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Sarasota Florida Construction Law And Personal Injury Blog

Traffic signal deaths reach a 10-year high

As a Florida motorist, you have undoubtedly noticed that red-light cameras are becoming increasingly visible on many of the state’s roadways, and with good reason – traffic signal deaths are on the rise. Dana J. Watts, Attorney at Law, understands that there is often a direct correlation between distracted driving and traffic signal crashes and fatalities, and we have assisted many people who suffered injuries or lost loved ones in crashes involving traffic signals seek recourse in the aftermath.

According to NBC News, since 2012, the total number of traffic deaths in the United States has increased 10%, but the number of traffic signal-involved road fatalities has skyrocketed nearly 30%. Furthermore, more than 930 people lost their lives in crashes involving other drivers who ran red lights in 2017, and current estimates suggest that two people die on the nation’s roadways every day in incidents involving traffic lights.

What is the Florida 14-day rule?

It is probably a good idea to look up legal issues if you get into a collision on the Florida roads. However, you should also probably seek medical attention as soon as possible following the accident.

Florida has a regulation commonly known as the 14-day rule. Basically, this rule sets a time limit before which you should go seek medical attention. After the limit expires, you may no longer be eligible to claim certain types of insurance benefits. However, you would still want to seek an individual review of your case, even if 14 days had passed.

Risks that could increase your chances of PTSD after an accident

When you are involved in a car accident in Florida, it may not take even a serious impact to create mental stress and anxiety for you. The sheer surprise and inability to prevent what has happened is enough to trigger feelings of despair and fear when you have to get behind the wheel again. At Dana J. Watts, Attorney at Law, we are committed to providing victims of car accidents with the needed support to aid in their recovery. 

Depending on your psychological background and the severity of the accident you were in, you may be more prone to experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder than other people. With timely and consistent intervention, you may be able to overcome the symptoms of your PTSD and once again feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel. You may also find that managing your symptoms requires ongoing professional therapy or assistance to provide support as you work through the emotions resulting from your accident. 

Your advocate during complex construction disputes

At the office of Dana J. Watts, Attorney at Law, we understand that there are many people involved and almost any construction project going on these days in Southwest Florida. Contractors, subcontractors, engineers, construction workers, site managers and architects all have a role to play in improving the infrastructure of our communities.

As you may imagine, this leads to some relatively complex disputes in the industry. To make matters more complicated, there are several different rules that could apply to essential details of construction disputes you pursued in the state.

Falls the leading cause of fatal, nonfatal injury among seniors

For many aging Americans, Florida’s favorable climate, relatively reasonable cost of living and lack of a state income tax make it an ideal place to retire, but as the state’s older population increases, so, too, does the number of falls suffered by this demographic. The team at Dana J. Watts, Attorney at Law, recognizes that falls have become the number-one cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among seniors, and that many of these fall-related injuries and fatalities are preventable.

According to the National Council on Aging, one out of every four Americans who are 65 or older fall at least once a year, with an older adult seeking emergency room care for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds. Falls have become so prevalent among aging populations, in fact, that they now cause about 27,000 deaths and more than 880,000 hospitalizations each year.

Avoid the three kinds of distraction when driving in Florida

Most people understand that distracted driving is quite dangerous. However, too many people assume that the only form of dangerous distraction they need to avoid on the road is the use of a mobile phone. In reality, there are dozens of kinds of distraction, each of which falls into one of three important categories.

When you drive, you need to keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on your surroundings and your mind on the task at hand. When something distracts you, you can fail to notice important signs of danger and could wind up in an otherwise preventable collision. Familiarizing yourself with the three kinds of distraction can help to remind you to always focus on safety best practices when in control of a motor vehicle.

Drive safe in construction zones

Construction zones can increase the risk of accidents and injuries in Florida. Not only do these work zones have workers in close proximity to drivers, but there are typically lane changes, narrowed lanes and speed reductions that can take drivers by surprise if they are not paying attention. Drivers must stay alert and follow certain safety tips so everything remains accident and injury free.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, an average of 40,000 people receive injuries and 880 people die every year from crashes in construction zones. In regard to fatalities, they occur most frequently during summer and fall, they mostly occur on roads with speeds greater than 50 mph and drivers are most commonly the victims. Other accidents are typically due to rear-end crashes.

Holding subcontractors responsible for their work

When subcontractors are hired to work on a job in Florida, they are often given a range of flexibility in which to complete their work with little to no supervision from the job's overseer. However, making sure that these individuals and companies are upholding their portion of the agreement and are completing high-quality work within the parameters that have been set, is an object that is best achieved with the implementation of a signed contract. 

Chron says that subcontractors have rights that allow them to have access to a working environment that is free of hazards. Just as the general contractor is entitled to sue for damages, subcontractors can also file a formal legal claim if they feel that the general contractor has broken the contract. The companies chosen as subcontractors should uphold a superior standard of work as it will reflect back on the general contractor and their company's reputation. 

Seasonal allergies and the risk of a motorcycle accident

Motorcyclists may find themselves in an accident for many reasons, from a driver’s inebriated state of mind to weather conditions that impact the road. At certain times of year, such as the spring and summer, people in some parts of the country have a very hard time with seasonal allergies. Not only can these allergies result in very uncomfortable symptoms such as headaches, nasal drip and sneezing, but they can also make a motorcycle accident more likely. As a result, it is important for motorcyclists to be aware of these risks, even if they do not struggle with allergies themselves.

Some motorcyclists may have an especially difficult time with allergies due to their level of exposure to pollen while riding a motorcycle. Allergies can interfere with one’s ability to operate a motorcycle (or any other type of vehicle) and make a crash more likely. Someone who struggles with allergies may be fatigued due to sleep loss, or their symptoms may distract them from the road. Moreover, many people turn to medication and some of these drugs can result in drowsiness.

Did you find a construction defect in your new Florida home?

There’s nothing quite like walking into a new home and dreaming of all the ways you can use its space. When the walls are clear and there’s nothing staunching the flow of sunlight, the home isn’t empty—it’s full of promise. But many new Florida homeowners have seen those promises betrayed.

As the Herald-Tribune recently reported, construction defects gave Pulte homeowners all kinds of problems. The substandard application of stucco led to cracks, delamination, wood rot, mold and even collapsing walls. The state stood up for the homeowners’ concerns in a lawsuit that was recently settled, and they’re now able to file for reimbursement. But what about the rest of us?

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