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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Two men die in fatal truck accident after being rear-ended

Large trucks are a constant presence on the roads in Tampa and throughout Florida. While these vehicles are important for the transportation of goods as well as for numerous other reasons, that does not diminish the dangers they present to other drivers on the road. Due to their massive size, the amount of time the drivers spend on the road and the other inherent risks, a crash can result in a fatal truck accident. After such an occurrence, the family left behind needs to know how to properly deal with the loss of a loved one.

A late-morning crash between a dump truck and a semi-truck led to the deaths of two men recently. The accident occurred at around 11:00 a.m. when a Chevy dump truck left a driveway and pulled into the road. The vehicle was traveling at a low rate of speed when it was rear-ended by the 2013 semi-truck. The 57-year-old driver of the dump truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger, a 61-year-old man, was transported to the hospital via airlift where he later died. The 37-year-old male driver of the semi-truck suffered a knee injury that was not serious.

What are the symptoms of whiplash after a car accident?

When a Floridian is in a car accident, there are times when a possible injury might not be clearly evident. Accident victims might not even feel the need to go to the hospital. One serious injury that might not be obvious is whiplash. It is important to understand the symptoms as it can result in hefty medical expenses and long-term problems. It's possible that these aftereffects might not show themselves for up to a full 24 hours or longer, so those who have been affected need to be on the lookout for them.

If there is an auto accident and the victim experiences a forceful back-and-forth motion of the neck, it can result in whiplash. This frequently occurs when the car accident is of the rear-end variety, but it can happen in other crashes as well. While many might feel the pain and symptoms immediately, there could be a delay. This is why it is imperative to be cognizant of any pain that might arise after the accident.

Fatal motorcycle crash claims life of 26-year-old man

Motorcycle riders in Florida take pride in their enjoyment of riding the open roads on a powerful bike. Part of riding a motorcycle, however, is accepting the inherent risks with it and that other drivers might not pay strict attention. These dangers include being involved in a motorcycle accident. The vulnerability that motorcycle riders face can result in devastating injuries and even death. This is even more prominent in places like Florida where there are a great many older automobile drivers who might not have the reaction time or judgment skills to account for a motorcyclist.

A recent motorcycle accident on U.S. 41 in Ruskin, Florida, has claimed the life of a 26-year-old man. According to law enforcement, the man was riding a 2012 Kawasaki and heading north. At that time, a 2010 Kia Sport was going west. The Kia, driven by a 72-year-old man, tried to make a left turn at the intersection and was subsequently hit by the motorcycle on its driver's side. The motorcycle accident victim was taken to the hospital where he died. The driver and his 73-year-old passenger were uninjured.

Texting and driving accident statistics show rates remain high

A great deal of attention is paid to the possibility of encountering a distracted driver on the road in Tampa and throughout Florida. Any form of distraction while driving is dangerous. With new technology adding to the various ways to communicate while on the road, there are many different opportunities to pay attention to something other than what a driver should: driving. Texting and driving is one of the most risky behaviors that a driver can partake in and one that the National Safety Council (NSC) is researching extensively.

The latest information accrued by the NSC indicates that crashes due to cellphone use rose for the third straight year and are now involved in 27 percent of car accidents. What is of greater concern is that the number also includes people who were not only texting and speaking on the phone, but were using hands-free devices. The researchers estimate that the number of accidents involving texting and driving increased between 5 and 6 percent. Accidents with drivers who were talking stayed the same at 21 percent.

Florida has highest rates of a fatal accident on a bicycle

When discussing a wrongful death incident, the first thing that may come to a Floridian's mind is a crash in a car, truck or motorcycle. Some might think about an accident at work. However, another -- seemingly healthy -- activity is also dangerous, and that is bicycle riding. In fact, riding a bicycle in Florida has the highest frequency of fatal bicycle accidents in the United States.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that there are more fatal accidents involving bicycles in Florida than in any other state. Other states have taken steps to reduce the number of bicycle fatalities and have done so successfully. Florida, however, has not been able to significantly reduce the number. This information is simultaneous to the improved safety of bicycle riders across the country. The number of fatalities has reduced 44 percent per 100,000 people from 1975 to 1979 and 2008 to 2012. Children under the age of 15 have experienced the most drastic reduction in fatalities.

Car accident risks when encountering a drowsy driver

There are numerous reasons why a Florida driver might get into a car accident. One that is often avoidable is if a driver is operating the vehicle while drowsy. Understanding the facts about drowsy driving can help drivers identify when it might be risky to go out on the road and what to watch for from other drivers.

Driving while drowsy affects a driver's attentiveness, reactions and decision-making abilities. The failure to pay proper attention to the road can result in a driver not being able to see factors that would easily be recognized when fully alert. Decisions are made constantly when driving, and if the driver is not fully cognizant of his or her surroundings, a wrong decision can cause a car accident. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asserts that an estimated 2.5 percent of fatal accidents and 2 percent of accidents resulting in injuries are related to drowsy driving. 

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.

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