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Florida Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

The impact of a truck accident highlights need for counsel

With Interstate 75 passing through the west side of town, Gainesville sees countless trucks, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. With a major interstate so close, it's not unusual to see or hear of a commercial trucking accident causing injuries or even death nearby.

Many accident victims may not realize they may be entitled to certain damages if a truck crash was caused by another's negligence or recklessness. For instance, if a truck driver was texting while driving and caused a wreck, or if a truck company told its employees to skirt various trucking regulations, an accident victim may be entitled to be made whole again via the civil courts. By pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death suit against a negligent driver or employer, a victim can start to combat the damaging impact of a truck accident.

Florida-based rebar company faces fines

Working on a construction site carries with it a certain amount of risk, but most of the time those tasked with maintaining site safety perform their job duties fully and competently. Still, at times job site accidents and injuries happen in construction zones in Florida and across the nation. Unfortunately, these types of situations can lead to severe injury or even death for workers.

Recently, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a Florida-based company for a construction site accident that took place last fall. The incident involved a rebar form collapsing at a bridge construction site on Interstate 91 in September of 2014. The accident resulted in four workers suffering injuries and having to receive treatment at a hospital. One of the workers was seriously injured as the rebar cage gave way, but all four individuals have since recovered. The injuries included broken bones, contusions and internal injuries.

Are the occurrences of car accidents decreasing?

While on the road, the last thing Floridian want is an auto accident. It seems as if the causes of a car accident have been increasing in the last few decades. In addition to not following traffic regulations and drunk driving, drowsy driving and distracted driving have been added to the common causes of a car accident. Despite the added causes, both state officials and the federal government are putting a lot of effort into curbing accidents. The latest statistics may indicate that their efforts are bearing fruit.

What are the latest car accident statistics? According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, auto accident injuries decreased nationally by 2.5 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year. Despite the decrease, the figure represents more than 2.3 million accident injuries. The statistics for fatal car accidents are more recent. According to the NHTSA's fatality estimate for the first quarter of 2014, around 6,800 died in auto accidents, a 4.9 percent decrease from last year's more than 7,000 fatalities. The figures seem to follow a trend that shows auto accident fatalities declining over the last decade.

Driver faces charges for fatal bike accident in Florida

In addition to a helmet, elbow or knee pads and the clothes on their back, bicyclists have little protection when it comes to accidents. For this reason, bicyclists often sustain serious injuries after being involved in an accident. Other riders even lose their lives. This was the case in a hit-and-run bike accident that occurred in Florida last February. Fortunately, the driver responsible for the accident was finally arrested and charged.

The 32-year-old bicyclist, who was on his way home from work, was traveling north of Reynolds Road when he was rear ended by the pickup truck. The bicyclist was found in a ditch, 100 feet away from the accident scene, where he died. The driver of the vehicle did not stop his pickup truck after he hit the bicyclist. Witness accounts pointed to a 46-year-old man from Highland City as the driver of the pickup truck. When police found the man and his vehicle, the headlight and hood of the truck had been replaced. The man claimed that he had the parts replaced after hitting a deer.

What roles do insurers, providers play in workers' compensation?

When it comes to workers' compensation, attention is usually placed on the employer and the injured worker. Although both are important, two entities with important roles often get lost in the shuffle -- insurers and health providers. A Florida worker injured on the job or sustains an occupational illness or disease should be familiar with the roles of health providers and insurers in order to know the appropriate action to take when filing a workers' compensation claim or when problems with the claim arises.

What is the role of a healthcare provider? A healthcare provider is a skilled and recognized physician that will determine the medical condition of an employee who has filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits. A provider can also refer to a medical facility. The provider is responsible giving the worker the necessary treatment in order to promote better recovery. Workers do not need to pay the provider for medical services. The insurer will be responsible for covering the expenses on behalf of the worker.

Caring legal assistance for drunk driving accident victims

Drunk driving remains a perennial problem in Florida. The state, which consistently ranks fourth in terms of the number of auto accidents incurred yearly, does have specific laws in place to prevent and address drunk driving accidents. However, there are times when these policies are insufficient and additional action may be necessary. This is where our Gainesville-based law firm comes in.

Our law firm has a distinctive reputation of providing caring and client-centered, quality legal service while also being as aggressive as necessary. Our experienced lawyers include a Florida Board-certified Civil Trial Law specialist have helped countless victims of drunk driving accidents seek justice and the appropriate compensation. We have a long list of successful cases. These kinds of accidents can cause serious injuries like neck, spine and brain injuries. Besides the physical struggles, they can also incur financial injuries from medical expenses and lost wages.

How and why does distracted driving lead to auto accidents?

With the popularity of cellphones and then smartphones over the last decade, distracted driving has become a problem around the country, including Florida. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1,100 people are injured and more than nine people are killed every day in motor vehicle accidents that are directly caused by distracted driving.

How can distracted driving lead to an auto accident? Distracted driving increases the likelihood of accidents because it involves three separate tasks. First, a driver must take the person's eyes off road to text or read. Second, a driver often must let go of the steering wheel to type or use a cellphone or smartphone keyboard. Third, a driver mentally disengages from the act of driving to talk or type. Any one of these activities increases the chance an accident. Altogether, they practically invite trouble.

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