The National Trial Lawyers
OCBS
FOX
abc
Reuters
NBC
SunSentinel
The Guardian
See In The News for more information

Collisions involving trucks often cause fatal injuries, resulting in substantial emotional and economic losses. As such, it is not uncommon for a defendant in a lawsuit arising out of a truck accident to seek dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. A defendant moving for dismissal faces a high burden of proof, however, and in most instances, summary judgment is not appropriate. The standard for granting summary judgment was the topic of a recent Florida opinion, in a case in which the defendant argued that video evidence thwarted the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt in a crash caused by a truck, you may be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney to determine your possible claims.

The Accident

It is alleged that the decedent’s car crashed into the back of a commercial truck operated by the defendant driver. The decedent suffered critical injuries in the accident and passed away shortly after. His estate filed a lawsuit against the defendant driver and his employer, alleging their negligence caused the decedent’s death. During discovery, a video was produced that refuted the plaintiff’s assertion that the defendant driver was operating the truck negligently. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment relying on the video, which the court granted. The plaintiff appealed, and the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The defendants then appealed, and the question of whether the summary judgment standard should be modified in cases involving video evidence was certified to the Florida Supreme Court.

Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment in Florida

On appeal, the court noted the intermediate court stated it was compelled to reverse the trial court ruling based on the current summary judgment standard, which states that summary judgment is unwarranted if the evidence of record inspires the slightest doubt regarding whether a material issue of fact exists. Continue reading

People injured in car accidents often pursue compensation from the parties responsible for the crashes via civil lawsuits. Plaintiffs that argue defendants’ acts caused them to suffer physical harm place their health at issue, and therefore, information regarding their medical treatment is typically subject to discovery. There are some exceptions, though, such as in cases involving a medical provider’s trade secrets or propriety information, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling in which the court denied the defendant’s request for certain information from the plaintiff’s treatment provider. If you were injured in a collision, you might be owed damages, and it is smart to speak to a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to prove liability.

The History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident with the defendant. The plaintiff sustained back injuries in the accident, after which she sought treatment from a provider that specialized in spinal care. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging his negligent driving caused the accident and her subsequent harm. The defendant conceded he was liable but disputed the extent of the plaintiff’s damages.

Allegedly, during the discovery process, the defendant sought records from the plaintiff’s treatment provider. The provider filed a motion for a protective order, arguing that the information sought was protected from disclosure as it constituted trade secrets and proprietary information. The trial court ordered the provider to produce certain documents, and the provider appealed. Continue reading

Generally, people who drive while intoxicated and cause accidents can be held liable for any injuries suffered by other people involved in the collision. Typically, evidence of intoxication is relevant and admissible in a lawsuit arising out of a crash, but there are some exceptions. For example, as explained in a recent Florida ruling, in cases in which a defendant admits liability and that punitive damages are warranted, such evidence should be precluded. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, it is advisable to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney to determine what damages you may be owed.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered injuries in a rear-end car accident caused by the defendant. The defendant was intoxicated at the time of the crash. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensatory and punitive damages due to the defendant’s intoxication. The defendant conceded liability and admitted that if the plaintiff was awarded compensatory damages, he would be owed punitive damages as well, and asked the court to bifurcate the trial and exclude evidence of his intoxication during the compensatory phase.

Allegedly, the court bifurcated the trial but permitted the plaintiff to admit evidence of the defendant’s intoxication during the first phase. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him over $2.5 million. The defendant appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred in permitting the plaintiff to introduce evidence of the defendant’s intoxication, despite the defendant’s admission of liability and concession to punitive damages. Continue reading

People who suffer the loss of a loved one due to a fatal car accident will often choose to pursue damages from the driver that caused the accident. The defendant driver’s testimony is often key to establishing liability, as in many instances, there are no other witnesses who can describe what transpired. Thus, the courts will generally uphold the right of a plaintiff to depose the defendant in a car accident case, as explained in a recent Florida opinion. If you lost a loved one in a fatal collision, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Florida car accident attorney to discuss your options.

The Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant driver, who worked for the defendant college, was driving the student rowing team in a van when he made a left turn into oncoming traffic. A car driven by the plaintiff’s decedent struck the van. The decedent ultimately suffered deadly injuries. Several of the van’s passengers were fatally harmed as well. The plaintiff then filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel the defendant driver to sit for a deposition. The defendant driver’s attorney filed a motion for a protective order, arguing that he suffered from extensive psychological and physical disabilities due to the accident and could not participate in his own defense or testify at a deposition. The plaintiff opposed the defendant driver’s motion, arguing that it was not justified and that if it was granted, it would significantly prejudice his rights. Continue reading

Parties that cause fatal truck accidents will often refuse to concede their fault, and in many cases, they will attempt to blame the person that died for the collision. Although defendants in truck accident cases are permitted to argue the contributory negligence of the deceased person as a defense, they cannot rely on inadmissible evidence to support their position. In a recent Florida lawsuit, a court issued a ruling that discussed whether hearsay evidence is admissible to establish comparative fault. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to a collision with a tractor-trailer, it is advisable to talk to a seasoned Florida truck accident attorney to assess your options.

The Fatal Accident

It is reported that the plaintiff’s husband was at work when he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer owned by the defendant company and operated by the defendant driver. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused her husband’s death. During the trial, the defendants presented testimony from a police officer who stated that another officer advised him the plaintiff’s husband had an earbud in his ear when he was found at the scene of the accident. After the final judgment was rendered, the plaintiff appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred in permitting the officer’s testimony because it constituted hearsay.

Admissibility of Hearsay Evidence in Trucking Accident Cases

Upon review, the appellate court noted that the officer was likely testifying as an expert at trial. Thus, the court analyzed the extent to which he was allowed to rely on inadmissible facts. The court explained that if the facts are of a nature that is reasonably reliable, they do not need to be admissible into evidence. Facts that are otherwise inadmissible, though, may not be disclosed to the jury by an expert witness unless the court finds that their probative value greatly outweighs the risk of their prejudicial impact. Continue reading

Generally, when people are hurt in car accidents, the driver that caused the accident will be deemed liable for their injuries. In some instances, though, the manufacturer of a defective product that caused or contributed to the collision may be held accountable as well. There are limitations as to when a manufacturer will be held liable for harm caused by a dangerous product, however, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling in a case in which a fatal crash was caused by the defendant driver’s improper use of the product. If you lost a loved one due to a fatal collision, it is prudent to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney regarding your rights.

The Subject Accident

It is alleged that the defendant company sold a chemical known as potpourri, which came with a label that it was not intended for human consumption, as the product was highly dangerous if consumed. The defendant driver ignored the warning and consumed the product, after which he became impaired. He then drove his car on the highway at a high rate of speed and crashed into a car driven by the plaintiffs’ decedent, who died instantly.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant company, alleging their product suffered from a fatal defect that made it unreasonably unsafe and defective and that the defect caused the decedent’s death. During the trial, the defendant company moved for a directed verdict, but the motion was denied. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant company appealed. Continue reading

In lawsuits arising out of car accidents, it is not uncommon for a defendant to argue that a plaintiff suffered from a pre-existing condition and did not sustain actual harm in the collision. Thus, a defendant may seek medical records from a plaintiff that pre-date the crash. There are limits to what is discoverable, however, as discussed in a recent Florida ruling in which the court denied a motion to compel ten years of medical records in a car accident case on the grounds it violated the plaintiff’s right to privacy. If you were injured in a crash, it is advisable to consult a skillful Florida car accident attorney to discuss your options.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the defendant in 2014. She subsequently pursued negligence claims against the defendant in a lawsuit filed in 2018. Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s health declined, and in 2019 she was on hospice care and suffering from dementia and was unable to sit for a deposition. Thus, the defendant sought production of all of the plaintiff’s medical records for the past ten years. The plaintiff objected, arguing the request was overbroad and violated her constitutional right to privacy. Originally, the trial court sustained the objection, but it was later overruled, and the plaintiff was compelled to disclose the requested records. The plaintiff then petitioned the appellate court for certiorari.

The Right to Privacy in Personal Injury Cases

A petition for certiorari can only be granted if the person requesting it shows a departure from the essential requirements of the law, which will result in material harm for the rest of the case that cannot be repaired post-judgment. Upon review, the court noted that a patient’s medical records are entitled to confidential status pursuant to the right to privacy afforded by the Florida Constitution. As such, an order compelling production of medical records satisfies the element of irreparable harm. Continue reading

Many car accidents result in significant injuries. Thus, plaintiffs in lawsuits arising out of collisions often seek damages for the physical harm suffered by the victim, which usually requires the testimony of a medical expert to both establish liability and to describe what medical treatment is reasonable and necessary. Medical experts in personal injury cases must not only be qualified, but they must also formulate opinions that have a sufficient factual basis; otherwise, they may be prohibited from testifying. The parameters for determining whether an expert should be permitted to testify were the topic of a Florida opinion issued recently in a case arising out of a car crash. If you were hurt in an accident, you could be owed compensation for your losses, and it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries and Claims

Reportedly, the plaintiff sustained injuries in an accident with a vehicle owned by the defendant. Specifically, he suffered injuries to his left arm, back, head and jaw, and suffered chronic headaches. Thus, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging negligence claims, and the defendant moved the case to federal court.

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated with a physician who specializes in traumatic spine injuries for eight months after the accident and sought to have him offer expert testimony at trial regarding his treatment regimen and the cause of his injuries. The defendant moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert on the issue of causation. Continue reading

In some instances, if a person is involved in a car accident in a borrowed car, the owner of the vehicle can be held liable for harm sustained in the collision. Generally, an owner’s fault will hinge on whether they consented to the driver’s use of the vehicle and knew or should have known that the borrower would not drive in a safe manner. Thus, if a plaintiff cannot prove the owner knew of the driver’s use of the vehicle, the claims against the owner may be dismissed prior to trial. If the plaintiff was not given a full opportunity to develop the evidence against the owner, though, dismissal might be premature, as shown in a recent Florida opinion. If you lost a loved one due to a crash with a borrowed car, it is advisable to meet with a skillful Florida car accident attorney to discuss your claims.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant driver, who was seventeen-years-old and did not have a license, took his mother’s sports car. He was driving on a Florida highway along with the plaintiff’s daughter and another male teenager. While driving at an excessive rate of speed, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. Tragically, the plaintiff’s daughter died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accident.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant driver and his mother, alleging that the mother permitted the defendant driver to operate her vehicle despite the fact that he did not have a license. The defendant mother filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not prove her liability. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Continue reading

Florida is a popular tourist destination, and many visitors rent cars to travel during their vacations. If drivers with rented cars are injured in accidents, the other driver may lack adequate insurance to compensate them for their losses. Thus, they may seek damages from other sources, but it may not be clear who is ultimately responsible for providing compensation for the harm suffered. Recently, a Florida court set forth an opinion addressing the issue of whether a person hurt in a collision while driving a rental vehicle can recover uninsured motorist benefits from the insurer of the rental car. If you were hurt in a collision with an uninsured vehicle, you could be owed damages, and it is prudent to speak to a trusted Florida car accident attorney regarding your rights.

The Accident

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist while operating a rental car. She filed a lawsuit against the defendant, the insurer of the rental car, arguing that it was required by law to make excess uninsured motorist coverage available in the amount of $1 million instead of $100,000. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed, and on appeal, the appellate court affirmed.

Florida Law Regarding Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Florida law requires insurers to make excess uninsured motorist coverage available to their insureds. The coverage amount must be up to the bodily injury liability limits of the policy or $1 million, whichever is less. To determine whether the defendant in the subject case complied with the law, the court had to assess whether the defendant made excess uninsured motorist coverage available to the rental car company that was the named insured and whether the insurer made the coverage available to the plaintiff, assuming it had a duty to do so.

Continue reading

Contact Information