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Hit & Run Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

Hit & Run Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when behind the wheel. Overall, the most important thing is your safety and the safety of those around you. However, accidents happen. And in most cases, the important thing isn’t the damage to vehicles, property, or scenery; what’s important is the safety of everyone involved. In instances of a car accident, drivers often know to safely assess the situation, discuss with the other driver or involved persons, and call for emergency assistance when necessary. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t stick around, electing to flee the scene or “hit and run.” Hit and run accidents don’t always involve a threat to human life, but you can’t know for sure if you flee the scene. Despite the panic and worry related to a car accident, fleeing the scene, along with its consequences, is exponentially worse. February is Hit & Run Awareness Month, and hopefully, this blog helps you understand the grave risks associated with hit and run accidents. What Constitutes a Hit and Run in Florida? A hit and run is fairly straightforward in definition and law. Any accident in which one person is involved where the at-fault party or any other involved party flees is considered a hit and run. A hit and run is a serious offense in the state of Florida and shows gross ignorance to the consequences of an accident and the safety of others. It’s crucial, no matter how minor or how bad the accident may seem, that the individuals involved stay at the scene. Hit and Run Statistics in Florida In Florida, hit and run incidents...
Driving Tips: Stay Safe on the Road During Severe Weather

Driving Tips: Stay Safe on the Road During Severe Weather

A lot of the perks of living in Tampa involve the gorgeous climate. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Florida that involve the weather, but like any place, things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, Florida can experience a number of severe weather events that make it quite difficult to call Florida the Sunshine State. For a lot of Florida residents, their experience dealing with severe weather is vastly lower than those in other parts of the country. For example, if you’ve lived your entire life in Florida, you’ve likely never dealt with snow or earthquakes. Which isn’t to trivialize what we do experience here, including flash flooding and hurricanes. The climate just lends itself to warmer, drier weather than other parts of the South and Eastern states. When it comes to driving in severe weather, the trick is to stay calm and follow a few key tips that can keep you safe until you reach your destination. As we’ll discuss, there are even some instances where the safest thing to do is to pull over and wait things out. We’ll go over different scenarios and tips for best traversing Florida’s severe weather. Let’s first start with what sort of weather is most common in the Sunshine State. The Most Dangerous Severe Weather in Florida Florida isn’t known to have many snowstorms or mudslides, but severe weather is still a threat in this part of the country. A number of some of the world’s most deadly weather events can occur in the state of Florida. Most notably, hurricanes pose a huge risk. The past few...
Holiday Driving Safety Tips

Holiday Driving Safety Tips

A lot of people all over the country hit the road for the holidays. This time of year, more people plan trips to places like Tampa for a number of reasons. Firstly, many look to visit family for the holidays. The season is all about being with loved ones. Of course, some also choose this time of year to get a break from family! That means trips to warmer, more vacation-friendly places like Tampa. Some of these trips involve entire families, and others involve just a couple looking to avoid the harsh winter people experience up north. No matter the reason, one thing is for sure: holiday driving is stressful. From weather concerns to keep an eye out for hazards and an additional police presence, here are some driving safety tips for you as you plan for your holiday travel. Holiday Driving Safety Tips: Three Things to Remember for Seasonal Travel If you’re not staying in the area and enjoying the fun Tampa holiday events happening around town, you’re likely driving somewhere else. So, what do you need to know about driving during the holidays? Many of these tips can help keep you out of accidents, trouble with the law, and as far away from a holiday-induced stress attack as you want to be. Firstly, let’s talk about something we don’t see a lot of in Tampa: winter weather. Winter Weather Gets Wild — Driving in Snow with Little Experience For Florida drivers, snow can really throw things for a loop during holiday travel. If you’re heading to see family or friends in the more northern states, you can...
Fun Tampa Holiday Events to Check Out December 2019

Fun Tampa Holiday Events to Check Out December 2019

With the holiday season upon us, we wanted to round up some exciting Tampa holiday events that are fun for the whole family. Hillsborough County has a lot to offer, and the holidays are no exception. Whether you’re looking to get an Instagram-worthy shot with the jolly guy, find swoon-worthy gifts, or just enjoy some family time, there’s a local event that fits the bill. Things to Do in Tampa: Holiday Edition Winter Village When: November 29, 2019 – December 24, 2019 Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Website Enjoy shopping with the family at this sweet pop-up retail village. Featuring 10 different shops selling everything from toys (of course) to jewelry and dog accessories, you can make some quick progress on your shopping list while having a jolly time by the Hillsborough River. Holiday Movies at Citrus Park: The Grinch When: Friday, Decembe 6, 6 – 8 PM Where: Westfield Citrus Park Website Share the classics with your kids or a loved one. The first 50 kids will receive a free snack pack to munch on during the feature film. Pack a thermos of peppermint hot chocolate and a blanket for a fun, cozy time. This year, there will be two movies. The first is the 2018 version of The Grinch, one of the season’s best meanies (along with Scrooge, of course). Sylvan Ramble Light Show When: December 6th – 28th Where: Sylvan Ramble Lights Website By combining lights, music, water, and smoke, Sylvan Ramble Lights puts on a memorable show, all in the name of charity. It’s certainly a show that little ones will remember! With over 30,000...
Can You Be a Whistleblower?

Can You Be a Whistleblower?

Whistleblowing has been in the news lately, however, in our daily lives, we might not run into many instances where someone is whistleblowing at our company. That being said, whistleblowing happens more than we recognize. Most cases don’t get covered in the news like a national news story, but in Florida, whistleblower act claims occur every so often. As a principle, whistleblowing is an act that should not be taken lightly. Many fear the act of whistleblowing because they believe they might be at risk in a number of different physical, emotional, and financial ways. Understanding your rights helps to make sure you’re prepared to blow the whistle on any questionable activity occurring at your job. Here’s what you need to know about whistleblower act claims in Florida, and how to keep yourself protected under the law. What is Whistleblowing? Whistleblowing is the act of providing insider information to the public about something illegal happening within your organization or company. Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are two examples of high profile individuals who recently made headlines. For example, Snowden worked at the National Security Administration and saw that the government was taking citizen’s information without a warrant or legal support. Feeling cheated by this act, Snowden provided the public, the media, and the world with information about how much of an abuse of power was happening. However, Snowden didn’t follow the appropriate whistleblower protocol, which has landed him in plenty of hot water. The act of whistleblowing doesn’t just happen at the national level or in governmental organizations. Companies that work with governmental organizations can also find...
Wrongful Death Claims in Florida

Wrongful Death Claims in Florida

Accidents happen. And while there are plenty of instances where an accident is truly an accident, there are many cases where an accident occurs because of someone’s negligence. If you’ve lost a loved one and you believe another party was at fault, you have legal options outside of the criminal justice system. If the life of your loved one has been cut short because of someone else’s action or inaction, consider whether a wrongful death claim is in your best interest. What is Wrongful Death? Wrongful death is any action carried out by an individual that results in the death of another person on accident. In many cases, these situations occur for one of three lapses in judgment or action by the defendant. We’ll review those below, but for now, let’s explore more about what constitutes a wrongful death in the abstract. Wrongful death cases must occur with one party killing another person unwillingly. Willingness doesn’t mean they are not responsible for the death. This just means that the death is not premeditated or planned ahead of time. It’s not fair to call a wrongful death murder because the two are very different. Murder, according to the official definition, occurs as an unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. When this happens, the murderer is knowingly doing something intended to kill. Wrongful death cases lack intent. How does one end up causing someone’s wrongful death then? Well, it comes down to what constitutes the source of a wrongful death. To explore that notion, here are the ways in which Florida law treats wrongful death suits as a...
Attacked by a Dog in Florida? Know Your Rights

Attacked by a Dog in Florida? Know Your Rights

More and more people across the country own dogs than ever before. Of course, dogs are known as man’s best friend. No matter how long a dog has lived in a safe and welcoming home, however, some breeds are prone to acts of aggression. Then, there are the dogs who don’t live in nurturing, caring homes, who can also become aggressive due to mistreatment. You just never know with a dog you aren’t familiar with, and that means it’s best to be cautious. For those who have experienced a dog attack, you know there’s nothing funny about being the victim of a vicious act of canine violence. What Constitutes a Dog Attack? Florida dog bite law clearly define who is considered liable during an attack. In almost every case of a violent dog attack in Florida, the owner of the dog is held responsible. If the victim of the attack is injured, it is understood that the costs of treatment are the responsibility of the dog’s owner. However, there are a few terms to keep in mind when it comes to dog attacks. The first is the concept of strict liability. Strict liability is a way in which to place responsibility no matter the confounding factors of a situation. In this case, a dog owner who has no knowledge of violent or aggressive behavior in their dog does is not protected from being responsible for damages. What Might Reduce your Compensation as a Dog Bite Victim? It’s likely that the owner of a dog that bites you may try to reduce their responsibility. In this case, they’ll likely hire...
Filing a Termite Damage Claim in Florida

Filing a Termite Damage Claim in Florida

Termites are one of the most feared invaders for homeowners. While nobody wants to find bugs or insects festering under the floorboards and in the walls, termites pose the most significant threat. The tough thing about termites isn’t just relegated to their actual presence. The process of filing a termite damage claim with your insurer on your home can be just as stressful. With many different terms and clauses attached to your policy, it can be tough to find the best way to go about reinstating your home’s structure and safety. Everything from timing to the policy you have on your home can change this situation for every homeowner. To stay diligent, here’s the best way to go about filing a termite damage claim in Florida. What Threat Comes with Termites? Florida homeowners have quite a bit to worry about when it comes to property damage. From extreme weather to the natural wear and tear of an aging home, there are a lot of things you need to protect yourself from. While things like hurricanes or flooding are somewhat cut and dry in terms of insurance payout, termite damage can get tricky. More often than not, insurance holders in Florida will be denied their claim if they don’t know what they’re supposed to be filing. The trick to a termite policy is the way in which termites harm the home. Some claims will have exclusions for termites, as they can be hard to predict or sense until the damage is already done. That might make it seem like you’re not going to get any sort of financial retribution for...
Your Legal Options After a Sinkhole

Your Legal Options After a Sinkhole

A sinkhole opening up on your property can be detrimental. Depending on where it occurs and its size, a sinkhole can cause damage to your foundation or otherwise make your home unlivable. While many sinkholes are minor, opening up in the backyard and causing little-to-no property damage, others can be quite catastrophic. In Florida, it seems that every year brings an increase in sinkholes. While the reasons for this remain unclear, one thing that is certain is that homeowners must have some sort of recourse in order to deal with the financial consequences of a sinkhole. Do You Have Sinkhole Insurance? When a sinkhole opens up, many homeowners will first turn to their homeowners insurance policy. In Florida, insurers are required to cover sinkhole damage. However, the amount of your policy may limit how much is covered. In addition, the sinkhole damage must be deemed “catastrophic” and thus render the home uninhabitable. For many homeowners who experience such an issue, the home remains habitable, though perhaps dangerous. Repairs necessitated by a sinkhole can also be costly. If you aren’t a homeowner, for example, if you’re renting a home, you should check your renter’s policy or with your landlord to determine the best way to file a claim. If your landlord does not have the appropriate policy coverage and you’ve suffered large losses, it may be necessary to seek legal advice. When faced with filing a sinkhole claim, you should consider your deductible and whether such a claim will raise your insurance rates. Some individuals dealing with sinkhole damage may find that it is actually less expensive to fix the...
Share the Road: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Share the Road: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

According to 2016 NHTSA fatal crash data, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 28 times more frequently than deadly crashes in other vehicles. As we begin Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, motorists are encouraged to take extra precaution while traveling Florida highways, interstates, and city streets. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, NHTSA, and the U.S. Department of Transportation offer these tips to help motorcyclists stay safe as warmer weather brings more bikers out and about. Make Sure You and Your Motorcycle Are Road Ready Unlike regular passenger cars and trucks, motorcycles have fewer moving parts. Maintaining bikes, however, is far more important for motorcycles than passenger cars. Making sure tire tread depth is at or above what the DOT suggests is imperative; brakes, fluid levels, and all other required maintenance items should be checked off prior to heading off into the sunset. Rider rules and regulations should also be studied prior to riding. As laws are updated often, check with your local DMV to assure you are aware of recent changes to motorcycle riding rules. While you are visiting the branch, make sure to sign up for riding courses if you are new to motorcycle riding. These safety course will cover many rules and regulations that are necessary to stay safe while traversing Florida. Wear Proper Protective Gear Helmets may be an uncomfortable inconvenience for riders, but they are vital protective items that could save your brain from serious injury should your bike slam to the pavement unexpectedly. Protection for your eyes, legs and arms is vital, too. The expense involved with purchasing protective gear gives you and your...