Articles Tagged with naples-car-accident-lawyer

It is not enough in a Florida car accident lawsuit to prove the other party caused the accident. Plaintiffs must also show the accident either proximately caused his or her injuries or exacerbated a pre-existing condition. caraccident2

Often, the issue of causation is obvious. If a person in a car accident sustains a serious head injury, there is usually no doubt the two are causally connected. However, there are some instances in which there were successive causes of negligence that might complicate causation. In other cases, a person may claim severe neck injuries as a result of an accident, and defendants may counter that the force of the crash could not have caused the alleged injuries for which plaintiff is seeking compensation.

How difficult a task this will be will depend on the individual facts of the lawsuit. In some cases, proving this element may require the testimony of an expert witness. This could be a biomechanical engineer who could attest that the dynamics of the crash could have caused the severity of injuries or a medical doctor who opines with reasonable medical certainty that it was the accident – and not some other factor – that caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

In the recent Florida car accident lawsuit of Maines v. Fox, Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal, justices were asked to decide whether the trial court erred in limiting certain expert witness testimony and in awarding attorney fees to plaintiff based on defendant’s rejection of earlier offers for settlement. The court determined that while the trial court abused its discretion in limiting the testimony of defendant’s biomechanical engineer, the error was deemed harmless. However, with respect to attorney fees, the court determined the earlier proposals for settlement were ambiguous and therefore plaintiff could not collect attorney fees under F.S. 768.79. Continue 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

An appeals court in Florida declined to extend dram shop liability to bartenders or servers who recognize an adult patron’s intoxication, take measures to “sober them up,” but don’t stop them from driving. beer

In Torre v. Flanigan’s Bar and Grill, plaintiffs were injured in Broward County when they were struck by a drunk driver. F.S. 768.125 offers victims the opportunity to pursue a lawsuit against the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol only under very limited circumstances. However, victims in Torre sought a court ruling that the bar could still be responsible because it had assumed an additional duty of care that involved recognizing the patron’s level of impairment.

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal did not agree. Continue reading

A Southwest Florida reporter recently delved into what she perceived as the state’s problem with notoriously bad driving. drivefastsaab

There are the drivers who dawdle just under the speed limit in the left lane. Then there are those who tear through traffic so fast you’d almost miss them if they hadn’t barely struck you trying to get past.

The reporter, Jennifer Reed of Gulfshore Life, noted she’s from Massachusetts (where drivers aren’t known for their behind-the-wheel courtesy), but Southwest Florida was just as bad if not worse. Still, she wanted to quantify the violations she witnesses on her daily 60-mile commute.  Continue reading

If your Naples car accident lawsuit goes to trial, jurors will be given the opportunity to hear from both sides, sift through the evidence and make a decision. gavel4

Some of the most influential statements jurors will consider will come during closing arguments. This is when attorneys from both sides are given the opportunity to sum up their case in clear, thoughtful and passionate manner. Unfortunately, there have been instances in which attorneys get caught up in the moment, and may cross boundaries of appropriate argument.

Attorneys are given wide latitude in making closing arguments to the jury, but their comments have to be confined to the evidence and reasonable inferences made from that evidence. Overstepping those boundaries could result in an unfavorable outcome. Most personal injury cases do not go to trial – they are settled before it reaches that phase. But it’s still important to hire an attorney who has ample trial experience because these sorts of missteps can hurt your case. Continue reading

Florida follows a “no-fault” model with regard to auto insurance claims following a collision. What that means is everyone in Florida is required to carry a minimum level of insurance in order to cover their own injuries and property damages – up to a certain amount – that will be paid by their own insurance company in the event of a crash. caraccident

The law requires $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits, $10,000 in property damage liability benefits. Only those with serious injuries will receive more than $2,500 and medical treatment must be sought within 14 days. It’s only if one’s injury-related costs exceed $10,000 that the insured can step outside the no-fault system and take action against third parties, such as the at-fault driver.

In the recent case of State Farm v. Gonzalez, the parties had already settled out-of-court for $80,000 in underinsured motorist benefits after insured was struck by an underinsured driver, sustaining injuries. The question before Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal was whether the insurer was responsible to pay $685 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and a medical payment for emergency treatment rendered at a local hospital after the crash.

We are in the midst of the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” on our nation’s roadways, and if the preceding months are any indication, this summer isn’t looking good. carsports

According to the latest report from the National Safety Council, there was an 8 percent spike in the number of fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. in the latest six-month period compared to the same time last year.

Between October 2014 and March 2015, there were more than 17,820 traffic deaths reported nationally. Compare that to that same six-month time frame between 2013 and 2014, when there were 16,539 traffic fatalities.

If cargo is not properly secured to a tractor-trailer, a truck bed or on the top of a vehicle, it can result in roadway debris and obstructions that can cause serious accidents and severe injuries.truckandbus

F.S. 316.520 governing loads on vehicles forbids any vehicle from being driven or moved on any highway unless that vehicle has been constructed or loaded in a way that prevents any portion of that load from dropping, shifting, leaking, blowing or otherwise escaping. The law is clear that the duty to prevent material from escaping a vehicle belongs to every vehicle owner and driver. Based on principles of respondeat superior, the employer of that driver may also be held responsible.

Recently in Miami-Dade, officials reported a six-car/tractor-trailer crash allegedly caused when the truck driver swerved to avoid striking a wheelbarrow that was in the northbound lanes of the Florida Turnpike. The tractor-trailer struck another vehicle and then overturned, and soon after several other cars struck those blocking the roadway.

Alarming new research reveals teen driver distraction is a bigger problem than we all thought. carcrash7

While previous research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated 14 percent of all teen driver crashes were attributed to distraction, this latest study from AAA – which analyzed some 1,700 crash videos – found that figure was closer to 60 percent.

Study authors affixed dash cameras to vehicles driven by nearly 6,850 teen drivers over the study period, and during that time, recorded 1,691 hard-braking events or crashes. The view on the videos allowed researchers to see not only outside the windshield, but also inside, to the actions of the 16- to- 19-year-old drivers in the moments just before impact.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis), has been named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit following a car accident in which his chief of staff, who was serving as Ryan’s press secretary at the time of the crash, rear-ended plaintiffs’ vehicle, resulting in injuries to a driver and passenger. suv2

Each allege they suffered a myriad of injuries and are seeking $50,000 each in compensation.

However, Ryan and his aide, who are being represented by the U.S. Justice Department in the matter, are arguing the case should be dismissed absent a waiver of sovereign immunity. This is the provision that shields the federal government from tort action unless it has previously stipulated to an exception.