Articles Tagged with car-accident-lawsuit

In a perfect world, the truth would be the only thing that decided the outcome of a civil injury lawsuit. And of course, the truth is a critical element. But what also matters is how skillfully your attorney can present it. What facts, records, testimony can he or she bring to support your assertions? How well does he or she understand the technicalities and procedures? How well-equipped is their law firm to meet the requirements? gavel

In the case of Small v. Sayre, several car accident victims, injured in a collision, were awarded lower damages than what they believed they were entitled to receive, based on the weight of evidence at trial. However on appeal, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that because the verdicts were not first challenged before the trial court, all of the challenges were waived. This really comes down to a technical issue, and it illustrates why it is so important to have an experienced injury attorney.

According to court records, plaintiff was idling in traffic with his wife and daughter when defendant rear-ended his vehicle. Plaintiff, his wife and daughter were each transported to the hospital, where they were treated, prescribed pain medication and advised to follow up with their primary care doctor. In the months and years that followed, the family members sought treatment for a variety of ailments they asserted were the result of the crash. Plaintiff sought treatment from doctors and chiropractors for neck and back pain. His wife sought treatment from a half dozen medical providers, including neurologists, chiropractors, an orthopedic surgeon and physical therapists. She suffered from chronic migraines and upper body pain. She was recommended for spinal fusion surgery, but ultimately did not undergo it, first due to her pregnancy and later due to cost.  Continue reading

Anyone can catch a cold year-round, but people are most susceptible to the common cold during the winter months, as colder, drier air more easily spreads germs among those indoors. Most people don’t think much of going about their day with the common cold. However, research suggests that if you are sick, you may be a danger to yourself and others on the road.medicine

For example, one study by the Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre in the U.K. reports that concentration when one is driving with a bad cold or a flu is lowered by 50 percent. To put that into perspective: That’s like drinking four double whiskey shots. Researchers studying the effects of being ill on reaction times behind the wheel discovered that sudden braking became increasingly common among sick drivers, who were much less aware of their surroundings. Instances of drivers hitting the curb went up by a third, as drivers were also apparently less capable of accurately judging the distance. A heavy cold, researchers say, impacts a motorist’s mood, judgment and concentration – all of which play a central role in safe driving.

Aside from this, there are numerous cases of drivers who are impaired by medications – both over-the-counter and prescription – to treat colds, the flu and other conditions. Just recently in South Carolina, a woman was criminally prosecuted in Kranchick v. State for driving impaired on cold medication, which resulted in her losing control of her vehicle on the highway, slamming into a tractor trailer and a smaller truck, killing that vehicle’s driver and seriously injuring a passenger and the tractor-trailer driver.  Continue reading

A Florida judge in Duval County has set a trial date for August next year against the makers of the Ohio-based Evenflo, a car seat manufacturer accused of improperly recommending car seats that are too big for some children. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 5-year-old girl who was severely and permanently injured in a 2014 crash in Jacksonville on I-295. carseat1

According to News4Jax, plaintiffs in this product liability lawsuit allege the manufacturer was negligent on several fronts. Among those: Designing, testing, developing, making and marketing a product that fails to provide sufficient protection to child occupants in the event of a collision. Specifically, the booster seat the manufacturer produced was marketed to children under 40 pounds. However, the seat didn’t incorporate a five-point harness system, which would strap the children in over the shoulders, around their waist and between their legs. Instead, this was simply an over the shoulder and lap belt, which plaintiffs assert is not adequate protection for a child under 40 pounds.

Plaintiffs allege the actions of this manufacturer run counter to the recommendations of both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Had the child been in a seat with a five-point harness, plaintiffs say, she would have been spared her terrible injuries. Evenflo rejects plaintiffs assertions, with a spokeswoman saying that while she could not comment on the particulars of the case, the booster seat in question – Evenflo Big Kid booster – has been sold for more than 10 years and reportedly has a solid safety rating that is compliant with government safety standards in the U.S. and Canada.  Continue reading

The purported negligence of an Orange County pizza delivery driver working for a franchise may cost the parent company as much as $9 million after a jury awarded a $10 million verdict to the plaintiff, widow of a firefighter who died 15 months of crash-related injuries that left him quadriplegic.roadgoesdistance

Orlando Sentinel reports the January 2011 crash occurred on a dark stretch of highway in Christmas, when a pizza delivery man tried to merge into a westbound lane of Colonial Drive. He spotted the oncoming headlights approaching as he looked to merge from the median, but thought he had enough time and space. Decedent, who was behind the wheel, swerved to avoid hitting the deliveryman, but the car flipped and he struck a tree. His fiancee, who later became his wife, was with him at the time of the crash. She suffered leg injuries as shards glass slashed her legs. Her fiance, however, suffered severe injuries.

Decedent received treatment at a hospital in Georgia that specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries. After a few months, the pair made the long drive back to Florida, and stopped in a courthouse and got married along the way. He died months later at age 62 after a blood clot developed in his lungs, something for which quadriplegics are at 19 times higher risk of suffering than the average person. Blood becomes stagnant in the body because the limbs aren’t moving.  Continue reading

Jurisdiction is a key issue for any personal injury lawsuit. If a certain court does not have jurisdiction, the case cannot proceed. It’s imperative to have a thorough understanding of whatever jurisdictional issues may arise prior to filing the case, as an error could result in a setback that not only wastes time and money, but could result in forever losing the opportunity to bring the case, if the decision falls outside the statute of limitations. pickup1

There are three basic types of judicial jurisdiction: Personal, Territorial and Subject Matter. Personal jurisdiction is when a court has authority over a person, regardless of the location. Territorial jurisdiction is authority that is confined to a certain space. Subject matter jurisdiction is when one has legal authority over the subject of the legal questions in the case. When a court has exclusive jurisdiction, it is the only court that can decide the case. If the court has concurrent jurisdiction, one or both parties may try to “forum shop,” to take the case to the court the party presumes may reach the most favorable result.

In the recent Alabama Supreme Court case of Hinrichs v. General Motors of Canada, Ltd., the question was whether the state courts in Alabama had jurisdiction over a foreign automobile manufacturer accused of designing a defective pickup truck seat belt that allegedly failed to restrain a passenger in a rollover car accident. The plaintiff, a German citizen, now suffers quadriplegia as a result of the crash. Plaintiff was in Alabama as a member of the German military who was assigned to Fort Rucker for flight training.  Continue reading

Poor tire tread is being blamed in a car accident that claimed the lives of four sisters on I-95 Memorial Day.tire1

The group – 11 total in a sport utility vehicle – were in Titusville, on their way home from celebrating their mother’s birthday at a BBQ. The girls who died were 15, 13, 10 and 11. Their 9-year-old sister survived, as did a toddler and several boys, the girls’ mother (who was driving) and her boyfriend, who was in the front passenger seat.

Florida Highway Patrol officials say they intend to investigate the condition of the tire with the tread separation, as well as previous issues with that particular model of vehicle – a Dodge Durango – as well as reported recalls. Authorities also are interested in learning the role that having so many passengers in the car may have played, as well as how many of the individuals in the vehicle were wearing seat belts, as required by law. Continue reading

Republican legislators in Florida have allotted $125,000 for the study of what it would mean for the Sunshine State to get rid of he system of no-fault car insurance (PIP – personal injury protection) that has been in place for more than 40 years. drive9

Lawmakers reportedly had hoped that legal changes four years ago would lower payments for consumers. However, Florida’s top insurers show that since the beginning of last year, auto insurance premiums are up 40 percent.

Now, records from the state’s Department of Financial Services show officials picked an outside research firm to investigate the effect that nixing no-fault will have. A draft of the report is due at the end of August, with the final report due soon after.  Continue reading

Anytime one is involved in a Florida car accident, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention – even if you feel totally fine at first. carkeys1

The reason for this is two-fold:

  • Many car accident-related injuries are latent, which means they won’t show up right away.
  • In any subsequent litigation, the information gathered at that first medical visit can be essential in establishing both the cause and severity of your injuries.

It is also important because those doctors who provide you treatment will be able to provide you with important expert witness testimony that will help prove your case. However, when patients don’t seek treatment or when those doctors’ opinions do not support your assertions, it can hurt your case. This was underscored in the recent Alaska Supreme Court case of Luther v. LanderContinue reading

The Arkansas Supreme Court, in a divided opinion, ruled that a provision of law that prohibits the so-called “seat belt defense” in car accident lawsuits is unconstitutional.

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In Mendoza v. WIS Int’l, Inc., justices were tasked with answering whether Arkansas Code Annotated section 27-37-703, which states the failure of a vehicle occupant to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt should not be admissible as evidence in a civil action, violated the separation of powers doctrine of the state constitution. Answer: Yes.

This is bad news for injured car accident plaintiffs in Arkansas. Essentially what it means is if you do not wear a seat belt, you could be found comparatively at-fault, which could reduce or eliminate your rightful claim to damages. Arkansas follows a model of modified comparative fault with a 50 percent bar, which means if a plaintiff is more than half at-fault for his her own injuries (or the extent of his or her own injuries), plaintiff can’t collect any damages at all. In Florida, however, plaintiffs can be up to 99 percent liable for their own injuries and still collect on that remaining 1 percent fault held by defendant (this is known as the pure comparative fault model).  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