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Florida Personal Injury Law Blog

Multiple pedestrian fatalities on Gainesville's Waldo Road

For residents of the Gainesville area, certain roads are known to be more congested than others. However, certain stretches of local roadways may also be more dangerous. So far this year, there have been several victims of car accidents struck by vehicles on Waldo Road. Most recently, a 42-year-old woman was killed while she was crossing Waldo and 16th Avenue in a wheelchair.

The deadly auto accident happened earlier this month on a Friday night, when a Chevy Monte Carlo passing through an intersection struck two pedestrians -- the woman in the wheelchair and the 40-year-old man pushing her at the time. While the man was severely injured, a spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) noted that he was expected to survive.

Was a truck company responsible for your Florida truck accident?

Being the victim of a semi truck crash can throw a Floridian's life into extreme turmoil. Typically, a trucking accident victim will face mountains of medical bills, physical pain, emotional trauma, potential long-term disability and the inability to work, either temporarily or indefinitely. In such situations, victims understandably want to know how they can hold a negligent party accountable and obtain compensation for damages.

A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit will make accountability and compensation possible. However, the legal complexities involved highlight the benefits of a truck accident attorney. Many times, victims will assume the individual truck driver is the only party that is liable for an accident. In many cases, this is indeed the case, such as a texting driver who violates company policy and the law by texting behind the wheel. Nonetheless, trucking company liability may also be an issue in an accident.

Tips for bicycling safely in Florida

With March 2015 serving as Florida Bike Month, it is a good time for Gainesville residents to become better-acquainted with bicycling and its benefits. Riding a bicycle is a relatively inexpensive means of transportation, and it also provides valuable exercise for the bicyclist. Bicycling is also a great way to spend time with family and friends. In the Sunshine State, bicyclists get the added benefit of being able to cycle year-round.

According to the Florida Bicycling Association, there are several tips available to cyclists to help make their experience safe and enjoyable. Interestingly, one of the tips is that adult bicyclists should ride in the road, rather than on the sidewalks. While some may think sidewalks are suitable for cycling, it actually increases congestion on the sidewalks and leads to conflicts when turning and crossing. There also tend to be more obstacles on sidewalks, which can pose a danger for those on bicycles.

What does Florida's "no fault" law mean for accident victims?

Being struck and injured by a drunk driver is one of the worst things a Gainesville resident may ever go through. From the physical trauma and pain of injuries to the financial fallout from a wreck, the damages can be extensive. Typically, victims of car accidents would sue the negligent or reckless drivers who injured them in DUI accidents. However, in Florida, the state's "no fault" law alters this course of action for many victims.

In Florida, a person's ability to successfully sue another driver depends on the extent of the plaintiff's injuries as well as the insurance coverage of each driver. Florida is a "no fault" state, which means that each motorist is covered by his or her own auto insurance. A driver, then, often cannot sue another driver when an accident occurs. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. One prominent exception is when injuries stem directly from the crash - particularly, significant injuries that bring forth the likelihood of pain and suffering in the future.

Florida business owner to be prosecuted in workers' comp case

Purchasing workers' compensation insurance is a requirement for many Florida employers. Without the proper insurance, an employer could face serious repercussions if a workplace accident occurs. With the proper coverage, though, both the employer, as well as the work accident victim, are covered in the event of an on-the-job accident.

Last September in Florida, a fatal workplace accident occurred and claimed the lives of two workers. The incident happened when two employees were gravely injured after their ladder came into contact with a power line. The accident happened in a condominium complex, showing that workplace accidents do not always take place in factories or on construction sites. Following the accident, it was revealed that the company employing the two deceased men did not have workers' compensation insurance.

Experienced Florida advocates ready to fight for injured drivers

At some point in their lives, almost every Gainesville driver will be involved in some sort of car accident. In the more fortunate cases, the incident will be a fender-bender that does not produce serious injury. In other instances, though, an auto collision will lead to more tragic results. In the blink of an eye, a driver, passenger or pedestrian can be left with serious injuries, including brain injury, damage to the neck or spine, broken bones in vulnerable parts of the body and even catastrophic injuries that require lifelong rehabilitation.

After an accident, those injured by negligent or reckless drivers must cope with an array of damages. Typically, they are in physical pain while also experiencing emotional frustration and confusion. Injured accident victims are likely to have to miss work as they obtain medical treatment and recover from their injuries. Some victims may not even be able to return to the same type of work they had done before, especially if it is a physical job that requires strength and mobility. Overall, the aftermath of an injury-producing wreck can be a debilitating combination of physical and mental distress.

Florida employers and the state workers' compensation requirement

When a Gainesville resident is injured on the job, a flurry of questions usually arise. One of the most common questions a worker is likely to have is whether or not their workplace has workers' compensation coverage. Workers' compensation benefits help a worker pay for medical expenses and lost wages if they are hurt in a workplace injury accident. In some tragic cases, death benefits may also be provided if a worker was killed in an on-the-job accident. In any case, it is crucial that employers comply with the law so that their workers and their families are protected.

In the state of Florida, several different types of common employers must carry workers' compensation insurance. The first category encompasses a huge number of employers in the Sunshine State: employers in a non-construction industry with four or more employees, including both part-time and full-time workers, must carry workers' comp coverage. In the construction industry, simply having at least one employee means the employer must carry workers' compensation insurance. This is true even if the employer is also the sole employee.

What is Florida doing to prevent bike accidents?

With its year-round mild weather, it is no surprise that countless pedestrians and bicyclists share Florida's roadways with other vehicles. College towns, like Gainesville, are home to many residents who choose to get around quickly and economically via foot or bike. With such a strong presence of various pedestrians in the state, it is no surprise that Florida sees a concerning number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents every year. Many of these are hit-and-runs, where the driver flees the crash site. What is the state doing to penalize hit-and-run drivers?

First, it is important to realize the extent of the problem. In Florida, a quarter of all accidents are hit-and-runs. From 2013 to 2014, hit-and-runs jumped over 20 percent. Moreover, of all the hit-and-run deaths in 2014, almost fifty percent involved pedestrians. Unfortunately, the Sunshine State is not the safest place to be a pedestrian, but the state is trying to change that.

Fiery wreck on Florida turnpike caught on video

Many residents of Gainesville utilize the Florida turnpike to travel elsewhere in the state, particularly if they are heading south to Orlando or beyond. Traveling the turnpike is usually uneventful, but occasionally drivers' high rates of speed cause crashes to be much worse than they would be at a lower speed. Nowadays, technology has enabled those on the highways to record negligent or reckless drivers on the turnpike and elsewhere.

On Feb. 13, a frightening turnpike accident was caught on video thanks to a concerned passenger in another car. The auto accident involved a 34-year-old female driver whose car was swerving. The passenger started recording her erratic driving while his driver honked his horn to try and get the woman's attention. After recording the woman for about 10 minutes, the passenger contacted the Florida Highway Patrol. He began recording her again, and his camera caught the woman's car veering off the side of the turnpike and striking a truck parked on the shoulder. Fire immediately engulfed the truck, and fortunately the entire scene was recorded.

Florida encourages safe, defensive driving

Gainesville is home to countless college students, many of them only a few years past having obtained their first driver's license. When a young driver gets behind the wheel, their parents and driving instructors often encourage them to "drive defensively" in order to avoid a car accident. Still, what does defensive driving mean?

Defensive driving can encompass a variety of tactics, maneuvers and habits. According to the 2014 Florida driver's handbook, one simple way to define defensive driving is doing all that one can to avoid an auto accident. One important component of defensive driving is a sort of compromise on the part of the driver. For instance, if an afternoon thunderstorm is making roads slippery, driving under the posted speed limit is a form of defensive driving. Another crucial element of defensive driving is anticipating possible hazards. If one is driving down a suburban street and children are playing near the road, a defensive driver will expect the possibility of a child running into the street. Consequently, a safe driver will adjust their speed accordingly and be on the lookout for little ones.

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