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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

How much liability insurance must a bus company carry?

The owners and drivers of busses and other large commercial vehicles that transport passengers locally in Tampa, through Florida and to other states all take on a huge responsibility. After all, as with other forms of mass transportation, the passengers of these busses have to trust that their driver will get them to their destination safely.

Sadly, this trust is often misplaced as a serious bus crash lands several passengers in the hospital or needing other medical attention. In other cases, it is the people who share the road with these large vehicles who wind up getting hurt by a careless or even just inattentive bus driver.

The basics of uninsured motorists coverage in Florida

Someone who is willing to drive on the streets of the Tampa area while they are intoxicated is probably willing to be irresponsible in other areas of their life as well. This is why many a drunk driving accident in Florida presents a special problem for victims, as the negligent driver may have not purchased liability insurance even though Florida law requires them to do so.

In other cases, they may not have purchased nearly enough insurance to compensate victims for the serious accident that will inevitably happen at some point if they choose to drive drunk. Moreover, these drivers in many cases do not have any means to pay compensation to their victims out of their own pockets.

What is comparative fault and how does it work?

Like many other states, Florida has abandoned the traditional rule of "contributory negligence" in favor of a system based on comparative negligence. Traditionally, if a Hillsborough, Florida, resident got in to an accident and was responsible for it, even only to a slight degree, then he or she could not sue for compensation from the other party and be left on his or her own to cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

Comparative fault, on the other hand, allows a victim to sue for damages from a negligent driver even if he or she is partially responsible for the accident. However, the victim will not get compensation for his or her share of the fault. This means he or she may have to pay some of his or her own bills, but only proportion to his or her responsibility as determined by a judge or jury.

Injured in a pedestrian accident? We may be able to help

With its sunny skies and warm weather for most if not all of the year, the Tampa area is a great place for people to walk or ride a bike. Of course, these pedestrians and bicyclists have to be mindful that they are often sharing the road with motor vehicles, and the drivers of these other vehicles need to look out for them.

Unfortunately, drivers can make a number of mistakes behind the wheel that can result in a serious or catastrophic injury for a pedestrian. Indeed, if one averages out recent statistics we can expect a pedestrian to die in a car accident every two hours of the day. A pedestrian suffers a significant injury in an accident approximately every seven minutes.

Another motorcyclist dies in the Tampa area

In what seems like a déjà vu of an incident that this blog reported on a few weeks ago, another young motorcyclist, this one a male in his mid-20s, has died following an accident on the Tampa roads. Like the previous accident that was reported, the first reports suggest this accident was preventable with a little care on the part of the other driver who was supposed to be watching for motorcyclists.

A further investigation would probably have to be conducted before the family of the motorcyclist could file suit, but the police suggest the crash involved a failure to yield on the part of the driver of an Econoline van, a full size van that is much larger than a motorcycle.

What are the signs of truck driver fatigue?

A previous post on this blog talked about how, for truckers and other commercial vehicle firms that are subject to them, federal regulations attempt to prevent driver fatigue among commercial operators by imposing specific requirements on how long a driver can be on the road before stopping to take an extended rest.

Unfortunately, too many trucking companies create a culture in which these rules are winked at or even outright ignored, as the big push in those businesses is greater profit by making more and faster deliveries, even at the expense of the public's safety. Moreover, the rules cannot stop all driver fatigue.

Plan to drive in Florida? Be aware of high risk drivers!

There's no such thing as a car-accident-free state. It's also true, however, that motor vehicle collisions appear to be more problematic in some states than others. For example, do you know there are certain drivers in Florida that some consider as high risks for accident claims?

If you research the details of high-risk drivers, the information you gather may help you avoid problems on the road. An important issue to pay attention to is what effect, if any, a particular driver's attitude and actions may have on other vehicles in the vicinity.

The federal Hours of Service rules protect Floridians

Those who live in the Tampa area probably recognize to some degree the inherent dangers of a bus driver or truck driver trying to operate their large vehicles on little or poor quality sleep. After all, in the most serious cases, a driver who is too fatigued to be operating a vehicle may exhibit same symptoms as would a drunk driver or a driver who is on drugs.

For these and other reasons, the federal government has promulgated a series of regulations specifying exactly how much time commercial vehicle drivers need to rest after being on the road. Not every trucker on Florida's highways are subject to these regulations, and, even for those who are subject to them, they cannot prevent every instance of driver fatigue. Still, they promote highway safety by requiring drivers to take break every so often that are long enough for the driver to get some rest.

Getting help following a drunk driving accident

Statistically, most car accidents are caused by drunk driving, speeding or other careless or otherwise inattentive driver behavior. As a result, most accidents are preventable but, unfortunately, many drivers continue to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, causing accident. The legal process provides options and resources to victims to help hold negligent and careless drivers, such as drunk drivers, accountable and help victims recover compensation for the damages they have suffered in a drunk driving accident or other car, truck or motorcycle accident.

Victims of drunk driving accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries and be unexpectedly thrown into significant life changes as a result. Victims may find themselves facing mounting medical bills and inability to work because of their accident. A personal injury claim for damages can help victims with medical expenses and lost wages, as victims may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages. Additional damages may also be available depending on the circumstances.

Motorcycle rider killed in fatal Florida motorcycle accident

In Florida, motorcyclists can be traveling on the roadways essentially year-round. Even though motorists are accustomed to sharing the road with these small vehicles, this does not always mean that they cautiously take note of them. Whether it is due to distractions or negligence, a motorcycle crash could be the result of a driver failing to uphold their duty to drive safe. Nonetheless, the legal process provides remedies for motorcycle accident victims and their families.

According to recent reports, a motorcycle rider killed in fatal motorcycle accident in a Florida community is being remembered following her death. The 25-year old victim was killed when a 52-year old driver made a sudden left turn in front her motorcycle, striking and killing her. The victim was thrown from her motorcycle as a result of the collision. The driver said he never saw the motorcycle before striking it. The driver was not arrested and police did not comment on what charges the driver may face.

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