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Tampa Personal Injury Blog

Keyless ignitions killing Florida residents

In Florida - and across the United States - more than two dozen people have died and more have become ill due to carbon dioxide poisoning from vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions. Quieter engines, that run even when the fob is removed from the car, compound the problem. The preventable tragedies that have resulted from the design of these vehicles are the subject of several wrongful death and product liability suits in many jurisdictions.

According to a New York Times report that recently examined several cases, the problem has been particularly prevalent among Florida, which has a large population of elderly drivers who had long-been accustomed to turning and removing a key to turn off their vehicles' engines. The concern over keyless ignitions has grown so strong that a Palm Beach County fire department started distributing carbon monoxide detectors and reminder stickers to be posted in motorists' garages.

Photos of your car accident scene may help you down the road

You have just been involved in a physically painful car accident. You soon realize that the other motorist involved in the collision caused it by being negligent behind the wheel. How, though, can you prove this?

Capturing photographs is an effective way of documenting what happened at a car accident scene in Florida. Here are a few tips for taking the photos you need to preserve evidence following an injury car crash that was not your fault.

Distracted driving continuing peril on Florida roads

April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Florida and across the United States. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, nearly 50,000 car accidents in 2017 involved a driver who was in some way distracted from his or her driving duties. Although a lot of media and legislative attention focuses on the use of the electronic devices or texting while driving, distracted driving is anything that diverts a driver's attention from the safe operation of a vehicle.

What makes distracted driving particularly dangerous is that it can be momentary and is extremely difficult to enforce. Unlike a drunk driver, who may exhibit signs of impairment while driving, a distracted driver may be in full, competent control of a vehicle, then look away for a moment and cause a crash. Often, a distracted driver is not apparent until a traffic accident has already occurred.

Working on behalf of brain injury victims in Florida

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be life-altering - or life-ending. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, you know this. You also know that treatment for a TBI can be a long, and in some cases lifelong, process. Prolonged treatment means mounting medical expenses that become increasingly difficult to cover. However, if you or a loved one suffered a TBI as the result of an accident in Florida, compensation may be available to you.

As the term implies, a TBI results from some form of trauma, like a blow to the head in a car accident, that prevents the brain from functioning as it should. Some TBIs may be unnoticeable. Others can result in death. In fact, almost a third of all deaths caused by injury involve some form of TBI.

Whiplash can easily result from a rear-end collision

On your way to work, you jam to your favorite song and feel pumped for the day ahead. However, all of a sudden, you feel the impact of a car slamming into the back of your car, and you feel pain in your neck area.

Unfortunately, you can easily suffer whiplash in a collision. However, if another motorist's negligence caused your whiplash, it is within your rights to seek to hold this driver accountable.

Drunk drivers are perilous for Tampa-area motorcyclists

Drunk drivers present a danger for motorists in the Tampa area and on the roads and highways throughout Florida. Not only is drunk driving responsible for a large number of car accidents each year, it is also the disproportionate cause of a large number of traffic fatalities. Because those on motorcycles are particularly exposed to road hazards, and are on smaller, lighter vehicles, drunk drivers are especially dangerous to motorcyclists.

This month, a man with prior convictions for driving under the influence crashed into a motorcycle while driving drunk. The driver made a left turn into the motorcycle as the motorcycle entered an intersection. The driver of the car fled the scene on foot before police could arrive. A man and a woman who were riding on the motorcycle were ejected from the bike and landed on the pavement.

Too soon for autonomous vehicles in Florida?

Thanks to legislation championed by Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, autonomous - self-driving - vehicles are legal in Florida. While they may eventually be a boon, particularly for older drivers, several high-profile car accidents have called their safety in question. Although state lawmakers and auto manufacturers are doing what they can to make such vehicles safer for travel on public roads, the types of accidents in which these vehicles have been involved call into question their readiness for public use.

In a 2016 Florida accident, a Tesla sedan in semi-autonomous mode smashed into tractor-trailer that pulled out in front of the car. The car did not recognize the big rig. The driver was killed. This year, in March, a Tesla SUV crashed on a highway near Mountain View, California, also killing its driver. In both cases, the drivers had the ability to react and take control of the cars, but failed to do so.

Wrong-way drivers cause tragedy on Florida roads

Few sights are as frightening on a Florida freeway as a wrong-way driver. Wrong-way drivers on the freeway often end up in high-speed, head-on collisions. These types of car accidents can be difficult to avoid - especially if the wrong-way driver is impaired - and even harder to survive. Tragically, such head-on crashes often result in the wrongful death of motorists or passengers.

Head-on accidents are, unfortunately, also all too commonplace. A recent fiery crash in Broward County clearly illustrated the horrific nature of such collisions. Shortly before 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol began receiving 911 calls about a driver traveling north in the southbound lanes on Interstate 95. Unfortunately, before troopers could respond, the wrong-way driver hit another vehicle head-on.

Do you know what damages are recoverable after a car accident?

Were you a victim in a Florida car accident? Then the impact of your injuries on your life might be significant. Along with medical expenses immediately after the incident, you might need long-term therapy, and your condition could deter you from returning to work. Add to that the fact that you might be unable to carry out regular household and other tasks, and the strain all this could put on your relationship with your spouse.

You likely have questions about the process of pursuing financial recovery through the civil justice system, and the damages you might recover. Did you know that, along with economic losses, you may also seek recovery of emotional damages?

Jotting down notes may help you following a car wreck

Your day is starting out on the right foot: You got eight hours of sleep last night, you have a perfectly brewed coffee in hand, and you are making excellent timing on your commute to work. However, all of a sudden, a negligent driver runs his car directly into yours, leaving you with injuries and a great deal of anxiety.

If someone has injured you in a car wreck in Florida due to negligent driving, you have the right to seek justice. To give yourself the best chance of protecting your best interests, you may want to write down notes as soon as you can, following the accident.

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