Potential Homicide in Tampa

surveillance-camera-5-1153866-mThere is scary news out of Tampa this morning.  For those of us who consider the city our backyard, the thought that a homicide occurring within its borders is downright frightening.

According to the most recent reports (as this is written), police responded to a 911 call in the early hours of the day.  Before 4:00 AM, they arrived at the scene on Ravenwood Lane.  There, they found the body of a deceased male.  The details are not being released just yet, but authorities did suggest that it is a case of possible homicide in Tampa.

The unfortunate truth is that, regardless of how safe our surroundings might feel, there is always the risk of crime taking place.  When people are pushed to mental and emotional extremes, they can strike out at others without warning.  This much we have clearly seen in recent years, as many lives have been taken at the hands of upset individuals.

This was a small home, in a residential neighborhood, which makes the story even harder to digest.  Surely, there will be much more about the homicide case as the day moves on, but this should also be a reminder that it is wise to consider the security of your own home.  How easy do you make it for a mentally unstable person to enter your home?  Locking doors and windows, of course, is recommended, but authorities also suggest home security systems.  Though they are not entirely foolproof, they are highly reliable.  A sign in the front yard announcing that such a system is in place can be enough to deter a burglar or a potential killer.

If such a system fails, you also have the right to contact a personal injury attorney and to file a claim against the company.  At least this can help you collect the monetary compensation needed to cover property repair and medical bills.

We wish the friends and family of this Tampa victim the very best.  For all residents of this great city, we hope there are answers for the many questions still being asked about the case as quickly as possible.  In the meantime, we urge you to consider your own safety for today and for the future.


Fibromyalgia and the Brain

headache-1413980-mFor some Tampa auto accident victims, the pain doesn’t come to an end in the weeks, months, or even years after the crash.  Medical bills and the cost of alternative treatments quickly escalate as these individuals seek relief.  A growing percentage of these victims are being diagnosed with a condition called fibromyalgia.  As more is learned about this condition, there is a greater public awareness.  Yet, there is still a negative stigma related to the ailment.

Scientists and medical researchers continue to work toward a fuller understanding of what causes the chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms commonly attributed to fibromyalgia.

There is evidence that the condition impacts not one but several areas of the brain – the thalamus, the basal ganglia, the premotor cortex, the motor cortex, and the prefrontal cortex, among others.  Now, there is reason to believe that the hippocampus is also negatively impacted by the disease.  This area of the brain does not control pain, but could be allowing the abnormal pain signals to reach the regulatory areas of the brain.  Furthermore, previous studies have shown that patients with severe or chronic depression have atrophy of the hippocampus region.  Thus, it would make sense that fibromyalgia patients would also complain about symptoms of depression.

It is not thought that this damage to the hippocampus is the cause of fibromyalgia, but rather an effect of the condition, and just one more thing that plagues those individuals suffering from the disease.

When this condition is a result of a car accident, which was the fault of another driver or some vehicle malfunction, it may be possible to receive compensation for ongoing medical care.  It is certainly worth speaking to a personal injury attorney about the facts of your case.  Fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition that can cause many changes to a person’s lifestyle and a long list of financial responsibilities.


Will 911 Response Teams Reach You In Time?

emergency-worker-233478-mThere was a story run by national news sources this week which has many people very concerned.  We do, after all, put a lot of faith in the ability of emergency rescue services to be able to reach us after a Tampa auto accident or other serious event.  However, there is new evidence which suggests that this isn’t always the case with 911 response times.

The problem?  The dispatchers who answer 911 phone calls are not always provided an accurate location for the caller.  If the caller cannot provide that information, it can take much more time than the victim has to spare for rescuers to arrive on the scene.  Despite what many believe, given the amazing technology available on smartphones and GPS-enabled devices, 911 dispatchers rely on relatively outdated systems in order to locate the callers.  The cell phones that these callers use do not immediately send this information; it must be requested by the 911 computers.  Even then, all too often, the information isn’t sent on time.  The call can go silent before the transmission is received, for instance.  Or, as in a recent case in the news, a reporting communications tower may not be the correct one to enable responders to locate the victim quickly.

New regulations have been mandated which will force cell phone carriers to increase the percentage of calls that accurately send location information to dispatchers.  The hope is to reach an 80 percent mark in about five years.  At the moment, many areas see a third of all callers left waiting while 911 services scramble to try to determine from where the call was placed.  Just imagine what would happen to the person rapidly losing blood after a car accident, or a heart attack victim, who doesn’t receive help for 20 minutes or more.

While the people working for these emergency call centers and as part of the rescue team are doing their best, people all too often suffer even more severe consequences, or even death, as a result of the poor location services.  If you are among them, speak to a personal injury attorney.  It may be possible to collect compensation for any financial losses associated with such a tragedy.


Wrong Way Crash! Common Errors Risk Lives In Tampa

wrong-way-sign-232552-mNews from last week reported that there were multiple new cases of drivers turning down wrong way lanes in their attempt to get to their intended destinations.  In many cases, these one-way roads are listed as such because they are too narrow to allow traffic traveling in both directions or because they lead to one-way highways. This situation can result in a wrong way crash.

The danger of a serious Tampa auto accident as a result of these wrong turns is obvious, and one 18-year-old just this week learned that lesson.  Fortunately, he was able to walk away from his accident, but it is safe to assume that he will carefully regard Wrong Way signs in the future.

The 18-year-old was from Largo and had travelled a short distance, in the wrong direction, on the expressway before realizing what he had done.  In an effort to get out of the way of oncoming traffic, the teen turned onto the median, but failed to come to a stop quickly enough.  His car was sent careening beyond the overpass before landing nose down.

Police reported that the teen driver, who likely did substantial damage to his Town and Country minivan, was taken to a local medical facility with minor injuries.

It is a bit ironic that this news comes on the heels of after news of two wrong-way drivers being arrested. The men in the other cases, were no longer teenagers, and both were arrested for being intoxicated behind the wheel.  One of them blew a 0.139 BAC on the breathalyzer, and the other refused roadside sobriety testing.

Drunk driving is always dangerous, but when it leads to drivers turning onto one-way streets, travelling in the wrong direction, lives are seriously at stake.  Even sober drivers, as was the case with the teen, can make the mistake.  It is so important to acknowledge street signs.

When such signs are illegible or missing, accident victims do have the right to contact a personal injury attorney and to seek compensation for their losses.


Will Hockey be the Next Sport to see Lawsuits?

canuck-hockey-484611-mThere has been a lot of talk about this sport since the recent onslaught of football-related lawsuits has popped up.  There was good cause for many of these former athletes to take to the courtroom, as they continue to face the long term effects of repeated concussions and evidence is unearthed that makes it clear those making the decisions for the safety of the players were biased.

Since the outrage around the game of football reached its peak, there have also been claims filed for similar reasons, which are related to participation in the WWF. The sport of wrestling has been popularized on television, and there is no secret that most of these fights are staged.  Nevertheless, accidents happen and situations were not always as safe as they could have been.  As a result, athletes were seriously injured, often suffering life-altering concussions of their own.

Now, people are looking closely at the sport of ice hockey.  Another high impact sport, this is one that has seen much advancement in athletic gear over the years (just think, players once took to the ice without helmets or mouth guards!).  However, there are still major areas of weakness, which was seen in a recent accident right here in Tampa.  When Lightening player, Victor Hedman sent a slap shot flying, it caught the hand of opponent, Kevin Bieksa.  The pain was immediately evident, as the player rushed off the ice and to the locker room.  News reports quickly followed that the player would need reconstructive surgery and would miss at least six weeks of ice time and right on the tail of those reports was talk of a trade.  While the Canucks say that won’t be happening, there is, of course, fear that Bieksa’s play will be seriously impacted, even once he returns.

These injuries, often preventable with the right equipment, alter the lives of these young athletes, and that is what prompts the lawsuits.  These players miss out on the wages that they would have earned otherwise and suddenly find a need to completely alter their career paths, if they are fortunate enough to be in proper physical shape to continue working at all.


Dog Whisperer Going to Court after Pit Bull Attack

happy-lab-1445423-mThe Dog Whisperer is well known after television programming made the career choice a highly profitable one.  The individuals who share his talents, capable of a better understanding of dogs’ mentality, have enjoyed a certain level of fame since the show broadcast their profession before a large audience.

The man known as the Dog Whisperer, and featured on the hit television program, though, is now facing a serious lawsuit.  The claim, filed in Florida, was begun by a nurse named Alison Britney.  She claims that Millan – the Dog Whisperer – is to blame for the dog attack that left her hand in a permanent state of numbness and immobility.

A pit bull was brought to Millan’s Santa Clarity Valley training facility after it viciously attacked a trainer in 2013.  The woman suffered a 20-minute brutal attack, during which time the dog latched onto her breast, let go, and then took hold of her arm.  She was treated by a local medical facility where she underwent serious reconstructive surgery.  The dog was supposed to be put down, but, instead, it was brought to Millan’s facility.  It was later released by the facility, despite claims by some that it wasn’t yet ready to be placed in an average home.

Not long after, Alison Britney was visiting the new home of the pit bull when it demonstrated aggressive behavior.  It attacked her, tearing her open in several locations and causing serious nerve and tissue damage around her left hand.  She was left with open wounds, muscle damage, and broken tendons.  The dog was ruled a serious threat and it was decided by the courts that the animal would be put down.

Now, Britney is armed with a personal injury attorney and seeking financial compensation for the harm that she suffered, as well as punitive damages from the television personality and owner of the facility.  More of this story is available on the SCV News website.  There is an important message here, though, that all dog owners should be aware of.  A dog that has attacked before is more likely to cause harm to someone again.  It is essential that a rehabilitation program be fully completed before such any type of dog is released back into a person’s home.  It is not specific to a pit bull attack; dogs of any breed with previously known behavior issues should be watched.

Teens Taking Excessive Risk in Search of Fun

street-waving-1044591-mThe headlines of newspapers on the day after Super Bowl Sunday were disappointing to a large number of football fans, but it wasn’t only lovers of the game who shuttered at what they read.  On the same day that millions were tuning in to watch the big game, a young boy decided that he was going to have some fun on his skateboard.  He took hold of the back of a car, thinking he would gain a little speed, and taking that excessive risk is when the other dreaded headlines started to take form.

Just 15 years old, the Florida resident was trying to be towed behind the passenger vehicle, but when the car started to gain speed, he let go.  With the wrong footing, he wasn’t able to manage the speed.  The skateboard tilted forward, the teen lost his balance, and over he went.  The resulting hit to the head, without a helmet to protect it, was fatal.

This was an athletic kid.  He was a typical teen, who had been inspired by the raging popularity of dance on television.  He’d been practicing hip hop, jazz, and other forms of dance for years and had a strong sense of balance and rhythm.  He was in great physical shape and had completed many difficult skateboard tricks that very same day.  His parents were stunned, suggesting that he was too intelligent to make such a crazy mistake.  However, it is important to remember that smart or not, 15-year-olds often feel invincible.  They do not recognize risk in the same way that an adult would and the results of their adventurous nature can be devastating.

Worse yet, those danger-filled decisions can leave others at risk.  No one else was hurt in this case, but had a Tampa auto accident occurred as a result of this child’s choice, the parents could have found themselves in court.  There is already such devastation to be faced in such a situation, and yet, it could have been worse.  It is very important as a parent to talk with your children about how their choices can impact the lives of others, and to hug them tightly, for one never knows when an accident might happen.

Fibromyalgia in the Courtroom

woman-at-the-hospital-133320-mFibromyalgia is a relatively new diagnosis that is still greatly misunderstood, even within the medical community.  Though there are a growing number of people suffering with symptoms blamed on the disease, there is only a basic understanding of what causes the widespread pain and fatigue to descend on its victims.  Furthermore, even the testing methods are not foolproof.  As such, the condition garnered a bad reputation as those who don’t fully grasp its severity ridicule sufferers, calling them “lazy” or accusing them of being “fakers.”

This sort of discrimination has caused fibromyalgia to become a hot topic in many courtrooms, and on various levels.  A person being diagnosed with the condition after a severe car accident can find herself/himself taking on two lawsuits at once in an effort to regain control of their financial wellbeing.

First, the individual will seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney.  A Tampa auto accident, which can wrench the neck and back, is just the type of traumatic injury that can lead to nerve abnormalities associated with a fibromyalgia diagnosis.  Just that one event can be enough to laden a person with a lifetime of pain and desperate fatigue.  The person or entity responsible for the accident can be brought to court, and the judge or jury will often award the victim compensation for his or her financial losses related to the accident and the subsequent diagnosis.

The second courtroom experience isn’t always necessary but has become quite common.  More and more people are being forced to take their employers to court after being mistreated as a result of a fibromyalgia diagnosis.  Many employers have come to hold grudges against those claiming that they have received the diagnosis.  Again, it comes down to misunderstanding within both the medical community and the general public.  Fibromyalgia is often ruled a form of disability, but employers will mistreat the employees and deny any attempts to fight for the right to receive disability compensation.  It is always wise, when forced into a battle like this, to seek legal assistance.

Birth Defects: Are Some Doctors Taking Unnecessary Risks?

2-days-old-baby-1149585-mThere has been a lot of talk in recent years about the medical community’s mass prescribing of pain killers.  The opioid pain killers, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, have earned a bad reputation as large numbers of American patients are landing themselves in addiction clinics after using and abusing prescription medications.  The pain meds have become “go to” treatments for many ailments that are not easily understood by doctors and physicians. With increasingly large percentages of the public reporting symptoms of misunderstood conditions, such as fibromyalgia, doctors and their patients are relying too heavily on prescription pain killers.

Now, there is a new segment of the population suffering as a result of this prescription addiction epidemic – babies.

In recent news, it is being reported that more and more pregnant patients are being prescribed these opioids, despite the fact that they are known to cause birth defects.  Including symptoms of withdrawal, many of the newborns are entering the world with serious defects to the brain, spinal cord, or heart, as a result of the mother’s regular use of pain killers.  Those born to mothers using the opioids in the first trimester were twice as likely to have neural tube defects, many of which can result in still births or in the child’s  death shortly after delivery.

While chronic or severe pain will generally require treatment, a doctor must be careful to consider the best option to mother and child. There is a responsibility on the part of the physician to protect the patient, but also the child growing within her.

If your physician prescribed medications during your pregnancy, which led to your child being born with serious birth defects, you do have the right to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney.  You may be able to collect compensation to cover the expenses tied to medical care for your child.

Personal Injury Cases After Shootings

worldnews-1058437-mAll over Florida, people are carefully watching the news, as they mourn the loss of innocent lives.  A shooter opened fire in a Tampa apartment complex overnight, which led to the death of one man.  At the same time, reporters are covering the story of a shooting in New Port Richey, which resulted in multiple deaths.  Personal injury cases can also result when trying to recoup financial losses due to such tragedies.

These news reports, and others like them, have become all too common in recent years.  People of all ages – including small, innocent children – have been involved in the terrifying scenarios.  Severe injuries and many losses of life have been left in the wake of the men who open fire for unknown reasons.

When taking out life insurance policies – or considering doing so – most people are not thinking about a scenario involving a gunman.  These victims, claimed early in their lives, often leave behind families, who were counting on their ability to continue earning an income, caring for household responsibilities, and providing love.  Those losses are felt on multiple levels.

The shooters, when they are not killed themselves in the chaos, are brought to court on criminal charges, as the nation looks on.  However, there are often secondary court cases carried out in civil courts when these incidents occur.  Shooting another person is a form of assault.  It causes permanent harm – either bodily, financially, or both – for the victims and their families.  As such, they have the right to seek legal representation and to take these cases before judge and jury, in order to collect compensation for their losses.

Unfortunately, we must consider these things in this day and age.  It is important to know what your rights are when you are the victim of a violent crime.  People injured, and the families of those killed, are often in need of great compensation in order to make up for lost wages, medical bills, and ongoing care.