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Pensacola Injury Law Blog

Man Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in Pensacola

Green traffic light with colorful unfocused lights on a backgroundA man from Pensacola has been charged with vehicular homicide after causing an accident that left an elderly gentleman dead. The man who has been charged was allegedly high on marijuana at the time of the accident.

According to reports, the 27-year-old man was traveling on Ninth Avenue in a Dodge Coronet. A witness told police that the vehicle had accelerated quickly and fishtailed at an intersection. The witness also told police that the vehicle never slowed or hit the brakes. That car crossed lanes and crashed into a Nissan Altima.

Both vehicles involved in the accident sustained heavy damage. The driver of the Dodge was transported to a local hospital and refused to comply with a blood draw and also refused medical attention. Police were forced to obtain a warrant to draw the man’s blood. Officers reported that it took several people to restrain the man while his blood was being drawn.

Police said that the driver had glassy, bloodshot eyes and a flushed face. He was also observed to be grinding his teeth and his body was tremoring. A passenger in the Dodge cooperated with police, telling them that the man charged with vehicular homicide had been driving recklessly moments before the accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Pensacola, you have legal rights. Reach out to our office today to schedule a case evaluation. We are here for you and will advise you of your legal options for compensation for medical bills and more.

Pensacola Car Accident Claims Life

Double exposure of a driving compartment of an ambulance and ECGNo one wants to be involved in a car accident, and no one wants that accident to happen just before a major holiday. Unfortunately, this is the situation multiple people found themselves in early Tuesday morning, just two days before Thanksgiving.

According to reports, the three-vehicle crash occurred on State Road 87. One person lost their life and another was left in critical condition. Officers say that the driver who passed away had collided with a Chevrolet Suburban. The driver who lost his life was driving a Ford pickup truck. The two vehicles were heading southbound on the state road when the early-morning collision occurred.

The initial impact sent the truck veering into the opposite lane of traffic. As a result of crossing into the northbound lane, the truck was hit by a Prius. The driver of the Prius was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition. The driver of the Suburban was also transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

Police are investigating the crash as a homicide.

If you have been in a vehicle collision in Pensacola, reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your crash and advise you of your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation. We are here to help you and your family take the appropriate steps in securing damages.

Children Searching for Dog After Wreck

Red nylon dog lead or leash with paw print pattern on a white backgroundLast week we told you about four children who were passengers in a car driven by a person suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. Shortly after the accident was reported, a new report was released: The children are looking for their dog.

Family members say that a 4-year-old Dachshund-mix was riding in the arms of one of the children when the crash took place. That child sustained injuries to her sternum, so the family believes that it is likely the dog was injured as well.

The driver lost control of the vehicle, hitting a utility pole. The car caught fire, but everyone managed to get out, including the dog. Witnesses say that they saw the dog running toward a wooded area nearby after the accident. The dog was last seen wearing a green collar and an attached blue leash. The dog is microchipped, but that chip is registered to a phone that was destroyed in the crash.

The family has reached out to local veterinarians and animal shelters to no avail. They are hoping that appealing to the public will help bring the dog home safely and provide comfort to the children.

Anyone who locates Jasper is being asked to call 850-292-9612.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Pensacola, reach out to our attorneys. We will speak to you about the incident and help you determine your legal options.We understand what you are going through and are here to help. Call today for your free, no-obligation consultation.

What is a Compulsory Medical Examination and how will it affect my right to insurance benefits?

Advice from Attorney, Michael Thomas.

As you may already know, Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage, also known as “PIP”, pays for 80% of your medical bills when you are injured in a car crash, up to $10,000. If you are receiving PIP benefits under your insurance policy, your insurer may require you to have a Compulsory Medical Examination (CME). A CME is an examination performed by a doctor hired by the insurance company to determine whether you still need medical treatment.

If the CME doctor determines that further treatment of your injury is not necessary, your insurance company may discontinue paying your PIP benefits for your scheduled medical treatment. This does not mean that you should stop seeing your medical provider if you are still in pain. If you suffer from a worsening of symptoms, it is important that you go back to your doctor and receive treatment. If your insurance company denies coverage for this treatment, you may have a claim against your insurance company for wrongfully discontinuing your benefits.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully denied your PIP benefits, or if you would like to know more about PIP coverage, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible about your rights.

DUI Crash Injures Four Children

A crash occurred on Friday, November 10 at approximately 10:30 p.m. Five people were left with serious injuries as a result of the accident, including four children. The people injured had escaped a vehicle after it caught on fire.

According to reports, a man was driving a 2013 Hyundai Sonata near Perdido Key Drive and Gulf Beach Highway. Police indicate that the man had merged into the left turn lane and then took a right onto Gulf Beach Highway. The vehicle ran off the road and crashed into a traffic control pole. The vehicle burst into flames after the collision.

The driver of the vehicle, a 47-year-old man, and all four of his passengers, children ages 7, 9, 12 and 14, were able to escape the Sonata. Each of the people in the vehicle were transported to Sacred Heart Hospital for treatment. Police believe the man was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

Witnesses on scene told police that the man was driving erratically and speeding. The man was observed to be passing cars in a no-passing zone. The driver may be charged with DUI causing serious bodily harm as well as child neglect pending the results of a blood test.

If you have been in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Pensacola, you have legal rights to compensation. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys today for immediate assistance.

Car Accident and Daylight Saving Time

Old clock on autumn leaves on wooden table on natural backgroundYou will notice something a bit different this week. Look out your window between 4 and 5 p.m. and you will see that the sky has gone dark. We can thank Daylight Saving Time for an extra hour of darkness, but we may be able to attribute it to something else: a rise in car accidents.

According to history, daylight savings time was created as a way to save energy in the Spring. Springing forward and falling back an hour was utilized in World Wars I and II and adopted as a standard across the nation in 1966. States have the option of not participating in daylight savings time, but only two states in the nation, Arizona and Hawaii, have chosen to leave the clocks alone.

Studies have shown that it can take people up to a week to adjust to the addition or loss of an hour in their day. This, in turn, can make people sleepy, irritable and less aware. Those things all equate to at least a slight decrease in driving ability. The problem seems to be worse when we spring ahead, but the week following both adjustments sees a heightened number of collisions.

Staying safe is not a tough thing to do. Go to bed early when the time changes. If your normal bedtime has been 9 p.m. up until this week, go to bed at 8, then 8:15, then 8:30, etc. until you are in bed at 9 next week. Get up at the same time you would have, gradually increasing your wake time by 15 minutes until you are getting up at a time that matches what the clock says. Pay extra attention to the vehicles surrounding you on the roadway, and give your own driving a bit more care.

If you are involved in a car accident in Pensacola, you have legal options. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Man Found Guilty of Causing Fatal Car Accident

traffic light with red lightA man was recently found guilty of causing a crash that proved fatal to three college students. The accident occurred in West Palm Beach in 2015. Both drivers were impaired at the time of the accident.

According to reports, a PT Cruiser was attempting to make a turn off of Pensacola Street and onto White Drive. Another driver, traveling at speeds over 100 mph, slammed into the PT Cruiser, killing each of the three passengers. The driver of the PT Cruiser was taken to a nearby hospital and admitted to drinking before driving. That young man spent 10 days in jail.

The driver of the speeding vehicle was found guilty of all counts he was facing, including vehicular manslaughter and DUI manslaughter. It took the jury less than an hour to reach the verdict. The driver will remain in custody without bond while he awaits a sentencing date. The man faces severe consequences, including multiple years in prison, now that he has been found guilty.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Pensacola or the surrounding area, reach out to our office. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation at which time we will review the details of your case and advise you of your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and property damage. Don’t assume that you have to suffer financial difficulty; we are here for you and will fight for your rights in court. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you during this difficult time.

Local Man Run Over by Truck

The pickup truck on the roadThe details remain a bit unclear, but a man was run over by a vehicle in Pace. The 26-year-old would technically be considered a pedestrian, however whether or not the driver of the pickup truck that struck him is truly at fault remains to be seen.

According to reports, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office was called at around 5:30 p.m. on October 9. The report was of a man having been struck by a pickup truck. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered a vehicle with a female driver still occupying it. They also found a man on the ground who was bleeding and had a weak pulse. The man was transported to a local hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Deputies interviewed witnesses to the incident who said that the victim had been on the porch as the woman was leaving the residence. The man was observed to jump from the porch, run to the vehicle and punch out the passenger-side window. The driver continued to back out, striking the man. After its investigation, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office declared it to be what it is calling a tragic accident.

If you have been struck by a vehicle in Pensacola and sustained injury, you have the legal right to seek compensation. Call our office today to discover more about your rights. We will help you make the best decisions for your unique situation. Contact us today to schedule your case evaluation.

Riding in Pensacola Proves Dangerous for Motorcyclists

Unrecognizable man on motorcycle in the streetIn late September, a motorcyclist was killed by an SUV on Belleview Avenue. The motorcyclist was not doing anything wrong. The driver of the SUV backed out of their driveway, unaware of the man on the motorcycle, striking and killing him. The man on the bike was not wearing a helmet and alcohol does not appear to be a factor, but charges are pending as a result of the death.

It was an accident that could have been prevented, and some are saying that drivers are simply not paying enough attention as they exit their driveways. Some bike riders talked to reporters, detailing events much like the one in which this man lost his life. Near misses abound, and motorcyclists want drivers to be aware. Motorcycle riders talk about having to lay their bikes down in order to avoid being run over by a backwards-moving vehicle.

The death of a former employee of a Harley Davidson shop prompted the formation of Ride Smart Northwest Florida. Its founder, Jacqueline Henderson, says that cars backing out of driveways and not seeing motorcyclists is not a new problem. She said it’s important to be aware when driving a motorcycle, even if vehicle drivers are not.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Pensacola, you may have the legal right to compensation for your injuries. Reach out to our attorneys today for more information on seeking compensation for your financial losses. We will review your accident at no cost to you and advise you of your options.

What should I be doing after I’ve hired an attorney to represent me in a case?

Advice from Attorney Michael Thomas

If you’ve been injured and believe that someone else should be responsible for your injuries, you may be wondering what you should be doing after you’ve hired an attorney to represent you in your claim against the responsible party for your injuries.

Unfortunately, resolving your claim might take some time, but there are still a number of important things for you to do while your attorney is handling your case.

If you’ve been injured, the first and most important step is for you to seek medical treatment right away, follow your medical provider’s instructions, and continue to see your medical provider as often as you are advised. I speak with people every day who put off treatment thinking they would get better on their own, only to still find themselves in pain weeks later.  If you delay your treatment, you will be giving the other side powerful ammunition to claim that you must not have been hurt, otherwise you would have sought treatment sooner. More importantly, your health should be your primary concern, and you should seek treatment immediately and follow your doctor’s orders to prevent your injury from getting worse.

At a certain point in your treatment, your doctor will be able to tell you when you have reached “maximum medical improvement.” This does not mean that you are completely healed, but rather that the doctor has done all that they can do to get your condition to improve. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement your doctor will be able to give your attorney a formal opinion about the extent of your injuries and their impact on your future. This, however, does not mean you should stop treating, as your doctor may want you to continue treatment in order to maintain your improvement.

While you are treating with your doctor, your attorney will be working to determine what type of claims and rights you may have, who the responsible parties should be, and whether there is any insurance coverage available for your claim. Once you’ve hired an attorney, its best to let your attorney deal with the insurance companies and responsible parties. Your focus should be on doing everything your doctor says for you to do to get better.

Additionally, there are a few other small steps you can take to help your claim:

  • Save all evidence you have related to your injury, including any items that were damaged or medical equipment (such as a cast, crutches, or a cane) you needed to use while you were treating with you doctor
  • Take pictures of your injuries throughout your treatment in order to better document your recovery
  • Make a list of all the tasks and hobbies that you can no longer do without pain due to your injury
  • Avoid talking to anyone other than your doctors and attorney about your injuries.
  • Avoid posting on social media entirely. Anything you put online can and will be used against you if your case goes into litigation.
  • When in doubt about something, call your attorney and get advice.

 

Your attorney will work hard to settle your claim. If your attorney is unable to reach a settlement with the at fault parties, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit.