Tampa Shootings: The Role of Personal Injury Attorneys

man-shooting-a-gun-1390372-mNo one wants to hear about a person being shot and killed, especially when that shooting takes place in the same city he or she resides in.  Tampa, which is such a wonderful place to live for numerous reasons, has made headlines for that very sad reason once again.

On April 18, the media reported news of a shooting, which ended in loss of life within the city limits of Tampa.  The gun was fired on West Chestnut Avenue and the victim was pronounced dead on the scene.  The suspects had fled, but authorities reported that they had high hopes of catching the perpetrators.

Events like these are scary and they can rob a person of their sense of comfort and peace.  At least there can be some solace drawn from the fact that the police and the court systems are doing what they can to ensure the safety of the public.  While there has been a lot of negative news about law enforcement recently, it is important to remember that there are many good men and women working hard to protect innocent people.

Personal injury attorneys can also be of assistance.  Of course one thinks of criminal law when another person is shot.  While a case like this will undoubtedly be tried in a criminal court, it also has a place in the realm of tort law.  Shootings can fall under the classification of assault and battery.  When a victim is physically harmed, or killed, he cannot go on enjoying life as he otherwise would.  Medical bills and property repairs are often necessary expenses, which can quickly add up, leaving the victim to pay in more than one way.  Fortunately, personal injury law allows these cases to be tried twice – once in criminal court and again in civil court.  That way, the victim can collect monetary compensation to cover the expenses accumulated as a result of the shooting.

Tampa Auto Accident: The Victims Don’t Always Die

Photo by elycefeliz

Photo by elycefeliz

You hear about a fatal car accident, especially one involving a child, and your stomach drops out. There is such a sense of grief when it comes to such accidents that people from all corners of the country can feel it. However, not all of the victims of tragic accidents die. While most would consider that a blessing, there are some who are living to tell another tale.

The truth is that the lasting injuries suffered in some accidents can be nearly as devastating as death itself. People are left in many different states of wellbeing, and while doctors do all that they can to both save lives, and to make victims suffer as little as possible, there are many who continue to live for months, years, or even decades in very poor physical states.

Imagine being involved in a fiery crash, and surviving it. Yet, when you wake up in the hospital bed, it is to the realization that your body is covered in serious burns. Your skin has melted in many places, and there will forever be widespread scarring as a result of the crash. Burn victims can be left with mutilated faces, only partial use of their extremities, and with long lasting pain.

Then, there are those who receive harsh blows to the head or neck in a Tampa auto accident. The force causes irreparable damage to the brain. Being in control of everything the body does, there is no guessing what sort of consequences will be suffered when the brain is damaged. Paralyzing, unexplained pain, inability to speak, walk, write, or process what others are saying. The symptoms could be just about anything. While some traumatic brain injury victims can recover, others never will.

When you get behind the wheel, be conscious of your physical state.   Have you been drinking? Are you overtired? Are you prone to answer text messages or emails while driving? If you aren’t going to be a safe driver, then don’t drive. While the victim of your negligence might live to tell the tale, it won’t necessarily be a happy ending.

Proof: The Second Battle of Fibromyalgia Pain

hangover-1-949776-mAs if it isn’t enough torture to rise every morning in fibromyalgia pain, knowing without a doubt that the discomfort isn’t going to ease completely, but then you have to couple that aggravation with others’ disbelief.

Fibromyalgia pain remains one of the least understood medical conditions, yet it impacts millions of people, making life very difficult and, all too often, far less enjoyable.  Trying to get help when this disease brings you down, though, is a big challenge, because the symptoms are invisible to others.  There is no definitive test to prove that you are suffering from fibromyalgia, and there isn’t a cure either.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is now taking this medical condition more seriously, but they certainly haven’t made it easy for the patient to prove that they are living with chronic pain, fatigue, and a host of other troubling symptoms.  If you are trying to get disability payments because fibromyalgia has made it too difficult to do your job, then you will have to have medical documentation from a professional.  In many cases, the work of a primary care physician won’t be enough.  The SSA likes to see the formal opinion of a rheumatologist.  Furthermore, you must meet their classifications of the disease, suffering from pain in all four quadrants of the body, or have regularly occurring symptoms, such as fibro fog, fatigue, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.  Furthermore, you must prove that you are incapable of earning wages, and that you have been out of work for at least three months.

Many fibromyalgia pain sufferers will be denied by SSA at least once, being forced to reapply.  It is easy to see how the disease, which requires continued medical care, could cause serious financial trouble.  It is wise to speak to a lawyer, especially if the condition resulted from a Tampa auto accident.  A personal injury attorney may be able to assist you in collecting compensation to assist with those financial complications.

Getting the Money You Need after a Tampa Auto Accident

A local medical facility recently made major headlines when it was discovered that they were acting against the law.  Authorities heavily suspected foul play by the clinic for quite some time, and the final legal actions came after two years of investigations.  A raid was executed to capture the parties responsible for a serious case of insurance fraud.  It was discovered that the facility was offering payouts of $2,000 to patients willing to play along with false insurance claims.  The insurance companies were charged upwards of $10,000 per patient, for medical services never rendered.

The problem is that anyone involved in a serious car accident will grasp just how appealing the promise of $2,000 would be.  There are very often medical bills, vehicle repair expenses, the need to replace damaged belongings, as well as lost wages that must be tallied after such an incident.  The total losses are often very substantial, so when offered $2,000 cash, several of the victims just couldn’t turn it down.

Yet, someone has to pay for insurance fraud.  The companies that are forced to pay out thousands upon thousands of dollars toward false claims wind up increasing rates for honest policyholders.  The average Florida resident foots the bill for this foul play.  In order to prevent this from becoming a trend, authorities take action when such a scam is recognized.  More than a dozen people face charges in this case, and there could still be more warrants issued, depending on what is discovered in the clinic’s computer system.

However, when you are in need of cash after a Tampa auto accident, this is not the best route to take to get it.  There are personal injury attorneys who can help you collect financial compensation from the people responsible for the crash.  If the payout from the insurance company is deserved and being denied, then the lawyers can help you obtain it legally.  As we have seen from the coverage of this story of insurance fraud, it simply isn’t worth the risk.

Lane Striping Brightened to Help Prevent Bicycle Accidents

bicycle-crossing-sign-1431139-mIn an article just posted on Wednesday, April 8, 8 wfla.com reveals the City of Tampa’s plans to improve the brightness of bicycle lane striping on Platt Street to help motorists be more aware of the need to watch out for bicyclists and prevent bicycle accidents.

When traffic lanes were reconfigured recently to include not only a bike lane, but a turn lane and parking lane as well, it became the source of some confusion for drivers.  According to the news article, “Tampa police have been handing out 10-15 warnings a day to drivers who violate the bike right of way.”  Actual tickets will begin being served at the end of April and will cost $153 for a violation.  As well as brightening the striping to help motorists, city work crews will also use more green paint in areas that are noted to be “high conflict” and more dangerous than other areas.

Bicyclists and vehicle motorists need to find a way to better share the road.  Another article, also by 8 wfla.com, reported on April 8 that a bicyclist in Clearwater ran into a police car.  According to the report, the police officer had a green light going east on Court Street and the bicyclist had a red light, riding south on Martin Luther King Ave.  The bicyclist, 63-year-old David Robinson, rode into the left front side of the police officer’s unmarked cruiser.  They are investigating whether alcohol played a part in this incident.

The Florida Bicycle Association provides an online overview of Florida Laws for Cyclists.  As stated here, “There is only one road and it is up to bicyclists and motorists to treat each other with care and respect.”  If you have been involved in a Tampa bicycle accident or a Tampa auto accident, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss options for recourse that may be available to you.


Prevent Boating Accidents by Practicing Safety Measures

fishingboats-astern-1437844-mA recent report in My Fox Tampa Bay told about a boat crashing into the Sunset Grille waterfront bar in Ruskin on Tampa Bay in February.  Thankfully, no one inside the building was injured; however, of the seven people onboard the boat, two sustained minor injuries, with one person being transported to the hospital.  That person was apparently trapped in the boat until the bar’s roof could be stabilized enough for the rescue effort.  The boat was a 39-foot SeaVee and some witnesses reported that it appeared to be speeding.  There was also dense fog that is said to have been a contributing factor to the crash.

The boat captain has since been charged with reckless operation, which is a first-degree misdemeanor that, if convicted, could carry a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.  Michael Santiago, driver of the boat, does not own the boat but it appears he has a history of boating infractions.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provides an online list of boating rules and regulations to help keep boaters safe while still enjoying the waters around the state.  In 2013, 67 percent of all the “reportable” boating accidents occurred in 11 counties in Florida: Okaloosa, Duval, Brevard, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Lee, Palm Beach, Broward, Collier, Miami Dade, and Monroe.  Keep boating safety foremost in mind as you plan your vacation outings.

The FWC Division of Law Enforcement, Boating and Waterways Section, provides information in an effort to promote boating safety awareness, thereby trying to avoid boating accidents when at all possible.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators have both approved a boating safety course to enable you to get a Boater Education Identification Card.

If involved in a Tampa boating accident or a Tampa auto accident, contacting a personal injury attorney to help answer any questions is always a good idea.


How Do Red Light Cameras Affect Traffic?

stop---i-see-you-177400-mAccording to Bay News 9 in January 2015, Cocoa Beach is the last city in Brevard County to use red light traffic cameras.  City commissioners debated the merits of continuing to operate the lights, which currently are only in use on Thursday nights.  The contract with American Traffic Solutions expires at the end of April 2015 and a new contract is set to be negotiated.  Do red light traffic cameras promote safety and are they fair?  Could they help you avoid a Tampa auto accident?

The mayor of Cocoa Beach does not think the red light traffic cameras are the best way to introduce the city to visitors.  However, it would cost the City of Cocoa Beach more than $13,000 to remove the cameras and, as well, if the red light traffic cameras were removed, the city would lose an estimated $40,000 in revenue from tickets generated from use of the cameras.

The Sun-Sentinel reported on March 16 of this year that, after a four-year court battle, two traffic judges in Broward County threw out 24,000 pending cases involving tickets brought about by use of the red light cameras.  Each ticket was estimated to have cost drivers about $264, which would have netted the county more than $6.3 million.  The argument that caused these tickets to be thrown out was that American Traffic Solutions, the vendor for the cameras, was located out of state in Arizona, and that’s where the videos were being screened.  Video screening by third parties violates state law.  Now a class action lawsuit is being considered in Miami to reimburse those who previously paid fines during the four years since the program began.  Contact a personal injury attorney if you have been cited for a violation due to a red light traffic camera to see if you might have recourse.

Drivers in several Florida cities have complained that the cameras are unfair.  Due to the number of complaints, Palm Bay decided to end their use of the cameras in 2014 and Melbourne decided against adding them altogether.  Here is a map of the red light cameras in use in South Florida.

Fibromyalgia Sufferers Face Limitations

junk-yard-1-160274-mThough genetics are thought to be big players in the millions of fibromyalgia diagnoses made in this country, there is undoubtedly a connection to traumatic injury as well.  If you are involved in a Tampa auto accident, and suffer serious bodily harm, it could put you at an increased risk of having issues with fibromyalgia in the future.  There is a lot about this condition that is not yet fully understood, but there are a number of symptoms known to be associated with it.  While these symptoms span a wide spectrum, they can combine to really wreak havoc on a the life of fibromyalgia sufferers.

One of the most difficult road blocks that fibromyalgia patients contend with is getting others to believe that there is a real problem at play.  Because fibromyalgia is invisible, and because there is no definitive test for it, many employers and even some medical professionals remain skeptical.

Meanwhile, patients all over the country continue to face very real limitations as a result of their symptoms.  Headaches, pain, fatigue, and even chronic intestinal troubles are associated with the condition.  Sensitivities to light, scents, foods, and even sounds have been reported by patients, which can trigger a flare up of those sources of discomfort.  The result is that many of these people struggle to keep up with their responsibilities in the workplace.  Many are forced to quit their positions or to accept demotions as employers grow frustrated with the increasing number of sick days taken and the faltering of on-the-job performance.

It is important that employers educate themselves and that those receiving the diagnosis research the options available to them.  If the fibromyalgia can be linked to a traumatic injury resulting from another person’s negligence, then it might be possible to collect compensation for medical care and lost wages.  Speak to a personal injury attorney if you suspect that you might have a case.


What Happens After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

brainy-people-1072657-mEvery year, more than 50,000 people die as a result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  While TBIs come in many forms, and in various levels of severity, all should be taken very seriously by doctor, patient, and all others involved.  A TBI can result in permanent disabilities, especially if a patient is not treated properly in the aftermath of the accident.  In fact, more than five million Americans are currently living with symptoms or disabilities associated with former traumatic brain injuries.

Why so many?  A traumatic brain injury can occur as a result of a wide array of incidents. While many will report symptoms of such an injury after a Tampa auto accident, the brain can be bruised or otherwise harmed as a result of slipping down a staircase, as a result of high impact athletics, or, as recently seen in Georgia, because of a fall from bed.

Immediately after an accident, the victim should be carefully monitored.  If he or she lost consciousness, then medical care is obviously necessary.  However, not every traumatic brain injury patient will report blacking out after impact.  It is always recommended that medical care be received after an accident.  In the hours and days following a hard impact, a person should be watched.  Reports of headache, vision troubles, or dizziness should be discussed with his or her physician immediately.  Some symptoms of TBI will not be noted by the victim, but rather by his or her family and friends.  These can include cognitive issues and mood changes.  Any behavioral changes immediately following an accident can be red flags.  Whenever there is any question, it is best to see the doctor right away.  TBIs can be much more devastating if left untreated.

If an accident results in a traumatic brain injury, it is wise to consult a personal injury attorney.  If the incident was caused by another person’s or entity’s negligence, it may be possible to collect compensation to cover the costs for related medical care.

Rape: Who is Responsible?

depression-620325-mThere have been many serious rape cases reaching national news markets in recent years, and while that brings a level of awareness along with it, there is also concern about how those who “cry wolf” can hurt real victims.

Though the worry is justifiable, with the right backing, a rape victim can get the help that she (or he) deserves.  The first question that should be asked isn’t “what happens if they don’t believe me?”  It should be, “who is responsible for what happened?”

While it is clear that the person or people committing this horrific offense against another human should be held accountable, there are often other players in the criminal act as well.

If the rape took place on a college campus, for instance; what level of responsibility does the college carry?  Should the other students, aware of what was happening, pay a price?  Even when an attack happens in one’s own home, there is the potential for other defendants to be named in a personal injury case.  If a security system failed, then the company might be held responsible.  If a foster child was placed in an unsafe home, then social services might be called upon.

An example is being seen in the Tampa news right now.  A parole officer is being fired, and the organization that hired him is in danger of being sued, after it was discovered that the officer was inappropriately touching, and reportedly raped, one of the female parolees. In addition to a recording taken on the woman’s cell phone, there was a condom left on the scene which will serve as evidence.

No one deserves this sort of treatment.  There is no reason to live in fear or shame at the hands of another.  A personal injury attorney can help you hold the right people and organizations accountable for the harm they caused you.  Get help today.