An 8 year old girl was killed in a tragic car crash on State Road 70 near Myakka on Sunday. 4 others were seriously hurt and helicopters flew all 5 people involved to trauma centers. The accident happened around 4pm on Sunday. According to FHP reports, Devin Gilmore and passenger Allison Gilmore were headed eastbound in their Chevy Aspen when he lost control and went into the oncoming lane. Gilmore's vehicle crashed head on into a Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Kevin Moore of Bradenton. Also in that car was 42 year old Melanie Prouix and an 8 year old little girl who was killed in the crash. Devin Gilmore faces a charge of Failure to Use Due Care.
According to a social media website, a family member of one of the accident victims posts that the crash was caused by "hydroplaning on a wet road." If this is what happened, then the charges David Gilmore faces are not criminal; "failure to use due care" is a traffic infraction and is treated as a moving violation, even when the accident is deadly as in this case.
Florida traffic laws say that even if a driver isn't going over the speed limit, they have a duty to decrease their speed if there's any type of hazard present, like driving on a narrow road, going around a curve, or driving in bad weather or rain. In these situations, following the speed limit isn't enough. Drivers are expected to compensate for the increased danger to continue driving safely.
4 accident victims are hurt and one little girl is dead. This is an extremely complex and tragic accident scene, and it requires a meticulous investigation, but not for the reasons you'd think. The FHP's role is to figure out what happened and who to charge, if anyone. Your attorney's job is to make sure the insurance company treats you fairly. Those are completely different types of investigations.
In a personal injury claim, each party can be assigned a degree of blame. The insurance company for Devin Gilmore could try to use the slippery road, or a defect in the road's construction as a cause for the accident rather than the driver's negligence. Deflecting blame is a tactic insurance adjusters use to reduce the amount of their liability. This is where a meticulous crash scene investigation becomes important. Your personal injury lawyer can present evidence based on skid marks, crush damage to the vehicles, the debris field, and even meteorological data to show who is responsible for their clients injuries and wrongful death.
Our sympathies to the families involved in this tragic accident. We know the last thing a family wants to deal with at this point are the questions and phone calls involved with the investigation. That's why we represent our clients with compassion and understanding during this time.
It's our job to deal with insurance companies so the family can have the time they need to grieve and recover. For more information about your rights in any type of vehicle accident, please contact us. We'll review your situation and tell you honestly and directly if you have a strong case and what to do next.Comments
A Sarasota motorcyclist was killed in a crash at the intersection of Bee Ridge Road and Swift Road on Monday. According to the FHP report, 26 year old Michael Hicks was driving his motorcycle north on Swift Road on the inside lane. James McFarland was driving his Dodge Dakota in the opposite direction, in the left turn lane. Witnesses told FHP that Hicks went through the intersection as the light was turning red. That's when his motorcycle struck the right side of ) the Dodge. Hicks was airlifted to a hospital but he died from his injuries. No charges are pending at this time.
The FHP report relies partly on eye witness statements saying Michael Hicks ran through a red light at an intersection. Eyewitnesses are notoriously bad at remembering and reporting information accurately. They tend to piece things together in a way that helps them makes sense of what happened rather than as a sequence of events. Anxiety and stress can also transform what a witness thinks they may have seen from what may have actually happened. Just because a witness says he or she saw Michael Hicks drive through the intersection doesn't mean that's actually how it happened. Only an independent investigation by experts in traffic accidents can determine what really happened.
The FHP report in the accident above cites that no charges were filed; possibly because the investigating officer believed motorcyclist Michael Hicks was at fault. That's also probably the perspective the insurance company will take when Michael Hick's family asks about wrongful death compensation. In a case like this, the accident report is not the final verdict. There is a huge difference between a police accident investigation and an insurance investigation. FHP's job is to determine in black and white what happened based on the laws of the road. An insurance investigation places different amounts of responsibility on each of the drivers for their actions. It's your lawyer's job to represent Michael Hick's estate against the insurance adjustor, not the Florida Highway Patrol.
Every accident is different, but when someone is hurt or tragically killed in a car or motorcycle crash, it's important to have an attorney represent you or your family's interests. Buckman and Buckman, P.A. is a Personal Injury law firm with decades of litigation experience handing car and motorcycle accident claims against aggressive insurance companies. Please tell us about your situation and we promise to give you an honest and direct evaluation of your accident -case. Call (941) 923-7700 or contact us online.Comments
Two people are seriously hurt in a three car pileup on US 301 near 15th Street East in Bradenton Monday. FHP reports say that Aquilla McGuire Walker’s car got hit from behind and then pushed into the car in front of her, driven by Margaret Duffy of Sarasota. What happened, according to the report, is that Robert Henry of Bradenton didn’t slow down along with the traffic in front of him. That’s when he slammed into the back of Walker’s Chevrolet. Both Walker and Henry were taken to the hospital in serious condition. A 13 year old passenger in Walker’s car was also hurt, but FHP reports they were minor injuries. Henry will be charged with careless driving in the multi-car crash.
This Bradenton car accident looks like an open and shut case, right? Maybe not. Once the insurance company gets involved, blame gets spread around. Anytime more than 2 cars are involved in a crash, the insurance companies will do their best to spread out liability among everyone involved, including the victims. Aquilla Walker appears to be the clear victim in this investigation, but the insurance carrier for Duffy’s car could try to place some of the accident damages on Walker, since it was her car that caused the damage to Duffy’s car. It seems completely unfair, especially since the only one facing charges is the man who FHP says caused the crash in the first place. But that’s the point. A police investigation rarely has anything to do with an insurance investigation. The insurance adjustors look at an accident scene differently than the police do. And that’s why anyone hurt in a 3 car crash needs a personal injury attorney to conduct an independent crash scene investigation.
When your lawyer looks at a car accident scene, they’re investigating to find evidence that can make YOUR case stronger when fighting a claims adjustor. The insurance company looks at these accidents as a statistical analysis of liability. Your personal injury attorney looks at how the accident impacted your life and your health and fights to make sure you are protected. The personal injury trial attorneys at Buckman and Buckman believe the strongest representation is based on a strong investigation. They are experienced at digging up every piece of evidence to present in court to a judge or jury. The more work we do on the front end to create a strong case, the more likely the insurance company is to settle your accident case before it gets to court. In the end, we really just want to get you compensated at the highest amount possible for your injuries in the quickest amount of time.
Amiee Buckman and Drake Buckman offer free personal injury case evaluations and work exclusively on a contingency basis for accident cases. That means you only pay for their legal services if they win or settle your case. Please contact our offices for a case review by calling (941) 923-7700. You will always reach one of us, and will never be handed off to a paralegal. We encourage you to look through our website and get to know us by the work we doComments
Four children and two adults were hurt in a Bradenton car accident March 20th. The two-vehicle accident on Sixth Avenue East and Third Street East involved a car and a nursery school van. The crash happened late Wednesday afternoon. Manatee EMS called three ambulances to the crash scene to take the 4 injured children and 2 injured adults to a nearby hospital.
It’s the worst phone call a parent can get; news that your child was in a car accident. When you trust someone else to drive your child, you expect them to be safe and responsible. But sometimes accidents do happen, no matter how many precautions are taken. As a parent, your first response is to make sure your son or daughter is okay and to let them know you’ll be with them through the whole ordeal. The emotional strain is a lot to handle. At this point, the last thing a parent wants to deal with is tracking down driver’s names, getting insurance information, and playing crash scene investigator. That’s what your attorney should be doing for you.
Insurance companies will treat car accidents with injured children differently. In some cases, the blame for the accident will be spread among several people, depending on the situation. For example, if your child wasn’t buckled in properly, the driver will assume part of the responsibility in the investigation, even if they didn’t cause the crash. These variables can create an extremely complicated crash investigation that should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Evaluating injuries and the appropriate compensation for children different than for an adult. If your child is seriously injured, their medical care and rehabilitation could last for years. Another factor in accidents involving children is how to figure out compensation. This will likely be based on more vague “non-economic” factors, since a minor doesn’t hold a job or support a family.
If the insurance company offers you an accident settlement right away, that’s a sign of a problem. Insurance companies are in business to make money and limit claims. They only offer to settle when it is in their best interest. Don’t let the insurance companies dictate what your child will receive and how they will be cared for. You can take control of the situation with a lawyer who is working for you, not the insurance companies.
For more information on how the personal injury attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A. can help your family with a child injury case, please call our offices at (941) 923-7700, or fill out our online contact form. We can fight the insurance companies and look out for your child’s best interest.Comments
A woman riding her scooter on University Parkway is hit from behind and thrown onto the roadway where she died. The accident happened at 1:30am on Tuesday morning near the Whitfield Avenue intersection. According to the SarasotaPatch.com, 33 year old Nicole Moore was driving her Volvo “at a faster rate of speed,” didn’t see the scooter in the lane in front of her, and crashed into the back of it. The scooter driver was wearing a helmet, but died from the injuries. The FHP says charges against Moore are pending. They are not releasing the scooter accident victim’s name until they’ve told the family about her death first.
This accident happened on one of the most traveled roads in the Sarasota and Manatee areas. That’s a good thing for the attorneys who will investigate this case for the victim’s family. Intersections with a lot of traffic often have traffic cameras. Nearby stores are also a good source to find video of Moore as she ran over the scooter driver. At Buckman and Buckman, we’ve handled cases on the University Parkway corridor and are familiar with the danger spots for drivers. We know how to investigate local accident scenes completely because we know the area so well.
Often insurance companies look for a quick way out of their financial responsibility when someone is hurt or killed in a car accident. The first thing they do is offer a quick settlement while the family is still grieving. This is never a good time to negotiate with a huge corporation because emotions are so raw. An experienced personal injury attorney, like those at Buckman and Buckman, can make sure these claims adjustors never bother the family.
Because our attorneys handle your case instead of a paralegal, we get results more quickly since there’s less red tape. We also practice Estate Planning, which is helpful to a family in a wrongful death case. They only have to deal with one law firm; one attorney to settle their loved one’s estate and also file a wrongful death claim.
For more information on how Buckman and Buckman can help your family get through the tough time after a fatal crash, contact our law firm at (941) 923-7700 or fill out our online accident case evaluation form.Comments
A terrible car accident kills a well-known PE teacher and seriously hurts a 22 year old man. The crash happened Friday morning on US 41 near the USF campus in Sarasota. FHP reports that 35 year old Dan Giguere of Bradenton lost control of his car and drove into the path of oncoming traffic. That's when Gigure's Nissan slammed into 22 year old Mijail Hurtado-Chavez's Ford Ranger pickup truck as it was driving in the center lane. Giguere was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The impact seriously injured Hurtado-Chavez, who was taken to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.
An accident like this one is just that, an accident. No one meant for these events to happen. It is a single moment in time when two people's lives are now forever entwined in a tragedy. Family, friends and students will feel deep sadness over losing a mentor like Dan Giguere. Those who love and care for Mijail Hurtado-Chavez now begin the long process of helping him heal and recover. It's understandable for Hurtado-Chavez to feel sadness about the circumstances of this accident, but it's also important to protect himself by filing a claim with the insurance company immediately.
Filing a claim against the insurance company of the person who died in a crash in no way hurts that person's family finances or their reputation. It simply protects Hurtado-Chavez's future. There's no reason to feel badly about making sure you are treated fairly by an insurance company. Remember, a personal injury claim against the insurance policy is not related to the FHP accident investigation. The two events are separate. Whatever caused Giguere to lose control is not the issue. Hurtado-Chavez's family should now focus on making sure his medical bills are paid and recovering lost income from the time he's spent out of work. That's why responsible drivers like Giguere and Hurtado-Chavez carry auto insurance. It's a policy that takes the risk away from the survivors and places the financial liability on the shoulders of the insurance company.
For more information about what to do next after you've been hurt in a car accident, contact Buckman and Buckman at (941) 923-7700 or fill out our online contact form. You will always work directly with our experienced attorneys, never a paralegal. That's because we believe your case is an important one and you deserve to work one-on-one with the lawyer who represents you in court.
A head on car accident on River Road in Venice leaves one man dead, a woman critically injured, and two others hurt. It happened Tuesday night when 33 year old George Tindall's Mustang drifted across the center lane on River Road. He was killed after his car crashed head on with 21 year old Ariel Bryant's Dodge Neon and then slammed head on into a minivan on the road behind the Neon. The driver of the minivan, 20 year old Brittany Thomas of Port Charlotte, was critically hurt in the accident and paramedics had her airlifted to the trauma unit at Blake Medical Center. Police report that Brittany Thomas, Jordan Bryant, and a passenger in Bryant's car were all wearing seat belts, but George Tindall was not. FHP completely shut down River Road to all traffic while investigating the crash scene.
Even though the Florida Highway Patrol conducted an accident investigation, it's important to have your own attorney investigate the scene to uncover exactly what happened and who was at fault. That's especially important in an accident as complicated as this one, involving 3 cars, a head on collision, a fatality, and the possibility of dangerous road conditions. Many comments posted on the Sarasota Herald Tribune news report talk about how dangerous it is to drive on River Road. People mention how narrow and dark that stretch of roadway is and why they're uncomfortable driving on it. That's important information that an accident victim's attorney can use in their case investigation.
Brittany Thomas has a long road ahead as she recovers from this serious accident. Her family will have to deal with medical bills, insurance claims, car repairs, filing claims for lost wages, and dealing with multiple insurance companies. The good news is that Brittany's attorney can take on most of that burden on behalf of the family. That gives them the time and money to focus on getting Brittany better. That's why it's important to find a personal injury attorney who will work directly with the family. No one should have to continually communicate with their lawyer though a paralegal or a law clerk. Only direct and constant communication with their attorney will take the confusion out of an already complicated personal injury case.
For more information on how Buckman and Buckman can help your family after a car accident, please call our offices at (941) 923-7700, or fill out our online contact form. You will always work directly with our attorneys, never a paralegal. That's because we believe your case is an important one and you deserve to work one-on-one with the lawyer who represents you in court.Comments
A car accident at the intersection of Cortez Road and 75th Street West in Bradenton injures 3 children. According to the FHP, 21 year old Coby Hickman tried to turn left onto Cortez Road but didn’t see an oncoming car, driven by 30-year old Donna Pearson. Hickman’s pickup truck struck the front left side of Pearson’s Chevy Caprice in the intersection. Inside Donna Pearson’s car were 3 children: 10 year old Tavares Patterson, 6 year old Onicka Patterson, and 4 year old Julian Patterson. The 6 year old girl was taken to All Children’s Hospital with critical injuries. The 4 year old boy had serious injuries and went to Blake Medical Center, along with the oldest brother, who had minor injuries. None of the children were wearing seatbelts when the crash happened. Hickman, of DeKalb, Illinois, got a ticket for failure to yield to the right of way of oncoming traffic while making a left turn.
In a case like the one above, there are many variables in how an insurance company will compensate the children who are hurt. The insurance adjustor could try to divide up responsibility for the children’s injuries because they were not using seatbelts. That means the negligent driver’s insurance company will place a portion of the blame on the driver who the kids were riding with. This is where things can get extremely complicated depending on the relationship of the children’s driver. If that person is a parent, then a personal injury lawyer will handle the case differently than if the driver is a friend or babysitter.
Sometimes an insurance company may try to either settle with the family immediately, or wait to evaluate the long term impact of a child’s injuries. In either case, the family should talk to a child accident lawyer right away. The insurance company rarely offers to settle unless it’s in their best interests, not your child’s. The statute of limitations in Florida law can be tricky for minors. In Florida, a child has 4 years from the date of injury to file lawsuit.
When children are hurt in accidents, sometimes their lives are changed forever. They could need more compensation to pay for their care than an adult would with the same injury. If the child has a brain injury or spinal cord injury, the family has to plan for a lifetime of rehabilitation, medical care, and special education. All these costs add up quickly. And because a minor isn’t working or earning income, the damages for their injuries are based on “non-economic” factors. That’s why it’s critical to work with an attorney who has experience handling personal injury cases involving kids.
For more information on how Buckman and Buckman can help your family with a child injury case, please call our offices at (941) 923-7700, or fill out our online contact form. We deal aggressively with the insurance company but handle these cases with a great deal of compassion for the family, because we’re parents too. Our prayers are with the families of the Patterson children during difficult time.Comments
A badly hurt Sarasota woman was trapped in a wrecked pickup after a red light running crash. According to police reports, 28 year old Gina Ruiz was the passenger in 26 year old Mitchel Grek’s truck when he ran a red light at the intersection of Webber Street and Shade Avenue. Grek was driving his Dodge Dakota west on Webber Street and slammed into Anya McCormick’s Nissan Versa as it crossed the intersection. The impact of the crash flipped the Nissan over. Both McCormick and her passenger, 20 year old Lindsey Medeiros, were taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with injuries. Paramedics called in a helicopter to airlift Gina Ruiz to Blake Hospital’s trauma center after they finally cut her out of the car’s wreckage. It took more than a half an hour to free Ruiz at the accident scene.
Most people riding in a car together have some sort of relationship; they’re friends or family or co-workers. So when a driver causes an accident, sometimes the passenger is reluctant to hire an attorney because of the friendship. That’s a big mistake. Your lawyer is NOT going after the driver. Their job is to protect you from the insurance company. Your attorney will make sure the insurance company treats you fairly and get your medical bills paid. There’s nothing you can do to prevent the police from filing charges against the driver. That’s out of your hands. However, an attorney who is sensitive to your relationship with the driver can help make the personal injury process go smoothly. Ultimately, the goal is to get you back on your feet so you can work out your relationship with the driver. In the case above, Gina Ruiz could be covered for her injuries by either her own Personal Injury Protection insurance or by Grek’s POP policy. If Grek was driving without any insurance, then Ruiz’s own Uninsured Motorist policy should cover her medical costs. The problem comes if neither Grek nor Ruiz has any type of vehicle insurance policy. That means Ruiz could be stuck with few options to help pay for her medical care.
Red light running is one of the most common intersection accidents and seriously hurts about 165,000 people in the U.S. each year. Often the victims hurt by a red light runner are driving through the intersection when out of nowhere another car slams into them. These type of “out of the blue” crashes tend to happen when the red light runner is also a distracted driver or an impaired driver. An experienced car accident lawyer should know how to conduct a thorough crash investigation to show proof that the other driver was negligent. That includes knowing how red light cameras work, how the stoplights are triggered, testing the lights for timing issues, even looking for nearby store surveillance video if there’s no intersection camera. It’s all valuable evidence that can prove that your injuries were conclusively caused by the red light runner. In this case, McCormick and Medeiros should contact a local, Sarasota personal injury attorney to begin their investigation immediately. Evidence in these cases disappears quickly after the accident, so getting an immediate start on the case is essential.
Drake Buckman and Amy Buckman are experienced Sarasota personal injury lawyers who have successfully investigated red light running accidents for many clients. Their goal is to make sure Sarasota car accident victims are treated fairly by aggressive insurance adjusters. Find out more about how Buckman and Buckman can help you and your family during the aftermath of a car crash. Call them at (941) 923-7700 for a free case evaluation. You can also reach them online through their free case evaluation form.Comments
A Georgia man is killed when a Semi-Trailer slams into his already crashed car on I-75 early Tuesday morning in the dark. It all started when an 18 year old Brittany Gonzalez of Seffner reached for her dropped cell phone while driving. She veered off the highway, overcorrected, flipped her Ford Expedition several times, and came to a rest in the middle lane of I-75 in Manatee County. Moments later, 66 year old James Sims of Georgia drove his Chevy Suburban into Gonzalez’s car. His wrecked car was sitting in the middle lane for only seconds when a massive semi-tractor trailer truck driven by Angel Pedraja hit Sims’ Suburban, killing him. The truck driver told FHP that he moved into the middle lane because he saw what looked like a person waving a flashlight. Pedraja slowing down the truck when he saw wreckage from the other accidents, but by then it was too late. I-75 was shut down for hours because of this crash.
This chain of events all started with a distracted driver, but the family of the driver who was killed also likely has a strong case against the trucking company. In Florida, any driver who runs into another car from behind is presumed to have some responsibility for the accident. The idea is that drivers are expected to keep enough space between themselves to anticipate a problem and react safely. In this situation, the truck driver didn’t anticipate or notice the accident in front of him. His unfortunate decision to move into the middle lane turned out to be a bad choice that resulted in the death of Mr. Sims. In Florida courts the truck driver, Mr. Pedraja, could be held liable for following too closely and for his decision to change lanes.
The attorney hired by Mr. Sims family should know how to prosecute federal trucking accidents and wrongful death cases. A federal case is tremendously different from a local accident case so the lawyer hired needs to know about federal trucking regulations. That’s where this investigation will focus. The attorney will subpoena all driving records, including the driving log. They’re looking for evidence that shows the driver may have been on the road too long, or was under pressure to deliver their load on deadline. All of those factors may play into a truck drivers decision making in the moments before the crash.
Distracted driving is what triggered this fatal multi car accident on I-75 in Manatee County. Ms. Gonzalez dropped her cell phone and was reaching for it when she lost control. The first step investigating any type of distracted driving crash is to uncover the electronic records. Knowing if the distracted driver was texting or talking on the phone at the exact time of the crash is important evidence to prove liability in this case. However, that type of investigation requires the attorney to have a great deal of technical expertise to tease out this information.
When more than one vehicle is part of a crash, the investigation becomes much more complicated. The attorney you hire needs to excel at understanding both federal laws, electronic data usage records, and how to conduct an independent accident scene investigation. The attorney at the Buckman and Buckman Law Firm have years of experience in federal and local accident investigations. They understand how the insurance companies work and how to represent victims in intensely complicated litigation. For a free case evaluation, contact us at (941) 923-7700 or fill out our online evaluation form.Comments
The day after the massive crash on I-75 in Sarasota, FHP is now investigating at least 12 separate collisions involving 47 vehicles, including several commercial trucks. The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that some drivers will likely be charged with "failure to use due care" and "careless driving." However, FHP may take up to a week or more to investigate the Sarasota pileup before deciding who to blame for each accident. In the meantime, more than 52 people were reported hurt immediately after the crash.
You should never rely on an FHP crash report, especially after a complicated accident like a massive pileup. Anyone who’s been hurt in a crash with dozens of cars needs their case investigated immediately by their own accident lawyer. The reason is to protect yourself from the insurance companies who are looking to place blame on you, even if you’re the one who is hurt. In the I-75 accident, news reports say there was a slick roadway, heavy rain and obscured visibility. All these kinds of elements need to be factored into your situation to figure out what and who caused your injury in the crash.
Once an accident happens, the stopwatch for getting medical treatment starts ticking. The longer you wait, the worse it will be for you case. If you can’t afford to see a doctor or if you don’t have health insurance, you still need to get treatment somehow. Amiee Buckman and Drake Buckman have helped struggling clients get medical treatment from highly respected doctors and surgeons in Sarasota and Manatee. If you’re hurt and don’t see a doctor right away, the insurance company could claim you’re not badly injured since you didn’t seek treatment. That might limit how much health coverage you can get to help pay for your medical bills.
Amiee Buckman and Drake Buckman are experienced local attorneys who have practiced law in the Sarasota and Bradenton courts for years. Their legal practice focuses on all types of traffic accidents, but their main focus is always on their clients. They believe that when someone hires an attorney, the client expects the attorney to handle their case from start to finish, not a paralegal or case worker. It’s this one-on-one interaction that forms the foundation of their long term attorney-client relationships.You can find out more about them and their experience by reading their attorney biographies: Drake Buckman and Amiee Buckman.
If you were hurt in an accident or crash, please contact Buckman and Buckman to explain what happened and they will review your case at no cost. You can reach them on any day by calling (941) 923-7700, or explain your situation to them through the online case evaluation form.Comments
(UPDATED) A terrifying afternoon on I-75 near the University Parkway overpass today. A massive 50 car pileup shut down the interstate and sent 52 people to the hospital. Two of the multi-car accident victims were taken by helicopter to Blake Trauma Center or Bayfront Medical Center. Thankfully no one was killed in this crash. According to news reports, the Florida Highway Patrol is saying a heavy rainstorm was one reason for the mayhem. It all started at 3:10 pm when one car crashed into another while going southbound on I-75. That triggered a chain reaction of crashes. One accident victim, Josh Hobbs, told ABC 7 that he tried to avoid the mess, but just couldn’t. David Wagle told the Sarasota Herald Tribune that he “saw a semi truck driver ahead in the left lane lose control, the trailer jackknifing to the right.” FHP tells ABC 7 that this may be one of the largest domino effect multiple car crashes they’ve ever handled in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas.
The next few days after any car or truck accident are critical to your case. There’s probably nothing more complicated than a multi-vehicle crash investigation. Don’t make a mistake that could hurt your case or destroy evidence.
Here are some tips to follow in the aftermath:
FHP will take days or weeks conducting their investigation to figure out the cause of the pileup. That’s too long for you to wait. Your accident lawyer will begin an independent investigation into YOUR situation RIGHT NOW. That includes getting evidence from the scene, tracking down witnesses, examining skid marks, pulling cell phone records, and other investigation techniques.
Everyone and no one. Sometimes everyone involved in a massive multi-car pileup will get sued since no one really knows who is specifically to blame. It’s a tactic that many insurance companies use. Obviously one driver somehow triggered the crash that led to the pileup. But there is also a domino effect of blame and liability that trickles down to almost all the drivers involved. Often FHP or the insurance adjustors place a percentage of blame on each victim of the accident. That’s not always fair or accurate. It’s another reason why you need a lawyer to help you protect your rights.
Drake Buckman and Amiee Buckman are a team of experienced local trial lawyers who focus on helping people hurt in car accidents. They work directly with clients one on one, never through a paralegal. The Buckman’s offer free case evaluations and work exclusively on a contingency basis for accident cases. That means you only pay for their legal services if they win or settle your case. Please contact our offices for a case review by calling (941) 923-7700. You will always reach one of us, during the week and on weekends. Or contact us by filling out our online form. We encourage you to look through our website and get to know us by the work we do.Comments
7 Bradenton teenagers from Journey Assembly Church of God headed to a Christian music concert were hurt in a serious rollover crash Saturday afternoon. It happened when their SUV's tire blew and they lost control of the car. The 2006 Ford Expedition veered toward the median and then flipped over on I-4 in Polk County. 17 year old Sierra Johnson was thrown from the car and is facing the most serious injuries. Sierra's aunt, Jodie Dehard, tells ABC 7 that the teen had surgery to relieve pressure on her brain and that the family is hopeful.
Also hurt in the SUV rollover accident are: 26 year old Tiffany Herriman of Myakka City, 19 year old Brandon Adams, 16 year old Aaron Downard, 17 year old Katelyn Jerowski, 18 year old Garrett Vincent, and 17 year old Alex Henderson. According to the church's Facebook page, Henderson also remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery on her ankle. The other 5 passengers are home.
When a tragedy like this happens in our church communities, we pull together and pray for a miracle. The Journey Assembly of God website and Facebook page are filled with loving messages and prayers from across the country. That kind of support is essential to help Sierra, Katelyn and the other passengers get through this challenge. It will probably be a long life-changing recovery ahead.
While the families focus on recovery, an attorney should be focused on the accident investigation right away. It's an emotional time and that makes it hard for family members to know if an insurance company is treating them fairly. A lawyer can take that burden off the family and make sure the teens get the long term benefits that they are owed.
Insurance companies don't make compassionate decisions. They're focused on limiting how much money they're obligated to pay. A traumatic brain injury typically requires millions of dollars over the course of a lifetime to help pay for recovery. The family's lawyer has to fight for Sierra's future starting right now.
Time is the enemy in these situations. An attorney needs to get to work right away to preserve evidence from the accident scene. "What caused the accident" is the first question to answer. The blow-out could be from a defective tire, in which case the tire and vehicle need to be stored immediately and preserved as evidence so an expert can test and inspect it. The tire blow-out may also have been caused by negligence on the part of the company that last serviced the tires. The seatbelts could have malfunctioned, which led to the Sierra's being thrown out of the SUV. This is an example of how a law firm must use whatever resources necessary to investigate the claim, before evidence is destroyed.
We're praying for Sierra, Katelyn, the other people involved in the crash, and for all the friends and families hurt by this tragedy. Pastor Don says to trust God and serve him every day, and we live by that belief in our own lives. As attorneys, our job isn't to question "why did this happen." We leave those questions up to God's will. Our role is to make sure the people hurt in an accident have all the resources they need to recover, with God's help.
For more information contact Buckman and Buckman, P.A. at (941) 923-7700 or fill out our online case evaluation form.Comments
I guess you could call it a polite hit and run accident. On Monday, 36 year old Paul Henninger was trying to cross 51st Avenue East in Bradenton when a man in a gold colored Chevy Blazer turned left and hit Henninger with the left side mirror. The driver stopped to ask Henninger if he was okay before taking off southbound on 15th Street Court East. The FHP report says no one else was in the car with the driver at the time.
What starts out as a simple car accident can turn into a hit and run crime scene if you drive away, even if no one is hurt. Asking if the person you hit is okay is NEVER enough. The driver has a responsibility to stop, get help, exchange information, and report the accident to police. In this case, Henninger has no way of answering if he was “ok” after getting slammed by a car mirror. Only a doctor can make that call.
The FHP report says Henninger “walked behind an unknown vehicle and was standing in the middle of 15thStreet Court East waiting to cross 51stAvenue East.” So the pedestrian probably has some responsibility in this accident by not crossing at an intersection or in a marked crosswalk. However, in Florida a judge can decide how much blame to place on each person involved. Because the driver of the Chevy Blazer took off, he may now have a greater level of negligence in the accident case, giving Henninger a stronger position to recover money for his injuries. But this assumes that the driver will eventually get caught
This is why Uninsured Motorist Insurance is important. It is the safety net insurance we have for ourselves in case the other person does not have insurance or in case they’re not caught. If Paul Henninger has a car insurance policy and purchased the UM coverage, then his own insurance company should cover the costs of his accident. The downside is that if a pedestrian does not have UM, and the driver is never caught or doesn’t have insurance either, then the injured pedestrian could be out of luck.
If you were hurt in a hit and run accident, contact Buckman and Buckman for a case evaluation at (941) 923-7700 or fill out our online form.Comments
Three people from North Port were hurt in an accident on I-75 near mile marker 188. According to news reports, 52 year old Debi Lantzer was driving north when her Hyundai hit the back of a Chevy driven by Jorge Rodriquez Suarez. The Chevy then struck a Ford driven by Anne Bauer. All three people involved are from North Port. Lantzer was taken to the Trauma unit at Blake Medical Center. The FHP reports that the other drivers and their passengers were treated at Venice Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.
News stories and FHP reports often say car accident victims have “minor injuries” but that’s very misleading. What is considered minor might mean that the victim isn’t at risk of dying. We’ve had clients with “minor injuries” like a broken back, broken bones, and even head trauma. Most of the time what police reports mean when they say “minor injuries” is that the accident victims weren’t taken to the hospital by ambulance, or they were released from the hospital soon after.
So often we see accident reports that say “minor injuries” and our clients feel like there must not be anything wrong with them if they didn’t need an ambulance. Well, the police are not doctors. They can only use their best judgment about how hurt you look to them. If you’re up and walking around the accident scene, they may not call for an ambulance, but that does not mean you’re not hurt. Always let your doctor decide how “minor” your injuries are, not a police officer or a paramedic.
Anytime you’re in an accident, going to the hospital ER isn’t enough. You should also see your family doctor immediately, even if the Emergency Room doctor says you’re fine. That’s because some injuries don’t show up right away. It takes a few days for your body to process what’s happened. You need to listen to your body and be very aware of what’s going on. Report any discomfort or pain to your doctor. And here’s the most important part: You have to get medical treatment within 72 hours of an accident. Otherwise, the insurance company does not have to pay for your treatment using Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Even if you’re paying for this type of insurance coverage, they can deny it if you haven’t seen a doctor within 3 days of the accident.
For more information about your car accident, contact Buckman and Buckman, P.A. at (941) 923-7700 or fill out our online case evaluation form. We can help you figure out what to do next after an accident.