Articles Tagged with boca-raton-car-accident-lawyer

A lot of folks will be making long trips this holiday season to spend time with loved ones and ring in the New Year. Now, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has a warning for those who get behind the wheel with too little sleep: You are imperiling yourself and others the same as if you just downed four drinks. car with keys

Prior studies by the foundation established that as many as 13 percent of all serious crashes and 21 percent of deadly crashes involved a driver who was tired. This newest research delves into quantifying the relationship between sleep and driving ability. What they discovered was fascinating – and disturbing. Drivers who got less than four hours of sleep in the last 24 hours had a crash risk that was 11.5 times than someone who had gotten seven or more hours of sleep. That’s similar to drivers who have a blood-alcohol concentration of somewhere between 0.12 and 0.15 0 which is nearly twice the legal limit. Drivers who slept between 4 and 5 hours had a crash risk that was 4.3 times higher. That is akin to someone who has a blood-alcohol level that is just at or above the legal limit of 0.08. Those who were lucky enough to get between 5 and 7 hours had a crash risk that was 1.9 times higher. And even those who got at least six hours a night still had a crash risk that was 1.3 times higher.

Of course, this issue isn’t just a problem during the holidays. In the hustle of a go-go world, the reality is many people don’t get enough rest on a daily basis. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report approximately 35 percent of Americans get fewer than the recommended seven hours of shut-eye a night. Twelve percent say they are getting fewer than five hours of sleep daily.  Continue reading

In the case of Etheringon v. Owners Insurance Co., the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a $2.25 million verdict against a car insurance company for engaging in bad faith during settlement of an underinsured motorist (UIM) case. drivefastsaab

According to the complaint, the insurer was sued for breach of contract and unreasonable delay or denial of a claim for benefits.

Bad faith insurance cases, while they may be arduous to pursue, are important for two big reasons:

  • They can result in treble (triple) damages for those who suffered injury;
  • They provide incentive for insurance companies to deal fairly with customers.

Continue reading

In early May, a fatal car accident on a Florida highway seemed like just one of the many tragedies that occur on our roads daily. The driver, a 40-year-old from Canton, Ohio operating a Tesla car in Williston, Florida, had crashed into a tractor-trailer while traveling 65 mph.drivingsleepy

But then in late June, federal authorities got roped into the investigation when it was learned the Tesla’s Autopilot system was engaged at the time of the crash. In effect, this was a self-driving car, which are touted as infinitely safer options than human-operated vehicles. After all, human error is the cause of 90 percent of all crashes. Yet despite the fact that the Autopilot system was engaged, neither the driver nor the system activated the brakes before the car struck the tractor-trailer.

Now the federal government wants answers. But Tesla insists the cars are safe. There are 70,000 Tesla cars on the road that have this Autopilot feature. Representatives with the company insist the systems are safe when used as intended, and the problem in these cases is more likely than not driver error. That is, they aren’t using the systems properly. Continue reading

Police officers are trusted to be the fastest responders in the event of an emergency. Getting their fast sometimes means pushing or exceeding the speed limits in their cruisers. police

But even for those who are highly-trained drivers, speed limits exist to keep us all safe. They aren’t merely suggestions. They are the law. Even law enforcement officers need good reason to exceed those limits. And even then, they must still use due care in the operation of their vehicle. Recklessness can be negligence in the event an innocent person is injured.

In the recent case of Kendrick v. City of Midfield,  a woman sued a local city and one of its officers for negligence due to injuries she sustained in a car accident when she was struck by an officer responding to a domestic disturbance call.

According to court records, it was Oct. 1, 2011. A city police officer in Alabama was called to respond to a domestic dispute. Upon receiving word of the call, the officer said he flipped on his emergency lights and sirens and began driving to the scene.  Continue reading

Whenever there has been a serious injury or death caused by a roadway accident, it’s imperative that inspection of that road be undertaken right away by knowledgeable highway design experts. highway

In some situations, dangerous roads and unsafe conditions on public property can contribute to the cause of a crash or the severity of it. The reason personal injury lawyers must get involved right away is that law enforcement officers almost never cite “poor design of road” or “improper road maintenance” as a cause of a crash. That has to be independently proven by a victim’s legal team.

What we would be looking to determine is whether there is government liability for lack of maintenance, failure to correct a dangerous condition or bad road design. And anytime government entities are involved as defendants in a case, the legal issues can quickly get thorny. Expert consultants and witnesses are critical in these matters.

Elderly drivers tend to get a bad wrap, especially here in Florida, where some throw out offensive phrases like “geezer-dodging” as if it’s second nature.oldercar

While they do tend to be more vulnerable to serious injuries and fatalities in the event of a crash, seniors are actually among the safest drivers on the road. In fact, AAA reports as a group, elderly drivers tend to avoid drinking and driving, they observe the speed limit and wear their seat belts. True, they may suffer from some degree of vision or hearing loss, but they often compensate for these deficits by reducing their speed and the number of other distractions so they can focus solely on the road ahead.

That’s more than we can say for many of the younger motorists, who have far higher rates of impaired driving and are prone to cell phone distraction.

Involvement in a car accident anywhere is never a good thing. However, new research indicates Florida is the worst place in the nation to have a collision.driving6

The study, released by WalletHub, analyzed data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia on statutory requirements for liability coverage, compared to the types of insurance required and the estimated number of uninsured drivers.

Florida ranked dead last.

Umbrella insurance policies can be a great way to make sure you are covered for additional injuries or damages that may not be covered under a typical auto or home insurance policy. yamaha

However, insurance companies are deft at creating loopholes, and it’s important to have an experienced legal team review your policy before you settle. Many umbrella insurance policies don’t provide uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage, or at least they give policyholders the option of declining it. Many states  – including Florida – may require UM coverage in auto insurance policy (unless a policyholder expressly declines it in writing), but such restrictions aren’t extended to umbrella policies.

In Florida, that point was underscored in the 2009 case of O’Brien v. State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co., where an umbrella insurer declined UM coverage to a man whose daughter was killed in a collision with an uninsured motorist. The same insurer provided auto insurance to the man, who expressly waived UM coverage as part of his auto insurance plan. The court ruled a separate waiver of UM coverage for his umbrella insurance plan wasn’t required.

Umbrella insurance is a form of extra liability insurance that protects people from major claims and lawsuits, including those resulting from auto accidents, boat accidents, premises liability claims and more.

It’s also very good news for anyone who has been seriously injured because it increases the likelihood that damages will be paid in full. ambulance1

Yes, you can pursue an at-fault driver personally for injuries incurred in a crash, and if you obtain a favorable judgment, there are ways the court can compel that person to pay up (i.e., wage garnishment, bank account seizure, asset seizure, etc.). Even then, the person may not have enough to cover the full amount, at least not immediately. However, a successful claim against an umbrella insurer will likely be paid timely and in full. And if it isn’t, you might have a case for a bad faith insurance action, which would entitle you to additional damages if successful.

If an insurance policy provision is deemed ambiguous, it will always (at least in Florida) be interpreted liberally in favor of the insured and against the drafter of the policy. The Florida Supreme Court definitively set this standard last year in the case of Washington National Insurance Corporation v. Ruderman. The court ruled this standard holds regardless of whether there might be extrinsic evidence that could clarify the ambiguity. trailer

Boca Raton injury attorneys know rulings like this have meant insurers are increasingly careful in the language they use in drafting policies. Challenging such provisions has become more difficult, though insurers usually lose when they attempt to write-in exclusions that are overly-broad and confusing to the consumer.

Ohio also follows a similar interpretation of insurance law, and the Ohio Supreme Court recently weighed in on the issue of ambiguity in a commercial general liability policy in Sauer v. Crews. The court ultimately contended that in determining whether a policy provision is ambiguous, the courts have to consider the context in which the specific language is used.