Car Accidents

Four Dangerous Myths about Personal Injury Claims that You Shouldn’t Believe

Category: Car Accidents |

Being involved in a serious accident is an extremely unsettling, stressful experience that can leave injury victims at a loss when it comes to deciding what to do next. It doesn’t help that there are very misleading myths in our culture about personal injury claims that lead to hesitation when it comes to reaching out for help. That’s one of the reasons that we believe that it’s so important that victims in our area speak to us when they’ve been hurt. If you’ve been hurt due to somebody else’s mistakes, don’t let stigmas and myths like these keep you from standing up for your rights. We’ve represented over 20,000 injury victims since we opened our doors 30 years ago, and our team can help you understand your options with a free consultation. Myth 1: “I will need to go to court for compensation if I pursue an injury claim.” Many injury victims assume that they’ll need to go to court if a lawyer is involved in their claim. In reality, most personal injury claims do not require litigation, in part because negligent parties usually prefer to settle claims quickly and quietly rather than facing the harsher costs and penalties associated with a court case. Myth 2: “If I decide to pursue a claim, I have plenty of time to speak with a personal injury attorney.” It’s important not to put off consulting with an injury lawyer near you after you have been hurt in an accident. There are statutes of limitations on personal injury claims that limit how much time you have to pursue compensation. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible also may make it easier to gather and retain evidence and other information pertinent to your case. Myth 3: “I don’t need to speak with an injury lawyer because I wasn’t that badly hurt.” It is common for some accident victims to postpone filing an injury claim when they only experience a few bumps and bruises immediately after an accident. Unfortunately, some of the most serious internal injuries take time to present themselves and result in significant hardships down the road. If you’ve been in an accident, you may also deserve compensation for other losses such as property damage, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Myth 4: “There is something frivolous about filing a personal injury claim after an accident.” There is a stigma against personal injury lawsuits that is sometimes reflected in our culture that makes some victims hesitate to stand up for their rights. The truth is that the vast majority of injury claims are filed by people who have been seriously hurt by someone else’s negligence. Don’t let unfair and incorrect messages from the media keep you from coming forward. The injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has been fighting for the rights of injury victims in Tampa, Clearwater and the surrounding area for more than 30 years. If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt, don’t let the myths surrounding personal injury claims stand in your way. Call us today for free consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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Tire Safety

Category: Car Accidents |

Whether you’re about to embark on an epic road trip or just do a weekly run to the grocery store, tire safety is imperative to your well-being. Tires are an often-overlooked part of the vehicle, and also often aren’t inspected or maintained as well as they should be. A flat tire can cause huge hassle on the side of the road; a tire blowout can cause life-threatening car accidents. Ensuring your vehicle is in a safe condition to operate in is essential to road safety. The accident attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are there for you if you have been injured due to the neglect or fault of another – call 800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation today. There are several aspects of tires that should be inspected and maintained, especially before long road trips. This step-by-step guide makes tire inspection less overwhelming. Your tires are your first defense on the roadway, and they should be treated as such. 1. Note your tire’s type and size. Different vehicles require different sizes and types of tires. You should familiarize yourself with the requirements of your make and model. Be sure that the tires you have adhere to the specifications of your vehicle. You should also double check that your spare tire is the correct size and type for your vehicle model. To find the correct tire type, look at the manufacturer specifications in the owner’s manual of your vehicle. 2. Check your tire pressure. When you check your tire pressure, always do so when the tires are cold. This means the vehicle should have been parked for at least an hour. When you drive the car, the tires warm up, which will give you an inaccurate pressure reading. Checking your tire pressure is essential because loss of air pressure isn’t always visible. A tire can lose up to fifty percent of the air pressure without visually appearing flat. If your tires are under-inflated, they can overheat, which poses serious dangers for vehicle passengers. The owner’s manual for your vehicle should tell you your ideal tire pressure. Make sure you check the owner’s manual rather than the tire sidewall. The sidewall tells you the maximum pressure for a tire, not the ideal pressure for your vehicle. Tire pressure should be checked with a gauge once monthly. 3. Test your tread. Tires are designed with grooves in the tread which push water from underneath the tire and allow maximum traction. When the tread on your tires becomes worn, your grip on the road lessens in the same way worn sneakers lose traction when you walk. Driving with inadequate tread is unsafe because it increases the chances of hydroplaning, skidding, and serious car accidents. Tires even have legal depths specified for their treads. They’re manufactured with wear indicators. When your tire’s traction is so worn down that it’s level with the wear indicator, the tire needs replacing. If you’re not sure about your treadwear indicators, you can also do a penny test. Turn a penny upside down and press it into your tire’s tread. If all of Abraham Lincoln’s head is still visible, your tires need replacing. 4. Rotate and align your tires. Your owner’s manual will have specific requirements for tire rotation. The general rule of thumb is to rotate your tires once for every five thousand miles driven. By rotating your tires, you allow the tread to wear evenly, which saves you time and energy by prolonging your tire’s lifespan. When rotating the tires, you should consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle’s specific rotation pattern. 5. Check for damage. Every week, you should do a quick check for tire damage. Take a look at the following areas: Check the overall surface for cracks, cuts, or bulges Inspect your tire sidewalls along the treads Use a flashlight to look behind the tire as well as in front of it 6. Pay attention to your vehicle’s capacity. Weight limits and recommended weights exist for a reason. If you overload your vehicle, you put undue amounts of strain and pressure on the tires. This causes them to wear more quickly and increases your chances of a blowout. When you’re loading your vehicle, keep in mind that passenger weight counts toward the overall recommended weight. If you’re going on a road trip and your luggage overloads the vehicle’s weight limit, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Mail some of your items to your destination or leave them behind rather than risking your safety in an overloaded vehicle. 7. Check the spare tire. Every month, you should take a look at your spare tire. In addition to ensuring it’s the right size and type of tire, you need to be sure it is in good quality condition. Tires can lose their air pressure even when they aren’t being used, so check the air pressure of your spare when you check the air pressure of your regular tires. 8. Pay attention to your tire age. After a certain point, it doesn’t matter how well the tire has been maintained. If your tires are more than six years old, you should replace them. Old tires are not safe to drive with regardless of whether they pass tread and pressure tests. These eight aspects of tire safety are easy to maintain and inspect regardless of your proficiency with motor vehicles. Just be sure to keep your owner’s manual on hand, since every vehicle has different safety specifications regarding its tires. The following is an easy timeline of tire maintenance: Weekly: Check your tires for damage Use a flashlight to check behind the tires for damage Glance at the tread walls to be sure they are not torn Monthly: Use a pressure gauge to check your tire’s air pressure Check the spare tire’s air pressure Do the “penny test” on your tread Every 5,000 miles: Rotate your tires Replace tires if the tread is worn down Every six years: Replace your full tire set if it has...

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Car Wreck Lawyer – What to look for when hiring one

Category: Car Accidents |

Getting into an auto accident is often a very traumatic experience, but, once things calm down, you realize there are things you need to do to react to that situation. Of course, your primary concern is to seek out medical attention for yourself and anyone who was with you. Next, you may need to hire an attorney, but, with so many options, how do you choose the right lawyer to handle your case? The car wreck lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation if you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligence of another. Call 800-538-4878, we are available 24/7 When and Why to Hire an Attorney Unless your accident was a minor incident that only ended up causing a few dents and nothing more than some bruises in the way of injuries, you’ll likely need expert legal representation. FindLaw points out that it often takes an experienced personal injury attorney to haggle with insurance adjusters and to pursue adequate compensation. Often, the adjuster will be eager to save the insurance company as much money as possible, which means they’ll offer a settlement far below that which you will need to pay for your medical bills, property damages, and loss of work. Additionally, you deserve compensation for the pain and suffering the accident caused, which may not even be considered in an initial settlement offer. Suppose your injuries will take months to heal and require extensive physical therapy. A settlement should also pay for that, as well. Only a lawyer experienced in dealing with auto accidents will have the experience the will to negotiate a fair settlement for you. In the event the insurance company isn’t willing to negotiate, you’ll already have an attorney with knowledge about your case to handle a potential civil suit, as well. This is why it’s important to hire a lawyer as early in the process as possible. They will be better prepared to represent you at trial and he’ll be on hand to make sure you’re not pressured into accepting an unfair or unreasonable settlement offer. Things to Consider in Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney Free Consultations – As Avvo points out, your initial consultation with any personal injury lawyer is always free. This gives the lawyer a chance to assess your case and determine if he can help. It also gives you the chance to get to know the attorney and discover if you feel he’s the right person to represent you. Experience – Hiring an experienced injury lawyer is important for a number of reasons. To begin, this doesn’t just mean someone generally experienced with litigation, though that is important. You’ll want an attorney who has successfully represented plaintiffs in auto accident cases, specifically. This is because an experienced auto accident lawyer is familiar with the insurance companies and may be better able to negotiate a good settlement for you through his familiarity with insurance company representatives and court officials. Some Cases Don’t Go to Court – If an attorney is focused on a trial, you might want to look elsewhere. Since the lawyer’s first responsibility is to serve your best interests, he should first be inclined to attempt to negotiate a settlement. A good attorney will at least try to settle out of court. Sometimes, insurance companies are willing to settle, because they know a civil trial will be much more costly. Lawyer’s Fees – Before you hire an attorney, you should fully understand his or her fees. The lawyer works on a contingency basis, which helps clients who may not have the money up front to pay for a lawyer. Instead, the attorney gets a contingency or a percentage of the settlement or judgment in your case. It’s important to understand what this percentage will be in advance and to find out if the contingency covers all costs associated with the case. Be Wary of Guarantees – No lawyer can guarantee you a specific settlement, so, if you’re in contact with a lawyer that does offer such promises, run the other way. There’s no way to know how a case will go, so a lawyer promising a high settlement is likely just trying to get your business. A reputable attorney may give you his opinion about what your case will be worth, but he’ll also explain that other variables may affect the outcome of your case. There Are No Quick Fixes – Most auto accident cases take time, even if the case doesn’t go to court. First, your lawyer will have to investigate the facts of the accident and interview witnesses, just as the insurance adjuster will be doing. Additionally, negotiating with an insurance company will likely be a long process in itself. If an agreement can’t be reached, it will be necessary to file the civil complaint and request a court date, which can take up some time. In the end, you’ll have to trust your own judgment in choosing an attorney to handle your auto accident case. By considering these points and asking your attorney plenty of questions, you can get a better idea about his or her qualifications and experience. The car wreck lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation if you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligence of another. Call 800-538-4878, we are available 24/7

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Elements Of A Mechanical Failure Accident (auto)

Category: Car Accidents |

Car accidents kill 37,000 Americans every year. It’s especially tragic when the accident is a result of a manufacturing error. The tragedy could mean that you have a claim against the car manufacturer because they have a responsibility to create a reasonably safe product. It’s important to know how to identify when a car accident happens as the result of a manufacturing error. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the result of the negligence of another or due to a product defect, contact the Tampa Injury Lawyers at Abrahamson and Uiterwyk for a free case evaluation today – call +1-800-538-4878, we are available 24/7. What are the types of defects? There are three types of manufacturer errors: Design Defect A design defect occurs when something about the car is flawed from the time you got it. This was not a mistake but a poor design decision. Manufacturing Defect A manufacturing defect is when a part of the car fails to work as usual unexpectedly. It could have worked normally at first. This is not how the product was designed- it was an error during manufacturing that goes against the design. Warning Defect Car companies have a responsibility to inform consumers of any dangers that they discover. Withholding this information is dangerous, and it is considered a warning defect. What are the most common automobile manufacturing errors? The top five manufacturing errors in vehicles are: Tires Blown and worn out tires account for 35% of accidents that result from the car failing. It’s important to check your tires regularly and change them as needed. Depending on the age of the tires, this could happen because the driver was negligent or because the tires were bad. Brakes Brakes allow your car to stop. Without proper brakes, you will likely not be able to stop until the car stops on its own or crashes into something. Unfortunately, the results can be tragic. Change your brakes pads and get your brakes inspected regularly. Suspension While difficult to prove, poor suspension can make it difficult to control your vehicle in the case of an emergency. Lights You obviously need to be able to see on the road. If your lights go out, you will not be able to see other cars and other objects in the road that would cause an accident. Change your lights as soon as you notice that it’s out. This will also prevent you from getting a ticket. Windshield Wipers Similar to your lights, your windshield wipers help you see clearly. Unfortunately, when they break, you could be left in a situation where you can’t see because of snow or rain. Keep extra windshield wiper fluid to keep them working their best and fix them as soon as you notice a problem. Who’s responsible for a manufacturing error? Fault is entirely based on your personal case. Did you recently get your brake pads changed and experienced brake failure? This could be the result of negligence on the part of the shop that changed your brake pads. Did your tire blow on a brand new car? That could be the fault of the manufacturer. If you’ve failed to perform the necessary maintenance on your vehicle, it could be your fault. There are two types of fault: negligence and strict liability. Strict liability does not require proof of negligence like a negligence claim would, so it can be easier to claim for some situations. When a manufacturer is found liable for a manufacturing defect, they are generally found liable without fault. Manufacturers go through a large amount of quality control before releasing a product. Unfortunately, not every single object will be perfect. The lack of fault allows the process to go more quickly, and it allows the court to demonstrate an understanding of the manufacturing process. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the result of the negligence of another or due to a product defect, contact the Tampa Injury Lawyers at Abrahamson and Uiterwyk for a free case evaluation today – call +1-800-538-4878, we are available 24/7.

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Head-On Car Crashes Can Cause Lifetime Pain

Category: Car Accidents |

More than 37,400 people lose their lives in car crashes in the United States each year. In Florida, 395,000 crashes result in 254,155 injuries and 3,176 fatalities each year. High-speed head-on collisions account for 10 percent of car crash fatalities. Even minor to moderate collisions can cause injuries, some of which result in long-term chronic pain. The cost for all crash deaths, injuries, and property damage in 2016 was estimated at $432.5 billion. Florida leads the nation in all three reporting categories of fatal crash rate, most crashes, and most fatalities. US-1 in Florida has been the most fatal highway in the nation for the last ten years with 1,011 crashes and 1,079 fatalities just on this stretch of highway. Crashes, where speed is a factor, have increased 4.0 percent and alcohol and drug-related causes increased 1.7 percent, however, speed, though deadly, is not the leading cause of head-on collisions. Here are the most common reasons for head-on collisions according to the latest research: Distracted Driving Driving While Fatigued Driving Under the Influence Speed Wrong Way Driving Weather Roadway Obstruction or Damage The majority of fatal head-on crashes are not related to loss of control on turns or curves but while driving straight. Drivers involved in head-on collisions were driving straight 91 percent of the time compared to not being able to negotiate a turn or curve 23 percent of the time. This was true on both rural and urban roadways. 165 fatalities occurred on the 132 mile stretch of Interstate 4 in Florida, connecting the cities of Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach. This stretch of highway was named the deadliest road in the nation. Other dangerous Florida roads which made the list are I-92 in Four Corners and I-95 in Miami connecting to Jacksonville. The high fatality rate for a moving head-on collision is a result of the extreme violence and force on the body due to the sudden impact. When two objects are moving at roughly the same speed and collide, there is no room for absorption of the impact, it is the same as hitting a brick wall at high speed; neither objects can be moved from their line of travel which would lessen the force of impact. If a moving vehicle hit a parked car, for instance, the parked car would move, absorbing the impact force of the crash. What Happens To The Body In A Head-On Crash? The faster the speed your vehicle is traveling the more likelihood of severe or fatal injuries. Bodies are not made for severe impact trauma and although our bodies are tough enough to sustain injuries and heal, the more violence involved in an impact the greater risk of disabling injury or death. Here are just some of the ways our bodies react to a head-on collision or other major car accident: Your Internal Organs Keep TravelingYour internal organs will hit against your chest wall cavity and your skeleton. You have stopped on impact but your organs haven’t. They can become bruised, punctured or ruptured. Your Spinal Cord And Ribs Might SnapBecause the force of a head-on collision is extremely violent, your spinal column may be compressed, crushed, broken or severed. Your Brain Slams Against Your SkullOur brains are not meant to be violently shaken or hammered. When your body stops moving in a crash, your brain will move from side to side and front to back inside your skull, causing it to hit against the skull. This can bruise, puncture or sever the stem. Your head will also hit the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield or side windows of the car as well as the back of your headrest, possibly more than once. Our Florida brain injury attorneys are here to help. Your Bones Might BreakAs your body is battered with extreme force against the front, back and sides of all the hard objects in the car, you can experience the breaking of your ribs, feet, arms and, back. Even in low impact car accidents, people have sustained broken bones due to the sudden snapping motions when colliding. You Can Receive Lacerations Or Deep WoundsYou can be cut by the force of your seatbelt trying to keep your body from leaving through the windshield, and the force of your airbag against your face will feel like a brick wall. Whatever is in the car will continue to keep moving, just like you, and can cut or puncture your skin, reaching vital organs. The glass from the windshield bursting may also cause lacerations. There are so many ways our bodies can be injured. Depending on the speed, and other factors involved, they can bounce back or be impaired for the remainder of our lives. Can You Prevent Car Crashes? Whether it is a head-on collision or a rollover or side-impact crash, the ways to avoid them all are the same. The following are just a few tips that help remind us to stay vigilant and safe on the road, not only by driving safer ourselves but staying aware of other drivers who may appear reckless or aggressive: Don’t Become Distracted In The CarThe car is really for driving us from point a to point b. Avoid texting or other phone use in the car while driving, as well as eating, putting on make-up, changing radio dials frequently which take your eyes off the road. Watch Your SpeedStay with the flow of traffic or at the speed limit. Slow drivers also cause accidents. Change your driving with the weather, and remember that when it’s raining or there is snow and ice, response times decrease significantly. Do Not Drive TiredDriving while fatigued is a major cause of head-on and other type crashes. If you fall asleep at the wheel and come awake to find yourself drifting, you can overcorrect and place yourself into oncoming traffic. If you’re tired enough to sleep, pull over or don’t make that trip until you’ve had enough rest. Pay Attention To Road SignsSuddenly discovering that you needed the exit ramp you just passed or that you are...

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Side Impact Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

A side impact car accident in Tampa can be very serious. The side of a car doesn’t offer the same protection that a vehicle has in the front and the back. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side-impact crashes cause approximately 25 percent of all traffic accident deaths. When you’re hurt in a side-impact car accident, it’s important to understand the implications of the crash. If you or a loved one has suffered in a side-impact car accident, due to the negligence of another, please call our car accident attorneys at 800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation, with no obligation. How do side-impact car accidents occur? Side impact car accidents can occur when a driver fails to yield the right of way. When a driver tries to make a right or left turn when they’re at a red light, an oncoming driver can hit the vehicle that’s improperly traveling through the intersection. In addition, when a driver has a yellow light but fails to yield to oncoming traffic, a side-impact crash can occur. On the other hand, when a driver with a green light begins to turn and an oncoming driver runs a red light, that can also cause a side-impact crash. In addition, when a driver tries to change lanes where there isn’t room to safely execute the lane change, this can also cause a side-impact crash. Furthermore, reckless and careless driving may result in a crash with side damage. How do you prove fault for a side impact accident? A side-impact crash doesn’t necessarily tell the story of who’s at fault for the crash. For example, consider when a crash occurs at an intersection. The crash may be the fault of the person who tries to execute a turn when they don’t have the right of way. On the other hand, the crash may result because the driver traveling straight fails to stop at a red light. Because the damage to the vehicles doesn’t necessarily answer the question of how the accident occurred and who violated a traffic law, it may be important to carefully build your case. Witness testimony may be very important. It may help to gather names of witnesses at the scene. If you’re physically incapacitated at the scene, you can ask for a copy of the crash report from the Florida Highway Patrol. The report may have a list of witnesses. When you build the evidence in your case, it’s important to keep the Florida Evidence Code in mind. According to the Florida Evidence Code, you can admit all evidence that’s relevant unless a rule prohibits it. However, there are special rules for what witnesses can talk about and how to admit pieces of evidence. When you build your case, it’s important that you consider the rules for formally admitting the evidence in court. Can I recover from the responsible party? When you have permanent injuries, you can recover from the other driver if they’re at fault for the crash. Recover includes both economic damages, like medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. Florida law 627.737 outlines the rules for bringing a claim against the responsible driver. You can bring a claim against the other driver if any of the following apply to you: Permanent scarring Losing the use of an important bodily function for the rest of your life Permanent injuries. Significant disfigurement Death Even in the case of non-permanent injuries, you may be permitted to assert a claim against the at-fault party for any and all unpaid economic damages. If your side-impact car accident results in any of these injuries, you can bring a traditional personal injury claim. The case proceeds much like any other personal injury case in the State of Florida. What is comparative negligence and how does that apply to the case? The crash may be partially your fault. If this is the case, you may still have a claim under Florida law. Under Florida law 768.81, Florida uses a system to apportion fault between everyone whose actions contribute to the crash. This system is called comparative negligence. Florida uses a pure comparative negligence system. The court reduces your recovery by the percent that you’re to blame. If you’re 25 percent at fault for the side-impact crash, you can recover 75 percent of your damages. Your damages may include all of the damages that are traditionally available to a personal injury victim including medical bills, lost work, replacement services for household tasks, and compensation for non-financial damages like the mental anguish and pain that you suffer because of your injuries. There may also be criminal penalties In addition to a personal injury claim or recovery from no-fault insurance, criminal charges against the at-fault driver may also be a possibility. Criminal charges might be reckless driving, drunk driving, or even assault with a dangerous weapon. The state’s prosecutor decides whether to file criminal charges in the case. If the state pursues criminal charges in the case, Florida’s Victim’s Rights Laws give you the opportunity to participate in the case and pursue restitution through the criminal court. Even though restitution may help you with your out-of-pocket losses, there are additional damages available to you through a civil proceeding. What should I do if I’m hurt because of a side impact car accident? If you’re hurt because of a side-impact car accident, summon the police and medical attention. Medical attention is the first step for creating a record that you got hurt and for developing a prognosis for your injuries. It’s important to preserve the evidence that’s available and evaluate it to determine how to best build your case. Florida law provides for quick recovery from your own insurance for most cases. You can seek a thorough recovery of your many losses through traditional litigation if you’re permanently injured as a result of a side-impact crash. Contact the Florida accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk if you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another. Our attorneys provide a free...

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Car Accident Injuries – Herniated Discs

Category: Car Accidents |

Herniated discs — also known as ruptured or slipped discs — are one of the most common back injuries that usually affect the lower spine. A herniated disc can be fairly minor or extremely painful and debilitating. While many herniated discs are the result of daily wear and tear over time, many are caused by injury. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of disc herniation as the sudden jerking movement of a collision can put too much pressure on the disc. If you have suffered a herniated disc after a car accident, it’s important to understand how your injury can affect your claim. Your claim can be affected by many factors, including the severity of your pain, your medical expenses, whether you need to take time off work to recover, and whether the herniated disc results in disability. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, please call our car accident attorneys at 800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation, with no obligation.   What Is a Herniated Disc? A herniated disc is a problem with the rubbery discs or cushions between the 33 vertebrae that make up the spinal column. Spinal discs resemble a soft donut with a soft center protected by a harder exterior. Each disc in the spine allows slight movement of the vertebrae bones while working as a ligament to hold the spine together. The center of the spinal column has an open spinal canal through which the spinal cord and nerves run. The nerves and spinal cord are surrounded by fluid and receive protection from the spinal column. Each side of the spine also has tiny openings between the vertebrae that allow nerves to enter and exit this spinal canal. A herniated disc happens when the harder outer part of the disc tears or ruptures, allowing the soft core to squeeze out. In many cases, this herniated disc then compresses a nerve running nearby. The pinched nerve can cause side effects like numbness, sharp or radiating pain, and weakness in the legs or arms. The substance in the disc can even irritate the nerve itself and cause more pain, according to The Columbia University Spine Hospital. The pain and numbness aren’t the only side effects of a herniated disc. When a disc loses its flexibility and strength, it can no longer absorb shock or offer movement of the spine. This can be debilitating and may lead to permanent disability and loss of function. Herniated Discs and Car Accidents There are three ways in which a disc can herniate: through daily wear and tear or degenerative disease, injury, or a combination of the two. When it comes to disc injuries, they usually come in two forms: heavy lifting and car accidents. A car accident can lead to a ruptured disc through the sudden and jerky movement of a crash that stresses the spinal column and causes the disc or vertebrae to come out of place. It’s possible for a single car accident to cause disc damage to an otherwise healthy person who has never had back problems. A crash can also worsen disc damage that already exists, either through a pre-existing condition like degenerative disc disease or a previous injury. Many adults over the age of 40 already have a bulging or herniated disc that may have no symptoms at all. After an accident, the damage can become worse and symptoms can develop for the first time. In these cases, the accident did not cause the herniated disc, but it did cause a significant and/or permanent aggravation of the pre-existing condition. Diagnostics for a Ruptured Disc When a herniated disc or other physiological problem is believed to be the cause of your back or neck pain, your doctor may be able to make a diagnosis based on your medical history and a physical exam. Still, imaging tests are usually ordered, especially after an auto accident. Regular x-rays cannot be used to diagnose a herniated disc, but they can rule out other common problems after a car accident like a fracture. MRIs are most commonly used to confirm the location of a ruptured disc and see which nerves have been affected. How Herniated Discs Are Treated A ruptured disc is always treated with the most conservative approach possible to relieve pain and improve mobility. Sometimes over-the-counter pain medication is enough, but serious herniation may need to be treated with prescription narcotics for a short period of time. Some anticonvulsants originally used to control seizures can also help to reduce the radiating nerve pain you experience. If you experience muscle spasms, your physician may prescribe muscle relaxers. Cortisone injections may also be used with an injection directly into the affected area around the nerves. While medication can help many people feel better within weeks, sometimes this is not enough. A traumatic car accident that causes a slipped disc or worsens an existing spinal problem may require physical therapy or even surgery. Surgery is usually reserved for serious cases that don’t respond to conservative treatments within 6 weeks, especially when someone experiences numbness, difficulty walking or standing, or loss of bladder control. When surgery is advised, a surgeon may only need to remove the protruding section of the spinal disc. In rare cases, an entire disc must be removed and the vertebrae must be fused together for stability. Herniated Discs Can Cause Disability For many people, a ruptured disc causes short-term discomfort or pain. Others experience pain that is chronic and lifelong, but not necessarily debilitating. While not everyone experiences a disabling disc problem, it can happen. A herniated disc, especially one aggravated by a car accident, can cause severe pain and limit your ability to perform daily activities or work. In severe cases, ruptured discs can even lead to loss of reflexes, numbness, and muscle weakness. If you have suffered in a car accident due to the negligence of another, please contact our car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation, with...

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The Causes And Implications Of Highway Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Since the introduction of the American automobile, we have led very busy and mobile lives. Our lives have been made simpler, our time spent more efficiently, through the speed and reliability of our cars. Americans drive an estimated 2.45 trillion miles per year on US roads and highways. What began as a means to progress society with upward mobility and freedom, became more than that. Many Americans are now unable to work without a car and while driving for pleasure on the scenic road is still a pastime, we now drive out of necessity. Work, school, errands, appointments, shopping, and entertainment keep us in our cars and on the roads. Causes of Highway Crashes With upward mobility and freedom also came accident and injury. Cars are still machines of metal and parts, and as careful a driver as we ourselves may be, we can’t control another person’s driving ability nor external conditions which can lead to car accidents. Weather, faulty infrastructure, unsafe road environments and other hazards are reasons for car accidents although The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that drivers themselves are responsible for car crashes 94 percent of the time. In Florida, the increasing population and tourism industry has created an environment of high-volume traffic and Florida ranks annually as one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the nation. Last year, there were over 395,000 traffic accidents in the Sunshine State with more than 254,000 injuries and more than 3,000 deaths due to injuries sustained in those accidents. Alcohol and speed once topped the list of reasons for car accidents and crashes in the United States. In 2017, the number one cause of Highway and road accidents in the nation is distracted driving. Whether someone was texting, talking on their phones, taking their eyes off the road to brush away dropped food or change the radio dials, distracted drivers caused more damage, injuries, and fatalities than any other driver on the road. In November, I-4 in Orlando, Florida was named the deadliest highway in the country with more fatalities than the actual length of the highway. There were 165 fatalities along this 132 mile stretch of highway, which connects the cities of Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach. Our commutes home from work can be dangerous when we are tired, stressed, hungry, and in a hurry. Driving the same routes to and from work, during the same times of day, have caused our muscle memory to allow us to drive almost on auto-pilot and we may not be as vigilant as we should be. Muscle memory assists us in holding our eating utensils, writing, dancing, even breathing. We don’t think about doing those things, we just do them. There are 20.98 million people living in the state of Florida. The Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) estimates that in 2045, they expect to see the population at over 30 million people, and in 2016, there were 113 million tourists who flocked to Florida for the sun, sites, and relaxation. In 2002 the tourist statistic was 73 million. The other factor in car crashes which still remain high is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 2016, Florida saw more than 29 people per day lose their lives due to a crash involving an impaired driver, and there were 9,744 alcohol-related accidents. 21 to 34-year-olds are still the biggest age group to drink and drive. There were 10,111 fatalities due to speeding last year in the United States, That is a staggering number of deaths that could have been prevented. Whether it was the driver themselves who were speeding or another driver who caused an accident, driving over the speed limit is a serious factor in highway accidents. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) found that in 2017, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Hillsborough counties had the highest rate of speeding or aggressive drivers in Florida. There are many types of personalities on our roads and highways. Being aware that even though you are a vigilant and careful driver, other drivers may not be, can help keep you safe by making you more alert to your surroundings while driving and the possibility of situations and conditions which cause accidents. Around 24 percent of drivers who are speeding and involved in car accidents which lead to fatalities do not have valid driver’s licenses at the time of the crash according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 26 percent of those unlicensed drivers had a previous incident of being involved in an accident without a valid license. Approximately 2.3 million people each year are injured in road and highway accidents across the nation. The major factors of injuries and fatalities remain distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and speeding. Here are just a few more common causes of highway car accidents: Reckless Driving Night Driving or Vision Impairment Structural Road Damage Tailgating Unsafe Lane Changing and Turns Weather Tire Blowouts Falling Asleep Pedestrians Running Out Into the Road / Protestors Sudden Medical Emergency Which Impairs a Driver The Consequence Of Accidents Each year, car accidents and crashes cause untold damage, injury, and heartache. The financial and economic distress which result has skyrocketed to an estimated annual cost of over $870 billion. In Florida, The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC) reports an annual cost of $3.02 billion spent on crash-related deaths, $2.99 billion due to loss of income and $32 million in medical costs in any given year with those figures climbing with crash statistics. An auto injury insurance claims study by the Insurance Research Council’s (IRC) reveals that the cost of medical bills due to injuries from car crashes are increasing faster than the rate of inflation in the United States. This is sobering news. The cost of medical care, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses are paid by insurance companies, the victims themselves out-of-pocket, third parties, and charities. How much a car accident will cost varies from accident to accident. The elements involved in each individually unique case determines the cost. Some, but...

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Intersection Car Accidents: What You Need To Know

Category: Car Accidents |

An estimated 8,050 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2017, according to the crash data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Crash data is gathered by law enforcement and other local and state agencies which record all reported accidents, providing information on the number of vehicles and persons involved, injuries or fatalities, and locations and factors which may have been a cause. The car accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are there for you if you or a loved one has suffered as a victim of the negligence of another in a road accident. Our injury law team are standing by for your call at 1-800-538-4878 This data is used to identify possible hazards in environment and design, signage, driver habits, contributing factors, and methods to improve the safety of drivers and their passengers on the roads and highways. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that approximately 50 percent of combined injuries and fatalities occur in car crashes at or near intersections. In Florida, the law regarding intersections is very clear, defining whether and when a vehicle must stop or yield, and how they must proceed through intersections. Severe injury and fatality can occur at intersections due to the nature of side-impact crashes. The driver’s or passenger’s body is vulnerable to maximum injury as this is where a vehicle impacts another. It has been proven that the use of seatbelts has improved fatality rates by 50%. In 2017, 89 to 90 percent of drivers say they use seatbelts when driving. Research reveals that lap and shoulder seat belts reduce fatal injuries to front-seat passengers by 45 percent, The risk of severe or critical injury is reduced by 50 percent. Florida is one of many states that have mandatory seatbelt laws. Why Are Intersections Dangerous? Intersections were identified by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in 2002 as safety hazards by design. Engineers dubbed them “planned points of conflict” in the road. And approximately 28 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections. Intersections are extremely busy with many activities occurring at once. Attention and judgment play an important part in navigating intersections successfully. Driving has become like a second nature for us, and we can drive almost on auto-pilot. This can lead to complacency or disregard for the dangers that other drivers present. A research project conducted by traffic engineers with the U.S. Department of Transportation and released in 2017, reports that right-angle crashes at intersections are more likely to involve severe injury or fatality at intersections with traffic signals. The data was based on collected statistics in Florida, where 45 percent of right-angle car crashes involved injury where only 25 percent of other crashes involved injury. While there are many factors involved in car accidents, and even traffic signals themselves have been named as a hazard at intersections, some of the most common causes of intersection accidents can be attributed to: Driver Inattention And Distraction False Assumption Of Another Driver’s Intentions Turning With An Obstructed View Misjudgment Of Another Vehicle’s Speed Speeding Driving Fatigued Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs Can Anything Be Done To Reduce Accidents? In every accident, someone is at fault. The fault may be singular or shared by another party. There can also be faulty traffic equipment, roads, signage or some flaw in the infrastructure that helps contribute to an accident. Just as there are driver habits that can be altered to decrease the likelihood of an accident, there are traffic systems that can be improved upon or altered. The addition of more lanes for right and left turning only Traffic light timing adjustments Brighter and larger traffic signals Longer crossing times for pedestrians Adjusting Speed Limits Removing of traffic lights with low traffic volume, replaced with four-way stop signs Installing roundabouts which have been proven to reduce speed and certain types of crashes The introduction of safety-enhancing design such as speed bumps and street narrowing with use of plants and brush There are four common types of accidents at intersections: Rear-End A driver is usually distracted and does not realize the front driver has slowed down or stopped. Side Impact A driver is usually running a red light on one side or is attempting to make it through a yellow light before it turns red and the other car is still going through the intersection. Side-Swipe One or more vehicles are turning and either collide with another moving vehicle or a non-moving vehicle stopped in traffic. Collision With Pedestrian or Bicycle Driver does not yield to pedestrian traffic in a crosswalk or a bicyclist, pedestrian, or child darts in front of a driver. There are many things a driver can do to reduce their risk of being involved in a car accident at intersections. It is always wise to remember that even if we are careful drivers, others may not be and we must not only be mindful of how we drive but anticipate mistakes or careless driving in other drivers. A few of the things we can do to reduce risk: Know the driving rules and laws of your state Drive with patience Anticipate the actions of other drivers Never tailgate Avoid all distractions and keep your eyes on the road and traffic around you Always wear a seatbelt and insist on your passengers using their seatbelts Maintain proper speed when you approach intersections and remain aware of the four-way traffic Be cautious of impending light changes and alerts of emergency personnel in or near the intersection Always come to a full and complete stop and be mindful of the space between you and the driver ahead Always utilize your turn signals and keep your vehicle’s lights and signals in good working order I’ve Been Involved In An Accident, What Do I Do? In Florida, if you are involved in an accident that involves injury or fatality or if you’ve been hit by a hit-and-run driver you must contact law enforcement so they can respond to the scene of the accident and conduct...

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Wrongful Death Caused by a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

What is Involved in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving a Car Accident It is possible for individuals to lose their lives because of another person’s negligence. This could be the case in a fatal car accident. When this happens, it is possible for those who survived the deceased to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. This is done to obtain compensation for the survivors. The car accident attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are there for you in your time of need, our team is standing by to provide a no obligation consultation if you have suffered due to the negligence of another – call 1-800-538-4878 today. Mourning Process When people have lost a loved one, they must grieve their passing. There will come a time when the mourning process also involves speaking with legal counsel on the best way to handle their loss. They will need to learn about all the ways their damages could be compensated. In the state of Florida, there are statutory procedures in place that make it possible for real parties of interest to potentially receive compensation for a wrongful death. Statutes In the state of Florida, the statutes that establish the process and standards for seeking compensation in a wrongful death action are Florida Statutes, Sections 768.16 to 768.26. These laws identify who can file a claim and who is considered a plaintiff. They cover the various types of damages that can be obtained for adults as well as any minor children involved in the action. These statutes also cover the various complicated procedures as well as legal technicalities that are required to be followed in a wrongful death action. Real Parties of Interest The standards in these statutes must be met for anyone to be considered a beneficiary or real party of interest in Florida. These individuals might be the immediate family members including children and spouses. They can also include all adopted children, the parents of unmarried children and more. Financial dependents could also be real parties of interest. It’s also possible for distant relative such as grandparents as well as brothers, sisters, and cousins to be considered by a Florida court to be real parties of interest. Only those who are accepted as real parties of interest can be considered beneficiaries and recover damages under a wrongful death action. Representative When there are survivors who have experienced damage as the result of a person’s death, they can have a personal representative file a wrongful death suit on their behalf. In many cases, this representative is also the executor of a decedent’s estate. Who May Be Sued Who can be legally held responsible in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit is determined by individual situations. It could include company employees, various individuals, government agencies and more. This could include the builder or designer of a dangerous roadway or a government agency determined to have failed to provide sufficient warning concerning road hazards. It could also involve the installer, manufacturer or distributor of vehicle parts. Individuals who provided or served alcohol that impaired a driver or the owner of the premises where the alcohol was served could also be held responsible. Economic Damages These are damages that include the value of a victim’s financial contribution to the survivors had they have not passed away. These include such things as the value of goods and services the victim would have provided as well as medical and funeral expenses associated with the death. It could include the loss of an inheritance resulting from an untimely death as well as loss of the victim’s anticipated earnings. In many situations, economic damages also include loss of the victim’s pension benefits as well as medical coverage and more. Non-Economic Damages These damages are not as easy to quantify as economic damages but may have more value. They include such things as loss of consortium with a deceased partner as well as mental suffering, anguish and emotional pain. It could also include loss of companionship as well as love and society from the accident victim. Beneficiaries can also sue for damages for loss of advice, training, protection, care as well as nurturing and more that would have been provided by the deceased. Punitive Damage Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish the defendant. This will be determined by the defendant’s exceptional bad conduct. In some situations, it may be possible for real parties of interest to collect treble damages. This is an amount equal to three times the determined compensation for established damages. It’s also possible for beneficiaries to be reimbursed for all their attorneys’ fees as well as costs associated with pursuing the lawsuit. Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit There are certain elements that must be present for a wrongful death lawsuit involving a vehicle accident to be successful. The responsibility for the accident needs to be someone or something other than the deceased. This is often the driver of another vehicle who is negligent. The other thing is sufficient insurance. One thing that can make a wrongful death lawsuit involving a fatal car accident a real challenge is insufficient insurance. The driver who is determined to be at fault may have inadequate vehicle insurance. They may also not have enough personal assets to properly compensate the parties of interest. An experienced attorney will know where to look for any assets the responsible driver may have to recover damages. It may also be possible to recover if the victim has uninsured insurance coverage. Investigation It is possible for law enforcement to come to the wrong conclusion when it comes to determining fault for an accident. This can be challenging because a deceased person is unable to tell what happened from their perspective. An experienced attorney will know how to conduct their own investigation into what happened during the accident. They will know how to reconstruct the accident and show what the deceased experienced. They will know how to obtain witness statements as well as preserve eyewitness accounts and more. When someone’s negligence on the road causes...

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Implications of a Rear End Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

Rear-End Car Accidents In Florida: What You Need To Know When most people think of rear-end collisions, they imagine major crashes which result in major damage and death, however, the reality is that most rear-end incidents result from minor accidents. Minor crashes can cause major injuries, some of which aren’t visible and may not present in severe ways. Some injuries from minor accidents can sometimes take days or weeks to make themselves known to the injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 40 percent of the 6 million car accidents each year are rear-end collisions. Another sobering fact from the NHTSA is that a rear-end collision occurs every 8 seconds in the United States. From fender-benders to high-speed crashes, being involved in a rear-end collision can cause serious, debilitating and lifetime injury. Allstate’s 2017 Best Driver Report names Kansas City, Kansas as the #1 safest city for drivers in the nation. Drivers in Kansas City, Kansas will only experience a collision on average of every 14.9 years. The national average for collisions is ten years. Tampa Bay, Florida ranked 105th in the nation. Types of Crashes and Their Injuries The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) studied crash types and their resulting crash injuries. The data reveals that Florida is one of the most dangerous states for both the type of crash and injuries involved in the study. The types of car crashes reported across the United States: Head-On Collisions Side Impact or T-Bone Rear-End Rollover The damage done internally and externally from car accidents can range from mild and short-term to severe and debilitating or disabling. The following injuries are commonly seen in the four types of car crashes: Head and Brain Trauma Spinal Cord Damage Severed Limbs Whiplash Broken Bones Muscle Tears Dislocated Discs Sprains/Contusions There is a frequent rate of rear-end collisions with neck injuries being the most common type of injury reported in this accident. Even minor bumps and less serious crashes can injure the neck by snapping it in a front then backward or sideways motion. The IIHS Data Institute consistently studies ways to keep bodies safer in accidents with regard to car design. The key to reducing neck or related injuries is for the torso and head to remain together during movement, which they do not in a rear-end collision. The data institute works with automobile manufacturers to create better headrest and seat designs that will reduce injury which subsequently reduces medical and insurance costs as well as property damage costs. Even minor or less severe accidents can cause injury that results in the inability to work, perform everyday activities, and maintain independence. Causes Of Rear-End Collisions and How To Avoid Them We all learned in driving school or in our Driver License testing that keeping a safe distance from other vehicles provides us with the ability to prevent a rear-end collision. Almost all rear-end collisions are the result of following at a distance that is too close. The average driver’s reaction time is around ¾ of a second to 1 second. In ideal conditions, and with good brakes and tires, if you are traveling at 50 mph, it will take about 158 feet before your car comes to a stop. In Florida, the Department of Motor Vehicles suggests a following distance of 4 seconds. The following are the most common causes of rear-end collisions across the nation: Distracted Driving Speeding Tailgating Alcohol/Drug Intoxication Fatigue Weather Conditions Road Conditions Florida has a high incidence of rear-end collisions and there are driving corridors that are more dangerous than others. Five of the most frequent rear-end traffic accident corridors are in Tampa Bay, Florida: I-75 at Brandon Blvd I-75 at I-4 US-19 at Tampa Road I-275 at I-4 US-92 at I-275 Avoiding rear-end collisions altogether might be unavoidable as we cannot control the driving behavior of others nor external driving conditions like weather or infrastructure. However, there are tips that can help your own driving and keep you vigilant against the behavior of other drivers on the road. We can forget, especially during rush-hour traffic when we’re tired, hungry, in a hurry or frustrated with heavy traffic that everyone else in the same mode we are in. Such things as monitoring your rear view and side mirrors, moving away from tailgaters and aggressive drivers, watching your speed, not texting while driving or tapping your brake lights to warn other drivers you are in the process of changing speed all help to reduce the chance of a rear-end collisions. Whose Fault Is It really? In Florida, a presumption of negligence is the law which means that the court will assume in all cases that the rear driver is at fault. This also means that the victim of a rear-end collision does not have to prove how or why they were rear-ended. They only have to prove that they were involved in the accident and that they were injured or received damages due to the accident. The possibility exists, however, that a driver who rear-ends another driver can present evidence in court that puts half the fault with the front driver such as the front driver stopping suddenly or turning into the path of the rear vehicle. They can also have evidence that the front driver suddenly reversed or that their brake lights were not operable. A rear driver does not have to prove all aspects of why they rear-ended another driver but the evidence must be sufficient enough that a jury of their peers would find it reasonable to have occurred. What To Do if You’re Involved in a Rear-End Collision In the State of Florida, it is against the law to leave the scene of any accident. A police report must be made with a police officer even if there were no injuries. Make sure no one is physically injured and exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver. They could possibly be an uninsured or underinsured motorist and may refuse to exchange information with you. The police officer will be able to obtain their information,...

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Types of Car Accidents – Part 2

Category: Car Accidents |

In the second part of our series on Types of Car Accidents, we take a brief look at the types of car accidents that often times result in accident injuries. The first part of this series can be accessed at /types-car-accidents-1/ The auto accident attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk provide free case evaluations with no obligation. Contact us if you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in St Petes, Tampa, New Port Richey or Clearwater, we have an experienced legal team that is there for you. Rollovers A rollover accident is, as its name implies, an accident that involves the car rolling over into the ditch or on the road. These wrecks can be single or multi-car incidences. They also can occur because of mechanical malfunctions, animal or pedestrian collisions, impaired road conditions, and other factors. Like side impact wrecks, rollovers are one of the deadliest forms of car accidents. In 2010, they accounted for 35 percent of all vehicle accident-related deaths. More than 7,600 people died that year as the result of rollover accidents. Wearing your seat belt can help you survive being in a rollover, however. Statistics show that out of the 7,600 people who died in rollovers in 2010, 69 percent of them were not wearing their seatbelts. They were thrown around in the vehicle or ejected from their vehicles, which caused their fatal injuries. Head-on Collisions A head-on collision is a car accident that involves two cars colliding head-on. This type of wreck accounts for only two percent of car accidents each year. However, they are responsible for more than 10 percent of all accident-related deaths. A number of factors can up the chances of you being in a head-on collision. Impaired or inebriated driving, poor weather, challenging road conditions, or driver inexperience are just some of the reasons that explain why head-on collisions occur. Unlike other types of wrecks, this type of accident can be fatal even if you are wearing your seatbelt. The speed at which you collide with the other vehicle and safety features like airbags or reinforced fenders also play a role in survival. Single Car A single car accident is a wreck that involves just one car, hence its name. These accidents are caused by factors that range from driver inexperience to inebriated or drowsy driving. In some instances, they occur because drivers were trying to avoid hitting something like an animal in the roadway. These accidents result in around 1,500 deaths per year and more than $12 billion in property damages and losses. More than 71,000 people each year are injured in single-car accidents. Multi-car Pileups Multi-car pileups are one of the rarest types of car accidents. However, when they occur they are among the most expensive and devastating to both life and property. One of the worst multi-car pileups in Florida state history occurred in 2012 near Gainesville. Foggy conditions contributed to poor visibility. Drivers on Interstate 75 were not able to see the roadway ahead of them, resulting in dozens of cars colliding with each other and 10 people being injured and hospitalized. Car accidents take many forms on American roadways today. You can drive defensively by anticipating the primary factors that contribute to these common forms of wrecks. We urge you to stay safe on the roads at all times, and if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligence or fault of another in a road traffic accident please call our injury law team for a free case evaluation. We are available to take your call 24/7. Dial 800-538-4878 to speak with a member of our dedicated injury law team. Related Content: Part 1 – Types of Car Accidents

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Types of Car Accidents – Part 1

Category: Car Accidents |

Automobile accidents in Florida occur regularly, some more serious than others. In this series, we take a brief look at the several types of accidents that typically occur. If you or a loved one has been injured, due to the fault of another, contact our car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation. Types of Car Accidents Statistics reveal that more than two million Americans are involved in car accidents each year. Out of that number, more than 37,000 are killed on impact or die from their injuries. With these numbers in mind, it is only natural that most drivers today want to do everything possible to avoid being in a wreck. You may protect yourself and your passengers by knowing in what forms car accidents commonly occur on U.S. roadways. Rear End Collisions Rear end collisions are among the most common car accidents that occur on the roadways today. This type of wreck involves drivers colliding with the back end of the vehicles in front of them. In many instances, these wrecks are relatively minor, although both vehicles may sustain significant damage and both drivers might suffer injuries like whiplash, cuts, and bruises. Most states like Florida assign blame for rear-end collisions to the drivers of the cars that collided with the vehicles in front of them. These individuals are at times, responsible for compensating the other driver for expenses like repairs and medical costs. The other driver can make a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance to pursue this money. Side Impact Side impact accidents involve one car colliding with or hitting the side of another car. These accidents are sometimes referred to as T-bone wrecks. They are one of the deadliest types of car accidents and can claim the life of the people seated on the side of the car that is hit. If the people survive the accident, they may suffer debilitating or disabling injuries like paralysis. In fact, statistics show that 13 percent of all car accidents in the U.S. each year are categorized as side impact wrecks. Out of that number, 18 percent are fatal. These wrecks result in fatalities more so than other types of wrecks because passengers in the car have little to protect them from the impact of the oncoming vehicle. It is easy for a car traveling at high speed to penetrate through the fiberglass door and glass window of the other car. Sideswipe A sideswipe car accident is also known as a lane change accident. This type of car wreck is not as deadly as other types of accidents. Out of the more than 200,000 reported each year, about four percent, approximately 1,300 are fatal. Still, a sideswipe accident can cause significant damage to the car that made the faulty lane change as well as the car that was struck in the wreck. These accidents often happen at speeds that are in excess of 30 miles per hour on city roads and upwards of 70 miles an hour on the highway or interstate. They can result in the impacted car veering into the ditch or median, causing even more damage to the vehicle. As with a rear-end collision, the police will assign blame to the driver who changed lanes without checking the blind spot and making sure the lane was clear. That person’s insurance may be held responsible for paying the medical and repair costs of the victimized driver. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another contact our injury law team for a free case evaluation with no obligation whatsoever. Our team is available 24/7, call 800-538-4878 today. Related Resources: Causes of Car Accidents Part 1 Causes of Car Accidents Part 2

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An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 2

Category: Car Accidents |

Part two of our updated causes of car accidents deals with more of the causes that have been listed as contributors to car accidents in general. Part one of this series can be accessed here: An In-Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 1 Teen Drivers Teenage drivers have a higher accident rate than adults with a risk of a crash that is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than any other age group. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distraction is a factor in 60% of moderate to severe accidents involving teenagers. The most common distractions for teens include: Interacting with a passenger: 15% of accidents Using a cell phone: 12% Looking at something in the car: 10% Looking at something outside of the car: 9% Singing or dancing to music: 8% Grooming, such as putting on makeup: 6% Reaching for an item: 6% Weather Weather can reduce pavement friction, traction, visibility, and maneuverability on the road. Rain, high winds, fog, and flooding can all play a role in road conditions and driver safety. On average, the Federal Highway Administration reports 1.2 million crashes every year which are related to weather. The majority of weather-related accidents occur on wet pavement (76%) and during rain (46%). Every year, about 7,000 people are killed in accidents involving weather hazards, but rain causes more fatalities than snow in 39 of 50 states. The reason rain is more hazardous than snow is that rain makes roads slick, especially when it hasn’t rained recently due to oil residue build-up on the road. Rain can also impair visibility. Night Driving According to the National Safety Council, the risk of a fatal car accident is three times higher at night than during the day. There are many reasons for this. Reduced visibility can make it harder to see hazards at night, including pedestrians, animals, and potholes. Darkness can also compromise color recognition, depth perception, and peripheral vision. The glare of oncoming headlights can even be blinding. Visibility is limited to 250 feet with normal headlights and about 500 feet with high beams. This means less time to react to anything on the road. The rates of driving without a seatbelt, speeding, and drunk driving also increase at night and directly contribute to fatalities. Across the country, 49% of all fatal accidents happen at night. About two-thirds of people killed in accidents at night were not wearing seatbelts compared to less than half during the day. Weekends are also a more deadly time to drive. While mid-week days have an average of 96 to 100 deaths per day, an average of 143 people die per day on Saturday and Sunday. Running Red Lights There are many ways for an accident to occur, but many occur at intersections. More people are hurt in accidents involving a driver running a red light than any other type of accident. Drivers who run red lights cause over 800 deaths per year and more than 200,000 injuries across the country. More than half of the people killed in these accidents are pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles — not the driver running the red light, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Researchers have found that the use of red light cameras that photograph and mail tickets to drivers who run red lights can reduce these accidents. These programs can reduce red-light running by around 40%. Animals It may be surprising, but animal crossings cause thousands of accidents every year. Collisions with deer, elk, and moose are responsible for the greatest amount of deaths, injuries, and property damage. The chances of striking a large animal on the road is highest between October and December which is deer mating season. According to State Farm, the average cost for a deer-vehicle collision is almost $4,000. Florida is considered a low-risk state with 1 out of 903 drivers making a claim for a deer collision, but neighboring Georgia is high-risk with 1 out of every 126 drivers reporting an accident. We urge you to stay safe on the roads at all times, and if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligence or fault of another in a road traffic accident please call our injury law team for a free case evaluation. We are available to take your call 24/7. Dial 800-538-4878 to speak with a member of our dedicated injury law team.

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An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 1

Category: Car Accidents |

Our car accident attorneys regularly research the causes of car accidents as well as the latest, and somewhat unfortunate, statistics related to the causes of car accidents. In this two-part series, we hope to educate our readers on what are the most common causes of car accidents. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2016, making it the deadliest year on U.S. roads in 50 years. Along with the thousands killed in crashes, an estimated 4.6 million per year are seriously injured with property damage that tops $430 billion per year. The vast majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error, which makes them completely preventable. The following are the most common causes of car crashes in the United States. Distracted Driving Distracted driving refers to any activity that distracts the driver from the road, including eating, talking to passengers, using a navigation system, or talking or texting on a phone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 391,000 injuries and 3,477 deaths in 2015 alone were caused by distracted drivers. Texting and driving, in particular, is on the rise. According to a poll by AAA, 94% of teenage drivers acknowledge the danger but 35% admit texting while driving. 21% of teen drivers involved in a fatal car accident were using their cell phone at the time of the accident. Driving Under the Influence Driving under the influence is a common cause of car accidents and it accounts for 29% of all traffic-related deaths, according to the CDC. Every year, more than 1 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. Drunk drivers are responsible for 1 death every 51 minutes in the U.S. In Florida alone, almost 8,500 people are killed in accidents involving drunk drivers per year with a rate of death higher than the national average. 2.1% of Florida drivers report driving after drinking too much alcohol. Speeding Speeding is a contributing factor in about 30% of all fatal car accidents with more than 10,000 deaths each year attributed to speeding. In fatal accidents, almost half of speeding drivers were not wearing a seatbelt compared to 24% of non-speeding drivers. Alcohol and speeding often go hand-in-hand. About 42% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher compared to 16% for non-speeding drivers. For drivers between 21 and 24 who were involved in a fatal car accident, 50% who were speeding were intoxicated. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another contact our injury law team for a free case evaluation with no obligation whatsoever. Our team is available 24/7, call 800-538-4878 today. Related: An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 2

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Can a Rental Car Company Be Liable for an Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

Experienced Injury Attorneys Assisting Accident Victims with Filing Claims for Rental Car Accidents in Tampa Each year, Florida plays host to tens of millions of tourists and businesspeople from around the world. These travelers need transportation, and for many this means renting a car at the airport. The rental car companies are only too happy to take travelers’ money, and these days it is easier than ever to rent a car. With a driver’s license, a credit card, and a little bit of patience, you can rent anything from a subcompact gas-saver to an ultra-high-end luxury automobile. It doesn’t matter if you are a good driver, and it is irrelevant whether you have experience driving the type of vehicle you’ve rented. Why File a Claim Against a Rental Car Company? If you get injured in an accident involving a rental car, there are a number of reasons why you might want to file a claim against the rental car company. For one, if the driver of the rental lives out of state (or out of the country), there can be certain challenges involved in pursuing a claim against the driver. For another, if your losses exceed the driver’s insurance coverage, you will need an additional source of compensation. So, if you’ve been injured in a collision with a rental car, can you hold the rental company responsible? Possible Claims Against Rental Car Companies in Florida In Florida, there are two primary ways to seek compensation from a rental car company following an accident involving a rented vehicle: 1. Negligent Entrustment The first is a claim for what is known as, “negligent entrustment.” While rental car companies generally are not responsible for drivers’ errors, there are certain circumstances in which the decision to rent can establish legal liability. The most common scenario to which this rule applies is a rental car company giving a key to a visibly drunk driver. If it was clear that the person renting the car was not in a condition to drive, the rental company may have had a legal duty not to put him or her behind the wheel. 2. Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance Rental car companies can also face liability for collisions caused by inadequate vehicle maintenance. It is no secret that many people drive rental cars hard, and miles can add up quickly when rentals are used to travel to business sites or vacation destinations. Rental cars require constant upkeep and regular maintenance, and failure to take rental cars out of service when necessary can lead to brake failures, tire blowouts, and other issues that can (and should) be avoided. Find Out if You Have a Claim Against a Rental Car Company in Tampa, FL At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our team of accident attorneys and legal professionals brings decades of legal experience to representing car accident victims in the greater Tampa area. If you have been injured in an accident involving a rental car or injured an Uber accident and would like to speak with an injury lawyer about your rights, call (800) 538-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

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When Are You Liable for a Tailgating Car Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

Accident Injury Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Tailgating Accidents Throughout the Tampa Area If you have been injured in a tailgating accident, it is easy to assume that you must be at fault for your own injuries. If you were tailgating the vehicle in front of you, had you just left a little more space, maybe you could have avoided the accident. If you got rear-ended by a vehicle that was following you too closely, maybe you could have avoided the collision had you been prepared to pull onto the shoulder when you saw its headlights approaching in your rearview mirror. While it is human nature to second-guess yourself after a car accident, it is important not to let thoughts about “what could have been” get in the way of making smart decisions. The financial costs of an accident can be devastating; and, even if you think you may have been to blame, it is still critical that you speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida. Here are three reasons why: 1. You Don’t Actually Know What Happened. First and foremost, until you hire a law firm to investigate the accident, you won’t actually know what happened. While you may think that you could – and should – have avoided the collision, an investigation may reveal that the accident would have happened regardless of whether you were following too closely or had been carefully monitoring your rearview mirror. When it comes to legal liability, determining who was at fault often is not as straightforward as it seems. If you assume that you don’t have a claim, you will never know if you may have been entitled to just compensation. 2. Even if You Were Partially at Fault, You May Still Be Entitled to Compensation. In Florida, accident victims benefit from a legal principle known as, “pure comparative fault.” What this means is that, even if you were partially at fault, you can still seek a partial financial recovery. While the laws in some states say that you must have been 50 percent or less at fault in order to have legal rights, in Florida you could be 90 percent at fault and still recover 10 percent of your losses. While this may not sound like much as a percentage, imagine if you claim is worth $100,000. What if it is worth $1,000,000? 3. The Insurance Companies Will Try to Convince You that You Are Right. When you file an insurance claim, your adjuster’s goal – your adjuster’s job – is to make sure you receive as little compensation as possible. Adjusters work for the insurance companies, not for policyholders, and it is in the insurance companies’ best interests to let people think they are to blame for their own injuries. If you try to deal with your insurance company on your own, and if you say you think that you might have been at fault because you were tailgating, you can rest assured that your insurance adjuster will not try to change your mind. Speak with a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk If you would like more information about how an accident attorney can help protect your rights after a tailgating car accident in Tampa, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for a free and confidential consultation. To find out if you have a claim, call (800) 538-4878 or submit your case online today.

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Who Is Liable in a Single-Vehicle Accident?

Category: Accidents |

Accident Attorneys Helping Victims of Single-Vehicle Wrecks in the Tampa Bay Area If you were involved in a single-vehicle accident, can you still seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses? Maybe. Just because you were the only one who crashed does not mean that you were the only one involved. If someone else is to blame for your injuries, you may have grounds to file a claim for financial compensation. Liability in Single-Vehicle Accidents In order to establish liability in a single-vehicle accident, it is important to conduct an investigation as soon as possible. You will need evidence to support your claim; and, the longer it takes to investigate, the more difficult it may become to secure a negotiated settlement or verdict at trial. Depending upon the facts of your case, the following parties could all potentially be liable to compensate you for your accident-related injuries and losses: 1. Another Driver Did another driver run you off of the road? If so, that driver could be liable despite the fact that he or she did not cause a direct collision. The question is whether that driver’s “negligence” caused or contributed to the accident. This could be the case if: You had to swerve off of the road in order to avoid a collision with a driver who was drunk or texting behind the wheel. Another driver merged into your lane without looking, forcing you off of the road. You were forced off of the road by a driver who was across the center line on a blind curve. Of course, these are just examples. There are countless other scenarios in which a negligent driver could cause another driver to be injured in a single-vehicle collision. 2. Your Insurance Company If another driver caused the accident, ideally, the investigation will reveal the driver’s identity so that you can file a claim against his or her insurance company. But, if the driver did not stop and there is no way to make an identification, you may need to file a claim under your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy. While UM/UIM coverage typically comes into play when a negligent driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover all of an accident victim’s losses, it can also be used in hit-and-run and single-vehicle accidents. When you file a UM/UIM claim, your insurance company “stands in the shoes” of the at-fault driver’s insurer, and will defend against your claim just the same as a third-party insurance company. 3. A Vehicle Manufacturer Another important question to ask after a single-vehicle accident is whether a vehicle defect caused the accident or contributed to the severity of your injuries. This could be a defect in your vehicle, or it could be a defect in another vehicle that lost control and forced you off of the road. Vehicle defects are far more common than most people realize, and we have recently seen some high-profile cases of widespread vehicle defects. Vehicle parts and components that could be defective include, but are not limited to: Accelerators Airbags Brakes Engines Lights Tires Transmissions If your injuries are the result of a vehicle defect, then the automaker, the manufacturer of the defective part, the dealership, and a number of other parties could all potentially be liable for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. 4. Your Repair Shop A faulty repair or maintenance job could have caused your accident as well. Even if your vehicle was not defective, a faulty brake job or other service could have created an unsafe condition that caused you to crash without another vehicle being involved. 5. The Highway Authority or a Private Contractor If a negligent driver or an issue with your vehicle is not to blame for your accident, then it could be that your accident resulted from an issue with the road. Road defects are also common, and issues ranging from negligent road design to inadequate road maintenance have all been identified as causal factors in multiple-vehicle and single-vehicle accidents. When a soft shoulder, pothole, sinkhole, lack of lighting, or other safety issue causes an accident, the government authority responsible for constructing and maintaining the road may hold financial responsibility. However, it could also be the case that a private contractor is to blame for any deficiencies. Once again, a thorough investigation will be critical, and there are additional (short) deadlines that must be met in order to file a claim against the government. 6. A Trucking Company or Other Employer Finally, as with any type of accident, if your single-vehicle accident involved another vehicle, it is important to determine whether that vehicle’s driver was working at the time of the accident. If so, his or her employer could be legally responsible for your losses. This could be an accident involving a truck, van, car, SUV, etc. This could be the case if the driver was negligent (for example, if he or she caused the accident while texting), or if the employer was negligent in putting a dangerous driver on the road (for example, if a trucking company hired an unlicensed driver). What if I Was Partially at Fault in the Accident? Florida car accident injury victims can recover financial compensation even if they were partially at fault for their own injuries. This is because Florida is among a minority of states that follow a rule known as, “pure contributory negligence.” Under the rule of pure contributory negligence, theoretically, you could be 90 percent at fault and still recover 10 percent of your losses. As you might imagine, this rule often plays a critical role in cases involving single-vehicle accidents. If you think that you may have been partially at fault, you should speak with a Tampa vehicle accident attorney who can assess your claim and provide an estimate of your financial recovery. Speak with a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk For more information about pursuing compensation after a single-vehicle accident in Florida, contact the law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for...

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Safe Driving During the Holiday Season: Do’s and Don’ts

Category: Accidents |

For most people, the holiday season is a time of joy. It is a time to spend time with loved ones, to reflect on the year that was, and to look ahead to the year to come. Of course, we all expect to experience a certain level of stress during the holidays, as well; but, we never expect that stress to come from missing the holidays due to a traumatic accident-related injury. According to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), vehicle accident rates have risen during the holiday season each of the last three years. According to FIRES, accident rates increase consistently from October through December, and these data include accidents involving serious and fatal injuries. In fact, overall, FIRES’ data suggest that nearly half of all vehicle collisions in Florida result in injuries – injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Protecting Yourself Against Dangerous Drivers During the Holiday Season Unfortunately, for many of us, there is simply nothing we can do to avoid being seriously injured in a collision during the holiday season. As more drunk, distracted, fatigued, and stressed drivers hit the road, we all face an increased risk of being injured due to someone else’s negligence. While winter weather is rarely a risk factor here in Florida, Tampa-area drivers must nonetheless exercise special caution when driving during the holiday season. Here are some safe driving tips – and steps you can take after a collision – to help minimize your risk of an uncompensated injury in a car accident during the holidays: DO: Know the Warning Signs of a Drunk Driver Drunk driving is a year-round risk for Florida motorists, but the risk of being hit by a drunk driver can increase significantly at certain times during the holiday season. In order to reduce your chances of being hit by a drunk driver, one step you can take is to familiarize yourself with the patterns typically exhibited by individuals who are drunk behind the wheel. For example, if you see a vehicle that is irregularly speeding up and slowing down, drifting across lanes, or weaving within its own lane, these are all common signs that the driver may be intoxicated. DON’T: Drink and Drive Of course, all drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink. If you aren’t sure, be safe and catch a ride home. Even low levels of intoxication can significantly increase drivers’ chances of causing an accident; and, while you do not want to take chances ever, it is particularly important to be careful during the holiday season when there are more cars than usual on the roads. DO: Plan Your Route Ahead of Time While in-car GPS navigation and Smartphones make it easy to find family members’ homes and shopping centers, you generally want to minimize your interactions with these devices while you are driving. Familiarize yourself with where you are going, and set your destination before you shift into drive. If you get lost or need to make a detour to a new point of interest, pull over at a rest stop or other safe location rather than attempting to input a new destination address while you are at the wheel. DON’T: Give in to Driving Distractions GPS navigation, Smartphones, and other distractions can all take drivers’ eyes and minds off of the road and their hands off of the wheel. Once again, while it is important to avoid dangerous driving behaviors at all times, the risk of a distracted driving-related accident can increase substantially during the holiday season. Distracted driving – including talking and texting behind the wheel – is currently among the leading causes of vehicle collisions, and drivers who cause accidents while distracted will often be financially liable for victims’ losses. DO: Watch Out for Distracted and Inattentive Drivers During the holiday season, one of the best things you can do to help improve your chances of avoiding an accident involving a distracted or inattentive driver is to drive defensively. Be cautious, leave plenty of space between your car and the vehicle in front of you, and when in doubt make the choice that reduces your risk as much as possible. DON’T: Get Complacent Until You’ve Parked In this same vein, it is important to remain vigilant until you have reached your final destination. Especially during the holiday season, parking lot accidents are a very real concern for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Watch out for other vehicles’ reverse lights, be wary of drivers who are looking for open spots and not paying attention to their immediate surroundings, and always observe signage and road markings that dictate the flow of traffic. DO: Stay Calm In heavy traffic and when dealing with aggressive drivers, it is important to stay calm. If you are the type to get frustrated or angry when someone cuts you off or violates the rules of the road, make sure you do not let your emotions take control. When you have been traveling for hours or dealing with heavy holiday traffic, it can be easy to react negatively to negative situations. But, when just one mistake can lead to a lifetime of consequences, it is essential to stay calm behind the wheel. DON’T: Let an Accident Ruin Your Holiday Season Finally, if you are injured in a collision, the accident does not have to ruin your holiday season. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your repair and medical bills and other losses, and at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we handle all aspects of our clients’ claims so that they can get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible. We want you to have a safe and happy holiday season, and if you are forced to deal with the consequences of someone else’s negligence, we will fight aggressively to seek the compensation that you deserve. Speak with a Tampa, FL Car Accident Lawyer Today Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is a personal injury law firm with offices in Tampa...

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Who Is Held Responsible When a Self-Driving Car Causes an Accident?

Category: Accidents |

Experienced Injury Lawyers Serving Victims of Self Driving Car Accidents in Tampa, Clearwater, and St Petersburg Consider an all-too-common scenario: There is a car accident. One car is in the middle of an intersection, going the speed limit with a green light and the clear right of way. The other plows through a red light 30 mph above the speed limit while the driver is asleep behind the wheel. It is pretty clear who is to blame, right? It should be an open-and-shut case with the speeding, sleeping driver having to cover all of the other driver’s accident-related losses. But, wait. The speeding, sleeping driver was behind the wheel of a self-driving car. The car should have detected that the driver was asleep. It should have “known” the speed limit, and it should have seen the red light before it entered the intersection. Who is at fault now? Welcome to a World with Self-Driving Cars. Personal Injury Cases Are About to Change. First it was Google, then Tesla. Now, numerous tech companies and automotive manufacturers are in the process of developing self-driving technology. One company, Ottomotto (which is reportedly being bought by Uber), is even seeking to retrofit old tractor-trailers so that truckers can drive hands-free. As reported by Business Insider, by the year 2020, there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the roads. This includes not only “semi-autonomous” vehicles – cars, trucks, and SUVs that have technologies designed to limit driver input and correct driver mistakes – but fully autonomous vehicles as well. According to Business Insider: “A fully autonomous vehicle can drive from point A to point B and encounter the entire range of on-road scenarios without needing any interaction from the driver. These will debut in 2019.” That’s only three years away. Of course, we have already seen that these self-driving technologies are not perfect. First, Google’s self-driving car crashed into a bus. Then, an accident involving a Tesla car revealed a potential “blind spot” in the car’s autopilot technology. So, we come back to the question: When a self-driving vehicle causes an accident, who is to blame? Establishing Liability in Collisions Involving Self-Driving Vehicles As you might expect, the answer is not easy. In fact, it will almost certainly continue to be determined on a case-by-case basis. But, the following are all possibilities: The Vehicle Manufacturer – For many people, the first option that comes to mind is the vehicle manufacturer. After all, if the vehicle itself causes the accident, shouldn’t the maker of the vehicle be responsible? Under the law of products liability, vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, and other companies in the “chain of distribution” can all be held liable when a defect causes an accident. In fact, these companies may also be responsible if another company is to blame . . . The Autonomous Technology Designer – Major automotive manufacturers regularly license technologies for their vehicles from other companies. If a technology company designs defective software that it licenses to a manufacturer, which then sells defective vehicles to consumers, now there is yet another company involved in the relevant chain of distribution. The Driver – In today’s world, fully autonomous vehicles do not yet (legally) exist on the U.S. roads. As a result, drivers in self-driving cars still bear responsibility for ensuring that they do not cause dangerous collisions. If you are injured in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle, there is still a good chance that the driver is at least partially to blame. A Shop That Worked on the Vehicle – Suppose a mechanic at a repair shop damages one of the sensors on a self-driving car. Or, maybe a mechanic performs a shoddy brake job, and as a result both the car and the driver are unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Each of these are scenarios in which a shop that performed work on a self-driving vehicle could potentially face legal liability. The Driver’s Employer – As with accidents today, if a driver is on duty at the time he or she causes an accident, his or her employer can often be held liable either (i) for negligently hiring a dangerous driver, or (ii) under the employment-related concept of vicarious liability. If an employer forces all of its employees to drive autonomous vehicles as part of a company initiative, this may provide yet another reason to point a finger at the employer. Another Driver – Of course, even autonomous cars do not have force fields. While self-driving cars may be able to steer or brake in order to try to avoid a collision, if a drunk, distracted, fatigued, or inattentive driver creates an unavoidable danger, that driver will still face the prospect of being held liable for the accident. Another Technology Provider – Finally, it is not hard to imagine a world where cars communicate with traffic signals, the road, or even each other. In fact, the MIT Technology Review published an article predicting that car-to-car communication technology will be available in one to two years. If some other technology that was supposed to communicate with a self-driving car fails and causes an accident, that technology’s provider may be the one who is to blame. The question of liability in self-driving car collisions is an interesting one, and one for which the answer is likely to gradually take shape over time. Right now, if you have been involved in an accident involving a self-driving car, the only thing that you need to know is this: You will need an experienced attorney to help you stand up for your legal rights. Contact the Tampa, FL Auto Accident Attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is a personal injury law firm based in Tampa, FL that devotes the majority of its practice to representing victims with auto accident-related injuries. Together, the firm’s 10+ attorneys have over a century of personal injury experience, and they have helped over 20,000 clients seek compensation for their losses. If you have been...

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Tesla and Self-Driving Cars Under Scrutiny After Autopilot Crash

Category: Car Accidents |

In the age of technological innovation, many drivers heralded Tesla’s autopilot feature as the next big development in driving and car safety.  However, a May crash involving a Tesla vehicle on autopilot has generated predictions of a product liability lawsuit and questions about the future of automated cars. Tesla’s Autopilot Beta Tesla’s self-driving feature is still in a test mode. The autopilot system combines sensors and a camera to detect, among other things: Other vehicles Lane markers Additional road obstacles The system executes any necessary steering while simultaneously operating the accelerator and brakes to stay a safe distance behind a preceding vehicle. The company has advised drivers to always keep their hands on the steering wheel and to remain alert to react since the car’s technology isn’t perfect. However, Tesla didn’t invent the autopilot system. Mercedes-Benz has included similar technology on its vehicles for years. But Mercedes technology actually requires keeping hands on the wheel instead of merely suggesting it. Tesla Crash in Williston, Florida On May 7, a man died after his Tesla Model S hit the side of a truck in Williston, Florida while the car was in autopilot mode. The crash marks the first known death linked to a self-driving car. The autopilot system is not really completely autonomous. Tesla describes it as a “traffic-aware cruise control” system while reminding drivers to keep their hands on the wheel. The company has stated that neither the driver nor the software reacted before the crash. Here’s more fuel to add to the fire: The truck driver says he heard sounds of a Harry Potter movie coming from the car after the accident. And the local sheriff’s department found a portable DVD player in it. The National Transportation Safety Board, which normally investigates accidents related to airplanes, buses, ships, or trains, has sent employees to investigate. They joined representatives of the Florida Highway Patrol and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to try to figure out whether the autopilot system caused the crash. More than 5 million car accidents occurred in 2012. Each year, 94% of the 35,200 U.S. traffic fatalities link to human error. This equates to 1.12 deaths for each 100 million miles driven. Tesla maintains that drivers of its vehicles have tallied more than 130 million miles on autopilot, which calculates to a fatality rate just 0.78. A Second Accident Linked to Tesla Autopilot You might be wondering if this was an isolated occurrence. However, a second serious crash involving a Tesla on autopilot occurred approximately 100 miles east of Pittsburgh on July 1. A Tesla Model X overturned, then landed on its roof. Thankfully, both the driver and his passenger survived. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating to find out whether the autopilot feature was actually engaged. The 77-year-old driver maintained that he was using it when the sport utility vehicle hit barriers on each side of the road. The Possibility of Litigation Some legal experts believe the Florida victim’s family might have grounds to sue Tesla. The basis of the suit could be misleading the driver to believe the autopilot was more capable than it indeed was. The questions are whether the driver received an adequate warning regarding the system’s potential defects and what is the reasonable standard of the meaning “autopilot”. Naysayers maintain that the driver might have ignored safety features that were in place, indicating the driver accepted and assumed the risk of using the system. One thing is certain: Tesla is likely to raise a rigorous argument. The company has cited frequent system checks to ensure that a driver’s hands are on the wheel. However, founder Elon Musk seemed to contradict the need for them in calling the autopilot feature “probably better than humans at this point in highway driving.” What’s the bottom line?   There are a lot of open questions about the liability surrounding self-driving vehicles, so if a lawsuit is filed in this case, experts, companies, and consumers will be watching very closely. If you have questions or concerns about injuries suffered through the use of a dangerous or defective product, please contact the Tampa lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means there are no fees or costs unless we win.  For assistance call us toll-free at 1-800-538-4878

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How to Jeopardize Your Car Accident Case

Category: Accidents |

If you’ve been in a car accident, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your case. After all, you most likely need the compensation to pay for things like medical bills, damage to your car, time lost from work, and more. Unfortunately, we’ve seen clients do things that put this compensation at risk. We don’t want that to happen to any other accident victims, so read on to see how you may be jeopardizing your case. Not seeking medical attention – It can be tempting to put off seeking medical attention – or not get any at all – after a crash, especially if your symptoms are vague or don’t appear right away. But going to the emergency room or your primary care physician is of paramount importance, because you may still have injuries that can cause major problems in the future. And these problems will need a medical paper trail in order to be considered as part of your compensation. Not reporting the accident – It was tempting not to report the accident to the police, especially if it seemed minor or you feel you may have some responsibility for the crash. But again, in order to advocate for compensation, you need a paper trail with all the details of the accident, and a police report is one of the best ways to document your accident. As far as responsibility goes, leave that up to a judge or jury to decide – you can always talk to your attorney about it in advance. Not hiring a lawyer – This is possibly one of the worst mistakes you can make if you want adequate compensation for what you suffered. It’s easy to think you can do without legal representation – especially if an insurance company is pressuring you to get a quick settlement. But accident victims with practiced attorneys on their side routinely get more compensation than those who go without. Even worse – if you make a single mistake in your case, you may forfeit all compensation forever. Don’t jeopardize your case — get a Tampa accident lawyer The car accident lawsuit process is complicated, and best understood by an experienced attorney. Don’t jeopardize your case – and your compensation – by foregoing representation. The firm of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offers a free case evaluation to every new client; to schedule yours, call our staff 24 hours a day at 1-800-538-4878.

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Common Driver Mistakes that Lead to Car Accident Lawsuits

Category: Car Accidents |

We all do what we can to avoid bad car accidents. No one wants to be in a horrific – and possibly deadly – crash. However, sometimes even the best of intentions don’t yield the desired results. Below are some of the more common mistakes made by drivers that lead to car accidents and tips on how you can avoid them. Distracted driving This is one you’ve probably heard a lot about in recent years, and for good reason. Distracted driving consistently ranks as one of the top reasons for car accidents in the United States. A distraction can be as simple as checking your makeup in the rearview mirror or attempting to eat a meal while driving. Remember, when you’re behind the wheel, your attention should be on the road and nowhere else! Tailgating Following behind another car too closely can easily result in a rear-end collision. A good rule of thumb is to leave one car length between you and the car in front of you for every ten miles of speed. Increase that amount in the event of inclement weather. Failure to Yield As a driver, it’s your responsibility to know when to yield to traffic and pedestrians. Be aware of all the circumstances in which others may have the right of way. For example, this may include pedestrians in crosswalks or cars to the right of you at a four-way intersection. If you do not have the right of way, never try to drive on because you “think you can make it.” Backing Up Backing up may seem straightforward, but it’s often more complicated than it appears. Don’t rely solely on your rear or side-view mirrors to tell you when it’s safe to put the car in reverse. There are blind spots you may not be aware of, which is why turning and looking over your shoulder out the back window is important when backing up. Speeding It goes without saying that barring an emergency, whatever’s waiting for you at the end of your journey can wait. Obey speed limits and reduce your speed during inclement weather. You need a car accident attorney who knows the facts An experienced attorney knows how complicated car accident lawsuits can be, given the many different types of potential factors involved with personal injury liability. If you were in a crash and need help litigating or settling your case, call the Tampa auto accident attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for a free consultation. Our staff is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-538-4878 to assist you.

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What are Some of the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

Category: Car Accidents |

Depending on the severity of the crash, auto accident injuries can be devastating. Even in a fender-bender, you can suffer debilitating trauma and need months to recover — if, in fact, you’re able to get back to your prior level of functioning at all. If you’re in a more serious accident, the results can be even more catastrophic. We strongly recommend that you contact an experienced car accident attorney if you have suffered any of the following: Whiplash This is one of the car accident injuries you hear about most frequently, and for good reason. Whiplash injuries occur when the victim suffers a forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement to the neck, and is usually associated with rear-end collisions. Concussions Don’t make the mistake of ignoring any significant trauma to the head when you have been in a car accident. Remember, all concussions are indeed something to worry about – they’re brain injuries which always need to be checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Knee, hip and thigh injuries Collisions often mean that things from the front of the car – such as steering wheels and dashboards – can slam into those sitting in the driver and front passenger seat. In these cases, knees, hips and thighs often suffer the brunt of the impact, leading to long-term rehabilitation and in some cases, amputation. Spinal cord injuries Injuries to the back and spinal cord can be some of the worst a victim can suffer in a car accident. The pain associated with these injuries can be excruciating, and injury victims often face permanent disabilities. Among these are full and partial paralysis, which can lead to a lifetime of unexpected costs and broken dreams. Need to file a claim for your car accident injuries? Car accident lawsuits are often more complex than they first appear. The world of courtrooms, insurance companies, and formal legalities can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it. Let our firm fight for you. For a free case evaluation, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 hours a day at 1-800-538-4878.  

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What Happens if You Don’t Get a Car Accident Injury Lawyer

Category: Car Accidents |

You’ve been in a bad auto accident, and times are tough. The medical bills are piling up, you’ve been out of work for weeks or months, and you’re wondering how you’re going to make ends meet. You know that filing a legal claim is your best bet for the compensation you need to recover, and you are considering pursuing a claim on your own. After all, with all your financial problems, you can’t afford to hire an attorney, can you? Actually, a better question to ask may be “Can you afford not to hire an attorney?” Below are just a few of the negative outcomes of failing to secure a skilled auto accident lawyer: You may lose time. A lawyers who knows the ins and outs of courtrooms, legal rules, government officials, and insurance company policies can save you a lot of time. They understand how to cut through the jargon and complex bureaucratic mazes to fight for your rights in an efficient manner. You may lose your chance for compensation. If the world were a perfect place, an accident victim would be treated the same way as a lawyer when it came to the world of insurance claims and courtrooms. But unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The truth of the matter is that insurance companies and defense attorneys are much more likely to take you seriously with a lawyer by your side. If fact, studies show that victims who hire attorneys consistently walk away with more compensation than those who don’t. No matter how deserving you are or how much evidence there is of the other party’s liability, there is a good chance that you may lose your case if you don’t know how to pursue a personal injury claim effectively. If you do not hire an attorney, you may forfeit any chance you had at receiving the compensation you need for recovery and for putting your life back together. You need a car accident injury lawyer from an experienced firm! Abrahamson & Uiterwyk won’t charge you a dime unless they win or settle your case.  It’s as close to risk-free as you can get!  For a complimentary case evaluation, contact our Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 hours a day at 1-800-538-4878.

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Understanding Car Accident Liability: What Victims Wish You Knew

Category: Car Accidents |

It’s safe to say that car accident victims probably wish they could go back in time and prevent their accident from occurring. If that were possible, they could have saved themselves a great deal of pain, frustration, stress, heartache, and financial loss. Unfortunately, since no one can go back in time, all we can do is pick up the pieces and move forward. The following are some of the lessons car accident victims learned along their journey: Drive safely Although you can’t account for what others will do, you can be as responsible as possible on the road. This will decrease the likelihood of any type of accident. Often this means obeying speed limits, not operating a vehicle while distracted or intoxicated, and always driving defensively. Get medical attention Get any medical attention you need, including both emergency care after the accident and whatever follow-up your physician recommends. Remember, nothing is more important than your health. Secondly, seeking medical care for your injuries can play a key role in protecting your rights after an accident. Document the accident Take notes, jot down numbers, get photographs, obtain police and witness reports, and collect information that indicates what the accident will cost you. This can include medical bills, car repair expenses, and time lost from work. Hire a lawyer Don’t trust the other driver, their insurance company, or even your insurance company when it comes to getting fair compensation. Although they may all seem compassionate and sympathetic to your case, their primary goal is to minimize your payout as much as possible. A focused, aggressive attorney, on the other hand, puts his or her main focus on maximizing your payout and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Put our experienced Tampa car accident attorneys to work for you! If you’ve been in a crash, you should know that car accident liability is a very complicated matter. For a free case evaluation, contact the firm of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Our staff is happy to speak to you 24 hours a day – just call 1-800-538-4878.

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What are Some Easy Ways to Avoid a Collision and Potentially Costly Car Accident Lawsuit?

Category: Car Accidents |

When we first start out driving, we’re often vigilant about our surroundings and how we handle our car. Hyperaware might be an even better word. After all, we want to pass that driver’s test and finally stop begging our parents for rides, don’t we? But as the years go by, we tend to let things slide a bit. We don’t glance as long over our shoulder when pulling into traffic. We routinely go over the speed limit because, hey, everybody does it, right? Even though it’s human nature to get a bit lax once in a while, the results can be dangerous – and even deadly. Take a look below for a quick “refresher course” on how to prevent an accident. Maintain your car Accident prevention often starts with keeping your car in good shape. This includes regular oil changes, fluid top-ups (including brake and steering fluid), checking for worn brake pads, and any other recommended maintenance. If your car needs repair, try to get to it as soon as possible. Don’t tailgate Give other vehicles plenty of room when you are on the road. Following the vehicle in front of you too closely is a classic recipe for a rear-end collision and potentially a car accident lawsuit. Don’t ride in the left lane Remember – the left lane of a highway is for passing, not driving. Also, it’s easier to pull over or avoid a collision the closer you are to the shoulder. In fact, the majority of accidents occur in the left lane. Keep scanning Rather than just staring straight ahead while driving, your eyes should be constantly scanning the road. This increases the time you’ll have to react should a problem arise. You’ll also be less likely to rear end the car in front of you. Drive with your hands at “9 and 3” Remember how they said to keep your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock position in driving school? Yeah — that still applies, mostly so you have as much control over the vehicle as possible if you have to maneuver around an obstacle quickly. If you were in an accident, you may need an experienced Tampa car accident attorney! Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you can still be in a serious car accident.  Contact the firm of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. We’ll evaluate your case for free – call 1-800-538-4878 24 hours a day.  

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5 Distracted Driving Myths that Simply Aren’t True

Category: Car Accidents |

Think you know everything there is to know about distracted driving? Check out these myths and we’ll see if that’s true: Myth #1: It’s legal. Actually, in an attempt to cut down on accidents, more municipalities are making laws against doing anything other than driving while you’re, well, driving! Myth #2: Everybody does it. Not so. Just because texting and driving accidents, for instance, are a prevalent problem doesn’t mean everyone engages in distracted driving behaviors. Be sure to take the proper precautions while on the road. This is not only to protect others, but you as well. Myth #3: A couple of seconds won’t hurt. You don’t have to be distracted for several minutes to cause an accident. A fraction of a second is all it takes for terrible, avoidable crashes to cause severe injuries – or destroy lives. Myth #4: You can safely multitask while driving. Despite the focus on multitasking in our present culture, many studies have shown that human beings are, in fact, very bad at it. Without your full concentration, you will likely perform simultaneous tasks poorly. And if there’s one task that demands and deserves your complete attention, it’s operating a 4,000-pound car. Myth #5: You can’t be held liable in an accident. In many states, distracted driving is considered a form of reckless driving, which can be prosecuted. But another thing to bear in mind is that prosecution is just the criminal side of it. You can also have a civil lawsuit brought against you for any harm you cause. You may end up paying for damages, injuries, or even a wrongful death. Make no mistake about it: distracted driving is a bad, bad idea. Don’t take the chance; put down your phone, makeup, or fast-food purchase and arrive at your destination safely. Talk to an experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer Were you injured because someone fell prey to these distracted driving myths? If so, our firm may be able to help.  Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at 1-800-538-4878.  Call us today for a free evaluation.  

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Safety Tips for Elderly Drivers: Senior Citizens vs. Teenagers – A Study in Senior Driving Safety

Category: Car Accidents |

People are seniors at least twice in their life. People are “seniors” after their final year of education, and again in their mature years of life. Ironically, these two stages of life can represent very different stages of an individual’s driving career, with each respective stage involving very different concerns about driving capabilities. Comparing the Seniors (Citizens) and the Seniors (Teenagers) Unlike the cruising and hot-rodding teenager, senior citizen drivers bring a lifetime of driving experience and knowledge to the automobile table. Stability. Wisdom. Experience. Yet the other side of this coin involves physical and mental related changes that can also impact senior driving ability. The good news? There are several things senior citizens can do to heighten competence, awareness, and safety behind the wheel – and, perhaps to no one’s great surprise, it’s generally the opposite of what the other type of seniors (hereinafter referred to as “teenagers”) are doing! General Safe Senior Driving Tips Seniors: Avoid high traffic times, particularly the morning, lunch and evening commute shifts. Teens have time restrictions when they first start driving, primarily to avoid the nighttime hours. Seniors: Best to limit their trips to places closer to home. A great idea for seniors who typically travel to the same places, i.e., grocery store, church, pharmacy and friends’ homes. On the other hand, teenagers know no boundaries traveling everywhere on the search for, well, only they would know. Guidelines state that the standard distance between your vehicle and the car ahead is one car length per every 10 mph you’re traveling. (Example: 40 mph = follow four car lengths.) Increase this distance to compensate for slower reaction times, allowing ample space to brake safely or stop when necessary. Staying Alert Behind the Wheel Distractions are the cause or contributing factor in 25 to 50 percent of all collisions. Limit distracting noise inside the senior’s vehicle including radio, passenger conversation, and cellphone use. There is, however, not much we can do about teens who blast music so loudly that it is shared with the world – even when everyone’s windows are rolled up. Loss of hearing means a muting of all traffic sounds. Elderly drivers may experience this hearing decline due to physical aging; teenagers experience the loss with blaring music, cell phone talk and raucous passenger behavior. The latter group needs to compensate by turning everything down a notch or two. The elderly drivers can compensate with a hearing aid or through their vision – consciously watching in their rearview mirrors to check traffic flow while watching for the flashing lights of emergency vehicles. Visibility Issues to Consider Nighttime driving means more limited visibility for all drivers. Rising age eventually impacts reaction times. With both these factors in play, it may be more prudent for seniors to avoid nighttime driving as much as possible. For teens, they’re typically getting ready to go out when the rest of us are coming in. Some elderly drivers lose a little height with age. Be sure your driver’s seat is raised high enough for as clear a view of the road as possible. Sit on a small pillow if necessary. The same process should be followed by teens who would need additional assistance to have a clear view over their dashboard. Fair weather or not, always having your headlights on can be a good move as it increases your visibility to others. Drive on familiar streets. If traveling to an uncommon destination, use a GPS that verbally gives you directions as you drive. Reading directions or reading a map is another unneeded distraction that can contribute to car accidents and collisions. Keeping your windshield, headlights and mirror clean are simple and easy ways to improve driver visibility – for all ages. Keep windshield wiper blades in proper working condition. Nearly all car manufacturers recommend replacement every six months, but given Florida’s climate and precipitation, Trico, an online wiper blade store, maintains that replacement every nine to twelve months is sufficient. However, driving habits can also affect this timeframe. Periodic vision and hearing screenings are always a good idea but become even more important the older we get. Changes in sight and hearing become more dramatic, so shorten the time in-between screenings to keep up with any necessary adjustments. Once a Florida senior reaches 80 years of age, licenses are renewed every 6 years with a mandatory vision test at the Department of Motor Vehicles office. Consider Using Public Transportation Public transportation is a wonderful thing. It’s there when seniors become unsure of their driving abilities; it’s there when teens don’t yet have a car. Regardless, there are options for folks to get around town and good circumstances to exercise these options. Utilize Car Safety Features Florida redefines what it means to be hot, tempting car owners to tint windows for deflection of the sun’s intense rays. It is suggested that elderly drivers who have vision problems should keep window tinting to a lighter shade or not tint at all. Teenagers darken the windows in their cars to follow the latest trend. Seniors: Drive a car with an automatic transmission, if possible. With automatic transmissions, fewer things to attend to equals greater focus and alertness on other aspects of senior driving. In most cases, many teens won’t know how to use a manual transmission. Always wear a seat belt. It’s, the law. In Florida, all passengers in the front seat must wear a seat belt. Passengers in the back seat 18 and younger must wear a seat belt or otherwise be restraint by a child car seat. Drive Carefully in Inclement Weather The number of collisions goes up in inclement weather, which can be particularly treacherous for both seniors and teens. Whether rain, hail, snowstorms, ice or fog, poorer weather can greatly impair driver vision and hinder car performance. Throw in slower reaction times and driver inexperience, and it becomes safe to say that sometimes it’s just better to stay home to avoid hazardous conditions and courting disaster. Stay...

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Understanding Head Injury Recovery: Why Brain Injuries Are So Complicated

Category: Brain Injury |

If you were in an accident and had a serious head injury, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind. How long will my head injury recovery take? Will I ever be the same again? And why are different types of damage to the brain so complicated? While the first two questions will likely depend on your individual circumstances, the last one we can at least try to answer. The long and short of it is, it’s hard to know how to predict and treat brain injuries because the brain is possibly the most intricate and complex part of your body. How accidents affect your brain One of the reasons brain injuries are so complicated is because they are so varied. Generally, there are two types of head injuries: Open head injury: This is when an object or projectile (such as parts of a car or debris from a crash) penetrates the skull. In these instances, brain damage tends to be specific and localized. Doctors can see exactly what part of the brain was affected, whether it’s a section affecting motor skills, cognition, or even personality. Closed head injury: Unlike an open head injury, a closed one is when the skull is struck by an object, but nothing penetrates the skull. While you may think this would make the damage less severe, unfortunately this is not the case. Closed head injuries can impact not only the specific section of the brain that was struck, but these injuries can also be diffuse. This means the injury can affect parts of the brain that were nowhere near the original injury. In addition to the different types of harm the brain can suffer, things are further complicated by the fact that symptoms may not become apparent right away. Symptoms can also vary greatly from one injury victim to another. For instance, some individuals seem fine right after a crash. However, over time, they may begin to develop long or short-term memory problems, or suffer intermittent headaches. At times, it can take a while before they attribute these problems to their accident, and begin seeking treatment accordingly. Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer today! Do you or someone you know need a head injury attorney? Our firm wants to help. The staff of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, and can be reached at 1-800-538-4878. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case.

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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Headache After a Car Accident Head Injury

Category: Car Accidents |

If you’ve survived the trauma of a car accident, you know there’s a lot of aftermath besides recovering from your initial injuries. Even if it was only a “fender bender,” a crash can leave you shaken. In addition to notifying the police, exchanging insurance information, and visiting a doctor or hospital, there’s a lot to be done before you can get your life back to normal. If you suffer a seemingly-minor ailment following the accident, such as a headache, you may be tempted to ignore it. However, that can turn out to be a serious mistake. Seek immediate treatment for car accident injuries The biggest reason you should never ignore a crash-related headache is because many injuries – including suffering a concussion in a car accident – may not appear right away. Don’t think that if nothing was bleeding or broken after the injury it means you’re home free. It’s very possible you may still suffer brain damage from a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) – and a lingering or intermittent headache can be one of the main symptoms. In addition, any injury involving the head is one you’ll want to have looked at as soon as possible. Different types of injuries affect different parts of the brain, it is crucial to get immediate treatment. If you don’t, you risk losing mental faculties that you might never regain. Don’t overlook concussions in a car accident The most common type of head injury in car accidents is a concussion, often thought of as something that’s easily dismissed. But if left untreated, serious concussions can lead to long-term memory loss, cognitive problems, coma, and even death. The majority of people with concussions go on to make a full recovery and lead normal lives. However, this may be because their concussions were not severe, or they received the medical attention they needed right away. In either case, it doesn’t pay to take chances by ignoring a headache after a car accident – even if the rest of your body “feels fine.” Talk to an experienced car accident law team Did you suffer a car accident head injury? Our Tampa car accident attorneys may be able to help. The staff of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, and can be reached at 1-800-538-4878. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case.

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How Your Car Accident Shoulder Injury Can Become a Disability

Category: Car Accidents |

Dealing with any type of shoulder injury a car accident can be a major inconvenience a hardship for injury victims. Unfortunately, some serious shoulder injuries can result in long term disabilities that may have lifelong consequences. Types of Serious Shoulder Injuries Some of the most common types of shoulder injuries include: Rotator cuff injuries Severe sprains & strains Dislocation Bone fractures Symptoms of Serious Shoulder Injuries Common symptoms of a seatbelt injury and other serious shoulder injuries include: Pain: Discomfort ranging from sharp severe pain to dull aches can result from different types of shoulder injuries. Limited mobility: Shoulder trauma can result in stiffness or complete immobility depending on the type and severity of an injury. Abnormal appearance: Some shoulder injuries can result in severe swelling or increased prominence in different areas of the region. Remember, symptoms of some serious injuries may not be present in the immediate aftermath of an accident. If you or a loved one develops the symptoms of a shoulder injury after being involved in a car accident, it’s worth seeking the attention of a medical professional. While some of the aches and pains caused by an accident may clear up in a matter of days, early detection can be very helpful in the treatment of more serious injuries. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week at 1-800-538-4878! Have you or a loved one been severely hurt in an accident in our area? Our Tampa car accident lawyers may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to get started with a free evaluation of your case.

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Will the NHTSA’s Move to Mandate Connected Vehicle Technology to Reduce Clearwater Car Accidents?

Category: Car Accidents |

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced that they are moving forward with establishing rules that will eventually require cars and light trucks to implement connected vehicle technology. What is connected vehicle technology? Connected vehicle technology allows vehicles to electronically connect to one another while they are on the road. This type of technology is designed to enable wireless communication between vehicles, as well as traffic infrastructure and personal devices. Some examples of the different types of connected vehicle technology that are being developed include: Safety applications that provide 360-degree awareness of obstacles and other hazards that drivers cannot see. Mobile applications that provide a connected travel environment using anonymous data from all of the connected vehicles that are using a traffic system at a given time. Informational applications that provide drivers with real-time data on traffic congestion and other important updates. What steps are the NHTSA taking toward implementing this technology? The NHTSA has announced what is known as an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning connected vehicle technology. This notice provides the public and the vehicle industry with the opportunity to provide input on how implementing this technology will be regulated. The notice coincides with the release of a research report on vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Will connected vehicle technology help reduce accidents? Although it will take time to be implemented, the Department of Transportation believes that connected vehicle technology will play a key role in creating safer roads in the years to come. This type of technology is hoped to significantly reduce highway crashes while providing traffic managers with the data they need to maintain road safety. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week Have you been hurt in an accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence? Call the Clearwater car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation and initial consultation.

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Speak With Your Family About Texting While Driving & Make a Distracted Driving Policy

Category: Car Accidents |

Most of us already know that distracted driving has become a big problem in the United States. What all too many of us fail to realize is how our own behaviors take our attention away from the road. Speaking with Your Family If you haven’t talked with your family about the dangers of texting while driving, perhaps it’s time that you should. Don’t assume that your loved ones are being safe and responsible out there. Make sure that they have the facts and know that texting while driving is unacceptable under any circumstances. Useful Tools The Utah Safety Council has put together a couple of tools that are particularly helpful for talking about this issue with your friends and family. Their distracted driving activity encourages loved ones to take an honest look at just how dangerous some of their current behaviors may be. The 5-minute safety talk is centered around a short presentation that promotes an open dialogue about distracted driving in general. Develop a Distracted Driving Policy Creating a distracted driving policy for your household is a great way to encourage everyone to recognize the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel and acting according. Consider taking some time to sit down with your loved ones to develop a commitment to staying focused behind the wheel that the entire family can stick to. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at 1-800-538-4878! If you’ve been seriously injured by a negligent driver in our area, the Tampa personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to help. Call our injury law team now at 1-800-538-4878 to get started today.

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Facts about Distracted Driving: Teen Drivers Often on Calls with Parents

Category: Car Accidents |

Most parents of teenage drivers are concerned about how their children use smartphones and similar devices when they’re behind the wheel. According to a new study presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference however, phone calls and texts from parents themselves are leading causes of distractions for teen drivers. About the Teen Distracted Driving Study As reported by Today.com, the study was conducted by researchers from Parallel Consulting and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 400 teen drivers from 31 different states were included in the study and participated by answering questions related to their use of mobile devices behind the wheel. The study found that 53 percent of teen drivers are actually talking with a parent when they are speaking on a phone while driving. However, the study also found that teens were much less likely to be communicating with a parent when they are texting while driving. What Can Parents Do About Teenage Distracted Driving? Thankfully, there’s a lot that parents can do to address the problem of teenage distracted driving. Be a good role model for your entire family by staying focused on the road when you are behind the wheel. Communicate openly with your family about the dangers of distracted driving. Consider developing a distracted driving policy for your family. Ask your loved ones whether they are behind the wheel if you need to call them when they are on the go. If they need to focus on the road, allow them to return your call when it’s safe to do so. Have you or a family member been hurt in an accident in the Tampa Bay area? Call our injury law team today at 1-800-538-4878! A Tampa personal injury attorney may be able to stand up for your rights if you’ve been a victim of another driver’s negligence. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation.

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Proving Fault in a Tampa Car Accident Case: What is Negligence?

Category: Car Accidents |

In order to prove fault in a personal injury case, it is often necessary to demonstrate how someone’s negligence contributed to an accident taking place. Understanding what negligence is and what goes into proving fault in a case involving negligence is an important part of understanding your legal options following a serious Tampa car accident. What is Negligence? In a nutshell, the legal principle of negligence holds a person responsible for harm that has been caused by someone else’s irresponsible behavior. In order for injured victims to seek damages that were caused by negligence, they need to prove that the individuals who were allegedly at fault acted negligently. Proving Fault In a personal injury case involving negligence, it is typically necessary to prove fault in the following four areas in order to establish that a defendant acted negligently: Duty – The defendant had a legal duty to the plaintiff in the given circumstances. Breach – This duty was breached by acting or not acting in a given way. Causation – It was this particular breach that caused the plaintiff to be injured. Damages – The plaintiff suffered damages due the defendant’s actions. Have you or a loved one been hurt in a Tampa car accident that was caused by a negligent driver? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our Tampa car accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of victims who have been seriously injured in our area for over 30 years. Call our injury law team today at 1-800-538-4878 to learn how our experienced accident attorneys may be able to help you.

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New Study Ranks Florida 34th for Teen Driving Safety, Reveals Common Causes of Teen Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

A recent study on teen driving issues conducted by WalletHub has ranked Florida as the 34th best state when it comes to all of the issues that teens face behind the wheel About the Study WalletHub used a set of 16 main metrics to which states were the most dangerous for teenage drivers. These metrics ranged from total teen driver fatalities and the average costs of vehicle repairs to the types of impaired driving laws that are on the books in each state. Other Notable Findings According to the findings from the study, New York, Hawaii and Illinois are the best states for teen drivers, while Nebraska, Mississippi and South Dakota are at the bottom of the list. The states with the highest percentages of teenagers with driver’s licenses are Kansas, South Dakota and Iowa. New Mexico, Kentucky and Indiana have the highest rates of teen driver fatalities per licensed teen drivers. Common Risks Facing Teenage Drivers The safety experts involved in the study also discussed some of the most common causes of teen car accidents that young drivers need to know about. Most young drivers are inexperienced with the many safety risks that can arise on the road that older drivers have learned to anticipate over the years. As a result, they may be less likely to scan the road for possible dangers and slower to react when something unexpected occurs. Teen drivers can be more likely to engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel, such as distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding. Teens can often overestimate their driving abilities while underestimating certain safety risks. Have you been seriously injured in a car accident in our area? Call our injury law team today at 1-800-538-4878. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident in our area. Our Clearwater car accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of victims throughout Florida for over 30 years.

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How Safe is Your Car? Avoid a Clearwater Car Accident & Stay Informed with a Quick Vehicle Recall Check

Category: Car Accidents |

You’ve probably seen the headlines about the excessive number of vehicle recalls that have been issued. For example, millions of vehicles have recently been recalled by GM alone for faulty ignition switches. These dangerous defects have been linked to at least 13 deaths already. Are you sure that your vehicle hasn’t been included in any of the recent recalls? Thankfully, there are some easy ways to check on the recall status of your vehicle and avoid a Clearwater car accident. It only takes minutes, so take a moment to see whether there are any recalls for your car with a quick vehicle recall check. Safercar.gov – Search under recalls for any relevant recalls or other technical service bulletins that may have been issued for your vehicle. Safercar.gov also offers a mobile app that can help you stay up to date on what you need to know about road safety. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – The NHTSA’s website also has a section on their website that is devoted to sharing recent vehicle recalls with the public. Be sure to take all vehicle recalls seriously Don’t make the mistake of thinking that manufacturers are being extra cautious when they have issued a recall or that your vehicle is unlikely to be impacted. Recalls are sent out for a reason and should be treated seriously. Be responsible and ensure that your vehicle gets the service it needs. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today if you’ve been in a serious accident in our area. We may be able to help. When someone’s poor judgment results in a victim being seriously injured in an accident, they may be held liable for that person’s injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident in our area due to someone else’s neglect, our Clearwater car accident lawyers may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation.

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What are the Florida Highway Patrol’s Tips for Using a Cell Phone While Driving?

Category: Car Accidents |

Although Florida finally has a law in place that prohibits texting while driving, all too many drivers in our area make the mistake of using their phones irresponsibly when they are on the road. In an effort to reduce the rate of distracted driving accidents in our state, the Florida High Patrol has issued some driving safety tips designed to help drivers use their cell phones while driving responsibly. Make Driving Safety Your Top Priority Although being able to make emergency calls when you are on the go can be helpful in some circumstances, it’s your responsibility to treat driving safely as your number on priority. Simply put, do not take calls while you are on the road if it is going to distract you from driving safely. If you receive a routine phone call on your cell phone while driving, consider letting it ring and go to voicemail. In the event that you really need to take or make a call, pull over and stop as soon as possible. Keep Conversations as Short as Possible If you do need to use your phone while you are driving, avoid getting into a lengthy or prolonged conversation. Address the reason behind the call as quickly as possible so that you can end your call. Be sure to avoid emotional or stressful phone calls while you are driving as these conversations can make it difficult to stay focused on the road. Keep Your Attention on the Road Above all, keep your eyes on the road if you need to use your phone. Hands-free cell phone devices can be useful, but it is still up to you to remain focused. If you need to take notes or look up a phone number, pull over so that you can do so safely. Other Cell Phone Safety Tips Become familiar with your phone and its different features. Consider using a hands-free device. Don’t use your phone in heavy traffic, inclement weather or other hazardous conditions. Only use your phone while you’re driving when it is absolutely necessary Don’t Delay: Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Now at 1-800-538-4878! Have you been hurt in an accident in our area? Call the Clearwater personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to find out how we may be able to help.

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Texting While Driving Facts Tampa Drivers Need to Know

Category: Car Accidents |

With more people than ever using smartphones and other mobile devices throughout the day, texting while driving has become a leading cause of the distracted driving epidemic that faces modern society. While we all know that distracted driving is irresponsible, most people don’t realize just how dangerous behaviors like texting while driving real are. In reality, there are plenty of traffic safety experts who believe texting while driving may be as dangerous as drunk driving, perhaps even more so. Texting While Driving Facts The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that participating in visual and manual tasks like texting while driving can increase one’s risk of causing a car accident by three times. It takes an average of 4.6 seconds to send or receive a text. According to VTTI, that’s enough time for a car traveling at 55 mph to travel the distance of a football field. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute revealed that roughly a quarter of all teens respond to a text message at least once every time they’re behind the wheel. According to a Pew study, 40 percent of teens admit that they’ve been in a vehicle with a driver who was using a phone in a way that put others in danger. The Centers for Disease Control found that about 31 percent of all drivers between 18 and 64 admitted to texting while driving at least once within the last 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving was responsible for at least 18 percent of auto accidents in 2010. Call Us Today for a Free Consultation if You’ve been Injured in a Tampa Car Accident at 1-800-538-4878 Distracted drivers put everyone at the risk when they let their attention drift from the road to use a mobile device. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by texting while driving or some other form of negligence, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878.

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Common Causes of Hip Pain after a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

Hip Pain After a Car Accident If you or are loved one is suffer from hip pain after a car accident, you are likely concerned on what is causing the discomfort and how serious the injury might be. Below, we examine some of the more common causes of experiencing hip discomfort after a collision, including hip dislocation, stress fractures and muscle strain. If you were injured in a Florida auto accident, you should contact our injury firm today for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation.  Common Hip Injuries Resulting From an Auto Accident Hip Dislocation Hip dislocation is one of the more common severe injuries associated with hip pain after a car accident. One common way that these accidents can take place is when the force of impact drives a victim’s knee into the dashboard, forcing the hip out of position. Symptoms of hip dislocation include severe pain, reduced mobility, and an abnormal positioning of the hip. A dislocated hip may require immediate emergency care in order to keep blood circulating throughout the leg and avoiding permanent injury. Stress Fractures The blunt force involved in serious car accidents can be enough to result in fractures to the hip bone. These injuries can be severely painful and result in considerable medical expenses with a lengthy recovery time. Muscle Strain Hip trauma can cause stretches or tears to the muscle fibers of the hip resulting in muscle strain. Muscle pain is the most common symptom of muscle strain, followed by swelling and weakness. Suffering a serious hip injury can result in considerable pain and suffering, expensive medical bills, and lost income. If you’ve suffered this type of injury due to someone else’s negligence or irresponsibility, you may be eligible for financial compensation that can help with your recovery. Speak with a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has stood up for the rights of car accident victims in Tampa and throughout Florida since 1988. Call us today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation or fill out our contact form to discover how our Tampa, FL personal injury attorneys may be able to help you.

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Common Car Accident Injuries to Watch for After a Tampa Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

Injuries caused by car accidents account for the majority of the personal injury cases accepted by Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Back, Neck and Spine Injuries In many serious car accidents, the force of the sudden jolt to the body caused by a collision can result in trauma to the back, neck or spine. Some of the more common injuries include: Whiplash Herniated disks Fractured vertebrae Spinal cord injuries Head and Brain Injuries Car accident injuries involving trauma to the head can result in serious complications including traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury involves a temporary or permanent loss of healthy brain function that is caused by external mechanical force. The severity of a traumatic brain injury can vary from a relatively mild injury such as a concussion to a severe injury resulting in permanent disability, coma or loss of life. Other types of common car accident injuries involving the head include: Bruises Lacerations Scalp wounds Disfigurement Shoulder and Knee Injuries Car accident victims can also experience severe injuries to their shoulders and knees that may be immobilizing and require surgical intervention. Some common types of shoulder injuries include: Bone fractures Impingement syndrome (or “Swimmer’s shoulder”) Dislocation Rotator cuff tear Some common types of knee injuries include: Bone fractures Dislocation Ligament injuries Tendon tears In cases involving severe car accident injuries, injury victims may face a long period of recovery involving considerable medical expenses and loss of income, as well as pain and suffering. Have you been involved in serious Tampa car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence? Our Tampa personal injury lawyers may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878!

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What’s the One Big Question Car Accident Lawyers Have About Self Driving Car Technology?

Category: Car Accidents |

Ask anyone who has experience as an automotive tech about the future of self-driving car technology, and they’re likely to tell you that it’s not a question of if automated cars will start appearing on the road. It’s when. Instead, the real question that many personal injury lawyers have is about self-driving car liability. Who can be held liable when a self-driving car crashes? While determining liability can be difficult in the aftermath of any accident, the very nature of self-driving cars raises a whole host of additional considerations. For example, in the event that it’s clear that a self-driving car was responsible for an accident, then who exactly who should be held responsible for the damages? The driver? The manufacturer? Or perhaps the developers of the self-driving technology itself? Other interesting questions about self-driving cars In addition to liability, there are some other important questions about this new technology that need to be considered, such as: In the event of an unavoidable accident, who will a self-driving car choose to protect first: the driver, its passengers or other individuals? How secure is the software being used to automate these vehicles? Would hackers to be able to compromise the symptom or gain control of a vehicle? Laws in general tend to struggle to keep up when it comes to emerging technologies. When it comes to self-driving cars, thankfully, there’s still plenty of time to sort these types of considerations out. Truly automated automobiles are unlikely to be available to most consumers for many years to come. While the future of self-driving car technology is fascinating to think about, it’s important to note that the switch to driverless cars isn’t going to happen overnight. Instead, the process is likely to be more gradual, as new forms of car safety technology are incorporated into the market. Have you been seriously injured in an accident in our area? Call the Clearwater car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. Speaking with a member of our injury law team can help you understand what your legal options might be and how our experienced Clearwater car accident lawyers can fight for your rights. Call us now at 1-800-538-4878 to get started.

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What are Some Common Questions Victims Have About the Car Accident Lawsuit Process?

Category: Car Accidents |

Dealing with the physical and financial repercussions of being involved in a serious accident can be a bewildering experience. If you’ve recently been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be looking for answers to some of these common questions asked about the car accident lawsuit process. How does the process of pursuing an injury claim work? The process typically begins with obtaining a statement from your doctor concluding that you have obtained the best recovery possible, which is called your maximum medical improvement. This allows us to assemble a comprehensive demand package including pertinent items like: Medical expenses Medical records Medical prognosis Lost income Proof of negligence Other important documents This package is used as we attempt to reach an appropriate settlement with the insurance company as we begin the negotiation process. Will my claim be going to court? In many cases, our focused, aggressive car accident lawyers are able to reach a fair settlement without ever filing a lawsuit. In other circumstances, however, if we are not able to reach a settlement with the insurance company through negotiation alone, pursuing a lawsuit is discussed. It’s important to note that not all accident claims justify an actual car acciden lawsuit, and not all lawsuits need to go to trial. What should I do while my case is being pursued? It is important to focus on your recovery while your case is progressing. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations and pursue the treatment and therapy. In addition to being necessary to recovering from your accident, this is also an important part of documenting your injuries, and it is important to keep your injury lawyer up to date on how your treatment is going. Call Us 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week for a Free Case Evaluation If you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a lot questions about how to go about protecting your rights. Our injury law team can provide you with a free evaluation of your case during your initial consultation. Call us today at 1-800-538-4878 to get started.

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You’ve Been Seriously Injured in Car Accident Caused by Someone with No Insurance. Now What?

Category: Car Accidents |

Being involved in a serious car accident can be a traumatic experience no matter what. When you’ve been seriously injured by an uninsured driver, the situation can be even more challenging. What to Do After a Car Accident with No Insurance It’s always important to document the details of the incident and your injuries after an accident. This is particularly important in the event of a car accident with an uninsured driver. Obtain key information from everyone involved in the accident. Be sure to get names and contact information from any potential witnesses, including other passengers. Get as much information from all drivers who were involved as possible, particularly the individual without insurance, such as: Names Phone numbers Driver’s license number Vehicle make, model and license plate Any insurance information Obtain a police report, even if the accident seems fairly minor at the time. A small amount of vehicle damage can result in a surprisingly high repair bill, and the symptoms of some serious injuries are not always present at the scene of an accident. Document the details of the accident to the best of your ability. If you have a camera, take pictures detailing vehicle damage and any pertinent information that may capture how the accident took place. Write down the details of the accident as soon as you can while the incident is still fresh in your mind. Important: Do not accept any type of settlement at the scene In some cases, an uninsured driver may try to resolve the matter by offering a cash or check settlement at the scene. It’s important to remain as calm and civil as possible after a car accident, but do not accept any offers or make any agreements regarding fault or liability. Determining how to seek compensation for your injuries Determining the best way to seek compensation for damages from an accident caused by an uninsured driver can depend on your state, your own insurance policy and the other driver’s personal circumstances. Some insurance policies include coverage for accidents involving uninsured drivers. Although it may be possible to seek compensation through pursuing a lawsuit against the driver, many uninsured drivers do not have many personal assets. Speaking with an experience car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident can help bring your options into focus. Have you been seriously injured in an accident in our area? Call the Tampa personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. Our personal injury law team can provide you with a free case evaluation that can help bring your legal options into focus. Call us now at 1-800-538-4878.

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What Factors Go Into a Car Accident Medical Settlement

Category: Car Accidents |

When a victim is seriously injured in a car accident, the medical expenses associated with emergency and recovery care can add up quickly. In cases where an accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, injury victims can pursue compensation for these expenses in the form of a car accident medical settlement. Monetary Damages When you are seeking care for your injuries following a car accident, it is important to document all of your medical expenses. In the event that you need to pursue an injury claim, you may be able to obtain compensation for your expenses. Some common examples of monetary damages that are incurred by medical care include: Emergency care Hospital stays Follow up care Medications X-rays Physical therapy Non-monetary Damages Injury victims may also be able to pursue compensation for losses that aren’t directly tied to financial expenses. Pain and suffering are the most common types of non-monetary damages associated with car accident settlements. This can include both the physical pain and discomfort that a personal injury victim has suffered, as well as the mental and emotional distress that were caused by an accident. Other examples of non-monetary damages may include: Disability or disfigurement Loss of consortium Loss of society and companionship Loss of enjoyment of life Calculating the economic value of non-monetary damages can be a complicated process that can vary considerably depending upon the unique circumstances of a victim’s lifestyle, life circumstances and personal injuries. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878! Our Tampa car accident lawyers will fight for your rights. If you’ve been injured, call us now at 1-800-538-4878. We’ll evaluate your case for free and may be able to help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

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Do You Know What to Do When You Get in a Car Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

No one expects to be in serious car accident, studies have shown that the chances are that most people will be involved in at least one motor vehicle accident at some point in their lives. Knowing what to do when you get in a car accident ahead of time can make a huge difference when it comes to handling the event responsibly while protecting your rights. Below we examine some of the most important things to bear in mind in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Determine the Extent of Damage and Injuries The most important thing to do immediately after an accident has taken place is to find out whether anyone at the scene of the accident has been seriously injured. Stay calm, and call for emergency assistance if necessary. Report the Accident to the Police Even if no one seems to be seriously injured at the scene of the accident, it’s still a good idea to report the incident to the police. Remember, the symptoms of some injuries may not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of an accident, and having an accurate police report on hand may be very important in the event that you need to file an injury claim. Gather as Much Information as Possible It’s important to document your accident to the best of your ability while you are still at the scene. Be sure to gather contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident. If you have a camera, take pictures of any damage as well as any contributing factors that may have played a role in the collision. Avoid Making Agreements or Admitting Guilt While it’s important to remain civil at the scene of a car accident, don’t make any agreements with anyone else involved in the collision. Do not admit guilt for the accident, even if you suspect that you may have been somewhat responsible. Remember, people who seem to be amenable in the immediate aftermath of an accident may behave very differently after some time has passed. Don’t put off getting the legal help you may need. Call us now for a free case evaluation at 1-800-538-4878! The sooner you speak with a member of our injury law team, the sooner you can learn whether our Tampa car accident lawyers may be able to stand up for your rights. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 to get started.

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Tampa Drivers: Get the Facts on Texting and Driving Before It’s Too Late

Category: Car Accidents |

While we all know that distracted driving has become a major problem in the United States, the actual toll that risky behaviors like texting and driving is having out there can be difficult to appreciate. How common is texting while driving? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 421,000 people were injured and 3,360 lost their lives in distracted driving accidents in 2012. Although distracted driving fatalities actually declined slightly compared to the previous year, injuries caused by distracted driving rose by about 9 percent. How dangerous is texting while driving? While there are plenty of helpful facts on texting and driving that Tampa drivers should know, the most important thing to understand is just how dangerous this behavior really is. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute breaks this down with some numbers that should make everyone realize just how dangerous texting while driving. It takes an average person about 4.6 seconds to read or send an average text. That’s more than enough time for a serious tragedy to occur. If you’re driving at 55 mph, your vehicle will travel the length of an entire football field while you’re distracted with your text. If something unexpected happens during that period, there’s a good chance that you won’t have enough time to respond appropriately and avoid an accident. Texting while driving vs drunk driving In fact, texting while driving is so dangerous that many are beginning to believe that it may be even more dangerous than drunk driving. Car and Driver Magazine conducted a study that showed distracted drivers who were texting while driving performed worse in a variety of areas in a controlled safety test compared to drivers who had been drinking. Others have claimed that drunk driving increase your risk of an accident by four times, while drivers who text while driving are as much as 23 times more likely to crash. If you’ve become a victim of the distracted driving, it might be time to speak with a Tampa personal injury lawyer. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A moment of inattention behind the wheel can lead to a Tampa car accident that results in serious injuries and considerable expenses. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to discuss your options with our injury law team.

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3 Potentially Serious Injuries that Can Cause Car Accident Back Pain

Category: Car Accidents |

Injuries to the back, neck and spine are responsible for a significant proportion of the injuries that lead victims to pursue a personal injury claim. Below we take a look at three of the more severe types of injuries that can be responsible for car accident back pain. Compression Fractures Compression fractures are a potentially serious cause of back pain after a car accident, particularly for older adults. These injuries involve cracks in the vertebrae of the spine that can result in sharp pain, changes in posture and, in some cases, a loss of height. Herniated or Ruptured Disc The bodily trauma of a car accident can also cause damage to the discs cushioning the vertebrae of the spine. When a disc is placed under enough stress, it can bulge through its outer membrane and put pressure on surrounding nerves. In some cases, a herniated disc can cause extreme pain and muscle spasms. Damage to the Spinal Cord A spinal cord injury can result in partial or total loss of functions like feeling and mobility in different parts of the body. The severity of the impact of a spinal cord injury depends on the extent and location of the trauma. Remember, symptoms of some serious back injuries may not be noticeable at the scene of a car accident and may not appear until hours or days after an accident has taken place. If you suspect that you may have been seriously injured, be sure to seek appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible. Have you suffered a severe back injury in a car accident due to someone else’s carelessness? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now! 1-800-538-4878 The back injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to help if you’ve been hurt in a car accident near Tampa, FL. Call 1-800-538-4878 for a free evaluation of your case and initial consultation from our experienced injury law team.

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What You Need to Understand About the Actual Cost of a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

In the immediate aftermath of a serious car accident, most accident victims are primarily concerned about their physical injuries and the shock of being involved in a traumatic collision. It’s not until some time has passed after the actual accident itself that many injury victims begin to realize just how high the actual cost of a car accident can be. Medical Expenses The medical expenses associated with car accident injuries can be considerable. In addition to the initial medical care following an injury, victims may face ongoing medical expenses in the form of follow-up visits, physical therapy and other types of care. Lost Wages In addition to mounting medical bills, many injury victims find that they face a reduction in income due to lost wages. While missing work for even a short period can be a serious burden for some households, a serious injury can force an accident victim to miss work for weeks or months at a time. In some cases, victims face permanent disabilities that may make returning to their chosen profession difficult or impossible. Vehicle Damage The costs for repairing a vehicle that was damaged in even a minor accident can start adding up quickly. When it comes to a serious accident, victims may face a very large auto repair bill or even need to purchase a new vehicle before getting back on the road. Other Types of Car Accident Expenses In addition to medical expenses, lost wages and vehicle damage, a handful of other contributing factors can add to the final cost of a car accident, such as: Other types of property damage Loss of future earning Fines & court fees Punitive damages If you’re dealing with repercussions of a Tampa car accident that was caused by another person’s irresponsible behavior, it may be time to put our injury lawyers to work for you. Our injury law team can provide you with a free case evaluation and may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries. Get started now by calling Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878.

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What Types of Damages are Included in a Car Accident Settlement?

Category: Car Accidents |

When victims are seriously injured in an accident due to the irresponsible behavior of another driver, they may be able to pursue financial compensation for their injuries in the form a car accident settlement. There are a handful of different types of damages that can be included in a settlement. Identifying the damages that apply to a given personal injury claim requires understanding how the accident took place and the full extent of an accident victims injuries. Understanding the difference between monetary and non-monetary damages Depending on the particular details of an individual victim’s accident, he or she may be eligible for compensation for monetary and/or non-monetary damages. Monetary damages include the actual financial losses that were caused by a car accident. Some of the most important monetary damages associated with car accident claims include property damages, medical bills, and lost earnings. Non-monetary damages include losses that are not necessarily directly associated with financial expenses. When it comes to car accident lawsuits, pain and suffering are important types of non-monetary damages that may be applicable to a personal injury claim. A word on punitive damages In some cases, personal injury victims also have the option of pursuing punitive damages. This is a special category of damages that are unrelated to the actual injuries and other damages a victim may have suffered. Instead, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for the behavior that led to the accident. The laws concerning punitive damages can vary considerably from state to state. Some examples of the types of behaviors that may justify pursuing punitive damages include gross negligence and drunk driving. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call our injury law team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation for your injuries. Don’t make the mistake of putting off speaking with a personal injury law firm near you until it is too late. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878.

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How Can a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Help Car Accident Victims

Category: Car Accidents |

Dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident can be overwhelming when you’re doing it on your own. In addition to dealing with medical expenses and recovering from your injuries, you may be uncertain about the best course of action for protecting your rights. If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you may have questions about what is involved in these types of claims and whether you even have a case. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can bring your options into perspective. This is where an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer may be able to help. An injury law team can evaluate your case and provide you with some clarity regarding your legal options. If the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries do not merit pursuing a personal injury claim, they’ll let you know and explain why this may be the case. On the other hand, if your case does merit pursuing just compensation for your injuries, they can explain your legal options and explain how the process works. Other ways that an injury attorney may be able to help Determine who, if anyone was at fault for your accident. Determine who may be liable for your injuries. Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies. Pursue fair compensation in court if necessary. Provide you with peace of mind while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Call the experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free consultation. Since 1988, the Tampa personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have fought for the rights of injury victims throughout the state of Florida. Our injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and may be able to put their experience to work for you. If you’ve been injured in an accident in our area, our injury law team can provide you with a free, confidential evaluation of your case. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to get started.

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Surprising Texting and Driving Statistics that St Petersburg Parents Need to Know

Category: Car Accidents |

Recent texting and driving statistics have shown that distracted driving has become a major problem throughout the country, and St Petersburg is no exception. How many distracted drivers are on the road? Out of all of the statistics that have surfaced when it comes to distracted driving, few are as shocking as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s approximation of just how many distracted drivers there are out there. According to the NHTSA, roughly 660,000 drivers are using a smartphone or similar electronic device while they’re behind the wheel at any given moment of daylight in the United States. How dangerous is texting while driving? This figure becomes even more disconcerting once you understand just how dangerous distracted driving behaviors like texting while driving really are. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducted research into how much of a driver’s attention is diverted from the road by texting. They found that the average driver is looking away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds every time a text message is read or sent. That’s enough time for a vehicle traveling at 55 mph to cross the distance of an entire football field. VTTI also found that a driver who is texting while driving may be as much as 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was responsible for 18 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2010, resulting in 3,092 fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in St Petersburg car accident, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878. Don’t delay. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now for a complimentary evaluation of your case through a free consultation with our injury law team at 1-800-538-4878.

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Avoid Causing a St Petersburg Car Accident at Night with These Simple Safety Tips

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the National Safety Council, the overall traffic death rate is three times higher for driving at night than it is during the day. By putting some of the simple, common-sense safety tips below into place, you can lower your chances of being involved in a Florida car accident at night while helping keep St Petersburg’s roads safe. Drive sober Time and time again, drivers who should know better end up causing drunk driving accidents with devastating consequences by deciding to get behind the wheel under the influence. Stay off the road if you’ve been drinking, and don’t get into a vehicle with a drunk driver. Be prepared for driving at night Basic automotive maintenance is another important part of driving safely at night. Ensure that your headlights, taillights and signal lights are working properly and that your headlights are aimed properly. Take a moment to clean the inside and outside of your windows to reduce glare while you’re on the road. Buckle up A Forbes article discussing the most dangerous times to drive, points out that many more nighttime traffic fatalities involve passengers who weren’t using restraints. While just under half of all fatal accidents occur at night, about two thirds of these fatalities occurred to people who were not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint. Only about half of the individuals killed in daytime accidents weren’t buckled up. Other night driving safety tips Avoid smoking behind the wheel. Cigarette smoke can have a negative impact on your night vision. Be sure to use your headlights in all low light conditions, including dawn, dusk and inclement weather. Use your low beams when driving behind another vehicle or approaching an oncoming vehicle. Seriously injured in a St Petersburg car accident? It may be time to put our experienced injury law team to work for you! Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 if you’ve been hurt in a car accident in our area. We can evaluate your case and provide you with an initial consultation for free. Our St Petersburg personal injury lawyers may be able to help.

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Revealing Car Accident Statistics for Tampa and Hillsborough County

Category: Car Accidents |

According to statistics from a handful of different sources, drivers in our area have a right to be concerned about car accidents in Tampa. With a traffic fatality rate that’s higher than many parts of the country, there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to traffic safety in our area. Tampa’s High Traffic Fatality Rate In 2012, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report based on a study of traffic fatality rates throughout the country that occurred in 2009. The rate for the country as a whole was 11.1 deaths per 100,000 residents. Here in Tampa, the traffic fatality rate was 12.6 per 100,000. In a separate report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 153 fatal accidents took place in Hillsborough County in 2010. Out of those traffic-related fatalities: 12 involved bicyclists 42 involved pedestrians 25 involved motorcycles Other Tampa Car Accident Statistics The Florida DMV shares some additional revealing statistics on car accidents in Tampa and Hillsborough County on the agency’s website. In 2009, for example, most of the 6778 car accidents that took place in Hillsborough county occurred in Tampa. Alcohol played a role in 480 of those car accidents. The city had the third highest number of accidents in Florida for that year, behind Miami and Jacksonville. According to the Florida DMV, a total of 21,722 traffic accidents took place in Hillsborough County in 2004, including: 18,408 total injuries 1975 alcohol related accidents 1432 alcohol related injuries 75 alcohol related fatalities 401 bicycle injuries 10 bicycle fatalities 514 pedestrian injuries 40 pedestrian fatalities We’ll Fight for Your Rights! Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Today at 1-800-538-4878! Our Tampa car accident lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing personal injury victims in our area. Call our injury law team now at 1-800-538-4878 to find out how we may be able to fight for your rights.

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Common Causes of Neck Pain after a Car Accident in Clearwater

Category: Car Accidents |

Suffering some form of neck stiffness or neck pain after a car accident is quite common. While these symptoms often dissipate on their own shortly after an accident, neck pain and stiffness can also be a symptom of a severe injury that needs to be taken seriously. What is whiplash? Whiplash is a generic term that is often applied to a variety of injuries that result in neck pain or stiffness. These injuries are typically caused by the type of sudden, severe jerk of the head that can take place in a car accident. Neck Strains and Sprains Strains and sprains of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck are some of the most common causes of neck pain after a car accident. In minor cases, discomfort may dissipate shortly after an accident without any further complication. Pinched Nerves In some cases, a neck injury can affect one or more of the nerves that radiate from the spine out to other parts of the body. When these nerves are irritated or damaged, injury victims may experience pain, numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected area. Herniated Discs Neck trauma can also cause one of the discs cushioning the vertebrae of the spine to become dislodged and/or rupture. Depending on the location of the injury, a herniated disc can place pressure on a nerve that results in numbness, weakness, or pain along the path of the nerve, as discussed above. In other cases, injury victims may only experience pain or numbness in the shoulders or chest. Severe neck injuries can result in considerable medical expenses and loss of income, and some injuries can lead to permanent disability or otherwise impact a victim’s quality of life. Call our injury law team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-538-4878! Have you or a family member been injured in a car accident in the Clearwater area? You may need the help of an experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 to speak with a member of our injury law team.

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Five Common Types of Tampa Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Between severe weather, irresponsible drivers and a host of other dangers, there’s no shortage of danger when it comes to driving around Tampa. If you’re like most drivers, the main type of collision that you are probably concerned about is an accident involving another moving vehicle. However, a recent article from the Wall Street Journal reports on findings from a CarInsurance.com study that shows classic 2-car accidents account for less than half of all incidents included in their research. The study included information from some 42,000 quotes for auto insurance from drivers who reported being involved in an incident within the last five years. Hitting Another Car 22.7% of the incidents included in the study involved accidents in which they were operating a vehicle that was hit by another driver. Being Hit by Another Car 22.5% of participants reported accidents involving hitting another vehicle while they were behind the wheel. Single-Car Accident 7.9% of the incidents only involved a single vehicle, such as striking a guardrail or running off of the road. Act of Nature 5.8 of the accidents involved acts of nature like severe weather and floods. Hitting a Parked Vehicle or Tree 5.4% of the reported incidents involved drivers who lost control of their vehicle and struck a parked vehicle or tree. Other common types of car accidents reported by the study participants include cars that were struck while parked, damaged caused by debris or potholes, hitting an animal and a handful of other less common types of incidents. Have you been seriously hurt in a Tampa car accident? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free case evaluation at 1-800-538-4878. The Tampa car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been fighting for the rights of injury victims in our area for more than 30 years. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in our area, call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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How Often Do Distracted Driving Accidents Go Unreported

Category: Car Accidents |

While most of us know that distracted driving has become a major problem in Tampa, many people don’t realize just how serious the problem really is. With smartphones and other mobile devices becoming more popular than ever, the National Safety Council reports that about nine percent of all drivers are using a phone behind the wheel at any given daylight hour. National Safety Council Study of Underreported Distracted Driving Fatalities Part of the problem is that distracted driving often goes unreported. When it comes to car crash fatalities, for example, the fact that a driver was using a mobile device at the time of the accident only gets reported about half of the time, according to a study by the National Safety Council. In a study partially funded by Nationwide, the NSC reviewed 180 traffic fatalities that took place between 2009 and 2011. Although there was evidence that a driver was using a mobile device in every accident included in the study, only 52% of the fatalities were properly reported to have involved a distracted driver Why Does Distracted Driving Go Unreported? Safety experts like those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rely upon data reported by law enforcement officials to determine just how many car accidents are caused by distracted driving. However, the police largely rely upon witnesses, passengers and other drivers to tell them whether or not a driver was using a mobile device at the time of an accident, and they are generally only able to obtain cellphone records with a subpoena. A 2009 study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute highlights just how dangerous being distracted by a mobile device can be when you are behind the wheel. According to their distracted driving statistics, drivers who are talking or listening on a phone are 1.3 times more likely to face the risk of a crash than other drivers. When they are text messaging, distracted drivers are 23.2 times more likely to be at risk of an accident. Have you been injured by a distracted driving? Call the injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. According to Distraction.gov, a vehicle traveling at 55 mph can travel the length of a football field in the amount of time that it takes to send or receive a text behind the wheel. If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free consultation.  

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What You Need to Know about Rollover Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Vehicular accidents involving rollovers are a particularly dangerous type of car accident in Florida that accounts for more than 10,000 traffic fatalities per year in the United States. By learning more about these types of accidents and how they occur, you can help improve road safety and lower your risk of being seriously injured in an accident. Rollover Accident Facts & Statistics According to the federal road safety website SaferCar.gov, passengers are 75% less likely to be killed in a rollover accident if they are wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision. Slowing down to safe speeds when approach steep curves and exercising appropriate caution while driving in inclement weather can help you avoid a rollover accident. Approximately 33% of all road fatalities involve a vehicular rollover. Tall and narrow vehicles are considerably more likely to be involved in a rollover accident than other vehicles Types of Rollover Accidents According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 95% of all rollover accidents occur when a vehicle leaves the road and trips over obstacles such as guardrails or soft soil. Commonly referred to as tripped rollovers, these accidents are caused when a vehicle’s tires collide with an obstacle at a high rate of speed, causing a driver to lose control of the vehicle as it rolls onto its side. Soft Soil Accidents: Many tripped rollovers occur when a vehicle leaves the road and its tires dig into soft soil on an embankment, often as a driver is attempts to navigate a turn at a high rate of speed. Guardrail Accidents: Guardrails can be involved in rollover accidents when in a variety of circumstances when a driver loses control of a vehicle. In some cases, cars can become airborne during a rollover if a vehicle collides with a guardrail at a high speed. Steep Slope Accidents: These types of rollovers most often occur in off-road situations. A driver of a SUV or pickup truck may lose control of their vehicle while attempt a sharp turn along a steep slope, resulting in a rollover. Preventing Rollover Accidents Thankfully, most rollovers can be prevented by following some common sense safety precautions. Observe all posted speed limits and do not drink and drive. Always wear a seatbelt while traveling in a vehicle, even during short trips. Exercise extra caution while driving off road. Even driving down steep slopes very slowly can result in a rollover under the right conditions. Have you been seriously injured in a rollover accident? Call our Tampa car accident lawyers today! If you’ve been seriously hurt due to another driver’s irresponsible behavior, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. Our Tampa car accident lawyers can review your case and provide you with a free initial consultation.

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New Distracted Driving Study Measures Distractions While Driving in Novel Way

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a distracted driving study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving kills about nine Americans a day. The engineering company Emotiv and the Royal Automotive Club of Western Australia recently completed an interesting experiment in Australia with what’s known as the Attention Powered Car. This extraordinary vehicle only allows full power and speed when the driver is focusing all of his or her attention on the road. If the driver diverts any attention away from the road, the car slows down considerably. How Does that System Work? The researchers started with a Hyundai i40 wagon, which is not currently available in the U.S. They then connected an advanced headset designed to the driver’s head that measures electrical brain activity. The system monitors a driver’s concentration through the frontal lobe. Extremely Surprising Results Perhaps most impressive about this new system was its ability to learn and predict. As the test drivers proceeded through the experiment, the scanning system learned their brainwave patterns and pre-emptively slowed the car if the test subject even thought of doing something that would distract him or her. Real-World Application Although the system was never intended as a consumer product, it gets science in on the ground floor of preventing distracted driving. Right now, the device is slated to become an instructional tool, and driving instructors will be able to show students when their mind wanders. While researchers are working hard to find technological solutions to the distracted driving epidemic, it’s still up to drivers to stay safe behind the wheel. Drivers must remain diligent behind the wheel and avoid dangerous distractions like: Texting Surfing the web Talking without a hands-free device or speakerphone Concentrating on anything else when behind the wheel If you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted driver, a Tampa car accident attorney might be able to help. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free consultation. Our phone number is 1-800-538-4878.  

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Consumer Reports Suggest Add-On Safety Features to Improve Safety of Older Vehicles

Category: Car Accidents |

Studies show that the risk of being involved in a fatal accident correlates directly to the age of the car. However, Consumer Reports indicates that older cars can be made safer with the addition of certain safety devices. Statistical Information The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a driver of a vehicle where the vehicle is 18 years old or older is 71 percent more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident versus a driver of a vehicle where the vehicle is less than four years old. These deaths can decrease if the driver is wearing his or her seat belt. Individuals who are in older cars and who are not wearing seat belts have a 78 percent higher chance of dying in the accident and a 72-percent chance in newer vehicles. Mobileye Device Consumer Reports says that this device can help reduce the number of traffic-related accidents. Mobileye helps alert the driver of obstructions in front of the vehicle, such as other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, or road markings via a camera that is mounted by the rearview mirror. It comes with a built-in speaker to provide audible warnings. Visual and audible warnings may sound if a driver goes over a line without providing a signal or if the driver is too close to the vehicle in front of it. This device alerts a driver if they are about to hit a pedestrian when the driver is going 31 mph or less. The program also alerts drivers if they are traveling over the speed limit. Goshers Blind Spot Detection System This system has one function: it alerts drivers if a vehicle is getting close to the vehicle’s blind spot. It has this capability because of the sensors that are mounted on the vehicle’s rear bumper. Drivers can adjust the sensitivity of the system to avoid false alarms regarding guardrails or other objects. You May Need Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer If you have been injured in a car accident, a Tampa car accident lawyer may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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What Causes Car Accidents?

Category: Car Accidents |

Every day, individuals are injured in automotive accidents in Florida. Many of these injuries are the result of individuals’ negligent behavior. Some of the most common causes of car accidents are explained below. Distracted Driving Over 65,000 people died in automotive collisions in 2010 and 2011. About 10 percent of these deaths have been attributed to distracted driving, as reported by police officers. One of the most common causes of distracted driving deaths was due to the use of a cell phone, including texting and making calls. This distraction is followed by being distracted by individuals or objects inside and outside the vehicle, for a combined total of 12 percent of fatal distracted driving accidents. Other causes of distracted driving fatalities include: Smoking Moving objects in vehicle Adjusting controls in the vehicle Eating or drinking Using or reaching for an object Statistical Information The statistical information was taken by Erie Insurance. It is based on national police report data included in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a nationwide census produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding fatal motor vehicle accidents. However, because the information is based primarily on the judgment of police officers who respond to automotive accident reports, the statistical data could be under-reported. Guilty drivers could be reluctant to report distractions in fear of being charged with a criminal offense or being found liable in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, the data could potentially under-represent the seriousness and the prevalence of distracted driving. A Tampa Car Accident Injury Attorney May be Able to Help Individuals who have been injured in automotive accidents may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if another person’s negligence caused their injuries. Compensation may be available for medical expenses and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle caused by a distracted driver or otherwise negligent driver, a Tampa car accident lawyer may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule a free initial consultation and evaluation of your case.

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Who Might be Liable for Delivery Driver Accidents?

Category: Car Accidents |

Delivery drivers may cause accidents when they are in a rush to get food and other products to customers. When a delivery driver causes a car accident, the question arises who may be held responsible in a personal injury lawsuit. Scope of Employment An employer may be held liable if the delivery driver was acting in his or her capacity as an employee when the accident occurred. The legal term for this concept is “acting in the course and scope of employment.” Insurance companies may insure delivery drivers in the name of the employer. However, insurance companies may argue that the employee was acting outside the scope of his employment. This situation may occur if a person goes on a different route not related to his or her work or if he or she makes extra stops for personal reasons. Importance of Proving Employment Proving that drivers are working within the scope of their employment is often very important in cases involving delivery driver accidents. This is because if the employee is found to be acting outside the scope of his or her employment, the employer may not be held liable. This may mean that the victim can only receive compensation from the driver or the insurance company, but not directly from the employer. Cases Involving Delivery Drivers One case occurred when a Broward County woman was hit by a pizza delivery driver. The pizza restaurant that employed the man said that the driver was not acting as an employee at the time of the crash. Meanwhile, the victim was permanently injured and unable to work again. The jury found that the driver was not acting within the scope of his employment when the crash occurred. This made a dramatic difference in the amount of money that the jury awarded the plaintiff. If you’ve been hurt, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer If you were injured by a delivery driver, an auto accident lawyer in Florida may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 or fill out our contact form for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Speed Camera Detectors Reduce Car Accident Fatality Rate by 10%

Category: Car Accidents |

The utilization of speed cameras to reduce the amount of speed-related car accidents is a controversial issue in the United States. However, in other countries, the drop in accident fatalities that has been attributed to the camera’s presence has made them a welcome addition. What do the statistics tell us? As reported in recent crash accident fatalities analysis in France, speed camera detectors have been a crucial aspect in the reduction of roadway fatalities. Researchers discovered a 10 percent decline in the accident fatality rate in France after the implementation of the speed cameras. This research was based on data accumulated from 100,000 registered vehicles over a four-year period. When did the speed camera system begin in France? In France, the speed camera system program was launched by former President Jacques Chirac in an attempt to reduce traffic-related deaths. By 2010, there were over 2,750 speed cameras operating in France. Around two-thirds of the cameras are in a fixed location while the rest are mobile. The fixed cameras also feature warning signs, which ensures drivers are aware of their presence. Why is the United States not implementing this technology? In America, those who seek to utilize speed cameras as a means to reduce traffic fatalities are finding it difficult to generate public interest in the program. In fact, many citizens assume the implementation of speed cameras are only a tool to pad the pockets of the local governmental agencies and do not consider their role in accident reduction. Thanks to the findings in France, it is obvious the implementation of speed cameras as a means to reduce accidents has been successful. Therefore, citizens in America must become more informed as to the reason behind the presence of speed camera detectors. When the public is better informed, perhaps public sentiment will change. Put our 100+ years of combined experience to work for you! If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a speeding accident, call Tampa car accident lawyer Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878 for a free consultation. Our experienced professionals may be able to help you determine if you have the right to compensation.  

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Acclaimed Director Werner Herzog Releases Powerful Documentary about Distracted Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

It is a sobering and disturbing fact that, at any specific time in the United States, almost 3/4 of a million people are sending and receiving text messages as they drive. In fact, more than 3,000 people died on the nation’s roads in 2011 as a direct result of texting while driving. Why Do People Do it? In today’s hectic world, people are almost constantly on the go. They are doing more and taking more time to do it than they ever have before. Culturally, there has also been a shift towards a “me first” attitude in pop culture that involves instant gratification. People just “have to know” what’s coming next without any patience whatsoever. People, especially young people, also have an inflated sense of not only their skill as a driver but also of their immortality. After all, “it’ll just take a second.” Werner Herzog’s Take The famed, 70-year-old German director has put together a 35-minute film called “From One Second to the Next” that presents an uncompromising look at what a regional director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently called an epidemic. In it, he interviews both drivers and victims and pulls no punches. Herzog presents an interesting view on the whole discussion because he does not use text messaging himself. One of the driver’s interviewed in the film said that he felt responsible every day for a fatal accident he had caused while texting behind the wheel. The driver swerved into another car and forced it into the oncoming lane, and the people were killed in the resulting head-on collision. Herzog was deeply moved by the possible instant annihilation of entire families that could ensue from the pure, selfish impatience of texting while driving. National Campaign Against Texting While Driving AT&T had already worked with Herzog on its “It Can Wait” campaign and other companies have joined the fight by promoting the Safe Texting application that locks the phone whenever someone is driving. With the app installed, even self-styled “texting addicts” can put down the phone and, within a week, not even notice that they are no longer receiving calls and texts. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a texting driver, a lawyer might be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free consultation. The number is 800-538-4878.

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Driverless Cars Are Coming: Are Self-Driving Cars Safe

Category: Car Accidents |

It is not surprising to learn that fully robotic cars are the next evolution in driving technology. Cars have had the ability to parallel park without the assistance of a driver for several years. Drivers have benefited from sensors in the car that signal about objects in blind spots, center themselves in the lane or adjust speed based on the location of other vehicles. Gaining Acceptance Florida, Nevada and California have all recently enacted laws approving self-driving cars with Michigan not far behind. While the remaining states have not yet addressed these robotic cars, many are rushing to figure out the proper way to regulate the new technology. Is It Safe? These new laws should help establish self-driving car safety and performance regulations to allow testing of driverless vehicles. A preliminary policy statement issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges the importance of the success of these robotic cars and addresses the benefit to safety provided by autonomous cars. Resolving More Than Highway Safety Reducing the number of people killed on the roads each day because of distracted and impaired driving is a tremendous benefit. The benefit to the trucking industry is also readily apparent. With fewer drivers available and long road trips, having a self-driving truck may help keep over land shipping safe. However, an enormous benefit is quality of life for the visually impaired and older adults who are no longer able to drive themselves. With the baby boomer generation moving into this age group, robotic cars may allow extended independence for seniors. Call Our Injury Law Team Today and Put Our Experienced Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers to Work for You! When Florida residents find themselves victims of traffic crashes, it can be difficult to know what to do to secure their rights under the law. It may be useful to contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer who understands Florida traffic laws. Contact the law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Should Doctors Discuss Senior Driving Safety Issues with Older Patients

Category: Car Accidents |

A recent study found that many doctors do not bring up the topic of driving safety with senior patients. In many cases, doctors only bring up this important subject when a patient has had an automotive accident or suffers from a health condition that affects his or her driving ability. About the Senior Driving Safety Study The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. They found that driving ability begins to deteriorate at the age of 65 and that nearly 10,000 people in the United States turn 65 every day. The study concluded that doctors should approach driving safety discussions with their senior patients once they turn 65. However, the researchers found that doctors may avoid these important conversations because of lack of time or some other reason, so they often postpone this discussion until an accident occurs. Effects of Age on Driving A person may suffer from a variety of age-related effects as they get older. They may lose their vision, causing the driver to be unable to recognize objects in his or her path, accident risks or other important visual stimuli. Hearing loss can make it difficult for a person to hear sounds around him or her and may lead to otherwise avoidable accidents. Older individuals may suffer from a delayed response, causing a driver to be unable to avoid an accident. For these reasons, it is important for healthcare providers to be able to talk about these risk factors with senior drivers and emphasize the importance of senior driver safety. They may be able to recognize signs of deterioration that can help prevent an automotive accident. Call 24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week Senior driving safety is important to protect all motorists on the roadway. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, a Tampa car accident lawyer may be able to help you with your case. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to receive a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Texting While Driving Now Illegal for Florida Drivers in an Effort to Reduce Distracted Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

On May 28 Rick Scott, Florida’s Governor, signed a bill into law banning texting while driving that applies equally to computer tablets and mobile phones. Florida is the 41st state to enact such legislation. This law allows enforcement officers to use the driver’s mobile phone as evidence against them when texting contributes to a fatal vehicle collision. The purpose of this law is to ensure drivers are not distracted while operating a motor vehicle. Deadliest Months The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) points to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and AAA statistics to show that summer is a dangerous time for teen drivers. Statistics show that of the ten deadliest days each year for teen drivers seven of these days fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Decide to Drive The AAOS and AAA are partnering to sponsor a Decide to Drive campaign. This campaign encourages drivers to focus on driving, keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The Decide to Drive site offers a Wreck-less Checklist that includes the following preventative tips: Before starting the car, put on sunglasses or other accessories, adjust seats, remove reading materials from reach, put on a seatbelt and review maps or enter addresses into navigation systems. If distractions occur while driving, stop the vehicle in a safe place and deal with the issue before continuing driving. Do not consume food while driving. Do not tend to personal grooming or change clothes while driving. Keep your eyes on the road. The new Florida law carries a fine of $30. The fine doubles and an additional three points against a driver’s license are assessed with each texting violations within five years. Licenses in Florida receive a 30 day suspension when 12 points are accrued in a year. If you or a loved one has been severely hurt by a distracted driver, our Tampa car accident attorneys may be able to help. When Florida residents need a Tampa car accident attorney, the law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to provide needed legal advice. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk the first consultation and case evaluation is always free. Call today at 1-800-538-4878 for more information.

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Recent Pair of Distracted Driving Studies Reveals Extent of the Problem

Category: Car Accidents |

Two recent studies of distracted driving have revealed just how much of a problem this behavior has become. The first was a report from the National Safety Council revealing that the role of cell phone use in fatal collisions has been vastly under reported. According to the study, over half of all cell phone-related traffic fatalities may be going unreported. The second study was performed by the University of Michigan and underlined the fact that distracted driving is not something unique to teenagers. The emergency room study of 654 parents sought to determine distractions to drivers of child passengers. The results were compelling. Driving Children Under 12 Three out of four parents reported using a cell phone while transporting children under 12 years old. Responding to the need of a child and personal grooming or eating by the driver tied for a strong second place. Setting the Example The ramifications of engaging in distracted driving while transporting children is more subtle than the immediate risk to the child. Parents or other authority figures are observed closely by the child. Choosing to engage in risky driving practices is teaching those behaviors to the child. Such children may grow up to become teenage drivers who practice unsafe behaviors behind the wheel as well. Cell Phones and Beyond While no states have banned cell phone use while driving, some states have banned handheld cell phone usage. Many states such as Florida have enacted laws against texting while driving. Texting and cell phone use are not the only driving distraction according to the University of Michigan survey. Distractions listed included: Phone calls Attending to the needs of the child passenger (retrieving toys, feeding) Personal grooming Eating while driving Using a navigation system or map Adjusting a radio or inserting a CD Texting Call our injury law team today. We’ll fight for your rights! In 2011, distracted driving contributed to more than 3,000 deaths. Florida residents who are the victims of distracted drivers may wish to seek legal advice from a Tampa car crash lawyer. The law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer a free first consultation and case evaluation to assist car accident victims. Call 1-800-538-4878 today for more information.

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Some Believe Drivers Who Cause Pedestrian Accidents Should Face Stiffer Penalties

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a Federal Highway Administration 2005 report, 107.4 million Americans consider walking to be a substantial part of how they travel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 1997 to 2006 there were 49,128 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 12 percent of all traffic-related deaths. Estimates show that the pedestrian was in a crosswalk for one-third of these deaths. Burden of Proof An article in the Bay Citizen highlights the lack of prosecution in the San Francisco bay area for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians. In the Bay Citizen’s article by Zusha Elinson, prosecutors point to the difficulty to meet the burden of proof as a factor. How Unprotected are Pedestrians? A person out for a walk is on the losing end of the scale when struck by a one and a half ton moving vehicle. Factors cited in most police reports include not seeing the pedestrian, speed, and impaired or distracted driving. To establish more responsibility for vehicular collisions involving unprotected pedestrians, some states are working to enact laws to protect the unprotected. These states, such as Oregon, are passing vulnerable user ordinances to protect pedestrians. These laws put in place additional penalties for reckless drivers that include community service, driving school, fines, and/or license suspension. Working for Walkers Several groups have been working to change the American mindset from considering pedestrian-related vehicular collisions a minor offense. In the 1980’s, Mothers Against Drunk Driving brought the issue to national attention, while organizations such as California WALKS continues to promote pedestrian safety and walkable communities today. By seeking stiffer penalties for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians and creating safe walking conditions, the goal is to make sure these “accidents” are no longer considered a minor offense. Have you been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident in our area? Our experienced Tampa injury attorneys may be able to help. The unfortunate fact is that pedestrian injuries caused by automobiles often goes without penalty. Family members or the victim themselves may need assistance in seeking compensation for injuries or death. If you’ve been seriously hurt due to the negligence of an irresponsible driver in our area, it may be helpful to seek out the advice of a Tampa personal injury lawyer. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Recognizing Global Youth Traffic Safety Month to Reduce Teen Car Accidents in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. With the coming of summer, more teen drivers will be on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) numbers show that fatal car accidents go from .94 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in March to 1.12 in July. It is because of this deadly jump that the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA), and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) have joined forces to help reduce fatal motor vehicle accidents. Rally for Safety Leaders from the Office of Drug Control Policy, the Surgeon General, the South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Centers for Disease Control, Kweku Mandela, and former transportation secretary Norm Mineta joined with NOYS in promoting safe driving. The goal of the rally held in Washington DC was to promote safe driving for teens. Energized by Knowledge Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, points to the energy that the student safety advocates bring to the efforts of NHTSA and DOT to stop motor vehicle accidents. Secretary LaHood says that the energy of these young safety promoters seems to be fueled by the alarming figures for teenage vehicle occupants who died due to three easily avoided driving mistakes: Neglecting to buckle up Driving while distracted Drunk driving Safety 1n Num3er5 The NHTSA website Safety 1n Num3er5 provides information on things drivers can do to reduce vehicle collisions. In the April 1, 2013 issue of Safety 1n Num3er5, a chart showed 3 in 5 young drivers answered calls and 1 in 3 young drivers placed calls while operating a vehicle. This site can provide a wealth of useful information for those working to encourage young driver safety. Call Our Injury Law Team Today and Put Our Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyers to Work for You! Florida residents who have been a victim of a vehicle accident as a result of distracted driving may have questions about their rights. If you’ve been the victim of a distracted driver in our area, call today at 1-800-538-4878 to take advantage a free initial consultation and case evaluation from our injury law team.

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Parents Find Stick Shift Vehicles May Reduce Teenage Distracted Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

When it comes to teen driving safety, there are more distractions than ever for the teenage driver thanks to the popularity of smart phones and other mobile devices. For some parents, one part of the answer to teenage distracted driving has been found in older form of technology: manual transmissions. Teenagers & Distracted Driving Accidents: A Lot to Think About Seattle, Washington’s KING 5 recently reported on the parents of a new teen driver who opted to buy a car with a manual transmission. Preventing distracted driving was the reason these parents made this decision. The need to multitask while driving a stick shift is something these parents felt would displace other distractions. Manual Focus Operating a clutch to drive leaves little time for distractions. Unless the driver stays focused on appropriate shifting and clutch action, the car will stop. At the same time, learning how to drive stick shift is an added benefit onto itself for some young drivers. The teenage driver can take pride in their skillful operation of a car with a standard transmission. Shifting Trend It is heartening that parents are taking steps to reduce distracted driving for their teenage drivers. Having new drivers start by learning to drive a car with a manual transmission teaches them to stay focused on driving. This automobile choice for their teenager’s first car is not unique to this Seattle couple. Jalopnik states that they have been promoting such a choice for years. Diminishing Distractions Finding a fun way to keep a teenager’s focus on safe driving can be difficult. With so many distractions available to the teen, learning to drive a manual transmission may seem to be counter intuitive. As it turns out, however, operating a manual transmission both adds to a young driver’s driving skills while making common distractions like texting while driving nearly impossible.. Call today and put our experienced injury law team to work for you! Statistics show that more than 3000 people died in 2011 because of distracted driving. If you’ve become a victim of distracted driving in an accident in our area, the Tampa car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to help. Call today at 1-800-538-4878 or complete our contact form for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Are Phone-Related Distracted Driving Accident Fatalities Underreported?

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a new study by an advocacy group, the National Safety Council, the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents are significantly underreported. This underreporting can create less incentive for lawmakers to take cell phone use seriously since the number of reported fatalities is likely well below the true number. Information about the Distracted Driving Accident Study Researchers reviewed 180 fatal motor vehicle accidents that occurred from 2009 to 2011. These accidents all involved one or more fatalities. The organization independently determined that these accidents involved the use of a cell phone because the driver admitted it, another caller confirmed the communication, and a passenger reported the driver’s use of the device or police discovered an unfinished text message on a phone near the crash site. Comparing the Findings to a Database The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which is a national database that tracks fatal motor vehicle accidents. When researchers from the National Safety Council compared their findings with the NHTSA’s data, they found that the national database reported far fewer of these accidents involved cell phone use. According to the database, only 52 percent of the crashes that occurred in 2011 were related to cell phone use, 35 percent of the crashes in 2010 were reported as involving a cell phone and only 8 percent of crashes in 2009 indicated cell phone use as a contributing factor. Lack of Consistent Standards According to the safety council’s findings, only about half of the accidents were coded as distracted driving in the FARS database when drivers reported that they were using a cell phone during a crash. This may be due in part to the fact that reporting standards often vary from state to state and city to city. The report also found that there were large variations in the number of automotive crashes that were attributed to cell phone use throughout different states. Additionally, the National Safety Council’s president stated that there is a “significant disparity” between how law enforcement agencies report distracted driving in one jurisdiction to the next. Call Now and Put the Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to Work for You! Due to the lack of consistency and the likely underreporting of distracted driving accidents, a car accident victim or his or her family may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney in Tampa. An attorney may be able to conduct his or her own investigation into the cause of the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automotive accident, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free consultation.

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Avoid Distracted Driving Accidents by Not Eating While Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

When most of us think of distracted driving, we think of talking on cell phones and texting. As the use of mobile devices become more ingrained in our daily lives, distracted driving has become an increasingly dangerous problem on our nation’s roadways. These devices are not, however, the only types of distractions that contribute to disaster behind the wheel. Eating Behind the Wheel Equals Distracted Driving Many people who decry texting while driving think nothing of eating behind the wheel. In today’s go-go-go society, time is at a premium. People on the run going from meeting to meeting or soccer game to hockey practice do not think they have the time to stop and eat. However, when both hands are not at the two and 10 positions on the wheel and both eyes are not focused exclusively on driving, eating drivers become almost as much of a menace as the texters. Facts and Figures about Eating and Driving Some people even eat full-course meals behind the wheel! A recent British survey found that motorists have eaten everything from Chinese noodles to lobster while driving. Fifteen percent of those surveyed admitting to being involved in an accident or near miss. What is the Most Dangerous Food? Coffee is the most dangerous because it is extremely hot. Two-thirds of those surveyed admitted drinking coffee or eating while driving. In fact, eight percent admitted to doing it between five and 10 times a week. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that, in the United States, eating while driving created a condition where an accident was 80 percent more likely than if the driver were not eating. Call Now & Put Our Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyers to Work for You If you’ve been seriously hurt due to the negligence of a distracted driver, a Tampa car accident lawyer might be able to help. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. We offer free initial consultations and case evaluations.

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Over 7000 Fatal Car Accidents Caused by Inclement Weather Every Year

Category: Car Accidents |

Although it is often tornadoes, hurricanes or floods that are thought of when considering weather-related deaths, according to a recent study performed by Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, the biggest weather killer in the United States is weather-related car accidents. How many people are killed each year in weather-related car accidents? According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 7,000 Americans lose their lives each year as a result of weather-related car accidents. Weather conditions that typically cause car accidents include slick pavement, fog, snow, sleet and rain. What type of weather conditions are the most dangerous for drivers? The major news channels will often cover a multi-car pile-up, which results in eight deaths. For example, a study conducted by USA Today found there were already at least 19 multi-car pile- ups recorded in 2013 causing eight deaths and dozens of injuries, and most likely the majority of these pile-ups were covered in some form by the media. However, most deaths occur because of rain-slicked roads and often involves no more than two cars. These types of accidents gain little to no media addition yet they account for thousands of the deaths each year occurring on the roadways. How to combat weather-related car accidents Awareness is of utmost importance when attempting to prevent weather-related car accidents. In most cases, car accidents that were caused by the weather are not counted among weather-related deaths. For people to become aware of the dangers that surround driving in inclement weather, they must be informed of the facts. How to inform drivers In addition to informing drivers of the dangers that exist when driving during bad weather, drivers could also be informed about potentially dangerous road conditions as they occur such as wildfire smoke, fog or whiteouts via a warning system. One such proposed system to get crucial information out to the public about road conditions is called Vehicle Date Translator, which is currently under development at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This tool would provide drivers with up-to-the-minute information regarding potential hazards including hail, fog and black ice. Have you been severely injured in a Tampa car accident? We’ll fight for your rights! If you or someone you love has been the victim a car accident caused by another’s negligence, seek the guidance of an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation.

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Recent Distracted Driving Statistics Reveal Some Unsettling Figures

Category: Car Accidents |

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released some particularly unsettling news: at any point in time during the daylight hours, about 660,000 drivers are in the process of using their cell phones or other electronic devices while they are driving. In spite of continuous efforts to curtail distracted driving through public service announcements, large-scale campaigns and the issuing of new laws prohibiting distracted driving, it’s clear that many drivers are continuing to drive while distracted despite the risks. Alarming Data Regarding Distracted Driving According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 people died and approximately 387,000 were injured due to distracted driving in 2011. In the year 2010, approximately 18 percent of reported auto accidents were deemed to be the result of distracted driving. Thoughts about Other Drivers’ Behaviors The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey called the “2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors.” In this survey, 94 percent of drivers said that they were in support of bans regarding texting while driving and 74 percent supported bans regarding the use of handheld cell phones. Assessing One’s Own Driving Behaviors Although drivers can easily recognize risky behaviors in others, they seem to lack insight into their own driving behaviors. For example, drivers may not refrain from texting while driving or using their cell phones while driving. Cell Phone Data Social media and smartphone usage is at an all-time high in the United States. According to statistics, approximately 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the month of June of 2011 alone, indicating a 50 percent increase from the same month two years prior. Injured by a Distracted Driver? Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation & Case Evaluation! Distracted driving accidents can be prevented if all drivers act in a reasonable manner while taking on the significant responsibility of driving. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, a Florida car accident attorney may be able to help. Our injury law team can discuss the circumstances of your case and inform you whether you have a viable claim. We may also be able to gather pertinent evidence that can assist in proving your case. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878 now for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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More Than 660,000 Distracted Drivers on the Road at Any Time of Day

Category: Car Accidents |

A new government study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed an alarming finding: at any time during daylight hours, as many as 660,000 drivers are distracted by a mobile device behind the wheel in America. During recent years, many campaigns have been launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other agencies and organizations. Additionally, news coverage has covered texting while driving tragedies in depth. Despite such campaigns, distracted driving numbers continue to rise. A Contradiction Between Belief and Behavior for Many Drivers A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates contradictory beliefs when evaluating their own behavior in light of the behavior in others. The majority of people who participated in the survey said that they would support a legislative ban on using a cellphone and texting while driving. Additionally, 76 percent of the respondents stated that they would probably mention a driver’s texting while driving if they were a passenger in the vehicle. However, the results were much different when the same drivers honestly assessed their own behaviors. For example, nearly half of the respondents admitted that they answered their phones while they were driving for at least some of the time. Additionally, 58 percent of the respondents admitted that they continued driving after they picked up their cell phones. Another 14 percent of the respondents stated that they text or email while they are driving. Are Distracted Driving Statistics Beginning to Decline? The answers from the survey indicate a decline in safe driving behavior compared to last year. For example, in the 2012 survey, only 40 percent of respondents stated that they initiated or accepted phone calls while they were driving, compared with 48 percent of respondents in 2013. Also, only 10 percent of respondents stated that they texted or emailed while driving in 2012, compared to the 14 percent of the respondents in the 2013 survey. The study suggests that individuals may be able to recognize risky driving behavior in others, but they may not be able to recognize their own risky behavior. If You’ve Been Seriously Injured by a Distracted Driver, Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers May be Able to Help Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving cause thousands of car accidents to occur every year. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, a Tampa accident lawyer may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 to speak with our injury law team for a free case evaluation.

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Study Finds New Mothers Particularly Susceptible to Distracted Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

A study has found an alarming statistic amongst new mothers who drive. Although 63 percent of new mothers state that their driving abilities are better as a result of having a child in the car, the statistics prove otherwise. American Baby and Safe Kids Worldwide found that about 10 percent of new mothers were involved in car accidents while they were driving, a percentage which is nearly three times the accident rate of the general population. According to the study, distracted driving habits played a major role in many of these accidents. In general, new moms were found to: Drive while fatigued. Texting, reading emails or talking on a mobile device. Not paying attention to the speed limit. Turning around in the vehicle while driving to tend to a baby. Engaging in other types of activities while driving. This can include putting on makeup, eating and other actions. In a CBS story covering this study, Parents Magazine, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offered the following tips to help new mothers drive safely. They include: Pull off the road, stop the vehicle and turn the engine off before tending to a baby. Do not attempt to multitask while driving. Drivers need their full attention on the road. Never talk on the phone, check emails or text while driving. Ask a friend to come along and help you on your trip or to babysit while you run errands. Do not eat, drink or apply makeup while driving. Do it at home before or after your trip. Always drive within the speed limit. If you are strained for time, think about what you could be done the next day instead of driving faster. Driving fast is unlikely to help you accomplish more in a day. Before leaving home, eliminate potential distractions in the car. Check the radio, remove items from the dashboard, clean visor clips of papers and so forth. Let Us Put Our Attorneys’ 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You! If you have been seriously injured in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, our experienced injury law firm near you may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 for more information and a free case evaluation.

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Subaru Recalls 47,000+ Vehicles with Faulty Remote Starters

Category: Car Accidents |

Subaru is recalling approximately 47,000 automobiles due to a faulty remote starter that may cause the vehicles to turn on by themselves. If a person drops the key fob that has a remote starter, the vehicle may start and shut off the engine shortly later. The process can continue with the vehicle starting and turning off. Subaru’s recall includes vehicles that are models between the years 2010 and 2013. It includes 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Outback and Legacy models and 2012 and 2013 Impreza vehicles. It also includes the 2013 XV Crosstreks. The defective device appears to only apply to the Audiovox remote engine starting device. This device comes with the recalled vehicles that have automatic transmissions. Remote starting devices have gained popularity, especially in areas of the country where cold weather is expected. Car owners commonly use these remote starting devices to warm up vehicles for several minutes before they get in themselves. Subaru issued an official letter that warned consumers of the problem. In the letter, executives explained that the engine may start inadvertently and remain turned on for up to 15 minutes. The letter also explained that the engine may continue starting and stopping until the battery in the key fob is depleted or until the vehicle runs out of gasoline. Homeowners should also be especially careful when the vehicle is parked in an enclosed area because carbon monoxide may build up and may cause asphyxiation. . The recall will officially begin in late April when dealers will replace the defective key fobs on a complimentary basis. However, vehicle owners can start using the keyless entry fobs that are already part of the vehicle key that was included with the new car. While this recall is relatively less dangerous than other types of automotive recalls, some automobile owners have not been so lucky. Some defective vehicles and vehicle parts in the last couple of decades have included problems in which tires could fall off vehicles that were in motion or had accelerator pedals that would be pressed down and cause owners to inadvertently accelerate. Call Today and Put Our Injury Law Team’s 100+ Years of Combined Experience to Work for You! When someone is injured or killed because of a defective vehicle, a Tampa car accident attorney near you may be able to help the victim or his or her family recover compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident in our area due to another’s negligence, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation.

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The Risks of Ambien Use and Drowsy Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

The Food and Drug Administration has recently issued a mandate requiring the manufacturers of Ambien and Edluar to reduce its recommended dosage by half of the current quantity, particularly for women patients. The change is being instituted due a growing fear that the current higher recommended dosage may result in a heightened state of drowsiness even after a person achieves a good night’s sleep. The Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern that some patients may be impaired the morning after using the sleep aid. This condition may impair their ability to safely execute activities that require patients to be alert, such as driving. The administration further noted that some patients who have high levels of the prescription medicine in their system may be impaired even if they are fully conscious. The mandate comes after public accidents have garnered the media’s attention, including the accident involving Congressman Patrick Kennedy and another involving Tiger Woods. The Food and Drug Administration has examined over 700 reports regarding an association between the use sleep aids and impaired driving capability. Over 40 million prescriptions were issued for the medicine in 2011, possibly causing an influx in impaired drivers. Driving on American roadways today can be difficult, given the heavy traffic and the distracted driving that today’s drivers confront. Coupling these factors with drowsy driving can result in being responsible for a tragic accident. Drowsy driving leads to serious accidents in the United States, resulting in a number of serious injuries and fatalities every year. Let Us Put Our Attorneys’ 100+ Years of Combined Experience to Work for You! Car accidents occur on Tampa roadways every day, often due to driver negligence. If you have been involved in a car accident and you believe that a sleeping aid may have played a part in the accident, a Tampa personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you. You may be able to recover damages for your property damage, medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. For a free initial consultation, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878.

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Have You Experienced a Headache Following a Car Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

The impact of a car accident may not be felt until after the incident. After the event, a person may not experience head pain for as much as a week. When persistent headaches appear following an auto accident, it is important to seek medical attention. This could be a sign of a serious injury. Pain and Other Effects Might Develop Over Time Pain after a car accident could mean something serious is going on. The day after the incident, one might go about his or her business: going to work, running errands and more. However, a headache could then turn into dull back pain, numbness in the limbs and loss of balance. Headaches after a car accident may indicate severe head trauma that could make a person permanently disabled if not properly treated. Accidents Cause Serious Trauma People who are wearing seatbelts could also experience headaches, concussions and head trauma after a car accident. The body goes through a lot when a vehicle is struck. All of the additional force and movement can cause some serious health issue Never Brush It Off Victims should never brush off the medical impact of a car accident, even if they think it’s just a small headache. The longer people go without medical treatment, the more at-risk they are of developing serious brain injuries. Even the slightest headaches should be checked by medical professionals. Traumatic brain injuries can result in loss of vision, decreased coordination and permanent disability. Such injuries can cause significant pain and suffering, loss of wages and even death. Call Now and Put Our Experienced Injury Attorneys to Work for You! If you have been seriously injured in an accident in our area, our injury law team may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation.

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Report Indicates Licensing Restrictions May Improve Safety for Younger Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

A study conducted in Australia found that increasing restrictions for newly licensed drivers, especially those between the ages of 18 and 20 years of age, was responsible for reducing the rate of car accidents in which the younger drivers were involved. The study, conducted in Victoria, Australia, found that by changing the laws regarding young drivers, traffic accidents were reduced in this demographic by over 23%. Fatalities and serious injuries in this demographic also lowered by almost 31%. In 2007 and 2008, Victoria’s licensing rules were changed and many restrictions were put into place. Of the most significant changes in July of 2008 increased probationary times for new drivers from three years to four years. In addition, a wide variety of other restrictions were placed on first year drivers such as prohibiting them from using cell phones and hands-free devices. Also, the new restrictions prohibited probationary drivers from having more than one passenger in the vehicle that was between the ages of 16 and 21. Under the new rules for a first year driver to move forward to the next stage of licensing for drivers, the first year driver has to maintain an excellent driving record. These drivers are also required to pass a road test before they can continue forward in the various stages of probationary licensing. Thanks to the changes, researchers found that auto accidents and serious injuries in which young or probationary drivers were involved in showed a precipitous drop in fatalities. These rule changes also encouraged drivers to avoid driving situations where there were multiple vehicle passengers. Younger drivers said that once the rules were changed, they were also less likely to be using mobile phones while driving. Lastly, many of these younger drivers said that the introduction of more stringent regulations discourage them from committing minor traffic offenses. Here in the United States, many road safety experts believe that similar graduated licensing programs may help reduce the number of accidents that teenagers are involved in. Nevertheless, it remains clear that parents can also play a major role in improving teenage road safety by continuing to stress the importance of observing all the rules of the road while driving. Call Now and Put Our Attorneys 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You! Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has been fight for the rights of injury victims for more than 20 years. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident cause by another driver’s neglect, call us today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation.

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Female Drunk Driving Incidents on the Rise

Category: Car Accidents |

A new trend is emerging that is alarming to many individuals: the rate of drunk driving incidents caused by female drivers is on the rise. While the total number of fatalities attributed to drunk driving accidents has decreased across the nation during the last few years, early reports indicate that 2012 may have seen an increase in the total number of drunk driving accidents. This potential increase is the first increase in several years. The new trend regarding female drivers may partially explain this increase. A conference in Washington, D.C. invited individuals to discuss about the potential reasons for the increase involving drunk female drivers. The Transportation Research Board hosted the annual conference. While a number of statistics were presented, the data is limited and prevented proponents from making any official recommendations. While women are traditionally less risky drivers as evidenced by lower automotive insurance rates for this demographic, some women are exhibiting riskier behaviors such as drunk driving. Additionally, these particular women may engage in more risk-taking tendencies, may have memory problems and may have difficulty learning from negative past experiences. Another reason for the trend is that more women are binge drinking than in previous decades. Binge drinkers are defined as individuals who have five or more drinks at one time. These individuals are more likely to drive while intoxicated and more likely to be arrested than any other types of drivers. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation supports the theory that more women are causing drunk driving accidents. The organization cites data that the number of DUI arrests of drunk women has repeatedly climbed over the last few years. This increase has been quite significant, with a 30 percent hike between the years 1998 and 2007. While men previously far outnumbered women regarding the number of DUI arrests, this gap has narrowed dramatically during the last few years. When a person causes an automotive accident due to negligent or reckless actions, the victim may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to pursue compensation for the injuries that he or she sustained. Call Now and Put Our Attorneys’ 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You! If you have been seriously injured in a car accident due to another’s neglect, you need an experienced Tampa auto accident attorney who will fight for your rights. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation and initial consultation.

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Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Exhibit Other Dangerous Behaviors

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who use cell phones when they are driving are more likely to engage in other bad driving behaviors. The findings were part of a national survey regarding driver attitudes and behaviors. The most recent results came from the fifth annual survey. The survey was completed by nearly 3,900 people over an 18-day period. The survey found some contradictory results. For example, although 89% of respondents said that other drivers who use cell phones while driving were a safety hazard, approximately 69% of them responded that they personally used a cell phone while driving within the past month. The study revealed that drivers who use cell phones participated in several other unsafe behaviors. For example, 65% admitted to speeding and 53% said that they had also sent text messages or emails. Additionally, 44% of these individuals admitted to driving while drowsy and about 29% said they didn’t wear their seat belt. On the other hand, drivers who said they did not use a cell phone were more likely to be safer drivers. According to their responses to the poll, these drivers were less likely to engage in the risky behaviors discussed above. Nearly all of the survey respondents believe that distracted driving has gotten worse over the last three years, most of who admitted to driving while distracted themselves. The statistics support this commonly held belief. The number of fatalities has increased. In 2011, 3,331 fatalities were the result of distracted driving in the year 2011, representing an increase of 1.9 percent in comparison to the number of fatalities in 2010. Institutionalizing more bans on texting while driving may help, especially in the 11 states that do not currently have laws of this nature. AAA strives to educate drivers about safe behaviors. It also supports adding ignition interlock devices for drivers who were convicted of DUIs, obeying all traffic signals, requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets and refraining from driving while drowsy. Distracted driving continues to be a problem. While the legislature continues to make new laws banning certain cell phone activities, accidents will still occur. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, a Tampa car accident attorney may be able to assist you. Call Now and Put Out Attorneys’ 100 Years of Experience to Work for You! If you’ve been severely injured in a motor vehicle in our area, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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University Study Finds More Men Involved in Crosswalk Accidents than Women

Category: Car Accidents |

The West Virginia University School of Public Health have recently released a study that finds men are over two times more at risk of being killed in a pedestrian accident than women. There are many factors that the study points to as reasons why men are more likely to be killed in pedestrian traffic accidents. One reason is that men are more likely to try to cross a street that has high speed limits. Men are also at greater risk of being influenced by drugs or alcohol. While most people know it’s not safe to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol, most people are unaware that it’s not safe to walk while being impaired either. In most situations, the pedestrian accidents that involved male victims were a result of the man not using crosswalks or wearing dark clothing while crossing the street at night. In addition, the use of drugs and alcohol were also found to be mitigating factors. Many individuals who were involved in pedestrian accidents were also distracted by talking on a cell phone or texting. Florida pedestrians are required by Florida state statutes to obey the same traffic signals that drivers have to follow. Simply because pedestrians use crosswalks doesn’t mean that the pedestrian has the right way. In fact, unless it’s a marked crosswalk, in the state of Florida, vehicles have the right-of-way and pedestrians must yield to them on any road. Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid pedestrian accidents is being proactive. Here are a few simple tips to help you avoid being involved in a pedestrian accident. Always use a crosswalk when you’re crossing a street. When walking near a street use the available sidewalk – when applicable. Walk facing oncoming traffic when on a road without sidewalks. Avoid becoming distracted while walking along a roadside. Being safe while walking is the responsibility of the pedestrian. Be mindful of Florida state laws and be aware of surrounding traffic at all times. Call Now and Put Our Experienced Injury Lawyers to Work for You! If you’ve been seriously injured in a motor vehicle due to someone’s reckless behavior, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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New Smartphone App Launched to Help Catch Drunk Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

A new Android and iPhone app is being launched with the intent to nab drunk drivers in the act. The app allows users to record individuals who are driving erratically in front of them. Users can then watch the video from a safe place, zoom in to see the license plate and provide this information to the police. The app also provides a method to email a picture or video of the car to an investigator. The app is being launched by Frank Vahid, a computer science professor from the University of California. Vahid was motivated to create the app because more than 10,000 deaths are caused every year in the United States due to drunk driving. Although there was a decrease in 2011 in the number of fatalities associated with drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is reporting that preliminary numbers may show an increase of drunk driving related fatalities in 2012. Vahid began working on the concept five years ago and took more than a year to research drunk driving and related behaviors. He also used this time to talk with prosecutors, psychologists and law enforcement officers about ways that drunk driving monitoring could eliminate the problem. Vahid also received assistance from two students with the development of the app. Although some apps are currently available that can give a person information about his blood-alcohol level or information that is assessed during a field sobriety test, Vahid’s app is the first known app of this nature that is designed to allow users to report drunk driving that they personally witness. More than 1,000 downloads have been made on the app. To use the app, a person needs a dashboard or a windshield mount. The app automatically deletes the video after 30 minutes in order to free up storage space. Vahid is developing new features for the app, such as automatic license plate recognition. He is also asking users to provide feedback about how to improve the app. Call Now and Put Our Attorneys’ 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You When a person is injured in a car accident due to the actions of a drunk driver in our area, a Tampa car accident lawyer may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Pedestrians Who Walk Under the Influence Also at Risk

Category: Car Accidents |

While much media attention is given to the tragic effects of drinking and driving, doctors are now issuing warnings to individuals regarding drinking and walking. According to these doctors, pedestrians should be part of the conversation regarding being on public thoroughfares after imbibing. Doctors warn that a person’s mobility can be drastically affected after drinking. Walking after drinking may increase the risk of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians who have consumed alcohol are at risk due to a number of factors. Their mobility is affected, even if they only take a few steps on the road. A person’s judgment can also be impaired after he or she has consumed alcohol. Pedestrians are less likely to recognize any impending dangers and even if they do, their reflexes are slower and their coordination is adversely affected. Pedestrians should be particularly careful because of their higher rate of risk for serious injuries. While car accident victims may be partially protected by the metal frame of a vehicle, pedestrians often lack any type of protection between them and motor vehicles. Pedestrians should avoid walking in a public area after they have consumed alcohol. They can ask a friend for a ride home or call a taxi to avoid putting themselves in a dangerous position. Pedestrians can also walk in groups to increase visibility to motorists. Pedestrians should also walk on sidewalks, cross streets on designated crosswalks and avoid busy intersections. Pedestrians who are walking when it is dark outside should wear bright, reflective clothing to increase visibility. Pedestrians should also be alert, so they should not be talking on a phone, texting or listening to music while they walk. Keeping distractions limited can help a person see any pending dangers before something terrible happens. Call 24 Hours / 7 Days a Week A Tampa personal injury lawyer can help individuals who have been injured in pedestrian accidents. A careful analysis can help the attorney prepare for any weaknesses in the case, such as if the pedestrian may have been impaired at the time of the pedestrian accident. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878 today to schedule a confidential review of your case.

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Stay Prepared on the Road with a Winter Safety Kit

Category: Car Accidents |

No one knows when a roadside emergency may occur, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for them. By acting proactively, you can be well prepared should an emergency arise. While the winter weather here in Florida may be mild, many of us find ourselves traveling north through inclement weather during this season. Including a winter emergency kit in your vehicle is a great way to stay prepared when you are traveling through such conditions. Store Your Kit in Your Car For winter emergencies, you may want to stock food and supplies in your home, but that will do you very little good when you’re in your car. That’s why if you live or travel into wintery areas, you need to keep your kit in the car. Also, keep track of weather and driving conditions before you leave. Inclement winter weather can come on you quickly, so you want to be as informed as possible before you travel. Putting Your Kit Together If you purchase a ready-made kit, make sure you know where everything is. Being familiar with your kit on a dark wintery road is much easier than fumbling through a kit you aren’t familiar with. If you are building your own kit, here are some things you need to include: Blankets or sleeping bags to help you stay warm. Flashlights that have rechargeable batteries or that can be powered by another power source. A complete first aid kit. A utility knife (make sure the blade is in good shape). Nonperishable food as well as fresh water. Ideally you want the food to be high in calories. A small shovel with sand or cat litter for digging your car out of the snow and to offer your tires needed traction. As GPS can be spotty in these situations, a compass and current road maps can be helpful. Extra sets of heavy winter clothing, especially gloves and winter hats. A tool kit for your car. Standard tools are acceptable; make sure to include a strong rope or a chain, jumper cables and an ice scraper. Additional Tips Keep your gas tank as full as possible. This will prevent fuel lines from freezing. In addition, tell someone where you’re headed and instruct them to call the authorities if you don’t check in with them along the way and when you reach your destination. Lastly, make sure your vehicle has the properly rated winter tires for traveling in wintery weather. Let Us Put Our Experience Tampa Injury Lawyers to Work for You Have you recently been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in our area? Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation.

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New Proposed Rule May Require Hybrid Cars to Produce More Sound

Category: Car Accidents |

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA ) is proposing a rule that would require electric vehicles to make noise as they approach pedestrians, according to Bloomberg News. This is due to the lack of noise that electric vehicles currently make, which can pose a danger to pedestrians. The details of this proposed ruling would require electric cars and hybrid cars to make audible sounds when traveling at speeds higher than 18 mph. This would warn pedestrians, bicyclists, and the visually impaired of the vehicle’s approach. According to the NHTSA, this rule would prevent some 2800 injuries that are a result of people not hearing hybrid or electric vehicles as they approach. In addition, the NHTSA said that outfitting vehicles with speakers would cost roughly around $35 per vehicle and would result in a cost of around $25 million per year. This rule stems from the mandate given to the NHTSA through the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. This mandate was given to allow the NHTSA to establish regulations for improving pedestrian safety. Jesse Toprak, an analyst with TrueCar.com, explained that $35 per car is a small price to pay when weighed against the prevention of injury and death. Not only would this ruling require vehicles to produce noise when driving at speeds at or above 18 mph, cars moving in reverse would also be required to produce sounds. This was discussed in greater detail by Tom Gara, who writes for the Wall Street Journal. Gara states that initial approved sounds were something similar to what a gas powered vehicle would make. However, that plan was quickly abdicated because the NHTSA felt this would not be distinguishable enough. Gara continues that the proposed sound is more like a futuristic hum whose pitch changes as the vehicle increases speed. This change in pitch is intended to help pedestrians to determine whether the vehicle was speeding up or slowing down. This regulation would also require auto manufacturers to create specific speaker and sound systems for their hybrid or electric vehicles. The speakers would need to be weather resistant and also house signal inputs that deliver vehicle operation data. Let Us Put Our Experienced Injury Lawyers to Work for You! If you have been severely injured in an accident in our area, Tampa car injury lawyer can help determine whether you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free initial consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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Federal Agency Releases Counterfeit Airbag Safety Warning

Category: Car Accidents |

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a safety advisory alert warning motorists that counterfeit airbags may have been installed in their vehicles if they were involved in an automotive accident within the last three years. The installation of these fake or counterfeit airbags may result in the serious injury or death of motorists or passengers if they are involved in another accident. Although most vehicles may not be associated with this particular problem, up to .1 percent of vehicles may be affected. Product liability lawyers have not ascertained an exact number of vehicles that have this particular problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified certain models of vehicles that may have the airbags installed in them. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not received any reports of any deaths or injuries that have been linked with the failed deployment of the fake airbags. Motorists may easily overlook the counterfeit airbags which are not readily visible in most models of vehicles. The airbags have an identical appearance to the vehicle’s original airbags. They include the car manufacturer’s insignia to further deceive motorists and passengers. Although they look similar, they do not function in a similar fashion. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the airbags, they consistently malfunctioned. Some airbags failed to deploy upon impact while other airbags had projectile metal shrapnel that shot out after the airbag deployed. Not only can these airbags fail in protecting the passengers in a vehicle, they may cause further damage to them due to the unsafe objects that could fly out and injure individuals in the vehicle at the time of an accident. The vehicles that are in question would have had their airbags replaced within the last three years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises motorists to contact the manufacturer of their vehicle if they believe that their vehicle may be impacted by the new problem involving counterfeit airbags. Let Us Put Our Experienced Tampa Injury Lawyers to Work for You If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident due to another’s neglect, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights. Contact the injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation.

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Government Statistics Reveal Increase in Pedestrian & Bicyclist Fatalities

Category: Car Accidents |

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) reported some revealing statistics regarding pedestrian accidents that illustrate just how common serious injuries to pedestrians have become. Most of us are not aware that two pedestrians are killed nearly every hour on the roadways in the United States. The number of injuries is even more staggering: one every eight minutes. Pedestrians and bicyclists have a responsibility to travel safely on the roadways and sidewalks of Tampa or any other city they are traveling in. Unfortunately, even when you are obeying all the rules of the road, you can still be a victim. Too often, distracted drivers, poor road conditions and intoxicated drivers can abruptly change the life of a person who finds themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. You don’t have to suffer in silence if you are a victim of an accident. While you certainly have a responsibility to obey the rules that apply to pedestrians and bike riders, if you’ve done everything right and are still a victim, you should consider contacting a Tampa personal injury attorney who will fight for your rights. After you have received proper medical attention after an accident, consider reaching out to a Tampa personal injury attorney. Government statistics aside, if you are injured as a pedestrian or as a bicyclist, you have rights that need protecting. Call 24 Hours – 7 Days a Week If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident in our area, contact the experienced Tampa injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation.

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Driving Safely in Florida During the Holidays

Category: Car Accidents |

Even the safest of holiday drivers can be involved in serious accidents between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these dates represent the most common period when car accidents occur. However, there are several steps that drivers can take to decrease their chances of being injured in a car crash this holiday season. Don’t Drink and Drive During the holiday months, approximately 40 percent of accidents involve alcohol. Do not put yourself at danger by drinking and driving. Have a designated driver or a safe place to sleep instead of getting on the roadway. Slow Down Holiday travel often means that many drivers are racing from one relative’s home to the next. Give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination so that you do not feel pressured to speed. The roadways are commonly slippery with ice and snow and you may need to adjust your speed to stay safe. Leave earlier to give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination. Stay Alert If you are travelling at night time, ensure that you are well rested before departing. Take breaks and do not impose an unrealistic deadline on yourself. Statistics show that 41 percent of fatal traffic accidents are single-vehicle accidents. Avoid unnecessary distractions while you are driving, like taking phone calls from relatives. Increase Following Distance Icy roads, impatient travelers and drunk drivers can create dangerous driving conditions. Do not tailgate other motorists. Instead, leave at least eight seconds between you and the closest motorist so that you will have time to react in case another driver causes an accident ahead of you and will give you time to stop even on icy roadways. Ensure Visibility Snow can decrease your visibility, both to yourself and other motorists. Clear off all of the snow from your windshield, hood, tail lights, head lights, windows and body. If the snow makes it difficult to see, pull off the road to a safe place until the snow subsides. Let Us Put Our Experienced Injury Lawyers to Work for You If you have been seriously injured in an automotive accident through no fault of your own, assistance is available. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and put our experienced Tampa injury lawyers to work for you!

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Do “Check Engine” Lights Improve Automotive Maintenance & Safety?

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a new study from the American Auto Association, car maintenance alert systems that inform drivers when their vehicle requires attention appear to encourage more frequent automotive maintenance. As a vehicle owner, few things are quite as frustrating as when the “check engine” light comes on with no further indication as to what might be wrong with the automobile. Depending on the model of your vehicle, it’s often impossible to know just how serious the problem might be until you’ve brought your automobile in to have it checked out. However, it turns out that this inconvenience is doing drivers plenty of good in the long term, according to the AAA report. 63% of the drivers who participated in the study owned vehicles with some type of car maintenance alert system. Just over half of these drivers reported that they rely entirely on these alert systems and only bring their vehicle in for maintenance when they are instructed to do so by their dashboard. Only about 35% of drivers stated that they have their car maintained more often than their maintenance system recommends, while 15% of respondents admitted to ignoring their maintenance reminder systems. According to John Nielsen of AAA Automotive Engineering and Repair, the fact that modern car maintenance alert systems have taken so much of the guesswork out of vehicle maintenance is a good thing. “The challenge now,” said Nielsen, “is educating consumers to trust that their vehicle will alert them when maintenance is needed.” Have you been seriously injured in an automotive accident in our area through no fault of your own? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and put our experienced Tampa injury lawyers to work for you! Call Now and Put Our Experienced Attorneys to Work for You!

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Study Reveals Most Teens Continue to Text and Drive

Category: Car Accidents |

A recent study released by State Farm has revealed that teenagers are continuing to text and drive even though they’ve been warned of the dangers that they are posing to themselves and others. Despite an abundance of media coverage discussing the dangers associated with this behavior, the telephone‐based survey has shown that young drivers are still not getting the message. When asked whether they considered texting and driving may increase their likelihood of being killed in an automotive accident, only 35% of the 14 to 17 year olds surveyed responded in the positive. This compares to 57% of those surveyed who believed that drinking and driving could result in the loss of their lives. Any activity that diverts a local driver’s attention away from the road can increase their chances of causing a Tampa car accident. According to a study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to put themselves and others in danger on the road than other drivers. Sadly, distracted drivers are often responsible for automotive accidents resulting in innocent people becoming seriously injured. Individuals who have been hurt in such an accident are advised to seek the assistance of a Florida auto accident lawyer to ensure that their rights are protected. Have you been seriously injured in an automotive accident in our area? Contact the experience Tampa personal injury attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free consultation. Call Now and Put Our Attorneys’ 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You!

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Federal Agency to Focus on Truck and Bus Safety this Holiday Season

Category: Car Accidents |

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced several improvements to its Compliance Safety Accountability program, which is tasked with assisting various safety officials in identifying safety concerns among trucking and bus companies. The changes are scheduled to be implemented before the busy holiday travel season begins in December and may help local officials avoid potentially tragic Tampa car accidents. “These improvements will enable us to better identify and address unsafe truck and bus companies before tragedies occur,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Some of the improvements that the administration is putting into place include: More accurate identification of safety sensitive carriers, such as those hauling hazardous materials Changes to the Carrier Safety Management System (SMS) designed to address industry biases in identifying high risk carriers Improved display of SMS results on the SMS website The program is specifically designed to identify and address bus and truck companies that are posing a particularly high risk for compliance concerns as soon as possible. According to the FMCSA, the number of fatalities involving commercial vehicles dropped by 4.7 percent between 2010 and 2011. By raising the bar for truck and bus safety, the administration hopes to continue to lower the number of fatalities related to large bus and truck accidents. Let Us Put Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys to Work for You! If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in our area due to another driver’s neglect, it’s important to find a Tampa personal injury attorney with the knowledge and experience to fight for your rights. Contact the law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free initial consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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Six Common Causes of Tampa Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Establishing the exact cause of a car accident is one of the key steps in demonstrating fault in a Tampa personal injury case. Some of the most common causes of car accident include the following: Driver Error – Many auto accidents are the result of common driver errors such as unsafe passing, tailgating and failing to yield the right of way. Distractions – The chances of starting a serious car accident increase the moment a driver’s attention is diverted from the road. Common distractions include other passengers, mobile devices and applying makeup. Inclement Weather – Bad weather conditions such as rain, ice and fog that affect traction or visibility can make driving safely more challenging. Rapid changes in weather that catch drivers off guard once they are already on the road may be a factor in the cause of some accidents. Intoxication – The use of alcohol or drugs can severely impair a driver’s ability to drive safely and has led to many avoidable and tragic accidents. Poor Road Conditions – Improperly maintained roads and changing conditions caused by weather, construction and other circumstances can play a major role in the cause of a motor vehicle accident. Flawed Road Design – Badly designed roads or intersections and improperly placed signs may make it difficult for drivers to avoid a collision. Let Us Put Our Experience Injury Attorneys to Work for You! Drivers in the greater Tampa metropolitan area are often seriously injured in traumatic collisions through no fault of their own. If you have been injured in motor vehicle accident in our region, contact the experienced Tampa car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-538-4878.

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Three Helpful Driving Safety Tips

Category: Car Accidents |

Whether you are making your morning commute to work or driving around town to complete a few errands, it’s all too easy to forget how dangerous it can be on the road. In the blink of an eye, a moment’s neglect can result in being involved in a Tampa car accident that could result in serious personal injury or death. Here are three simple, helpful driving safety tips that can help ensure that your time on the road is a safe as possible. Use Care When Changing Lanes Exercise proper caution when you need to change lanes or merge onto the highway. Dangerous driving habits like failing to use your turn signals and cutting off other drivers can easily lead to an accident. This kind of behavior may anger your fellow drivers and cause them to drive less safely as well. Avoid Using Your Cell Phone While Driving No matter how experienced of a driver you may be, using your cellphone while driving is an avoidable distraction that can have serious consequences. If you must take a call while you’re driving, consider pulling off to the side of the road or using one of the many hands-free cell phone devices that are on the market.Text messaging is even more distracting when you are driving and should be avoided at all costs. Don’t Drive Under the Influence If you like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage now and then, it’s your responsibility to understand that nearly any amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely. Drunk driving is responsible for some of the most tragic Tampa car accidents, and a drunk driving arrest can have serious legal and financial consequences. Remember, by using a little extra care and exercising some common sense, we can all work together to make Tampa’s roadways a safer place to drive.

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Local Bicyclist Killed in St Petersburg Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

David Formato, 53, died at the scene of the accident in late May when he was struck on his bicycle by a vehicle involved in a two car collision at the corner of 34th Street and 13th Avenue North in St. Petersburg, Florida. The accident occurred at approximately 10 am on May 30, 2012. A white Kia was in the process of making a left turn at the intersection when it collided with an oncoming Honda. The force of the St. Petersburg car accident sent the Honda into Formato as he was waiting to cross the road on his bike. The bicyclist was killed instantly, according to reports. Fellow cyclist Mike Moody of St. Petersburg happened upon the scene of the accident shortly after it occurred. “The poor guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Moody said to reporters, “It’s a shame.” According to law enforcement authorities, 19-year old Terreena Robinson was heading south on 34th street. She was turning left onto 13th Avenue North when she collided with 25-year old Sean Self’s Honda. Both drivers sustained minor injuries in the St Petersburg car accident and were transported to a local hospital. Neither driver has been charged in the accident, but an investigation into the accident was still in process when it was reported by the Tampa Bay Times. Formato was a resident of St. Petersburg who had been raised in the Tampa Bay area. He made his living working as a carpenter in the area and had a daughter in college as well as a son in the military. According to the Tampa Bay Times, this is the second fatal bike accident in St. Petersburg this year. There were five similar fatalities reported in 2011. Sources: https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/bicyclist-killed-in-st-petersburg-crash/1232530

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Two Pedestrians Struck on Sidewalk in Palm Harbor Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

A pair of Clearwater women were hit by a car while waiting to cross the street at the corner of US 19 and Tampa Road in Palm Harbor recently. Both pedestrians, Tomana Monic Swartz, 30, and Karen Rose Steinbrecher, 56, sustained minor injuries in the accident. 17-year old Jeffrey Albert was heading north in his 2006 Ford Fusion when the accident occurred. Upon noticing that the traffic ahead of him had slowed, Albert apparently attempted to slow down too late and ultimately veered onto the road’s shoulder to avoid colliding with a car. Unfortunately, his vehicle struck Swartz and Steinbrecher instead. Albert was not injured in the incident and has been charged with careless driving. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, alcohol does not appear to have played a role in the accident. The accident occurred at approximately 10:30 am on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Swartz and Steinbrecher were waiting to head westbound across the painted crosswalk US 19 in Palm Harbor when the collision occurred. Sources: https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/two-clearwater-women-hit-by-car-on-us-19-sidewalk/1233155

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Hillsborough Sheriff’s Wife Involved in Tampa Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s wife, Ms. Rhonda Gee, was involved in a car accident caused by Mr. Raul De Alejandro who rammed his car into hers, sending her to the hospital at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The 22-year-old, Mr. Raul De Alejandro, hit Ms. Gee near the area where Bloomingdale Avenue intersects with Lithia-Pinecrest Road. He had previously had an argument with a gas station clerk because the clerk would not sell him a pack of cigarettes, as he was able to show photo identification. Heated, Mr. De Alejandro, threatened the cashier’s life and walked back to the car, as if to obtain a gun. The cashier started to yell loudly, causing De Alejandro to get into the car and quickly drive away. He then ran a red light which resulted in a collision with Rhonda Gee’s car. De Alejandro did not stop driving and attempted to speed away though his car broke down a short distance later. De Alejandro tried to get away on foot but was quickly caught and arrested by deputies. At the scene of the crash, Sheriff David Gee arrived along with paramedics who took the victim to the Tampa General Hospital. Mrs. Gee was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident; and she did not appear badly injured. Even so, she was taken to Tampa General as a precaution. Sheriff Gee accompanied his wife to the hospital in the ambulance where they remained for a day. She is expected to make a full recovery. This crash was a painful reminder of a previous dangerous car crash for the Gee family. Weston Gee, their son, was involved in a serious car accident as a teenager, in which he was transported to the hospital in a helicopter. Weston is now well and healthy and serves as a Highway Patrol trooper in Florida. De Alejandro remains in custody. His charges include: (1)leaving the scene of a crash with injury, (2)aggravated assault with a firearm, (3)disorderly conduct, as well as (4)contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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