Articles Posted in Car Accidents

The law that allows accident victims to recover from the person who caused the accident that caused their injuries is called the law of negligence. While the laws of negligence are complex and can be very confusing, at its core, the law is designed to allow an accident victim to recover from any party whose negligence was a cause of the accident that ultimately resulted in harm to the plaintiff.

It goes without saying that the negligent driver who gets into an accident is responsible for the accident. But what about in a situation where a car owner lets another person drive the car and that person is negligent and gets into an accident? In this situation, the law generally allows the accident victim to name both the driver and the car’s owner in a suit for negligence. This legal doctrine is called the “dangerous instrumentality doctrine.”

A Recent Example: Roman v. Bogle

In a recent case in front of a Florida court of appeals, the dangerous instrumentality doctrine is discussed at some length. The facts of the case are as follows: Two people were killed in a car accident when the driver of the car ran a red light, colliding with a semi truck. The family of the passenger (Roman) filed suit against the owner of the car (Bogle) based on the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, although the owner was not even in the car at the time of the accident. Continue reading ›

Back in March of 2012, three people lost their lives when an SUV slammed into the back of the car they were riding in. The car was stopped at a red light. The driver of the SUV admitted at the time of the accident that he was high on “spice,” or synthetic marijuana. At a criminal trial, the driver of the SUV received a 22 year sentence for vehicular manslaughter.

Just a few weeks ago, according to an article by the WCTV.tv, the families of the deceased initiated a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the SUV, the convenience stores that may have sold the driver the spice, and the manufacturer of the spice. The plaintiffs are alleging that, although the synthetic marijuana was legal at the time of the accident, the manufacturers and vendors should have known the effects of the drug.

Naming Parties in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits

The plaintiffs in the above-mentioned case named two stores in their lawsuit – a Circle K and a local smoke shop. In fact, the plaintiff’s attorney mentioned publicly that the plaintiffs do not currently know which of the two stores sold the driver the spice. However, by naming both parties, the plaintiffs are making a strategic decision that may pay off down the road. Continue reading ›

The Florida Court of Appeals, Third District, recently decided an interesting case that affects both plaintiffs and defendants in multiple-defendant personal injury cases. Specifically, the case relates to the admissibility of evidence showing that the plaintiff settled with a party who used to be, but is no longer, named as a defendant.

In the case of Bern v. Camejo, the dispute arose from a three-car collision. Bern, the plaintiff, sued both Acevedo and Perez, claiming that they caused the accident which caused her injuries. Before trial, Bern settled out of court with Perez and proceeded to trial against Acevedo (and the owner of Acevedo’s car). It was Bern’s plan to have Perez testify that the accident was Acevedo’s fault, a position that Perez maintained from the beginning.

Before the trial began, the plaintiff asked the court to prevent Acevedo from telling the jury that Bern had initially named Perez as a defendant but had since settled with Perez out of court and then dismissed her from the suit. The trial court gave Bern half of what she asked for: Acevedo could tell the jury that Perez was initially named as a defendant, but could not get into any discussion about an out-of-court settlement. Continue reading ›

In February, a sophomore outfielder for the Florida Gators was involved in a scooter accident in Gainesville. According to a report by the Independent Florida Alligator, the sophomore was riding his scooter southbound on Southwest 10th Street when he struck a curb and then collided with a parked truck at about 1:25 a.m.

When police arrived on the scene, they found the driver laying on the ground, breathing but unresponsive. According to the responding officers, there was a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. He was then taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police are investigating whether alcohol was involved in the accident, and are waiting to press charges until they get back the results from the toxicology reports. However, the sophomore player has been indefinitely suspended from the Gators for his involvement in the accident. Continue reading ›

In a tragic accident earlier this week, a Florida woman hit seven people after attending a wedding at church, killing three. According to a story by the Tampa Bay Times, the elderly woman was attending a wedding that ended shortly after 11 a.m. After the wedding, she attempted to back her SUV out of a handicapped parking space and somehow lost control of the vehicle. As the vehicle continued traveling backwards, the SUV hit a total of seven people before jumping a curb, running over several small trees, and then ending up in a canal.

In the end, seven people were hit by the SUV and three died as a result of the injuries they sustained in the accident, one at the scene and two later in the day at the hospital.  Four others were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, but are expected to recover.

The cause of the accident is unknown, but the driver told reporters afterwards that it was an “accident.” Police do not believe that alcohol was involved in the fatal accident.

Serious Accidents May Be the Result of Negligence

In the case above, it seems pretty clear that the woman was not intending to harm anyone. However, her negligent operation of her vehicle ended in the deaths of three people. The fact that she did not mean to harm anyone does not make the losses that the families of the victims’ experienced any less real or painful.

In cases where a driver causes the death of another, the accident victim’s family may be able to recover monetary compensation for their loss. Such a suit is called a wrongful death action in Florida. Continue reading ›

Earlier this month in central Florida, two pedestrians were killed and another two were injured when a pick-up truck swerved off the road and ran into the group of four as they were walking on the side of the road. After colliding with the group of pedestrians, the truck driver briefly came to a stop before backing back out onto the road and continuing on. The driver shortly thereafter ran into a cement pole. According to a report by the local NBC affiliate, the accident occurred on January 4, 2014, around eight in the morning.

Two of the pedestrians were pronounced dead at the scene. Another pedestrian was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, and the final pedestrian was taken in with serious injuries. All pedestrians involved were over 60 years old. The driver of the truck that hit them was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. At the time of the article, Florida State Troopers were unsure precisely how the accident occurred, and it was still under investigation. However, given the facts, it might be a possibility that the pick-up truck driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Driving Under the Influence Laws in Florida

In Florida, as in every state in the nation, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Indeed, drunk or impaired driving is one of the leading causes of fatal traffic accidents across the Unites States. Here in Florida, the legal limit for driving is a breath- or blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08. Drivers who operate their vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater are breaking the law and can be held criminally liable for their actions. Continue reading ›