Articles Posted in Car Accident

In a recent case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion in an appeal involving a dispute regarding the definition of a land motor vehicle in an insurance policy. The plaintiff, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm), sued the defendant, an individual with a car insurance policy with State Farm after the defendant filed a claim when she was struck by an uninsured driver of an electric motorized scooter. State Farm denied the defendant’s claim and then sued, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Policy provided no coverage. Both parties moved for summary judgment. At trial, the district court denied the defendant’s motion and granted summary judgment in part to State Farm. The plaintiff then filed a timely appeal.

The incident that triggered this case occurred on a Florida highway when the defendant’s insured Nissan Altima was struck by a driver operating a Razor Pocket Mod scooter (the Scooter). The Scooter had a top speed of 15 mph with a total battery life of 40 minutes of continuous ride time. The Scooter was not manufactured with a taillight, brake lights, turn signals, or exterior mirrors, and no such equipment had been added. The defendant suffered serious injuries to her neck, back, and knee, with surgery expected as a result of the crash. The Nissan Altima sustained a cracked headlight and fog light, a crushed front bumper and fender, and a cracked passenger side mirror.

Following the crash, the defendant submitted a claim to State Farm for UM coverage in the amount of $100,000. State Farm denied the claim, stating that the Scooter was not an “uninsured motor vehicle” under the policy. The State Farm insurance policy stated that it would “pay compensatory damages for bodily injury an insured is legally entitled to recover from the owner or driver of an uninsured motor vehicle.

In a recent case, the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Florida issued an opinion in an appeal involving a direct negligence claim and a vicarious liability claim by the appellant, the plaintiff, the appellees, a corporation, and its supervising employees. The plaintiff’s claim arose from a crash he suffered while riding his bicycle along a busy street. When he crossed in front of an automobile dealership, an employee of the dealership was leaving in a company van for delivery and crashed into the plaintiff. Responding to the operative complaint, the dealership admitted ownership of the van and that the driver was driving the van with permission while in the course of his employment when the crash occurred. At trial, the lower court dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims.

At trial, the plaintiff filed claims of negligent driving against the driver and the dealership and additionally filed a claim against the dealership supervisors for negligent training, retention, supervision, and entrustment. He also filed a complaint alleging negligent hiring against the service manager. Finally, the plaintiff filed a vicarious liability complaint against the dealership corporation, North American Automotive Services, Inc. (North American), for the acts of its employee, the general manager. The supervisors, as well as North American each moved to dismiss their respective claims, and the trial court granted all three motions to dismiss. After final orders were entered dismissing the negligent employment claims with prejudice, the plaintiff gave notice of appeal.

On appeal, the plaintiff contended that the trial court erred in dismissing his claims against the supervisors and North American by ruling that, pursuant to Clooney, negligent employment claims against individual supervisors must allege that the subordinate employee’s negligent acts were outside the scope of employment. The appellate opinion found that the trial court’s reliance on Clooney was misplaced. In Clooney, the plaintiff did not allege direct negligence against the employer. Instead, the two counts which the trial court struck alleged concurrent theories of recovery based on vicarious liability. In short, the counts in Clooney were redundant. Additionally, the negligent employment claims in Clooney were brought against the employer and not individually against the supervisor. The appellate opinion further pointed out that in the case before them, the plaintiff did not make any negligent employment claims against the employer of the driver causing the accident, but instead, the negligent employment claims were made against the supervisors individually, and vicariously against an employer of one of the supervisors.

E-bike accident levels have continued to rise as e-bike usage climbs throughout the nation and Florida. Nationally, the sale of e-bikes has rapidly increased, with roughly 804,000 sold in 2021, up from only about 152,000 in 2016, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association. E-bikes are a popular vehicle option for several reasons, including convenience, cost savings on gas, and reduced environmental impact relative to cars.

Unfortunately, e-bikes pose an elevated risk relative to conventional bicycles due to the greater velocity of e-bikes. The greater power and subsequent velocity that riders receive from e-bikes places riders at increased risk of accidents and greater harm resulting from such accidents. In fact, a 2020 study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Injury Prevention, found that riders of e-bikes are more likely to require hospitalization following accidents than riders of manual bicycles. A recent news article detailed a fatal crash between a truck and an e-bike in the Upper Keys.

According to the article, the crash occurred when a truck hit and killed a 59-year-old man on an e-bike was hit by a truck while trying to cross the road near Snake Creek Bridge in Islamorada. The Florida Highway Patrol said that the man was traveling north on the east side of U.S. 1 when he collided with a pickup truck driven by a 70-year-old man heading south towards Snake Creek Bridge. Per the law enforcement report, the man on the e-bike entered the southbound lane and into the pickup truck’s path before being struck on the right side. The man riding the e-bike died of his injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash, and charges are pending.

While it is common knowledge that driving a motorcycle or motorbike is relatively more dangerous than driving a car or other four-wheeled motor vehicle over the same distance, the difference in safety is starker than you might think. According to some sources, riding a motorcycle can be up to 26 times more likely to die in an accident than someone in an automobile over an identical trip. The heightened level of risk present in motorcycle riding should put car drivers on alert to exercise extreme caution when out on the road. The unprotected nature of motorcycles and the lighter weight and small profile while driving means that car drivers should be hyper-vigilant and aware of motorcycles so as to avoid crashes when driving. A recently published news report detailed a fatal motorcycle crash in Pasco County, Florida, from last month.

According to the recently published news report, the Pasco County motorcycle accident occurred on the afternoon of Thursday, February 16, when an 83-year-old driver of an SUV was traveling northbound on Oakmont Ave and failed to stop at the intersection. Subsequently, a 63-year-old Tarpon Springs man who was driving a motorcycle westbound on Anclote Blvd approaching Oakmont Ave collided with the SUV and collided with another vehicle. The driver of the motorcycle was transported to a nearby trauma center, where he died from his injuries.

Florida makes use of the pure comparative negligence standard. Comparative negligence is the legal concept that parties in an accident are assigned the calculated percentage of fault that they were responsible for in a given accident. Under the pure comparative negligence model, an accident victim can recover money from an equally or less negligent party. That means that in the state of Florida, accident victims can recover compensation from the other party, even if the victim is partially at fault, including fault that exceeds 51%. In practice, this means that even if the victim is found to be mostly at fault for an accident during a trial, they can still seek compensation for personal damages from the other party. If a claim is successful, the total damages awarded will be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault. It is vital to have an experienced accident attorney to navigate this complex process.

From year to year, Florida is consistently one of the states with the most traffic accidents each year. One of the most common ways to measure the risk of fatal car accidents from state to state is the metric of deaths per 100 million miles traveled within a given state. This statistical format can be helpful to calculate driving risks in a state while controlling for disparities in population between different states. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the deaths per 100 million miles traveled within Florida is 1.60, placing it ahead of all but a handful of other states in the country when it comes to drivers and passengers killed in car accidents. Fatalities in Florida car accidents have been rising since 2018, and currently, nearly 40% of all vehicle crashes result in injuries. Crashes occurring on highways can be particularly dangerous due to the higher speed limits on highways, resulting in more serious implications than crashes occurring at slower speeds.

When it comes to vehicle accidents, drivers and passengers in Florida need to be aware of the variety of factors that can be used to calculate pain and suffering damages after a car collision. These factors include but are not limited to injury category, the time required for recovery, treatments, and the severity of the crash. These different elements can help pinpoint the necessary compensation in court after a car crash. Many of these factors are related, as the more serious the crash, the more likely the time to fully recover will be longer. A recent news article discussed a recent fatal St. Lucie County highway from last month.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when two cars collided at an intersection of State Road 70. The accident is being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). According to the FHP, a 58-year-old man was traveling South on Shinn Road approaching the intersection on State Road 70 when he collided with another vehicle driven by a 51-year-old man driving West on State Road 70. The incident occurred on Friday, February 17, around 5:38 a.m. The 58-year-old man was killed during the collision after failing to yield the right of way to the second vehicle.

Riding a motorcycle is between 15 to 40 times more dangerous than driving a car, and each year dozens of motorcyclists are killed, and thousands more are injured in Florida vehicle accidents. Motorcyclists should exercise extreme caution when out on the road, carefully obeying all traffic signs and laws. In one recent piece from the medical journal CMAJ, research performed on 27,000 motorcycle accidents and 282,000 car accidents found that the injury rate for motorcycle crashes was triple the rate of injury for car crashes. Additionally, the risk of severe injuries was 10 times more likely in motorcycle accidents. Notably, the cost of medical treatment the motorcycle crashes was double that of car accident survivors.

Given the elevated risks when it comes to Florida motorcycle accidents, motorcycle drivers and passengers should be aware of several Florida-specific points when it comes to motorcycle crash compensation. In Florida, compensation in a motorcycle accident will not include personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is a mandatory, no-fault coverage paid out by the insurance company following an automobile accident. PIP provides up to $10,000 in compensation for things such as medical bills and lost wages, even if the policyholder is responsible for the crash. However, motorcyclists do not receive PIP coverage. A recent news article discussed a fatal motorcycle accident that occurred in February 2023 in Florida.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when a 32-year-old woman driving a 2018 Toyota SUV accelerated as she left the Big Pine Academy school, turning south on U.S. 1. Her car hit the right side of a motorcycle with a 62-year-old man on it. The man on the motorcycle was stopped in the turn lane on U.S. 1, waiting to drive into Big Pine Village shopping center, when the SUV hit him. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man on the motorcycle was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The man was flown by a helicopter ambulance to Jackson South Medical Center in Kendall for treatment to address his critical injuries, but he died at the hospital later that night. Authorities have said that charges are still pending as the investigation unfolds.

Although contemporary cars are manufactured based on strict safety standards, accidents due to mechanical failure or malfunction can still cause major or fatal injuries. While it is always important to maintain all parts of your motor vehicle, certain mechanical failures are more common than others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, brakes are responsible for 22% of car accidents due to mechanical failure. There are several different ways that car brakes can contribute to accidents, including faulty or worn brake lines, antilock brake system malfunctions, or worn-out brake pads and discs. Each of these malfunctions or failures compromises brake performance in different ways but has the potential to result in serious automobile crashes. A recently published news report discusses a crash at a Florida auto show.

According to the news report, the accident happened around 9:30 am on Wednesday, February 15, when a “slow-moving” vehicle crashed into the crowd at the Lauderdale Lakes Auto Auction lot. The collision occurred at the South Florida Auto Auction lot at 3500 NW 21 Street when a car began moving through the crowd as an auction was in progress, injuring eight people. According to the law enforcement report, investigators determined that the brakes of the vehicle failed as it was being moved. Officials said that of the eight victims, five were hospitalized with minor injuries, while one refused transportation to the hospital. Nobody died in the crash.

It would serve Florida drivers and passengers well to know what factors can be used when calculating pain and suffering damages following a car accident. These factors include things such as recovery time, the severity of the injury, pain level, type of injury, and magnitude of the crash. These elements are weighed together to help deduce what the appropriate level of compensation should be granted in court following an automobile crash. When it comes to considering evidence and the factors of a lawsuit in a case where the accident was caused by defective or faulty brakes, it can make a lot of sense to speak with an experienced personal injury trial lawyer to learn about the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and how most insurance companies respond to these claims.

Speeding is one of the top causes of automobile accidents throughout the nation. Driving at high speeds increases both the likelihood and the severity of car crashes. Driving at higher speeds makes it more difficult to react to mistakes on the road from yourself or other drivers. Additionally, higher speeds lead to more serious crashes when drivers do collide with other vehicles or obstacles. Florida is no exception, with the state experiencing extremely high levels of car accidents and auto fatalities. According to a report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV), in 2021, car accidents spiked throughout Florida after two straight years of decline. Throughout 2021, Florida saw 401,170 total car accidents. Additionally, approximately 40% of car accidents in Florida result in fatalities. According to the FDHSMV, fatal car accidents have been on the rise throughout Florida. A recently published news article discusses a fatal single-car crash in Miami-Dade County.

According to the news report, the accident occurred around 5:30 am on Wednesday, February 15, when a white Mercedes-Benz coupe was traveling on the entrance ramp from southbound Northwest 42nd Avenue to the Dolphin Expressway when the driver lost control while negotiating the curve of the ramp. The car then crashed into the guardrail and into the concrete barrier walls. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where he died. The person sitting in the front passenger seat was pronounced dead at the scene.

In Florida, surviving family members can sue for wrongful death following a fatal car accident by filing a lawsuit in a civil court. Prior to filing a claim, the family members need to gather evidence to support the claim, prove liability, determine the value of their claim, meet the statute of limitations, and then file the claim with the court. According to Florida statutes, a wrongful death claim brought by surviving family members of a car passenger can result from accidents where the death is caused by “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another party. An attorney can evaluate the details of your case and determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim based on the details of the case.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS), 13.5% of people reported driving at least once in the past year when they thought their alcohol levels might have been close to or possibly over the legal limit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths, which was a 14% increase from 2019. According to the NHTSA, 32 people in the United States die every day in drunk-driving crashes. A recently published news report discusses a former NFL player facing DUI charges in Florida following an accident.

According to the news report, the accident occurred early on Saturday, February 4, when former NFL player Vontae Davis rear-ended a pick-up truck that was on the side of the highway due to a flat tire, injuring the truck’s driver, who had been standing outside of the vehicle. According to law enforcement officers, Davis lost control of his vehicle while driving, resulting in a collision with the parked pick-up truck on the side of the turnpike. The impact sent the pick-up truck spinning into a concrete barrier, striking the driver who had been waiting outside. The driver was then taken to a hospital with multiple injuries. According to law enforcement officers, Davis smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, and could barely stay awake while being interviewed by a trooper after the accident. Davis refused to provide a blood or urine sample and wouldn’t agree to perform a field sobriety test, according to the law enforcement report. Davis told the trooper interviewing him that he had consumed two drinks at a club.

In Florida, a first-time DUI offense is usually considered a misdemeanor. Generally, the person charged will have their license suspended for six months, with the penalty increasing to one year if they refused to submit to chemical testing when they were stopped. In Florida, first offenses carry a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000 and carry a maximum jail sentence of six months. Additionally, judges in Florida are required to place people convicted of their first DUI on probation and order them to complete at least 50 hours of community service.

Driving or riding on motorcycles is a relatively risky activity, and the numbers bear that out, both in Florida and throughout the nation. In 2020, there were an estimated 620,077 registered motorcyclists in Florida. Motorcycles are inherently riskier than cars as they don’t have airbags or metal frames and are smaller than other vehicles. Between 2018 and 2020, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Florida increased slightly as did the rate of fatal injuries. Taking relevant and common sense safety seriously is vital if you ride or drive a motorcycle. Such steps include having all motorcycle riders wear their helmets and protective gear. While it might be tempting to forego such steps, either because the riders are driving a short distance or moving at slow speeds, doing so could have a significant impact on a victim’s recovery in the event of an accident.

Given the substantial risk of fatal motorcycle accidents in Florida, riders should be aware that in Florida, pure comparative negligence in auto accidents can have a significant impact on a victim’s recovery. A skillful plaintiffs’ attorney can use pure comparative negligence to advocate for a larger recovery for a victim and navigate past strong legal defenses. A recent local news article discussed a recent fatal Florida motorcycle accident.

According to the local news article, the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Highway 98 and Avenue Due Fontaine Bleau in Mary Esther on Wednesday, January 25. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the motorcyclist was traveling west on Highway 98 when an Okaloosa County school bus was facing south on Avenue Due Fontaine Bleau at a stop sign. The crash occurred when a school bus entered the intersection, crossing into the path of the motorcycle. The motorcycle then collided with the left side of the school bus. The Florida Highway Patrol stated that there were five children on the bus at the time of the crash. The 28-year-old motorcyclist is dead, and two children were injured during the crash.

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