Articles Posted in Car Accident

mikecphotoDuring the formation of our country, the founding fathers did not provide a mechanism for citizens to hold the federal, state, and local governments liable for injuries caused by government actors, unless the government being named as a defendant agreed to be named in the lawsuit. In fact, governments were then, and still are to some extent, presumed to be immune from tort liability. However, since then, state and federal lawmakers have passed a series of laws known as tort claims acts, which statutorily waive government immunity in certain circumstances.

Generally, a tort claims act requires that certain procedures be followed in order for the government to waive its immunity. The State of Florida is no different. Under the Florida Tort Claims Act (FTCA), if a Florida accident victim fails to comply with the requirements of the FTCA, the accident victim’s case will be dismissed. Thus, it is very important that an accident victim ensure that they follow all the requirements of the FTCA.

A recent case illustrates the strict manner in which courts apply the requirements of a tort claims act.

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car accidentIn Florida car accident cases, one of the first issues the parties may argue over is where the case will be heard. Of course, most plaintiffs would prefer to file the case in a venue that is convenient for them. However, as a general rule venue is appropriate where the defendant resides. That being said, a plaintiff can choose where to initially file a case, and may have some say in where a case is heard.

A recent case discusses a somewhat complicated venue issue that arose after an uninsured motorist collision. The case involved a named and an unnamed defendant, and required the court to determine whether the named defendant should be able to transfer the case to his home county. Finding that the case could be heard in either of the defendant’s home venues, the court determined that the named defendant was not entitled to transfer the case.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs were involved in a three-car accident after an unnamed driver swerved in front of their vehicle, requiring them to quickly apply the brakes. The named defendant, who was traveling directly behind the plaintiffs, slammed into the back of their car. The plaintiffs claimed the named defendant was following too closely.

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Recently, an appellate court issued an opinion in a car accident case that raised an interesting issue that frequently comes up in Florida car accident cases. The case involved an accident between an employee who was on his way home from work and the plaintiff. The plaintiff attempted to hold the employee’s employer liable for his injuries under the theory of vicarious liability. However, the court rejected the plaintiff’s claim based on the “coming-and-going” rule.

Legal News GavelThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was walking along the sidewalk when he was struck by a vehicle that had just been hit by another car that was being driven by a county public defender (the “employee”). The employee was on his way home from work at the time of the accident.

The employee worked for the county, which did not officially require that the employee have his own car. However, the employee’s job required that he go to numerous courthouses, visit clients in prison, and go to crime scenes in various cities.  Thus, essentially, the job would not be possible without a car.

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Earlier last month, video of a serious Florida car accident occurring at a toll booth spread across the internet, with most viewers surprised by the fact that no one involved in the accident was killed. According to a local news report, the accident occurred on the Florida Turnpike, near St. Cloud in Osceola County, in one of the road’s several pay booths.

Legal News GavelThe video shows a white sport-utility vehicle traveling toward the toll booth at what seems like full-speed. As the SUV approaches the booth, it does not slow down, takes out several of the warning cones placed in front of the booth, and collides head-on with the cement barrier that divides two of the toll booths.

After the initial collision, the car is thrown upward into the air as it catches fire. However, immediately after impact, one of the passengers in the car was catapulted through the front windshield of the vehicle onto the pavement some 60 feet away from where the accident occurred. The video, which may be too graphic for some viewers, shows the passenger’s head narrowly miss several obstacles before coming to a rest against one of the toll booths.

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A state appellate court recently issued an opinion in an interesting car accident case. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether a plaintiff’s signed rejection of uninsured motorist (UIM) protection was valid under state law. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s rejection of UIM coverage was valid and the defendant insurance company was not required to cover the plaintiff’s claim.

Legal News GavelThe case is important for Florida car accident victims because it illustrates the benefits of UIM coverage and the potential problems accident victims can encounter if they do not obtain sufficient UIM coverage.

The Facts of the Case

The opinion was issued as a result of two consolidated cases that presented similar issues. In both cases, the plaintiffs had obtained auto insurance coverage through the defendant insurance company. As is required by state law, the insurance company included UIM coverage as a default coverage. However, the company allowed for customers to opt out of coverage by signing a UIM rejection form.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case discussing the Slavin doctrine, and how it can protect a contractor from liability that was allegedly caused by their work. The case arose in the context of a motorcycle accident that the plaintiff argues was the result of shrubbery that obstructed the view of motorists as they approached the intersection.

Legal News GavelThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a surviving family member of a motorcyclist who was killed when he entered an intersection and was hit by another vehicle. The plaintiff believed that the accident was the result of shrubbery that obscured the vision of motorists as they approached the intersection. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against several entities, including the company that planned the landscaping project, the general contractor, and the landscaping company (‘the contractors”).

In most Florida car accident cases, one or more of the parties involved will file a claim with an insurance company, seeking compensation for the injuries they sustained in the accident. In many cases, after an accident, it is an at-fault driver’s insurance company – rather than the driver themselves – that ends up compensating the accident victim for their injuries.

Legal News GavelAn insurance policy is essentially just a contract between the insurance company and the insured, whereby the insurance company agrees to cover certain costs that are incurred in the event of an accident. As with all contracts, both parties have certain obligations and rights. For example, the insured’s main obligation is to pay the monthly premium, and in exchange, the insurance company agrees to provide the insurance contained in the policy.

There are often, however, terms that give rise to additional obligations on the insured’s part. For example, most insurance policies require that notice be given to the company in the event of an accident that may result in a claim being filed against the policy. In a recent case, a court had to determine whether a plaintiff’s failure to provide immediate notice violated a term of the contract and, if so, whether her claim should be dismissed as a result.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a motorcycle accident case that raised an interesting issue that confronts many Florida motorcycle accident plaintiffs. The case involved a plaintiff’s claim that he was entitled to coverage under the defendant’s uninsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverage. Ultimately, the court rejected the plaintiff’s claim.

Legal News GavelUIM Coverage

There are several types of insurance included in most insurance policies. Liability insurance covers personal injuries that are results of an accident caused by the insured. However, most insurance policies also include UIM coverage. Uninsured motorist protection covers the insured, and usually anyone occupying the insured vehicle, in the event that the at-fault motorist does not have adequate insurance coverage.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff motorcyclist was stopped at a red light when the defendant failed to stop in time and rear-ended him. As a result of the collision, the plaintiff was thrown backwards and landed on the hood of the defendant’s car.

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Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case involving an interesting insurance issue that can come up in many Florida car accident cases. The case required the court to determine if the defendant insurance company was proper to deny the plaintiffs’ claims arising from a rear-end accident involving a horse-drawn carriage.

Legal News GavelUltimately, the court concluded that one plaintiff’s claims could proceed to trial for a determination of whether coverage existed, while the other plaintiff’s claims were insufficient as a matter of law.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs were the driver and passenger of a horse-drawn carriage that was rear-ended after participating in a Christmas parade. The passenger-plaintiff was injured in the collision and filed a claim against the driver-plaintiff. That claim is not the subject of this case.

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Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion dismissing a plaintiff’s complaint against the defendant, based on the fact that the plaintiff concealed prior injuries that he had suffered. The case is important for Florida car accident victims because it illustrates the importance of being truthful in all statements to the court.

Legal News GavelThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was involved in an accident that he alleged was caused by the defendant. After the accident, the plaintiff claimed that he suffered injuries to his head, lower back, and shoulder. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for his injuries.

The case proceeded to the discovery phase, at which the parties were to exchange relevant requested information. As a part of discovery, the plaintiff was asked about his prior medical conditions in a set of written questions. In these questions, the plaintiff indicated that he had no prior back, neck, or shoulder injuries. However, when the defendant asked the plaintiff to sign a release to obtain his medical records, the plaintiff refused.

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