Articles Tagged with west-palm-beach-car-accident-lawyer

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

Florida law generally does not allow defendants in personal injury lawsuits to present evidence of collateral benefits plaintiffs receive from third parties. These would include benefits like health insurance or workers’ compensation. The concern is that such evidence might confuse the jury. Still, F.S. 768.76 requires judges to reduce the jury’s verdict by any collateral source benefits received by the plaintiff, except in cases where there is a reimbursement or subrogation right. Further, the statute specifically states that benefits received under federal programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, aren’t considered collateral sources. doctor

Still, evidence that a person qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid is typically deemed highly prejudicial, so it’s not usually admissible. The 1984 case of Florida Physician’s Insurance Reciprocal v. Stanley did allow for one narrow exception, which is that defendants can introduce evidence of low-cost or free governmental and charitable programs that are available in the community to cover portion’s of a person’s health care costs. However, courts in this state had struggled since then with whether future Medicare and Medicaid benefits should be admissible. It was only last year, in the case of Joerg v. State Farm, that the Florida Supreme Court drew a line in the sand: Defendants are not allowed to introduce collateral source benefits a plaintiff might receive in the future from Medicare or Medicaid. The rationale is that there is no guarantee a plaintiff can for sure count on these programs in the future.

Recently, the Delaware Supreme Court held that, just like in Florida, Medicare and Medicaid write-offs do not fall under the collateral source rule. However, the court also held that future medical expenses were not subject to Medicaid reimbursement limitations.  Continue reading

Officers investigating drunk driving accidents have a device at their disposal called breathalyzers, which help them detect a person’s breath-alcohol concentration. Blood-alcohol concentration can also be detected through a blood test, though they may have to get a warrant for that. In cases where a driver is suspected of driving impaired by drugs, many departments have trained drug recognition experts (DRE’s) who can help ascertain this. But what if the driver was suspected of texting? iphone

It’s a common scenario, given that more than eight people die every single day in the U.S. as a result of distracted driving. Another 1,000 people are injured. In fact, it’s believed to be at least part of the catalyst for why we’re seeing rising car accident statistics in the U.S. for the first time in a decade. But “testing” for driver distraction can be tricky. Even when it involves a smartphone, calculating a person’s use and tying that with the exact second of an accident can prove challenging.

Enter the Textalyzer. It’s a device that may allow on-scene officers to test the devices of drivers involved to check for recent activity. The technology would be able to show whether the driver was texting, email or engaging in any other electronic communication that is barred under F.S. 316.305, Florida’s distracted driving law. This could prove important not just in proving the cause of a crash, but also in cases where plaintiffs may want to make an argument for punitive damages due to gross negligence.  Continue reading

The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled on the common law precedent of the original tortfeasor rule, which allows a person who is civilly liable to another for some injury may also be civilly liable for the negligence, mistake or lack of skill on the part of a doctor or surgeon who treats the injured person for that injury. doctorpatientrelationship

What is often considered is whether aggravation of the original injury or subsequent additional injury due to poor medical or surgical treatment was a natural and probable consequence of the original injury or a direct result of the original tortfeasor’s actions.

In Florida, this issue was weighed by the Florida Supreme Court in Stuart v. Hertz Corp., back in 1977. In that case, our highest court ruled that a rental car company whose vehicle injured a woman in an accident could be liable for injuries she sustained from medical negligence while she was being treated for her original injuries. The court further ruled the rental car company couldn’t introduce the doctor into the case and make him pay for his portion of the damages. (The federal Graves Amendment has since barred individuals from taking action against rental car companies for the negligence of their driving customers, though that is beside the point here).  Continue reading

Attorney fees in car accident and other personal injury lawsuits in Florida are based on a myriad of factors, including the degree of difficulty of the task, the amount of time needed, the amount of experience necessary and the skill of the attorney in that particular area of law. The Florida Bar Association reports overhead fees account for 30 to 50 percent of what a lawyer charges, and include things like equipment, maintenance and costs.courthouse

The good news for personal injury claimants is that:

  • Most injury lawsuits are accepted by lawyers on a contingency fee basis, which means plaintiff’s don’t pay attorney fees upfront – or at all if they lose;
  • In some cases, attorney fees may be paid by the defendant in addition to the damage award, so it won’t cut into the amount you receive. In some cases, this might be more or less than what you originally agreed to pay your lawyer. This possibility should be provided for in the initial fee arrangement.

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Authorities recently arrested a man accused of leaving the scene of a West Palm Beach crash after failing to stop for a red light on Jog Road. He reportedly struck a 42-year-old moped driver attempting to turn left. redlight

The moped driver was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Just three months after Palm Beach County commissioners opted to stop the use of traffic light cameras to catch red-light runners, the problem continues. The cameras are meant to be a deterrent for would-be red-light runners, but the risks persist, with or without them.

Most people recognize that if you are ticketed for any kind of traffic offense, you are going to have to pay a fine, court costs and potentially restitution if you caused property damage. trafficsignal1

What you may not realize is that the cost of your auto insurance is also going to rise – in many cases substantially, even after receiving a minor ticket. Car accident lawyers in West Palm Beach want to drive home this point because those who pay a higher cost for insurance are more apt to scrape by with bottom-of-the-barrel coverage or lapse on their payments altogether, which would result in no coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage carried by the victim is supposed to provide remedy, but auto insurance firms have a well-established reputation for systematic denial of claims. In some cases, there has been documented proof that insurance firms have offered rewards to employees who successfully decline the most claims.

You may have heard of the phrase “compulsory medical examination” if you’ve ever tried to file an injury claim in West Palm Beach. These exams are sometimes deceivingly referred to as “independent medical examinations.” Make no mistake, however: There is nothing independent about them. medicaldoctor

Many insurance companies include a requirement for a compulsory medical exam before you are allowed to collect damages. However, under these terms, the insurance company picks the doctor. The insurance company pays that doctor. Some physicians earn hundreds of thousands of dollars annually solely conducting examinations for insurance companies, and then testifying about them in court. Make no mistake about where it is these doctors’ loyalties lie.

In the recent case of State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Curran, an appellate court reviewing an underinsured motorist claim sided with the plaintiff, who refused to undergo a compulsory medical examination in order to collect for injuries she sustained in a crash.