How to Keep Safe While Walking on Halloween

kids walking on Halloween

kids walking on HalloweenKids and adults enjoy the excitement of Halloween. Spooky costumes, sweet treats, and festive parties are fun for all. But walking on Halloween isn’t always so much fun. Young trick-or-treaters are four times more likely than usual to get injured while out canvassing the neighborhood for treats.

Tampa personal injury attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin have seen too many children injured in risky situations.

Take a look at these tips for staying safe while walking on Halloween.

1. Never Leave Your Child Unattended
In the excitement of trick-or-treating, your child might run ahead of you. When this happens, the risk increases that your child will dart out into the street. Before starting out on your adventure, remind your child to never run into the street. Also, remind them to always look both ways before crossing. But just in case your child is a little too excited to follow the rules, keep them near you at all times.

2. Watch for Driveways
A child might forget that cars not only drive on streets but also exit and enter driveways. So, in addition to safely crossing the street, the child must safely navigate the sidewalks. Remind your child to stop and look before crossing a driveway, to avoid a car entering or leaving a driveway possibly hitting the child.

3. Increase Visibility
Do not let your child wear a dark costume. Light-colored costumes with reflective pieces increase the child’s visibility. At the very least, if the costume is overly dark, place a piece of reflective tape somewhere on the costume. You or your child could also carry flashlights or colorful glow sticks to increase the likelihood that they will be seen.

Safety First
The tips mentioned here will help keep your child safe. But in case a mishap occurs, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer in Tampa. Wagner McLaughlin has Tampa personal injury attorneys skilled in handling cases involving pedestrian injuries. So, when you need an injury lawyer in Tampa, call us to schedule a consultation.


car accidents do and donts

car accidents do and dontsWhen you are involved in a car accident, many things will be happening at once. Along with speaking to police, you are also getting treated for any injuries you suffered as well as wondering how your insurance company will react to your accident. In the midst of this chaos, many accident victims make critical mistakes that ultimately cost them the opportunity to gain much-needed compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To learn what to do or not do in the event of a car accident, here are some tips to remember.

Do Take Photos
When involved in an accident, always take photos – if you can do so safely — of vehicle damage, visible injuries you and others may have, property damage, and skid marks or stop signs that may give a clue as to how the accident occurred. Once you have done this, turn over your photos to your Tampa injury lawyer at Wagner McLaughlin so they can use them when planning legal strategy.

Do Not Admit Fault
When speaking with police or other drivers, be mindful of what you say. In the nervousness or stress of the moment, many people admit responsibility or to being at fault when they do not have all of the underlying facts necessary for making such an admission. If you say something such as “I’m sorry” to police or the other driver, Tampa personal injury attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin may have a greater challenge in creating a legal strategy that will show you were not responsible for the accident.

Do Not Refuse Medical Treatment
Particularly if your injuries are more than minor, think twice before refusing medical treatment at the accident scene. If you do and later claim you suffered whiplash, a herniated disc, or other injuries, the other driver’s insurance company is more likely to resist the efforts of your Tampa injury lawyer to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement.

If you are a car accident victim and need legal advice, do not hesitate to schedule an immediate consultation with Tampa personal injury attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin.

personal injury accidents

personal injury accidentsWhether you are involved in a car accident or slip and fall incident, or perhaps bitten by a dog, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit so you can be compensated for your injuries and other damages. However, when these or other similar situations take place, most people have little idea what they need to do next. To make sure you are prepared to work with personal injury lawyers in Tampa, here are important tips to remember when you are involved in a personal injury accident.

Seek Medical Treatment
Your health and recovery is the most important immediate concern. As soon as possible after you are injured, seek appropriate treatment for your injuries. Doing so is the best way to recover or minimize the long-term harm that you will face due to your accident. In addition, your injuries will be documented in your medical charts, providing an important  record of how you were harmed.

Gather Evidence
When involved in a personal injury accident, always gather evidence you can present to your Tampa injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin. This should include not only photos of any visible injuries you sustained, but also property damage, skid marks on a road, or other important aspects. If you are able to take photos at the scene of the accident, be sure to do so safely.

Watch What You Say and Do
When consulting with your personal injury lawyers in Tampa, you will likely be told to watch what you say and do while your case plays out. For example, should you be contacted by an insurance company, your lawyers will likely advise that you say very little and refer them instead to your Tampa injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin. Also, it is usually best to refrain from posting comments or photos regarding your accident on social media, since it is likely your accounts are being monitored by the defendant’s attorney and insurance company. Posts and photos on social media can be taken out of context or give an incomplete and often inaccurate view of the full story.

To ensure you are able to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, never leave your legal fate to inexperienced attorneys. Instead, schedule a consultation with the Tampa injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin to discuss your legal options. We would be happy and honored to help you in your time of need.

slip and fall at grocery store

slip and fall at grocery storeThe grocery store is the last place you expect to be in danger. It is reasonable to expect that the store will make all efforts to maintain a safe environment for its patrons to shop in. Unfortunately, not every grocery store operates according this standard. Some grocers are severely understaffed, and the employees on shift at any given time may be overtaxed. This makes it hard for them to detect spills, slippery floors, and other such hazards.

If you have been injured in an accident that owes to the negligence of the grocery store management, then you should consider taking legal action. Tampa FL slip and fall injury attorneys can help.

Holding Grocery Stores Accountable

While no one should begrudge any business trying to make a profit, all venues in which there is regular public traffic should spend the money necessary to keep their customers safe. Some grocery stores minimize the staff they hire to save money and increase profit. This gets dangerous when the personnel and supervisors are so busy operating the store that they do not notice and correct hazardous situations.

The Consequences of a Slip and Fall

Even if you are relatively healthy person, a slip and fall can leave you seriously injured. If you are completely unaware of a wet surface, you may have no time at all to react to slipping on it. Your fall can cause broken bones, head injuries, and other serious injuries. You will certainly need to go to the emergency room to get a full examination. You may need stitches, bandages, or a cast and crutches if you have broken anything. If you hit your head, the doctor may want to keep you overnight for observation.

How Tampa FL Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys Can Help

You should call an attorney when you feel up to it. Wagner McLaughlin is a firm of attorneys who specialize in getting ordinary people the compensation they deserve from companies whose negligence has led to their injury. If you have been hurt in a grocery store fall, Wagner McLaughlin will help you sort through your legal options.

yield accident

yield accidentTraffic laws exist for a reason: to give drivers the instruction and guidance they need to stay safe on the road. When people ignore traffic signs and the rules of the road, they put others in danger. If another driver failed to yield when they were supposed to and it led to an accident that caused you injury, then you should consider taking legal action. Tampa personal injury attorneys can help you.

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable

Some people believe that traffic rules don’t apply to them. They think they can get away with failing to yield when they are supposed to and other types of driving infractions. The driver who caused the accident in which you were injured may not be a serial violator of traffic laws. They may have been in a hurry that day and blew past a yield sign to make an appointment or deal with an emergency. No matter their reason for failing to yield, the person whose reckless action caused the accident must be held accountable.

Why You Need a Lawyer

If you have been in a serious car accident, then you will need to go to the hospital to be checked out for any injuries. And if you were seriously injured, then you must get the proper care and treatment.

When you feel up to it, you should hire a Tampa FL injury law firm. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, then their insurance should pay. Indeed, the other driver’s insurance company may offer you a low-dollar settlement. You should accept no offer until your attorney has had an opportunity to review it. If the initial sum offered covers your medical bills and lost wages and gives reasonable compensation for pain and suffering, then your Tampa FL injury law firm may advise you to accept it. If the sum does not cover your expenses, then they will press for a higher, more justified amount.

Tampa personal injury attorneys help ordinary people get the compensation they deserve. Wagner McLaughlin is a highly experienced and effective personal injury law firm. If you have been in a car wreck, you should contact Wagner McLaughlin to explore your legal options.

hiking accident

hiking accidentWhile hiking can be a fun activity, it can also lead to serious injuries. Time after time, these injuries could have been prevented if not for the negligence of others. If you love to hike but have been injured doing so, here are some common injuries and how slip and fall accident lawyers in Tampa can be of assistance.

Broken Bones
When hikers get hurt, broken bones are very common. Whether it is a broken arm, leg, ankle, or foot from slipping and falling, these injuries can take months to heal. In many situations, injuries such as these are caused by the failure to properly post warning signs for hikers telling them of the difficulty of certain trails, or the hazards they may face ahead. If this happened to you, contact the Tampa FL injury law firm of Wagner McLaughlin.

Since many hiking trails have jagged rocks, severe lacerations on legs, arms, and faces are very common injuries. In many cases, hiking guides who are supposed to be helping hikers stay safe on the trails fail to take into account the potential danger of a certain trail, especially if they are in charge of helping those who may be new to hiking.

Head Injuries
In the most severe instances, injured hikers can sustain concussions or traumatic brain injuries from striking their head against rocks or ledges. Unfortunately, since these hikers may be miles from medical help, the results can often be tragic. If you or a loved one suffered severe head injuries while hiking, contact slip and fall accident lawyers in Tampa to discuss your case.

Rather than let the negligence of inexperienced hiking guides or park administrators keep you from getting the financial compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, schedule an immediate consultation with the Tampa FL injury law firm of Wagner McLaughlin.

When Should I Call a Lawyer to Be on My Personal Injury Case?

When Should I Call a Lawyer to Be on My Personal Injury Case?There are many different types of accidents that cause injuries and deaths. They might involve motor vehicles, a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall, negligent security, nursing home negligence or even falling merchandise in a big box warehouse store. Though these accidents can vary widely in type and manner, many of them have at least one thing in common: the person or entity that caused the accident has liability insurance.

How Insurance Companies Make Money
Insurance companies make money by charging premiums and banking the money that those premiums bring in. Then, they invest that money to make even more money. When claims arise, they do whatever they can to minimize their losses and keep the company’s bottom line healthy.

Don’t Give Up Control of Your Claim
Insurance companies aren’t in the business of giving money away. If you were injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, his or her insurer is going to start setting up its defense to your claim right away by trying to control your claim. That’s why you want to contact the Tampa FL personal injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin right away after being injured in an accident. The accident law firm in Tampa will take control of your case for you.

The Statement and Medical Authorization
Always remember that the opposing insurance company in your case has its own best interests in mind after a claim arises. It will likely want a recorded statement from you along with an authorization that will allow it to obtain all of your medical records. In many cases, the company’s main intent is to use your own words and medical history against you in the future. Florida law doesn’t require you to give that statement or authorization, so politely refuse to give them.

Rather than helping the opposing insurer build its defense against you, give control of your case to our accident law firm in Tampa. Contact the Tampa FL personal injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin right away after being injured in any accident to arrange for a free consultation and care review. With our objective of maximizing any proceeds that you might receive by settlement or an award, we look out for your best interests.

boat accident

boat accidentBoating is one of the most common forms of recreation in Tampa, Florida. It is especially popular during the summer. If you have been invited to go boating with friends, you should be mindful of your personal safety. It is the responsibility of the boat owner to keep his or her passengers safe as well. There is a temptation among some boat owners to combine alcohol and recklessness with boating, and this can lead to tragic consequences.

If you have been injured in a boating accident that owes to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another, then you should consider taking legal action. Tampa boating accident lawyers can help you.

Common Boating Injuries

Boats are powerful waterborne vehicles equipped with advanced machinery and electrical systems and devices of various kinds. A collision, grounding, or other boating accident can compromise the integrity of the boat in ways that put people in danger. Here are some of the most common types of boating injuries:

1. Drowning

This of course is the most lethal consequence of a boating accident. Even if everyone on a boat can swim, a collision can cause the kind of brain trauma that makes it impossible to tread water and get to safety. If someone is unconscious before being thrown overboard by a collision, then they are likely to drown.

2. Brain injury

This can occur in two ways. It can result from oxygen deprivation when an individual is submerged underwater for an extended period of time. It can also come as a result of being thrown against a bulkhead or piece of heavy machinery during a boat-related collision.

3. Spinal cord injury

A spinal cord can be compressed when a boat bounces violently up and down owing to its encounter with waves or the wake of another vessel.

4. Lacerations

Cuts, bruises, bumps, and deep scratches can occur when a person is thrown across the boat because of a crash or a sudden turn.


How a Personal Injury Law Firm in Tampa FL Can Help

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you should contact a personal injury law firm in Tampa FL as soon as you can. Wagner McLaughlin heads a team of Tampa boating accident lawyers who possess the judgment and experience to get you justice. You should contact Wagner McLaughlin to discuss your legal options.

heavy rainful

heavy rainfulHeavy rainfall presents a challenge to drivers. Rain that is persistent and forceful can reduce visibility, impede your ability to control your vehicle, and cause other difficulties. If you must get on the road, you should drive to survive. You should be conscious of deteriorating conditions and keep your focus on the vehicles around you.

Risks of Driving in Heavy Rain
These are some of the inherent dangers that come with heavy rain:

-Slippery road surfaces
-Loose debris
-Slippery mud

You should be especially wary of hydroplaning. Heavy rain will leave a considerable amount of water on the road. If you drive your car too fast, the wheels can go above the water. At that point, you will no longer be in control of your vehicle because the treads of your wheels will not be in contact with the surface of the road. This makes it impossible to steer or maintain traction.

Driving Tips
To avoid an accident during a heavy rainstorm, you should take the following actions, where appropriate:

-Slow down
-Stay tuned to the latest emergency information
-Leave early enough to avoid rushing
-Do not use cruise control
-Avoid standing water and puddles
-Stay in the center of the lane while driving
-In an especially hard downpour, pull off to the side of the road if you have lost all visibility

How an Injury Law Firm in Tampa Can Help If You Have an Accident

You may try to avoid an accident but get into one anyway. If you are injured in the course of the accident, your first priority is to get well. You should also contact an injury law firm in Tampa. If the accident is the result of reckless driving by the other person, then their insurance company should compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, where allowable.

Tampa FL accident attorneys help accident victims get the justice and compensation they deserve. Wagner McLaughlin leads a team of Tampa Fl accident attorneys who can provide you with the advice you need. If you have been in an accident, you should contact Wagner McLaughlin to figure out your options.


lifeguardEvery summer vacation deserves to be capped off with a visit to the beach. But you need to keep a few basic safety precautions in mind. It’s never a good idea to go out into the Gulf or ocean waters unless you know exactly what to expect. If the lifeguard is on duty, you should definitely ask him or her a number of questions so that you can be sure your experience in the water will be completely safe. 

What Questions Do You Need to Ask the Lifeguard on Duty?

The first thing you should ask your lifeguard is how deep the water is and if there are any sudden drops to a lower depth that you should be on the lookout for. It is also important to inquire if there are any strong currents that present a risk of whisking you out to sea or pulling you under the water in what’s called a dangerous “undertow.” In many areas in Florida, these hidden currents have caused swimmers to drown. 

Whether you are going out to the ocean or swimming in a lake or other water body, it’s a good idea to ask about the presence of sharks, jellyfish, alligators, or other assorted marine life that may have been spotted and could prove dangerous to swimmers. Before you head out, also make sure that the lifeguard will remain on duty to look out for you and your family members during your duration of time in the water.  

Contact the Firm of Wagner McLaughlin After Any Water Related Accidents

If, despite your best efforts, you end up being harmed or getting into an accident while out in the water, your first course of action should be to call a firm of experienced Tampa Florida injury lawyers. A lawyer experienced in personal injury cases can help determine whether your injuries were the result of the negligence or recklessness of others and whether you have a viable claim for damages. The law firm of Wagner McLaughlin is here to help and would be honored to represent you should you or a loved one be injured in a water related accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.