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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Blog

Personal injury can cause physical and emotional distress

Anyone who was injured in a car accident through no fault on his or her part might have grounds to pursue claims for financial relief. The aim of filing a personal injury claim in a Florida civil court is typically to recover economic damages like medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. However, in some cases, psychological and emotional damage cause more harm than physical injuries.

Fortunately, the civil justice system allows accident victims to claim compensation for pain and suffering. Such a claim would cover physical and emotional stress caused by the injury. It could include scars, depression, aches, anxiety, limits on activities and life enjoyment, and possible shortening of life. Also, pain and suffering claims are usually for past, present and future distress caused by the injury.

Wrongful death lawsuit might follow fatal ATV accident

The summer weather in Florida invites outdoor enthusiasts to take to the woods to ride their ATVs on the challenging trails. Unfortunately, not all participants recognize the risks of doing this while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Operating such a vehicle while under the influence could lead to wrongful death claims against the driver if passengers are killed in accidents.

One such an accident occurred on a recent Monday morning. According to an accident report prepared by Florida Highway Patrol, an 18-year-old man was the driver of an ATV that could accommodate two passengers. His passengers were two males, ages 20 and 22. FHP says the driver was riding the ATV backward down a slope and smashed it into a tree. The 22-year-old passenger was ejected upon impact, and he landed up underneath the ATV that had rolled over.

Many workers' compensation claims follow trench collapses

Federal and state safety authorities want employers to take all the necessary precautions to keep trench workers safe. Construction company owners in Florida form part of the annual National Trench Safety Stand Down in June, which has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration providing training and support to employers. Employers are encouraged to focus safety training on excavation trigger numbers, not only to limit trench-related workers' compensation claims but also to save lives.

These start at four feet, which is the depth at which ladders or steps must be available to allow easy access and quick egress in emergencies. At this depth, atmospheric testing is mandated because oxygen deprivation or the presence of toxic gasses can cause death. The next number is five feet. At this depth and deeper, trench walls must be sloped, benched or shored or supported by a trench box, which must extend at least 18 inches above ground level. Trenches that are less than five feet deep can exist without shoring, but daily inspections of the integrity of the walls are essential.

Family of deceased inmate can proceed with wrongful death claim

In Aug. 2015, Orlando police arrested a Florida man after they sent a canine officer to find where he was hiding. Reportedly, this followed an armed robbery of a convenience store. After his arrest, the man received medical treatment at a public medical facility for hand and leg wounds that were caused by dog bites during the struggle. He was later transferred to the infirmary of the county jail where alleged deliberate indifference led to his death, in turn leading to a wrongful death claim filed by his family in 2017.

According to court documents, the autopsy report indicates that one of the dog bites on the man's leg developed an E.coli infection, and the subsequent fatal blood infection. The coroner determined that, although his death was caused by septic shock, the fact that he was HIV positive likely contributed to his death. A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union says the family of the deceased man will have to prove deliberate indifference by the defendant to establish the violation of a constitutional right.

From where does money come for Social Security disability?

Some financial advisers say one in four workers nationwide, including Florida, will be unable to continue working by age 67 -- due to disabilities. Fortunately, the Social Security Disability Insurance system is there to help. The program provides financial relief by replacing some of the lost income of those whose medical conditions prevent them from earning an income.

During a person's working years, he or she pays taxes that fund the Social Security Disability Insurance program. 6.2% of an employee's earnings are collected while the employer pays an equal amount of each employee's wages into Social Security. For anyone to be eligible for disability benefits, he or she must have contributed Social Security for five of the 10 years preceding the injury or illness that caused the disability. However, exceptions exist in cases in which the victims are new to the workforce and not meeting that requirement.

Tiger Woods faces wrongful death lawsuit

Tiger Woods and his restaurant, The Woods Jupiter in Florida, are accused of being responsible for the death of an employee last December. The family of a 24-year-old man who worked as a bartender at the restaurant claims that staff at the restaurant served him with alcohol while they knew of his problems as an alcoholic. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit in pursuit of damage recovery.

According to court documents, the bartender left the restaurant on a day in December after consuming several alcoholic beverages. He allegedly got into his car and traveled along Federal Highway at high speed. He lost control, and his vehicle overturned after crossing three traffic lanes. The driver did not survive the accident, and the family claims the employer was negligent.

3 common boating hazards to watch out for this summer

Florida is a boating lover's paradise. Surrounded by water on three sides, and filled with lakes, rivers and inlets throughout, the Sunshine State is a popular place to own and operate a boat.

With all the boaters enjoying the water, the possibility for accidents is also high. Accidents involving boats and other watercraft happen frequently, and serious injuries often result. As the summer tourist season brings even more people to the state, keep these three common boating hazards in mind so you can protect yourself and your family.

Boating accident victims could file personal injury lawsuits

With the arrival of summer, many people in Fort Walton Beach and other cities in Florida will be heading out to spend time on their boats. Unfortunately, severe personal injury and even deaths occur each year when boating accidents follow incidents that might be regarded as mundane. Safety authorities say avoiding these events can prevent accidents on the water.

Although running out of gas might seem a minor problem or even amusing, it can lead to dire situations if, for example, it happens far out in the Gulf Stream. Another seemingly insignificant accident involves running aground. Alcohol is often said to be a factor in these incidents, and so is speed. Careful consideration is necessary before pulling the boat back into the water because the bilge can be flooded if the hull is cracked, which might cause the vessel to sink.

How to stay safe and have fun on your next boating adventure

If you are planning a trip to Florida, you are probably thinking about spending some time on the water. After all, with miles of coastline and more than 30,000 lakes, the Sunshine State is the perfect place to go boating. A fun day on the water can turn to tragedy if you are not careful, though. 

In 2017, there were more than 750 boating accidents in Florida. Sadly, 67 people died in boat wrecks on Florida waterways that year. You do not need to let these statistics scare you, though. Instead, consider them an opportunity to educate yourself on boat safety. Here are some ways to stay safe and have fun on your next boating adventure: 

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The Law Offices of Cameron D Simpson, P.A.
152 Eglin Parkway N.E.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548

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