Ghost Riding and Other Car Stunts Cause Serious Auto Accidents

Zephyrhills, Fla. – The recent deaths of two Central Florida youths show the danger of “ghost riding” and other car stunts. Car stunts might look cool on reality shows, YouTube, and in the movies, but they are causing more accidents and heartaches for families and friends who are affected by their deadly consequences.

Nearly 100 people have died because of car surfing, with an estimated 70 percent of incidents involving young men, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even slow speeds of five miles per hour can cause injuries and fatalities, as any loss of balance or bump in the road can force the rider to fall from the vehicle.

Car surfing is when one person hangs out of the vehicle or rides on top of it, on the bumper, or on the running boards. Ghost riding involves a person standing or dancing on the exterior while the vehicle is in motion. Skitching is when someone uses a skateboard, roller skates, or other device to hang onto a moving vehicle.

“Vehicular homicide is a very serious verdict for a stunt that usually starts out as innocent fun,” said Robert Alston, Zephyrhills auto accident lawyer. “Only professionals in controlled environments should be attempting this in a vehicle.”

Alston has represented many clients and cautions that the only way to be safe in a vehicle is to be restrained with a seatbelt, with proper vehicle maintenance and have a driver that is fully capable of driving safely. He has dealt with cases involving inexperienced drivers, improper tires, and incorrectly loaded vehicles in his more than 10 years of auto accident law practice.

“People underestimate the danger of holding onto a moving vehicle,” said Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Kim Montes. “Moving vehicles are not toys.”

Posted on Sunday, April 17th, 2011. Filed under Auto Accidents, News & Press.

Precautions for Springtime as Outdoor Activities and Potential for Dog Bites Increase

Since Florida is a “no free bite statute” state, a dog owner is liable when his or her pet bites a person or another domestic animal. It doesn’t matter if the dog has a history of biting people unless a bad dog sign is displayed. Since most dog owners do not want to show off such an inviting sign, it is best to know the precautions owners and others should take, especially since the springtime means lots of outdoor activities.

An estimated 800,000 individuals nationwide are victims of dog bites and need medical and legal counsel as a result. The majority of the incidences happen in the dog owner’s residence. Half of the victims are children, with dog bites causing the second most childhood injuries after playground mishaps.

Infections, scars, and subsequent surgeries can make a dog bite a medical and financial concern. In contrast to children, adults need to be mindful of lost wages that result from being out of work to take care of extensive injuries. All individuals are susceptible to conditions that can spread to other parts of the body, so prompt medical attention is critical to prevent more serious complications.

Taking photographs and documenting what happened during the dog bite event is very important. Pictures right after the attack, as well as pictures during the healing process will show the extent of the dog bite. Some homeowner’s insurance policies cover dog bites, but the trend is moving toward separate policies for this as settlements skyrocket and account for 30 percent of liability claims.

Getting legal counsel early helps protect the individual and their family. A serious injury lawyer will help deal with the insurance company. Many times insurance adjusters push individuals to settle their claims before the dog bite victim has fully recovered. An experienced dog bite lawyer will know how to handle the adjuster and advise the victim regarding consequences of a settlement.

In Tampa, The Disability Law Firm handles cases with serious injuries from dog bites. They counsel clients on their rights to compensation, medical care, and pain and suffering. Their lead Tampa serious injury attorney Robert C. Alston has a background in insurance and legal expertise with more than 10 years of a successful track record.

Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011. Filed under News & Press.

Expert Legal Counsel for Auto Accidents a Must Have in Accident Prone Tampa Bay

The paramedics from the Tampa, Fla. based Street Smart program know the effects of serious auto accidents. Each time they go into a school, community, or military base, it does not take long for the violent photos and videos to emphasize how deadly choices and automobiles can be. The Tampa Bay branch of the Stay Alive From Education (S.A.F.E.) does the presentations so that individuals can learn the lesson of each crash – were seat belts worn, drugs or alcohol involved, cell phone being used, or drivers not paying attention.

Florida has one of the highest rates of automobile accidents. Many times drivers and passengers not only have financial damage, but physical and mental pain and suffering. Oftentimes, this pain might not be debilitating in the weeks after an accident, but months and years later it can produce frustrating chronic pain.

Some insurance providers will want to settle quickly in order to protect their costs, so individuals are advised to get legal counsel early to protect their rights. Experienced auto accident attorneys have medical experts and estimators to project future losses and costs that are a result of an auto accident. Insurance coverage is complex, so an auto accident attorney who is skilled in auto policy coverage is a huge benefit. No matter what an individual drives – car, truck, or motorcycle – they will benefit from having an attorney while navigating through their claim.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that car accident injuries can affect every part of the body and no two accidents are the same. The top injuries are:

Whiplash – involves soft tissue injuries that effect ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Rear and side impact accidents are the most often cause and many symptoms get worse with time.

Back Injuries – from sprains and strains to herniated discs and fractured vertebrae, back injuries must be taken seriously. These injuries can prevent physical movement and even make sitting in an office chair impossible for long lengths of time.

Psychological Injuries – Post-traumatic stress disorder can result in a fear of driving and are common effects of a serious automobile crashes.

Brain Injuries – bruising or bleeding of the brain can drastically impair brain and body functions. Traumatic brain injuries are caused when an external force injures the brain. Individuals and their caretakers should be diligent about checking for memory loss, chronic headaches, as well as loss of smell, taste, and dexterity.

Auto accident attorneys know the importance of fighting for their clients’ rights since accident injuries can require the need for physical therapy, in-home care, medical equipment, surgery, and numerous physician visits. At The Disability Law Firm, their professional excellence and notable track record for auto accident clients is the peace of mind individuals deserve. Their lead Tampa and Zephyrhills auto accident attorney, Robert C. Alston, has practiced injury law for more than 10 years and prior to law school was a licensed insurance agent. He knows all the ins and outs of auto insurance coverage and what rights and benefits are available.

Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2011. Filed under Auto Accidents.