Articles Posted in Car Accident

Florida car accidents that occur on interstates and other high-speed roads are especially dangerous, as many drivers fail to realize how speed factors into the likelihood for an accident to occur, as well as the severity of accidents that do occur. Deadly accidents are tragically common on Florida roads, and many could be prevented if all drivers exercise due care when on the road. A recently published local news report discusses an accident that occurred early on New Year’s Eve, which took the life of a young girl and seriously injured several others.

According to the report, the child and her family were traveling in an SUV on Interstate 75 in southwest Florida when their vehicle was struck from behind by another vehicle that was following them closely. After the initial collision, the SUV was crushed into a fuel tanker that was stopped in front of it, resulting in several injuries and the death of the young girl. The news report does not mention if any criminal charges will be filed against anyone involved in the crash, however, the at-fault parties may be criminally and civilly liable for the damages resulting from the crash.

High-speed travel of interstates and highways can be especially dangerous. Two of the most common dangerous and illegal driving behaviors that contribute to highway accidents are traveling with excessive speed and following too closely. Many drivers underestimate the time that it takes to come to a stop when driving at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. Factoring in possible distractions as well as reaction time, drivers should leave enough distance between themselves and the next car to allow them to safely stop. Generally, it is reasonable and safe for drivers to leave at least two seconds worth of road between themselves and the next vehicle.

Earlier this month, a hit and run accident claimed the lives of two children and injured four others. In the wake of the accident, investigators scoured the scene for evidence. Ultimately, their investigation led them to a man whom they believed was driving at the time of the accident. During an interview, the man confessed to driving the car that was involved in the fatal accident.

Since then, prosecutors announced that the man will face serious felony charges related to the accident. According to a recent news report, the man’s first court appearance was last week, when he temporarily left the courtroom, “objecting” to the proceedings against him. While the outcome of the trial remains to be seen, the family members of the deceased accident victims—as well as those injured in the accident—may choose to pursue a civil personal injury claim against the driver.

After a serious accident involving potentially criminal activity, the person alleged to be at fault may very well face criminal charges. A criminal case is intended to hold the allegedly at-fault driver for violating the law—not necessarily for the harm caused to the victims. Along those lines, if the driver is subsequently found guilty, they can face various punishments, including fines, probation and jail time.

The holiday season is always chaotic—and this year is no exception. With more cars on the road and more people rushing from place to place to get last-minute gifts or supplies for their holiday gatherings, the roads can often be a frustrating and dangerous place to be this time of year. Thus, if you find yourself suddenly caught in a multiple vehicle, chain reaction accident—whether it’s this time of year or any other time of year—it is crucial to remain level-headed and prepared for your next steps, no matter how chaotic the situation may seem.

According to a recent local news report, 11 people were injured following a major chain reaction car accident. Based on a preliminary investigation of the accident, a major set of collisions involving approximately 35 vehicles and multiple semi-trucks over the course of half a mile shut down multiple lanes for several hours. Although no fatalities have been reported, two of the 11 people injured had to be pulled from their vehicles, and everyone who was injured was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Local authorities are still investigating the details of the accident.

Chain reaction accidents take place when one event causes an initial car accident, which leads to other vehicles in the vicinity of the initial accident to also collide with each other. In most chain reaction car accidents, the driver who caused the initial crash is usually the at-fault party. This, however, can change based on the circumstances and facts surrounding an accident.

With more people traveling for the holidays this time of year, the risk of an accident taking place is often also higher. Sometimes, no matter how careful of a driver you are, it is impossible to account for all possible scenarios or circumstances because others may be negligent or reckless on the road. Thus, in the event of an accident, it is crucial to know how to best protect yourself and what steps to take moving forward if you decide to pursue legal action after a car collision.

According to a recent local news report, Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested a driver after a major accident. Local authorities reported that a Chevy was traveling northbound when it went around a semi-tractor and slid into the right lane to do so. While in the right lane, the Chevy collided with the back of a Kia. The impact from the crash split the Kia’s left rear and side open as the car veered off the roadway and onto the right shoulder before flipping upside down. The KIA then slid into a grassy area near the road, where four passengers who were in the back of the vehicle were ejected. The driver and his front-seat passenger survived the crash and were treated for minor injuries, while two of the passengers in the back were pronounced dead at the scene and the other two passengers were severely injured.

The crash was so severe that fire officials had to extricate the driver and front-seat passenger from the wreckage. According to troopers, evidence from the accident indicates that this was a high-speed crash, with the Chevy driving much faster than the speed limit. In addition, the driver refused to participate in a field sobriety test, and troopers believe that the crash was alcohol-related. The accident remains under investigation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 90 percent of accidents involve driver error. Moreover, nearly 35 percent of those accidents involve road rage or aggressive driving. In Florida, road rage commonly refers to the anger a driver experiences when they experience stress or frustration while driving. Road rage is a serious problem in Florida, and a person’s fleeting rage can have long-term and potentially fatal consequences for other drivers, passengers, and bystanders.

While Florida authorities often distinguish between “driver error” and “aggressive driving,” many errors begin with an error and escalate into a rage. For instance, news reports described a harrowing road rage accident that took the life of a pregnant woman. The woman hit a motorcyclist and drove away from the incident. While the motorcyclist did not suffer injuries, he followed her to get information. The motorcyclist and two witnessed tried to get the woman to stop at an intersection; however, she continued driving and went to her home. The motorcyclist and witnesses followed her and waited outside of her home, and called 911. The woman appeared from her house with a firearm and pointed it at the motorcyclist and witnesses. The motorcyclist drew his handgun and shot at the woman multiple times. He remained at the scene of the accident until emergency responders arrived. Tragically, the woman died from her wounds.

  • Some common driver errors include:

Recently, news reports described new harrowing details following a Florida Tesla crash that occurred last September. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an investigation and reported that that the car flew through a yellow light at around 90 miles per hour. The speed limit in the neighborhood was 30 mph. Apparently, as the driver approached reached the intersection, he hit the accelerator to 100%. The driver then sped through the light and slammed into two trees in succession. Following the impact, the car’s battery exploded and burst into flames. The fire reignited at least one time which caused firefighters to experience challenges when trying to extinguish the explosion. The 20-year-old driver and his 19-year-old passenger died at the scene of the accident.

Tesla is frequently under fire for its self-driving or “autonomous” driving options. Many argue that these functions are not nearly as safe as the company touts, and a lack of driver experience and company oversight leads to deadly consequences. However, this accident seems to involve another issue concerning lithium batteries. The NTSB has repeatedly voiced concerns about lithium battery fires in aircraft, Teslas, and other vehicles. The agency has issued safety recommendations urging regulators, manufacturers, and firefighters to prevent and prepare for these types of fires.

Lithium-ion batteries have been the source of highly publicized investigations and recalls. Lithium is the lightest metal with the least dense solid element thereby creating a high-energy-density. This density allows lithium to store more energy over a longer time, compared to traditional batteries. Despite this benefit, the battery poses a serious danger because of its combustible material. A single cell can get hot to the point where it catches fire and spreads to the next cell. This “thermal runaway” effect essentially makes the battery easily catch fire or explode quickly.

The Third District Court of Appeals recently addressed a defendant’s appeal following a jury trial awarding the plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages. According to the facts, the cause of action arises from a car accident when the defendant crossed over the center line and slammed into the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing it to flip over nearly two times. The plaintiff and her children survived, and she filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant. The plaintiff amended her complaint and added a claim for punitive damages, arguing that the defendant was high on heroin at the accident.

Before trial, the parties provided a list of witnesses and any potential expert testimony. The defendant filed an “expert disclosure” for a CPA to testify regarding the plaintiff’s economic damages. Later the same day, the defendant filed a supplemental disclosure for the CPA, indicating that the expert would testify to the defendant’s net worth and the amount he needs to sustain himself. Further, the defendant claimed that the expert would testify about the effect that punitive damages would have on his livelihood. The plaintiff moved to strike the disclosure, arguing it was untimely; the court agreed and limited the CPA’s testimony to economic damages. The defendant testified to his limited financial resources at trial, but he did not call the CPA as a witness. The defendant appealed the jury’s award of punitive and compensatory damages to the plaintiff.

Under Florida law, courts can exercise discretion when determining whether to allow an untimely disclosed witness. Courts should make their decision primarily based on whether the testimony will prejudice the objecting party. Prejudice refers to the objecting party’s surprise, not to the adverse nature of the testimony. Some factors that a trial court should consider including:

A Florida appellate court recently decided a case addressing whether a trial court erred in dismissing a plaintiff’s car accident lawsuit against a deceased defendant. Four years after the accident, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant in the case passed away three months before the plaintiff’s action. The lower court removed the deceased woman from the filing and substituted the woman with the personal representative of her Estate. In response, the Estate moved to dismiss the complaint, contending that the court lacked jurisdiction over the action. Specifically, they argued that the action could not proceed because it named a deceased person as a defendant. Further, they asserted that the complaint could not be amended and relate back to the original filing.

Under Florida law, negligence actions must include a:

  • A cause of action in negligence;

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.

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