Articles Posted in Car Accident

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 ›

Generally, when people are involved in car accidents, they will request each other’s insurance information before leaving the scene. While it is important for parties involved in a crash to obtain certain information from one another if a lawsuit arises out of the collision, the court may preclude them from introducing evidence of insurance at trial. In a recent Florida opinion in which the defendant argued the verdict was unjust due to references to insurance throughout the trial, an appellate court discussed the purpose of barring the introduction of evidence regarding insurance in car accident cases. If you were hurt in a collision, it is smart to speak to an experienced Florida car accident attorney about your potential claims.

The Accident and Trial

Reportedly, the defendant driver struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from behind while driving the defendant owner’s car. The plaintiff suffered injuries in the accident and subsequently sought damages from the defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. The defendants admitted liability but argued that the accident did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendants appealed.

Evidence of Insurance at Trial in Cases Arising Out of Car Accidents

The defendants’ primary argument on appeal was that the trial court did not take sufficient measures to preclude the introduction of evidence regarding insurance coverage during the trial, and therefore, caused them undue prejudice and warranted a new trial. The appellate court rejected their assertions and affirmed the jury’s verdict. Continue reading ›

People who drive recklessly and cause collisions are often held liable for any injuries that arise due to the accidents. In some instances, other parties may be deemed accountable as well. For example, if a driver was working at the time of a crash, the driver’s employer may be found liable under a theory of respondeat superior. Employers will only be deemed responsible for the negligent acts of their employees in certain situations, however, as explained in a recent Florida opinion issued in a car accident case. If you were hurt in a crash, you could be owed damages, and it is prudent to meet with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney to assess what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Accident and Subsequent Claims

Allegedly, the plaintiff was injured in a collision with the defendant driver. At the time of the crash, the defendant was working temporarily in Florida. The defendant employer paid for his hotel room and rental car during the duration of his stay. The defendant driver was operating the rental car at the time of the crash. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the driver and respondeat superior claims against the employer. The employer moved for summary judgment, arguing that the driver was not operating in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash and, therefore, it could not be deemed liable. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Respondeat Superior Liability in Florida

Under Florida law, respondeat superior renders employers vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees that are committed within the scope and course of their employment. An employee’s actions are within the scope of employment if they occur substantially within the permitted space and time limits and are undertaken at least in part to serve the employer. Continue reading ›

One of the core tenets of the American legal system is the right to have issues resolved by an impartial jury. As such, prior to a trial, attorneys for all parties will engage in a process through which they attempt to determine if any jurors harbor implicit or explicit biases that would prevent them from resolving factual issues impartially. If a court denies a party’s request to strike a biased juror, it may constitute grounds for having a verdict overturned, as demonstrated in a recent Florida opinion issued in a car accident case. If you suffered harm in a car crash, you have the right to seek damages, and you should meet with a dedicated Florida car accident lawyer regarding what compensation you may be able to recover.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving on a Florida highway when she was struck by the defendant. She suffered injuries to her neck and back in the collision, which required extensive treatment. As such, she filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant. The case proceeded to trial, and during the process of jury selection, the plaintiff’s attorney moved to exclude a juror because he stated he sympathized with defendants in car crash cases, believed defendants are treated unfairly, and had issues with insurance companies. Her motion was denied, and she later used a peremptory challenge to strike him but was ultimately forced to accept him as an objectionable juror. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed.

Evaluating Juror Bias

In assessing a juror’s competency, a court will evaluate whether the juror can set aside any prejudice or bias and issue a verdict solely on the instructions on the law provided by the court and the evidence presented by the parties. Although courts have significant leeway in determining a juror’s competency, if any reasonable doubt exists as to whether a juror’s state of mind is impartial, that juror must be excused for cause. Continue reading ›

Many car crashes cause significant injuries that require long-term care and assistance and result in significant losses of income. Thus, victims of collisions will often seek damages from the parties ultimately responsible for their harm. Liability and damages are frequently disputed in lawsuits arising out of car accidents, though, and it is not uncommon for parties to rely on experts to support their opinions. Experts must be disclosed to the opposing party, though, and if they are not, it may impact whether they can testify, as discussed in a recent Florida opinion. If you were injured in a collision brought about by someone else’s negligence, you might be able to recover damages, and you should meet with a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

The History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff suffered harm in a collision caused by the defendants. The precise circumstances surrounding the accident and the damages sustained were not disclosed. It is clear, however, that the plaintiff sustained substantial injuries that resulted in the need for at-home care and caused a loss of earning capacity. Thus, she filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court. Prior to trial, the defendant retained experts to opine on the plaintiff’s life care costs and her loss of future earning capacity. The defendant failed to provide the plaintiff with experts by the disclosure deadline, though. As such, the plaintiff moved to preclude the defendant’s experts from testifying.

Disclosure of Experts in Personal Injury Cases

Under the federal rules of civil procedure, a party that fails to disclose an expert in a timely manner will generally be precluded from using the expert’s information or allowing the expert to testify at trial, unless the failure to promptly disclose the expert report was either harmless or substantially justified. The failure to disclose a report will be deemed harmless when it does not cause the party who is owed the report to suffer any prejudice. The court explained that prejudice occurs when an untimely disclosure prevents a party from thoroughly preparing its case via depositions of expert witnesses. Continue reading ›

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 ›

Many people who are injured in car accidents seek to recover damages from the party responsible for their harm in a personal injury lawsuit. While it is important to file such claims within the statute of limitations, in some instances, what time constraints apply is not clear, such as in cases in which the claim is filed in a different state than where the accident occurred. Determining what statute of limitations applies in such cases was the topic of a recent Florida opinion issued in a matter in which the plaintiffs filed claims for damages caused by an accident that occurred in Georgia. If you were hurt in a collision, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to speak to a capable Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff husband was involved in a collision with the defendant while driving in Georgia. The plaintiff husband suffered significant injuries, which he treated in Florida, where he lived. He and his wife then filed a lawsuit against the defendant in a Florida federal court, asserting claims of negligence and loss of consortium. The defendant, who lived in Michigan, argued that the Georgia statute of limitations applied barring the plaintiffs’ claims and filed a motion to dismiss.

Determining Which State’s Laws Apply

After reviewing the case, the court found that the Georgia statute of limitations applied to the negligence claim but not the loss of consortium claim. The court explained that in determining which state’s laws apply, a federal court in Florida will use the “most significant relationship test.” Under this test, the court will look at which state has a greater relationship to the injury in question, based on numerous principles, including the relevant policies of the forum, the needs of the interstate systems, upholding justified expectations, and uniformity of results. Continue reading ›

A person injured in a car accident will often pursue claims against the driver that caused the accident. In many instances, the person named as a defendant will attempt to evade liability by arguing that the plaintiff, in some way, contributed to causing the accident. For example, if a pedestrian lacks the capacity to walk safely and is struck by a vehicle, the driver may seek to introduce evidence of the pedestrian’s incapacitation in an effort to avoid being found at fault. The evidence that is admissible to demonstrate contributory negligence was the topic of a recent Florida ruling, in a case in which the plaintiff, who was intoxicated, was struck by the defendant driver. If you were hurt in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a skillful Florida car accident attorney to assess your rights.

The Evidence Admitted at Trial

It is reported that the plaintiff was walking along the side of a highway when he was struck by a car driven by the defendant. Police investigating the accident determined that the plaintiff had been drinking earlier in the day after he said he consumed two alcoholic beverages. He admitted to being “buzzed” and stated he did not know where he was going and was attempting to call a friend when he was struck. The defendant saw the plaintiff prior to the collision and was not distracted or impaired due to drugs or alcohol.

Allegedly, after he saw the plaintiff, he moved into the other lane to give him more room but struck him regardless. During the trial, the defendant admitted evidence from a toxicologist indicating that the plaintiff’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was .18 and that the plaintiff was impaired. Following the final verdict, the plaintiff appealed, arguing the introduction of intoxication evidence was improper.

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In Florida, there are rules that dictate when parties must produce evidence in support of their claims and defenses and when witnesses, including experts, must be disclosed. Such rules are designed to ensure a fair trial and to prevent one party from ambushing the other with previously unforeseen information on the eve of trial. If a party fails to comply with deadlines regarding discovery and disclosure, it may have an adverse impact, as demonstrated in a recent car accident case in Florida in which the plaintiff’s late-produced expert was prohibited from testifying. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was operating a power chair, was struck by a car when she attempted to cross a Florida highway in a construction zone. She filed a lawsuit against the driver and the construction company, setting forth negligence claims alleging, in part, that she suffered psychological trauma due to the accident. During discovery, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrists testified that the plaintiff was not suffering from PTSD and issued reports reflecting that testimony.

It is reported that days before trial, however, the plaintiff produced a second report from her expert wherein the expert stated the plaintiff suffered from PTSD and that it was caused by the accident. The defendants filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the newly produced evidence, and the motion was granted. The jury found that plaintiff did not suffer any harm in the accident and ruled in favor of the defendants, after which the plaintiff appealed, arguing the trial court erred in precluding her second expert report.

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Negligence requires a plaintiff to prove multiple elements. In other words, the plaintiff must not only show that the defendant violated the applicable standard of care, but also that the defendant’s departure led to the plaintiff’s harm. As such, in most cases, negligence is an issue that must be decided by the jury. This was illustrated in a recent Florida car accident case in which an appellate court vacated the trial court’s order issuing a directed verdict in favor of the plaintiff, as the issue of causation was disputed. If you were hurt in a car accident, it is advisable to speak to a proficient Florida personal injury attorney to assess what damages you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant’s driver, who was operating a tractor-trailer, was employing a back-up maneuver to deliver goods to a business on a highway. The maneuver caused the truck to be placed into a jackknife position on the road. The delivery took place in the early morning hours, and the defendant had the lights on the vehicle illuminated. The plaintiff was traveling down the highway at the same time when he suddenly approached the truck. He was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision and ultimately suffered extensive injuries.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of negligence. At trial, the defendant conceded that the driver negligently maneuvered the truck. He argued, however, that the plaintiff could have been at fault for the accident, and the evidence presented to the jury would ultimately determine the issue of liability. Following the close of the plaintiff’s case, the court issued a directed verdict stating that the defendant proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. After the trial concluded, the defendant appealed.

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