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Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett | Legal Blog

Jun  28,  2017
By Mary Ann Bounacos

Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, is proud to announce that Edward D. Carlson, Jr., the founding member of this firm, is honored by The Florida Bar for 50 years of dedication to the practice of law. 

Edward Carlson founded the firm with Paul Meissner in 1971. He and his wife, Phyllis, have 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren. Edward has served as a municipal judge for the cities of Belleair and Safety Harbor, Florida. He continues to fight for the injured and proudly serves his profession and the community. 

Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, edward carlson, florida bar
Posted in Announcements|Personal Injury|Community
Aug  22,  2016
As Labor Day is historically one of the most frequent times of the year for motor vehicle accidents across the country, we would like to remind our clients and friends to drive carefully.

Driving defensively and understanding the particular risks can dramatically sharpen one’s ability so you can navigate dangerous situations due to the influx of inexperienced teen drivers, distracted tourists and holiday participants. 

There are too many residents who need a personal injury attorney directly after the Labor Day holiday each year. By educating the public about the risks involved and how to avoid them, I am hopeful for fewer injured Tampa Bay area residents this September.

Teen drivers are one main cause of accidents because of their lack of experience, limited knowledge of driving, potential poor judgment and peer pressure. Drivers between 15 and 20 account for more auto fatalities than any other age group, and property damage on the road increases dramatically with a teen behind the wheel. Another high risk is distracted driving by holiday participants, tourists and people who text while driving. One report estimated that more than 10 percent of drivers involved in crashes resulting in loss of life were distracted at the time of the incident.

In order to protect yourself and passengers in the vehicle, you should drive at slower speeds, be aware of your surroundings, wear a seat belt and give yourself extra time for traffic delays. If faced with a dangerous situation, stay calm and react with swift thinking and sharp reflexes. 

The most important mistake to avoid post-accident is not referencing an experienced attorney to keep protected from any legal harm of the other party and their insurance company. 
Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, personal injury, automobile accidents, labor day
Posted in Announcements|Personal Injury
Aug  07,  2016
By Paul Meissner
August is, the most frequent month for car accidents Tampa Bay personal injury attorney Paul A. Meissner, Jr. cautions Florida motor vehicle drivers on what to do following a car accident, including common mistakes to avoid. As recent data underscores the high risk for car accidents in Florida this summer, Meissner explains this includes a high risk of legal mistakes that could lead to further harm in an accident’s aftermath.“Even the safest driver sometimes cannot avoid an accident,” said Meissner. “It is critical for Floridians to understand how to react when involved in a car accident.”

According to a recent study by the Auto Insurance Center, Florida is home to two of the deadliest highways in the country including Interstate-10. The report also explains that August and July are the most dangerous months for car accidents. Although there is a high chance Floridians may find themselves in an accident, there are major legal mistakes to avoid that may protect drivers from further legal harm, including:

  •     Admitting fault
  •     Not gathering information
  •     Not seeking medical treatment
  •     Not documenting damages
  •     Talking to the other insurance company
  •     Not retaining a lawyer

 Drivers may avoid a multitude of grief when involved in an accident by keeping those easy tips in mind. Drivers have a much better claim report by collecting the other party’s name, driver’s license number, contact and insurance information, and vehicle make, model and license plate number. In addition, it is critical that all parties involved in the accident seek medical attention right away, even if physical signs of injury may not be apparent at the accident scene. Pain often occurs days later and injuries can be overlooked.

The most important mistake to avoid is trying to handle the accident alone, without legal counsel.

Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, paul meissner, personal injury, auto accident, auto injury
Posted in Personal Injury
Jun  09,  2016
By Jennifer A. Burns

Florida drivers know that buckling up is the law. Yet fatal crashes continue to increase, as violators fail to put on their seatbelt when driving or riding in a vehicle. While statistics show that drivers and passengers have been buckling up more consistently during daytime hours, evening and night time fatal crashes between the hours of 6 pm and 5:59 am have continued to increase.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has instituted a national seatbelt enforcement mobilization period beginning May 23rd and ending June 5th, 2016. The mobilization was created to enforce seat belt laws 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Local law enforcement agencies will be joining forces and patrolling “Coast to Coast” on major interstates including I-10, I-40, I-70, and I-80. The objective of the patrol is to remind citizens that law enforcement’s priority is safety.

The Click It or Ticket campaign highlights key issues in traffic safety. Research conducted by the NHTSA showed, while 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. Even more tragic, in some states the rate is as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. These startling statistics are the key reason the enforcement mobilization period was formed.

“Buckling up is one of the easiest ways to put your life out of danger’s way,” remarked attorney Jennifer Burns, “No one regrets putting on their seatbelt.” Jennifer Burns is one of Tampa Bay’s foremost personal injury attorneys, handling car accident claims with tenacity and compassion.

Law enforcement agencies will issue citations to all seatbelt law violators pulled over during the Click it or Ticket time period. Local police are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for those without seatbelts. For more information on the NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket campaign please visit

Tampa Bay’s leading personal injury attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. are available 24/7 to address questions and concerns you may have regarding legal issues. The firm handles all types of legal matters, including personal injury, family law, DUI defense, Social Security, criminal defense, immigration, and workers' compensation. 

Tags: carlson meissner, jennifer burns, tampa accident attorneys, florida seatbelt laws,
Posted in Announcements|Personal Injury|Community|Drivers License
May  31,  2016
By Paul Meissner

May is motorcycle awareness month and the perfect time to review precautionary driving measures. As the weather warms up, more and more motorcycle enthusiasts will fill the roads across the U.S.

Motorcycle awareness month was created to stop the decline of helmet usage, and decrease the number of motorcycle crashes and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association focuses on equipping motorists with the tools necessary to anticipate and respond to motorcyclists on the road. By gaining a better understanding of a motorcyclist’s visibility and weaving techniques, motorists will have a better plan of action when sharing the road.

Tips for motorists approved by the NHTSA include:

Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.

If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Ensure the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.

Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.

Always allow increased follow distance when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:

Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.

Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.

Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.

Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.

Ride in the middle of the lane for maximum visibility to drivers.

Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, motorcycle safety, helmets
Posted in Personal Injury|News and Media
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