Overpass Accident Serves as Reminder to Florida Drivers

overpass-1009382-mIt’s very likely among your worst nightmares – being suspended over the edge of a cliff, looking several stories down to a hard surface beneath, knowing that you are just inches from a very painful fall. That is exactly what a Florida resident recently suffered after a collision on State Road 472 in an overpass accident.

The car was left with one end hanging over the edge of the overpass, suspended there until rescuers pulled it back onto the roadway. The accident, unfortunately, claimed one life and few further details have been released. All that is known for sure is that two cars met in a head-on collision. The impact was enough to launch one of the cars into the air. It landed on the safety rail along the side of the overpass. A few more seconds of air time and it would have made a hard descent onto the pavement below.

Distracted driving has been touched on by many of the largest media outlets in recent years as the danger of texting and driving has become so widely known. However, this accident should serve as an additional reminder. Though the exact cause of the accident is unknown, the fact that the two cars hit head-on suggests that one or the other had swerved into the wrong lane.

It is always important to have one’s full attention on the road to prevent accidentally veering into oncoming traffic. A split second is all that it takes to wind up in a Tampa auto accident, and, ultimately, in front of a personal injury attorney. As this particularly violent incident has taught us, that collision could result in the loss of life. Overpasses and bridges are areas where head-on crashes are even more likely. With little shoulder to rely on, there is nowhere for a car to go should another vehicle swerve into its lane.

Hit and Run: Football Players Earning a Bad Rep in Florida?

football-531240-mLast month, after a win by the Florida State football team, one of the players – starting cornerback, P.J. Williams – was involved in a head-on collision that left his and the other driver’s cars totaled. He did not remain at the scene. Instead, he and two passengers – one of which was a teammate – ran from the site of the accident. It was discovered later that Williams acted with such haste because of his concern over having a suspended license. Some suspect that he was also under the influence of alcohol. It was clear that he didn’t want to be caught driving illegally. Instead, he fled after the accident, leaving the other driver to contend with the wreckage.

The police did catch up with Williams, but somehow managed to sweep the whole thing under the rug. It should have been ruled a criminal offense – hit and run – but, instead, it turned into nothing more than a couple of traffic tickets.

The victim in the crash was 18-year-old Ian Keith who was simply coming home from a shift at a local restaurant. He stuck around at the scene of the accident after the crash and told police who had been behind the wheel of the other car.

Reportedly, Williams did return to the scene, but he was never asked to use the Breathalyzer. The police report stated that Williams was not charged with hit and run because he came back to the site of the accident without being contacted by the police.

It should be clear that if you cause a Tampa auto accident and run from the scene of the accident, even if you should later return to your senses and come back, the police aren’t likely to overlook your poor decision. Williams may be sued by the teen for the cost of repairs. Maybe he won’t. Were these football players considered exempt? If you made the same mistake, you would very likely face much more serious consequences. One of those might be facing a personal injury attorney in the courtroom.

Ebola Patient Passes: Important Reminder Left Behind

a-man-with-mask-1415228-mIt is a sad day as news sources continue to report on the loss of a life from Ebola. In Nebraska, Dr. Martin Salia, who was in Sierra Leone performing surgical duties for the sick and injured, was flown to Nebraska after being diagnosed as an Ebola patient himself.. There was hope that the young man would be saved by leading medical professionals in the United States, which was why the expense was covered for a contained flight to the medical care facility. Unfortunately, news from the bio-containment unit has confirmed that Dr. Salia is the second person in the United States to be claimed by the illness. It was reported that the doctor was in a very bad state when he arrived in the hospital, and despite the very best possible care, he was too weak to fight the awful effects of Ebola.

Dr. Salia was a native of the Sierra Leone region, but had attained U.S. citizenship before going back to the area to help the sick and ailing, where more than 5,000 people have died from the very same illness that claimed his life.

People all over the country are in an uproar about the Ebola virus and there is much debate about whether Ebola patients should, in fact, be brought back to America for treatment. Many fear that this only risks widespread contamination in the states. However, we cannot help but recognize that if we were the ones who were ill, or the loved ones of those who had contracted the illness, we would want to do everything in our power to be saved and/or to ensure the best medical care possible.

Hospitals and medical care facilities do have an ethical obligation to provide protection to the general public, though, and as we have also seen recently, bad decisions on the part of those entities can result in a serious health scare. Anyone who is contaminated as a result of a medical facility’s negligence would have the right to contact a personal injury attorney and to collect damages to cover the costs of medical care. For now, though, we, as a country, mourn a man that did his best to help those in need and paid for it with his life. It truly is a sad day.

Car Crashes and Drowning Statistics in Florida: In The Lead

fiat-500-555545-mThe Orlando Sentinel just ran an interesting, and very depressing, story regarding drowning statistics in Florida associated with auto accidents. This might be the Sunshine State, but there are tragedies on the roadways here just like there are in the colder Empire State. Now, the news from traffic authorities suggests that Florida leads the way in car accidents ending in drowning situations. In fact, this state holds that title very firmly, with statistics far exceeding the next closest state.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the facts and figures on this topic vary quite substantially, but that the various sources agree, without question, that Florida is home to the largest number of such incidents.

According to one report, there were 49 cases of people drowning in their cars over a five-year period. That’s approximately one person per year succumbing to such a fate, and it certainly doesn’t count those who suffered while their cars went down, but were ultimately revived. In another report, which referenced the years of 2004-2007, it was suggested that as many as 57 deaths per year can be blamed on this cause.

Fortunately, Tampa auto accidents aren’t as likely to end in water-related deaths as those in Palm Beach, Orange, Duval, and Collier counties. The reason for Florida having such a large number of car accident drowning cases is in great part due to a large number of roadways with water frontage.

It is important that the state, knowing this, do more to protect drivers and passengers from such fates. More barricades are needed to ensure these numbers go down. The families of victims have the right to consult a personal injury attorney. If enough people stand up against this problem, the state is likely to act faster in adding more protective barriers. Furthermore, those families may be entitled to some compensation if there was no barricade in place to protect their loved ones from entering the water upon losing control of their vehicles.

Dog Attacks: Another Victim of Poor Prevention

royal-dog-1446188-2-mOnce again, the newspapers are filled with stories of a young child brutalized by a pit bull. While some are up in arms against the particular breed, and others are singing the praises of the dogs while condemning the owners, there are the families of these victims of dog attacks to consider. They are forced to contend with both the physical and emotional scars that come with such an incident.

It is very important for owners – regardless of the breed of dog that they have selected – to do their part to keep others safe from dog attacks. To pretend that dogs cannot act out of character after the many, many news stories that have covered situations that suggest otherwise over the past few years is ridiculous. Dogs, whether it is because they are ill, anxious, tormented, or underfed, can act out against humans, even if it goes against their typical nature.

In Palm Beach County, last week, a pit bull broke free from a backyard cage, jumped the fence surrounding the yard, and attacked two young boys. Fortunately, in this instance, the outcome was not fatal, but it did result in the boys needing medical care and now the owner of the animal is going to face serious penalties.

It has been reported that charges will be brought against the dog’s owner for failure to have identification tags on the animal, for failing to have the animal sterilized by the age of 6 months, and for keeping the dog in an overly small cage.

The truth of the matter is that when pets are poorly cared for, they are more likely to act out because they are unhappy and unsettled. There is no legal body that is going to come in and regularly verify that an animal is being properly fed, trained, bathed, and loved.

If you are taking on the responsibility of owning a dog, understand what that means. It requires more than pouring dry food in a bowl. As the owner, you will be held accountable for the actions of your dog. The best way to reduce the risk of any unforeseen, scary incident is to train with your dog.

Did GM Put Drivers in Danger?

right-hand-drive-steering-whee-267179-sThere has been news very recently that suggests the large, well-known car company, General Motors, might have been acting in an immoral fashion when it came to a problem with ignition switches in their fleet. The recall has since been announced, but reportedly, the company ordered the replacement switches two months before alerting consumers to the problem, thereby putting drivers in danger.

The recall was issued in February 2014 and involved more than 2.6 million vehicles driven by unsuspecting people. There was an extension of this recall during the summer months, which meant that another 3.16 million cars were impacted by the faulty part putting yet more drivers in danger. Essentially, when a person carried too many keys on a key ring, the weight was enough to cause the key to turn, thereby turning the ignition off while the vehicle was in use. There were 13 confirmed deaths related to this recall, although some sources report that there are more than 70 fatal cases that could be linked to the faulty ignition switches.

Now there is evidence which suggests that urgent emails were sent by the company, ordering new ignition switches as early as December 2013. People are beginning to ask how many accidents, injuries, and deaths might have been avoided if the company had immediately let drivers know about the potential danger.

One thing is clear: the public was put in grave danger, not just those driving the GM vehicles outfitted with faulty ignition switches, but also others on the road that might have been involved in collisions with the cars that suddenly turned off.

Whenever it is suspected that a faulty component of a car was to blame for a Tampa auto accident, a personal injury attorney should be contacted. There is no reason that a victim (or his or her family) should pay financially for a manufacturing error. It’s bad enough that so many people pay for such mistakes physically.

Hip Replacement Lawsuit Sees Settlement

sterilisation-1385734-mThe courts will not be hearing the large class action lawsuit that was filed against the Stryker Company. This organization is a leader in the field of medical technology. According to the company’s fact sheet, corrective solutions to hip problems account for 14 percent of the business. There is no doubt that there is a significant need for hip replacements, as people continue to live longer than they once did and, as a result, tend to suffer a greater number of joint problems.

That being said, there is a certain level of trust placed in organizations like this. Their devices are fit within human bodies. When they malfunction, or fail to provide the safe stability advertised, people can be put at risk.

That is exactly what happened and in July 2012, the company was forced to issue a recall when it was discovered that hip implants could corrode within the body. This, of course, caused serious medical issues for victims. The metal within the hips was leaching into the blood stream of patients who had received the hips. This led to serious pain, bruising, ears ringing, and slipping of the artificial joints, among other nasty side effects. Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABGII modular systems were injuring the very people they were meant to help.

Now, a settlement has been made, outside the courtroom, which will ensure each of the victims receives compensation to cover the costs of revision surgery. The settlement is thought to be worth a minimum of $1.43 billion. Patients who have not yet had the revision surgery, but who will wind up needing it as a result of hip replacement failure, may still have the right to sue the company.

If you, or a loved one, are suffering because of a hip replacement gone wrong, you have the right to consult a personal injury attorney, who can help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

Ensure Walkways and Stairs Safety on Rental Property

stairs-1445708-3-mUnder Florida state laws, a tenant is entitled to a safe and livable home. That is to say that, regardless of the rent paid, a landlord must abide by certain obligations to ensure that the rental property is safe for normal habitation.

The law protects tenants from serious threats, such as leaking roofs, lack of hot water, rotting floors, or structurally unsound walls. In most cases, the obligations placed on the landlord, upon signing of the lease, are very reasonable. However, they do mandate that the lessor (or a legally assigned representative) regularly inspect the rental property and correct known problems in a timely manner.

According to the laws, landlords must ensure that walls, floors, and stairs are intact. He or she must maintain all common areas, and must ensure that electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and sanitation systems are in working order. These obligations are still in place, even after an eviction notice has been served.

Failing to abide by these requirements can place the landlord in breach of the contract. This could result in the tenant refusing rent payments, leaving the tenancy early, or filing a lawsuit. Multiple lawsuits can be filed if your negligence causes the tenant to suffer serious injury or property loss.

Slips and falls are among the most common types of accidents suffered when renting property. There are actions that can be taken to prevent such incidents and meetings with personal injury attorneys. First and foremost, ensure that stairwells are regularly inspected, maintained, cleaned, and kept dry. Additionally, flooring that has been overly worn should be replaced to prevent a person catching a shoe and falling. Elevators are also big concerns. Elevator failure can lead to very serious harm or even death. If it is suspected that the elevator may not be operating correctly, repairs should be made immediately and caution tape should be put up to prevent further use until repairs are complete.

Keep your property, yourself, and your assets safe by regularly maintaining your rental properties in Florida.

Apartment Building Owners: Bathroom Safety Tips

bathroom-2-1426378-mIt is the obligation of a property owner to do what is in his power, within reason, to protect the tenants residing within his building. If there are architectural defects that increase the risk of a tenant or visitor being injured, the property owner could face a personal injury attorney in court. For that reason, it is wise to have a great deal of forethought as a lessor.

Before leasing a property to another person, or a family, ensure that everything is in proper working order and that any potential hazards are properly dealt with. These efforts, very often, should begin with bathroom safety tips. In particular, there are three areas of the bathroom that can wind up causing you legal issues as a landlord.

1. Mold. This troubling substance does best in warm, damp areas. That means that the bathroom is the perfect breeding ground. Be sure that you have a professional inspection to check for the presence of mold. Any that is discovered should be immediately removed. Mold is very dangerous for those with respiratory issues and, if a tenant should be sick as a result of the mold, you could be facing a bill for the mounting medical costs.

2. Slippery Surfaces. While you certainly can’t prevent a person from the occasional trip and fall, there are actions that can be taken to prevent a lawsuit related to slip and fall accidents. Bathroom floors are commonly wet. Some surfaces are slipperier than others when covered with water. Choose a flooring that is less likely to be slick and line the bottom of the tub with grips that will prevent injury while showering.

3. Bad Plumbing. Leaking pipes are notorious for causing serious structural damage. The constant source of moisture increases the risk of mold and mildew forming behind the walls. It can also cause bad rot that puts tenants (and their possessions) at risk. Be sure that pipes have been inspected before bringing in new lessees.

These bathroom safety tips, as well as many other considerations, need to be attended to before deciding to rent an apartment.

Horse Racing: Another Sport to See Lawsuits

viejo-y-peludo-477851-mJust recently, I wrote about a professional wrestler who had filed a lawsuit against the WWE for failing to properly protect him against serious injury. As well, the NFL has been in the news for some time as lawsuits continue to crop up over and over again about the concussions suffered by past players. Now, it is time for horse racing to see the outcry from participants and fans, after injuries have left people to suffer for year after year.

Work-related injuries are the cause of many personal injury lawsuits every year, but when the job being done is one that receives a lot of publicity, the cases can get a lot of attention – and a lot of scrutiny. However, no one can argue that an injury like that suffered by jockey, Zarella Ore, doesn’t require ongoing medical care.

The rider fell from her mount in June, while on the Calder Race Course, and yet, she still has not recovered from the injuries suffered. During the race, another jockey reportedly knocked into the horse Ore was riding. The other jockey, named Jocelyn Gomez, struck her horse twice with the riding crop. Both hits were taken to the horse’s right flank. Professional riders have weighed in, suggesting that this can cause a horse to veer in the opposite direction. This was exactly what happened and the horse crashed into Ore’s mount.

Ore’s personal injury attorney has stated that there is evidence to suggest that Gomez acted with ill intent and that the race course officials knew that there was the potential for someone to get hurt, but did nothing to prevent it. As such, both have been named as defendants in the impending lawsuit.

It is important to remember that whether you are hurt on the job, slip and fall in a public location, or have suffered a Tampa auto accident, you have the right to seek legal counsel. If someone else’s negligence led to your injuries, you may have the right to collect compensation. Ore, who has been robbed of her passion and is still abed recuperating, may very well win damages from the course and her fellow rider, if both did, in fact, play a part in her fall.