The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Naples Legal Blog

Accident in Florida leaves one person dead

On Jan. 17, a Volkswagen sedan traveling north in the southbound lane of the Don Shula Expressway collided with a Jeep and a police car. An officer witnessed the driver going the wrong way near 152nd Street and tried to catch up with the vehicle, but the officer was unable to intervene before the crash took place. Authorities say that the driver of the sedan was a man and that the officer injured in the crash was a woman.

Two people in the Jeep were taken to the hospital for treatment, and the officer injured in the crash was also taken to the hospital for treatment. Authorities said that the man driving the Volkswagen passed away at the scene. The accident forced police to close a section of the highway for several hours, and traffic was backed up for several miles near the scene of the crash.

Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to injury in accidents

When a car strikes a person who is outside of the vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. A pedestrian is especially vulnerable to injuries in the event of an accident, and even a low-speed collision can result in serious injuries or death. The person behind the wheel of the vehicle is often to blame for these types of accidents. 

If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, you may have legal options available to you. However, you may be unsure of where to begin or who is to blame. It is especially difficult to pick up the pieces if you are dealing with serious physical damage and other implications that come along with it, such as medical bills and insurance difficulties. It may be helpful to gain a better understanding of pedestrian accidents so you can determine what to do next.

Despite public distrust, red-light cameras save lives

Red-light running is a factor in hundreds of crashes every year in Florida and across the U.S. In 2016, more than 800 people died in red-light running crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There is one way to reduce this trend, however. And it's through the installation of red-light camera systems.

IIHS data shows that large cities with red-light cameras experience 21% fewer fatalities from red-light running crashes than those large cities without cameras. The systems can also reduce red-light violations by around 40%.

Interlock devices may prevent DUI but are also distracting

Thirty-four states, including Florida, require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the cars of DUI offenders. Over the past decade, the number of IIDs installed has gone from 133,000 to 350,000. These devices are simply breath tests connected to a car's ignition, and they keep a car from starting if the driver turns out to be drunk. They have prevented thousands of attempts made by drunk drivers to start their cars.

This has translated to a reduction of about 70% in repeat DUI offenses according to the CDC. States with the IID requirement see 15% fewer alcohol-related crash deaths than other states, yet there is one small problem.

2 Florida men accused of selling narcotics and laundering money

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has provided details about the criminal charges filed against two brothers in Port Richey. An investigation that involved undercover deputies culminated in the arrests of the two men, ages 29 and 33, in December. Undercover deputies reported that they had observed the 29-year-old brother selling drugs.

A captain at the sheriff's office said that the authorization of two search warrants for the men's homes accompanied their arrests. According to authorities, the searches produced a total of $400,000 in cash along with large amounts of hydromorphone, oxycodone, Suboxone, heroin and fentanyl. Deputies also seized firearms and ammunition. Both men now face multiple charges related to trafficking controlled substances and firearms violations.

Injured on a boat? You may have grounds to pursue compensation

People come to Florida for vacation because of the miles of beautiful beaches, the many water activities available and the numerous tourist attractions. Even people who live in the state often spend a significant portion of the time on the water, enjoying boating, fishing, kayaking and more. While these activities are often safe, they may result in injuries on occasion.

If you suffered injuries in a boating accident, it's not always easy to know what to do next. After all, who is to blame for what happened to you? What can you do to determine what happened and what steps you should take next? Accidents that happen on the water are serious and often complicated, but it is possible that you could be the victim of the negligent or reckless actions of another person. This means you could have grounds for a civil claim.

AAA study finds distracted drivers often have safety systems

Florida drivers who have safety systems installed in their vehicles may be more prone to distraction risks. This was one of the findings of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which did a study in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that examined video of drivers.

Safety technology can take action to correct a driver's errors. For example, if a driver weaves into another lane, the steering wheel can nudge the driver back into the correct lane. An adaptive cruise control system can control how far a vehicle is from other cars. However, none of these safety systems can make sophisticated assessments in place of a human driver. Despite this, drivers tend to be less alert and may even take their hands off the steering wheel when they have these types of systems.

Federal meth and heroin drug charges possible for Florida man

A joint effort among the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement from Liberty and Calhoun counties has resulted in the arrest of a 46-year-old man in Eastpoint. The local sheriff said that he had been selling large quantities of drugs in the area for some time. Authorities reported finding over 10 ounces of methamphetamine and heroin at his home at 763 Ridge Road. Due to the quantities of illegal drugs involved, the sheriff said that federal investigators could indict him.

The suspect has already been charged in the local circuit court, where a judge set his bond at $416,000. His criminal charges include seven counts of methamphetamine trafficking, three counts of running a drug shop, intent to sell or deliver heroin and methamphetamine, possession of narcotics equipment and committing a felony through the use of a two-way communication device. The sheriff called the man a hazard to the community because he was dealing narcotics by the ounce.

Motorists should know when they're too tired to drive safely

When a person gets behind the wheel, that individual is responsible for knowing if there is a reason why he or she should not drive. Perhaps it's because there was the consumption of alcohol at dinner or the driver is on medication that could affect reaction time and cognition. In some cases, it may be because that person is too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Most people are tired from time to time when they drive. However, there is a distinct difference between being a little sleepy on the morning commute and feeling dangerously fatigued. If a driver is struggling with fatigue, it can lead to a higher chance of car accidents. This is why it is important for every person to recognize when he or she should not be operating a motor vehicle.

Opioids play possible role in some fatal two-car crashes

Opioid use is a factor in more auto accidents in Florida and across the U.S. In 1993, the percentage of crash initiators who tested positive for opioids was 2%. In 2016, that percentage was 7.1% Opioids are known to cause psychomotor and cognitive impairment, especially in those who are treating acute injuries and not used to the drugs' effects.

JAMA Network Open has published the results of a study associating opioid use with a number of fatal two-car crashes. Researchers at Columbia University looked at the data for 18,321 such crashes in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and focused on those drivers who tested positive for opioids. Of the 1,479 drivers who did so, 918 were to blame for their crash while 549 were not.

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