LMW’s Monthly Newsletter: February 

 April 6, 2015

By  LMW Attorneys

March-Is-Pedestrian-And-Bicycle-Safety-MonthMarch Is Pedestrian And Bicycle Safety Month

According to the Department of Transportation, safety does not happen by accident. Because March is bicycle safety month, Sheriff Nocco is using a $25,227 grant to initiate a campaign to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Pasco County counted 122 traffic accidents in 2014 involving pedestrians. These accidents resulted in serious injuries and 18 deaths.

Pedestrian and bicycle accidents usually result in serious injuries or death at a higher rate than any other type of accident.

The statistics in our state are alarming. In 2012, there were 473 pedestrian fatalities, 7,413 pedestrian injuries, 116 bicycle fatalities and 6,058 bicyclist injuries. These rates are double the national average for pedestrians and nearly triple the national average for bicyclists.

These statistics have motivated the state to issue grants to focus attention and increase awareness through safety education and enforcement efforts.

We are all pedestrians. As parents, grandparents, caregivers, neighbors, guardians, you want to ensure that your children, aging parents or yourselves are safe whenever they or you leave home. School children are known to be impulsive. They need guidance and supervision while playing or walking near traffic. They need to know the rules and to follow them.

There are numerous resources available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed on our website. Make yourself and your family aware of the rules for pedestrians and bicyclists. Let’s work together to make our county a safer place for both pedestrians and bicyclists and lower those alarming statistics.

Related article: Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers

One of the contributing factors to pedestrian and bicycle accidents besides alcohol, is the use of cell phones and music players while walking or driving. One way to lower your risk of an accident when you are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle is to obey the laws.

A review of the actions that could make a difference are listed here:

– Be on the lookout for pedestrians especially in hard to see conditions such as dark or unlit streets, bad weather or fog
– Stop before the crosswalk line and be prepared to stop when turning or entering into a crosswalk
– Be especially careful when backing up

– Follow the rules of the road
– Cross only at crosswalks or intersections
– Obey signs and signals
– Walk as far from traffic as possible when there is no sidewalk and walk facing traffic
– Pay attention
– Put your cell phone away, this is not the time to be texting or talking on your phone
– Wear bright clothing
– Carry a flashlight if you are walking at night

– Teach your children the rules and how to keep themselves safe
– Organize a tour of the walking routes in your neighborhood and go over a checklist of the safety measures
– Do not assume that your children know the pedestrian safety rules

Pasco Jury Awards LMW Client $320,000 in Strip Club Parking Lot Accident

Thanksgiving 2014 was a busy time for the attorneys and staff of LMW Attorneys, preparing for a grueling 5-day jury trial in Pasco’s Circuit Court, which started the Monday after turkey day. The jury heard testimony about the firm’s client whose pick-up truck was struck in the driver’s side by a taxi cab in a parking lot. The client sustained injuries to his neck, back and shoulder, resulting in a shoulder surgery, and on-going pain management.

The difficult part was that the site of the collision was a strip club parking lot, about which the insurance defense attorney reminded the jury at every opportunity. Furthermore, the taxi company argued that the pick-up truck actually backed into the taxi cab, instead of the other way around, arguing that the Plaintiff caused the accident.

Attorneys Craig Laporte and Frances Werner-Watkins introduced testimony and evidence from an accident reconstruction engineer and three orthopedic surgeons to support their client’s claim. The defense attorney countered with the testimony of their orthopedic surgeon and a bio-mechanical engineer. Their engineer testified the accident could not have occurred the way the Plaintiff contended, and that the pick-up truck backed into the stationary taxi cab, and that LMW’s client could not have sustained the injuries complained of in this “strip club parking lot fender bender.” Their orthopedic testified that the Plaintiff suffered no permanent injuries in the collision.

After four hours of deliberating the 3 man/3 woman jury returned a verdict vindicating the Plaintiff and finding the taxi cab driver and company 100% at fault for the collision. They also found that the Plaintiff suffered permanent injuries in the crash, and awarded the Plaintiff over $320,000.00 in damages.

In The Community

Pace-Center-For-Girls-Healing-The-Heart-BreakfastPace Center For Girls Healing The Heart Breakfast

The Pace Center for Girls’ Healing the Heart Breakfast was held on Thursday, February 12th to help benefit the school.
Pace Center for Girls is a statewide school that is designed to help young girls find their self-confidence and voice so that they can overcome any hardship they have been faced with in life. This year several girls told their story about how Pace gave them the ability to believe in themselves. The safe and caring environment enable them to succeed both academically and emotionally. Attorney Frances Werner-Watkins is honored to help with this annual event and Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins P.A. was one of the sponsors.

2nd-Annual-Pasco-County-Law-Enforcement-Family-Fun-Day2nd Annual Pasco County Law Enforcement Family Fun Day

On April 25th, we acknowledge Pasco County’s Law Enforcement Officers and their families for their service with a Family Event. Our firm is the prime sponsor and host of the upcoming 2nd Annual Pasco County Law Enforcement Family Fun Day, an event that includes fun activities for kids and adults alike. Last year over 300 officers and their families enjoyed a fun filled day at the FOP Lodge in Land O’ Lakes. Sponsorships pay for the day and last year, after expenses, we were able to donate over $6,000 to the Pasco County Fallen Officer Memorial Fund. We expect to be able to pay for the event and make another donation to the Memorial Fund this year.

Upcoming Events

March 6th & 7th – We will be participating in the Central Pasco Chamber’s Community Fun Day Expo where local businesses showcase their value to the Community. Plan to attend if you can and enjoy fun, games, food trucks, prizes and the opportunity to see the great businesses & services that support our local community. The Expo will be held at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. Friday, March 6th 4:00 – 7:00 PM and Saturday, March 7th 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The event is FREE & fun! For more information visisit www.CentralPascoChamber.com.

April 11th – Leadership Pasco’s Taste of Pasco is a fun day for families and we sponsor this event. Plan to attend and enjoy this tasty and very fun event which is held at the Rotary Pavilion on State Road 52. Go to their website to purchase your tickets. www.tasteofpasco.com

On March 12, 2015, the offices of Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A. hosted an after-hours event to bring together members of the Pasco County judiciary, local law enforcement officers, attorneys, family and friends to remember Pete Proly. Pete’s passing has left a void in the criminal justice system. Over 70 guests enjoyed the shared stories and memories of this respected attorney.

His attending physician, Dr. Anasetti, told the crowd that during Pete’s courageous battle with leukemia he expressed his gratitude for each additional day his treatment gave him to play with his grandchildren and to spend with his wife and family.

Thanks to all of Pete’s friends who came to the celebration, we were able to donate $4,820 to Dr. Anasetti and the Moffitt Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Program.