Tag Archives: drunk driver crashes

Throwback Interview with Karen Mertes on Bay News 9

Karen Mertes, Founder and President, Fulfill Your Destiny, a 501(c)(3) non-profit serving on behalf of the Traumatically Brain Injured in Tampa Bay honored as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero in 2012.

karen Mertes Author

“As my life hung in the balance after a tragic car accident caused by a drunk driver, I promised to spend the rest of my life helping others if I were to survive.”

Visit http://fulfillyourdestiny.org/ to make a donation and to learn more about this Tampa non-profit.

Karen Mertesa Drunk Driving Victim herself and creator of PLAINTIFF 101” shares her story with us of an unfortunate circumstance. She takes an in-depth look inside the courtroom at the coverage of the legal and technical issues that arise in a drunk driving case. Karen wrote “Plaintiff 101” to serve as a guide to assist both client and lawyer through civil litigation during a personal injury lawsuit.

For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

Click here to >>ORDER<< your copy TODAY!

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Sobering Truth about Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths this Cinco de Mayo

Any time alcohol is involved in a celebration, there’s the potential for a high number of alcohol-related traffic deaths. Being that Cinco de Mayo is on a Saturday this year, drinking violations jump more than 75% if it falls on the weekend, compared to 17% on a weekday.


If you are planning on going out and celebrating, be sure to have a designated driver or utilize a ca, Uber or Lyft. Karen Mertes has had her life dramatically affected by a drunk driver – don’t put some else’s life in danger because of negligence.

Karen Mertes Author

“As my life hung in the balance after a tragic car accident caused by a drunk driver, I promised to spend the rest of my life helping others if I were to survive. After my four year long litigation battle, my attorney husband and I  decided to write, “Plaintiff 101” to help other personal injury victims. Being involved in a life-changing car accident is devastating. You deserve to get your life back to normal, yet the justice system is not an easy one to navigate.  That’s what this book is for. To give you inside information and what your lawyer will want you to know in order to have a wining case.

Despite sustaining a traumatic brain injury from my accident, I am the founder and president of Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Inspiring stories of people who have been helped can be found at www.fulfillyourdestiny.org under the Who We’ve Helped tab.

The  proceeds from the sale of this book are directly donated to Fulfill Your Destiny.  We hope you find the information contained within these pages of our book very insightful.  Please know that your donation for this book is used to help others through Fulfill Your Destiny.”

To get your copy of Plaintiff 101, click here!

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Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver


Getting hit by a drunk driver can be one of the scariest moments of your life, but it is important to remember the steps to take after an accident has happened. If you are conscious and able to get yourself to a safe place after the accident, proceed to take these steps—

Pretty young woman making a decision with arrows and question ma

1. Call the Police so that the accident is documented.

Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 if anyone may be injured.


2. Cooperate with the Responding Officers.


3. Collect as much Information and Evidence from the scene as possible.

If you have a smartphone with a camera, snap some photos of the accident scene. They’ll come in handy during the claim process. Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:

  • Driver and passenger names
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance info
  • Makes and models of all vehicles involved
  • Contact info for any eyewitnesses
  • Location of the accident
  • The name and badge number of any responding police officers

4. Seek Medical treatment as soon as possible.

5. Grab a Copy of Plaintiff 101

Wanting to read on the go, on your phone, computer or tablet? You can grab a copy of Plaintiff 101 on Kindle today! plaintiff-101-cover-audio

#1 Amazon Best Seller! As seen on Daytime TV, ABC & Bay News 9.
As my life hung in the balance after a tragic car accident caused by a drunk driver, I promised to spend the rest of my life helping others if I were to survive. Despite sustaining a traumatic brain injury, I am the founder and president of Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. This book is to help other personal injury survivors contemplating litigation, or already involved in litigation. You should be able to navigate these troubled waters ever so slightly easier because of our experience and advice. We’re hopeful that plaintiffs’ attorneys will see the benefit of providing this book as a teaching tool to their clients so as a team you can win your case!

  1. Grab your copy of the Amazon Best Seller here!

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Horror Stories of Teens Hitting the Road

We all can relate to the stories that are in Good Housekeeping’s video below of the terrors of either our parents teaching us how to drive- or teaching our own children how to drive.

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We need to prepare our future generations of drivers for the dangers of the road, and how they are responsible for not only their lives but those in the cars around them. Be a defensive driver, never drive drunk and always be aware of those around you —

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The Sobering Look Behind The Effects of Drunk Driving

Not many people think about what could happen when they drive drunk. You could not only ruin your live, but the lives of those in your vehicle and ones that you could possible have a collision with.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 3 traffic deaths in the United States involve drunk drivers. From 2003-2012, 8,476 drunk driving deaths occurred in the state of Florida. Although sobering statistics have the power to encourage better choices in drivers, sometimes putting a face to the figures is much more effective, and real.

karen-mertes-jacqui-saburidoTake the story of Jacqueline Saburido for example, who was burned alive by a drunk driver. Jacqueline is one of the most popular faces for drunk driving.

On September 19th, 1999, 20-year-old Jacqueline was involved in a fatal car crash along with four other friends. The group of friends were leaving a birthday party when their car was hit head-on by an 18-year-old drunk driver, who was traveling home after partying with friends.

The car in which Jacqueline rode in caught fire, causing her to suffer third degrees burns over 60% of her body. The burns were so severe that she experienced the loss of her skin, hair, nose, ears, and much of her vision. Altogether, she had endured over 120 operations.

Two of her friends were killed in the crash.

karen-mertes-jacqui-saburido-2Since being severely burned and disfigured in the crash, Jacqueline has bravely shared her story across America. In 2003, she made her first television appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, giving new meaning to what it means to be beautiful from the inside out.

She was later revealed as one of Oprah’s all-time favorite guests, of the 30,000 individuals she’s interviewed throughout the years. Her story continues to inspire many.

Jacqueline is not only the face of drunk drinking, but the face of survival.

“Plaintiff 101” is a survival story, and hopes to inspire victims of drunk driving and assist them through litigation.

Click here to >>ORDER<< your copy TODAY!

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Facebook LIVE has Proven to be Fatal for some Users

In the last few weeks two incidents have happened where drivers that were under the influence, got on Facebook LIVE to showoff to their ‘friends.’ In one of the events, a Florida man was on a mission to mow over beach goers in his car while driving drunk. The man was even drinking during the incident. During the Facebook LIVE stream, you could see police vehicles chasing him as he ran over beach chairs and swerved toward people. Luckily, the suspect was apprehended and no one was harmed.

facebook live

In the second incident, a California woman was driving under the influence, while she was fidgeting with her phone, she runs something over while on Facebook LIVE. The woman jumps out of the car and finds that she had run over her sister, killing her. It is clear that the driver was under the influence because she continues to stream her trying to wake her sister up and saying “I know I’m going to jail, I did it, RIP.” The video is extremely graphic, so if you do come across it, be aware. Check out the article here.


The importance of driving sober cannot be stressed enough. Although the trend of using Facebook LIVE for everyday events seems like a good idea, it DOES NOT make it okay to put yours or the lives of others at risk for ‘likes.’

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month – Take the Pledge!

During the month of April, several organizations unite under the same mission encourage everyone to drive with focus and to reach their destination safely.  Distracted Driving Awareness Month puts safety first and text messages, arriving on time, and friends under the influence in the back seat.

According to 2016 statistics, the National Safety Council estimates as many as 40,000 people died on U.S. roadways. That’s a 6% increase over 2015 statistics and 14% over 2014. The NDC says that’s the most dramatic two-year increase in 53 years.

What can you do? Turn off your phone. Designate a sober driver. Reduce your speed. Crying children can wait until you can pull over safely. Wear your seat belt.

Take the pledge!


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Drunk Driver from New Orleans’ Parade Crash blew 3x Over Legal Limit

mardi-gras-car-hits-crowdSuspect for New Orleans parade drunk driving crash was three times over legal limit after he was pulled over just hours after the crash that injured 28 people.

Neilson Rizzuto, 25, blew a blood alcohol content of .232. Rizzuto faces two counts of first-degree negligent vehicular injuring, hit-and-run driving causing serious injury and reckless operation of a motor vehicle. These charges could result in imprisonment for up to 20 years if convicted.

Drunk driving doesn’t just affect the driver, it affects everyone around them. When you drive drunk, you are putting the world at risk. Your entire life could change because of one selfish act. Karen Mertes’ did at the hands of a drunk driver. Think twice before getting into the car after having one too many.

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