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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Holding distracted drivers accountable is important for victims

Distracted driving includes a variety of activities that remove the driver's focus from the roadway. Distracted driving can include any activity that distracts the driver's attention, including physical, visual and mental distractions.

Distracted driving can present a serious danger to the millions of other drivers and passengers who share the roadways with distracted drivers each day. Distractions can include cell phone use and texting while driving but can also include more basic forms of distraction, such as eating while driving, grooming while driving or tending to pets and children while driving. Distracted driving can result in car accidents leading to injuries and death.

4 elements of proving negligence after a DUI accident

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you undoubtedly feel wronged by the situation. Drunk drivers can easily cause considerable harm to your life, and the injuries you suffered likely negatively affected you in a substantial way. In the aftermath of the accident, you may wonder whether filing a legal claim could help you work toward gaining reparations for resulting damages.

In many cases, drunk driving accidents do warrant civil legal claims. In these cases, you must prove that negligence on the part of the other driver resulted in the damages that affected you. Four elements must go into your argument to prove negligence.

Important resources are available to victims of car accidents

The circumstances surrounding car accidents can be complex and the period of time following a car accident can be difficult for victims. There are a variety of parties involved in motor vehicle accident situations and insurance companies are one party commonly involved in the process. Because these interactions can be challenging for victims while adjusting to life following an unexpected car accident, it is important for them to understand their legal rights and the options available to them.

Victims face many challenges following a car accident and the legal process is designed to protect them. Compensation for damages may be available to victims harmed by a negligent driver in a car accident. Damages are intended to put the victim in the same position they would have been in without the accident and the harm they have suffered. To the extent possible, damages seek to make the victim whole again following a motor vehicle accident.

Florida bus accident injures two victims and kills another

Because of the difference in size between buses and other vehicles, accidents involving buses often cause catastrophic injuries to those involved. Victims of bus accidents and their loved ones have important legal rights that they should be aware of. In a neighboring community just north of the Tampa area, a bus accident recently injured two people and killed another. The bus was transporting a college baseball team at the time of the accident. The 69-year-old driver of the bus failed to slow down as the lanes on the interstate began merging, resulting in the bus accident.

The bus rear-ended a passenger vehicle, which caused it to rear-end another vehicle. The 81-year-old driver of the first car struck was killed and her passenger was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the second car was also seriously injured.

What are the basics of a personal injury claim?

When accidents and injuries take place, victims and family members can be left picking up the pieces associated with physical, financial and emotional harm. It is important for them to be aware of the resources available to them and know where they can turn when they have been negligently harmed. Many individuals may have heard of personal injury lawsuits but wonder what specifically the term refers to.

A personal injury claim for damages can arise when the careless actions of a negligent party cause injury or harm to victims. The negligent party responsible for causing the accident or injuries may be legally responsible to compensate the victim for damages. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed by the injured party to determine liability for the harm they have suffered and damages. Many personal injury claims for damages are settled before a case ever reaches the courtroom.

Understanding the importance of distracted driving protections

While a number of states have penalties associated with distracted driving, Florida does not yet have any. There has been some concern that there is not enough political will to change the laws. One local news agency recently accepted a challenge from lawmakers who wanted to see more objective evidence that distracted driving laws actually improve traffic safety.

The numbers themselves are fairly convincing. In one study, the American Journal of Public Health reported that rates of hospitalization declined by 7 percent in states with texting and driving bans versus states without a texting and driving ban. In addition, states that enforced the texting while driving ban as a primary offense benefited, according to a study reviewing the years 2003 to 2010.

Drunk driver injures children and kills one in Florida

In a neighboring Florida community just south of Tampa, a recent drunk driving accident resulted in the death of one child and injuries to four others. Less than a month after completion of probation for driving drunk, a 37-year old drunk driver ran a stop sign and struck a vehicle full of children. A 3-year old child was killed in the drunk driving accident and four other children, including a newborn baby, were injured in the same accident. Two of the children, including the child who died, were ejected from the vehicle. Two of the surviving children were critically injured.

The drunk driver was facing multiple charges, including DUI manslaughter, following the accident and was being held in jail without bail. A breathalyzer test revealed that the driver had a blood alcohol content level of between 0.125 and 0.128; 0.08 is the legal limit in Florida. The driver has a history of problems related to driving and already settled a negligence claim with a woman who asserted she was seriously injured in a car accident. The driver's children were in the car with him during the most recent accident but were unharmed.

Tampa is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians

Pedestrian accidents are a serious concern for victims and their families. During the recession, fewer drivers resulted in fewer pedestrian accidents. As the economy improved, an increase in pedestrian accidents resulted in more pedestrian fatalities. According to a new study, 4,884 pedestrians were killed during 2014, which is the most recent year for which data is available. The number of pedestrian fatalities represents a 19 percent increase from 2009 and the highest number since 2005.

Unfortunately, minorities, the poor and elderly or more greatly impacted by the occurrence of pedestrian accidents than other groups. Of the 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians, 8 are in Florida and include Tampa. Part of the problem in Florida is that its post World War II boom resulted in city planning that prioritized cars over people. In addition, unlike in other cities in the country where walking may be viewed as a luxury, those walking in Florida cities are largely doing so out of necessity and may not have the same political capital to advocate for safer streets.

Drunk drivers can be liable for the harm suffered by victims

Drunk driving accidents can unexpectedly turn the lives of victims and their families upside down. For victims involved in a drunk driving accident, the consequences may be particularly serious and can result in injuries and, depending on the severity of the injuries suffered, a lifetime of challenges. In addition to the physical trauma suffered in a drunk driving accident, victims may also suffer emotional trauma.

Victims of drunk driving accidents may find their lives unexpectedly changed in an instant due to a drunk driver. In addition to the criminal charges a drunk driver may face, they may also face liability to compensate injured victims for the harm suffered. A drunk driver is ordinarily considered a negligent driver, which creates responsibility to compensate victims for any damages that result from a drunk driving accident.

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