Court Permits Lawsuit Filed by Motorist Injured by Escaped Farm Animal

Last month, an appellate court in New York issued a written opinion in a case brought by the surviving spouse of a motorist who was killed while attempting to assist an escaped farm animal that had wandered onto the highway. In the case, Hain v. Jamison, the court determined that a sufficient link existed between the defendant farm owner’s negligence and the motorist’s death to fulfill the causation requirement. As a result, the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawsuit will be permitted to proceed toward settlement negotiations or trial. The Facts of the Case The plaintiff in the case is the surviving husband of a woman who was killed by a passing motorist as she tried to assist an escaped calf that belonged to the defendant. Evidently, ...

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Claims Against Florida Public Entities Are Subject to Strict Notice Requirements

Most people are familiar with the term “statute of limitations,” which refers to the amount of time that an accident victim has to file a lawsuit. Cases filed after the statute of limitations has expired will not be heard by a court, barring some extraordinary exception. In some cases, when a government or public entity is named as a defendant, an accident victim must also provide notice of the lawsuit to the state. In Florida, victims seeking financial recovery from a government entity must follow strict guidelines, or their claims will not be heard. Specifically, notice of the claim must be provided to both the entity being sued as well as the Department of Financial Services within three years of the accident’s occurrence. An accident victim’s failure to comply with these requirements can result in the dismissal of an otherwise meritorious claim. A recent Continue reading →

Plaintiff’s Chain-Reaction Accident Case Dismissed for Failure to Establish Necessary Elements

Earlier this fall, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a chain-reaction truck accident case brought by a man who was injured not in the original accident but in a subsequent accident caused by backed up traffic. In the case, Ready v. RWI Transportation, the court determined that the accident injuring the plaintiff was too far removed in both time and physical distance to be considered a foreseeable result of the defendant truck driver’s alleged negligence. The Plaintiff Rear-Ends a Stopped Vehicle The defendant truck driver caused an accident on the highway when he negligently changed lanes and struck another vehicle. As a result of the initial accident, traffic was slowed as emergency crews cleared the sce...

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Attorneys at Cecere Santana Share Driving Tips for Teens to Prevent Fatal Accidents

According to an October 12, 2016 CBS News article, the number of teenagers involved in deadly car crashes is rising for the first time in nearly a decade. In 2015, there was a 10-percent increase in teen driving deaths. “In fact, teenage drivers are more than one-and-a-half times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash,” said personal injury attorney Erick Santana, a founding partner at Cecere Santana. To help prevent fatal accidents involving teens, Santana and Cecere Santana co-founder Michael Cecere share the following three tips: No. 1: Always wear your seat belt. “Of the teens who died in passenger vehicle crashes, approximately 55% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash,” said Cecere. “Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.” No. 2: Practice driving with yo...

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Determining Which Statute of Limitations Applies in Personal Injury Cases

Under Florida law, all personal injury cases must be brought within a certain amount of time. Normally, this time frame is called the statute of limitations, and while there are some exceptions, the general rule is that a late-filed case cannot be heard by the courts, and the plaintiff will be without recourse for their injuries. While this concept is a straightforward one, determining which statute of limitations applies in a specific case is not always an easy task. Different types of cases have different statutes of limitations. One of the strictest statutes of limitations is for medical malpractice cases. In many states, including in Florida, the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case is two years. Compare that with the statute of limitations for general negligence cases, which is four years, and it is clear why it is important to determine at the outset which sta...

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Federal Court of Appeals Affirms $2.25 Million Verdict in Underinsured Motorist Case

The United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently released an opinion affirming a federal district court’s decision to award a Colorado accident victim a $2.25 million verdict against his auto insurance company. The plaintiff had initially sought only the $750,000 policy limit for the uninsured motorist coverage purchased from the defendant, but his successful claim that the defendant unreasonably denied his initial claim resulted in a judgment three times that amount. With the Tenth Circuit’s decision to affirm the lower court’s rulings, the plaintiff will receive the $2,250,000 he was awarded by the trial judge. The Plaintiff Suffered a Serious Back Injury after He Was Rear-Ended by an Underinsured Driver The plaintiff in the case of
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The Importance of Honesty and Diligence in the Pre-Trial Discovery Phase of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When an accident victim files a case against another motorist, the law requires that certain information be passed through what is called “pre-trial discovery.” This allows both sides to have an idea of the evidence the other party will use to prove or defend their claim. While not every piece of harmful or beneficial information must be passed in pre-trial discovery, generally all relevant evidence should be passed. If a court determines that a party is hiding evidence, or is otherwise not complying with the discovery process, the court can implement sanctions against that party. Defense Verdict Reversed on Appeal, Based on Failure to Comply with Discovery Requirements Earlier last month, an appellate court in West Virginia issued an opinion in a case that reversed a jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant after it came out that the defense failed to comply wi...

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Determining Who Is at Fault in South Florida Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Determining fault in Miami vehicle accidents is not always as straightforward as it may seem. In some cases, the nature of the injuries sustained prevents those involved from accurately remembering what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. In other cases, so many vehicles are involved in an accident that it is difficult for authorities to determine who was at fault and who was merely an innocent victim of another’s negligent or reckless driving. In most accidents involving serious injury or death, an accident reconstructionist is called in to help recreate the accident so that authorities have a better idea of what caused the accident. This can be very important for insurance issues as well as to help determine if any of the parties involved should face criminal charges for their role in the accident. While this is not a primary function of an accident reconstruction...

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Florida Court Upholds $1 Million Bad-Faith Verdict Against Insurance Company

In a case decided earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Florida upheld a jury’s $1 million verdict against an insurance company after it was determined that the insurance company acted in bad faith in not paying out on the plaintiff’s meritorious claim. Fridman v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois:  The Facts of the Case The case arose after a 2007 accident involving the plaintiff and an uninsured motorist. In the wake of the accident, the plaintiff discovered that the other driver did not have insurance and sought to collect reimbursement for medical expenses and property damage from his own insurance company, Safeco. However, Safeco initially denied the claim and then failed to respond to any of the plaintiff’s attemp...

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Punitive Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

When a Floridian is injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, that accident victim usually will be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries through a Florida negligence lawsuit. There are several different types of damages awards that may be appropriate in any given situation, depending on the type of conduct that led to the accident, the severity of the victim’s injuries, and the effect the injuries will have on the victim’s life moving forward. The most common type of personal injury damages award is called economic damages. These damages are meant to compensate the victim for the out-of-pocket expenses they incurred as a result of being involved in the accident. For example, economic damages in Florida include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and decreased earning capacity. Another type of damages award, which is also quite common, is non-eco...

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