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Category Archives: Personal Injury
Written by: Michaella Radich
On the morning of Tuesday, October 6, 2015, a 17-year-old student of Chamberlin High School, Alexis Miranda, was crossing Busch Boulevard, when she was struck by a car and killed. The incident occurred about two blocks west of North Boulevard. Sadly, this type of fatal accident involving pedestrians is not uncommon in the Tampa area.
After the death of an 8-year-old girl on Busch Boulevard in 2013, Tampa City Council announced that increasing pedestrian safety on Busch was an urgent matter. As part of this effort, the city paid $1 million to fix sidewalks, repaint crosswalks, and add crosswalk countdown signs for pedestrians.
The major problem for pedestrians on Busch Boulevard, is that there are stretches as long as half a mile, without any crosswalks at all. This means many pedestrians try to cross the four- and six-lane road at their own discretion. Busch Boulevard, however, is not the only road where these fatal accidents involving pedestrians occur in Tampa Bay. East Hillsborough Avenue was the scene of crashes killing two 15-year-old pedestrians, one in 2011 and one in 2014.
Being cautious and aware of your surroundings is the best way to stay safe, whether you are walking or driving. For pedestrians, it is crucial to cross in designated crossing areas, because this is where drivers are actively looking and expecting for them to cross. Flashing lights have been added to many crosswalks in the Tampa area to increase driver awareness and pedestrian safety.
As a driver, you not only have to look out for other vehicles, but for pedestrians. While pedestrians should use crosswalks, especially on busy roads with multiple lanes, they often cross in areas that are not designated. For the safety of the pedestrian and driver, drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing the street and veering off sidewalks.
Should you or a loved one be involved in an automobile accident, Blick Law Firm is here to help you. Visit our office or call 888.973.2776 for a free consultation with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!
Written by: Michaella Radich
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. While 20% of car accidents result in death or injury, a whopping 80% of motorcycle accidents result in death or injury. Additionally, motorcyclists are 16 times more likely per mile traveled than vehicle passengers to die in an accident.
What can you do to prevent motorcycle related injury or death?
As a motorcyclist, there are several precautions you can take to protect yourself while on the road:
- Complete a rider education and safety course before operating a motorcycle, so that you have the basic knowledge and skills needed to drive a motorcycle
- Wear a helmet (helmets are 67% effective in preventing serious brain injury)
- Make yourself visible to drivers by always using headlights and brake lights and wearing reflective gear
- Wear thick protective clothing that covers your skin
- Never weave in and out of lanes
- Give yourself and other motorists enough time and space to react
As a driver, a heightened awareness for motorcyclists on the road can be crucial to their safety and your own. The following are some safety precautions to take when sharing the road:
- Leave a full car length and full lane’s width between your vehicle and motorcyclists
- Remember that inclement weather and poor road conditions cause serious threats to motorcyclists’ safety, so their driving patterns may unexpectedly change in these situations
- Always be on the look out for motorcycles, as they are small and difficult to see
- Be aware that from your vehicle it is difficult to judge the needed stopping time and distance for a motorcyclists
- Check your blind spots actively before switching lanes
After a crash, an injured motorcyclists’ life depends on rapid and appropriate emergency medical treatment. Injury severity and timing are critical to the motorcyclist’s survival. If you witness or are involved in an accident involving a motorcycle, dial 911 immediately.
As always, Blick Law Firm has your best interest and personal safety in mind. Should you or a loved one be injured in a auto accident, we are to help. Contact us at (888) 973-2776 to schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!
Sources: nhtsa.gov, msf-usa.org
New Crosswalks near USF will Help to Increase Pedestrian Safety
On Wednesday, September 16, leaders in USF’s Transportation Department teamed up with the Hillsborough County Department of Transportation, to increase pedestrian safety on 50th Street, across from USF’s main campus. The new crosswalks on 50th street use Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) technology to alert drivers to stop for pedestrians.
50th Street, between East Fletcher Avenue and East Fowler Avenue, is a high traffic area for both drivers and pedestrians, especially during the school day and in the evenings. Regular crosswalks, without flashing lights, on 50th Street went unnoticed to many drivers in the past. As a result, in November 2014, a pedestrian and USF student was involved in a near-fatal accident on 50th Street, when she was struck by a moving vehicle. The flashing crosswalks will hopefully prevent accidents involving pedestrians in the future.
The RRFB crosswalks will only be as effective as pedestrians allow them to be. Pedestrians must press a button to activate the flashing that alerts drivers to stop. If pedestrians do not utilize the flashing feature of the new cross walk, or if they cross in undesignated crossing areas, they are exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.
Tampa Police Officers monitored 50th Street on the morning the new crosswalks were activated, giving warnings and tickets to drivers who failed to stop at the blinking crosswalks. Volunteers will be visiting the area over the next month to help educate drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists about the benefits of the new crosswalks and how to use them safely and properly.
Your safety on the road is important to us. Should you or a loved one be involved or injured in a traffic incident, Blick Law Firm is here for you. Blick’s Personal Injury attorneys offer services for victims of automobile and motorcycle accidents. We can help to make sure you get the proper medical assistance, legal counsel, and representation following your involvement in an accident. If you are involved in an accident, visit our website to fill out a personal injury, automobile accident, or motorcycle accident claim, or call our office at 888-973-2776 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys!
Florida senator Maria Sachs, democrat of Delray Beach, and Florida representative Richard Stark, democrat of Weston, filed bills in September and August, respectively, suggesting that fines for texting while driving in school zones should be doubled. Sachs and Stark both filed bills earlier this year that aimed to change texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. These bills, however, died without making it to the floor in either the house or senate.
The current Florida state law on texting and driving says that a driver can only be ticketed for texting while driving if they were pulled over for violating another traffic law. In this case, the driver is fined $30 for their first offense and $60 for their second offense.
Florida is one of only eight states that have no laws specifically restricting texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. In 10 states and Washington D.C., using a cell phone, for any reason, is prohibited for drivers of all ages.
Texting behind the wheel makes a crash up to 23 times more likely. Of drivers ages 18-20 who were involved in auto accidents, 13% say they were talking on the phone or texting when the accident occurred. Of new drivers ages 16-17, 52% admit to talking on the phone while driving and 34% admit to texting while driving.
Young drivers are not the only ones distracted by their phone while behind the wheel. In fact, 27% of adults say that they have texted while driving and 48% of children 12-17 years old have been in the car while the driver was using his or her cell phone.
While the new bills proposed by Sachs and Stark would apply only to school zones, the bill’s passing would be a step in the right direction for Florida’s policy on cell phone use while driving. If you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, contact us at (888) 973-2776 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!
The start of the school year means more school buses, pedestrians, and bike riders, and a general increase in traffic, especially in the early morning and afternoon. We at Blick Law Firm want to provide you with some important safety tips to ensure that you and your child get to and from school as safely as possible.
Riding the school bus is the safest mode of transportation for schoolchildren. Unfortunately most accidents involving school buses occur because children entering, exiting, or waiting on the bus don’t take proper safety precautions. To keep your child safe this school year, remind them to:
- Stay a safe distance of 10 giant steps away from the bus
- Wait for the bus to stop completely before approaching it
- Take notice of the traffic around the bus
- Wait to cross the street until the driver signals you
- Use hand rails when getting on and off the bus
- Keep head, hands, and arms inside the bus at all times
Walking and Biking
Walking and biking are great alternatives to riding the school bus. When proper safety precautions are taken, walking or riding a bike to school encourages students to stay physically active and get outside. To help determine the safest route for you or your child to walk or bike to school, visit saferoutesinfo.org, the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s website. We have also provided some general guidelines for staying safe when walking or riding a bike to school.
- Look both ways for traffic at all driveways and intersections
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible
- Walk facing oncoming traffic when no sidewalk is available
- Ride bike in the bike lane or paved shoulder of the road whenever possible, if neither is available
- Ride bike with the flow of traffic
- Obey traffic signs and signals
- Make eye contact with drives when crossing at crosswalks
- Be mindful of anything on the road or sidewalk that could cause you to swerve or fall
- Watch for turning traffic
- Wear reflective gear
- Do not use cellphone or wear earbuds
The beginning and end of the day can get very hectic in school parking lots. Most schools develop their own systems for parking, picking up, and dropping off. Strictly abide by the school’s procedures to ensure that your child and the other students are safe.
- Don’t stop or park in crosswalks
- Use extra caution in parking lots, school zones, and residential areas
- Drop off and pick up children in the school’s designated area, rather than a less crowded, nearby location
- Do not tailgate school buses
- Stop for all stopped buses
- Do not use cell phone while driving
As always, Blick Law Firm has your best interest and personal safety in mind. Should you or your child be injured this school year, we are to help. Contact us at (888) 973-2776 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!
Wrongful death — I’m sure everyone has heard this term, but what exactly does wrongful death entail, and how do you know if a passing in your family was due to a wrongful death instance? We here at Blick Law firm wish to help clarify what exactly wrongful death means and how to know when it occurs to you or someone you know.
To begin, wrongful death occurs when someone is killed due to the misconduct or negligence of another. The surviving members of the victim’s family are then able to sue for “wrongful death.” Generally, wrongful death lawsuits occur after a criminal trial, and while they use the same evidence, the required standard of proof is much less than a normal case. A lawsuit for wrongful death may only be performed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
However, in order to present a successful wrongful death case, the following requirements are to be considered:
- the death of a human being
- Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;
- Automobile or airplane accident; -
- Caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm; The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death, and;
- The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
- exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;
- Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;
- Criminal behavior
- Death during a supervised activity
As you can tell, it’s not as simple as filing the lawsuit. There are many aspects that come into play when filing a wrongful death claim, but remember that by understanding what wrongful death is you can properly file for it when the time comes. If a loved one passes due to the negligence of another or if you have general questions regarding wrongful death or other personal injury issues give us a call today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free consultation.