The Dangers of Drowsy Driving on Florida Roads

Drowsy driving is a major cause of Florida car accidents. Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving killed 795 people in 2017 alone. However, because this data relies only on police and hospital reports, traffic safety experts, sleep scientists, and public health organizations all agree that the actual number of deaths caused by drowsy driving is much higher. The NHTSA has identified several characteristics that are common among drowsy driving accidents. For example, these accidents typically involve vehicles occupied only by the driver and occur in the late-night/early morning hours or the midafternoon. They also usually involve one vehicle drifting off the road at a high speed, without the driver making any a...

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Florida Court Discusses the Prohibition against Stacking Inferences in Recent Car Accident Case

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida car accident case discussing circumstantial evidence as well as its limits. The case required the court to explain the rule against stacking inferences based on circumstantial evidence. The Facts of the Case According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a minivan that was being driven by a family member. The minivan was traveling over the Buckman Bridge when, about a mile onto the bridge, the driver of the minivan had to bring the vehicle to a stop because there was a ladder in the road. Apparently, no one saw how the ladder ended up on the road; however, the plaintiff testified that she saw a motorist who had parked ...

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Florida Drivers Rank Among the Worst in the Country, Yet Again

Residents of every major city like to claim that their drivers are the worst. Of course, dealing with any commute day in and day out gets tiresome, and inconsiderate or aggressive drivers tend to stand out in commuter’s mind when they make these comments. However, Florida drivers, in many motorist’s minds, are among the worst. According to a recent news report discussing a study conducted by SmartAsset, in 2018, Florida drivers ranked eighth for the worst drivers in the country. This figure represents a drastic improvement over the 2017 figures, which named Florida drivers as the absolute worst. Nevertheless, the high number of accidents in our state requires knowing a skilled South Florida car accident attorney in the e...

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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving in Florida

Florida is not known for its good drivers. In fact, each year there are approximately 3,000 fatalities caused by Florida car accidents. Perhaps not surprisingly for those who have spent much time navigating Florida roads, a recent study lists Florida as second among all 50 states for the number of car accidents caused by careless driving. The category of careless driving encompasses a number of poor driving habits, most notably distracted driving and fatigued driving. These two categories compose the lion’s share of all Florida car accidents, with speeding and drunk driving rounding out the major causes. Of course, all Florida motorists have a duty to those with whom they share the road to ensure that they are operating their vehicle in a safe and responsible manner. This includes the decisions a driver makes while behind the wheel, but also it calls into the question the decisi...

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Florida Appellate Court Holds Lower Court Erred in Ordering New Trial for All Damages When Only One Category of Damages Was Found to Be Improper

Last month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case involving the issue of whether the lower court was proper to grant a new trial on all of the damages categories after finding that the jury’s award for future medical expenses was excessive. The court ultimately determined that, under Florida Statutes section 768.043(1), only the category found to have been excessive should be subject to a retrial. The Facts of the Case The plaintiff was injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist. Since the other driver did not have insurance, the plaintiff was forced to file a claim with her own insurance company, under the uninsured motorist (UIM) clause. Generally speaking, when a UIM clause is included in an i...

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Drunk Driving Accidents in Florida

Despite decades-long efforts by the state and federal governments, drunk driving remains a major problem on Florida roads. Indeed, in the 10-year period between 2003 and 2012, there were almost 8,500 Florida drunk driving deaths. This amounts to about 850 drunk driving accidents a year or 70 per month. When a driver gets behind the wheel after having too much to drink, they are putting not only their own life in jeopardy but also the lives of countless others. It has been shown that drunk drivers are more likely to speed, act aggressively, fall asleep, get distracted, or make poor judgment calls, all of which can further increase the chance of causing an accident. Florida law allows for victims of drunk driving accidents to seek compensation for their injuries through a Florida personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, the fact that a driver was intoxicated will make an accide...

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Florida Driver Hits State Trooper Who Was Responding to Accident

Earlier this month, a Florida State Trooper was seriously injured in a Florida car accident when he was struck by a motorist while responding to the scene of an accident on the side of the highway. According to a local news report, the original accident was between two vehicles heading south on the Palmetto Expressway. Evidently, the state trooper was on scene assisting the motorists involved in that collision when another motorist failed to take notice of the accident and crashed into the back of one of the cars. The force from that collision sent the car spinning around, and it then crashed into the other car that was involved in the original accident. The state trooper, who was standing near both cars, was struck by one of them and was thrown to the...

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Self-Driving Technology Found to Be Partially at Fault in 2016 Florida Car Accident

The technology being used in vehicles is evolving quickly, and self-driving cars have started to hit the roads in increasing numbers. These cars present new risks and new legal issues that can complicate the issue of liability in Florida car crashes. For example, there is the question of who is controlling the car in a self-driving car—the driver or the self-driving system? Generally, existing laws only consider the driver for liability purposes, but in some cases, a manufacturer may be to blame. As self-driving cars continue to expand, many are pushing for legislative changes that consider the use of automated cars. Until then, it may be up to the courts to sort out the legal issues. Investigation Finds Tesla Automated Car to Blame in 2016 Fatal Florida Crash Accident investigators Continue reading →

Florida Student Killed While Crossing Street Raises Question of Who Was at Fault

Often at the heart of Florida personal injury claims is the issue of who is at fault for an accident. This is especially true when there are several parties involved, or when a party claims that a victim was partly at fault. For example, even in a situation in which one driver is at fault for failing to obey traffic laws, another driver may be at fault for driving too fast to respond appropriately. Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Claims In 1973, the Florida Supreme Court established the rule of comparative negligence in all tort cases. Comparative negligence considers the fault of the plaintiff in determining the plaintiff’s compensation. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence standard, the plaintiff’s total damages award will be reduced by their own percentage of fault. For example, if a jury determines the defendant was 70% at fault, and the pla...

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The Dangers of Inexperienced Drivers on Florida Roads

Like any other activity, safely driving a motor vehicle is something that requires practice. Whether it be remembering the rules of the road, or the muscle memory needed to safely operate the gas and brake pedals, operating a motor vehicle requires a certain amount of knowledge and coordination. In Florida, before someone is provided with a driver’s license, they must meet certain criteria. These include passing both a written and a practical driving test. However, despite these requirements, it still remains true that new and inexperienced drivers are responsible for a disproportionate number of serious and fatal car accidents each year. It should not come as a surprise that newer drivers cause more accidents than more experienced drivers. However, under the laws of Florida, when it comes to determining who is at fault for causing a car accident, it is irrelevant how long a driver...

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