Have you or a loved one been injured in a car, truck, vehicle accident? Do not be a victim and do not let the insurance agencies take advantage of you. You do not have to face this difficult situation alone.
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According to the most up-to-date studies, drunk driving accidents claim one life every 39 minutes in the United States. One would hope that a decade of Public Service Announcements, education in high schools and defensive driving schools, as well as work by community groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) would have lessened the fatal impact of drunk driving. However, it has not and drunk driving is still an epidemic in the United States.
Here are the most current statistics available:
- Tragically, the 13,470 fatalities in 2006 caused by DUI drivers were slightly higher than the 13,451 fatalities caused by DUI drivers in 1996.
- In 2006, one-third of all automobile fatalities were caused by DUI drivers with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent.
- Of the 1,794 minors (age 14 and below) who were killed in motor vehicle crashes, 306 (or almost one in five) occurred in alcohol-related accidents. Of those 306 fatalities, the minors riding with drivers who had a BAC at or above 0.08 percent made up one-half (153) of the fatalities.
- DUI drivers (those with a Blood Alcohol Content at or above 0.08 percent) were most often driving motorcycles (27 percent), then light trucks (24 percent), then passenger cars (23 percent).
- Of all DUI drivers, the lowest fatality rate occurred in large trucks (just one percent). The data does not reveal if drivers of larger vehicles are less likely to drive drunk, or if they are just less likely to die in the accident due to the vehicle they are operating.
- DUI drivers are more four times more likely to be male than female.
- Traffic deaths at night are four times likelier to be alcohol-related (i.e. caused by a driver with a BAC at or above 0.01 percent) than those during the day.
- Of all traffic deaths in 2006 caused by drivers with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent, the majority of those drivers were age 21 to 24 (33 percent), followed by those age 25 to 34 (29 percent), and then age 35 to 44 (25 percent).
It’s shocking, terrifying and unbelievable but it’s true. Drunk driving effects everyone in the United States and beyond. Mothers, daughters, fathers, and son are falling victim all over the world. Don’t be a statistic, if you drink, don’t drive.
A motorcyclist is accused of leading a high-speed chase through three counties at speeds up to 130 mph. A high-speed chase that resulted in the man and his female passenger in the hospital before his arrest.
The chase began late Sunday about two miles north of Otter Creek in Levy County, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Alan O. Harrison said.
The trooper said he spotted a motorcycle traveling 81 mph while headed north on U.S. 19 in a 65-mph zone.
Harrison and others said they chased the motorcycle north on U.S. 19 out of Levy County into Gilchrist County and then into Dixie County. During the chase, the man attempted to allude the police officers by reaching speeds up to 130 mph.
Harrison said the motorcyclist lost control about a mile south of Cross City. The driver was trying to evade several other law enforcement officers by cutting across a grassy area to get to the paved Nature Coast Greenway Trail.
He and the passenger were ejected from the motorcycle, Harrison said.
The driver, Ronald Lee Blakeslee, 24, of Clearwater, and his passenger, Amy Nease Barera, 22, of Oldsmar, were taken to Shands at the University of Florida following the crash.
Following his release from Shands, Blakeslee was booked into the Levy County jail on charges of fleeing and attempting to elude, speeding, driving while his license was suspended or revoked, operating a motorcycle without the proper endorsement, and having a tag that was both expired and revoked.
Technology has undoubtedly changed the world we live in. If you want to communicate with your friends as to your day or your plans that night, you more often than not use a social networking site as means of getting the word out. However, your social networking of choice could also be your biggest obstruction when you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
Guard Your Privacy
When you are putting together a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand that anything private can be made public easily. The defense will stop at nothing to tear down your case. Oftentimes, you can expect to have different parts of your life presented in a court of law that you thought were behind you or were guarded by privacy settings. In recent years, courts have considered whether the information and photographs posted on websites like Facebook must be disclosed. In many situations, the injured party may be obligated to provide the contents of their Facebook account, including those sections that are categorized as private.
Keeping Your Case and Your Facebook Separate
Here are a few tips to ensure that your social media profile stays out of your personal injury case.
- Disable all social media accounts – When you go into your initial consultation, your personal injury lawyer will advise you to disable all social media accounts. Your blog, your social media accounts, and any other internet medium that allows you to publicly interact with others.
- Search for yourself – Use a search engine to perform a search on yourself. Type your name into a search engine to see what is available online in terms of your background and your past.
- Monitor your friends’ activities – Keep an eye on the posts and topics your friends are discussing online. View location check-ins, comments, and photos to ensure that your name remains private and you’re aware at all times of what is being said about you online.
Why It’s Important
From jury selection to settlements, social media is playing an intricate role in how cases all over the Nation are being developed. Although some courts are attempting to ban social media from entering the courts, it is impossible at the rate that social networks are growing.
Rachel Wade vs. the State of Florida
Rachel Wade is serving a 27-year prison sentence for the murder of her romantic rival, Sarah Ludemann. The two were fighting over Joshua Camacho, a 19-year-old, who was dating both girls at the same time. Wade, who was 19 years old at the time, blames social media for her conviction. Rachel Wade used the social networking website MySpace to threaten Ludemann. Her threats toward Ludemann may have inevitably resulted in her guilty conviction.
According to Rachel Wade’s attorney, Jay Herbert, “There was an incubation period in which the case percolated and verbal and malicious threats went back and forth both ways between the two girls,” Hebert told AOL News. ”The entire relationship played out in either a MySpace forum or instant communication back and forth, and that just led to a [much] heightened, very volatile [situation].”
It took a jury less than three hours to convict Wade of murdering Ludemann.
Social Media in Other Trials
Here are some other documented examples of how social media usage has played a part in recent court proceedings:
- A juror posted details of a case on her Facebook page then polled her friends on how the case should be decided.
- A Maryland juror looked up the definition of a word on Wikipedia one night after deliberations.
- A New York juror requested a witness to be her Facebook friend after one day of deliberations.
- A California defendant’s girlfriend tampered with a juror through MySpace.
It is scary but true, anything you post online can be used against you in a court of law. If you’re a plaintiff in a personal injury case, speak to a lawyer today about what you need to do to protect your privacy and ensure you receive the most unbiased case possible.
We’ve all done it – been at a stoplight or in slow traffic and shot off a quick text or e-mail. It’s multitasking at its most dangerous. In today’s fast-paced world, it can feel all too convenient to perform secondary tasks while driving. Whatever it is you’re doing while driving, you’re becoming dangerously distracted by the activity. In fact, in 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him/her from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing.
- Visual – When you take your eyes off the road
- Manual – When you take your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – When you take your mind off what you’re doing
Although texting is the most alarming activity under the distracted driving umbrella, there are other activities that are included:
- Using a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including Maps
- Using a PDA/navigation system
- Watching a video
- Changing the radio, CD, or MP3 player
Cell Phone and Texting Laws
The government is doing their part to ensure the safety of drivers on the road as well. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington have all enacted laws that prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Moreover, 33 states, D.C. and Guam have passed text messaging bans for all drivers.
To TXT or Not to TXT?
In Florida, it’s perfectly legal to use your cell phone while driving. Although it is never recommended to do so, there are some precautions you can make in order to ensure your safety and those around you.
- Invest in a Cell Phone Hands-Free Car Kit – A hands-free kit will allow you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Most are often equipped with voice command features so you don’t have to look away from the road while you take care of essential business.
- Talk-to-Text – Talk-to-text applications are essential if most of your business or personal conversations are done through texting or e-mailing. Once you’ve downloaded the application, you can press a button to speak your text messages or e-mails. Most of these applications are free or very cost effective if you’re looking for something easy and affordable.
The Future of Safe Driving
Manage Mobility, a Georgia software company announced that it will be partnering with an Irving, Texas software firm to create an application that will disable texting, e-mailing, and Web-browsing functions of a wireless phone in moving vehicles. There are several applications already in the works that disable cell phones with a vehicle is moving, including iZup, tXtBlocker, ZoomSafer, and CellSafety. However, these applications do not work on the iPhone.
If you want to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving, contact our personal injury attorneys today. Our Gainesville, Florida, attorneys are happy to assist you with a myriad of legal services pertaining to personal injury, medical malpractice, and car accidents.
When you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, it can be a scary time for you and your family. There are so many questions, not enough answers, and too little time to decide what to do next. One of the first steps to getting your life back is to know when to call in a personal injury attorney to assist you in your case.
You’ve been told by a doctor that you’re seriously injured. If your injury has ultimately led you to the hospital and a medical professional has deemed your injury serious, then it’s time to call a personal injury lawyer. Just because you may be covered by insurance, does not mean you should trust they have your family’s best interest at heart. If you are losing time from work and you can not get the recovery you deserve, then it is time to bring in a qualified personal injury attorney. An attorney will work with your insurance company and the other parties involved to ensure you have less to worry about as you recover from your traumatic injury.