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 party, 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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Clearwater Scooter Crash

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March 29, 2016 – David Patterson was injured when he crashed his scooter into an SUV driven by Jillane Vos on Belcher Road just north of Drew Street. Patterson was reportedly headed north on Belcher Road when Vos pulled out of a convenience store parking lot in front of him. Florida Statute 316.125, titled “Vehicle entering highway from private road or driveway,” states that “the driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from an alley, building, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the highway to be entered which are so…

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Palm Harbor Head-On Crash Alt 19

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March 9, 2016 – Two drivers were seriously injured in a head-on crash that occurred on Alt 19 south of Klosterman Road. The northbound vehicle reportedly swerved into the southbound lane and struck a vehicle that was headed south. The accident tied up traffic on Alt 19 for hours while the crash was being investigated. Florida Statute 316.081 states that “a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows: (a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement; (b) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to…

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Palm Harbor PSTA Pedestrian Accident

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February 12, 2015 – Marcia Oder was walking in a marked crosswalk in the Publix parking lot on East Lake Road when she was struck and dragged by a PSTA connector bus driven by Nikolay Plentnev. PSTA stands for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. It is a public agency of the State of Florida and therefore is protected by Florida’s sovereign immunity law. As a governmental agency, claims against PSTA are subject to particular requirements and restrictions that must be followed before a lawsuit can be filed for personal injuries. The maximum recovery is $200,000 per person and attorney’s fees are…

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Palm Harbor Pedestrian Fatality – July 11, 2014

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Rhonda Dreher was killed when she was struck by a car driven by Michael Marinin on U.S. Hwy 19 north of Tampa Rd.  Dreher was reportedly not in a cross-walk, however, use of a cross-walk is not required by law if no cross-walk exists.  Florida Statute 316.130, titled “Pedestrians; traffic regulations,” requires pedestrians crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk to yield the right of way to vehicles on the roadway.  Pedestrians are also required to cross a roadway at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb.  If adjacent…

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