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Articles Posted in Car Accident

An appellate court recently issued an opinion in a bad faith insurance lawsuit stemming from an accident between an 18-year-old driver and a motorcyclist. The accident occurred when the 18-year-old turned into a median in front of the biker. The biker slammed into the driver’s car with such force that the vehicle spun 180 degrees. The biker suffered serious injuries from the collision and was airlifted to a hospital.

The 18-year-old was driving his mother’s car at the time of the accident, and when he called the insurance company, he reported property damage but neglected to report any physical injuries. The insurance company interviewed the driver, who disclosed that the biker suffered injuries, and he indicated that the biker might have been speeding. The preliminary insurance investigation revealed that the accident occurred in a low-speed limit area, the motorcycle left long skid marks, and the driver did not receive a citation. With these facts, the insurance company concluded that the biker was likely contributorily negligent.

About ten days after the accident, the insurance company decided to tender the bodily injury limits to the biker; however, they asked the biker’s attorney if they could inspect the motorcycle. The next day the insurance company delivered a “tender package” to the biker’s attorney. The package included a cover sheet and described the content of the delivery, which included a $50,000 check and a form that released the company of “all claims.” The letter invited the biker’s attorney to edit the release or suggest changes to a release. The biker’s attorney did not address the release but rejected the offer stating the insurance company was trying to take advantage of the biker and his family by including an overbroad release.

When we buy a product, whether it’s food, an appliance, or a car, we expect and trust that the product will be safe for our use. Sometimes, however, these products can cause property damage or injury, which may mean that you may be eligible to receive compensation. From prescription drugs to negligently manufactured appliances, product liability lawsuits are always available for consumers so that the public can hold manufacturers accountable.

According to a recent news report, a major car accident involving a Tesla is prompting a federal investigation into the vehicle’s new technology and safety for consumers. After the accident killed two people, U.S. safety investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board sent three representatives to specifically look for photos or videos of the crash or the fire that broke out after the initial accident. Because Tesla vehicles are electric do not use gasoline, it is unclear what specifically caused the crash or the fire. It is also unclear whether the vehicle’s automated driving system was activated at the time of the collision, which has been the subject of federal interest in recent years. The report investigators plan to generate will create recommendations to other federal agencies about future safety regulations.

In Florida, there are frequent incidents that give rise to similar product liability claims. These claims, however, are subject to specific laws and requirements that govern product liability lawsuits. Because these cases can often be complex, it is crucial that potential plaintiffs understand the details surrounding filing a product liability lawsuit and what a claim will entail.

A Florida appeals court recently considered a Florida car accident case in which the jury had found in the defendant’s favor, despite admissions made by the defendant. The defendant had been driving a car and collided with a motorcycle, resulting in a fatality. The plaintiff filed a claim against the defendant and the case went to trial. According to the court’s opinion, prior to the trial, the defendant made some “admissions” in her deposition, which were admitted at the trial. Despite this, the jury found in favor of the defendant, finding she was not the cause of the crash. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which the trial court denied. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the jury’s decision was contrary to the evidence presented at trial and that the jury was bound by the defendant’s admissions.

If a party receives a jury verdict that is not in their favor, the party may be able to appeal the decision and other decisions made by the trial court. On appeal, a Florida appeals court reviews the decisions made by the trial court under different standards, depending on the decision. If a party files a motion for a new trial, the trial court will review the decision to see if it was supported by “competent, substantial evidence,” while considering the court’s observations about the witnesses at trial.

Thus, a trial judge can consider, in light of these observations, whether the jury’s verdict was “unjust” or a “miscarriage of justice.” When an appeals court reviews a denial of a motion for a new trial, the appeals court can only consider whether the trial court “abused its discretion” in denying the motion for a new trial. Thus, the appeals court should only overturn the judge’s decision if the evidence at trial clearly and obviously reflected a verdict in the other party’s favor—only where there is “no rational basis in the evidence to support the verdict.” In addition, if a party appeals a jury’s verdict, an appeals court will consider whether the verdict was “contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.”

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Despite innovations in technology to make life easier, accidents often still occur. When these accidents cause injury or death, the responsible party will often blame the technology for the incident. However, in many cases, the user of the technology has still made errors leading to the accident. Because of this, they are still liable, and the injured person can bring a negligence lawsuit. But when the accident was not the fault of another person but actually a defective product, Florida law allows the injured party to bring a lawsuit in this instance too. Since it is difficult to discern whether a person should bring a negligence or a defective product lawsuit, listed below are the elements of both negligence and products liability lawsuits.

In Florida, an airborne Tesla plowed through a stop sign and into a home early last week. According to one news report, the car was fully airborne when it crashed through the house, leaving a massive hole in the middle of the property. The driver of the car sped through a stop sign and hit a curb—this sent the car into the air and into the house. The accident caused the death of a 69-year-old woman in the house, a passenger in the car, and left three people seriously injured. While the vehicle has an Autopilot function, it was not deployed at the time of the accident.

Negligence Lawsuits

After the death of a loved one in an accident, many things may feel out of the family’s control. However, something the loved ones of the deceased can control is whether or not to bring a lawsuit if the accident was caused by another person. These lawsuits are called wrongful death lawsuits, which can be brought in any state. However, states, including Florida, have different requirements for who can bring the lawsuit along with what the parties must allege.

Recently, a Florida man was arrested after a multi-vehicle crash led to fatalities. A man from Miami was traveling west on I-80 and rear-ended another vehicle, which was then hit by another car. In total, the crash involved eight vehicles and caused two fatalities—a father and son who were in the car who was initially rear-ended—and five other people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police indicated the initial driver caused the accident by not paying attention and driving extremely fast; he has been arrested on two counts of motor vehicle homicide.

Many states have specific laws dedicated to bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. In Florida, the Wrongful Death Act governs all wrongful death suits. The purpose of the Wrongful Death Act is to shift the losses when a wrongful death occurs from the deceased’s survivors to the wrongdoer of the act. Because of this, the family of a person killed under these circumstances can bring a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, there are strict requirements that must be met in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful. A lawsuit can only be brought if the death of the person is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another person, and the accident would have entitled the deceased to bring a personal injury lawsuit if they had not died.

Car accidents are traumatic for those involved, as well as for an accident victim’s loved ones who were not a part of the accident. When someone is killed in a tragic car accident, bringing a lawsuit is not the first thought on the family’s mind. As time progresses, and if they decide that they want to financially recover, the family may be confused about who is permitted to bring the lawsuit. However, Florida law has specific requirements for who is able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one has passed away in a car accident.

Recently, a car accident in Miami claimed the lives of a teacher, her husband, and her mother. The teacher, who was driving her mother to her dialysis treatment, was struck by another driver as she was trying to make a turn. Miami-Dade police later indicated that the driver of the second vehicle had been drinking and this likely caused the accident.

In situations like the aforementioned tragedy, it may be confusing to determine who should bring a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Florida law, the lawsuit must be brought by the deceased’s “personal representative” with the intent to obtain compensation for the benefit of the deceased’s “survivors.” A deceased’s “survivors” can include their spouse, children, parents, siblings, and other extended family members. The law also allows other individuals to financially recover from the loss of a loved one if they depended on the deceased for support—either emotionally or financially. Therefore, Florida law provides many family members with the opportunity to sue the accountable party after the loss of a loved one in a car accident.

Most Florida drivers understand and respect the requirement that they move over to avoid the lane adjacent to a stopped police or emergency vehicle. When possible, drivers should steer their vehicle into another lane if there is an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder or the side of the road. Drivers may not know that it is equally important to stay away from any stopped or disabled vehicle on the side of the road. A recent fatal accident on the Florida turnpike was caused when the driver of a pickup truck struck a tow truck that was assisting a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the turnpike.

According to a local news report discussing the crash, a tow truck had stopped on the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike in Lake County and was preparing to tow a disabled vehicle as a pickup truck approached. The driver of the pickup truck stayed in the lane closest to the tow truck and veered into the shoulder unexpectedly. The pickup truck struck the tow truck and the driver of the tow truck, who was outside of the vehicle at the time. After the initial collision, the pickup truck rolled, and the driver was ejected from the vehicle. Both the tow truck driver and the driver of the pickup truck were killed as a result of the collision. A passenger in the pickup truck survived but was taken to a local hospital in serious condition.

Florida Motor Vehicle Code Section XXIII(316)(26)(116)(1)(b) requires drivers to move over from the closest lane from an emergency, utility, or service vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road performing professional duties. Drivers who fail to follow the move over law can be cited with an infraction offense. In the event of an accident that occurs because a driver failed to follow the move over law, the driver can be found negligent and responsible for damages to any other drivers who are hurt or suffer property damage as a result of a crash.

A narrow, two-lane road is enough to make even the most skilled of drivers nervous. Sometimes, these roads lack a proper shoulder or only have an extremely narrow one. Often, no matter how carefully you drive on these roads, accidents happen. Unfortunately, because of the lack of space on two-lane roads, some of the accidents that take place are head-on collisions.

According to a recent local news report, two motorists were killed after a major head-on collision. Local authorities reported that the first vehicle, a sedan, was driving westbound when it veered suddenly into the path of an SUV driving in the opposite direction. Both drivers were killed in the head-on collision. The SUV driver was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver of the sedan was transported to a local hospital where he later was pronounced dead. A passenger of one of the vehicles remains hospitalized.

Although head-on collisions are rare compared to other types of car accidents such as rear-end accidents or hit-and-runs, the risk they carry should not be dismissed by drivers. Unfortunately, Florida, like other states, experiences its fair share of head-on collisions. Statistics estimate that only two percent of car crashes are head-on collisions, but that they account for well over 10 percent of driving fatalities. Thus, it is safe to say that head-on collisions are considered to be one of the most dangerous—and deadly—types of car accidents out there.

Following a car accident, it can sometimes be hard to ensure that all the necessary details are taken care of. The adrenaline from the accident paired with needing to exchange information with the other parties, taking photographs of the damage, vehicles, and the scene, and calling local authorities can be an overwhelming process.

Although there is a lot of discussion as to what to do immediately after an accident takes place, there is significantly less discussion about what happens after the logistical tasks of exchanging insurance information and cataloging the accident are over. Many people assume that after an accident happens, sitting in or near their disabled vehicle on the side of the road is safe while they figure out the next steps. Unfortunately, this is not always the case—and choosing to do so without moving your vehicle can often have deadly consequences.

According to a recent news report, a Miami woman was killed after being struck while sitting in her disabled vehicle. The woman had been in a separate accident earlier and was sitting in her sedan in the left-hand lane of the turnpike when two sedans crashed into her. The first sedan rear-ended the Miami woman’s vehicle, which forced it into the concrete median and spun it around. The second car struck the driver’s side of the Miami woman’s car. Local authorities pronounced the woman dead at the scene, and one of the passengers of the sedans suffered serious injuries.

Tesla has been leading the autonomous car industry, and while these cars are an alluring glimpse into the future, they also pose many dangers to road users. These dangers primarily stem from a driver’s overreliance on the vehicle’s technological ability to operate the car safely. A 2018 Florida Tesla autopilot accident is a prime example of the company’s claims and user overreliance.

In that case, a Florida driver was traveling in his Tesla in Autopilot mode when he bent down to look for his phone. Neither the driver nor the vehicle’s technology realized the road was ending. The vehicle flew through a stop sign and red light and slammed into a parked Chevrolet. The tragic accident took the life of a 22-year-college student. The woman’s estate filed a lawsuit against the company, arguing that the vehicles are “defective and unsafe.” In addition, the estate settled a lawsuit against the Tesla driver. This incident was just one of several fatal accidents involving Tesla vehicles operating on Autopilot mode.

The company explains that Autopilot mode is a system that allows the vehicle to accelerate, brake, and steer without a driver. While the company publicly touts their advanced technology or “driverless cars,” their website states that Autopilot mode is designed to “assist” the driver with “burdensome parts” of driving. Further, the website now states that “current” Autopilot features require “active” driver supervision. Despite its name, the vehicles are not autonomous, and the vehicle’s manuals warn operators not to use the function on city streets.

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