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Wrongful Death Claims

Did Defective Road Contribute To Tragic Car Crash In Bithlo/Christmas?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Motor vehicle accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

Did Defective Road Contribute To Tragic Car Crash In Bithlo/Christmas?

Many of us here in Winter Park — and especially those of us who are parents of recent and current Winter Park High School students — were shocked and saddened to learn of a tragic car accident that happened a couple of nights ago out in the Bithlo/ Christmas area. The one-car crash killed Thomas Stutts and Justin Vail, and injured Omokolap Hunpatin, after the SUV they were traveling in left the roadway of Fort Christmas Road, crashed through a fence, and into a tree. The coverage that I saw was from the good folks at WESH.com (who I think always do a great job on local reporting.) As an attorney who has handled car accident and wrongful death cases for a long time, a couple of things struck me about the story. First, I was shocked at the destruction to the SUV that these young men had been driving in. I was, frankly, surprised that anyone could have survived this crash. I was not surprised to hear from the Florida Highway Patrol that speed may have been a factor in the crash. However, my interest really perked up when the WESH reporter started interviewing neighbors, who reported that horrible accidents (many of them involving fatalities) happen along that seemingly quiet road all the time. Video captured for the story showed multiple crosses and other memorials laid out beside Fort Christmas Road where other fatal crashes have presumably occurred. Normally, a governmental entity cannot be held responsible for planning-level decisions — such the decision to build a road, or where the road will travel, or where to put a stop sign. However, when it becomes apparent that something about the design of the road contains some kind of defect or makes for a dangerous condition, then a governmental entity can be held responsible for damages for personal injuries or wrongful death. When I hear about multiple deaths on the same stretch of road over a period of time, I start to wonder whether we have a defective road.  I become suspicious that perhaps the County, or State, or whichever entity built that road, could have done more to make it safer – like perhaps installed barriers on the edge of the roadway, or speed humps, or some other similar seemingly simple remedy that might have saved these young men’s precious lives. If you have any questions regarding a Florida car accident or wrongful death case, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901 for a free, no obligation strategy session, or download their free, information-packed Florida car accident guide by clicking...

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New Research Compares Tired Driving To Drunk Driving In Fatal Crashes

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

New Research Compares Tired Driving To Drunk Driving In Fatal Crashes

Two new research studies suggest that tired driving is responsible for as many fatal accidents — car crashes involving deaths — as drunk driving.  Reduced reaction time — the time it takes a driver to recognize danger and take physical steps to avoid it — seems to be the culprit. Unfortunately, today’s hectic lifestyles and work schedules mean more and more people operate without sufficient sleep. New research indicates a growing number of drivers admit to actually falling asleep behind the wheels of their cars. This is obviously a disturbing trend that needs to be reversed. Drivers who drive drunk and caused accidents are subject to punitive damages in Florida. It is an interesting question as to whether a driver proven to be driving in a fatigued condition could also be held liable for punitive damages. If you have any questions regarding a Florida car accident, and especially one where tired driving has been suspected, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or download a FREE copy of Kim’s Florida car accident book, Asleep At The Wheel, by clicking...

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Sleep-Deprived Semi Driver In Tracy Morgan Case Not Alone

Posted by on Jun 18, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

Sleep-Deprived Semi Driver In Tracy Morgan Case Not Alone

I am sure that I was not the only person to be shocked and saddened to learn that Tracy Morgan — the outrageous comedian known for his work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock — was in critical condition after a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike last week.  One of Mr. Morgan’s colleagues who was also in the van was tragically killed. According to an NBC News story, Mr. Morgan was traveling toward New York City in a luxury van when the van was rear-ended on the crowded road by a semi tractor-trailer. on the New Jersey Turnpike.  Further investigation of the crash revealed that the truck driver who hit the Morgan vehicle, Kevin Roper, had not slept in more than 24 hours before the accident. Federal transportation rules limit the number of hours that heavy truck (semi tractor trailers) drivers can operate their rigs.  For example, truckers are only allowed to work 70 hours per week, and can only restart the 70 hours after a 34 hour break once per week. Ironically, on the same day that Mr. Morgan was catastrophically injured and his friend died, the United States Senate was passing a new measure that would de-fund the government’s ability to enforce the limitations on drivers’ hours.  Apparently the trucking industry doesn’t like the rules much, and has been leading an all-out lobbying assault on Congress.  Trucking companies say that these measures are costing more than they are worth in terms of safety. As a Florida personal injury attorneys who regularly handles cases for people injured by heavy trucks, and their loved ones in Wrongful Death actions, I am confident that driver hours rules save lives, and keep catastrophic medical conditions from happening.  Our firm believes that the current rules should remain in place.  What do you think? If you have any questions regarding a Florida truck accident, or suspect that a driver involved in a crash had been behind the wheel without sleep too long, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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