Approaching Crosswalks – To Stop or Not to Stop

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After the accident on April 22, 2016 in which 15 year old Jacob Giner was struck as a pedestrian while in a marked crosswalk on Alternate 19 in Palm Harbor, we received several inquiries about the legal requirements for drivers approaching a crosswalk. Here’s what the law says. Florida Statute 316.130, titled “Pedestrians; traffic regulations,” states that there are two times when a vehicle must stop when a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk. The first is when the pedestrian steps into the crosswalk on the side of the road on which the vehicle is traveling. The second is when…

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Clearwater Fatality on US 19

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April 25, 2016 – Janelle Osborn was killed when her vehicle was struck on the driver side by a vehicle driven by Charles Templeton northbound on US 19. Templeton reportedly veered off the road, onto the shoulder, and into the side of Osborn’s vehicle, which was stopped at the stop sign on Highland Acres Drive. Larry Reed was a passenger in Osborn’s vehicle and he was reportedly critically injured. Florida Statute 316.1925, titled “Careless driving,” states that “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner,…

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Woman Dies in Rear-End Crash

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April 15, 2016 – Audrey Oberg died after being ejected from a vehicle in which she was riding as a passenger after the vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Christopher Bennett on Bruce B. Downs Blvd near Legacy Blvd in Wesley Chapel. The driver of a vehicle that rear-ends another vehicle is typically the at-fault┬áparty, with some exceptions. A sudden and unexpected stop is the most common defense asserted by insurance companies and their attorneys. With some exceptions, Florida Statute 316.614 requires all front seat occupants of a motor vehicle (and all rear seat passengers under age 18)…

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New Law Adds to Hospital Billing Transparency

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A new law in Florida gives patients receiving treatment in a hospital facility the right to request a good faith estimate of reasonably anticipated charges for the treatment of their condition. Hospitals in the bay area charge wildly different amounts for the treatment of identical conditions. Hopefully, the new transparency law will empower patients to make informed healthcare decisions and will put pressure on hospitals to charge more reasonable amounts for services.

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Tips to Avoid Wrong Way Drivers

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The recent death of a Hillsborough County deputy reminds us that wrong way drivers can be a deadly problem. Most wrong way driving accidents involve drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who are elderly or inexperienced. The Safe America Foundation has posted five tips to avoid a wrong way driver. We have read that some people want spike strips at exit ramps to prevent vehicles from entering a highway the wrong way. However, a study by the Texas Department of Transportation found that spike strips would be more dangerous than nothing at all. Spike strips…

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Red Light Camera Repeal Fails

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We applaud the bill submitted by Senator Jeff Brandes to outlaw red light cameras. A recent study by the Florida Department of Highway Safety shows that intersections with red light cameras have more accidents, including more fatal accidents. Under the guise of public safety, numerous bay area cities erected red light cameras as a way to raise revenue. Recognizing the public safety problem, Senator Brandes proposed a bill to outlaw the cameras. The text of the bill can be found here. Unfortunately, Florida lawmakers did not approve the bill. Once again, the Florida legislature has put profits over the safety…

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No-Fault Insurance Repeal Fails

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An effort by Senator Jeff Brandes to repeal Florida’s outdated no-fault automobile insurance law failed in this year’s legislative session. The bill would have repealed Florida’s no-fault insurance and would have required Florida drivers to maintain a minimum of $10,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. The entire text of the bill can be read here. Under the present system, all privately owned vehicles in Florida are required to have personal injury protection insurance, also known as “no-fault insurance.” Rather than making at-fault drivers pay for the damages they cause, no-fault insurance pays a portion of the medical bills of the…

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