Articles Tagged with Fort Myers car accident attorney

A night of fun in Oklahoma turned tragic when a 48-year-old driver caused a motor vehicle accident that killed five people – including herself – and severely injured two others. Aside from the driver, those killed were between the ages of 18 and 23. The two injured were 17 and 22. caraccident7

The families of two decedents (one of whom was a young mother) and two survivors sought compensation from the estate of decedent. But she only had a bodily injury liability coverage of $50,000 – hardly enough to compensate even one of the victims for their losses. Indeed, the estate settled the cases for $3 million per each survivor and $5 million for each family whose loved one died. The problem was who would pay those amounts. Decedent’s insurance was only $50,000 – and that was paid.

The approved settlement indicated collection of damages would be limited to applicable insurance policies. Soon after the settlement was approved, three insurance carriers sued the victims for a declaratory judgment that would assert they were not liable to pay the insurance settlement. In the case of Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Winton, plaintiffs argued either that one of the insurers was liable under garage and umbrella policies because the dealership still owned the vehicle, or alternatively that another dealership still owned the car and therefore a different two insurance policies covered the accident.  Continue reading ›

In some Fort Myers car accident lawsuits, defendants will allege injuries or damages incurred by plaintiff were not as serious as he or she has stated because the crash was low-impact. brakes

However, just because a crash happened at a relatively low speed does not mean serious injury is an impossibility. Consider that:

  • A typical automobile weighs about 2,000 pounds;
  • A collision at 10 miles-per-hour is going to result in an average impact force of 3.7 tons;
  • A 3,000-pound vehicle striking at 10 mph is going to result in a force of impact of about 5.6 tons.

The force of impact to one’s back and neck is significant. Plus, when a person is involved in a rear-end accident, it’ s important to understand a physics principle known as “magnification of acceleration.” What that means is the occupants of a vehicle are going to accelerate a lot faster than the car that is impacted, which means they are going to absorb much more of the force. So even a low-impact crash can result in substantial injuries.  Continue reading ›

A proposed class action lawsuit alleges side airbags in the Nissan Frontier pickup truck deploy without cause, posing an unreasonable risk of accidents and injuries.airbag

According to court records in Brantley v. Nissan North America Inc. et al., the carmaker is accused of having knowledge of this defect, and yet concealing it and also refusing to pay for repairs and damages to those affected.

The side airbags in question were reportedly designed for 2011-2012 model years. The purpose of the feature is to protect passengers in the event of a rollover or near rollover. Plaintiff alleges the company failed to warn motorists of just how sensitive these air bags can be. Complaint also claims the seat belt pretensioner igniters – the feature that tightens the slack on a safety belt in the event of an accident – is far too sensitive. Continue reading ›

Most car accident claims and lawsuits are settled before they ever get to the trial phase. Such settlements should be carefully crafted and reviewed by an experienced lawyer, or else plaintiffs may risk forfeiture of rights to further action against other defendants. blurrytunnel

One common clause sometimes tucked into these agreements is the release of “all other claims that might develop.” This phrase can be especially troublesome because it could block legal action against other defendants – even if they have yet to be identified.

This was the situation in Gores v. Miller, a case recently before the South Dakota Supreme Court. Plaintiff was the conservator of a minor, just 15-years-old, who was injured in a crash as a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend. In her settlement with the driver’s insurance company, she signed a general release for “all other claims that might develop.”  Continue reading ›

In a recent article published in Gulfshore Life, Reporter Jennifer Reed began with the observation that, as someone who drives 60 hours a day round-trip at least five days every week, drivers in Southwest Florida “stink.”trafficlight1

She qualifies this by saying she used to live in Massachusetts, where drivers have a notorious less-than-stellar reputation. But here in Florida, she said, “this is one big drag race, slowed only slightly by traffic signals, when they are actually obeyed.”

Not wanting to rely solely on her own opinions, Reed took her reporter’s notebook to the Lee County Justice Center, where criminal traffic arraignments start at 8:30 a.m. on the dot. Reed described it as “the unhappiest place on earth,” with 96 people on the docket – a “light day,” explains a deputy. Continue reading ›

A foreign exchange student from Spain, seriously injured in a crash while riding in a friend’s car, was insured by her host family’s uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled. highway12

In a case that could serve as a guide in other jurisdictions, justices reviewing the facts of Serra v. Estate of Broughton sought to clarify whether the term “ward” in the auto insurance policy should be defined as a court-ordered arrangement or as its ordinary meaning. The court chose the latter, thereby extending benefits to the injured teen.

Although every auto insurance policy may vary, most contain provisions that extend coverage to resident relatives, frequent drivers and, in some cases, “wards.” In this case, the term “ward” wasn’t defined in the policy, but the trial court decided it should be defined as it had been statutorily. That meant applying a statutory definition in which the individual had a formally-appointed guardian or conservator over his or her person or property. On appeal, plaintiff argued that “ward” should be defined as an ordinary term because the policy lacked a definition and thus was ambiguous in this regard. When insurance policies are ambiguous, courts have generally held disputes should be determined in favor of the insured. Continue reading ›

Lee County is on track this year to have the most traffic deaths reported since 2006. That year, there were 121 people in this county killed in auto accidents. So far this year, we’re up to at least 74 (higher when we count the recent Labor Day traffic death toll). Unless our trajectory slows considerably, we’re going to have some 110 traffic fatalities in 2015. crashedcar

Already, the number of auto accident deaths in this county is 42 percent higher than it was during the first eight months of 2014, when there were 52 deaths. In fact, in all of 2014, there a total of 81 traffic deaths in Lee County. We’re dangerously close to hitting that mark, and we still have four more months left in the year.

Statewide, the number of fatal crashes has gone up 21 percent. Continue reading ›

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal has denied an appeal by a mother, on behalf of herself and paralyzed toddler, seeking a new trial for numerous trial errors that resulted in a finding of zero liability against named defendants in a horrific Florida truck accident.accident2

In the case of Aquila v. Brisk Transportation, the appeals court did not deny there were numerous errors made by trial court. Unfortunately, those issues were not properly preserved by plaintiff’s attorney during trial, so she had no grounds on which to successfully appeal.

This, of course, is why it is so imperative to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case – especially one of this magnitude, where the injuries are severe, disabling and long-lasting.

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