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Posts Tagged "punitive"

Bar Patron Injured In Tampa Car Crash Versus Building Might Be Entitled To More Benefits Than He Realizes

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents

Bar Patron Injured In Tampa Car Crash Versus Building Might Be Entitled To More Benefits Than He Realizes

An unsuspecting Tampa bar patron may be entitled to PIP benefits, bodily injury liability benefits, and even punitive damages after he was injured in an odd accident this week in a Tampa bar.   The OrlandoSentinel.com website reported about the Tampa drunk driving accident.   Apparently a woman named Sully Marie Torre–Medina lost control of her car Tuesday night, causing it to crash into the patio area of the Independent bar in Tampa.  A 34-year-old gentleman named Wesley Kincaid was apparently sitting in the bar’s patio area, was injured in a crushing injury as a result of the crash, and had to be taken to the hospital.   Mr. Kincaid may not realize it, but because he was involved in an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle, he may immediately be entitled to insurance benefits to pay his hospital and medical bills.  If Mr. Kincaid owns a car, he would be entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits under his own automobile insurance coverage.  If he doesn’t own a car, he would be entitled to PIP from Ms. Torre-Medina’s car insurance company.  (Download your FREE copy of our Florida PIP guide, by clicking here.)   Additionally, if Ms. Torre-Medina carried bodily injury coverage on her car (which is optional in Florida – but shouldn’t be), he can make a personal injury claim against her.  Because Ms. Torre-Medina has been accused of DUI, and found to be in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, Mr. Kincaid may also have a punitive damages claim against her.   We obviously hope that Mr. Kincaid will make a speedy recovery from his injuries.  He seems to have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Nevertheless, we thought his situation was important as an illustration of all the different benefits that might be available in a Florida car accident involving a pedestrian or anyone else who is not inside a vehicle at the time of a crash.   If you have any questions following a Florida car accident of any kind, or about Florida car insurance and how it works, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407–254–4901, or visit our website.  You can also download a FREE copy of our popular Florida accident guide by clicking...

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Punitive Damages Appropriate For Drunk Driving Texting?

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents, Uncategorized

Punitive Damages Appropriate For Drunk Driving Texting?

As a frequent blogger on legal issues over the last several years, I spend a lot of time looking for stories and thinking of ways that I can can blog about topics that will be instructive to people (and particularly Floridians) who are in need of information relative to Florida personal injury law.  Along these lines, I read a harrowing article in the New York Times that seems like a perfect illustration of a case where punitive damages should be available, and should be sought in a personal injury case. In the case at issue, an avid bicyclist (who, ironically, was also an outspoken bicycle safety advocate) from the Baltimore, Maryland area, was hit and killed by a car being driven by a prominent Bishop in the Maryland Episcopal Diocese. According to police, the Bishop was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash, and was also texting.  In addition, the Bishop reportedly left the scene of the crash, and the bicyclist in the road, while she drove home and called one of her church colleagues to help her.  Needless to say, the Bishop made several outrageous errors in judgment that lead to the death of the bicyclist. It has been the law in Florida for a long time that punitive damages can be sought in any case involving drunk driving.  Courts have decided that drunk driving is such a scourge in society that anyone who does it and causes injuries needs to be punished over-and-above adequately compensating the injured victim. The law in Florida is a little less settled when it comes to punishing drivers who injure someone while they are texting, although recent trends suggest that texting while driving should be cause for punitive damages. However, when those two clearly dangerous and life-threatening driving behaviors are combined, it would seem appropriate to levy some kind of extra punitive damages — if such a thing were possible. There is nothing more dangerous that I can think of than for a drunk person to drive and text at the same time.  Catastrophic results are almost guaranteed to happen. (As an additional aggravating factor in the Baltimore case, it appears that the Bishop had recently been charged in another case with driving under the influence.  This, of course, suggests that the Bishop has a drinking problem and perhaps should not have been on the road.) I certainly do not know whether a civil claim for wrongful death was, or has been, brought against the Bishop on behalf of the Estate and survivors of the deceased bicyclist.  I certainly hope that one has, and that the Bishop’s insurance company has adequately compensated the family of the deceased.  For the sake of the surviving family, I also hope that the bicyclist carried plenty of Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage.  Many people do not realize that this type of coverage can be used to compensate...

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New Research Compares Tired Driving To Drunk Driving In Fatal Crashes

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

New Research Compares Tired Driving To Drunk Driving In Fatal Crashes

Two new research studies suggest that tired driving is responsible for as many fatal accidents — car crashes involving deaths — as drunk driving.  Reduced reaction time — the time it takes a driver to recognize danger and take physical steps to avoid it — seems to be the culprit. Unfortunately, today’s hectic lifestyles and work schedules mean more and more people operate without sufficient sleep. New research indicates a growing number of drivers admit to actually falling asleep behind the wheels of their cars. This is obviously a disturbing trend that needs to be reversed. Drivers who drive drunk and caused accidents are subject to punitive damages in Florida. It is an interesting question as to whether a driver proven to be driving in a fatigued condition could also be held liable for punitive damages. If you have any questions regarding a Florida car accident, and especially one where tired driving has been suspected, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or download a FREE copy of Kim’s Florida car accident book, Asleep At The Wheel, by clicking...

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