Brandon & Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

Fireball Crash Near Walt Disney World

At least eleven people were seriously hurt after an SUV driver, who may have fallen asleep while driving, crossed the centerline and collided with a busload of people.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 36-year-old Megan Hester-Villalobos, of Groveland, was southbound on the northbound side of Sherbeth Road when she smashed into the 16-passenger bus; the vehicles almost immediately caught fire. Video taken at the scene graphically shows the flames engulfing the vehicles under plumes of smoke as both bystanders and first responders rush to offer assistance. Ms. Hester-Villalobos was rushed to a local hospital along with her husband and son; eight of the people on the Super Transportation of Florida bus were also injured.

The boy in the SUV supposedly told investigators that his mother fell asleep while driving after a long day at the theme park.

Fatigued Driving

More than one-third of drivers admit they have been so tired while operating a motor vehicle that the fell asleep; roughly twice that number admit to being tired enough that their driving skills were impaired. As a rule, drowsy driving statistics are probably understated, because they depend on drivers to self-report their fatigue; moreover, some law enforcement agencies do not even have a code for drowsiness-related vehicle wrecks.

To ward off the effects of fatigue, some drivers roll down the windows, turn up the air conditioner, or turn on the radio. While these little tricks may help drivers feel more alert, at least for a few minutes, they do not remove the effects of fatigue. These effects can be compared with alcohol consumption. In fact:

  • Driving after 18 consecutive waking hours is the equivalent of a .04 BAC, which is more than enough to establish impairment in civil court, and
  • Driving after 24 consecutive waking hours is the equivalent of a .10 BAC, which is over the legal limit in Florida.

If a car crash victim is seriously injured, damages include compensation for both economic losses, such as lost wages, and noneconomic losses, including emotional distress. Punitive damages are also available, if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) showed no regard whatsoever for the safety and property of others.

Legal Issues in a Negligence Case

The insurance company nearly always tries to shift some or all of the blame to the victim, in order to reduce the amount of damages or even deny compensation altogether. Two of these defenses – comparative fault and sudden emergency – have been discussed in previous posts. Another one, the last clear chance doctrine, completely flips liability for damages.

This defense often applies in wrong-way and rear-end crashes, in which the defendant is normally clearly at fault. But if the jury determines that the plaintiff had a legitimate opportunity to avoid the crash, by slowing down, changing lanes, or making other evasive maneuvers, yet failed to take such action, the defendant may be excused from liability.

For the defense to apply, the other party must have the last clear chance to avoid the crash, as opposed to the last possible chance.

Rely on Experienced Attorneys

Serious car crashes involve major injuries and complex legal issues. For a free consultation with an aggressive personal injury lawyer in Orlando, contact Reed & Reed today, because you have a limited amount of time to act.

From our office in Brandon, Reed & Reed helps clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida.

Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations

Brandon

101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521

Lakeland

248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716

Tampa

401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682

Clearwater

13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915

Memberships

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from www.NeedReed.com

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2017 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab