Articles Posted in Car Accident

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Most would agree that young and inexperienced drivers pose a threat when they get behind the wheel, if for no other reason than their lack of experience. However, given the prevalence of cell phones among teens, young drivers are increasingly becoming a danger due to their frequent use of a cell phone while driving.

Camera PhoneIn fact, a recent study suggests that teenage drivers who text while driving are more likely to engage in other dangerous driving habits, such as speeding, aggressive driving, failing to wear a seatbelt, and driving under the influence. According to one industry news source discussing the new study, an astonishing 80% of teens admit to using their smartphone while driving. Smartphone use is not limited to talking and texting, moreover. The survey respondents admitted to watching videos, browsing the internet, and even playing games while driving.

The study considered roughly 1,000 teens aged 16 to 19 years old and asked them about their driving habits. The results indicate that there is a direct link between smartphone use while driving and being involved in an accident. In fact, the teens who reported being involved in an accident were three times as likely to admit using their phone while behind the wheel. The survey revealed other interesting facts about teen drivers as well:

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Virginia issued an opinion in a product liability case against an auto maker, alleging that the manufacturer failed to manufacture a soft-top convertible capable of protecting the occupants during a rollover collision. In the case, Holiday Motor Corporation v. Walters, the court ultimately held that the auto maker did not have a duty to manufacture a soft-top convertible capable of safely withstanding a rollover collision.

Mazda MiataImplied Warranty of Merchantability

The plaintiff’s lawsuit was brought under the theory that the auto maker breached the implied warranty of merchantability. This legal theory relies on the implied, or unstated, warranty that the manufacturer of a product makes to all consumers that a product is fit for a particular purpose. A plaintiff making an argument for a breach of the implied warranty of merchantability is claiming that the product purchased was not fit for the purpose for which they purchased the product.

The Facts of the Case

Walters was driving a 1995 soft-top Mazda Miata convertible on a two-lane road when she noticed an object fall off the pick-up truck in front of her. She attempted to avoid colliding with the object by steering the car to the right. As she did so, however, she left the roadway and traveled up a sloped embankment, rolling the vehicle. The vehicle ultimately came to a stop upside down, leaning against a tree.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Alaska issued an opinion in a car accident case, affirming the lower court’s decision to uphold the jury’s defense verdict. In addition, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision to award reasonable attorney’s fees to the defendant after it was shown that the plaintiff turned down a reasonable pre-trial offer.

Snowy RoadMarshall v. Peter:  A Minor Accident Results in a $200,000 Lawsuit

The plaintiff, Marshall, was stopped at a red light, waiting to make a turn. The defendant, Peter, pulled up behind Marshall and came to a complete stop. At the time, the roads were icy and very slick, but Peter was able to come to a complete stop behind Marshall without issue.

When the light turned green, Marshall started to pull forward. Peter then lifted his foot off the brake pedal and started to roll forward. As he did so, Marshall stopped her car in the intersection as another car approached. Peter attempted to stop his car, which was going about three miles per hour at the time, but his car slid on the ice and into the back of Marshall’s car.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Arizona decided an interesting case involving a defendant’s right to name additional defendants in a case that was originally filed against only a single defendant. In the case, Cramer v. Starr, the court determined that the defendant did have a right to name an additional party to the lawsuit whom the defendant believed may be partially liable to the plaintiff for the injuries that formed the basis for the personal injury claim.

Damaged Car

The Facts of the Case

Mungia, the plaintiff, was involved in a rear-end accident. Cramer was the driver of the car that struck the rear of Mungia’s vehicle. After the accident, Mungia began experiencing back pain and consulted with a chiropractor. After a few months of treatment and no improvement of her symptoms, she had an MRI performed, and it was discovered that she had several bulging discs. The doctor whom she had gone to see about her back pain recommended this surgery. However, after the surgery was performed, Mungia’s pain was worse than before. Mungia filed a lawsuit against Cramer, alleging that her injuries stemmed from the car accident caused by Cramer.

At trial, Cramer asked the court to allow her to name the doctor who performed the surgery as an additional defendant, arguing that it was the doctor’s negligence rather than her own that caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The court denied the request, and Cramer appealed.

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wreck

Before a court can rule on the issues presented by a lawsuit, the court must first determine that it has jurisdiction over both the parties and the subject matter of the suit. If either is found lacking, the court does not have the power to adjudicate the case.

“Subject matter jurisdiction” refers to a court’s competence to hear a case in a particular category (regardless of the parties thereto), while “personal jurisdiction” means that the court has authority over a particular person or business.

In the recent case of Krisztian v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida for the Fourth District was called upon to determine whether the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County had personal jurisdiction over a defendant in a subrogation case arising from a car accident.

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calculator 2Generally speaking, civil courts in Florida follow what is referred to as the “American rule,” under which each party is responsible for his or her own attorney fees. There are, of course, certain exceptions to the rule. One of the most important exceptions for personal injury litigants is the Florida Settlement Rule.

Set forth in Florida R. Civ. Prov. 1.442 and Florida Statutes § 768.79, the rule allows a court to award attorney fees and costs in limited situations. Although the amount that a court may order under the rule is typically less than the amount that the litigant owes his or her attorney under the contract between them, it does help offset some of these fees.

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A femal doctor or nurse checking the blood pressure of a patientAfter an injured person has finished his or her medical treatment following a car accident, he or she may be asked to submit to further examination by a so-called “independent” medical examiner.

A recent appellate case explored the rules of discovery as they pertain to an injured person’s inquiry into how often a particular doctor sees patients at the request of the plaintiff’s insurance company or the law firm that represents the insurer.

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car crash2It is often said that there are two sides to every story. One of the reasons that we have jury trials is to determine which side is correct. The rules of evidence determine which evidence the jury gets to hear and which is excluded. The trial judgment makes these determinations based on motions filed by each party in a lawsuit. If a party is dissatisfied with the trial judge’s decision, he or she may appeal the decision to the court of appeals.

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coinsFlorida is what is known as a “pure comparative negligence” state. This means that a party’s recovery in a lawsuit can be reduced in proportion to the party’s own fault. This and other issues were discussed in a recent case handed down by the District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District of Florida.

In the case of Jones v. Alayon, the plaintiff was the daughter and personal representative of the estate of a man who had died in a car accident. In the accident, the man’s car was struck from behind, causing him to hit a guardrail, overturn his car, and be ejected. It was unclear whether the man was killed when he initially hit the pavement or when he was hit by other cars shortly thereafter. The defendant in the case was an off-duty policeman who fled the scene and told authorities that his car had been stolen. He later admitted that he had been dishonest and, at the time of trial, was in jail on charges pertaining to the accident.

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traffic lightIn a recent case, the District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District was called upon to determine whether a company that negligently designed a traffic signal, thereby causing a man’s death, could rely upon the 1959 case of Slavin v. Kay, which held that a contractor is not liable for patent defects after acceptance of a construction project by the owner.

Facts of the Case

In the case of McIntosh v. Progressive Design and Engineering, Inc., the plaintiff’s father was killed in an automobile accident. According to the plaintiff, the accident happened because the father was relying on a traffic signal that indicated it was safe for him to exit a mobile home park, even though a truck was approaching from a cross-street. The plaintiff sued the company that designed the traffic signals for the intersection, alleging that it had negligently designed the signals in a manner that caused his father to overlook the traffic control signal meant for the mobile home park and, instead, rely on a signal that was meant for traffic farther down the street.

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