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September 2015 Archives

Tragic Accidents Leave Deadly Results

The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a 19-year-old Destin resident received minor injuries in a crash last week that left a Panama City Beach man dead. The 19 year-old Destin male was heading westbound on U.S. Highway 98 near Sandy Lane in Bay County when the other car pulled into his path. He tried to avoid a collision but couldn't, according to the Florida Highway Patrol media release. When the collision occurred, a 65-year-old Panama City Beach man, was ejected from the 2004 Jeep Wrangler he was driving. He died of his injuries early Thursday morning. An investigation continues into the accident. In addition, WJHG Channel 7 reports on a serious traffic crash that occurred just before 9 p.m. Friday. Parker Police Officials say a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at the base of the Dupont Bridge. The victim passed away from his injuries at Bay Medical Center. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

Motorcycle Accidents

WEAR Channel 3 out of Pensacola reports that a Pensacola man is dead and a Pensacola woman in serious condition after their motorcycle crashed into a Corvette. The wreck happened at the corner of Jackson Street and 57th Avenue in Escambia County after 8 p.m. Friday. A 49-year-old male from Pensacola was headed south on Jackson Street driving a Honda Magna with a 57-year-old female as his passenger. Instead of stopping for traffic at the intersection of Jackson and 57th Street, they collided into the rear of a Corvette that was stopped for the traffic. The driver of the Corvette received minor injuries.

Multiple Car Accidents For Walton And Bay Counties

The Northwest Daily News reports that in less than three months, a Panama City Beach man has been arrested for his second DUI after rear-ending a family on Scenic Highway 30A. The 27-year-old male from Panama City Beach was driving east on 30A Sunday night when he rear-ended a car in front of the Tom Thumb gas station. The car Romano hit was driven by a family of three, including a three-month old baby. A Walton County Sheriff's deputy was at the Tom Thumb at the time of the crash and was able to respond almost immediately. By the time additional deputies responded, the male was swaying back and forth and slurring his words, according to the news release from the Sheriff's Office. He told deputies he had "three very, very strong drinks," became very agitated with deputies and repeatedly asked why he couldn't leave. Subsequently, he began to insult the deputies and call them names, according to the news release. While talking to the deputies. the male asked a female deputy if she wanted to watch him dance with his "jazz hands." The deputies had him perform a field sobriety test on scene, which he failed. He was then arrested for driving under the influence. As stated above, this is this male's second DUI, the 1st one was in Panama City Beach when the Panama City Beach Police Department officers found him passed out behind the wheel of his Mercedes in the middle of Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach on July 26, 2015.

ATV Accidents

The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a 9-year-old Bonifay boy died after he was ejected from his ATV Sunday afternoon. According to the news agency, the boy was traveling northbound on a 2005 Artic Cat ATV on a road in Bonifay, while a UTV with two 13-year-old girls and a 12-year-old girl were just ahead of him. The girl's vehicle stopped in the roadway due to a group of dogs running in the road. The nine-year-old turned to avoid the UTV, but still crashed into it. The boy was thrown from the vehicle and into a ditch, where the ATV then ran over him. The boy was transported to Doctor's Memorial Hospital where he died of injuries. Neither the 13-year-old girl nor her passengers, who were 12 and 13, were injured, the report said. FHP is investigating the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this 9-year-old who died tragically.

Failure To Yield: The Cause Of Fatal Car Accidents

Last Friday, there was a tragic accident in Calhoun County which left two people dead and three people injured. The crash occurred around 2 p.m. in Blountstown. According to the FHP report, a 49-year-old female from Cleveland, Tennessee (Kidd), was traveling west on County Road 286, approaching a stop sign at the intersection of State Road 69. At the same time, a 43-year-old female from Gainesville, Georgia, was in another vehicle traveling south on State Road 69, approaching the intersection of County Road 286. Authorities say the Tennessee female failed to stop at the stop sign as she entered the intersection, and got T-boned by Smith's vehicle. The impact of the collision caused the female from Georgia's vehicle to travel southwest, before colliding with a fence post in the southwest corner of the intersection. It continued to travel in southwest as it overturned, before coming to final rest, facing north. The vehicle rotated clockwise as it traveled southwest, coming to final rest in a cotton field, in the southwest corner of the intersection, facing north. The Tennessee female's vehicle left rear collided with a fence and fence post. She was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Her passenger, a 65 year-old female, of Moultrie, Georgia, was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the vehicle from Georgia was taken to the hospital in serious condition and one of her passengers was pronounced dead on the scene. The other passenger in her vehicle from of Lowndes, Georgia, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Our thoughts and prayers with those families dealing with the loss of their loved ones and we wish those injured a speedy recovery. According to Florida Statutes 316.123, at a four-way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. Also, the driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to such sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection. If such a driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield the right-of-way.

Who Has The Right Of Way?

The Northwest Florida Daily News reports on a horrible accident that occurred Wednesday morning. According to the FHP report, a 61 year-old male from Mary Esther was traveling north on Lewis Turner Boulevard when a FedEx truck turned left in front of him. The driver of the Fed Ex Truck "failed to yield the right of way", according to the report, and caused the accident by turning in front of the motorcycle. The impact was so significant that the motorcyclist was taken by helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola following the 8:54 a.m. accident and was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon. The report also notes that the Mary Esther man was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. Charges are pending, according to the Highway Patrol news release. Our thoughts and prayers are with this man. We hope he has a quick recovery. Who has the right-of-way in Florida? Florida law says one must give up the right-of-way in an open intersection (one without traffic control signs or signals) if:

Hit And Run Accidents

Various news agencies reports of a tragic accident that occurred early Saturday morning. According to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, the crash occurred about 2 a.m. at the intersection of Beal Parkway and Hollywood Boulevard. A 29-year-old motorcyclist was in critical condition and the driver of the other vehicle was arrested after a hit-and-run crash. Officers arrived to find the motorcyclist unconscious in the road with significant injuries to his head and face. A medical helicopter was unable to fly because of bad weather, so the man was taken by ambulance to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. Police saw the suspect vehicle as it raced away and were able to stop and detain the driver and passenger. The driver was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a traffic crash with serious bodily injury, police reported. On Sunday night, a green late model Jeep Grand Cherokee hit an 18-year-old pedestrian on Dogwood Drive near Berryhill Road. Witnesses say the driver took off. The victim was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. Police say the green Jeep is missing the right headlight. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured in these accidents. We hope for a speedy recovery.

Beware! Your Social Media Is Not As Private As You Think It Is

Using social media to connect with friends, relatives and co-workers is considered the norm. Without even thinking, people pick up their phone, open their Facebook account and "check in" at a restaurant or take a picture and post if they are out and about. Is this right or is this wrong? Most people assume the information they are sharing is only being shared with their "friends". Even with the highest privacy settings, those posts and pictures can be accessed by others that are not your friends. If you are in litigation, your information can be accessed and reviewed by "the other side." Consequently, what you thought was an innocent post could have the impact of damaging your case. For example, if you were in a car accident and claim you are in pain all the time, and then post a picture of you laying by the pool, the defense can take that picture and twist it to look like you are not in pain. Consequently, they have painted you to be a liar.

Surveillance Of A Plaintiff

In Hankerson v. Wiley, 154 So. 3d 511 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015), the trial court allowed the plaintiff to see a surveillance video taken of him post-accident before his deposition. The defendant appealed the ruling. The Fourth District of Appeal agreed with the defendant, finding that the trial court abused its authority when it permitted a plaintiff to view a post-accident surveillance video before allowing a defendant to depose the plaintiff. The basis of the ruling was "because the benefit of the surveillance video may be irreparably lost if the plaintiff is permitted to view [it] before [the defendant] has an opportunity to question her, irreparable harm ...has been shown" So what does that mean to our clients? A defendant can use surveillance materials to question our client's claim in their deposition by allowing the defendant to depose the video-taped plaintiff after the video has been taken but before its contents are viewed by our client or by our office. To read the full opinion, click here: http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Jan%202015/01-07-15/4D14-4207.op.pdf 

Car Accidents: Deadly Consequences Of Running A Red Light

A Panama City woman is dead as the result of a car crash last Thursday afternoon. Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol say a 38-year-old female from Panama City was killed when the car she was riding in collided with a work truck at the intersection of Alf Coleman Road and Middle Beach Road. A 32-year-old male from Panama City Beach was driving that car. Police tell WJHG-TV and WECP-TV that the car was speeding when it ran a red light and hit a work truck driven by 57-year-old male from Panama City. The force of the crash turned the truck on to its side. The car kept going for another few hundred feet before finally stopping.The driver and passenger of the car, along with the driver and a passenger in the work truck were all sent to the hospital . The passenger of the vehicle died at the hospital. The driver of the vehicle had injuries which were described as serious, while the other two injured in this crash had injuries which were described as minor.

Bicycle Accidents On The Rise With Elder Men

An interesting study recently came out in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found more U.S. adults are getting hurt on bikes, especially middle-aged and older men. Urologist Benjamin Breyer, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco and his colleagues became curious about cycling injuries after seeing many men coming in for surgery for such injuries as urethral damage after bike accidents. They looked at data collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from about 100 emergency rooms nationwide. Comparing 1998 and 1999 to 2012 and 2013, the last year of data available, they found:

Safety Tips To Help Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

WJHG Channel 7 out of Panama City reports that a tragic accident occurred last Wednesday morning between a motorcycle and minivan which left the motor cycle driver in serious condition. At approximately 6:40 a.m., 25 year-old man was riding on his Harley Davidson east down Back Beach Road when Florida Highway Patrol officials say a minivan pulled out directly into his path. The driver of the minivan was attempting to turn left onto Back Beach from Allison Avenue. The collision caused the man to be ejected from his motorcycle and sent the minivan spinning across the road. The driver of the motorcycle was sent to Bay Medical for serious injuries. The driver of the minivan was charged with making an improper left turn.

Do Rural Highways Present An Increased Risk Of Fatal Car Crashes?

According to the Northwest Daily News, a 17-year-old Pace girl was killed in a two-vehicle crash last Saturday morning. The 17 year-old female from Pace, was driving a 2014 Honda sedan south on State Road 281 at 10:40 a.m. when she crossed the center line and struck a northbound 2008 Nissan SUV driven by a 35-year-old female according to Florida Highway Patrol. A passenger in the 17 year-old female's car, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Pace teenager and another passenger were taken to West Florida Hospital in Pensacola with minor injuries. The 35 year-old was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital with minor injuries.

Waste And Recycling: Work Related Injuries

The Northwest Florida Daily News reported that last Thursday a 34-year-old temporary City of Milton employee was killed after being pinned between a garbage truck and another vehicle. At 7:10 a.m., the Milton man was collecting road debris on Magnolia Street and was in the process of putting the debris in the back of the garbage truck when another vehicle collided with the back of the garbage truck, pinning the 34 year-old male. The media release from the City of Milton said the male was pronounced dead at the scene. Moreover, the driver of the other vehicle, who is not being identified, was flown from the scene with critical injuries. A similar crash killed a 55-year-old sanitation worker in Destin in November 2000. A man was killed while emptying trash cans on Calhoun Avenue in Destin when he was pinned between the truck and a car that rear-ended the truck.

GEICO Auto Insurance Appeals Bad Faith Suit

I saw a very interesting appeal that went up to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Geico Auto Insurance has asked the Eleventh Circuit not to make them pay a $29.8 million verdict in a suit over an insured motorist's death in a bad faith suit by the man's widow, saying it hadn't been able to properly appeal the verdict.

Father And Son Team Working Together To Serve Our Clients

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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