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Posts Tagged "automobile"

Money Damages Are Sometimes Only Justice Available

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Motor vehicle accidents, Recent News

Money Damages Are Sometimes Only Justice Available

The family of a man and baby who were killed, and a young woman who was injured in an October 2015 car crash at the intersection of State Road 436 and State Road 434 are understandably upset to learn that the Seminole County State Attorney’s office has chosen not to prosecute the 75-year old woman who caused the fatal and tragic crash. However, justice can still be done for this family. The prosecutor’s decision highlights the difference between the criminal justice system and the civil justice system, and the differing legal standards and standards of proof that apply to each. According to an article on the ClickOrlando.com website, Seminole County State Attorney Phil Archer has elected not to press charges against Cynthia Guthrie because he does not believe his office can prove – beyond a reasonable doubt (the criminal law standard of proof) – that Ms. Guthrie is guilty of willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others, or that she acted with reckless disregard. Because the State Attorney is not prosecuting Ms. Guthrie, it means that she does not risk jail time or probation. However, this does not mean that Ms. Guthrie will avoid all responsibility for the crash. Under our civil justice system, Ms. Guthrie can still face liability for causing the accident. However, her liability under the civil system is financial (i.e. paying money damages), not the loss of her physical freedom. In a civil case arising from a car crash, an injured party, or the surviving family member of someone who has been tragically killed, only needs to prove that the driver was negligent in order to win. Not only that, but the injured party does not need to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the injured party only has to prove that it is more likely than not that the driver was negligent or careless. Obviously, it is much easier to prove a civil case for negligence than a criminal case. This is good because it gives accident victims an effective way of holding negligent or careless drivers accountable – even when the criminal justice system won’t. We do this all of the time for our clients. If you have any questions following a Florida car accident or wrongful death case, call Winter Park car accident attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901 or visit our main website by clicking here. We are a small, boutique law firm that has recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. All consultations are free and without...

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Knee Airbag Injuries On The Rise, Now Receiving Federal Attention

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents, Types of Accidents

Knee Airbag Injuries On The Rise, Now Receiving Federal Attention

Many consumers make their car choices based upon safety considerations – and particularly the existence and prevalence of airbags. Did you know that many newer cars have knee airbags, and that knee airbags may actually be causing injuries to drivers during relatively minor car accidents? According to recent reporting by Todd Ulrich (@TUlrichWFTV) on WFTV.com, knee airbags have been the source of numerous injuries to drivers and passenger, including at least one Central Florida woman. Apparently knee airbags in many cars deploy with such force that they actually cause knee airbag injuries in accidents where there likely would have been no injury at all.  In the case of the Central Florida woman, the hard plastic cover from airbag caused very deep cuts that contributed to her spending eight days in the hospital, and being left with significant scarring. I performed a cursory internet search and found that the company called Takata is a major manufacturer of knee airbags.  Readers of this blog may remember that Takata was involved in an enormous airbag recall last year involving some 28 million vehicles.  It is now clear whether the recall last year was intended to address this knee airbag issue. Even though I handle Florida car accident cases every day, and have been doing so for 22 years, I have to admit that I did not realize that many cars have knee airbags these days.  Unlike other airbags in cars, knee airbags apparently cannot currently be turned off or have their release pressures turned down.  Apparently federal regulators are beginning to become concerned about the dangers presented by knee airbags. If you have been injured by a knee airbag in a Florida car accident, or have questions regarding any accident-related matters in Florida, please call Orlando accident attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.  If you don’t want to call, you can always download their FREE car accident guide at...

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Did Placement Of Bus Stop Cause Osceola Pedestrian Versus Car Accident?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents

Did Placement Of Bus Stop Cause Osceola Pedestrian Versus Car Accident?

A 12-year old boy was seriously injured in Osceola County a few days ago when he was struck by a car while crossing busy Partin Settlement Road on the way to his bus stop.  Apparently the boy was crossing the road to catch his school bus at his bus stop on Partin Settlement Road when a car behind the slowing bus tried to pass it, and collided with him.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, young Caleb Burgos is still in critical condition in the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. The story of Caleb’s accident would likely be interesting and instructive enough to blog about on its own.  After all, the offending driver apparently attempted to use as his excuse the fact that the bus’ stop bar had not fully deployed when he tried to pass the bus — never mind that the bus was almost fully stopped and had it flashing lights and flaps turned on. School buses have flashing lights and flaps for a reason — to alert all drivers on the road that the bus is about to stop, and that they need to be on the lookout for kids in the area. However, the story got more interesting to me, as a Florida personal injury attorney, when I saw a piece on the WESH.com website a day or so later indicating the Osceola County School Board had ordered that the location of Caleb’s bus stop be changed following his accident. Apparently parents had been complaining for some time about the location of the bus stop, and about safety concerns they had.  It wasn’t until a child was critically injured that the School Board did anything about it. Typically, decisions by school boards about things like bus stop locations are protected from liability by Florida law.  However, in a situation like this one, where the location of the bus stop almost amounts to an admission that it was poorly selected in the first place, I wonder if Osceola County Schools could also be held liable for Caleb’s injuries.  After all, Partin Settlement Road didn’t just get busy yesterday.  We are going to keep our fingers crossed for Caleb and his family. Cases against government entities are always tricky.  Not only are damaged capped by law, but cases against any governmental entity feature specific deadlines and notice requirements that do not exist in non-government cases. If you have any questions regarding a personal injury case involving a governmental entity, or any kind of pedestrian versus car accident, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407–254–4901.  Consultations and always FREE and without...

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