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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

What statistics show about trucking fatalities across the country

Tampa residents are probably used to sharing the roads with large commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers. These vehicle move two-thirds of the freight across the United States with nearly 11 million trucks traveling the road each year. Despite this large number of trucks, they only make up 4.7 percent of all vehicles in the country - but 12.4 percent of all fatal vehicular accidents. The fatality rate for truck accidents is 17 percent higher than the fatality rate for passenger vehicles.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency charged with helping to reduce the number of commercial motor vehicle accidents in every state, including Florida. The FMCSA recently noted that the rates of truck accidents and fatalities have started to rise after several years of declines. The most recent data for truck-related accidents is from 2011 and shows a total of 3,757 people killed and 800,000 people suffering serious injuries from commercial vehicle accidents.

Who is liable for premises liability accidents?

Premises liability laws are in place to help protect consumers and visitors from injuries, meaning that safety should be the primary responsibility of property owners. This includes for those who own a shopping mall, store or any other establishment. Premise liability laws are in effect in all 50 states, including Florida.

The legal gist of premises liability law is that it holds owners accountable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property if certain conditions exist. Lawsuits out of premises liability are often seen when slip and fall accidents, falling crates and amusement park ride mishaps occur. When visiting a mall, if you are injured as a result of a falling object on the premises, for example, the mall's owner may be legally responsible for the incident's outcome. Determining a responsible party for a premises liability accident may depend on where the incident occurred. For example, if an injury was suffered in an elevator accident because of a mechanical problem, the property owner may bear the responsibility for medical treatment and other damages.

OSHA investigates fatal accident at FSU construction site

Construction sites are often dangerous because of the use of heavy equipment, hazardous conditions, and excessive heights. In fact, construction workers have some of the highest rates of workplace fatalities.

A recent, sad illustration of that fact was the death of a 25-year-old man employed by Culpepper Construction, a subcontractor on a building site at Florida State University in Tallahassee. According to FSU Police and the Florida State Police, the fatal accident occurred when the worker was trapped between a moving elevator and a building that was under construction. The victim was a Culpepper plumber.

Family's walk results in unexpected accident in Florida

Just as in any city in the nation, car accidents in Tampa Bay, Florida can happen at any time. It may involve another driver, a motorcyclist or a pedestrian enjoying a simple walk in the park. Unfortunately, if such an incident happens, the potential damages can be serious to the victims. Take, for example, a young family who was recently injured in a car crash.

According to a report, a mother and father and their infant son were walking on the sidewalk on Chatlin Road near Cincinnati Drive when the unexpected car accident happened. A vehicle that was driving southbound on Chatlin hit the 17-year-old father. The impact of the crash pushed the dad into the mother and overturned the stroller that was holding their four-month-old child. The Florida Highway Patrol stated that the driver of the vehicle initially stopped after the crash. However, he allegedly then fled the scene.

Morgan and other victims sue Wal-Mart for truck accident

Comedian and comic actor, Tracy Morgan, is known to millions of Americans, including Floridians, especially for his over-the-top performance in TV's "30 Rock." Morgan's life took a tragic turn in early June when he and several others were involved in a tractor-trailer accident that left him and two others badly injured and one friend dead.

The truck accident in New Jersey happened when a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer slammed into a limousine van carrying Morgan, 45, and several friends and fellow comedians. Comic Jimmy Mack, 62, was killed. Morgan suffered a broken leg, broken ribs and other injuries. Two others were also injured.

Just how safe are roller-coaster rides across the country?

Summer across the United States, including Florida, is a time for beaches, water parks and amusement parks that entire families can enjoy. Many amusement parks are perfect places for fun, but some may also be places where accidents are likely due to negligence that can harm and even kill customers.

Many people may think twice now before getting on a roller coaster after a July accident at an amusement park in California. The roller coaster came to a sudden halt, stranding 22 riders, when its lead car hit a tree branch that had fallen on the tracks. The partially derailed car was left dangling, its passengers in danger of falling 20 feet to the ground. Fortunately, all of the passengers were rescued within four hours. Four riders suffered injuries, but only two were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital. The ride is temporarily closed.

Federal judge upholds judgment against sheriff in 2012 case

Florida's law enforcement personnel have an important job to do in keeping communities safe from crime and criminals who harm everyday citizens. The authority of police officers and sheriff's deputies, however, is granted by state law and prohibits any improper actions, reckless behavior or negligence that could harm or kill an innocent person.

A 2012 altercation that took the life of a 21-year-old man in Summerfield, about 75 miles north of Tampa, resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit that was decided in the plaintiffs' favor in May, but then was appealed by the defendants in June. In early July, a federal judge upheld the jury's original verdict and award, meaning the law enforcement agency involved will have to pay the man's family a multimillion-dollar award.

Three St. Petersburg women killed in fiery 3 a.m. car accident

Although most people prefer not to think too long about it, they know that tragedy can strike anywhere and at virtually any time. When it does strike in the form of a car accident and lives are lost, surviving family members often are left grieving and devastated. Their emotional trauma is often made worse, however, when they find out a hit-and-run driver was behind their loss.

Such a tragedy recently struck a St. Petersburg neighborhood when three women heading to a local grocery store died in a car accident around 3 a.m. According to police, the wreck at 16th Street near Ninth Avenue involved a 2004 Saturn and a 2012 Chrysler. Apparently the two vehicles were both driving southbound on 16th Street when the driver of the Saturn began to make a left turn into a parking lot. The Chrysler allegedly drove into the northbound lane, hitting the rear of the Saturn. A gas tank explosion immediately engulfed the Saturn and trapped its passengers. Two of the victims, ages 21 and 23, died in the car, and the third victim, their 25-year-old aunt, died later in the hospital from massive trauma and burns.

Man injured during rapper's concert sues for premises liability

Safety and security should always be the top concern for business owners. This philosophy holds true for event organizers, too, requiring them to ensure their events,, including parties and gatherings, are safe when held on their own property. Event planners and organizers must make certain that the property is free from hazardous conditions and elements that may result in injury to attendees, as the property owner may be responsible for accidents.

Cameron Jibril Thomaz, commonly known as rapper Wiz Khalifa, made headlines again, not for his new album, arrest or gig in Tampa Bay, Florida, but for a premises liability lawsuit filed against him. According to the report, Khalifa, Rostrum Records LLC, together with 40 others were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in connection with an assault during a concert on April 11, 2013. The plaintiff claimed he was attacked and battered at a restaurant when two men initiated an unprovoked attack. The accuser said that he suffered significant injuries as a result of the assault.

S.C. affirms Florida families' wrongful death awards

Historically, lawsuits against the manufacturers of cigarettes in the United States have been tough to win. Some Florida families have experienced this difficulty firsthand, even when they have been able to show that tobacco companies knew the dangers of their products. For those who have lost loved ones to lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases, however, the fight against manufactures was always worth the effort.

Recently, justice seems to have been served for 11 Florida families who filed and won lawsuits against cigarette makers but who were denied immediate satisfaction when the tobacco companies stalled payments through years of appeals. In early June, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered tobacco companies to pay the families nearly $40 million in damages plus interest for product liability, wrongful death and other violations. The Court has given the tobacco companies just 30 days to pay all financial judgments.

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