Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Uber launched its new app called UberEATS in South Florida today. It opens the market for Uber drivers to deliver food from over 100 participating restaurants in the eastern corridor of South Florida from Brickell to Hollywood. Participating eating establishments include  The Salty Donut,  SoCalTaco, Salsa Fiesta, The Rice House of Kabob, Morgan’s Restaurant DIRT, Jar + Fork, Ms. Cheezious, Sushi Maki, the Daily Creative, Sliders, Roasters N Toasters  and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Miami is the 19th city in the United States to launch UberEATS.

Miami Uber accident injury lawyers know that this means more Uber drivers on the road in Miami and Broward County. As miles and hours increase, so does the possibility of car accidents. The question is whether Uber will provide insurance coverage for its drivers and if so, when will that coverage apply. Presently, Uber is supposed to provide its drivers and passengers with insurance coverage of 1 million dollars. This insurance coverage is supposed to apply when the driver is engaged in the pick-up and delivery of passengers. But many questions remain for Uber car accident injury lawyers.

We expect there to be issues that will be litigated in the courts over the coming years. These questions will involve exclusions, coverage and limitations of liability. It is generally expected that Uber’s insurance coverage will apply when the driver accepts a ride request through the delivery of that passenger. But will there be coverage when the Uber driver has his app on and is available to accept rides but has no customers at that moment. What happens when a driver refuses a ride request and is involved in an accident? Will Uber’s 1 million dollar insurance cover that Uber driver?

Miami police arrested an Uber driver in Coconut Grove for selling narcotics based on a tip. The law enforcement officers were engaged in an anti-gun violence operation. They received a tip and arrested the Uber driver at a convenience store on Grand Avenue. The driver was also in possession of a gun.

One question Miami personal injury lawyers face is whether Uber drivers and riders are legally allowed to carry a handgun when using the Uber app. The official Uber policy states: “Uber Firearms Prohibition Policy – Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a safe and reliable ride. That’s why Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms of any kind in a vehicle while using our app. Anyone who violates this policy may lose access to Uber.”

Since Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing transportation networks are privately held companies, they can uphold their Firearms Prohibition Policies. But in reality such prohibitions are unenforced until after something tragic or horrific happens.

rear_end_collisionIf you are driving a car and you rear end another vehicle, is it automatically your fault? The short answer is no. There are certain facts that may help you prove that the rear end car accident is not your fault.

Our Miami car accident lawyers meet with personal injury clients who were involved in rear end collisions. The question is always the same – who is at fault? So what does the law say?

When one vehicle rear ends another vehicle, the rear ending vehicle is presumed to be at fault. But that presumption is rebuttable. What does that mean? It means that even if your vehicle rear ends another vehicle, it may not be your fault.

img-box-02dCan I get the other side to pay my attorney’s fees in my Miami car accident case?  The answer is sometimes, yes.

The Miami car accident attorneys at Wolfson Law Firm work with the rules surrounding proposals for settlement regularly. A proposal for settlement is basically an offer to settle and either side can file one. This is the process and law that may help you get the other side to pay your attorney’s fees.  Under Florida Statute 768.69 which is Florida’s Offer of Judgment and Demand for Judgment statute, during litigation a Miami car accident lawyer can send a proposal for settlement to the other side. If you go to trial and get 25% more than what you asked for in the proposal, then you can get the other side to pay for your attorney’s fees.  That means that you may not have to pay the contingency fee at all.

Now, this law can be used against you too.  This means that, if the other side sends a proposal to you and your end verdict at trial is 25% less than what was offered to you, then you will need to pay their attorney’s fees and costs. As far as costs, Florida law does provide for the prevailing party to recover costs from the losing side even without a proposal being issued.

courtroom-300x225-300x225According to the Florida Bar, the Daubert Standard has a large impact on the admissibility of expert witness testimony. Relatively recent changes to Florida’s laws impact how victims seeking damages and recoveries can use expert witness testimony to support their cases. Many personal injury cases employ the testimony of expert witnesses, such as doctors, to explain to judges and juries the nature of a victim’s injuries and to show damages. Expert witnesses can explain to a judge or a jury expected recovery times, expectations regarding long term care, and can help personal injury lawyers justify the amount of money they are seeking for compensation on behalf of their clients. The defense is likewise permitted to hire expert witnesses to support its own claims.

Yet, the revised standards for expert witnesses may change the way auto accident lawyers go about choosing their witnesses. Florida courts use the Daubert Standard. According to Cornell University Law School, the Daubert Standard is an assessment made by a judge to determine whether an expert’s testimony is based upon scientific reasoning and valid scientific study. The judge will often ask several questions about how an expert witness went about presenting evidence. First, the expert witness’s technique must be testable and must have been tested. Secondly, the judge will consider whether any evidence or expert testimony has been subject to peer review. Next, the judge will ask about possible margins of error, and whether controls were used in any studies. Finally, the judge will consider whether the methodology or results are accepted in the scientific community.

These standards significantly raise the bar for expert testimony presented in a case and they also limit who can present expert testimony. Expert opinion, on its own, is no longer allowed. Previously, courts used the Frye test, which required that statements being made in court meet the standards of general acceptability in the field to which the person belongs. The Daubert Standard can have immense implications for certain personal injury lawsuits. For example, in a case where a worker is claiming that workplace stress led to a miscarriage, the victim suing will have to present relevant studies to the court to show how stress on the job, or how stress in general, can result in a miscarriage. If the victim wants to use an expert witness, the victim will have to find an expert witness who has performed studies on stress and miscarriage or who has worked on the studies, to testify in court.

If you are in a car crash in Miami, an immediate concern is whether the other driver has any insurance at all. If they do, then the question becomes just how much insurance is there. The amount of the policy limits may well determine whether your claim gets settled.

Insurance policy limits are usually offered in single and aggregate limits. There is a single amount that any one person can claim. Then there is a total amount that the insurance company will pay for any one accident no matter how many claims are made. For example, policy limits could be listed as 10/20. This means that the insurance company could pay up to $10,000 for one person’s claim. If the car crash involved five people, then the insurance company would pay no more than $20,000 for any claim made. If all five people were injured, no one would get more than $10,000 and the insurance company would pay no more than $20,000 total for the car crash claims.

In cases where there is a potential of multiple claims and small or low policy limits, an insurance company should hold a “global” settlement conference. All individuals with possible claims should be invited. The conference should be held as quickly as possible. Typically, an insurance company attorney will conduct the meeting and tell everyone that they are there to resolve all or as many claims as possible. The claimants and their personal injury attorneys are then encouraged to reach an agreement as to how to divide the limited amounts of insurance. Insurance representatives usually attend these “global” settlement conferences with a checkbook and releases for the claims that can be settled. Lastly the insured person or persons are also invited to attend but they rarely appear.

Experts report that wrong-way crashes are becoming more frequent on Miami, Florida highways. With traffic gridlock increasing, with the city becoming more urbanized, city officials are having trouble maintaining roads and fixing roads to prevent wrong-way accidents. Among the many causes of wrong-way accidents, poor signage and roadways that fail to properly direct traffic are noted. The New Times reported on a study performed by the Florida Department of Transportation that found that among the wrong-way accidents that took place in Florida, 21 percent were in Miami-Dade.
Worse, the alarming frequency of these accidents, puts more drivers at risk of death and injury. According to one study, wrong way accidents are 100 times more likely to be fatal. recently reported about a wrong-way driver who crossed a median, leading to five deaths. The accident also left two people seriously injured.

In many cases, wrong-way accidents occur due to another driver’s error. Yet, is there anything Miami, Florida drivers can do to prevent the deadly and serious effects of these devastating accidents? Our Miami car accident lawyer offers four things you can do, if you face a wrong-way accident.

January 20, 2016 

Cell Phone Records Not Discoverable in Personal Injury Case Wolfson Law Firm Miami

MIAMI –  Recently, Judge Antonio Marin ordered that someone hand over their records, numbers, and information regarding their cell phones from six hours before the crash and six hours after an crash involving personal injury. There was an appeal.  The Respondent admitted error which means that they admitted that what the Judge did was not consistent with the law.  The error that was admitted was that the order violated the petitioner’s Fifth Amendment rights and constituted a departure from the essential requirements of law.  Therefore, the 3rd DCA quashed the order.

 The opinion was a very short opinion and did not get into specifics as far as the specifics of the judge’s order other than requiring the production of cell phone records from the 6 hours before and after the crash.  For years, Judge’s all over the state have been ordering the production of cell phone records.  And those records have been the subject of trials for years.  This order seems to fly in the face of those rulings.  It seems that things have changed.  However, the ruling is very short and basic.   It would appear to us that this ruling will be challenged.  Time will tell.

In the last days of December, five people were killed in a wrong-way wreck on I-95, drawing attention to the danger of wrong-way collisions on Miami roads. NBC Miami notes that, according to one FDOT study, between the years of 2009 and 2013, 280 wrong-way crashes have killed 75 people on Florida highways.


Yet, why do wrong-way crashes take place and what can drivers do to prevent them? It is unclear why the woman responsible for the accident in late December was driving on the wrong way in the northbound express lanes of I-95.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a special investigative report on wrong-way driving. According to the report, alcohol and drug use are main contributing factors to wrong-way driving accidents. According to the report, more than half, and as many as one-third of wrong-way accidents involved drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. Older drivers were also found to be more likely to be involved in wrong-way driving collisions. Drivers over 70 years of age were more likely to be in these accidents than right-way fatal driving collisions.

Florida’s seat belt laws are designed to reduce the impact that personal injury accidents have on individuals and families. Those who are not wearing a seat belt in the event of an accident are more likely to get injured and killed than those who buckle up. Under Florida Law, all front seat passengers are required to wear a safety belt and all passengers under 18 years of age are required to buckle up regardless of where they are seated in the car. The law is subject to primary enforcement, meaning that an officer can pull you over if he or she has reason to suspect that you aren’t wearing your seat belt.

Rollover Vehicle Accident at Busy Intersection With Emergency Pe

Primary enforcement of seat belt laws has been credited with increased seat belt use and compliance, as primary enforcement laws give officers the ability to protect children who are not properly restrained.

Yet, the law isn’t perfect. According to an article published in the New York Times, the ACLU recently reported that black drivers are more likely to face primary enforcement of seat belt laws in Florida than white drivers. In some counties the disparity in the number of stops was significant. For instance, in Orlando, black drivers were three times as likely to be stopped for not wearing a seat belt than white drivers.

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