Articles Tagged with Fort Myers car accident lawyer

Published on:

Fort Myers car accident lawyerAnother rainy season is just around the corner here for us in Southwest Florida, where an average of 56 inches of rain falls annually. Just as safely navigating snow and ice are critical skills for drivers up north, careful driving in severe thunderstorms is imperative for motorists in South Florida. As a longtime Fort Myers car accident lawyer, over the years I’ve seen too many preventable crashes caused by drivers who failed to use adequate caution during heavy rain.

Although turbulent weather can be cited as a factor in a collision, it doesn’t negate the fault of drivers who operate their vehicles with less care than they should during a downpour.

If you drive in Florida, you owe certain reasonable duties of care to your passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, construction workers, bicyclists and anyone else sharing the road. Drivers are expected to take any and all precautions to drive safely at all times. Reasonable care is expected with regard to every vehicle or person in the foreseeable zone of danger. That means mostly driving at a speed that is reasonable for the amount of traffic on the road, but it also means adjusting one’s speed and driving behavior in accordance with weather conditions.

For example, a driver caught in a sudden rainstorm may be moving at the speed limit but still deemed to be negligently operating their vehicle because of the significantly reduced visibility and increased potential to skid and slide. Continue reading

Published on:

South Florida injury lawyerAs a longtime Florida car accident lawyer, I’ve come across many individuals who were tricked into believing that if they were involved in a crash, they had nothing to worry about because “I have full coverage.”

Unfortunately, in the auto insurance world, “full coverage” doesn’t go half as far as most people think. And even in situations with decent insurance, it can be a tooth-and-nail battle to compel the insurance company to pay their fair share.

In Florida, people have an especially warped view of how much might be covered because of the fact that we are a no-fault auto insurance state. The (erroneous) presumption is that insurance is going to cover damages, no matter who is at-fault. Although it is true that Florida requires personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of every vehicle owner, some (like motorcyclists) are expressly excluded. Plus, it only covers up to $10,000 in damages – and sometimes even getting them to pay that requires negotiation.

What Exactly Does it Mean to Have “Full Coverage” in Florida?

If you’re involved in a crash with another driver who assures you, “Don’t worry – I’m fully covered,” you shouldn’t assume that everything will be covered and that it’s ok to relax. For one thing, Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you can’t collect damages from the other motorist at all unless your injuries meet the serious injury threshold criteria, outlined in F.S. 627.737. You’d also have to prove the fault of the other driver. Over the years we have learned that insurance companies often don’t do the right thing and fairly pay claims; if they did our law firm would have little purpose and would likely be out of a job.

But beyond that, “full coverage” simply means that one has the bare minimum coverage legally required by Florida law – and that ain’t much. Specifically: Continue reading

Published on:

Florida distracted driving crashesFood delivery services, such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash, have been doing booming business in recent years. The online food delivery industry is now generating more than $26 million annually, and nearly one-third of Americans say they used food delivery services twice a week. But as their popularity has risen, so too have reported Florida distracted driving crashes attributed to their drivers.

Last year, there was the tragic case of an Uber Eats driver allegedly slamming into the back of a motorcycle in Tampa, killing a 19-year-old University of Tampa student on the rear of the bike and permanently injuring her brother, the operator. The 33-year-old food delivery service driver was reportedly on her phone making a delivery near campus when the crash occurred. According to The Tampa Bay Times, the police cited the driver for failure-to-yield, but the citation was tossed when the traffic officer failed to appear in court – a ruling the police department is appealing. No criminal charges have been filed, but the victim’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. They allege Uber, its subsidiary, and the driver are all liable for their daughter’s untimely death. Specifically, they say the driver was rushed and inattentive/on her phone, and that Uber is negligent in failing to train her and for encouraging driver distraction with a feature that prompts workers to communicate with customers while they’re driving. Plaintiffs also say the company hired the driver despite a poor driving record that included citations for speeding, carelessness, and a crash.

Similar cases have been reported from Boston to San Francisco. There are currently numerous, ongoing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against the drivers, vehicle owners, and delivery app companies.

Factors in Food Delivery Driver Crashes

The reality is food delivery drivers have always been slightly more prone to crashes, even before smartphones were everywhere. In fact, they have one of the highest occupational fatalities rates in the U.S. Primary factors driving up crashes for food delivery drivers: Continue reading

Published on:

Florida crash injuriesWhen Florida crash injuries are significant and lasting, it is necessary to analyze all potential avenues of financial recovery. In some cases, that may include claims against car manufacturers for dangerous vehicle design. These types of tort claims are referred to as product liability lawsuits.

Allegations in car accident product liability lawsuits often assert that one’s injuries were exacerbated by design or manufacturing flaws that put occupants at unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.

Recently, a Florida family filed a product liability lawsuit against Honda alleging dangerous design flaws that resulted in severe injuries to a young girl who was riding in the third row of her family’s van. The girl’s mother was traveling with her three children one afternoon in August 2019 when they were rear-ended by a Jeep. According to local news reports, the girl, then 7, suffered a traumatic brain injury and broken bones. She has endured numerous hospital stays, surgeries and daily physical, and occupational therapies.

Although the family is pursuing a claim against the driver of the Jeep for negligence operation, claims against the vehicle manufacturer allege strict liability and negligence for alleged dangerous design flaws that reportedly left third row passengers vulnerable to serious injury. Continue reading

Published on:

Florida distracted driving accidentsEmployers of motorists who cause crashes while distracted by work obligations may be liable to cover the damages of those injured. Florida distracted driving accidents are on the rise. AAA reports distracted drivers caused the deaths of 3,142 people in the U.S. in a single recent year, an uptick of 10 percent from the year before. In this Florida alone, 258 people died that year as a result of crashes caused by drivers who were distracted. That figure is likely underreported given that not all types of distractions are easily identifiable.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and traffic safety experts have expressed concern about the still-rising number of crashes, placing significant blame on drivers who aren’t paying attention. “Cognitive overload” after participating in back-to-back videoconferencing, along with atrophied driving skills during the pandemic, was cited by several researchers in a recent NBC News report.

It should be noted that F.S. 316.305 prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle while texting, emailing, reading data, instant messaging, etc. for non-voice communication purposes.

Cognitive distractions after a work-related video conferencing may be a very real problem for drivers, but the question in terms of potential legal liability for the employer will be whether the driver was acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the collision. Continue reading

Published on:

Florida car accident lawyer Fort MyersThe way drivers pursue civil damages in Florida car accident cases will fundamentally change starting Jan. 1, 2022, barring a veto from Governor Ron DeSantis.  If approved, Florida’s 50-year-old no-fault driver’s insurance law will be no more as of next year, following the majority of state lawmakers’ vote for repeal with SB 54.

The new law will directly impact two types of driver insurance requirements – personal injury protection (PIP) and bodily injury liability coverage. PIP has been required in Florida since 1972 to provide up to $10,000 in coverage for 80 percent of all “necessary and reasonable expenses” incurred as a result of a crash, no matter who caused it. It also includes $5,000 in funeral expenses. Bodily injury liability, which covers damage to others if the insured caused the crash, has not been mandatory for most Florida motorists (with some exceptions for those with prior DUI convictions, etc.). However, Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law has held that drivers must provide up to $20,000 in financial coverage per accident and $10,000 per person if they cause an accident – an amount for which they’d be personally liable if they didn’t purchase insurance to cover it.

Under the new law, vehicle owners would no longer be required to purchase PIP to register their vehicles. However, they would need to pay for:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage, at least $25,000 per occupant, up to $50,000 per accident.
  • $5,000 in death insurance to cover funeral expenses and other bills of anyone killed in a collision.
  • A $10,000 financial responsibility requirement for property damage liability (PDL) coverage.

Those hurt in a Florida car accident would no longer have a dollar limitation on recovering damages for pain and suffering under PIP. Further, insurance companies will be required to offer Med-Pay, with $5,000 and $10,000 in health insurance with no deductible, though insureds could opt-out of this. Continue reading

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 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:

side impact crashesChild car seat manufacturer Evenflo, maker of the “Big Kid booster seat,” promised parents on its website that the side impact tests the company had conducted to ensure safety were “rigorous,” and simulated realistic side-impact crashes. This may have been a key selling point for many parents, given that side-impact crashes are responsible for one-fourth of all deaths of children under age fifteen (15) in crashes. As our South Florida car accident lawyers have seen, side-impact crashes are more likely to cause severe injuries because the only thing separating the child from the intruding vehicle is the door.

For years, these booster seats were marketed as safe. In reality, according to a new ProPublica investigation, the side-impact crash testing fell far below what one might consider rigorous.

Internal video records show that Evenflo’s tests of child-sized crash test dummies in the Big Kid boosters in a T-bone crash scenario were thrown far out of their shoulder belts. One of the company’s top booster seat engineers conceded in a deposition that if an actual child had been sitting in that same seat, that type of movement could cause potentially catastrophic spinal, head and neck injuries. They would also be at high risk of death.

Despite this, Evenflo gave the booster seats a “passing grade” for safety in side-impact crashes. As ProPublica put it, “The company’s test bar was so low, the only way to fail was if the child-seized dummy ended up on the floor or the booster itself broke into pieces.” Continue reading

Published on:

Florida driveway accidentsPeople often consider their driveway as part of their “safe zone.” It is an extension of their home, and the only traffic – if any – is typically slow-moving, either pulling in or backing out. That is why driveways are fairly popular outdoor spaces for children to play – drawing with sidewalk chalk, shooting hoops or playing with water hoses.

The unfortunate truth is driveway accidents are far too common. According to KidsandCars.org, approximately 2,400 children in the U.S. are injured every year in driveway accidents. That is 50 every week, 2 of those dying from their injuries. Small children are at the highest risk of serious injury and death in driveway accidents, accounting for 64 percent of all non-traffic related auto fatalities.

In November of 2019, The News-Press reported the death of a 5-year-old girl in a Fort Myers driveway accident on Cypress Drive. She was playing in a driveway when the homeowner returned and made a left turn into his parking spot. His view of the girl was reportedly obstructed by a sport utility vehicle parked on the right side of the driveway. The girl was rushed to Lee Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead – the 79th road fatality in Lee County as of the end of November. 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