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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Driver fleeing police causes fatal car crash killing pedestrian

There are a multitude of dangers when a Tampa resident is out on the road as a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist or driver. Oftentimes, people on the roads are at risk of being involved in a wrongful death incident. When there is a loss of a loved one in a fatal accident, those who have been affected need to understand what to do next.

A dashboard camera on a police car made a recording of a traffic stop that happened right before the driver crashed into a man, killing him. The 25-year-old driver was speeding at approximately 2 a.m. when the crash occurred. According to the video, the law enforcement officer, who is part of a unit to catch drivers operating their vehicles under the influence, tried to stop the speeding vehicle. The police vehicle was unmarked and the flashing lights were a signal for the driver to stop. The driver tried to get away from the officer. The officer ended the pursuit. The fleeing vehicle hit one man, killing him. Then another pedestrian was hit before the car crashed. The driver and a passenger ran on foot, but were caught. The driver faces numerous charges, including DUI, drug charges and vehicular manslaughter.

Knowing what to do after a crash with an uninsured driver

Getting into a car accident in Florida can lead to property damage, injuries and even death. While the accident itself is bad enough, certain issues often arise in the state that can cause more problems for those involved. These include an underinsured or uninsured driver. If a driver isn't driving without insurance, there is the possibility that the person is driving with the bare minimum of insurance. A study examined levels of insurance, how much is required by state, and the number of drivers who were not insured. Florida is one of the worst states in the union when the facts are examined.

While many states have hefty requirements for the minimum level of insurance, Florida is lower than most. The study showed that nearly 24 percent of drivers in the state are not insured or don't follow the rules as they're laid out. In many instances, an accident leaves people hurt by another driver who was responsible for the car accident and was not insured or was underinsured. Drivers can use the option of adding to their own coverage for an extra layer of protection.

Premises liability and drowning accidents

Florida is known for its warm weather and outdoor activities throughout the year. Many people have pools in their homes or communities. While many owners and overseers are vigilant about proper safety practices when it comes to a pool, there is still a large number of injuries and drowning incidents. While some happen as a matter of circumstance, others are due to a negligent property owner. Premises liability can lay the foundation for filing a case to receive compensation after a pool accident.

While it might not seem like a common way in which people die, approximately 10 people die every day because of a drowning accident. Out of those 10, 20 percent will be 14-years-old or younger. It is the fifth ranked reason for unintentional death in the U.S. Between 2005 and 2009, an average of 3,533 non-boating fatalities happened each years in the U.S. When counting boat-related accidents, another 347 died. The statistics indicate that 80 percent of those who die from drowning are male. The highest rates of children dying are between 1-year-old and 4-years-old. Drowning is the second most frequent cause of death for young people between the ages of 1 and 14 next to motor vehicle crashes.

$64.5 million verdict in Florida personal injury suit

Tampa readers may have read about the $64.5 million verdict in a recent local lawsuit involving a serious construction accident. Filed by a construction worker who was nearly killed when a prefabricated building fell on him at a construction site in 2009, the lawsuit named three companies, including the construction company the man worked for at the time of the accident, a fertilizer company that owned the site and another construction company that was hired to work on the site. A jury decided that the landowner bore most of the blame for the man's injuries.

The case illustrates the complexity of personal injury lawsuits under Florida law.

What are Florida laws when it comes to texting and driving?

Given the ways in which people behind the wheel can be distracted by various activities and devices in today's world, many are unaware as to what Florida's laws are when it comes to distracted driving. Smartphones that allow people to check their emails, text, send photographs, use various outlets for social media and numerous other things makes them an irresistible attraction. Many mistakenly believe that it is safe to look away from the road for a brief moment. However, a car accident can happen in that split second and lead to people being seriously injured or killed.

According to state law, the idea is to improve the safety for everyone on the road. Law enforcement is authorized to stop vehicles and cite drivers who are using their cell phones while operating their vehicle. The law states that drivers can't be operating their vehicle while manually typing, sending data, emailing, texting or sending instant messages. This law applies to "wireless communications devices." If the vehicle is not in motion, this law does not apply.

Assisting Floridians determine negligence in wrongful death

Sustaining a Florida injury can have a devastating impact on a person's life. The impact can be far greater if the accident led to a fatality. Unfortunately, this has happened to far too many Florida residents, who have lost a loved one from fatal workplace accidents, fatal car crashes and medical errors. But, the truly sad fact is that most fatalities from these kinds of accidents may have been caused by the negligence of another party.

The term "negligence" plays a significant part in wrongful death cases. If the case in question deals with a fatal workplace accident, a deadly motor-vehicle crash or a fatal medical error, determining whether negligence is involved is important for the family who has lost their loved one. This is because the victim's family usually focuses on their emotional distress and loss without considering the case's legal aspects.

Study examines fault distribution in car-truck accidents

Florida residents are aware of the differences between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle. Trucks such as tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers are larger, heavier and more difficult to drive than cars.

A paper released by the American Trucking Association in 2013 reviewed the research regarding different factors that affect the risks related to truck collisions. Many types of failures while operating a vehicle may result in a car-truck crash. The research revealed that driving error accounted for approximately 90 percent of car-truck accidents.

How can you help maintain motorcycle safety in Florida?

Motorcycles provide many Florida residents a cost-efficient way to commute. Riding a motorcycle comes with many risks though. For starters, motorcycles are less visible to other drivers. This may make it difficult for most motorists to see motorcyclists, increasing the risk of a crash. Aside from that, motorcycles have minimal protection from hazards and elements that can injure or kill a rider. Unlike car and other vehicles that can protect its occupants from an impact, motorcycles can't. The only protection riders have are helmets and safety gear. As a result, motorcycle safety is an important issue for safety officials, residents and motorcycle enthusiasts in the state of Florida.

With this in mind, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers several tips for riders in order to protect themselves from devastating injuries or fatalities caused by a motorcycle accident. According to a source, it is important for motorcyclists to be aware of how they can share the road with other motorists. They need to develop good riding techniques that can be learned by taking a motorcycle rider safety course. Riders should wear the appropriate gear such as bright and reflective clothing so that motorists can easily notice them, particularly at night.

State fair in Florida turns horrifying during accident

Premises liability accidents may come in all different forms. An accident may also occur in various places, in the parking lot of a retail store, in Florida's theme parks and even at a state fair. State fairs are exciting for most people in Tampa, Florida and in the rest of the U.S. However, what should have been an enjoyable day turned into horror for a Florida teenager.

The Florida State Fair has been all over the news recently. However, the headlines do not mention the fun and excitement that a state fair brings to residents because of an inadequate security issue related to a horrifying accident involving a fair ride. Reportedly, the incident happened on February 8 when a 15-year-old girl and a 21-year-old woman rode the Hit in 2000 ride at the state fair. The ride whirls occupants around over humps. According to the teenager, before the ride started, she stated that she realized that the restraint was not locked into place so she asked a fair worker to pull the restraint back and fix it. Unfortunately, the unexpected happened when the restraint failed to work. The teenager saw her 21-year-old friend go flying out of the ride. The teenager stated that she also started flying and the lever bounced back and forth toward her. She then grabbed the lever as soon as she could. She held on to the lever until the worker realized the issue and stopped the ride.

Guiding car accident victims in protecting their rights

Car accidents are not just a common problem in Florida, but throughout the United States. No matter how extensive the reminders of law enforcement officers regarding safe operation of a vehicle, the number of people getting injured or killed in car crashes keeps escalating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 6,800 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the first quarter of 2014. NHTSA expects that the casualty count will be higher after the holiday season and Superbowl. With this said, more and more Florida residents are continually at risk of injury or death due to car accidents.

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for an individual. Although a car crash victim may sustain a personal injury ranging from broken bones to a brain injury up to internal injuries or even death, it can damage a person's finances and emotional well-being as well. Our Tampa-based law firm is familiar with the damages and the potential different outcomes of an auto accident. We understand how difficult it is for victims to cope from the incident and recover from their injuries.

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