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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Blog

Workers' compensation: The threats posed by mosquitoes

The Florida Department of Health recently reported that it detected the presence of mosquitoes carrying dangerous viruses. The risks of mosquito bites are always higher during the summer months, and outdoor workers will be wise to take precautions. Although the workers' compensation program of the state covers mosquito-related illnesses, prevention is crucial because bites by infected mosquitoes can cause death or long-term health consequences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the mosquitoes carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus that causes brain swelling. The incubation period is four to 10 days, and symptoms like high fever, sudden headaches, vomiting and chills can indicate severe brain inflammation. At this stage, there is a risk of seizures, disorientation and coma. Authorities say one in three victims infected with this virus succumb to it.

Personal injury severity at theme parks often understated

Major theme parks in Florida like those run by Universal, SeaWorld and Disney must report incidents that led to the hospitalization of guests for 24 hours or more to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The latest report, covering personal injury incidents for the period April through June, was recently released by the state. Some people believe that the severity of the injuries reported is often understated.

The quarterly report includes 15 incidents that sent theme park visitors to the hospital. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld Orlando reported one incident each while Universal reported five, and Disney World, eight. Typical reports indicate pre-existing conditions, fainting and dizziness. However, these conditions would have to be quite significant to justify hospitalization for 24 hours or more.

Tiger Woods no longer defendant in wrongful death lawsuit

Following up on our June 10 blog post about a Florida family claiming Tiger Woods played a role in their bartender son's death ("Tiger Woods faces wrongful death lawsuit"), the plaintiffs have amended the complaint. They removed the professional golfer from the list of defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit. Wood's girlfriend, Erica Herman, who is the general manager of The Woods Jupiter remains a defendant, along with the restaurant.

The original lawsuit was filed in May, and it arose from the death of an employee of the restaurant in Jupiter. The man died when he wrecked his vehicle last December after leaving the restaurant in an intoxicated condition. The family alleges their son was served alcohol at the restaurant even though he already had too much to drink.

Personal injury: Moped rider's death under investigation

Sharing the busy Florida highways with trucks will always be dangerous, especially for those whose mode of transport has only two wheels. Motorcyclists, bicyclists and moped riders are particularly vulnerable because they have little protection. Although wearing a helmet provides some safeguards against severe personal injury, there's no guarantee of efficiency. 

This was underscored by a recent accident that caused the closure of affected roadways in Tampa. In a preliminary crash report, deputies say the incident involved a flatbed truck and a moped. Reportedly, the driver of the truck was eastbound and made a left turn without yielding to a moped rider who was heading west.

Workers' compensation: Worker trapped in ground collapse

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict standards when it comes to excavations and trenches. Regardless, numerous workers' compensation benefits claims are filed in Florida each year for trench and excavation-related injuries. In a recent workplace accident, a worker was trapped when the ground next to an excavation collapsed.

According to an Orange County Fire Rescue spokesperson, the incident occurred in the Disney World parking lot outside Animal Kingdom. Reportedly, an employee of a contracting construction company was standing close to an excavation when the ground under him gave way unexpectedly. The worker landed in the 10-foot hole that formed, where his leg became pinned.

6 things to do if you have an accident in a rental car

Whether you are on vacation, need a substitute vehicle while yours is in the shop or have no car of your own, you may occasionally rent a vehicle. With roughly 400,000 automobile accidents occurring on Florida’s roadways in any given year, though, your chances of wrecking a rental car are not exactly insignificant. 

An accident in your own vehicle can be stressful, painful and downright scary. If you happen to have a collision when driving a rental car, though, you are likely to have an additional layer of anxiety piled on top of an already tense situation. Put simply, what you do after an accident matters. Here are six steps to take if you have a collision in a rental car: 

Many boating accidents lead to personal injury lawsuits

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently arranged a media day to promote boating safety. July is known for boating accidents on Florida waters, and many personal injury claims result from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The FWC reminded boaters that BUI is a serious crime in Florida, and convictions can have severe consequences, not to mention the civil lawsuits that might follow.

Law enforcement officers in specialty marine units said their focus on BUI detection aims to limit the numbers of boating injuries and fatalities that are typical during at this time each year. They urged people not to join boat rides without making sure that the operator is sober and drug-free. There also must be a life jacket for each person on the boat.

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.

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

Phone: 850-659-6512
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