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When a collision occurs, it is often due to the negligence of one or more parties. As such, many people hurt in accidents file lawsuits seeking damages. A plaintiff in a case arising out of a truck accident does not need to prove the defendant’s liability at the initial pleading stage but must set forth allegations that are sufficient to allow the defendant to formulate a response and a defense. Inadequate or vague assertions can result in a dismissal of the plaintiff’s case, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling, in which the court found that the plaintiff’s complaint seeking damages for a truck accident amounted to a “shotgun” pleading.  If you were injured in a crash with a commercial truck, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to consult a dedicated Florida truck accident attorney as soon as possible.

The Accident and Subsequent Pleadings

It is alleged that a collision occurred between a tractor-trailer and another vehicle. The plaintiff, a passenger in the vehicle, sustained significant injuries. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendants, the companies that owned the tractor and the trailer. The defendants removed the case from state court to federal court and then filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff failed to assert claims for relief. The court noted deficiencies in the complaint but granted the plaintiff leave to amend the pleading.

It is reported that after the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, the defendants once again filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff merely set forth legal conclusions and failed to assert any facts or allegations that would allow him to recover damages, which violated the court’s rules regarding shotgun pleadings. The plaintiff amended the complaint a second time, and the defendants again moved to dismiss two of the plaintiff’s claims. The court granted the defendants’ motion.

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In many lawsuits arising out of car accidents, the parties will engage experts to testify in support of their claims or defenses. The law is well established as to whether certain information regarding the relationships between law firms and experts must be disclosed. Recently, though, a Florida court was presented with the question of whether the current law treats defendants in car accident cases unfairly, and therefore must be overruled. If you were hurt in a collision, it is prudent to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to prove liability.

The Underlying Accident

Allegedly, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the defendant. He then filed a negligence lawsuit seeking compensation from the defendant. During the course of discovery, the plaintiff served interrogatories on the defendant seeking information regarding the financial relationship between the defendant’s attorneys and the defendant’s liability insurer and experts.

It is reported that the defendant objected to the request, arguing that her insurance company and attorney were not parties to the case. She sought a protective order as well. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, however. The defendant then appealed.

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Many drivers in Florida either do not have insurance or lack adequate coverage. When drivers with insufficient insurance cause collisions, injured parties often have to look to their own insurers for benefits. People seeking uninsured motorist benefits must still prove liability and causation to recover damages from their insurer, though, as discussed in a recent Florida opinion in which the court reversed a directed verdict in favor of an insured. If you were injured in a crash caused by a driver with inadequate insurance, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned Florida car accident attorney to determine what damages you may be able to recover.

The Accident and Trial

The plaintiff was involved in a collision with the defendant driver that caused her to suffer a knee injury. She filed a lawsuit against the defendant driver and the owner of the vehicle he was driving at the time of the accident. As the defendant driver and owner lacked adequate insurance coverage, she filed an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim against her insurance company as well.

During the trial, the plaintiff filed a motion for a directed verdict on the issues of causation and the permanency of her injury, which the court granted. The jury then issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed, arguing that disputed issues of fact existed as to whether the accident caused her alleged harm.

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Typically, collisions involving commercial trucks occur due to reckless driving. Thus, many of the claims arising out of truck accidents will allege that the truck driver should be held liable under a theory of negligence. Even if a plaintiff believes the evidence clearly demonstrates that a motorist caused an accident, however, the issue of causation must usually be resolved by a jury. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida opinion, in which the appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling that a truck driver was negligent as a matter of law. If you were hurt in a crash involving a tractor-trailer, it is in your best interest to consult a skillful Florida truck accident attorney to discuss what you must prove in order to recover damages.

The Accident

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving down a Florida highway when it struck a truck owned by the defendant company. The defendant driver, who was employed by the defendant company, later testified that he was in the process of backing the truck out of a business’s lot when the accident occurred. The crash happened in the early morning hours, and there was no illumination on the road. The plaintiff filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendants, seeking damages for the injuries caused by the accident.

Allegedly, during a trial on the matter, the defendants’ attorney conceded that the defendant driver acted negligently but suggested negligence on behalf of the plaintiff as well. At the close of the defendants’ case, however, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict and issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on the issue of whether the defendants’ negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm. Following the trial, the defendant appealed, arguing the issue of causation should have been presented to the jury.

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It is not uncommon for a person who suffers injuries in a collision to seek damages from the party that caused the accident. While normally individuals that recklessly cause car crashes may be deemed accountable in a civil lawsuit, in some instances, statutory exemptions will apply that bar the imposition of liability. This was discussed in a recent Florida ruling, in which the court found that Florida’s No-Fault Threshold prevented a plaintiff who was injured in a car crash from recovering damages from the defendant. If you suffered injuries in a collision, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Florida car accident attorney to determine what damages you may be able to recover.

The Accident and Subsequent Lawsuit

It is alleged that the plaintiff was driving his car when he was rear-ended by the defendant. Both parties were from Georgia, but the accident occurred in Florida. The plaintiff filed a civil lawsuit in Florida, seeking damages for his injuries from the defendant. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment as to a number of the affirmative defenses asserted by the defendant. The defendant withdrew most of his defenses but opposed the plaintiff’s motion as to the applicability of Florida’s No-fault Threshold. Thus, the only issue the court was tasked with addressing was whether the defendant could proceed with that defense.

Florida’s No-Fault Threshold

Under Florida Statutes 627.737, commonly referred to as the No-Fault Threshold, if a defendant has sufficient insurance or security at the time of an accident, the plaintiff must establish a threshold injury set forth under the law to be eligible to recover certain non-economic damages. An insurance policy will provide adequate security if it meets Florida’s statutory insurance requirements.

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While Floridian drivers are required to have car insurance, not all of them do, and many uninsured drivers cause accidents throughout the state. Fortunately, many people purchase insurance policies that include uninsured motorist coverage, and they can obtain benefits for the losses caused by an accident with a driver without insurance. Many insurers are based in other states, though, and may dispute what state’s laws apply in determining whether coverage should be afforded. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in an uninsured motorist accident case in Florida, in which the court discussed choice of law determinations. If you were hurt in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney to discuss your rights.

The Accident and Subsequent Lawsuit

Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered injuries in a car accident with another driver. The accident occurred in Pennsylvania. The driver’s insurance company denied the plaintiff’s request for damages, arguing the driver was not liable for the accident. The plaintiff then filed a claim seeking uninsured motorist benefits from the defendant, her insurer. The insurer denied the plaintiff’s request, arguing that there was no uninsured driver, and the plaintiff was at fault for the accident and therefore was not owed damages. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant in Florida, seeking uninsured motorist benefits. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing Pennsylvania law should apply, precluding the plaintiff’s claims.

Choice of Law Determinations in Uninsured Motorist Cases in Florida

A federal district court exercising diversity jurisdiction will usually apply the law of the forum state, including when making a choice of law analysis. Prior to conducting a choice of law analysis, however, a court must determine whether there is a true conflict between the laws of the two jurisdictions. Where the laws of the two states would produce the same results, there is a false conflict, and the court should not conduct a choice of law analysis.

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When people are injured in a car accident, the insurer of the person that caused the accident will typically pay for any damages incurred. If the person at fault is not insured or has inadequate insurance, though, the injured party may be able to recover uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits from his or her insurer. Unfortunately, insurers do not always agree with their insureds regarding what benefits are owed, and sometimes injured parties will have to turn to litigation to protect their rights. Recently, a Florida court discussed an insurer’s duties with regard to uninsured motorist benefits, specifically addressing whether an insurer was entitled to a set-off for amounts previously paid following a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. If you were hurt in an accident with a driver who lacks insurance, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Florida car accident attorney regarding your rights.

The Negotiations Between the Parties

Allegedly, the plaintiff was injured in an accident with an uninsured driver. He then filed a lawsuit against his insurance company, seeking uninsured motorist benefits. Before the trial, the defendant insurer sent the plaintiff a payment in the amount of $185,000, which it characterized as a payment made in good faith. The letter accompanying the payment stated that it would be credited against any determination of damages issued by the jury. The plaintiff accepted the payment.

It is reported that the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him $286,521.57. The trial court held a hearing to determine appropriate set-offs to the verdict before entering the final judgment. The parties agreed to set-offs, which totaled approximately $140,000. Then, after determining that the defendant was also entitled to a set-off for its advance payment, the court noted that the total set-off amount exceeded the damages awarded by the jury and entered a judgment in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff appealed.

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Truck accidents can cause substantial injuries and economic losses. Proving liability can be complicated, though, and in many instances, both parties will try to settle a case before trial. While negotiations typically will occur, if parties cannot agree on the essential terms of the settlement, the case will eventually be presented to a jury. In a recent opinion, a Florida court discussed what constitutes a valid agreement to settle in a case in which the defendant argued that it accepted the terms of an offer prior to trial. If you were injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, it is prudent to speak with a skilled Florida truck accident attorney to determine whether you may have a viable claim for damages.

The Accident and Settlement Negotiations

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries in an accident with a dump truck owned by the defendant and driven by one of its employees. The plaintiff, who was working at the time of the accident, filed a workers’ compensation claim and then filed a lawsuit against the defendant. The workers’ compensation carrier then filed a notice of a lien against any settlement the plaintiff may obtain in the civil lawsuit.

It is reported that the plaintiff sent the defendant an offer to settle the matter for $500,000, to be paid to the plaintiff only. The defendant contacted the plaintiff’s attorney to request that the settlement include the satisfaction of the workers’ compensation lien. The plaintiff’s attorney refused, but the defendant sent the plaintiff’s counsel a check made payable to both the plaintiff and the workers’ compensation carrier. The plaintiff denied that the check created a valid settlement agreement, and the trial court agreed. Following a trial, the defendant appealed.

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Typically, when people hurt in car accidents file lawsuits, they will ask juries to decide issues of liability and damages. Juries are expected it issue impartial and reasoned verdicts. If a party suspects that a juror harbors a bias, then it can move to have a juror dismissed or a ruling overturned. In a recent opinion, a Florida appellate court explained the proper steps for identifying and contending with juror bias in a case arising out of a car crash. If you were harmed in a collision in Florida, it is advisable to talk to an assertive Florida car accident attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Accident and Subsequent Trial

Allegedly, the defendant’s bus driver struck the plaintiffs while they were crossing a street. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing it was vicariously liable for the acts of its driver. The defendant admitted liability but disputed the plaintiffs’ damages. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury issued a verdict granting the plaintiffs approximately seven and a half million dollars. After the verdict was issued, the defendant learned that two of the jurors misrepresented their prior level of involvement in civil litigation. Thus, the defendant moved for a new trial, arguing juror misconduct. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion without conducting an evidentiary hearing, and the defendant appealed.

Identifying and Addressing Juror Bias

A touchstone of the right to a fair trial is a jury capable and willing to decide a case based on the evidence presented. Thus, the voir dire process through which attorneys screen potential jurors is essential as it allows attorneys to ask jurors questions that may uncover potential bias. If a juror commits misconduct by failing to answer a question correctly, though, and the deceit is not uncovered until after the trial, the fairness of the entire trial may be in question.

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Some car accidents that occur in Florida involve out of state parties. While a plaintiff has the right to choose where to file a lawsuit, a defendant can remove a state court case to federal court in lawsuits between parties of different states, even if a plaintiff objects. A plaintiff whose case has been removed is not necessarily without recourse, however, as there are avenues for remanding a matter back to a state court. Recently, in a lawsuit arising out of a car accident, a Florida federal court issued an opinion explaining when remanding a case is appropriate. If you were hurt in a car accident involving a driver from another state, you should consult a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney to assess your options for seeking compensation.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered harm in a car accident with the defendant driver, who was employed by the defendant company. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the defendant driver and vicarious liability claims against the defendant company. The plaintiff was unable to serve the defendant driver with the complaint, and it was ultimately revealed that she was permanently domiciled in Japan. The defendant company removed the case to federal court, and the parties litigated the case without the defendant driver.

Allegedly, mediation was conducted between the defendant company and the plaintiff. Upon realizing the defendant driver had not been served or participated in litigation, the court entered a rule to show cause why she should not be dismissed from the case. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand in response, arguing the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

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