$12 Million Boating Accident
$7 Million Automobile Accident
$3.7 Million Slip and Fall
$3.5 Million Motorcycle Accident
$2.5 Million Pedestrian Accident
$1.5 Million Automobile Accident

In car accident cases, the jury relies on the evidence presented at trial to determine whether the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages, and if so, what compensation the plaintiff is owed. While economic losses incurred for medical treatment or repairing a vehicle are easily calculable, determining appropriate damages for non-economic harm such as pain and suffering is less straightforward. Rather, in assessing the appropriate compensation for pain and suffering a jury will usually rely on the injured party’s testimony and an account of how the accident occurred.

Until recently, it was unclear whether a plaintiff could produce evidence of how an accident occurred to establish pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. A district court applying Florida law just ruled, however, that plaintiffs in a wrongful death case could submit evidence regarding the way a fatal car accident occurred to show their pain and suffering. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to a South Florida fatal car accident you should speak with a capable South Florida wrongful death attorney regarding the facts of your case and what damages you may be able to recover.

Facts Regarding the Accident

Reportedly, the defendant driver was a 99-year-old man who was known to be a dangerous driver. At the time of the accident, he was driving a large recreational vehicle without working headlights on the wrong side of the road at night, when he struck the plaintiffs’ decedent’s car. The decedent ultimately died due to her injuries, after which the personal representatives of her estate filed a wrongful death claim against the defendant driver’s estate. The defendants conceded liability but argued that the plaintiffs should not be permitted to introduce evidence regarding how the accident occurred. The plaintiffs and the defendants both submitted motions regarding what evidence should be admitted.
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In most South Florida pedestrian accident cases, whether a defendant’s negligence caused a plaintiff’s harm is an issue to be decided by the jury. As such, courts will typically leave a jury’s verdict undisturbed, unless a reversal is clearly warranted. A Florida appellate court recently addressed whether a reversal of a verdict was warranted in a case where the jury was unjustly swayed by inappropriate comments made by the defendant’s attorney, ultimately finding that a reversal was appropriate. If you were a pedestrian injured in a South Florida car accident you should meet with a capable South Florida personal injury attorney promptly to explore your options for pursuing damages.

Allegedly, the plaintiff was walking across a three-lane highway in Monroe County, when she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle. The impact of the defendant’s vehicle launched the plaintiff into the path of a second vehicle, which also struck the plaintiff. A police officer investigating the accident found the defendant at fault and cited the defendant for failing to exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. The defendant entered a plea of nolo contendere and was found guilty. The plaintiff subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant.

Reportedly, prior to the trial the defendant sought and was granted motions in limine precluding any evidence of his traffic citation and the contents of the police report from being introduced at trial. During his closing argument, the defendant’s attorney advised the jury that the investigating officer had not formulated an opinion about fault in the accident or come to a conclusion as to whether the defendant was negligent. The plaintiff’s attorney made timely objections to the defendant’s attorneys’ statements, which the court overruled. The jury ultimately issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for a new trial.

One of the defenses commonly asserted in vehicle accident cases is that the plaintiff’s negligence caused the accident and therefore, the plaintiff should not be able to recover damages. Under Florida law, however, even if a plaintiff is at fault, in most cases he or she can still recover damages. There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as instances where the plaintiff was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A Florida appellate court recently vacated a verdict in favor of the defendant in a case involving a motorcycle accident, finding that the trial court erred in applying a statute that barred the plaintiff’s recovery due to the use of drugs or alcohol. If you were involved in a South Florida motorcycle accident, it is important to retain an attorney who can anticipate any obstacles or hurdles to your recovery and provide you with strong arguments in support of your claim.

Trial Court and Jury Findings

There was a multi-vehicle accident on a highway in South Florida. The defendant reportedly made a left turn to avoid the accident, and moved in front of the plaintiff’s motorcycle, causing the plaintiff to be thrown from the motorcycle. The plaintiff subsequently sued the defendant, alleging the defendant’s negligence caused him to sustain personal injuries. Following a trial, the jury found the defendant forty-five percent liable for the accident and the plaintiff fifty-five percent liable. The trial court then applied a drug or alcohol statute that barred plaintiff’s recovery of damages. The plaintiff appealed.

The law affords plaintiffs in car accident cases certain rights and protections, so that they may pursue their case without fear of disclosure of privileged information. One of the protections afforded is the attorney-client privilege. The attorney-client privilege allows a plaintiff to communicate with his or her attorney freely, with the assurance that the contents of any communication will not be disclosed.

A Florida appellate court recently analyzed the attorney-client privilege in the context of a plaintiff’s medical treatment in a car accident case, ultimately holding that the privilege protected information regarding the relationship between a plaintiff’s attorney and the plaintiff’s treating physician. If you sustained injuries in a car accident in South Florida, you should meet with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney regarding your options for pursuing damages.

Procedural Background

Reportedly, the plaintiff was a pedestrian injured in a car accident with the defendant, an attorney, while the defendant was driving a company car. During discovery, the defendant sought information regarding the relationship between the plaintiff’s attorney and the plaintiff’s treating physician. The plaintiff objected to the requests, but the trial court found that the request did not seek information that was protected under the attorney-client privilege. As such, the plaintiff provided the defendant with information regarding payments made from his attorney’s firm to the plaintiff’s treating physician and letters of protection.

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Under Florida law, in cases arising from car accidents in which a second driver rear-ends the first driver, the first driver is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that the second driver is solely at fault for the accident. Recently, a Florida court of appeals discussed the sufficiency of evidence needed to rebut the presumption, in a case in which it upheld a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff as to the issue of liability. If you were involved in a South Florida car accident in which you were rear-ended, it is important to retain a skilled personal injury attorney to assist you in pursuing any damages you may be owed.

Allegations Regarding the Accident

Reportedly, the plaintiff was driving on a road she was not familiar with when she wanted to make a U-turn. She moved toward the median of the road and realized she could not make a U-turn. She slowed down but still maintained a speed of at least thirty miles an hour, and denied applying her brakes at any time. She was subsequently struck from behind by the defendant. She filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant. Prior to the trial, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment as to the issues of causation and liability. After a jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant appealed the court’s order granting the motion.

Rebuttable Presumption of Liability Under Florida Law

The court stated that under Florida law, there is a rebuttable presumption that a driver who rear-ends another driver is negligent. The court noted, however, that the presumption that the rear driver should be held solely liable for the accident can be rebutted if there is evidence that shows the first driver was also negligent. Additionally, the court stated that the presumption of negligence of the rear driver does not render the front driver immune from liability for comparative negligence. Rather, if the facts are disputed as to whether the first driver was comparatively negligent the issue should be submitted to the jury.

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Discovery is an essential tool in litigation. It allows plaintiffs to gather support for their claims that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s harm and should be held accountable for any resulting damages. Defendants are afforded certain protections in the discovery process, however, and cannot be compelled to produce privileged information.

As shown in a recent case in which a Florida appellate court upheld an order compelling discovery, a defendant is not permitted to inappropriately evade discovery based on false claims of privilege. If you sustained damages in a South Florida car accident, you should confer with an experienced attorney to discuss your case and any potential obstacles to your recovery of damages.

Factual and Procedural History

Reportedly, the plaintiffs were involved in a motor vehicle collision with the defendant driver. At the time of the accident, the defendant driver was driving a tractor-trailer owned by the defendant employer. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendants and the parties engaged in discovery. During the discovery process, the defendants listed a private investigator as a fact witness. The private investigator was subpoenaed for a deposition and asked to bring any documents containing information regarding his investigation of the plaintiffs. At the end of the private investigator’s deposition, plaintiff’s counsel indicated the private investigator would provide further opinions at a later date.

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While in many car accidents it is easy to identify the party that caused the accident, in some cases the negligent driver cannot be identified. In cases involving a phantom motorist, an injured party may be able to recover uninsured motorist benefits from his or her insurer, if the injured party can establish negligence. Often in cases involving a phantom motorist negligence must be established via circumstantial evidence.

In a recent case, a Florida district court of appeal set forth the standard under which inferences that are described or claimed in a negligence action must be reviewed. If you suffered harm due to a South Florida car accident, it is important to retain a seasoned attorney who will work diligently on your behalf to help you recover any damages you may be owed.

Facts Surrounding the Accident

Reportedly, the plaintiff was a passenger in a minivan when the minivan came upon a ladder that was laying across the road. The driver of the minivan stopped suddenly and was struck from behind by a delivery truck. The plaintiff filed a negligence claim against the driver of the delivery truck and an uninsured motorist claim against the driver of the minivan’s insurance company. At trial, following the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case the insurance company filed a motion for a directed verdict, arguing that there was no evidence the ladder came from another vehicle, and even if it did there was no evidence of negligence. The court denied the insurer’s motion. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found the phantom motorist that allegedly owned the ladder sixty percent at fault and the delivery driver forty percent at fault. The insurer appealed.

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Car insurance is required in many states, including Florida, but the specific type of insurance required varies by state. While insurance is meant to provide benefits for harm caused by car accidents, it is not uncommon for an insurer to attempt to deny coverage based on the terms of the policy.

A Florida District Court of Appeals recently overruled a court order granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer, on the grounds that the terms of the clause the insurer relied upon in denying coverage were ambiguous. If you were injured in a South Florida car accident involving an uninsured driver, it is in your best to meet with an attorney who is proficient in dealing with insurance companies to assist you in seeking any benefits you may be owed.

Factual Background

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s parents obtained a policy of insurance with the defendant insurer, in which they insured three vehicles. The policy included uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury suffered in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist. The plaintiff was subsequently injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist while operating a motorcycle that was not an insured vehicle under the policy. The plaintiff, who was not a named insured, sought benefits under the policy on the grounds that the policy provided uninsured motorist coverage for family members. The defendant declined coverage based on exclusionary language, after which the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant for benefits under the policy. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff then appealed.

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In car accident cases where liability is clear it is often easier and more efficient to agree to settle. While theoretically settling a case is easier than proceeding with litigation, there must be clear evidence of an agreement to settle and the agreed upon terms for a case to be disposed of via settlement.

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida rejected a defendant’s motion for summary judgment asking the court to dismiss a case due to a settlement agreement, on the grounds that an issue of fact existed as to whether a valid agreement was entered into by the parties. If you suffered harm due to a car accident in South Florida, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney to develop a plan for seeking compensation.

Settlement Negotiations

Allegedly, the defendant rear-ended a car driven by a second driver, causing it to rear-end a car driven by the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s son was in the car at the time of the accident. The plaintiff’s attorney subsequently sent a settlement demand to a claims adjuster for the defendant’s auto insurer, stating the plaintiff and his son would settle the case for the defendant’s policy limit of $20,000 if the defendant provided affidavits verifying that there was no other insurance covering the defendant and that the defendant was not acting in the scope of her employment at the time of the accident. The demand also set forth a deadline for the insurer to reply.

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In car accident cases where it is alleged a car was unsafe due to either the manner in which it was designed or manufactured, the car itself can be important evidence in establishing liability. In some cases, a plaintiff has a duty to preserve the car so that the opposing party may inspect it, and the failure to do so may adversely affect the plaintiff’s case.

Recently, the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida analyzed the factors needed to impose an adverse inference against the plaintiff for failing to preserve a car that was allegedly defective. If you were injured in a South Florida car accident, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to avoid taking any actions that could adversely affect your case.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a one vehicle accident, in which he swerved to avoid a car that made an improper lane change and lost control of his vehicle. His vehicle left the roadway and flipped over, landing on its roof. He suffered severe injuries and required amputation of his left arm. The plaintiff’s insurance company deemed the plaintiff’s car a total loss. The plaintiff transferred the title of his vehicle to the insurer. Neither the plaintiff nor the insurer preserved the vehicle. The plaintiff subsequently filed a product liability action against the defendant car manufacturer alleging that his car was defective.

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