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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Commercial vehicle accidents are a real concern for victims

Commercial vehicle accidents, such as bus accidents, can be devastating for victims and their families. According to the United States Department of Transportation, during 2009, there were 9,000 bus accidents reported; during 2010, there were 12,000 bus accidents reported, and during 2011, there were 13,000 bus accidents reported. During 2009, 20,000 victims were injured in bus crashes, while 27,000 victims were injured in bush crashes during 2010 and 24,000 victims were injured in bush crashes during 2011.

Commercial vehicle accidents, including bus crashes, can be costly physically and financially. During 2009, the costs of commercial vehicle accidents resulting in injury totaled approximately $27 billion; approximately $30 billion in 2010, and approximately $32 billion in 2011. Victims who have been in a bus or commercial vehicle accident may suffer serious injuries requiring expensive medical care and treatment and preventing them from working while they recover.

When is an employer liable for the actions of its employee?

In many circumstances, an employer may be held liable for the negligence of its employee. If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, or similar accident, you may wonder in what circumstances an employer may be liable for the actions of its employee. When an employee has negligently caused harm such as in a commercial vehicle accident, including a taxi accident, van accident or bus accident, depending on the situation, the employer may also be liable for the harm suffered by the victim.

To determine if the employer is likely to be legally responsible for the negligence of its employee, it is necessary to determine the amount of control the employer had over the employee, the activities of the employee at the time the harm was caused and if those activities were work-related. If the actions of the employee at the time of the accident were related to employment, or closely related to employment, the employer may be liable for the harm suffered.

Drunk driver in Tampa critically injures three

A recent drunk driving accident in Tampa left three people critically injured. Authorities reported the accident occurred in the early morning hours and closed one of Tampa's busiest streets. According to authorities, a drunk driver ran a red light and struck two other vehicles. The drivers of the two vehicles that were struck in the drunk driving accident, a 48-year-old man and 64-year-old woman, were in serious condition following the accident. A third victim was in critical condition following the drunk driving accident.

Drunk driving accidents can unexpectedly and, in some circumstances, permanently alter the world of victims and their families. Drunk driving accidents can be significantly damaging for victims who can suffer serious injuries in a drunk driving accident requiring medical care and treatment. Victims may suffer medical expenses, lost earnings while they recover and pain and suffering damages associated with the trauma of the drunk driving accident and its aftermath.

Resources are available for victims of pedestrian accidents

Though there have been advances in safety in recent years, pedestrians remain uniquely vulnerable on roadways and in our communities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, greater than 75,000 victims are injured each year in auto-pedestrian accidents, and there are 5,000 fatal pedestrian accident victims each year. Pedestrians are injured, on average, every 7 minutes in pedestrian accidents.

Serious pedestrian accident injuries are common due to the obvious size disparity between pedestrians and cars and trucks that may strike them in a pedestrian accident. Pedestrian accident victims can suffer catastrophic injuries including crush injuries, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, internal injuries and broken bones.

What protections are available to victims of drunk drivers?

If you or a family member has been injured or otherwise harmed by a drunk driver, you may wonder what legal protections are available to you. A variety of resources are available to any victim of a car accident negligently caused by another driver, including a drunk driver. Legal options can help victims of drunk driving accidents recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages oftentimes suffered in a drunk driving accident.

Millions of American share the roadways every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 2.3 million victims were injured in car accidents during 2012. Drivers are required to act with reasonable care to ensure the safety of others sharing the roadways. When drivers fail to act with reasonable care, they may be considered negligent and held responsible for the harm they cause in a car accident.

How can I recover damages from a negligent driver after a crash?

Although you may think that you will never be in a car accident because you drive responsibly and obey the rules of the road, you have no control over the behavior of other drivers. Whenever you are in a vehicle - either as a driver or as a passenger - you are at risk of being involved in a crash caused by another driver who is intoxicated, distracted, speeding or inexperienced.

Understanding the costs of car accidents

There are many costs associated with car accidents, including the highest cost, which is human life; however, the loss of productivity and the costs associated with medical treatment are significant for surviving victims as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that during 2010, car accidents resulted in $1 trillion in loss of productivity and loss of life which, of course, has an impact on communities and society as a whole. In 2013, there were over 5.5 million car accidents reported to police, and that same year, over 1.5 million resulted in injuries to victims.

In addition, medical expenses reported by victims of car accidents are increasing at a higher rate than inflation. In 2013, for example, the average insurance claim for bodily injury suffered in a car accident was $15,443. An insurance study also reveals that while the costs reported by victims as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident have gone up, the severity of injuries has, overall, has gone down. The costs associated with car accidents are paid primarily by insurance companies who are commonly involved in compensating victims and their families when a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages is made.

Motorcycle riders should be familiar with protections

Due to the nature of motorcycle accidents, they can be devastating for victims. Making matters worse, motorcycle accidents can commonly be the fault of the other driver or passenger vehicle driver, such as in left-hand turn situations. When a vehicle is turning left, because they do not have the right of way, they may in many cases be liable for causing any accident that results. Unfortunately, this circumstance is common related to motorcycles because many passenger vehicle drivers fail to exercise due care to observe motorcycles, failing to see them and then turning in front of them.

In general, the victim of a motorcycle accident may be able to recover damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages, from the inattentive driver responsible for the injuries they have suffered. In some circumstances, liability may be apportioned, which may adjust the amount of damages the victim can recover according for the accident so as to account for the victim's own role in the crash. This so-called "comparative fault" liability is the law in Florida.

Young 8-year old girl struck in Tampa pedestrian accident

An 8-year old girl was recently struck in Tampa while walking to school. According to police, the little girl was struck in the face by a side-view mirror as she stepped of the curb while walking to school. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Following the accident, police noted that it did not seem they would cite the driver and traffic was stopped in both directions while authorities investigated the pedestrian accident.

Pedestrian accidents can be caused by careless drivers and can result in serious and life-altering injuries for victims. Drivers have a duty to drive safely and obey the rules of the road for the protection of pedestrians and others they share the roadway with. In addition, drivers may be held to a higher duty of care when children are involved, especially where children are known to play or congregate. When a driver has negligently harmed a victim in a pedestrian accident, they may be held accountable to victims.

Victims of commercial vehicle accidents are protected

A great amount of trust is placed in the care of bus and taxi cab drivers. Buses and taxis are referred to as common carriers according to the legal protections provided to victims that may be injured in a taxi or bus accident. While all drivers must exercise care on the roadways for the safety of others, buses and taxis are held to a higher standard of care for the safety and protection of individuals they transport as well as others using the roadways.

There are special rules, requirements and laws associated with commercial drivers in Florida. It is important for victims of a taxi accident or bus accident to keep in mind that they may be able to receive compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages suffered in a commercial vehicle accident through the resources and protections provided by the personal injury legal process. Victims may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages depending the specific circumstances of the accident and harm they have suffered.

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