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Tampa Personal Injury Blog

Federal rest rules limit time truckers can stay on road

As this blog has mentioned previously, a fatigued truck driver or, for that matter, any commercial driver can cause a great deal of destruction. Even if a driver does not outright fall asleep behind the wheel, a driver who is too tired can easily drift in and out of his lane, make explained stops and, basically, exhibit a lot of the same behavior one would expect from a driver who is drunk or drugged.

In order to cut down on dangerous fatigued driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, has put forward rules that limit the number of hours a trucker can drive before taking a lengthy break, that is, one that would be the equivalent of a worker's clocking out for the day and going home to rest.

What is the strict liability standard?

Many people may have heard something about strict liability when they've watched or read the news. However, they may not understand exactly what this legal doctrine entails. In fact, it is a development in the law that can be tremendously helpful to Tampa-area victims of dangerous or defective products.

The idea behind strict liability is to protect victims from having to go through the difficult process of proving that the manufacturer or distributer of the product was careless. Unlike things like car accidents, proving the manufacturer of a product careless can be quite difficult since it would entail having to dig through the company's procedures, engineering plans and the like.

Progressive damage after a brain injury

If you are noticing negative changes in your loved one's behavior lately, it may be easy to shrug it off as stress, a passing illness or a stage of life. There are rare people who do not have periods of depression or disagreeableness, so why should you worry about your family member's mood?

However, if your loved one has a history of head injuries, you may have cause for concern. Even if he or she never suffered a concussion, blows to the head can result in serious damage to the brain that may not become evident until some years later. One of the most terrifying conditions that results from multiple head injuries is chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Survey says Florida roads among least safe in the U.S.

When compared to other states, Florida's roads are apparently quite dangerous for those who travel on or near them. According to the website WalletHub, which recently conducted a survey of the "Safest States in the U.S.," Florida had scores near the bottom in all of the factors that the survey weighed when ranking states for the overall safety of their citizens. When all categories were considered, Florida came in 46th overall - only Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi ranked lower.

The five categories that the survey used to assign safety scores to the states were emergency preparedness, personal safety, workplace safety, financial safety and road safety. Each category was assigned a different weight, with personal and residential safety scores factoring the heaviest into the overall score. Road safety accounted for 15 percent of a state's overall safety score in the survey.

Your car accident injuries can impact the rest of your life

Florida readers who are victims of serious car accidents understand first hand how difficult and painful the aftermath can be. From emotional trauma to physical pain, the impact of an accident can reverberate for months, years or even for the rest of your life. Victims of car accidents caused by negligent or reckless drivers have the right to pursue appropriate support for a full and fair recovery.

Car accident injuries can range in type and severity, but regardless of your specific injury, you could have a rightful claim to pursue compensation through a civil claim. Even seemingly minor injuries can have a long-term impact on your life and cause you to endure pain and suffering for years to come.

Survey says Florida roads among least safe in the U.S.

When compared to other states, Florida's roads are apparently quite dangerous for those who travel on or near them. According to the website WalletHub, which recently conducted a survey of the "Safest States in the U.S.," Florida had scores near the bottom in all of the factors that the survey weighed when ranking states for the overall safety of their citizens. When all categories were considered, Florida came in 46th overall - only Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi ranked lower.

The five categories that the survey used to assign safety scores to the states were emergency preparedness, personal safety, workplace safety, financial safety and road safety. Each category was assigned a different weight, with personal and residential safety scores factoring the heaviest into the overall score. Road safety accounted for 15 percent of a state's overall safety score in the survey.

Legal reckoning for self-driving vehicle makers

In recent years, as the technology has advanced out of labs and onto the roads, a series of accidents across the nation - including a fatal crash in Florida - has brought the manufacturers of self-driving cars under considerable scrutiny from both regulators and consumers. The industry is now starting to see the legal fallout from rolling out technology that may not have been road-ready. As the first law suits regarding such car accidents are being resolved, it's clear that crashes involving self-driving cars are not your more typical accident cases.

In March, a woman walking her bicycle across a street was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle. Uber settled out of court with the victim's family within days of the accident. This month, another settlement was reached between a motorcyclist and General Motors. The motorcyclist filed suit after a San Francisco collision involving a GM Cruise in self-driving mode.

Is eating while driving as dangerous as texting while driving?

Most Florida drivers have probably been through a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant at some point. Despite the convenience of being able to eat on the go, there are actually significant safety issues associated with trying to eat while operating a vehicle.

You may associate the term distracted driving with texting, making phone calls or even using social media while driving, but there are other types of distraction that can be just as dangerous. For many drivers, eating while driving is distracting, and therefore, it greatly increases the chance of a car accident. Even something as simple as taking a sip of a drink or a bite of a sandwich can have detrimental consequences.

Commercial trucks pose problems for Florida motorists

In Florida, trucks and other commercial vehicles are often subject to greater regulation than personal or noncommercial vehicles. Because of their potential for use in interstate commerce, trucks and truck drivers may be subject to federal regulations and laws as well as state laws. This means that when a truck accident that involves a commercial vehicle takes place, there can be many complex issues to sort out.

For example, if a truck that is subject to both state and federal regulation is involved in an accident in the Tampa area, the crash could fall under the jurisdiction of either a federal investigative agency, like the National Transportation Safety Board, a state agency, such as the Florida Highway Patrol, or local law enforcement authorities. In some cases, all of those agencies may have jurisdiction over investigating the same crash and pinpointing a cause. Usually, however, there is interagency cooperation over the investigation of such crashes.

Motorcycle safety important year-round in Florida

In Florida - and across the United States - May was Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. However, in a place like the Sunshine State, where motorcyclists can ride year-round, motorcycle safety needs to be a priority during every month of the year. This is of particular importance in Florida, which leads the nation in fatal motorcycle accidents.

A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that in 2016, 574 people died in motorcycle accidents on the roads of Florida. In that year, California was the only other state with more than 500 motorcycle fatalities. Preliminary estimates indicate that in 2017, at least 504 motorcyclists were killed in Florida. Although the numbers are lower than the previous year, Florida once again had more motorcycle fatalities than any other state in the country.

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