Don’t Go It Alone if You’ve Been Hurt in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Your best bet for staying safe on the roads today is to be constantly aware of your surroundings and other vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes. Sometimes even the greatest vigilance on our part is not enough though, leaving many in the US—and Florida—the unexpected victims of car crashes. And no matter the extent of your injuries, being involved in any type of car accident can be traumatic.

Car Crash Fatalities & Injuries Have Continued to Increase

Hazards on the road today may include everything from poor weather to drivers who are novices, tired or under the influence, speeding, and generally negligent. Even though more and more attention is being given in the media to what we need to do to stay safe on the roads, the numbers of crashes have been escalating, resulting in a recent high that shows the biggest increase in 50 years.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a study from 2015 showed that ‘the number of passenger car and light-truck occupant fatalities is at its highest since 2009.’ Their 2015 study also showed that over two million people were injured in passenger vehicles alone, showing a 4.5 percent increase.

Serious Injuries Require a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have sustained a serious injury in a car accident, this could be a trauma that affects you for a long time, or permanently. Because of that, it is imperative to recover all compensation that is due to you from your insurer. You may be quite vulnerable after a car crash, especially if you are in pain from your injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you in understanding the laws regarding how quickly you must attain medical treatment and what you should expect from your insurance company.

Unfortunately, if you are trying to handle a claim on your own, you may be dealing with delays, a multitude of questions and ongoing complicated correspondence, and the resulting, deep disappointment of being offered a paltry amount for compensation.

Experience Means Everything

No matter how you sustained injuries, working with the insurance company can be complex. The insurance companies are adept at paying out as little as possible. This is their area of expertise, and if you have a serious injury, you will benefit from the help of an experienced attorney you feel comfortable with, and one who can work with you from the beginning of to the conclusion of your case.

It’s also very likely that the insurance company will take your case more seriously if you are being represented by a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you regarding litigation in Florida, advise you about all the proper steps to take for your case, as well as what documentation, investigation, and more are required.

Contact Us For Help Now

The personal injury attorneys at Heintz & Becker will take your case personally, using their experience to deal with the insurance companies and make sure you are compensated fairly. We handle all types of Florida automobile accidents and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us today to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle accident attorney at our firm.

Call now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

Stopped, or at a Red Light—Can I Send a Quick Text?

We all have that friend or family member who rarely picks up their phone or returns a text. These are the people you probably don’t have to worry about on the road; however, most of us have a great sense of urgency overall during the day with places to go, so much to do, and often an overwhelming amount of communication interrupting our activities. This can lead to multi-tasking in the car while we are away from the office or home, even with so many warnings today regarding the dangers of texting while behind the wheel. In the US, over 1,000 people are hurt and 8 people killed each day because of distracted driving.

Behind the Wheel? The Phone Can Wait!

According to the Florida DMV, in the time that you take just to look at a text while driving, you’ve traveled nearly 290 feet. It’s frightening to think of all that could potentially happen during those seconds, and distance, while your eyes are off the road. But what about when you are at a complete stop? Many of us are often tempted to use that extra one to two minutes to make a call or answer a text, making the most of our time in a busy day; or, you may just be bored sitting at the light. And while it’s not illegal in Florida to text while stopped, this is still highly distracted behavior that could have negative consequences.

Texting & Driving is Illegal in Florida

As of July 1, 2013, Florida Statute 316.305 (also known as the ‘Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law’) made it illegal to text while operating a motor vehicle, with fines being introduced for such infractions. Currently if you are cited for texting while you are driving your car, the first violation is $30 and the second is $60. Points may be added to your license, your insurance rates may increase, and the bottom line is that texting in the car is not worth it in any case.

Texting at Red Lights May Be Legal, But Still a Bad Idea

If you are stopped or stationary at a red light, by Florida law you are not considered to be ‘operating’ the vehicle. That doesn’t mean that taking your eyes off the road and becoming engrossed in a text, email, or message of any sort is a good idea though. Distracted drivers often tend to drift along slowly, or stop and start—and at a red light, this adds to the potential danger of being rear-ended in traffic. It’s also easier to become confused and go just because you see other, parallel traffic moving ahead. Once drivers get used to texting at a red light or a stop sign, they may begin to carry that behavior over while traveling at slower speeds, and eventually in regular traffic too.

Watch Out for Other Distracted Drivers

It may seem awfully important to respond to a friend or family member while on the road, but nearly any message can wait while you take time to get to your destination, or pull over in the meantime. Giving your full attention to the road also means engaging in defensive driving. If you see another driver obviously engaged in distracted driving, be sure to slow your speed and give them a wide berth. If they are weaving dangerously and endangering other drivers, it may even be necessary to call 911.

Contact Us If You Have Been Injured

Have you or a loved one suffered injury due to a distracted driver’s negligence? If so, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury law firm that will look out for the needs of you and your family. The lawyers at Heintz & Becker have been helping clients in the Bradenton-Sarasota area for over 30 years with car, truck and motorcycle injury accidents, as well as cases involving other forms of negligence. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!


All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for your enjoyment and informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury Case?

If you have been in an accident, you may be bruised up and hurting—or even in the hospital—and wondering if you should contact a lawyer for help. If there is any question, you should call an experienced personal injury law firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible.

Is This Negligence?

In examining what makes a valid personal injury case, the biggest concern is if you were hurt due to negligence by another party—and how badly. If you were in a car or motorcycle crash—or any accident at all—the injuries being reported for the case should be a direct result of the accident. Personal injury cases may be caused by those who are hurt at resorts (more common in Florida, and often in swimming areas), in the workplace, by defective products, or more. Your child may have been hurt in an accident at a daycare center or one of your elders may have been injured in a nursing home or during a wheelchair transport.

What do I do next?

Personal injury cases often involve traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, serious burns, stitches, and more. The treatment required may be long-term, and one or more surgeries may be involved. Settlements for these types of injuries may be significant—but unfortunately, those hurt are suffering from great physical challenge and are usually burdened with large medical bills, the inability to go to work, and/or have difficulty leading their lives as they did before their injury. These injuries may lead to permanent disability and/or disfigurement.

When you meet with a personal injury attorney, they will want to know who caused the accident: who was liable? That will need to be established, along with how the other party was negligent. Do both parties have insurance? The attorney will be able to calculate damages you may be owed as they measure your financial losses.

The experience to help you

For decades, personal injury attorneys at Heintz & Becker have been helping individuals with many kinds of injuries as well as representing those who have lost family members because of wrongful death. Contact us now so we can review your case and discuss all your options with you. Call now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!


All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for your enjoyment and informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Boating & Drinking: Not a Good Mix

Sunshine. Friends and family. Fun on the water. In Florida, we all know this is a great way to spend any day, whether you are out fishing, snorkeling, jet-skiing, or just pleasure cruising. The goal is to relax and spend time with people you enjoy, while still making safety a top priority.

Alcohol Use Can Ruin a Good Day on the Water

As with any recreational scenario, all too often alcohol enters the picture and a good day spirals out of control, especially after a full day of activity and exposure to the sun. While passengers enjoying alcohol in moderation is acceptable, the ‘captain’ should consider drinking and boating to be just as dangerous as drinking and then driving a car. While it may be more difficult to assess whether someone is boating under the influence, the consequences can be just as catastrophic, or worse.

Statistics released for 2015 showed that there were 4,158 accidents involving boats in the US. There were 626 deaths, and 2,603 injuries reported by the Coast Guard—along with $42 million in damage overall. Out of the deaths reported, 22 were children under 13. In 17 percent of these cases, alcohol was listed as the primary factor. Continue reading

Motorcyclists: Defensive Driving is More Important Than Ever!

If you are or know an avid motorcycle enthusiast, there is usually at least one ‘accident story’—and often, it’s a terrifying one. Riding a motorcycle offers numerous benefits, from greater fuel efficiency and easier maintenance to the thrill of being outdoors and enjoying a sense of community with others who ride. Most of us are aware of the intrinsic dangers of riding a motorcycle too though. Aside from dangers associated with traveling at high speeds or around curves, or battling bad weather, motorcyclists can often become the odd man out in normal traffic. Continue reading

Five Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Most of us spend a substantial amount of our time in cars, whether commuting to and from work, carting kids to school and baseball or soccer games, or running around town doing errands. In a year, the average driver travels almost 11,000 miles and is in the car nearly 300 hours. And while you may be worried about tired or drunk drivers, inexperienced carloads of teens on the road, or even having to slam on the brakes for wildlife on back roads, the greatest threat to your safety on the road is one that only seems to be increasing: distracted drivers. Because of this, it’s very important to be on the defensive when driving, keeping an eye out for drivers who don’t seem to be giving their full attention to the road, and making sure that texts or calls don’t distract you as well. Continue reading

Walk. Or Maybe Don’t Walk

Clean transportation at its finest – your legs! But is it worth it? It seems not. Florida and Delaware are the two worst states to go for a walk in according to recent statistics. Recent numbers released by the GHSA (Governor’s Highway Safety Association) say there were almost 6,000 pedestrian fatalities between January and June, 2016. That’s an 11% increase in pedestrian involved deaths on roadways – in the first half of the year! Numbers haven’t increased that much in nearly 40 years.

Researchers blame old roads and outdated designs that don’t make accommodations for today’s car-less society for this rise. “Florida and Delaware don’t have a monopoly on drunk or distracted pedestrians who just happen to be jaywalking in dark clothing,” said a Transportation expert to CNN Tech.

Continue reading

What Constitutes Negligence in a Boating Accident

Boating accidents happen all the time. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,158 recreational boating accidents in 2015. These resulted in 2,613 injuries, 626 deaths, and roughly $42 million in property damage.

Many of these accidents were caused by operator negligence.  Negligence in a boating accident can result in spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death.

If you’ve been in a boating accident, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.  Contact Heintz & Becker and schedule a free consultation with one of our boat accident attorneys. Continue reading

Hyundai and Kia Announce Massive Recalls Coming

Hyundai and Kia Motors will be recalling nearly 1.5 million cars and SUVs due to engine malfunctions. In the U.S. alone, 1.19 million vehicles are being recalled. The recalled vehicles consist of the 2013 -2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, along with the 2011-2014 Kia Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento, and 2011-2013 Sportage. All of the defective vehicles are equipped with 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter engines. Continue reading

Silicone Breast Implant Advisory

Breast implant complications are once again making news. Last week the FDA announced an increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) for women with breast implants. You may recall the previous cancer linked recalls from the early 1990’s of silicone breast implants. Silicone implants were thought to be linked to an increased risk of cancer however, in 2006 the FDA returned them to the market after definitive evidence of a link was not established. There has been backlash and criticism since that time. Even after being made available again, the FDA was warning women of the possible increased risk they faced for developing ALCL if they had breast implants. Continue reading

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