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Articles Tagged with naples-car-accident-attorney

Chain reaction accidents are terrifying – and for good reason because they are extremely dangerous. brakes

Also sometimes referred to as “pileups” or “multiple vehicle collisions,” the reason they are so treacherous is that in a blink, the entire roadway becomes essentially a giant obstacle course, and the threats to your safety are numerous. It’s this kind of confusion that often results in even more crashes. It’s not unheard of in these cases to see dozens of people injured or killed.

These cases are more complicated than other types because they usually involve:

  • Multiple defendants
  • Multiple insurance companies
  • Victims competing against one another for a share of the limited amount of money

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Although some people would argue they are “attached” to their cell phones, the reality is that under the law, these are two separate entities. No matter how dependent one feels on that little device, there is a clear distinction: The owner is a person and the phone is property.prostheticleg

Currently, there is a mostly similar distinction when it comes to a prosthetic limb and the person who uses it. However, an interesting point was raised recently at the University of Oxford’s Human Enhancement and the Law: Regulation for the Future Conference. This was a British conference, but the issues discussed are highly relevant this side of the pond.

The idea is that as new and advanced prosthetic devices become available and an increasing number of people are using them, the delineation between person and property becomes muddled. The traditional distinctions that have been upheld in the past may be challenged. Continue reading

Government and its agencies may be found liable for auto accidents that are caused in whole or in part to defects in highway design or poor maintenance. However, these cases often turn on the issue of whether sovereign immunity is applicable.motorcycleride

Sovereign immunity is the legal doctrine that shields government agencies from liability lawsuits. However, as most courts have agreed that construction and maintenance of roads are proprietary functions (i.e., those that could be carried out by a private entity as opposed to the government), meaning these actions may be subject to liability. But it’s still considered a complex and evolving area of law.

The recent case of McFadden v. Dept. of Transp. before the Iowa Supreme Court was one such case in which negligent highway maintenance was alleged to have played a role a death. Plaintiff’s husband was the decedent.

A South Florida man will need to once again prove his car accident case at trial if he hopes to receive the $180,000 judgment a jury awarded him for injuries. gavel4

Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeals in Maniglia v. Carpenter reversed an earlier verdict in plaintiff’s favor and ordered a new trial, finding excluded evidence was significantly valuable to the court and outweighed any purported prejudice against the plaintiff. Further, appellate justices ruled plaintiff failed to prove that excluded evidence didn’t contribute to the verdict in his favor.

The evidence at issue goes to the heart of the case: Plaintiff’s credibility and causation of his injuries. Specifically, his attorneys sought (successfully in the first trial) to exclude evidence pertaining to an alleged drunken golf cart accident and subsequent violent altercation with police involving plaintiff about a month after the car accident at the center of the lawsuit.

Precedent in insurance law has long held that if an insured makes a material misrepresentation when applying for auto insurance – or any kind of insurance, really – the company may void the policy on these grounds. brokencar

This was the issue in Jones-Smith v. Safeway Insurance Company, where a plaintiff struck and seriously injured by a teen driver operating his mother’s vehicle claimed damages against mother’s auto insurance policy.

Problem was, when mother had applied for that insurance coverage, the application required her to promise she had listed all names of regular frequent users of the household vehicles – as well as any other residents in the home who were over the age of 14. She signed a paper indicating she had done so. But she had not. The name of her 15-year-old son was not on that application, and if it had been, her insurance coverage would have been much higher.

Ride share service Uber has reached a confidential settlement agreement with the family of a 6-year-old girl who was killed after being struck by an Uber driver in a crosswalk in San Francisco New Year’s Eve 2013. acaradriver

The girl’s mother and younger brother were also struck, but survived. At the time of the crash, the driver was logged into the Uber app and was available to provide rides, though he wasn’t technically on a trip. Uber had fixated on this point in arguing it was not responsible because the driver was in between trips.

The case has raised questions about how liability should be apportioned in cases where these low-cost transportation services are being utilized.

In the event of a serious car accident in which the at-fault driver is killed, it is imperative for others who may have been injured to immediately contact a personal injury lawyer.accidentscene

Once a person dies, F.S. 733.2121 requires the personal representative of decedent’s estate publish a “notice to creditors,” granting a window of time during which claims against the estate may be made. So even though Florida law allows four years for personal injury claims in most cases, the window of time for claims against a person who is deceased is much shorter.

Personal representatives are required to “reasonably” seek out known creditors of decedent and give them the opportunity to file a claim within three months. However, this notice is also published in the local newspaper, and extensive searches for creditors are not required by statute. Claims filed after two years of the notice may be forever barred.

In any injury case where insurance companies are involved, it’s important to seek guidance from an experienced attorney before agreeing to any settlements or accepting any payouts. This is especially true when the injuries are significant and there is more than one insurer and/or policy. thathurt

The reason is language in some policy provisions can be complicated. One could negate the other. You may be entitled to some but not all. You may be entitled to all but only offered some.

Insurers are notorious for using aggressive tactics to mitigate the amount of damages paid, regardless of the severity of injuries or even if you are reeling from the loss of a loved one.

The Florida Supreme court reversed an earlier decision by the 1st DCA, instead favoring an auto insurance company in a case stemming from a single-vehicle crash where a passenger/daughter was in a vehicle owned by her father, insured under her mother’s policy and driven with permission by a non-family member.brokencar

In Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. v. Harrington, the state high court was asked to decide two questions:

  • Does the family vehicle exclusion for uninsured motorist benefits conflict with F.S. 627.727(3) when the exclusion is applied to a Class I insured who seeks benefits in connection with a single-vehicle crash where vehicle was driven by a Class II permissive user and where driver underinsured and liability payments from him, when combined with liability payment’s under Class I insured’s policy, don’t fully cover medical costs?
  • Are UM benefits stackable under F.S. 627.727(9) when the benefits are claimed by an insured policy holder, but a non-stacking election was made by the purchaser of the policy (even if the insured claimant didn’t elect the non-stacking benefit option)?

Our  car accident lawyers recognize these questions apply to very specific circumstances. However, the broader effect here is that insurance companies gained an important victory with determination that family vehicle exclusions pertaining to UM coverage did not conflict with Florida law. Further “stacking” isn’t allowed for insured’s who expressly decline it.

In 2003, two young men in their 20s died in a collision with a drunk driver. However, when it came to determining liability, the courts struggled with the implications of the facts in  O’Connell v. Walmsely. Primarily, it has to do with comparative fault, or the degree to which the injured party contributed to those injuries (or in this case, death). SONY DSC

Naples car accident lawyers know that both Florida and Rhode Island, where the O’Connell case was heard, follow the pure comparative fault model, in which a plaintiff’s fault won’t bar recovery of damages, but may reduce the total amount recouped.

According to Rhode Island Supreme Court records, this case was brought by the parents of a deceased passenger against the driver of another vehicle that had struck in the opposite direction. Originally, the parents named numerous other parties as defendants, including the owner of the vehicle in which their son was a passenger (the father of the deceased man who was driving), as well as the father’s insurer. The other claims were settled prior to trial, but the one against the other driver continued to trial.

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