an increase of 222 over the previous year – and didn’t include figures from the notoriously perilous New Year’s Eve.  Continue reading →

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The number of traffic fatalities in Lee County topped 100 for the first time since 2007, according to a report late last month from The News-Press. As of the third week of December, there were 102 traffic fatalities in 2016 – more than it’s been in a decade. That figure does not account for the fatalities that occurred the last week of December, including over the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays. driving

These figures mirror those we saw more than 10 years ago when the region saw explosive population growth. In 2007, there were 106. In 2006, there were 121. The number of traffic deaths peaked in 2005 with 150. In more recent years, the number of Lee County traffic deaths didn’t surpass 100. Now, it seems that is changing, which is in line with the increases reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency reports there was a 7.2 percent increase in traffic deaths in 2015  – resulting in 2,348 additional lives lost that year. Early figures from 2016 suggest a further upward trend.

The more than 100 traffic fatalities in Lee County last year included cars, trucks, school buses, bicycles, pedestrians and motorcycles. In one instance, a child wasn’t properly buckled in. In another case, a young man was waiting at a red light on his way home from school. Numerous drivers weren’t paying attention. Others were impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.  Continue reading →

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One would assume that proving someone caused a crash would be sufficient to establish liability to compel them to pay for it. As the case of Minnegren v. Nozar shows, though, that’s not always true.car on curve

The driver in this case admitted his error in judgment resulted in a crash that caused plaintiff’s injuries. Open-and-shut liability then, right? But the question became whether he breached his duty of care. The appeals court held that when there is evidence a driver used at least some care, there can be a finding that he may have acted reasonably – and therefore did not breach duty of care – even if his actions ultimately led to a car accident.

These kinds of legal gymnastics show you that there are some really good defense attorneys working in personal injury law – which means you can’t take your chances with a mediocre lawyer to represent your interests. At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, our experienced traffic accident attorneys are committed to making sure our clients’ rights are protected and that they have the best possible chance at a successful claim for compensation. At the end of the day, those injured in a collision caused by another driver shouldn’t have to be responsible for burdening costs associated with recovery, lost wages or ongoing care.  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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Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sought to heighten awareness of unsafe vehicles and vehicle components and the devastating toll it takes on our roadways. The agency’s “Safe Cars Save Lives” bus tour involved a large bus making its way across the country – including to South Florida in Tampa and Miami – to inform motorists and others about the potential for danger when driving a vehicle that’s either been recalled or is not properly maintained. caringarage

Key points of the campaign include:

  • Understanding and following vehicle recalls;
  • Tire maintenance and safety;
  • Child safety seats;
  • Heatstroke in vehicles (particularly involving infants and children).

The agency focused its efforts on Florida, Texas, Alabama and Louisiana because these are the states where motorists face the most danger. The heat in the South makes our motorists and children especially vulnerable to some issues. For example, while heatstroke is definitely an issue in northern states during the summer, South Florida residents have to be aware of this risk for most of the year. On top of that, vehicle recalls related to exploding Takata airbags have been tied to exposure to heat. Same thing with the life of tires. That means places like South Florida are especially vulnerable.  Continue reading →

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The Virginia Supreme Court reversed a $20 million product liability verdict favoring a woman seriously injured when her Mazda convertible rolled over. Justices ruled trial court abused discretion in allowing plaintiff’s expert witness to testify, and further, defendant manufacturer had no legally recognized duty to design or supply a soft top to a vehicle that would provide protection to occupants in the event of a rollover crash.

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This was a major decision, particularly given that, with interest, the actual payout in this case would have been well over $30 million.

The injury lawsuit stemmed from a single vehicle accident that occurred when the 26-year-old driver swerved to avoid an object on a dark roadway. The object reportedly flew off the back of a truck ahead of her. She took the risk of swerving because there was no oncoming traffic on the two-lane road. This led her up a slight grassy incline. Her convertible rolled, landing upside down, with the driver’s side up against a tree. The convertible top was up, but the force of impact caused the windshield to separate from the roof. When it collapsed inward, her head was forced down so severely it caused a condition known as hyperflexion. Continue reading →

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Auto insurance companies make lots of promises. They vow to be “on your side” and “like a good neighbor.” The truth of the matter is, when it comes time to pay a claim, they will do anything in their power NOT to pay it – or at least to minimize the amount they will compensate you. caroncurve

Bad faith insurance action – when an insurance company fails to deal with a customer in good faith – the penalties may be quite severe. If a judge or jury holds an insurer liable for bad faith action, the insured may be paid triple the original damages. This is intended to deter such action in the first place.

Many actions can be categorized as “bad faith,” but we generally see it manifest in car accident claims through claims that are swiftly denied or wrongly delayed or in low-ball settlement offers that are far below what the claim is actually worth.  Continue reading →

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It seems such a common-sense measure for rental car companies: Don’t rent out vehicles that have been recalled until they’ve been repaired. drive7

But until June 1, 2016, there was no law stopped from them from doing so. Many rental car companies routinely rented to customers vehicles they knew were unsafe. Very few faced any consequences for it.

Then in 2004, two sisters, ages 20 and 24, picked up a rental car they assumed was safe. Little did they know, it had actually been recalled for leaking steering fluid. They were the fourth customers to rent the vehicle after the recall was announced. As they were driving, the steering fluid began to leak. The sister who was driving lost control of the car and slammed into a semi-truck before the car burst into flames, killing them both. Since then, their mother has been fighting to hold the rental car company accountable and to enact legislation that would ensure this never happened again.  Continue reading →

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Guardrails are intended to keep motorists and passengers safe from careening into embankments, bridge parapets, signs, lights, signal supports, boulders, utility poles, drainage ditches, trees or bodies of water more than two feet deep.

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Generally, they do a good job. Cable guardrails, also sometimes referred to as cable barriers, installed on Florida’s turnpike and I-75 on Alligator Alley served to slash the number of canal crashes along those roads significantly, according to reports.

But now, there is concern that new Alligator Alley guardrails will harm motorists, accident victims, workers and emergency responders.  Continue reading →