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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Possible causes of truck driver fatigue and accidents

The number of semi-trucks on the road in Florida can be daunting for other drivers. These vehicles are massive and are frequently traveling long distances at a high rate of speed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers advice for drivers and companies to maintain proper safety procedures. For people who are concerned about being in a truck accident, the advice that the FMCSA offers can also provide a window into reasons why accidents caused by truck driver fatigue might occur by examining tips that drivers receive to avoid them.

Studies into the reasoning behind truck crashes found that 13 percent were due to commercial drivers being fatigued. Drivers are encouraged to get enough rest prior to getting behind the wheel. There are times at which people are naturally drowsy. These are generally viewed as overnight hours between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Drivers are encouraged to pull over if they begin to feel fatigued, but many don't because they don't realize the dangers or are trying to get their jobs done due to employer pressure or financial need.

Fatal car crash in the rain leaves 5 dead

Being on the road in Florida can be dangerous especially if there is inclement weather. While there is a certain amount of risk at all times for a multitude of reasons, a significant amount of rain can exacerbate the danger to any and all people on the road regardless of how experienced and safe they are when driving. A fatal car accident can occur at any time and lead to the loss of companionship for family members as well as emotional and personal upheaval. Knowing how to pursue compensation through a wrongful death legal case is imperative after a fatal car crash.

A wet road is believed to have caused a 30-year-old woman's pickup truck to hydroplane and cross the center line of the road. When this happened, the woman attempted to steer her vehicle onto the shoulder. Instead, she crashed into a Volkswagen Passat that was being driven by a 29-year-old woman. The driver of the Passat was killed along with three of her passengers. Included among the victims were two 24-year-olds and an 18-year-old. The driver of the pickup also died. A 6-year-old passenger in the pickup survived and was left hospitalized in critical condition.

The possible effects of a brain injury after a car accident

In Florida, a car accident can lead to injuries and fatalities. In some cases, the injuries are clear and in others, they take some time to begin to take effect. Brain injury can either be obvious or it can be more difficult to spot. Often, victims don't realize they or their loved ones have suffered a brain injury until they show clear signs of it. Knowing the frequency of brain injuries, the facts about them, and what to do for treatment can be helpful.

A brain injury can happen when there is a blow to the head and the brain crashes against the skull. Bruising, tearing and swelling of the brain are all dangerous and can lead to long-term damage or even death. Statistically, 35 percent of brain injuries come from falls. However, motor vehicle accidents are second at 20 percent. The majority of these incidents do not result in death, but there can be other aftereffects that can result in massive medical expenses, the inability to function independently and the need for assistance.

Federal trucking regulations might be rolled back under new law

Trucks are a staple on the Florida roads bringing goods back and forth as well as providing jobs nationwide. The majority of truckers adhere to the rules of the road, as well as federal trucking regulations and do whatever they can to reduce the danger of a truck accident. While these drivers are making attempts to be safe, that is not completely true of all drivers. The idea behind the numerous regulations in place is that there will be consequences to companies and drivers for failing to abide by them. A new bill in the U.S. Senate might serve to deregulate the industry and lead to danger.

Democrats -- including Florida Senator Bill Nelson -- tried to stop the rules changes from getting out of committee, but failed. The idea for many senators is to reduce the amount of federal trucking regulations that the industry must follow. The transportation bill runs 1,000 pages and has provisions for the truck industry that reduce the minimum age for drivers going on interstate routes to 18-years-old from 21. The public would also no longer be able to see the safety rankings for truck companies.

Seeking justice after a fatal workplace accident

There are few things worse for people in Florida than to say goodbye to a loved one as the person heads off to work only to receive a phone call or a knock at the door to inform them that there was a fatal workplace accident. While there are some jobs that are more dangerous than others, these accidents can happen to anyone at any time. In many instances, there is no immediate information as to how it happened or why. This is when it is important to make sure there is an investigation regarding the loss of a loved one, how it happened and who is at fault.

The emotional toll of a sudden fatality is significant. But there are other factors that must be considered. If the person died at work, it is probable that the person was a major financial contributor to the household. That lost income can result in the inability to pay bills and for a family to keep its head above water. Even if there was an insurance policy or an offer of a settlement, the amount yielded is rarely enough to last for a long time and provide sufficiently.

Dangers of older people being involved in an auto accident

Florida is known as a location where older people congregate. With that comes a greater number of older drivers on the road. While there are benefits for people above a certain age to be able to stay active, operate a motor vehicle and transport themselves without having to rely on others, there are also risks. This is clear in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's statistics about older drivers. Those on the road in Florida need to know the potential dangers to themselves and others presented by this portion of the population.

As recently as 2012, there were an estimated 36 million people with driver's licenses who were 65-years-old and older across the nation. While this keeps older people involved, it also comes with the caveat that people of this age range have a higher propensity to be hurt or killed in a car collision. On average, nearly 600 older people are hurt in an auto accident on a daily basis. In that year, nearly 5,600 older people died and more than 214,000 people were hurt in these crashes. The number of older drivers has risen by 34 percent since 1999.

Brotherly bond forged in college commitment success story

It is often said that family is paramount in life - but what and who constitutes "family" can sometimes stretch beyond genetics. For Attorney Brad Culpepper and his family, caring for and supporting others simply isn't limited to the basic definition. It is an ethos that permeates their lives and colors their actions.

Recently, Syracuse.com published a story about Attorney Culpepper's son and his friend, who recently both committed to attend Syracuse University and play football for the Orange. The article details how the two from different backgrounds, and with different life experiences, came to be close friends - and in time, brothers. The pair met in Little League baseball, and their relationship grew closer as they aged. However, Culpepper's friend was no stranger to life's challenges, including a father who struggled through legal issues and a mother who worked hard to support her family.

Fatal motorcycle crash in Tampa claims life of young man

Motorcyclists and drivers of conventional vehicles must share the road in Tampa to ensure safety for all. Unfortunately, that does not always happen and a motorcycle accident will occur. There can be a variety of reasons for the accident -- from a negligent party, to the weather or to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What cannot be denied, though, is that a motorcycle accident victim is profoundly vulnerable because of the lack of protection accorded when riding a motorcycle. In the worst cases, it will be a fatal motorcycle crash.

Two motorcyclists were involved in a crash with a vehicle leading to non-life-threatening injuries for one rider and fatal injuries to the other. The riders, both 20, were heading south when an 80-year-old woman driving a Toyota Camry turned directly into their path. One rider tried to elude the vehicle after her failure to yield, but hit its passenger side. The other man's motorcycle hit that of his companion and ended up on the ground. The rider who hit the car was killed. The other rider was hospitalized.

What is the law for premises liability in a business in Florida?

When a person in Florida suffers injuries due to a wet floor or for some other reason while in an establishment, the question will automatically turn to how the law works in such a situation. Understanding the state statute when it comes to slip-and-fall accidents is important when considering how to proceed. Those who have been hurt need to understand what the law entails if they are contemplating litigation.

Section 768.0755 of the Florida statutes states that if a person slips and falls because of a "transitory" foreign substance in a business establishment, it is required that the injured person provide proof that the business is liable. An example of this would be if there is a spill in the aisle of a grocery store. For there to be premises liability, it must be shown that the business was aware of the danger and should have done something to prevent it. The knowledge on the part of the business must be either actual or constructive.

The dangers of spinal cord injury and its ramifications

Motorcyclists in Tampa likely know the risks they face when they go out onto the road. The prospects of a motorcycle collision might not be the foremost thing in their minds, but given their vulnerability and limited ways in which they can protect themselves, there is a significant chance that a crash can lead to injuries severe enough that they will be confronted with permanent disability. A spinal cord injury is one such danger. Understanding the facts about spinal trauma can help a motorcycle accident victim know what the motorcyclist is up against in the present and future.

If there is a full tear, a partial tear or a bruise to the spinal cord, it is known as spinal trauma. Since the spinal cord is the link between the brain and the rest of the body, any damage to it can cause major issues. Depending on the seriousness of the damage and where it is located, the injuries can cause partial or full paralysis. In the best case scenario, the person who was hurt will be able to recover. That, however, is not always the case. A large percentage -- 44 percent -- of spinal cord injuries are the result of a motor vehicle accident.

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