PTSD After Car Accidents

Portrait Of Pensive Man In shadowAround nine percent of people who are in car accidents will develop PTSD. This percentage is significantly higher, closer to 60%, for people who seek mental health services following a car accident. In both instances, PTSD can have a profound impact on recovery following an injury or accident, requiring additional treatment and services to fully address.

What is PTSD?

According to the AMA, “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.”

Following a car accident, PTSD will likely be acute and related entirely to the event. However, car accidents can also exacerbate existing conditions and contribute to ongoing or chronic trauma. If your car accident has resulted in emotional distress, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to learn about legal options that may help cover the expenses related to treatment and care.

Symptoms of PTSD following a car accident may include:

  • Re-experiencing. This may include frequent thoughts about the event, flashbacks, physical responses when thinking of the event, or recurrent nightmares
  • This may include constantly keeping busy to avoid thinking about your accident, avoiding people or places that remind you of the accident, or making effort towards not thinking or talking about the event
  • This may include being jumpy or feeling constantly on guard, difficulties concentrating, problems with sleep, and irritability/aggression
  • Negative thoughts and beliefs. This may include feeling distant from others, feeling disinterested in once enjoyable activities, a loss of positive feelings, suicidal ideation

If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call My Price Lawyers at 800-475-7005 to find an experienced attorney in your area who can help you understand both legal and treatment options that can assist in dealing with your condition.

Living with PTSD

PTSD is an exaggerated stress response that can be extremely discomforting and result in both physical and emotional consequences. But it is also entirely manageable. With the right help and consistent effort, even PTSD related to serious car accidents can be treated, though the process may be long and expensive. This is one of the reasons it makes sense to have a car accident lawyer on your side. Settlements and verdicts are typically much higher when an attorney is involved, helping ensure you are able to get all of the help you need.

Managing PTSD may require a new exercise routine, a dedication to healthy eating, adopting mindfulness exercises like yoga, Tai Chi and meditation, and counseling. One-on-one counseling with a psychiatrist and group counseling may be recommended for full recovery. The latter can also help in building community and spending time with others, both of which can help when recovering from PTSD.

For a free referral to an affordable PTSD car accident lawyer in Brandon, Lakeland, Tampa, Orlando, Sebring, St. Peters, Clearwater, and surrounding areas of Florida, please call My Price Lawyers at 800-475-7005 today.

How Safe Are Tampa’s City Streets?

In 2017, more than 100 pedestrians were killed in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties. 22 bicyclists were killed that same year. In fact, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area is ranked the seventh most dangerous for pedestrians in the United States, seeing more than 80 pedestrians killed, on average, every year. Of course, as we’ve discussed before on our blog, seven of the ten most deadly cities for pedestrians are in Florida – a state with nine of the twenty most dangerous cities for foot traffic in the U.S.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 5,900 pedestrians die in accidents every year and those most at risk are children and the elderly – particularly in and around school zones or other pedestrian-heavy areas, though in Tampa, Bayshore Boulevard, Kennedy Boulevard, and similar thoroughfares pose dangers for anyone traveling by foot.

The dangers posed by walking in Tampa are so extreme, the issue took precedence at the third Tampa mayoral forum where, by and large, all seven mayoral candidates were in agreement on one major point: Tampa’s streets are not safe for pedestrians and something must be done about it.

Wrongful Death

Thousands of pedestrians are injured in and around Tampa every year. Victims of these accidents are entitled to hold the negligent party accountable and seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. But what happens when a pedestrian accident results in a loss of life? What chance do surviving family members have for justice?

Not all pedestrian accidents involve criminal wrongdoing. That means, it is entirely possible for someone to injure or kill a pedestrian and be cleared of criminal charges. You can still hold these parties accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit, a civil claim that seeks needed compensation for families struggling with the untimely death of a loved one.

Through a wrongful death claim, family members may be eligible to seek:

  • Any related medical expenses
  • End of life expenses
  • Projected future wages and financial contributions
  • Lost retirement, 401(k), or savings
  • Increased household expenses

Family members may also be eligible to seek compensation for emotional struggle, loss of companionship, and loss of community.

Losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident is a tragedy that no family should have to suffer. However, when you do, knowing you have a strong legal support system can help you focus on those things that truly matter – like dealing with your loss – and help provide peace of mind while working to protect you against the predatory tactics of insurance companies who may try to prey on your sorrow to cheat you out of fair compensation.

If you live in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, including Brandon, Lakeland, Orlando, Sebring, and nearby areas, My Price Lawyers can provide you will affordable legal representation in your wrongful death claim. Call 800-475-7005 to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more.

Pedestrians Beware! Florida is the Most Dangerous States for Foot Traffic

Pedestrian Walking in Front of a Car

According to data compiled by Smart Growth America, between 2005 and 2014, Florida saw more pedestrian deaths than any other state. The national average of 1.47 pedestrian deaths per 100k people is much higher, at 2.66 in Florida, resulting in 5,142 deaths during the 10-year study period and earning a 177 on the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI).

The PDI is a comprehensive review of crash data from the nation’s 104 largest cities and is calculated on the percentage of people who walk to work vs. the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities. The national PDI average is 52.5, more than 3-times lower than Florida’s.

9 of the 20 most dangerous cities for pedestrians are in Florida. 8 of those are in the top 10.

Florida has earned the distinction of the most dangerous state for pedestrians due to our high rate of pedestrian accidents. The highest concentration of these accidents are, in descending order of frequency:

  1. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida
  2. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
  3. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
  4. Jacksonville, Florida
  5. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida
  6. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida
  7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
  8. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
  9. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida

The first seven of these cities are also one through seven established by the PDI. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach come in at numbers 10 and 11 respectively, placing all nine Florida cities from this list within or just beyond the top ten most dangerous places for pedestrians.

Serious Injury

Reviewing a decade worth of pedestrian crash data, researchers identified approximately 676,000 non-fatal pedestrian accidents. This is the rough equivalent of one non-fatal pedestrian accident every eight minutes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of one pedestrian life was lost in a traffic accident every 1.5 hours in 2016.

When not fatal, pedestrian accidents often result in serious, life-altering injury. Sadly, for many pedestrians these injuries are improperly compensated, leaving victims of negligent drivers in a position of financial and physical struggle.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, My Price Lawyers is here to help.

Damages following a pedestrian accident may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Home modifications
  • Adaptive technology (wheelchairs, etc.)
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering

When you choose to settle through insurance, you may not even see a portion of what you are actually due. It is always a good idea to talk to an attorney before you accept an insurance offer.

Here to Help

My Price Lawyers is a referral network of serious injury attorneys near Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring and nearby areas of Florida. Our pedestrian injury attorneys work on a contingency basis: if you do not secure a settlement, we do not get paid. You have nothing to lose by calling for a complimentary consultation.

To schedule your free case review with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, please call 844-716-8476 today.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

54.3 million Americans will travel 50+ miles for Thanksgiving this year according to estimates from AAA. Of those, nearly 49 million will travel by motor vehicle, slowing travel times as much as four-times over in some of the nation’s most congested cities – like Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando – which can make driving very frustrating. Therefore, the very first tip to safe travel on Thanksgiving is: remain calm. Aggressive, erratic driving does not get you to your destination faster. These behaviors do, however, reduce your chances of getting to your destination alive.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips from My Price Lawyers

Drive Like Your Life Depends on It

The best way to drive, always, is like your life and the lives of everyone else on the road depends on your doing it well.

Driving well means:

  • Avoiding all forms of distraction. Cell Phones are no good while driving, but neither are handsfree alternatives. Have a passenger adjust electronics, music, and messages. You focus on driving. Just on driving.
  • Follow all traffic signs and signals. You’ll want to follow the flow of traffic, but not if that means speeding, making unannounced lane changes, or other inconsiderate driving behaviors.
  • Allow a sufficient gap between yourself and the car in front of you. 2-3 car lengths is ideal on the highway. This will give you plenty of time to respond to sudden stops or shifts in traffic flow.
  • Be nice. Drive with courtesy and be forgiving. The calmer you stay, the less awful traffic will seem. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and engage fully with what’s happening: it’s Thanksgiving. There is going to be more traffic. Some of it may be stand-still. This is just a fact. Getting frustrated doesn’t change reality.

Being polite, remaining calm, and paying attention to what you’re doing can help you avoid causing a motor vehicle accident during the Thanksgiving holiday travel week (Wednesday, November 21 – Sunday, November 25). Driving like it matters can also help you – along with everyone else who is riding in your car, truck, or SUV – avoid being the victim of someone else’s accident.

What Happens if I’m Injured?

If you are injured while driving to or from your Thanksgiving celebration, My Price Lawyers can help. We are a referral network of exceptional personal injury attorneys in Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring and nearby areas throughout the state of Florida. While attorneys in our network offer legal services at affordable rates, they are neither “cheap” nor “discounted.” Instead, they are committed to helping victims of serious injury get justice and do not want current financial considerations to be an impediment to success.

If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer anywhere along the Gulf Coast, please call My Price Lawyers at 844-716-8476 to schedule a complimentary case review with one of our experienced lawyers today.

National Teen Driver Safety Week

Teen Driver Learning to Drive SafelyIt’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. Do you know how to keep your teen safe on the road? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tips and resources for parents and educators to begin the conversation about safe driving with teens. Visit their site, linked above, for additional information.

Remember, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens aged 15 to 18, but most car accidents involving teens are a result of inexperience, not bad behavior.* In fact, crash risk drops by more than two-thirds after the first 1,000 to 1,500 miles of independent driving.

Clearly, your teen needs to drive alone, but alone is key: teens are much more likely to be involved in an accident if they have friends in the car.

Teens Injured in Accidents

Teenage passengers are more likely to be injured in a car being driven by a peer. Some of this has to do with general distraction. Novice drivers are more likely to take eyes and attention off of the road, increasing crash risks.

To help combat the risks posed to teens by teens, the state of Florida has implemented a graduated drivers license (GDL) as follows:

 

  • Learner’s License – to obtain a learner’s license, a child must be at least 15 years old and must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is over 21 years old. Teens between 15 and 17 must hold this license for a minimum of 12 months during which time they must complete 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which has to be at night. These drivers may not operate a vehicle after 10 p.m.
  • Driver License – at 16, a teen may obtain a driver’s license so long as a learner’s license has been held for at least 12 months. Drivers under the age of 17 may not operate a vehicle between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless driving to or from work or accompanied by a driver who is 21 or older. At 17, restrictions are reduced to between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

 

These restrictions can help reduce accidents by keeping teens off of the road at dangerous times, but they do little to deal with distraction, speeding, and other behaviors that can result in car accidents.

If your child is injured in a car that was driven by another teen, you may be entitled to seek compensation beyond insurance offerings. This is where an attorney will be useful. In order to determine where fault should lie – and despite common perception, it is not always with the teen driver – an investigation will need to take place. This enables your attorney to build an effective case for more significant compensation. Medical expenses, lifestyle changes, and emotional and physical suffering deserve fair compensation. My Price Lawyers can help you find the best attorney for the job.

As a referral network of personal injury attorneys, My Price Lawyers works with some of the most respected and trusted attorneys in the Lakeland area. If you are in need of a lawyer, for an accident involving a teen driver or for any other reason, please call 844-718-0758 to be put in touch with an experienced attorney with offices close to you. My Price Lawyers works with attorneys in Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring and nearby areas throughout the state of Florida.

*https://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention

What Do I Do After a Car Wreck?

Steps to Take After A Car Accident in St. PetersburgImmediately following a car crash, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and begin the process of collecting fair compensation. These steps include:

  • Photo documenting the scene – use your phone or a camera to get pictures from multiple angles
  • Get contact info – get the license number, insurance info, and contact info from all involved drivers. Get the contact info and names of all witnesses
  • Get vehicle info – license plate and VIN numbers from involved vehicles may prove useful
  • Contact police – file a report and cooperate, but never so much as suggest you are to blame
  • Cooperate with emergency personnel – allow EMTs to do their job, allow police to do their job, get the name and badge/ID number of each person you talk to

As soon as you are released from the scene of an accident, make an appointment with your doctor. Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury may both take days or even months to show symptoms. At that point, it will be too late to take measures to prevent long-term disability.

Severe Injury

If your injury is severe, you will obviously not be able to get out of your car to start snapping pictures and taking names. In these cases, a personal injury attorney should be contacted right away. By contacting a personal injury attorney quickly, your accident can be investigated thoroughly, allowing for a better chance of full compensation. Waiting to take action can make getting full compensation difficult. Calling an attorney immediately is the best way to protect your rights.

Even if you are able to document the scene and gather evidence, it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer. Bring the information you gathered at the scene to your free consultation to learn if your claim qualifies for legal action. Taking a claim to court will almost certainly result in a settlement or verdict that is more in line with your actual damages.

What We Do

My Price Lawyers is a referral network for high-quality, affordable attorneys. We don’t believe you need to sacrifice service and experience for affordability. The personal injury lawyers in our network all handle these cases on a contingency basis. This means if you don’t make a recovery, they don’t get paid. No legal or court fees. No out-of-pocket expenses at all. If you don’t get a settlement, your attorney doesn’t get paid.

You literally have nothing to lose by calling our Lakeland, Florida office for a free case referral to a qualified attorney who is prepared to take your case as far as needed to secure the total compensation you deserve.

If you live in or around Tampa, Florida and are in need of an affordable personal injury attorney, please call My Price Lawyers at 800-475-7005 today. We work with attorneys throughout the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas of Florida.

Changing Behavior to Save Lives: Simple Steps to Avoid Distraction

Distracted Driving Car Accidents | Tampa, FLDistracted driving is now suspected as a factor in a majority of all auto accidents. However, many people assume that simply not texting or typing while driving solves the problem. This is, tragically, far from the truth. In fact, cellphone use is only a factor in a very small percentage of distracted driving accidents, listed as a cause in just 12% of these collisions.

General inattention or daydreaming is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents. A factor in 62% of distracted driving car crashes, inattention to the task at hand results in more serious injuries and deaths than any other type of distraction. This means that the easiest way to avoid causing a distracted driving accident is paying attention. Consciously, intentionally, and relentlessly paying attention.

What Kinds of Things Cause Distraction?

You can help focus your attention by avoiding things that are known to cause distraction. These include:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Personal grooming (applying makeup, shaving, combing hair, etc.)
  • Adjusting the radio or a portable music device
  • Adjusting climate controls
  • Turning to talk to passengers
  • Rubbernecking
  • Smoking

We have been led to believe that on-board electronic offerings, connected wirelessly or through BlueTooth, will allow us to operate our vehicles safely, even while using our electronic devices. This is not true. A comprehensive study conducted by AAA found that hands-free technology is actually more distracting than handheld options. You are more likely to injure someone or take a life if you are talking to your electronics than you are if you are typing on them. To truly avoid harming others, program your entertainment or infotainment system before you begin to drive and leave changing it in the hands of passengers. Alternately, you can turn these systems off completely.

Taking Responsibility

Each of us works to prevent accidents by choosing to behave responsibly. This is a conscious choice that must be made every time you enter your vehicle. Even a moment’s inattention places everyone on the road at great risk for harm.

You reduce your risk of causing an accident by:

  • Turning your cellphone off
  • Programming GPS and choosing music/radio before you begin driving
  • Eating and drinking outside of the car
  • Grooming in a bathroom
  • Keeping your eyes and attention on the road

When you drive, you have only one task: to safely maneuver your vehicle to its destination. You cannot do this if you are multitasking. No one can actually multitask, no matter what they may believe, which means anything you do while driving that is not directly related to driving increases your risk of killing yourself or someone else. You alone have the power to prevent this.

What Happens if a Distracted Driver Hits Me?

Your responsible driving habits can only go so far. The behavior of others is a constant factor on the road. If you are hit by a distracted driver, you are entitled to hold that person accountable and seek compensation for any related damages.

Even if the driver way not breaking the law, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

The best way to learn if you have cause to file suit is through a one-on-one consultation with one of our Lakeland, Florida personal injury lawyers. During this complimentary case evaluation, we can help you understand your options and guide you towards the best one for your needs.

Please call 800-475-7005 to schedule your complimentary consultation today. Our lawyers serve the Florida communities of Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring, and all surrounding areas.