One Person Killed in May 15th Hillsborough County Rollover Crash on US 41

WTSB Tampa Bay reported one person was killed in a crash on U.S. 41 on Saturday, May 15th. The Florida Highway Patrol told the news outlet that two vehicles were heading southbound on U.S. 41 when one vehicle attempted to pass another vehicle. Very limited information was available about the incident. Our thoughts go out to all involved.

It is not clear if the driver making the passing attempt was going to the left or right around the vehicle. However, the pass attempt was not successful, as the passing car struck the back of the car it was passing. The impact caused the first vehicle to go off the west shoulder. The driver reportedly over-corrected and their vehicle overturned. The driver suffered minor injuries. The driver of the car that was struck also went off the roadway and struck a power pole. The driver died at the scene of the collision. 

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Van Crashes Into Restaurant on Fowler in Tampa

Five people were hurt after a Chevrolet van crashed into a Tampa restaurant Wednesday afternoon, Fox 13 News reported. The incident happened at the First Watch on Fowler Avenue at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5. 

It is always unfortunate when innocent bystanders are hurt. Our thoughts go out to all injured last week in this accident. We wish them the best for a speedy recovery. 

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Tampa Man Dies 3 Days After Being Struck on I-275 Exit Ramp

A 58-year-old man tragically died last week, 3 days after being struck by an elderly driver having a medical emergency, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The accident occurred on Tuesday, April 20th, on the northbound Interstate 275 exit ramp onto East Fletcher Avenue. The man was walking along the left shoulder of the ramp, when for unknown reasons, an 84-year-old driver lost control of her vehicle and struck the man, and then crashed into a sign. Further details were not available, and the cause of the accident remains under investigation. 

Our thoughts go out to all involved in this crash. Losing a loved one unexpectedly is heartbreaking and devastating. 

Liability For Accidents Caused By A Sudden Medical Emergency 

Law enforcement is reviewing the cause of the accident. If a driver is negligent and causes an accident, they may be liable for resulting injuries or the wrongful death of a victim of a fatal accident. However, if a driver has a sudden and unexpected medical event, this may be a defense. Liability issues for medical event accidents can be complicated. If a driver has a known health condition and it was foreseeable that they could have a medical event, they may be considered negligent for driving and be liable for injuries or death. 

Many seniors have medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory diseases, which can put them at higher risks for medical emergencies while driving. Some seniors take medications without knowing the side effects the medications may have on their ability to drive. It is important for senior drivers and their loved ones to determine when it is no longer safe to continue driving. Many accidents involving senior drivers are preventable. 

Accidents Involving Senior Drivers In Florida 

In 2019, Spectrum News 13 reported on a concerning trend: a sharp increase in fatal crashes involving drivers 65 years old and older. A study published by the Florida Department of Transportation revealed drivers age 65 and older are two times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than any other age group of drivers. 

Fatal and injury crashes involving elderly drivers are common in Florida. If you are involved in a collision, you should report the accident, collect witness information, and take photos and videos of the crash scene and damage. As soon as possible, get medical treatment for your injuries and complete follow-up care with your doctor. Your medical treatment is an important part of your personal injury claim and recovering fair compensation for your injuries. 

Speak to a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer After an Accident 

Accident victims or their families are always well-advised to contact a lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. The Coleman Law Group is dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims and ensuring they receive the fair compensation they are entitled to. Before you accept any compensation from an insurance company, contact us to discuss your legal rights and options. We offer a free consultation to answer your questions and review your case. If we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Call us at  (877) 822-9292.

March 17th Head-on Collision in Clearwater Kills One, Seriously Injures Another

A catastrophic head-on collision occurred Wednesday, March 17, 2021, on Drew Street in Clearwater, WFLA News reported. The fatal crash occurred at about 12:40 PM, between Highland Avenue and Crest Avenue. 

According to the news report, a Toyota Corolla was traveling westbound on Drew Street, when for unknown reasons, the vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a Ford F-150 pickup truck head-on.  The 19-year-old driver of the Corolla died at the scene. The 78-year-old driver of the pickup truck was taken to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg with serious injuries. Further details were not available – the collision remains under investigation by the Tampa Police Department. 

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Pedestrian Tragically Struck and Killed March 13th in Downtown Tampa

A pedestrian was killed in a crash in downtown Tampa, WTSP News reported. The crash occurred at the intersection of N. Ashley Drive and E. Whiting Street, just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 13th. 

The victim was taken to a hospital where they died. Very few other details were available about the accident. The news photo of the crash scene provided by the Tampa Police department showed a taped-off crosswalk at the intersection, but it was unclear if the pedestrian was in a crosswalk when they were struck. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

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Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident in St. Petersburg Leaves Two Dead, Two Injured

A St. Petersburg left-turn accident sadly took the lives of two people last week. According to the NHTSA, 42% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a common scenario: a motorcycle going straight, and a passenger turning left. Unfortunately, this deadly scenario occurred recent in St. Petersburg, at the intersection of 4th Street and Roser Park Drive South. The fatal accident occurred in the early morning hours of Friday March 5, 2021. 

According to the news report by CBS Tampa Bay, a grey Chevrolet Trailblazer was traveling northbound on 4th Street South, when it turned left onto Roser Park Drive South. Meanwhile, a red Suzuki motorcycle was traveling southbound onto 4th Street South. The motorcycle collided with the passenger side of the Trailblazer. The motorcyclist passed away at the scene of the crash. The driver and two passengers of the Trailblazer were taken to the hospital, where one of the passengers passed away. 

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Florida Freeway Lane Change Accidents Caused by Falling Debris

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Photo by Robby DeGraff

A recent accident on February 20th on I-95 was a nightmare scenario for so many of us: a couch fell off a truck and a driver had just seconds to swerve to avoid it. He lost control of his Toyota Corolla and struck a guardrail, coming to rest upside down in the median. The driver of the truck kept going. The driver and his girlfriend were taken to a local hospital by ambulance. 

It was at the hospital that the couple got a literal insult to injury: a Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrived at the hospital and delivered a traffic ticket for “failing to drive in a single lane.” 

Florida, like many states, has a lane change law that allows highway patrol officers to cite drivers who make unsafe lane changes. The law states “A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” 

Falling Debris Accidents Are a Common Occurrence 

Accidents like the one on I-95 occur frequently, and usually don’t make the news. Debris falling from the back of a truck can lead to severe injury or death when drivers have just seconds to slam on breaks or veer around debris like pallets, furniture, or cargo. Commercial vehicles are subject to federal regulation for cargo securement to withstand forces of deceleration, acceleration, and lateral movement. However, not all debris comes off of commercial vehicles. Pickup trucks are often piled high with cargo to go to a landfill or transfer station. In some cases, drivers may not even know that cargo fell off their vehicle and caused an accident. 

Debris can be anything: a cardboard box, a BBQ, a lawnmower, a trash can, or wreckage from a recent collision. Ladders and pallets are common because they are often thrown in pickup trucks and may not be tied down properly. The FDOT and the Florida Highway Patrol aim to remove debris from highways as soon as possible, but the average clearance time is about 50 minutes. 

Who Is Liable For Falling Debris? 

The driver and owner of a vehicle that causes a road debris accident (including a loss of control due to avoiding debris) is liable for a collision. But what happens if (1) the driver does not stop or (2) you have no idea where the debris came from? If you don’t know who the other driver was, you will not be able to file a claim against their liability insurance. If you maintain Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which is highly recommended, this may cover you. However, you will need to prove the debris was the cause of your injury. Report the accident and get medical attention immediately. 

Get a Free Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving debris on a Florida freeway or highway, contact the Coleman Law Group to schedule a free consultation. We will listen to your story and review your legal rights and options. If we represent you in your case, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Call us at (877) 822-9292.

Dale Mabry Highway Crashes Tragically Take Four Lives This Week in Tampa

Two crashes on Dale Mabry Highway in Hillsborough County tragically took four lives this week, the Tampa Bay Times and WFLA 8 have reported. The deadly collisions occurred in the early morning hours of February 28th and March 2, 2021. 

The first crash occurred at about 1:20 a.m. on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at the intersection of Van Dyke Road and Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz. A sedan collided with an SUV at the intersection. The SUV was headed south on Dale Mabry, (designated State Road 597), and the sedan was headed east on Van Dyke. According to the news report, the front of the SUV collided with the left side of the car. The two occupants of the sedan, a 62-year old man, and a 57-year-old female passenger died at the scene. 

The second crash occurred on Dale Mabry Highway at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, near Hunt Road in Tampa.  An SUV traveling southbound in the northbound lanes collided with a northbound sedan. Both the driver of the SUV and the sedan were killed. Further details were not available. 

Dale Mabry Highway, named after World War I airship aviator Dale Mabry, runs north-south for 22.6 miles in Tampa. It has three lanes in each direction for the majority of the route. For most of the route, the speed limit is 45 mph. Dale Mabry has made several lists of the most dangerous stretches of roadway in Hillsborough County. The intersection of  N Dale Mabry & W. Columbus Drive made Tampa Police’s list of 5 most dangerous intersections in 2018. 

Another fatal collision on Dale Mabry occurred on December 15, 2020, and a pedestrian was killed in a fatal pedestrian accident on November 28, 2020

These incidents and other similar collisions are painful reminders of the devastating consequences of automobile accidents that should never happen. Driving in the early morning hours can be dangerous, even for alert, well-rested, safe drivers. Visibility may be reduced, and there are higher numbers of drunk drivers and fatigued drivers on the road. On roads where vehicles travel at highway speeds, the forces of impact are more severe and the risk of serious injury or death is elevated in any collision. 

Head-on collisions, like the one on March 2, and intersection accidents on highways like the one on February 28th, are among the most lethal of all accidents. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of both of these crashes. Losing a loved one unexpectedly is heartbreaking and devastating. 

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating these accidents and will determine the cause. Family members of the victims may choose to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for their losses, including funeral costs, future lost income, and loss of love, care, and companionship. 

The aftermath of a fatal accident can be overwhelming. At the Coleman Law Group, founder Constance Coleman and her team offer support, resources, and advice for families. An empathetic and understanding Tampa car accident attorney may be able to help the victims’ families understand their legal rights and options under Florida Law. 

Tampa Uber/Lyft Accidents

Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft offer convenience and lower price points than traditional taxi cabs. Uber is a classic example of a disruptive technology, which took a foothold on a market and industry. In 2018, CNBC listed Uber second on its list of most disruptive companies in the world, second only to SpaceX. Uber officially began operating in 2011 in San Francisco and launched in Florida in 2014. In the last 10 years, the rideshare industry has developed and grown. With that growth, so have the number of accidents involving ridesharing vehicles. Accidents involving Uber vehicles occur on highways, city streets, and at intersections. With so many rideshare vehicles on the road, accidents are a daily occurrence. 

Have you been injured in an Uber accident in Tampa?  If so, you may be eligible to seek monetary compensation in a personal injury claim. Before you accept any compensation offer from your rideshare driver’s insurance company, or from a rideshare company, speak with a Florida personal injury lawyer. Rideshare injury claims can be complex, especially if the claim is directly against the rideshare company. 

Common Injuries Resulting from Uber Accidents in Florida 

Rear-end accidents and left-turn accidents are common types of rideshare accidents. These collisions may cause whiplash injuries, strains and sprains, concussions, and broken bones. If you are injured in an accident, seek medical attention immediately. Seeing a health care provider is important for your own health and well-being, as well as for documenting your injuries should you file a personal injury claim later. If your treating doctor recommends a follow-up visit to your primary care provider or a specialist, make sure to follow all recommendations. As soon as your immediate medical needs have been addressed, contact a lawyer immediately. 

Getting Maximum Compensation For a Personal Injury Claim 

Although Uber drivers must pass a background check, a clean driving and criminal record will not prevent an accident caused by a distracted or fatigued driver – or an accident caused by a negligent driver in another vehicle. If you are injured as a passenger, it is unlikely that you were responsible for an accident. Although rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have insurance policies, they also aggressively defend claims. Without a lawyer representing you, it may be impossible to recover the maximum, full and fair compensation you are entitled to. 

Every accident and personal injury claim is unique. The amount of compensation you can recover after an accident will depend on many factors, including the severity of your injuries and how they will affect you going forward. Another factor that may determine the ultimate outcome of your claim is the knowledge, skills, and experience of your personal injury attorney. 

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Potential Case 

The Coleman Law Group has represented numerous individuals injured in rideshare accidents along Florida’s Gulf Coast. If you’d like to speak with an attorney about your legal rights to financial compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering, call us today. If we represent you in your case, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Call us at (877) 822-9292 to schedule your consultation. 

Understanding Florida’s Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims

All 50 states have laws that limit the amount of time people have to file a claim for injuries.

For many states, two or three years is common, and some states have up to six years (Maine and North Dakota). Florida Statutes Section 95.11(3)(a) allows people four years to file a personal injury claim. 

Although you have up to four years to file a lawsuit, you should not wait this long to contact a lawyer in any scenario. If you were involved in a vehicle accident, you will need to notify your insurance company promptly, per the terms of your insurance policy. If you hire a lawyer shortly after an accident, your attorney can handle communications with your lawyer, and ensure your legal rights are protected. Many people delay contacting a lawyer and end up answering questions and providing a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, which can diminish the value of their claim.  

Once you hire a lawyer, they may not immediately file a lawsuit. However, a good Florida personal lawyer will immediately investigate the event that caused your injury and begin preserving evidence. They can arrange for an independent investigation of the accident if necessary, and begin work on calculating damages. 

If you think back to events in your life 3 years ago, it may be hard to remember specific details. Even recollections of traumatic events may be difficult to piece together. Even long after an accident occurs, it is possible, with photographs, notes, and medical records, to accurately detail a chain of events. However, it is always within your best interests to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. 

What Damages Are Available for Florida Personal Injury Claims? 

Damages available in a Florida personal injury claim may include medical care expenses (current medical bills and future medical care), lost earnings, and pain and suffering. When injuries are serious and prevent you from working, the money you recover in your personal injury settlement can make a significant impact on your quality of life going forward. 

Should You Accept a Quick Personal Injury Settlement? 

Never accept a settlement offer from your insurance company without talking to a lawyer first. One of the reasons a lawsuit is typically not filed immediately (and you should never accept an immediate settlement) is it takes time to understand how your injuries will affect you. If you are moderately sore a couple days after a rear-end car accident, you do not know if you will still be sore in two weeks, or two months? 

There Are No Up Front Fees to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer 

The lawyer you choose to represent you matters. Personal injury victims are able to hire a lawyer at the Coleman Law Group with no out-of-pocket costs or fees. Because we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, we assume all risks associated with your case. We are only paid if and when we recover money for you. 

This arrangement allows our clients to focus on healing and recovery, while we fight to ensure you are fairly compensated and justice is served. Talk to a lawyer with proven results and experience. Call us at (877) 822-9292 to speak with a member of our team about your case.