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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Overview of Florida's Dram Shop Law

It is a sad reality that in many cases, a drunk driver is also a driver who either does not carry automobile insurance at all or has only the minimum coverage which is no where near enough to pay compensation to victims after the intoxicated driver causes serious injuries in a car accident.

What this means is that, unless he or she is independently wealthy or at least solidly in the upper middle class, a drunk driver is likely going to have no means of paying for the highly preventable losses he or she inflicts on other people. If the deriver is also charged in criminal court, they may also be facing a lengthy stint in jail and thus will be unable to work any of their debt off.

What does the Takata airbag recall mean for Florida drivers?

Tampa-area residents may be aware of the massive airbag recall initiated by the Japanese company Takata. This recall and the public's awareness of the safety issues that could arise due to faulty airbags has been ongoing for awhile, but recently, the company expanded the recall even more. It is the largest automotive recall in United States history.

With the new expansion to the ongoing recall, vehicles made in 2009, 2010 and 2013 are now included. While the manufacturer will name specific models included in the recall, it does include cars made by Tesla, Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz. This likely affects many Florida drivers.

How we can help passengers, other drivers after an Uber wreck

A previous post on this blog explained the legal options for those affected by accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver. Basically, both passengers and other motorists in the greater Tampa area can suffer serious injuries because of a negligent driver who is operating as a contractor for Uber or Lyft, and these victims both need and deserve compensation for their losses.

Unfortunately, for a lot of reasons, it can be hard for a victim to easily obtain full compensation after an Uber of Lyft accident. Insurance coverage and conditions can be difficult to navigate when it comes to suing the driver, and it may be hard for a victim to sue Uber or Lyft directly simply because of the way these companies have set up their businesses.

Children injured in Tampa-area drunk driving crash

Drunk driving is not only a criminal activity, it is a negligent behavior that can negatively impact innocent people. A recent incident in the Tampa area illustrated this danger when a drunk driver collided with a vehicle containing several children. The impact left three kids with injuries.

According to law enforcement, the driver was traveling on Interstate 75 at the time of the crash. He attempted to pass an SUV in the center southbound lane, but instead, his F-150 hit the SUV. The father of the children also suffered injuries in the crash, and authorities eventually took the driver of the F-150 to the Manatee County Jail after his arrest.

Getting compensation after an Uber of Lyft accident

Like residents of other major cities, residents of Hillsborough and other parts of the greater Tampa area are now able to secure a ride through a transportation network company like Uber and Lyft. Supposedly, this system is just as effective, if not better than, a traditional cab and also may cost quite a bit less.

However, some people who choose to participate in this ridesharing plan, as well as other motorists, may have some concerns about the drivers. Despite their being screened by the companies for whom they contract, the reality is that many of them are simply average citizens with no real training or experience with commercial driving.

You don't have to be legally drunk to be dangerous

With New Year's Eve approaching, it is a good idea for Tampa area residents to remind themselves of the importance of driving sober. If people are planning to have some fun on the last day of the year, they should remember to get a designated driver.

Those who do choose not to take these simple steps run the risk of causing a serious drunk driving accident that could leave another motorist permanently disabled or disfigured.

We don't always represent perfect people in Florida

Florida car accidents, including pedestrian accidents are not always easy affairs to sort out. In many, if not most cases, there is always something each person involved could have done better and, thus, prevented the accident from happening.

This is true in pedestrian accidents in that the injured victim could have been in the crosswalk when crossing the street or could have been wearing more visible clothing, been more attentive, and so forth. There is always something where someone may feel as if he or she has fallen short.

If I wasn't in the crosswalk, can I still seek compensation?

Although it is always a good idea for pedestrians in Hillsborough, Florida, to use crosswalks when crossing the street whenever they are available, sometimes people are in a hurry to get from point A to point B, and decide to cross a street along the fastest route. At other times, a pedestrian might not notice a nearby crosswalk or may just forget to use it.

Usually, not using a crosswalk is a minor issue. However, it can become a huge issue for a Tampa-area resident if he or she winds up getting hit by a car while crossing the street.

Calls for stronger texting and driving law met with controversy

At the next legislative session, Florida lawmakers will take a up a proposal to strengthen the state's texting and driving ban. Currently, Florida motorists are not allowed to text and drive, but the offense is "secondary" and carries only a $20 fine. A person who gets fined does not have points assessed on his or her official motor vehicle record.

The proposal would, among other things, make texting and driving a primary offense. What this means is that if an officer observes the behavior, the officer can immediately pull the person over and write a ticket. A secondary offense, on the other hand, means the officer can write a ticket only if he or she stopped the person for some other reason.

The future of transportation and traffic in Tampa Bay

After residents of the Tampa Bay rejected a previous plan, the Florida Department of Transportation brought forth a new plan that proposes to add express toll lanes on Interstates 4 and 275 as well as other expansions. Leaders proposed the new plan, Tampa Bay Next. Just recently, residents got a look at this new transportation plan for the area.

At this meeting, the public was able to see how the plan for interstate expansion would work. They also got to look at other options that area leaders are considering, which include lane additions in other areas and the addition of toll plazas. The ultimate goal of these expansions is to provide more options for Hillsborough County residents and ease traffic congestion.

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