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Mike Walker
Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney
Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney

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A report released earlier this year by AAA alarmed parents of young teen drivers and passengers; the report stated that distracted driving contributes to almost 60 percent of auto crashes involving teens—a statistic that is close to four times higher than previously thought. - See more at:

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St. Petersburg Pedestrian Dies In Hit-And-Run Accident
Pedestrians, especially ones in densely populated urban areas, are some of the most helpless users of the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 24 hours, 445 people will suffer some type of traffic-related pedestrian injury that will require treatment in an emergency department. Furthermore, every 2 hours, about one pedestrian will die from an accident involving a motor vehicle.
Pedestrian injuries and accidents occur every day throughout the United States. Sometimes these accidents are unavoidable, but most of the time they occur because a driver did not properly operate one’s vehicle. Unfortunately, St. Petersburg and other cities throughout Florida experience a high rate of pedestrian injuries and death.
St. Pete Pedestrian Killed by Car
Last month, a driver struck and killed a pedestrian who was walking near the eastbound curb lane of 22 Avenue North and approaching the intersection of 49th Street in St. Petersburg. The accident had originally been classified as a hit-and-run. St. Petersburg police located the driver several blocks from the accident sites.
The driver apparently failed to notice the pedestrian as she traveled through a marked crosswalk at an intersection. The driver struck the pedestrian on her right side and the collision caused the pedestrian to launch into the windshield. The pedestrian then fell to the pavement. Emergency personnel transported the victim to the hospital, where she underwent surgery. The woman, however, died from injuries suffered in the car accident.
The driver left the accident scene, but stopped her car several blocks away. The driver had her infant child in the car at the time of the accident. Both the driver and her child were not injured in the crash. Police initially classified that crash as a hit-and-run accident. But, police are still investigating the crash to determine what happened. Apparently, there may be “some extenuating issues which may suggest otherwise.” Police have not filed any charges in the accident.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Certain safety measures can be taken to reduce the risk of being hit by a car. As shown in the example above, however, the risks cannot be completely eliminated. It is impossible to account for the negligent or reckless conduct of other drivers on the road. This does not mean that one should take appropriate safety steps. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to:
Cross streets at designated crosswalks or intersections;
Increase your visibility at night by using a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing; and
Walk on the sidewalk, but if one is not available, then use the shoulder and face traffic.
Contact a Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, a St. Petersburg pedestrian accident attorney can help you recover damages. The pedestrian accident attorneys at Mike Walker Law have extensive experience helping victims recover compensation for their injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how our Florida pedestrian accident attorneys can help you.
- See more at: #clearwaterpersonalinjuryattorney  

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Have a Safe Holiday!

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Head Injuries and Concussions in Youth Athletes
Over the past several years, the topic of concussions and the long-term effects on athletes has played a dominant role in the National Football League news cycle. The topic reached a fervor pitch when more than 4,500 former NFL players filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL for its alleged fraudulent handling of concussions. This summer the former players and the NFL reached a preliminary settlement to resolve the lawsuit. A similar lawsuit is also being settled with the NCAA. With the NFL and NCAA concussion lawsuits possibly winding down, another issue involving concussion and athletes may be developing: high school student athletes and concussions.
Recently, in what is believed to be the first of its kind, a former high school football player in Illinois filed a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association over concussion protocols and management. The lawsuit claims that the IHSA has not properly protected its student athletes because the IHSA guidelines fail to “mandate specific guidelines or rules on managing student-athlete concussions and head injuries” and “fail to mandate the removal of athletes who have appeared to suffer in practice.”
Fortunately, for Florida parents of youth athletes, the state has enacted laws to handle concussions and head injuries in youth athletes.
Florida Law and Young Student Athletes with Suspected Concussions or Head Injuries
In 2012, Florida passed a new law to protect Florida youth athletes who have a suspected concussion or head injury. The law, which became effective July 1, 2012, requires bylaws or policies to be adopted that require “each youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or competition to be immediately removed from the activity.” The athlete may not return to practice or competition until medical clearance is obtained stating that the “youth athlete no longer exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion or other head injury.” Only certain approved healthcare providers may deliver the necessary medical clearance.
In addition, parents or guardians of an athlete who is participating in athletic competition must sign an informed consent document that explains the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries. This form must be returned before the athlete may participate in any practice, tryout, workout, or athletic competition. Furthermore, the Florida High School Athletic Association must adopt guidelines to educate athletic coaches, officials, administrators, and athletes and their parents about head injuries and concussions.
The goal of the new law is to reduce long-term problems associated with repeat concussions and to prevent further injury before an athlete’s brain has had the opportunity to fully recover.
In addition to the policies and procedures under the new law, the FHSAA has adopted Return to Play Criteria to help manage concussions. These criteria include:
No athlete should return to play or practice on the same day of a suspected concussion. “When in doubt, sit them out!”
An athlete suspected of a having concussion must be evaluated as soon as possible and practical by a healthcare provider.
An athlete must be medically cleared before resuming activity.
After returning to play, an athlete must follow specified protocol based on certain signs and symptoms.
Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida Concussion and Head Trauma Attorney
If your child has suffered a concussion or head trauma, for whatever reason, the St. Petersburg head trauma attorneys at Mike Walker Law can help you and your child. Contact our Clearwater brain injury lawyers today for a free initial consultation and to find out how to get full and fair compensation for head injuries.
- See more at: #clearwaterpersonalinjuryattorney  

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Welcome Back! I Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend! Make this work week count! #clearwaterpersonalinjuryattorney  

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Drunk Driver In Jacksonville Beach Kills Kindergarten Teacher
Last month, a 31-year-old man driving on Florida A1A in Jacksonville Beach at around 12:30 a.m. struck another car and killed the driver and himself. The man apparently crossed the median and drove into the oncoming lane. The man then smashed into another car driven by a Florida kindergarten teacher. The car crash killed the teacher instantly. The woman taught at students at Sadie T. Tillis Elementary School since 2010.
The man, however, appeared to survive the initial impact. Firefighters had to cut the man out of his car and air ambulance transported the man to UF Health Jacksonville. The man died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
According the police the man had been driving at an excessive speed when he crossed the median. The toxicology results showed that the man at a blood alcohol concentration of .33—more than 4 times Florida’s legal limit of .08. This accident was not the first time that the man had issues with driving under the influence.
Police arrested the man in 2007 for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. In 2010, police also arrested the man for driving under the influence after the police pulled the man over for leaving a Jacksonville Beach bar and driving without using his headlights. Again, the man had a blood alcohol concentration well above the legal limit. The man had a BAC of .21.
As a result of the prior arrests, the man had his driver’s license suspended. In addition, the man had been ordered to stop drinking and told to install a device on his car that would not start the car unless he was sober. At the time of the accident, the man’s driver’s license had been suspended. Unfortunately for the teacher, the efforts to stop the man from drinking and driving were not enough.
Car accidents and injuries occur every day throughout Florida and the United States. Some of these accidents are unavoidable; however, many car accidents could have been prevented if drivers took more caution when operating their vehicles. Nevertheless, despite the legal system’s, or other groups’, best efforts to prevent people from drinking and driving, people will also drink and drive. And tragically, some innocent driver on the road will be the victim of another person’s negligent or reckless conduct. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, contact a Florida car accident attorney to find out how to protect your rights.
Pinellas County Car Crash Statistics for 2014
As of 19 November 2014, there have been nearly 15,000 car crashes in Pinellas County. Nearly 6,000 people have been injured in these accidents. Furthermore, these accidents have killed 92 people. In addition, these car crashes have involved a little more than 8,600 instances of property damage. Each month, there are around 1,400 car crashes throughout Pinellas County.
Contact a St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney
All of these numbers show that car accidents occur far too frequently and can have devastating consequences for innocent drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a St. Petersburg car accident attorney at Mike Walker Law can help you with your case. Contact our car accident attorneys today to find out how to obtain the compensation you deserve. We provide a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
- See more at: #clearwaterpersonalinjuryattorney  

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Florida Is The Number One State In The Nation For Car Crash Drownings
A recent review of federal crash data has led to an inauspicious distinction for Florida: Florida leads the nation in car crash drownings. Given the vast number of different bodies of water (rivers, lakes, ponds, wetlands, streams, canals, and harbors) in Florida, it is not surprising that car crash drownings occur more often in Florida than in any other state in the United States. In fact, it is not even close; Florida leads all other states by a wide margin.
Based on a recent review of federal crash data by the Orlando Sentinel, from 2008 to 2012, 49 people drowned inside cars. The next closest state—Texas—had only 18 deaths involving car drownings, followed by Indiana (14), Louisiana (10), and Arizona (10). Furthermore, since 2003, more than 100 people have died in Florida from cars being submerged in water.
Many of these accidents occurred in South Florida. This interactive map shows the location of each accident, including the number of fatalities, occupants, time of day, and weather conditions. Florida’s top three counties for car drownings were Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade, respectively. Based on the fact that these are some of the most populated counties in Florida, it is logical to conclude that these counties would rank so highly in car-related drowning deaths.
According to Joe Santos, safety engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation in Tallahassee, the most likely reason that Florida leads the nation in car drownings is that Florida has many miles of roads abutted by some type of body of water.
How to Protect Yourself When Your Car is Sinking
While it is unlikely that you will be in a car that is sinking, it is always better to be prepared in the event you do find yourself in such a situation. There are several steps that you should immediately take to protect yourself. Experts recommend that you do not panic, “act quickly, unfasten your seatbelt, get out of the car and swim to safety.” The most important part is acting quickly because a car can fill up with water quickly—possibly in fewer than 60 seconds.
Here are some tips to remember:
Do not try to open the door.
Try rolling down your window.
If your window electrical system is not working or you cannot manually open your window, try breaking your window. You can purchase a small car window emergency hammer tool and place it in your glove box.
If you cannot break a window, try breaking the back windshield with your feet.
Again, while the initial shock of a car crash could be overwhelming, it is crucial that you remain calm and act quickly. According to the national highway-safety study, more than half of car crash drownings involve cars that have flipped over.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a family has been injured in a car accident, a Florida car accident attorney can help protect your rights. The car accident attorneys at Mike Walker Law have extensive experience helping victims recover compensation for their car crash injuries. Contact our Florida car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We are located in Clearwater, Florida, and we serve clients throughout various Florida counties.
- See more at: #clearwaterpersonalinjuryattorney  

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