Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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In addition to the physical evidence presented at a trial, the outcome of a Florida personal injury lawsuit often hinges on the testimony of the plaintiff, eyewitnesses, and expert witnesses. An expert witness is a professional who can testify and provide an opinion on a specific issue during a lawsuit. In Florida, witnesses must have specialized training, education, and experience before they can be qualified as an expert.

In many Florida motor vehicle accidents, expert witnesses may be medical professionals, accident re-constructionists, or engineers that can reliably opine on an issue in the case. Expert witnesses are crucial when no witnesses were at the scene, or there is conflicting information regarding the severity of a party’s injuries. Experts can provide the trier of fact with insight and provide conclusions regarding an accident.

For many years Florida relied on the standard provided in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. In Daubert, the Supreme Court ruled that judges are the gatekeepers when determining whether a professional meets the criteria to be an expert witness. However, more recently, Florida adopted the standard advanced in Frye v. United States.

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It is inevitable that self-driving cars will become more and more popular as time goes on. With this increase will also come an increase in accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a self-driving vehicle or believe that autopilot played a role in your accident, you need to reach out to a skilled Miami car crash attorney without delay. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we can assess the merits of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.

Earlier this month, a Tesla in California hit a highway barrier and caught fire, causing hours of closed highway lanes as firefighters tried to ascertain whether it was safe to move the automobile and its damaged lithium-ion battery packs. The driver was killed, and the automobile was badly burned.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the post-collision fire and the measures that are needed to make the vehicle safe to remove from the accident scene. At this time, it is unclear whether the Tesla’s partly autonomous driving system, known as Autopilot, was involved at the time of the crash.

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Damages are a crucial — yet often overlooked — element of a personal injury lawsuit. Florida personal injury victims must specifically plead and prove the damages they hope to obtain, and a failure to do so may result in a reduced verdict; even if the defendant was found to be at fault.

In a recent case, a Florida car accident victim successfully appealed a jury’s zero-dollar verdict for past non-economic damages. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was involved in an accident when a pickup truck made an illegal left turn and hit a car that collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff did not receive medical treatment or go to the hospital.

Several years later, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and owner of the pickup truck. Pretrial proceedings resolved all issues in favor of the plaintiff, and the trial jury only needed to determine damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff $50,000 for past medical bills, $200,000 for future medical expenses, and nothing for past or future non-economic damages.

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We all know that distracted drivers pose a risk to other drivers and pedestrians on the road, but there is another category of people we often do not consider – emergency first responders. These professionals are trained to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as a motor vehicle accident. Every year, a number of first responders including law enforcement, tow truck drivers and others end up being hit by other cars while tending to an accident scene.  If you were hurt in an accident involving a distracted driver, you need to consult an experienced Miami injury attorney. At our firm, we are dedicated to scrutinizing the facts of your case and helping you secure the damages you deserve.

Distracted drivers are a rising threat to first responders, according to a new report released by the National Safety Council. The data shows that 71 percent of drivers conceded to snapping pictures and sending texts while driving past emergency workers – nearly three times the 24 percent who admitted to doing so under ordinary driving conditions. In addition, sixty percent admitted to being active on social media; and 66 percent have sent emails about what they are passing on the road.

The consequences of this behavior are fatal. Sixteen percent of those driving motor vehicles state that they have hit or almost hit an emergency automobile or first responder on the side of the street. In fact, forty first responders died as a result of being hit on the side of the street last year, a 60 percent spike from 2017. This year, twenty-one first responders lost their lives, including ten police officers, and fourteen officers were struck and killed in 2018.

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A Florida man who was injured in a motor vehicle accident successfully appealed a final summary judgment motion entered by a lower court in favor of the City of Coral Gables. The case stemmed from injuries that the plaintiff sustained when his motorcycle collided with an SUV at an intersection. The plaintiff testified that he was traveling northbound when he noticed the SUV approaching in the southbound lane. The SUV driver was making a left turn when the plaintiff collided with the other driver’s SUV. The plaintiff explained that he could not stop in time to avoid the collision. The driver of the SUV claimed that recently planted palm trees with wooden supports at the end of the median obstructed his view of the motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist sued the City alleging, among other issues, that the City created a dangerous condition by negligently designing the intersection and planting the palm trees. The plaintiff argued that the City was liable because the trees and their wooden supports obstructed a driver’s view of oncoming traffic. The City countered that it should not be liable because the placement and wooden supports were a planning decision and not an operational decision; therefore, protected by governmental immunity.

Governmental entities cannot face liability for many of the day-to-day activities carried out by government employees. However, certain exceptions allow individuals to file a tort action against a Florida government agency. For governmental tort liability, the injury victim must be able to establish that the government entity owed them a statutory duty of care. The government agency will be liable only to the same extent that a private person would be under similar circumstances. Finally, certain discretionary functions are immune to lawsuits.

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Road rage puts everyone on the road at risk of harm. All motorists have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and make safe decisions behind the wheel. If you were hurt or lost a family member due to an accident involving road rage, our hard working Miami injury attorneys can assess your situation and offer you a range of available legal options.

Florida law defines road rage, or aggressive driving, as at least two of the following behaviors: excessive speeding, changing lanes or improper passing, tailgating, failing to yield, and failing to follow traffic signs. Road rage differs from aggressive driving in that road rage may escalate into a criminal offense, such as an assault or incidents involving weapons.

Road rage typically stems from a driver’s uncontrolled rage due to the actions of another driver. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be getting worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deadly car accidents linked to aggressive driving spiked almost 500 percent in 10 years, from 80 in 2006 to 467 in 2015. In addition, Florida has had more road rage incidents involving guns than any other state in the nation. According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, between the years of 2014 and 2018, Florida had 277 incidents, the highest in the country, followed by Texas (220) and California (157).

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All motorists have an obligation to obey the rules of the road, including passing only when it is legal and safe to do so. If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by someone improperly passing, you have legal options. We know that the untimely death of a loved one is a devastating experience, which is why we will advocate for you in a sensitive yet competent manner. Wrongful death cases are complicated so having the right attorney on your side can be the difference between winning and losing a case. As highly skilled Miami car accident attorneys, we are proficient in Florida wrongful death law and can help families determine who may be at fault and the degree of their liability.

A 26-year-old woman died following a car accident in September, 2019. The crash took place on State Road 80 in Hendry Country. Florida Highway Patrol Law (FHP) says a man and six-year-old boy were driving east on a curve in the road while the 26-year-old woman was traveling west. FHP explained that the man tried to pass slower traffic in a no passing zone. Both he and the victim tried to avoid a crash, swerving towards the shoulder but ended up hitting each other. Tragically, the woman died at the scene while the man suffered severe injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

If a person dies as a result of the negligence of another person, certain surviving family members of that deceased person may be able to sue for  wrongful death. Under Florida law, a wrongful death occurs when a victim loses his or her life as a result of someone else’s misconduct or gross negligence. To prove negligence took place, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

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We tend to assume that car accidents always involve two or more vehicles but this is simply not the case. Many accidents are single vehicle accidents that, as the name suggests, only involve one vehicle. If you have been hurt in a single vehicle accident, do not assume that you don’t have rights. Our Miami auto accident attorneys understand how to scrutinize your case to determine your eligibility for compensation. You can rest assured that we will not leave any stone un-turned when devising a legal strategy to protect the rights of our clients.

A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) report indicates that a Panama City Beach man was killed in an accident in which his truck flipped over in Walton County. FHP says the accident took place on U. S. Highway 98 last month. According to law enforcement, a 28-year-old man was traveling west when his car veered onto the shoulder of the road. Even though the driver tried to regain control, his vehicle started rotating counter clockwise and ultimately flipped over in the middle of the highway. Tragically, the man suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

After single vehicle accidents, it is often assumed that the driver is at fault since no other vehicle is involved in the crash. However, this is not always true. Many different factors outside of your control can cause or contribute to these accidents or make them worse, including but not limited to:

  1. Improperly maintained roads (i.e., potholes);
  2. Animals on the road;
  3. The negligence of another driver (i.e., a driver cuts you off and you swerve to avoid a collision but end up crashing into a wall);
  4. Flying objects (i.e., debris falling off a truck);
  5. Defective car parts (i.e., brakes failing); and/or
  6. Poorly placed signs.

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When an SUV collides with a smaller vehicle, it can result catastrophic injuries and even fatalities for those involved. If you have been injured in an SUV accident, please contact our seasoned Miami SUV accident lawyers immediately. We can assess the facts of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. You can take comfort in knowing that we are going to  work diligently to get you the maximum amount of monetary compensation possible in your case.

Rescue crews recently found an SUV that plunged off a bridge into the Tampa Bay after being involved in an accident. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) stated that the SUV was recklessly going south on the bridge when it struck a pick up truck, flipped over numerous times, crashed into the concrete barrier, rolled over and went down in the water. Specifically, the SUV was tailgating and changing lanes erratically immediately before the accident took place. While divers found and pulled the SUV out of the water, they have not been able to locate the occupants, nor were any occupants seen emerging from the water. The FHP states that this is only the second time in ten years an automobile has gone over the bridge and into the water.

Negligence is perhaps the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents, including SUV crashes. Negligence takes place when an individual does not use reasonable care while driving, causing injury or death to another. In other words, negligence refers to a person’s failure to do something that a generally prudent person would have done in a comparable situation. To win a personal injury lawsuit rooted in negligence, the plaintiff must show the following elements: i) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; ii) the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff; and iii) the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the SUV accident and resulting harm.

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Car accidents, whether minor or severe, can be an inconvenient interruption in a person’s life. Whether it is dealing with injuries, property damage or even filing a claim with insurance – it can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. If a car accident has led to you or someone you love being injured, you must consult a Miami car accident attorney who can help. We will evaluate your case and provide you with our professional opinion regarding the value of your claim.

Paying for car insurance is a reality of life that no one particularly enjoys. If you are at fault or even partially at fault for a car crash, there is a strong chance that your car insurance rates will increase. But just how much the rate will increase may depend on the state in which you reside. A new study by Insurance.com reveals the best and worst states for auto accident claims following an at-fault accident. In other words, the study covers how much auto insurance rates spike after an accident. The study hones in on at-fault claims in each and every state where the claim was a minimum of $2,000 in damages. In every state across the board, however, insurance policy rates increased by an average of 31 percent after an at-fault claim.

Based on the study, Michigan is the worst state for car insurance claims where drivers already deal with the most expensive insurance rates of any state in the country. On average, Michigan drivers pay $2368 per year, and this number spikes to $3,502 after a wreck, a 48 percent jump. Louisiana comes in second place, followed by California and then Florida, which is ranked the 4thworst state for post-accident auto insurance rates. In Florida, drivers pay an average rate of $2,250 and this rate jumps to $3,045 after an accident, an increase of 35 percent. Continue reading →

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