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Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Florida parasailing accident left teens with critical injuries

Earlier this month, two teenagers visiting from Indiana were seriously injured in a parasailing accident when their parachute came loose from the boat, causing them to crash into two condominiums and crash into power lines. Following the crash, the girls landed in a nearby parking lot, where they were found to be unresponsive.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an afternoon storm had developed during the teen's parasailing ride. The boat operator had apparently anchored the boat to keep it from being pulled to shore, but high winds prevented the chute from coming down and the towline eventually detached, causing the riders to fly away.

Woman seriously injured in pit bull attack

Earlier this month, a dog attack involving a pit bull left an Escambia County woman in serious condition. The animal responsible for the attack was apparently a stray the woman had taken into her home. The attack not only left the woman with severe injuries, but resulted in the death of her own dog.

The offending dog had apparently shown aggression before, and Escambia County Animal Control told her previously that she ought to get rid of the dog, along with another stray she had taken in. The pit bull that attacked the woman was still on the loose in the days after the attack. It isn't known whether it has been captured yet. Hopefully the animal has already been found or is found before anybody else is harmed.

Devices make more information available in personal injury cases

Investigation of Florida car crashes can be a tricky thing, particularly when there are different accounts of what happened. In some cases, the driver is the only person that really has access to what actually happened. But little devices that are becoming more and more common in new vehicles could change that.

The devices are known as black boxes, and about 96 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States have them. The devices have been in use for some time by car companies for evaluating the performance of their vehicles, but that data holds promise for use in investigating traffic accidents. There are still reliability and privacy concerns surrounding the use of the boxes, but that hasn’t stopped the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from recommending that all new vehicles use them. 

Trial begins in Toyota unintended acceleration case

As our readers will remember, Toyota Motor Corp. fell into disrepute in a big way back in 2009 and 2010 when they recalled myriads of vehicles due to problems with “sudden, unintended acceleration.” The acceleration problem not only left some Toyota customers injured or dead, but it also left a negative for the company in the marketplace. Recently, Toyota had a settlement offer approved that would cost it $1.63 billion.

According to court documents, every dollar in the $1.63 billion fund will go to plaintiffs. This particular suit deals only with economic claims. Personal injury and wrongful death claims stemming from the unintended acceleration recalls have been consolidated as a class action.

Dog owners need to be wary about potential liability for attacks

Every so often you read a news article about a dog attack that leaves its victim—often a child or an elderly person—with serious wounds, perhaps even fatal wounds. Stories like this, though tragic, are a good reminder of the risks canines can present when they are not kept under control. For dog owners, they are concerning because of the potential liability they could face in such cases.

Dog attacks most certainly cost a lot of money for owners and victims, racking up more than $7 million per year in costs, with the average cost of a dog bite claim falling around $29,750 last year. Florida law doesn’t cut dog owners any breaks either. Owners can be liable even when they had no idea their dog was dangerous, and never attacked anybody before. 

Motorcycle accidents increase statewide, especially in Tampa

The number of motorcycle fatalities has reportedly increased over the last year across the state, causing concern among police and local officials, particularly in Tampa, where the numbers have drastically increased. Last year at this time, there had been three motorcycle fatalities, but so far this year there has been thirteen.

What is behind the increase? According to police in Tampa, some of the cases involve impaired motorcyclists who were unable to operate their motorcycle properly. Other cases involved inexperienced drivers, and still others involve speeding and reckless driving. In response, Tampa police are reportedly implementing a zero tolerance policy for speeding, reckless driving, and other violations that could lead to motorcycle accidents.  

Florida A&M reinstates marching band after hazing death

In our previous post, we spoke about a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Bethune-Cookman University, located in Daytona Beach, involving the death of a fraternity student. Hazing, of course, is not an uncommon phenomenon, and Bethune-Cookman is not the only Florida university to have recently become involved in a lawsuit involving allegations of hazing. More than a year ago, Florida A&M University was sued by the parents of a member of the marching band who was killed during a hazing activity.

Our Florida readers may remember when the story first came out. According to authorities, the student died of shock caused by severe bleeding after 14 band members battered him during a ritual known as “Crossing Bus C.” Following that incident, the marching band was suspended indefinitely, and the student’s parents subsequently filed a wrongful death suit against the university.

Judge refuses to dismiss suit involving fraternity hazing

The judge responsible for handling the lawsuit against Bethune-Cookman University over the fatal car crash involving a student involved in fraternity initiation has reportedly refused to dismiss that case as requested by the defendants. The lawsuit was filed last year by the student’s mother against the University, the fraternity and a University employee.

The fraternity had filed a motion to dismiss the wrongful death case, arguing that the national fraternity should not be held responsible for the actions of members of the local chapter. Its bid was rejected, however, on the grounds that the national fraternity could indeed, under existing law, be held liable for the wrongful and illegal conduct of local chapter members. 

Pensacola man dies, 4 others hurt in Warrington car crash

Late last month, a Penscola man was killed and four other people were injured in a car accident in Warrington.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatal three-vehicle accident occurred around noon June 19 near the intersection of Live Oak and Barrancas avenues.

St. Augustine sees third motorcycle fatality this year

Last month, a 52-year-old St. Augustine man died in an early morning crash, providing a grim reminder of the dangers of riding a motorcycle. According to investigators, the motorcyclist had been riding his bike around a curve in the road when his bike flipped over several times before coming to rest upright against a guardrail.

In the course of the accident, the biker was ejected from the bike and landed in a culvert 18 feet from the site of the wreck. Sources said he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Luckily, no other vehicles were involved in the crash. Sources didn't clarify whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, but noted that the biker had recently left a sports bar immediately prior to the crash.

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