Limousine Accidents: Who is Liable?

limosine When you retain the services of a limousine company for purposes of business or pleasure, you have a reasonable expectation of getting from your point of origin to your destination safely and securely. Sadly, safety was apparently ignored near Albany, New York, recently when 20 people perished in a limousine accident. The operator of Prestige Limousine allegedly had a driver behind the wheel who wasn’t licensed to drive that type of vehicle, and state inspectors had determined a month earlier that the same vehicle was unserviceable due to mechanical issues.

Vicarious Liability

There is no question that the cause of the subject crash was the limo driver’s failure to stop at a stop sign. Based on the facts of the case as it presently stands, the personal injury attorneys in Tampa at Wagner McLaughlin regard this tragedy as an example of vicarious liability. Under the legal principle of vicarious liability, an employer is held liable for the negligent act, or negligent failure to act, of its employee. As an experienced Tampa wrongful death attorney at Wagner McLaughlin could also explain, there is a duty incumbent on the limo company to properly maintain the vehicles that it puts on the road. It appears that this duty was breached in the Albany case — and, sadly, in too many other cases as well.

If you were injured in a limousine accident, or if your family member perished in such an accident in Florida, contact an accident attorney Tampa Florida without delay. We’ll arrange for a free consultation and case review with you. Our commitment is to listen to you carefully, answer your questions as best we can, and advise you of your full range of legal options. Our attorneys are experienced and effective Tampa motor vehicle accident attorneys. We work on a contingent-fee basis, which means that no legal fees are due unless and until we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

golf cart accidentGolf carts are both fun and functional, and the use of them is spreading throughout Florida’s neighborhoods and communities. Under Florida law (Chapter 320, section 320.01, of the Florida Statutes), a golf cart is “a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” Golf carts can weigh well over 500 pounds, and they are often used in retirement communities. Legal issues can arise when people use the carts privately – especially if they don’t take their driving responsibilities as seriously as they do when they drive their own cars on the public roadways.

Negligence Laws Still Apply

As the Tampa golf cart accident attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin can attest, the fact that a golf cart driver isn’t on a public roadway doesn’t free him or her from the law of negligence. Although these vehicles are much smaller than an automobile or SUV, a person can still be severely injured or even die in a golf cart accident. If a driver of a golf cart negligently injures a passenger on it, a person on another golf cart, or a bicyclist or pedestrian, that careless golf cart driver and the golf cart’s owner may be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

Golf Cart Accident Injuries

As with automobiles, Florida law regards golf carts as dangerous instrumentalities. Although some of them might have a roof, they don’t have doors, air bags, or seat belts. People are often ejected from golf carts during accidents. Injuries can include neck and back strains and sprains, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord bruising or tearing, multiple fractures, injuries to vertebrae and spinal nerves and organ damage.

If you or your family members have been injured in a golf cart accident, you’ll want to speak with a golf cart accident attorney Tampa Florida here at Wagner McLaughlin. Do not hesitate to contact us as immediately as possible after being injured in any golf cart accident. We are standing by to offer a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Tampa.

 

 

 

motorcycle accidentLegal Assistance for the Victims of Motorcycle Crashes in Florida

Florida’s generally good weather and its long stretches of straight pavement make the state popular for motorcyclists, but greater ridership has come at a price. In 2015, Florida experienced the highest number of motorcycle fatalities of any state in the nation. In addition to the 606 deaths that year, more than 9,000 other bikers suffered significant injuries in the state. The victims of such accidents and their families may be eligible for financial compensation, but they could benefit from the help of a Tampa personal injury attorney to ensure that damages are received and are sufficient. This type of assistance can be obtained from the law firm of Wagner McLaughlin. Our lawyers have years of experience handling this type of litigation.

The Key to Riding Safely

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has attributed the increase in fatalities to the repeal in 2000 of Florida’s motorcycle helmet requirement. According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association, fewer than half of the motorcyclists who ride in Florida wear a helmet. There are some common-sense steps bikers can take on their own to protect themselves when riding, including:

•Wear protective clothing, in addition to a helmet and proper eyewear
•In order to be visible to others, wear bright clothing and make sure
the motorcycle has proper lighting
•Stay outside the “blind” spots of automobile and truck drivers
•Avoid riding between lanes

Seeking Compensation After an Accident

Even the safest riders may not be able to avoid accidents that are caused by inattentive, reckless, or intoxicated drivers, or by hazards that are beyond their control. Those who suffer injuries or who lose family members in crashes will need the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer in Tampa. They can find this help at the law firm of Wagner McLaughlin.

Do not hesitate to call us today for a free consultation.

pedestrian on phoneIn today’s technologically advanced world, we seem to be connected all the time. Some people want to stay connected on the go so much that they even conduct business and surfing on their cell phones while walking. However, as a pedestrian, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. According to one statistic, more than 1,500 pedestrians nationwide are estimated to be treated in emergency rooms every year as a result of distraction due to walking while engaged in cell phone conversations — and these types of accidents are thought to be largely underreported.

It’s important for drivers and pedestrians to be on alert in order to prevent auto accidents from occurring. Pedestrians have a duty to conduct themselves reasonably under the circumstances, and if they cause harm to someone else — or bring it on themselves — because they were distracted due to cell-phone usage, they can and should be held responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their actions. It is important for parents of teens to remind their children to pay close attention to stop signs and streetlights while they are walking and talking, so as to protect themselves and others who might be harmed through any inattention or distraction.

If you do happen to be in an auto accident involving a pedestrian, the Tampa personal injury attorneys of Wagner McLaughlin can help. Regardless of whether you’re the driver or the pedestrian, if you are injured in this type of accident, a personal injury lawyer Tampa FL can assist you. An experienced personal injury attorney, such as those at Wagner McLaughlin, can gather and study the evidence in your case to help determine just who is at fault for the accident. If both the driver and pedestrian are at fault, your attorney can discuss with you the evidence and law that assign percentages of fault to the driver and the pedestrian. Once your attorney has analyzed your case, he or she can help you determine the best course of action, including whether to push for an out-of-court settlement or to take your case all the way to a trial.

No matter what, the experienced lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin will fight aggressively for your rights to ensure that you receive the compensation and justice that you are due.

 

What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents?

semi-truck accidentDriver fatigue is one of the top causes of semi-truck accidents. Once a driver has reached the driving limit of 11 hours out on the road, they are required to be off duty for 10 consecutive hours (or equivalent) before driving the truck again. Truck drivers are required to log their hours. However, drivers may log their information incorrectly. Other causes of accidents include speeding, improperly-maintained trucks, aggressive driving and reckless driving.

Why are Semi-Truck Accidents Dangerous?

If a semi-truck collides with a smaller vehicle, then the results can be catastrophic. The size of these trucks is one of the reasons that it is so dangerous to get in an accident with one. The average semi-truck weighs 80,000 pounds, whereas passenger vehicles typically weigh around 3,000 pounds.

In many cases, the driver of the truck is not injured at all. Truck drivers are more protected because they are much higher off the ground. By contrast, people in cars often sustain serious injuries when they collide with a truck.

Head injuries, back injuries, amputations, burns, broken bones and lacerations are some of the most common semi-truck accident injuries. People may also be injured by the airbag or seatbelt. Even though these devices are designed to save lives, they can cause a serious injury. For example, the airbag can strip the skin from the driver or passenger. Additionally, seatbelts can injure the user’s abdomen and chest.

It is important to get a medical evaluation if you have been involved in a semi-truck accident. If you do not receive a medical evaluation, then serious injuries may go unchecked.

The Importance of Contacting Personal Injury Lawyers in Tampa FL

If you have been hurt in a semi-truck accident, then you may be entitled to compensation. Accident lawyers in Tampa FL can help you get compensated for future and current medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and disfigurement. If your loved one has been involved in a fatal accident, then you may be able to get compensation for their death. Contact Wagner McLaughlin today!

construction siteConstruction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. The four deadliest construction site accidents are called the “Fatal Four.” Out of 991 construction-related fatalities in 2016, most were caused by the fatal four. If you have been hurt on a construction site, you want to be represented by personal injury lawyers in Tampa Florida that has years of experience in this area of the law.

The Fatal Four

  1. Falls from High Places 
    Falls are the leading cause of construction site accidents. Every year, more than 100,000 construction workers are injured or killed because of falls. Even when death is not the result, the injuries are often life-threatening. Employers should have guard rails and toe-boards around elevated areas and dangerous equipment and machines. If you were injured on a construction site that did not follow safety measures, accident lawyers in Tampa FL can help.
  2. Struck-By-Objects 
    Objects that fall from above, are thrown, that swing, or that roll can kill or injure workers. Incidents involving objects happen fast and there is no time to react. Safety glasses, goggles, and face shields can provide protection when caught off-guard. And hard hats should be worn at all times on the construction site.
  3. Electrocuted Workers
    Electrical mishaps annually cause more than 200 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries on U.S. construction sites. One way to combat this hazard is to provide safety training for employees. Workers should also understand the importance of wearing safety equipment at all times.
  4. Caught In-Between Objects 
    Getting caught in-between objects is the fourth leading cause of construction site deaths and injuries. This type of accident is when a worker is squeezed or crushed between equipment. Unguarded machinery, rolling equipment, and collapsing materials are often the cause. Workers should stay clear of unguarded machinery and avoid walking underneath suspended loads or equipment.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Have you been injured on a construction site? Did one of the fatal four affect a loved one? Accident lawyers in Tampa FL can represent you. If your claim against the construction company is valid, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies. An experienced lawyer will know how to handle the complicated claims process.

fender benderThe majority of rear-end accidents are minor fender benders. These accidents often happen at low speeds in places like parking lots. In a minor accident, nobody is injured and there is only limited damage to the vehicles involved. However, as experienced accident lawyers in Tampa FL will tell you, not all accidents involving a read-end collision are fender benders. Some are far more serious.

Rear-End Accidents Can Result in Serious Damage to Vehicles and Personal Injuries 

A rear-end collision is a type of traffic accident that happens when one vehicle hits the back of another one. There are many cases when a rear-end accident involves a driver hitting the back of another vehicle at near full speed. These accidents can have numerous causes, such as driver distraction, fatigue, mechanical failure or impaired driving.

If a rear-end accident happens at a high speed, significant damage to the vehicle being hit can result. The occupants of the vehicle, particularly those in the back seats, also risk potentially serious injuries. This is especially the case if a car gets rear-ended by a larger and heavier vehicle, such as a truck or commercial delivery van.

What to Do If You’re Involved in This Type of Accident 

If you have been injured as a result of a rear-end accident, it is important that you consult a Tampa personal injury law firm right away. Under Florida law, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action against a driver that has caused you to suffer a loss as a result of a traffic accident.

Specialized accident lawyers in Tampa FL can help by offering you a free consultation during which your case will be evaluated. They can give you advice on whether you will be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and material damage. If another driver has rear-ended you, they may be responsible for covering the costs of your medical bills, time off work and damage to your vehicle.

A knowledgeable Tampa personal injury law firm will be able to negotiate a fair settlement for you or take the case to trial if necessary. Having an experienced lawyer at your side is a great way of ensuring that your legal rights will be respected.

 

airboating accidentDangers of Airboats

Many people use airboats to travel through the Florida Everglades. It can be fun to travel on an airboat, but it can also be dangerous. The open nature and speed of the boats can put one at risk for suffering a serious injury. There are few airboat accidents in Florida each year. However, safety is always a concern for people who travel in airboats. If you are in an accident, you should call a Florida boating accident attorney right away.

Airboats are not required to have seat belts, air bags or windshields. They also do not have brakes and can be operated at high speeds. In 2017, an airboat accident claimed the life of a 22-year-old woman who had just graduated from the University of Miami the day before. She died after being ejected from the airboat when it crashed. The woman’s 20-year-old sister sustained minor injuries in the accident.

Airboat Safety Tips 

Airboats can be difficult to control because they go so fast. However, there are some things that you can do to minimize the possibility of suffering an injury.

  • Do not travel in a boat that appears not well-maintained. An accident is much more likely to happen if the boat is not in good condition.
  • Make sure that you wear a life vest. Even if the water is shallow, you still need a vest.
  • Stay away from overhanging branches. They can get caught in the propeller and cause serious damage.

Contact a Florida Boating Accident Attorney

Even if you take all of the necessary precautions, you can still be involved in a boating accident. That is why if you or your loved ones have suffered injuries in an accident, then you need the help of the Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers. An attorney can help you hold the negligent party responsible for the injuries that you have suffered.

If your boating trip takes a turn for the worst, an experienced Florida boat accident attorney can help you get compensated for your injuries. Call today for a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

party busParty buses are used to transport people to graduations, birthday parties, weddings, and other special events. They typically hold at least ten people at a time. Riding on a party bus is a fun experience for most people. However, bus accidents are not an uncommon occurrence.

Common Causes of Party Bus Accidents 

Many people rent a party bus in order to avoid drinking and driving. However, some bus drivers operate the bus while under the influence. This can result in an accident. Other causes of party bus accidents include reckless driving, driver fatigue, distracted driving, speeding, and a lack of bus maintenance.

Furthermore, more than a few people are injured from falling out of the bus. This often occurs when the passenger extends his or her head too far out of the window. Alcohol is not infrequently involved.

Common Party Bus Accident Injuries 

A person can too easily be injured in a party bus accident because, often, there are no seat belts in the vehicle. The passenger could easily be thrown out of the bus. The resulting injuries can be serious. Some of the most common bus accident injuries include the following:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Tissue damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Paralysis

Can the Bus Company or Driver be Held Responsible? 

The driver or bus company can be held responsible if the accident was caused by drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving, or any type of negligent behavior. Additionally, under certain circumstances, the bus company can be held responsible if any underage passengers on the bus were drinking.

Contact Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers 

You may well need the help of a Tampa personal injury law firm if you have been hurt in a bus accident. Tampa personal injury lawyers can provide you with the legal assistance and guidance that you will need for a successful case. Do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin If you have suffered injury during a party-bus accident.

 

millennial drivers When asked to name the most dangerous drivers who put other people on the road at risk, most people would answer teenage drivers and the elderly. However, studies have shown that the age group known as “millennials” are the most dangerous drivers as a whole. The reason? Millennials make the roads more dangerous because they engage in distracting behaviors while they are driving.

Texting, running a red light, and speeding are some of the activities that can make driving more dangerous. A study showed that 88 percent of drivers who are between the ages of 19 and 24 have engaged in at least one of these dangerous behaviors within the past 30 days — as have 79 percent of drivers who are between the ages of 25 and 39.

Studies have shown that millennials are 1.6 times more likely to read a text message or email while driving. They are twice as likely to type a message while driving or to speed in a school zone. Additionally, half of millennials have stated that they have run a red light.

Some Millennials Lack Guilt 

Not only are millennials, as a group, engaging in dangerous behaviors, but many of them think that it is acceptable to engage in those behaviors. Twelve percent of millennials believe that it is safe to speed in a school zone. Additionally, many millennials have stated that they believe that they are good drivers — despite the fact that they engage in dangerous behavior while they are driving.

Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer 

Because of recent changes in the law, it is important than ever to call a lawyer (including accident lawyers in Tampa FL) if you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by negligence. An experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer can examine all of the details of your case and determine the best route to help maximize your recovery of compensation.

Do not hesitate to contact Wagner McLaughlin today, at 813.225.4000.