l-a-2-1232149-300x200According to various sources, an actress who is known for playing a character in the television series “Quantico,” has filed a lawsuit against two drivers and two California state agencies over a three car accident that happened last February in Los Angeles. One of the cars involved in the wreck was a state emergency vehicle.

The actress reportedly claims that she lost a significant amount in potential compensation due to the ordeal while she was riding in an Uber driven car. According to the suit, the actress is not suing the driver of the Uber vehicle that she was riding in.

According to the California Highway Patrol accident report, one of the officers at the scene found the driver of the non-emergency vehicle to be at fault. The report stated the determination was made that the first driver made an improper lane change which then forced the ambulance to swerve into the lane that the actress was riding in.

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magazine-1241490-300x225Last week Government Employees Insurance Co., known as GEICO, filed a massive lawsuit against Path Medical and Pain 411, alleging that since 2014 the defendants defrauded the company for millions of dollars worth of medical procedures that were, “medically unnecessary, illusory, unlawful, and otherwise unreimbursable health care services, including initial examinations, follow-up examinations, diagnostic imaging, and physical therapy, and chiropractic services [], that purportedly were provided to automobile accident victims (“Insureds”) who were eligible for coverage under GEICO Florida no-fault insurance policies.”

In addition to seeking compensatory damages for the allegedly fraudulent payments, GEICO is also seeking declaratory judgment that it is not legally obligated to reimburse the more than $200,000 in additional pending, allegedly fraudulent no-fault insurance claims.

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With the rapid growth of the ride-sharing app Uber, the business has been in headlines across the cross-walk-1503397-260x300country as witnesses have claimed to see the notorious Uber logo sticker in the windows of vehicles involved in crashes. It is not clear whether all of the drivers involved in the following three accidents were in fact Uber drivers, but it is clear that at least one of them was, although the individual was not “on the clock” at the time of the crash. Additionally, as a general matter, just because a driver was working for Uber, does not necessarily mean that the company is responsible for the behavior of the individual driver.

Scottsdale Pedestrian

The first accident that had Uber in the news occurred early in the morning last Thursday in Scottsdale. According to police, the accident happened at around 1:30 a.m., when a pickup truck hit a pedestrian. Officials stated that they did not believe speed or any sort of impairment were factors in the crash, and that the driver was a driver for Uber.

While the company had not made a statement at the time the story was published, a spokesperson stated that the driver had been removed from the app while the accident was being investigated, and that the company intended to cooperate with police on the investigation.

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canal-12-1575861-300x225This past Thanksgiving weekend, was unfortunately fatal for several drivers in the Miami area. According to a spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol, “Thanksgiving is the most dangerous holiday in the United States.” Additionally, “The day before Thanksgiving, fatal accidents increase by 15 percent. That’s why the Florida Highway Patrol is out here, committed to have a high presence and make sure that motorists that are driving to visit their families get there safe.” Highway patrols across the nation made similar pronouncements about increased patrols in an attempt to prevent car accidents.

Curiously, among the serious accidents that happened, there were three where a vehicle crashed and ended up in a canal of some sort, resulting in the death of five individuals.

Thursday

Various news outlets reported that a driver-less vehicle crashed into a semi truck following its launch at an event in shuttle-bus-300x296Las Vegas earlier this month. The crash occurred just two hours after the introduction and promotion event for the first self-driving shuttle in the United States aimed at serving the public. Interestingly, it was the human driver of the other vehicle that was reportedly at fault. Fortunately the incident only caused minor damage and there were no injuries.

The shuttle in question, which can transport up to 12 passengers at a time, comes equipped with electric curb sensors and uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) in lieu of a steering wheel or brake pedals.

The introduction of the shuttle comes on the heels of the passage of the Self Drive Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this fall. If passed in the Senate, the bill would exempt car manufacturers from having to follow various state and federal regulations that typically apply to automobile manufacturing. States would still be able to determine whether or not to allow self-driving cars on their roads.

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scaffolding-1518087-300x225Last month provided several examples of the serious personal safety issues that can arise with construction site work.

Construction Worker Falls from Crane on Dolphin Expressway

First, a construction worker fell from a crane on the Dolphin Expressway one morning, near the Northwest 37th Avenue overpass. A Miami fire department official stated that the man fell a total of 30 feet from a crane that was attached to a flatbed truck. The worker was using the crane’s controls on the side of the truck when it suddenly fell over, throwing him off of the overpass. As he fell, thankfully he did not fall into the flow of traffic below. The man was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his critical condition.

The area where the accident occurred is currently under construction, as Miami-Dade Transit is working to add an additional lane in both directions on the Dolphin Expressway.

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A Florida district court of appeals recently rendered its decision on an appeal based on the trial court’s decision to chromed-out-1451031-300x225exclude various pieces of evidence from consideration by the jury.

In the case, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant revved the engine of his Chevrolet Camaro, thus signaling his alleged desire to race the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that after riding next to their two motorcycles and swerving into their lane twice, he hit the first motorcycle (which had one passenger), which then crashed into the second motorcycle and then drove away. The plaintiffs survived the accident, but suffered serious personal injuries which required medical treatment. Prior to the accident, the plaintiffs had stopped at a restaurant and then a bar, and were headed home when the accident occurred.

At trial, the defendant claimed that the motorcycles caused the accident to occur by one driver accidentally turning onto the other one. He claimed comparative negligence as a defense. Witness testimony as to what happened was similarly inconsistent.

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security-camera-1245610-300x199According to various reports, Miami Beach Commissioners recently voted to close Miami Beach east of the dunes at 10 p.m. The decision to close the beach two hours earlier is an attempt to curb crime and keep both residents and tourists safe. The beach will continue to open at 5 a.m.

The vote was prompted by a recent string of violent crimes and thefts that have occurred late at night, including the vicious assault and rape of a tourist on the beach that happened over the summer, after the woman had fallen asleep.

Proponents of the earlier closure asked the commission to engage in an educational outreach designed at educating the public about the reasons for the change. In response, the commission stated that it was investigating the best ways to engage in an information campaign, including signs and other outreach.

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Our Miami personal injury law firm found a very interesting report that was recently released. The study’s Coupe_sign_imitation-300x175outcome was to determine whether ride-sharing services, such as Uber, have contributed to a decrease in accidents related to driving under the influence over a certain period of time. The implication here being that as people that may be too intoxicated to drive and then call sober ride-share drivers for their ride home, there are less drunk drivers on the road causing accidents. However, apparently the results of this study found that this was not necessarily the case in all American cities.

The study looked at the availability of the ride share service Uber (currently the largest among ride-sharing companies, which purportedly also include: Lyft, Sidecar, Wingz, Summon, Taxify, Haxi, Didi Chuxing, and Moovn) from 2013-2016 in four major cities in the United States. The study author is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Injury Science Center.

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glass-1-1188487-300x225According to several news reports, a young woman was killed by police officers after she reportedly crashed into two vehicles, and according to onsite officers and witness accounts, attempted to flee the scene.

Late Sunday night of the holiday weekend, according to police the driver of a black BMW sedan and her companion got into the vehicle and sped into oncoming traffic on Ocean Drive, which resulted in collisions with two separate vehicles– all in full view of people looking on from the sidewalk.

Sources report that the car first ran a red light, which led to a collision with one vehicle. The passenger in the car that was hit reported that the light was clearly green and that two other cars had already gone through the intersection at the time of impact, and that he believed the driver was going at least 60 miles per hour.

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