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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Trucker in accident that injured seven kids sentenced

In a Florida community a couple of hours north of the Tampa Bay area, the driver of a semitrailer that crashed into a parked school bus full of children was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison. The accident took place in 2014 and injured seven children and the driver of the bus. The 37-year old truck driver recently pleaded guilty to four counts of reckless driving with serious bodily injury but blamed the trucking company for failing to properly maintain the truck.

According to authorities, the semitrailer struck the school bus as it was slowing to drop off students. Police reported that the school bus had yellow lights flashing and the stop arm was extended when the semi truck struck it from behind. A police trooper testified that eight of the 10 brakes on the truck were defective, making it dangerous to be on the roadway. Records show that the truck driver's license had been suspended twice and that the truck driver had received five driving violations since 2007.

The impact of catastrophic car accident injuries on victims

Catastrophic injuries can result in physical and mental disability, as well as pain, disfigurement or disability. The impact of a catastrophic injury can be lifelong. These injuries can negatively influence a Florida victim's quality of life and earning capacity for years to come. Catastrophic injuries can result following car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of accidents.

Driving while drowsy: The other type of impaired driving

Every year, thousands of motorists are killed in accidents across the country. Many of these accidents are caused by impaired or distracted driving. Most people recognize the dangers of drinking and driving due to government enforcement programs, as well as public awareness campaigns. More recently, awareness of the dangers of texting and using smart phones while driving has been on the rise. However, there is one type of impaired driving that many people have probably participated in that they may not even be aware of, and that is driving while sleep deprived. 

A look at the real problem of drunk driving on Florida streets

Unfortunately, impaired driving is a costly problem. Each year, it leads to injuries, deaths, property damage and arrests. During 2010, an estimated 4 million adults reported driving while impaired, which led to millions of drunk driving-related incidents. Drunk driving-related accidents resulted in nearly 14,000 deaths annually, at an estimated cost to Americans of greater than $37 billion each year.

During 2010, alcohol was involved in nearly 50 percent of pedestrian accidents resulting in fatalities. Alcohol was involved in nearly 40 percent of car accidents that resulted in occupants being killed, and alcohol was involved in nearly 34 percent of bicycle accidents that resulted in death. Many efforts have been made by the states to reduce drunk driving and the impact of drunk driving. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) also makes efforts to ensure public safety on the roadways with impairment screening measures for government employees.

How can auto-pedestrian accident be avoided?

Florida pedestrian safety, unfortunately, can sometimes be a polarizing topic between pro and anti-car groups. It is, however, a legitimate public safety concern that has implications for quality of life as we are all pedestrians at one point or another. A variety of sensible traffic reforms have been suggested throughout the country to help keep pedestrians safe. One way to improve pedestrian safety is by removing the last parking space before an intersection. The practice, referred to as "daylighting," increases visibility for and of pedestrians.

Another suggestion to improve pedestrian safety are curb extensions, which also improve visibility and shorten the amount of road the pedestrian has to cross. The use of medians, to provide a half-way stopping point for pedestrians, can also increase pedestrian safety.

Fiery Florida bus accident injures 25

This blog recently discussed the serious nature of bus accidents and a recent fiery bus accident in north Florida sadly illustrates the dangers of such accidents. The bus accident occurred after the bus failed to yield at a flashing red light controlling the intersection where the accident took place. As a result, the bus collided with a semi-truck and both the bus and semi-truck burst into flames.

In addition to fatalities, 25 victims were injured in the bus accident. Most of the 25 victims are listed in serious or critical condition following the accident. The bus had 34 individuals on board and the semi truck was transporting the driver, who was killed in the accident, and a passenger. Because of their size, accidents involving buses and tractor trailers can be devastating for victims and their families.

Help for victims injured in taxi or bus accidents

Passengers who are injured in bus or taxi accidents may face significant challenges. Buses and taxis fall into a special category of transportation called common carriers. While all drivers are required to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others, common carriers are held to a higher standard. They are also licensed and must follow certain regulations. In Florida, taxis are required to carry higher levels of insurance and are excluded from the no-fault insurance law in Florida.

Victims of taxi and bus accidents may suffer damages including medical bills and medical care costs associated with rehabilitative care, therapy, prescriptions and other medical costs; future medical care costs; lost wages; lost-earning capacity; pain and suffering damages; and travel costs associated with treatment. Furthermore, victims and their family members may face a variety of other unexpected expenses following a taxi or bus accident. Personal injury and wrongful death resources are available to aid victims and their families during a time that is challenging enough without the added physical and financial strains associated with the taxi accident or bus accident.

Ways to help keep pedestrians safe from auto-pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian safety is an important issue in most communities. Increased awareness and caution at intersections and at other areas on roadways may help drivers and pedestrians keep pedestrians more safe. Additional safety measures can be helpful as well. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable group on the roadways and are susceptible to serious injuries if they are hit by a vehicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 24-hour time period, an average of 430 pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to auto-pedestrian accidents. In addition, during 2013, 156,000 pedestrian accident victims received medical treatment in emergency rooms for nonfatal injuries. Because injuries suffered in an auto versus pedestrian accident can be serious, it is important to understand how critical pedestrian safety is and how serious pedestrian accidents can be when they occur.

Big change to Florida slip-and-fall law

Whether you're strolling into KFC or browsing the aisles at Walmart, sustaining a serious and potentially life-altering injury is the last thing you expect. Yet, slip-and-fall injuries are quite common and can lead to medical bills, lost wages and a range of personal difficulties. Unfortunately for Florida residents, a recent statute has shifted the responsibility from business owners to injured parties in slip-and-fall cases.

Tampa Bay suffers a number of accidents during holiday weekend

The recent holiday weekend may have intended fun for everyone but a number of accidents caused injuries and worse for victims in the Tampa Bay area. Over the holiday weekend in the Tampa Bay area, a number of victims were injured in accidents and some accidents were also fatal. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the highest number of motorcycle and car accidents occur over the Fourth of July holiday.

Over the weekend in the Tampa Bay area, a motorcycle accident versus a car left one victim injured and another was killed. In addition, authorities reported that a drunk driver caused a fatal car accident in Tampa Bay over the holiday weekend which sent a family of three over a bridge and into Tampa Bay. A number of other accidents also occurred. According to authorities, alcohol plays a significant role in the number of accidents that take place over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

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