Articles Posted in Car Accident

In Florida, a person that lends their car to another driver may generally be held vicariously liable for any injuries the driver causes while using the vehicle. There are some exceptions to the general rule, though. For example, pursuant to a law referred to as the Graves Amendment, parties that maintain a business that sells or leases cars will not be held responsible for harm that arises out of the sale or lease of one of their vehicles in most cases. The Graves Amendment and the evidence a party must produce to show that it applies were the topic of an opinion recently delivered by a Florida court. If you suffered harm in a car crash, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a trusted Cape Coral car accident attorney as soon as possible.

The Subject Accident

Allegedly, the driver went to the defendant’s car dealership to drop off his wife’s car for service. The defendant loaned him a vehicle to use until the wife’s car was ready. It was unclear whether the defendant required the driver to complete a rental agreement. A week later, the driver caused a car crash that resulted in the plaintiff suffering substantial harm. She filed a vicarious liability claim against the defendant, arguing that it should be held accountable for the driver’s carelessness. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it could not be held liable as a matter of law because it was immune under the Graves Amendment.

The Terms of the Graves Amendment

The Graves Amendment prevents certain parties from being held vicariously liable under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine. Specifically, it states that a party that engages in the business of leasing or renting cars and subsequently loans or rents a car to an individual will not be deemed liable for injuries that arise out of the individual’s operation or possession of the car, as long as the party did not engage in criminal wrongdoing or negligence. Continue reading ›

When people lose someone that they love in a collision, they often develop emotional distress and mental health issues. In recognition of the emotional harm often caused by fatal crashes, the Florida legislature enacted statutes allowing surviving family members to recover compensation for the pain and suffering they endured due to the loss from the party that caused the deadly accident. The damages award is determined, in part, by the surviving party’s life expectancy. Thus, if the survivor dies before a verdict is issued, no damages are owed. This was illustrated in an opinion recently issued by a Florida court in a case in which it reduced a $5 million damage award to nothing after the surviving party died before the judgment was final. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be owed damages, and you should consult a Cape Coral car accident attorney to assess your rights.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the decedent was killed in a fatal collision. The accident occurred on a road adjacent to the defendant’s travel center. The plaintiff then instituted a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant. The jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, granting her $5 million in compensation for pain and suffering. The defendant moved for a new trial, but before the court could rule on the motion, the plaintiff died.

It is reported that the defendant subsequently filed a motion for relief from the judgment on the grounds that Florida Statutes 768.24 provides that when a surviving heir dies before a judgment awarded under the Wrongful Death Act becomes final, the judgment should be reduced to the value of the services and support lost from the date of the decedent’s death to the date of the survivor’s passing. The court agreed, finding that because the judgment was not final when the plaintiff died, the verdict should be reduced. The plaintiff’s estate then appealed. Continue reading ›

Losing a loved one in a collision often causes not only emotional trauma but also significant financial losses. As such, people that lose family members in accidents will often seek compensation from the party responsible for the crash. In many fatal car accident cases, the defendant driver will be the sole surviving witness. As such, the courts will typically uphold the plaintiff’s right to take the defendant’s deposition despite their objections, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Florida court. If you suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal car crash, it is smart to meet with a Cape Coral car accident lawyer to assess your rights.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that the defendant college employed the defendant driver. The defendant driver was transporting a school athletic team to an event in a van when he made a wrong turn into oncoming traffic. The decedent’s vehicle struck the van, causing the decedent to suffer fatal injuries. As such, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting wrongful death claims.

It is alleged that the plaintiff moved to compel the defendant driver’s deposition. The attorney for the defendants responded by filing a motion for a protective order on the grounds that the defendant driver could not sit for a deposition or testify in his own defense because he suffered severe physical and mental harm in the accident. The plaintiff objected to the defendant driver’s motion, stating that precluding her from deposing him would greatly impair her claims and that it was not warranted under the circumstances. Continue reading ›

In many vehicle accident instances, there is no doubt that the plaintiff was injured as a result of the incident. In other cases, however, the defendant may contend that the plaintiff’s asserted injuries were not caused by the collision. In such cases, the defendant may attempt to call a biomechanical expert to testify regarding the force used in the collision and whether it was adequate to cause the plaintiff’s injuries. In a case where the plaintiff complained that the expert was not qualified to opine on the issue of causation, a Florida court recently reviewed the constraints imposed on biomechanical experts in vehicle accident cases. If you were hurt in a car accident, it’s vital to know what evidence may be used to contradict your claims, and it’s a good idea to consult with a skilled Florida car accident lawyer to discuss your alternatives.

The Case’s Background

According to reports, the plaintiff was hurt in a collision with the defendant. She then launched a lawsuit, claiming that the defendant’s careless driving had caused her injury. The defendant claimed that the crash did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries and stated that she planned to back up her claim with the testimony of a biomechanical expert. The plaintiff wanted to have the expert testify excluded because he was unqualified to testify about whether the collision caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff’s motion was eventually allowed by the court.

Biomechanical Experts’ Testimony Is Acceptable

Expert testimony is governed in federal courts by Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which states that a person who is qualified by experience, training, skill, or education may testify if his or her knowledge will assist the fact finder in understanding the evidence or determining a disputed fact, and the testimony is based on adequate data or facts and is the product of reliable methods and principles. Continue reading ›

It is not uncommon for someone injured in a car accident to seek compensation from the party who caused the accident. While persons who cause car accidents carelessly may be held liable in a civil lawsuit, legislative exclusions may apply in some cases, preventing liability from being imposed. This was addressed in a recent Florida case, which determined that Florida’s No-Fault Threshold barred a plaintiff wounded in an automobile accident from receiving damages from the respondent. If you were injured in an automobile accident, you should consult with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer to see what damages you may be able to claim.

The Crash and the Ensuing Lawsuit

The plaintiff was allegedly driving his car when he was rear-ended by the defendant. The collision happened in Florida, but both individuals were from Georgia. In Florida, the plaintiff filed a civil case against the defendant, demanding damages for his injuries. The plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on a number of the defendant’s affirmative defenses. Most of the defendant’s defenses were dropped, but he challenged the plaintiff’s petition to apply Florida’s No-fault Threshold. As a result, the only question before the court was whether the defendant could pursue that defense.

The No-Fault Threshold in Florida

If a defendant has sufficient insurance or security at the time of an accident, the plaintiff must show a threshold injury set forth by the law to be able to recover certain non-economic damages, according to Florida Statutes 627.737, often known as the No-Fault Threshold. If an insurance coverage meets Florida’s statutory insurance standards, it will provide enough protection. Continue reading ›

In rare cases, if a person is injured in an automobile accident while driving a loaned vehicle, the owner of the vehicle may be held accountable for the damages. In most cases, an owner’s liability will be determined by whether they consented to the borrower’s use of the vehicle and knew or should have known that the borrower would not drive safely. As a result, if a plaintiff cannot show that the owner was aware of the driver’s usage of the car, the claims against the owner may be rejected before the case goes to trial. However, dismissal may be premature if the plaintiff was not given a complete opportunity to develop the evidence against the owner, as demonstrated in a recent Florida decision. If your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by a loaned vehicle, you should speak with an experienced Florida fatal car accident lawyer about your options.

The Case’s Background

The defendant driver, who was seventeen at the time and did not have a driver’s license, is accused of stealing his mother’s sports automobile. He was traveling with the plaintiff’s daughter and another male adolescent on a Florida roadway. He lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a tree while traveling at an extreme rate of speed. The plaintiff’s daughter tragically died as a result of her injuries acquired in the tragedy.

According to reports, the plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendant driver and his mother, stating that the mother allowed the defendant driver to drive her car despite his lack of a license. The plaintiff could not prove her liability, so the defendant mother filed a request for summary judgment. The request was granted by the trial court, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading ›

Summary judgment is a tool often used in civil lawsuits, which disposes of claims prior to trial. Either party can file a motion for summary judgment, and the burden is the same regardless of who files. Specifically, the moving party must show that no factual dispute exists, and therefore, the court should grant judgment in their favor as a matter of law. While, in theory, summary judgment may be granted in any matter, it is rarely appropriate in car accident cases, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling. If you suffered harm in a collision, you might be owed damages, and it is advisable to speak to a Florida car accident attorney regarding your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was involved in a collision with a vehicle owned by the defendant, the United States Government. The parties disputed how the accident occurred; the plaintiff argued that it was caused by the defendant’s driver making a sudden U-turn in front of her, causing her to strike the rear of the vehicle, while the defendant argued its vehicle was parked along the side of the road when it was struck by the plaintiff. The defendant moved for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment

The court ultimately denied the defendant’s motion. It explained that summary judgment would be granted if the pleadings, discovery materials, and evidence on record demonstrate that there is no material factual dispute, and therefore the moving party is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. Continue reading ›

When a person who has been wounded in an automobile accident decides to seek compensation from the party who caused the accident, the injured party’s medical records can usually be  obtained via discovery. Even if plaintiffs agree to disclose their medical records, a defendant may have difficulty getting them if the treatment provider objects to their release. A recent Florida ruling addressed a defendant’s right to inspect information from a third-party source in a lawsuit arising out of a car accident case. If you suffered harm in a collision, it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer about your options.

Records of the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff and defendant were involved in a car crash that caused the plaintiff to sustain neck and back injuries. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging negligence claims. The defendant admitted to being at fault for the collision, but argued the plaintiff was note entitled to recover the amount of damages he sought.

Reportedly, during the discovery process, the sought documents from various practitioners who treated the plaintiff, including one who specialized in treating back injuries (the provider). The provider moved for a protective order in response to the request, claiming that the records included trade secrets that should not be disclosed. Continue reading ›

People involved in car accidents often suffer bodily harm. As such, if they are involved in more than one collision, it may be difficult to tell which accident caused their injuries. While a person hurt in a car crash has the right to pursue damages from the party responsible for their losses, claims arising out of distinct accidents must typically be asserted in separate lawsuits. Recently, a Florida court discussed when a plaintiff could join parties that caused multiple unrelated accidents as defendants in a lawsuit in an opinion issued in a case arising out of a collision. If you were hurt in a crash, you might be owed damages, and you should contact a Florida car accident attorney to discuss your possible claims.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that in March 2017, the plaintiff was involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer operated by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. He sustained injuries in the crash and brought a lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused his harm. As the defendant driver and defendant company were citizens of South Carolina and Illinois, respectively, they removed the case to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction.

Reportedly, in May 2021, the plaintiff moved to join another party as a defendant. Specifically, he was involved in a second car accident in January 2020 and sought leave to join the driver that caused the second collision. The defendants opposed the motion. Continue reading ›

Parties often dispute liability in cases arising out of car accidents. As such, information demonstrating the extent of the damage to the cars involved can help to show how the accident occurred and to prove that the collision produced sufficient force to bring about the plaintiff’s reported injuries. If a defendant refuses to share such pictures of his or her vehicle after the accident, though, it may unjustly impact the plaintiff’s ability to prove its claims. Recently, a Florida court discussed what information is discoverable in a car accident case in which the defendant argued work-product privilege protected him from having to disclose certain photographs. If you were involved in a car crash, it is smart to meet with a trusted Florida car accident lawyer about your potential claims.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and defendant were involved in a crash that caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries to her back and neck. The plaintiff subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant, asserting that his negligence caused the crash and her consequential harm. During the discovery phase of the case, the plaintiff sent the defendant multiple requests for the production of documents, in which she sought photographs of the automobiles involved in the accident.

Allegedly, the defendant provided some pictures but objected to the requests as seeking information that was protected by the work-product privilege. The plaintiff then moved for the court to overrule the defendant’s objections. Continue reading ›

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