Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Published on:

South Florida car accident lawsuits

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently tweeted that speeding-related car accident deaths are up all over the country – in some areas, as much as 15 percent. As the agency pointed out, the higher the speed, the worse the crash-related injuries. What is also relevant for those weighing South Florida car accident lawsuits is that high speed can factor significantly in crash liability.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed is one of the most common – and dangerous driver behaviors – with an estimated 1/3 of all deadly crashes involving at least one speeding driver. Part of what makes speeding such a threat is that so many drivers consider it innocuous and make excuses for it. (“I was running late,” “everyone else on the road is going 70+mph,” “I’d be in more danger going slow than fast on Florida highways,” etc.). In reality, speeding has dangerous consequences, among them being:

  • Reduced ability to maneuver around roadway obstructions or negotiate curves.
  • Longer time/distance needed to stop safely.
  • The distance a vehicle travels while speeding driver reacts to a hazard is increased, meaning there is greater potential for more injuries/people affected.
  • Increased risk for both crashes and injuries because neither drivers nor pedestrians can quickly and accurately assess a speeding vehicle’s distance.

Car accidents killed more than 36,000 people nationally in 2019. As one analysis by ProPublica revealed, the risk of serious injury and death increases rapidly with each mile-per-hour increase. A person is 70 percent more likely to be killed if they are struck by a car traveling 30 mph compared to one traveling 25 mph.

Naples injury lawyers can explain, there is little question that excessive speed can be the basis of liability in South Florida car accident lawsuits. How big of a role it plays will depend on the underlying facts of the case.

Continue reading

Published on:

Florida car accident injuries

When it comes to liability for Florida car accident injuries, well-established case law and the dangerous instrumentality doctrine allow vehicle owners to be held liable for injuries caused by the negligence of authorized drivers – even if the owner was not driving or otherwise negligent. However, there are exceptions for rental car companies under the federal Graves Amendment. Still, it may be possible to sue a rental car company for Florida car accident injuries under certain circumstances if the company is negligent.

A recent example is playing out in Florida courts, as reported by The Tampa Bay Times. While the possibility of recovery in this far-fetched case is incredibly unlikely, it will work to illustrate the point. This case started in 2013 when a man rented a vehicle from Enterprise. According to the affidavit, written from a corrections center where he is serving hard time for vehicular homicide, plaintiff stated he was in no shape to drive when he entered the rental center to rent a vehicle.

He reportedly could not get a rental in his own name because his driver’s license had expired. Plus, there was a warrant for his arrest. When he entered the rental facility, he said he was so intoxicated he could hardly walk. Because he did not have his own valid driver’s license, he presented that of his younger brother. He alleges that a management trainee at the facility either knew or should have known that his drunk state alone rendered him unsafe to drive. The fact that he was handed the keys anyway, he alleges, amounted to negligence.

Continue reading

Published on:

Florida injury lawsuit

When considering whether to file a Florida personal injury lawsuit, it is important to ask: Who is going to pay?

Insurance companies often cover most injury claims. Typically, these policies cover auto accidents or injuries on someone else’s property (premises liability claims such as slip-and-falls, third-party criminal attacks, dog bites, etc.). But as our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers can explain, this is not always the only source of recovery. In some instances, it can be worthwhile to pursue a defendant’s personal assets in addition to collecting from the insurance policy.

It is not usually the first avenue of compensation we discuss for the simple fact that many personal injury lawsuit defendants simply do not have enough personal assets to make pursuing a claim against them worth the time. But if one’s injuries are serious and there isn’t enough insurance to cover the claim, it may be an additional avenue to pursue.

Continue reading

Published on:

Florida car accident lawsuit

Florida seatbelt laws require all motor vehicle drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt to lower the risk of serious injury and death caused by car accidents. Failure to do so could result in a ticket, but worse, it could be the difference between minor and life-altering injuries. For this reason, courts have held that Florida car accident lawsuit plaintiffs could have their damages reduced if they were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. As our Naples injury lawyers can explain, this is what is known as “the seat belt defense.”

To be clear: Not wearing a seat belt does not kill your case. After all, the cause of the crash probably had nothing to do with whether you buckled up. Where it becomes relevant is the issue of damages or the value of your claim.

As long as another driver was liable for the crash, you still have the legal right to pursue and collect damages for your injuries. However, the amount of money you ultimately collect for your claim may be reduced if you do not wear a seat belt. This is primarily thanks to the pure comparative negligence doctrine that Florida follows.

Continue reading

Published on:

Florida PIP lawyer

When answering calls from Fort Myers car accident victims, our attorneys have found that Florida PIP is one of the most misunderstood concepts.

“Why am I fighting with my own insurer?” “Can I still sue the person who hit me?” “What is the ‘no-fault’ system anyway? Someone is at-fault, right?”

Understandably, people are confused because Florida is one of just a few states that still uses this kind of system to handle auto accident claims, and there are all kinds of exceptions and caveats. PIP is not supposed to deny you the opportunity to have your damages covered, but many crash victims find navigating the system difficult and frustrating.  Our team at Garvin Injury Law can help you get answers and determine how to maximize your odds of receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Continue reading

Published on:

teen driver crash risk

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for Florida teens, and adolescents face four times the crash risk as drivers over 20, particularly within the first 18 months after receiving their driver’s license. Part of the reason for that could be immaturity, which could lead to dangerous actions behind the wheel that heighten the crash risk. But a new report also finds teen drivers have a greater chance of serious injury or death in a crash because they’re more likely to be driving older, smaller cars.

As one research scientist for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated, “Despite everything we know about young drivers and crash risk, teens are still driving the least safe vehicles. Small vehicles do not protect as well in a crash, and older vehicles are less likely to be equipped with essential safety equipment.”

The study authors examined data from deadly crashes that occurred between 2013 and 2017. What they discovered was that among teen motorists killed in these crashes, those operating older vehicles faced four times the fatality risk as those driving newer models. Furthermore, nearly 70 percent of teens who died in collisions were in vehicles that were older than six years. Teenagers also spend more than half their drive time in a vehicle that’s more than a decade old. Nearly one-third of those who died were in vehicles that were lighter and smaller. Less than 4 percent of teen drivers who lost their lives in crashes were in vehicles under three years old.

Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand parents’ reluctance to pay a lot of money for their teenager’s first vehicle. But what many probably are not aware of is how much less safe those older cars are.

Continue reading

Published on:

Florida emergency vehicle accidentsWe all know that when an emergency vehicle approaches with its lights flashing and sirens blaring, other motorists should make way – and fast. But what if you cannot move quickly enough? What if you did not see the lights or hear the sirens before it was too late? What if there were no lights or sirens activated at all?  Over the years our law firm has received many calls regarding Florida emergency vehicle laws;  As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, state law allows for legal accountability in Florida emergency vehicle accidents in some circumstances. Proving it will likely require an extensive investigation, expert witness testimony, and an experienced legal team.

According to the National Safety Council, emergency vehicle crashes – those involving police vehicles, ambulances or fire trucks – caused 168 U.S. deaths in 2018. Of those, less than half (48 percent) occurred while the authorized vehicles’ lights and sirens were in use. Most of those who died were either an occupant of non-emergency vehicles or pedestrians (69%). Police vehicles were involved in the most fatal crashes (64%), followed by ambulances (28%), and then fire trucks (8%). These numbers provide some insight but do not give us a full picture as non-fatal crashes are not included.

F.S. 316.072 allows emergency vehicle operators some leeway when it comes to traffic rules. For example, they can proceed past a red light or through a stop sign – but only after slowing down as necessary for safe operation. They can exceed the maximum speed limit – so long as the driver does not endanger life or property. They can also disregard regulations governing direction, movement, or turning – but only so long as life or property is not endangered. Many departments also have written policies that outline the caution their employees should use when responding to an emergency.

What the law makes clear is that while these first responders are tasked with critically important duties for which seconds count, they do not have free reign to drive recklessly on our roads or needlessly endanger others.

Continue reading

Published on:

Fort Myers injury lawsuitA Fort Myers injury lawsuit resulted in a jury verdict of more than $5 million in damages, which included $2.25 million for past and future pain and suffering a few years back.

The Daily Business Review reported that in 2017, a driver in Fort Myers was reportedly high on heroin when he crashed into the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff and her two children, who were in the backseat, were seriously injured. Initially, the other driver was arrested for driving under the influence, but he later pleaded guilty to lesser charges. His auto insurance company agreed to cover the cost of the children’s injuries but argued their mother’s injuries were mostly the result of a pre-existing condition. She filed a Fort Myers injury lawsuit. The defense conceded liability, but the plaintiff still had to prove the full extent of her damages – which included pain and suffering.

Here our South Florida injury attorneys explain what pain and suffering are in the context of tort law and what legal recourse you have to be compensated for it.

Published on:

Florida car accident lawyerA jury recently awarded a plaintiff $202 million in damages for a Florida car crash that left her seriously injured and her son with permanent, catastrophic injuries. Law.com reports the at-fault driver slammed into the passenger side of a vehicle, where the plaintiff, then 8-months-pregnant, was sitting, causing her to suffer placental abruption. She suffered serious injuries. Her baby, born prematurely, barely survived. The plaintiff reports the child, now 4, is blind and non-verbal with permanent brain damage and suffering some 20 seizures daily.

The defendant was convicted of drunk driving. He was negligent in the crash. Yet as the article notes, “The defendant … was uninsured and unrepresented, so the damages award of $202 million is likely unrecoverable.”

Uninsured drivers are indeed a serious problem in Florida. We have the highest percentage of uninsured motorists in the U.S. According to the Insurance Information Institute, nearly 27 percent of motorists in Florida do not have auto insurance – even though it is required by law. Continue reading

Published on:

Fort Myers car accident lawyer

The novel coronavirus pandemic is dominating headlines – not to mention the lives of most Americans right now. But how might COVID-19 impact your Fort Myers car accident claim?

Our personal injury lawyers know several elements of your case could be affected by the pandemic, but the most important things to know are: You should not delay seeking medical treatment or consulting with an attorney. These are the quickest ways to jeopardize your health and reduce the value of your claim.

The silver lining in all of this is that with reduced traffic on the roads, we may see fewer crashes in total. However, pending cases will still proceed (even if delayed) and a crash during the pandemic is not impossible either.

That said, you should be aware of a few things that might be different. It is important to stay informed as we navigate this once-in-a-century national and global crisis. Continue reading

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jeffrey R. Garvin
Florida Legal Elite 2016
Super Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
The Best Lawyers in America
Martindale-Hubbell
American Association for Justice
Florida Justice Association
Contact Information