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March 2015 Archives

Injury To Minor: Furniture as a Playground

Avoid injury to minor children, by establishing a safe environment at home.As most of us know, children like to climb on furniture. With their creative little minds, furniture becomes a playground, a place for them to swing, jump and slide. Unfortunately, using furniture as a playground causes serious injuries to children.

Personal Injury: Kraft Recalling Products

Parents, avoid personal injury to your minor child.  WEAR Channel 3 reports Kraft Foods Group is voluntarily recalling 242,000 cases of its Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner because some boxes may contain small pieces of metal. According to the news release, the company reports affected boxes were stamped with 'Best if used by' dates of September 18 through October 11, 2015, with the code 'C2' directly below the date on each box.

Reducing Car Accidents by Going Driverless?

According to a new study that was reported in the Wall Street Journal, we are only a decade or two away from owning a driverless car. By owning a driverless car, it could help us save billions of dollars and spending far less time dealing with auto accidents. The study found that widespread use of self-driving cars could eliminate 90% of all car accidents in the U.S. and decrease the costs related to accident damage and health issues by around $190 billion each year. Safety is a chief selling point, since self-driving cars - thanks to an array of sensors - promise to have much greater road awareness and quicker reaction time than people. Plus, they won't text, drink or doze off.

Deadly Car Accident On U.S. 331 In Walton County, Florida

A deadly car accident occurred this past Saturday night on U.S. 331, as described by WJHG Channel 7 out of Panama City. According to the FHP report, a 20-year-old male of Owens Cross Road, Alabama was traveling north bound on U.S. 331, while a second driver 55-year-old male from DeFuniak Springs, and a third driver 47-year-old female of Hartford, Alabama were driving south bound on U.S. 331. The young male began drifting into the path of oncoming traffic, and at that time the 55 year-old male swerved in an attempt to avoid the collision but the two collided, causing the truck, driven by the DeFuniak Springs resident, to roll several times. The impact of the collision also caused them to hit the female's Dodge Van on the passenger side. Tragically the 55-year-old male was pronounced dead at Healthmark Hospital in DeFuniak Springs. FHP reports the investigation is ongoing.

Car Accidents - The Importance Of A Location App

Car accidents happen every day.  How can a location app help you after an accident?  WJHG Channel 7 reports on the importance of a location app on your smart phone. For many years, emergency services have had a difficult time keeping pace with technology. Good news, they are catching up.  It is our hope that the ability for emergency services to quickly respond to accidents will result in less tragic injuries. According to the WJHG Channel 7 website, a Panama City Beach man was found thanks to the help of his friends and technology after an early Monday morning accident on U.S. 98 left him in a critical condition. FHP reported that a 47 year-old male was driving his Harley Davidson Eastbound on 98 near Downing Street when, for unknown reasons, the rider crossed the median and entered the tree line and overturned his motorcycle. The male had crashed around midnight.  He was unable to call anyone because of his injuries. His friends, however, were able to find him using a positioning app on his cellphone. Smith was located around 5:00 p.m. Monday night and was taken to Bay Medical Sacred Heart for his injuries.

Bay County gives Uber the Boot

Bay County officials have restricted Uber, a ride sharing company, from offering their services.   I try not to be pessimistic, but from the time I heard about Uber, I thought it was too good to be true. I was worried that the "assurances" from Uber higher-ups that they were doing background checks but not providing documentation to cities that asked for the information would attract those who had "questionable" backgrounds. Therefore, when I went on to WJHG Channel 7's website and saw the headline that Bay County will not allow Uber to operate in their county, I was not surprised. According to the news agency, Bay County will not allow Uber to operate after one of the ride sharing service's drivers was arrested. According to the Mayor of Panama City Beach, Gayle Oberst, the driver was initially pulled over while dropping off some clients because the vehicle failed to have the proper inspection tags on its vehicle. According to a city ordinance, all taxi-operations must pass an inspection by the police department. The driver was given a warning. The next day, the same driver was pulled over again while dropping clients off. He still didn't have any proof of inspection. That's when police arrested the man.

Walton County Sheriff's Office: New "Text 911" Program

Walton County Sheriff's Office will soon launch a new program called 'Text 911' and only a handful of agencies in Florida use this program (reported by News Channel 7 Panama City). 'Text 911' will allow Walton County Sheriff's Office dispatchers help residents in need. For the past (3) three months, Daniel Carroll, the 911 Coordinator with the department, has been working with the state to bring this program to Walton County. "I currently have the four major service providers; T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, and SouthernLinc joining us," said Carroll to the reporters.  Sheriff's officials say this is an invaluable asset for victims who are in a situation where they can't call 911, maybe because they need to stay quiet.  It is just another tool to help deputies find the person in need.

Car Accident: Loss of Consciousness.Whose Responsible?

An unfortunate car accident occurred this past Tuesday in Florosa. Northwest Florida Daily News reported two people were transported with serious injuries after a three vehicle crash this past Tuesday morning. A 2005 Chevy Silverado driven by a Missouri man was driving east on U.S. Highway 98 near Club 51 around 9 a.m. Tuesday. He was trying to turn left onto a paved median break when he was rear-ended by 53-year-old man from Gulf Breeze driving a 2012 Hyundai Tucson. The impact from the 2012 Hyundai Tucson caused the Silverado to overturn on its roof. The Tucson then swerved into the outside lane and impacted a 2005 Harley Sportster ridden by a 32-year-old man of Navarre, which fell on its side, ejecting the driver. A group of airmen wearing special operations uniforms, who were driving by, stopped at the scene to help the injured motorists. According to FHP, the driver of the Hyundai suffered "a medical condition" at the time of the crash. He was transported to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with serious injuries. The driver of the Silverado suffered minor injuries, as did the driver of the Harley. Two passengers in the Silverado received injuries that needed treatment at local hospitals. FHP is investigating the accident. Now, the question will be whether or not the driver of the Tucson had a valid medical condition and therefore is not liable for the accident. Under Florida law, a driver cannot be held negligent if he/she suddenly loses consciousness due to an unexpected medical cause. Florida appellate courts have upheld this defense as recently as February of 2014 in the ruling of Marcum v. Hayward. The Second District Court of Appeal found a woman not liable for causing an accident, since she, as the defendant, proved the following elements:

Road Rage Causing More Car Accidents

Car Accidents happen every day.  Sometimes they are caused by road rage.  We have all seen road rage and, sometimes, we do a little raging ourselves.  Here in Northwest Florida as we start the Spring Break season and then go to the summer season, our roads will be clogged with thousands of cars and a lot of stop and go traffic. Sluggish traffic causes short tempers and provokes incidents that we should all try to avoid. I thought about a recent report done by the Today Show on road rage was pertinent. They found that statistics proved that violent acts of road rage are only getting worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1,500 people have been killed in crashes involving road rage and aggressive driving since 2008. Now police are cracking down. The Today investigative team rode along with Pottstown, Pennsylvania, police as they looked for aggressive drivers, seeking to stop road rage incidents before they occurred. They observed one driver tailgating, swerving between lanes and speeding, and pulled him over, slapping him with four violations. Police say that if you ever encounter an aggressive driver, slow down and let them go. And if they do attack, police advise, call 911 and stay on the phone with the dispatcher until the aggressive driver leaves.

Insurance: Coming Changes In Florida Law

Insurance lobbyists are always trying to change Florida laws to make their business more profitable, regardless of the harm it may cause.  Currently, Florida law forbids car insurers from setting rates in a territory as small as one ZIP code given concerns it could be abused to discriminate against low-income, minority or other customers, but there is a bill which cleared Florida legislative committees in both the House and Senate that could change everything.  

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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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