Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Typically, if a person injured in a car accident enters into a settlement agreement with the party responsible for the crash before a lawsuit is filed, it will be considered a complete resolution of the claims. In some cases, though, it may be unclear whether the parties actually entered into a contractual settlement agreement, and the injured party will proceed with litigation. Recently, a Florida court discussed the right of a defendant to question a plaintiff’s attorney regarding the settlement of a claim in a case in which the defendant argued the plaintiff was improperly seeking damages despite previously settling claims arising out of the underlying accident. If you were injured in a car accident, you only have one chance to recover damages, and it is prudent to speak to a dedicated Florida car accident lawyer to determine your potential claims.

The Underlying Accident and Negotiations

It is reported that there was a three-car accident involving the plaintiff, the defendant, and another party. The defendant’s car struck the third-party’s car, which then struck the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff and his son were both injured in the crash. Following the accident, the plaintiff and the third party asserted claims against the defendant. The parties reportedly entered into a settlement agreement, wherein the defendant’s insurer agreed to pay her policy limits, which were divided among the three injured parties.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and attached evidence regarding the settlement agreement to her motion. The plaintiff opposed the motion and filed affidavits stating that no settlement occurred. The defendant then sought to depose the plaintiff’s attorney and the plaintiff on issues pertaining to settlement. The plaintiff sought and was granted a protective order precluding such discovery, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading ›

In many cases in which parties are involved in a car accident, the police will investigate the collision and take statements from the drivers and passengers involved and any witnesses who observed the event. While such statements may contain helpful or incriminating evidence, it is unlikely that they can be introduced during a trial in the Florida courts. The reasoning behind precluding statements from a police report during a trial was recently discussed in a Florida case in which the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of an order denying her right to introduce such information. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to retain a seasoned Florida personal injury attorney who will fight to help you protect your interests.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant drove onto a sidewalk and struck and killed the plaintiff’s decedent. A Florida police officer that investigated the accident took statements from the defendant and her passenger and drafted a report that included the findings of his investigation, including the statements. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging wrongful death, and negligence claims. Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the accident report and the statements therein from admission into evidence. The court granted the motion, after which the plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration.

Grounds for Granting a Motion for Reconsideration

Under Florida law, in order for a motion for reconsideration to be granted, a party must show why the court should reevaluate its prior decision and must set forth strongly convincing law or facts that will persuade the court to reverse its prior ruling. Generally, a court will accept three grounds for reconsidering an order: a change in the controlling law, new evidence that was previously unavailable, or the need to prevent manifest injustice by correcting an error. The party asking the court to reconsider an order bears the burden of proving a reconsideration is warranted.

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Many people assume that when one driver rear-ends another, there is no dispute as to who is at fault for the accident. In many lawsuits arising out of rear-end collisions, however, the defendant driver will argue that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to the accident in some way, and therefore liability is not clear based upon the sheer fact that the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff. The evidence needed to overcome the presumption of a defendant’s liability in a case arising out of a rear-end crash was recently discussed by a Florida court. If you were hurt in a rear-end accident, you might be owed damages from the driver that hit you, and it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving an SUV on a highway in Florida when he was struck from the rear by a commercial truck that was driven by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries due to the accident, including injuries to his right arm that required surgical repair. As such, he filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the defendants. Following the close of discovery, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on his claims. The defendants opposed the motion, alleging that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to bringing about the accident, and therefore, the issue of liability was disputed.

The Presumption of Liability in Florida Rear-End Accidents

In Florida, there is a presumption that the rear driver in a rear-end collision is negligent. The presumption is rebuttable, however. Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that as tort recovery in Florida is guided by the principles of comparative negligence, the presumption that a driver’s negligence was the sole cause of a rear-end collision can be rebutted, and its strength weakened if the defendant produces evidence that is sufficient to show that the front-driver acted negligently in the operation of his or her vehicle.

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It is not uncommon for a person to be injured in an accident while traveling in another state, or for a crash to involve multiple parties that all reside in different parts of the country. While people injured in accidents have the right to file lawsuits against the parties that caused the accident in the courts of their choosing, whether a court can exercise jurisdiction over an individual’s lawsuit will depend on numerous factors, including where the accident occurred and the activities of the defendant within the state. If you were hurt in a collision while you were in another state, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensation.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is a resident of Florida, was riding a motorcycle in New Hampshire when he was rear-ended by a truck owned by the defendant company and operated by the defendant driver. The plaintiff suffered significant injuries and financial losses, after which he filed a lawsuit in Florida, asserting negligence claims against the defendants. The defendants moved the case to federal court on the basis of diversity and filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendants. Upon review, the court granted the motion.

Personal Jurisdiction Under Florida Law

In order for a federal court to exercise personal jurisdiction over an out of state defendant in a case in which jurisdiction is premised on diversity, personal jurisdiction must be permissible under the state’s long-arm statute, and the exercise of jurisdiction must comply with the due process rights granted by the Constitution. Exercising personal jurisdiction will comport with due process if the defendant has established sufficient contacts with the forum, so that allowing the plaintiff to maintain the suit does not offend the ideas of substantial justice and fair play.

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While most people file personal injury lawsuits with the goal of presenting their case to a jury, few cases actually proceed to trial. Rather, most cases resolve prior to that time via the submission and acceptance of a proposal for settlement (PFS). While a PFS is a contractual agreement that is binding on the parties, there are exceptions that would allow a proposal to be voided, as demonstrated in a recent Florida car accident case. If you were hurt in a collision, it is in your best interest to meet with a seasoned Florida personal injury attorney to assess what compensation you may be able to recover for your harm.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a collision with the defendant, after which he sued the defendant for negligence and his insurance carrier for breach of contract. In an effort to resolve the claims, the plaintiff’s attorney directed his paralegal to send PFS to the plaintiff’s insurer and the defendant, requesting each party’s insurance policy limits. The paralegal erroneously sent a PFS to the defendant’s counsel requesting $10,000 rather than $100,000 to settle the claims. Defendant accepted immediately, after which the plaintiff realized the error and filed a motion to withdraw the proposal. The court denied the motion, finding that the PFS was unequivocal and clear on its face and pursuant to Florida’s PFS law must be enforced. The plaintiff filed a motion for rehearing, arguing he did not consent to the settlement. The court denied the motion, and the plaintiff then appealed the rulings of the trial court.

Florida’s Laws Regarding Settlements

While the plain meaning of Florida’s PFS law and the rules of the procedure both require strict compliance, both the law and the rule interpreting the law only apply when there has been a rejection of a PFS, and the case proceeds to trial and ultimately results in a judgment. Thus, the appellate court found that the trial court erred in stating that because the PFS was clear on its face, it could not be retracted.

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According to the National Transportation Safety Board, about 19,000 Americans are injured every year in car accidents caused by unsafe tires. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident involving unsafe tires, request a consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.

We can help you determine what your next steps should be so you can receive the compensation you deserve for car accident injuries.

Continue reading to learn how unsafe tires cause car accidents.

In the United States, distracted drivers are responsible for causing 9 deaths and injuring 1,000 people each day.

If you or a loved one were hurt due to distracted driving, call our auto accident attorneys as soon as possible.

Our lawyers will do everything in their power to prove that the other driver was negligent when they took their attention away from the road.

Speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of fatal car accidents in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In other words, speeding accidents are more common than you may think.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a speeding accident caused by another driver, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our car accident lawyers in Florida will be able to evaluate the details of your case to determine your next steps.

A driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle as a reasonable person would. By speeding, a driver violates this duty of care and can be found at fault for causing the car accident.

Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that your personal injury protection (PIP) will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages after a car accident regardless of fault. But you’ll need to prove the other driver was at fault if you wish to file a third-party claim against their insurance and receive non-economic damages.

UNDERSTANDING THE DUTY OF CARE

All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely by obeying traffic laws, not driving distracted, and not operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver violates this duty of care, they can be found negligent and held responsible for your car accident injuries. Our car accident lawyers can help you gather evidence, such as witness statements, photos, videos, and the police report.

A semi-truck accident is not only frightening but can leave you with serious personal injury. Fortunately, our truck accident attorneys are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our skilled attorneys are here to help you.

Continue reading to learn what defects are most responsible for causing semi-truck accidents.

COMMON CAUSES OF SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENTS

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