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Sarasota Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Heintz & Becker Boating Safety Series Part 9: Paddleboard Safety

Boaters and beachgoers surely have noticed that paddleboarding, standing on a board, similar to a surfboard, and propelling oneself using a long paddle, has become extremely popular. In fact, paddleboarding is currently the fastest growing watersport in the world. Even so, there is little information available on the subject of paddleboard safety.

Urgent Warning: Exploding E-Cigarette Batteries Resulting in Serious Injuries

Some e-cigarette batteries are exploding without warning and causing blindness, serious burns and permanent injuries. A teenager in New York was blinded in one eye and may have permanent damage to his hands after an e-cigarette he was testing at a mall kiosk in Brooklyn exploded. In Florida, a 21 year old man almost died after his e-cigarette exploded in his face, leaving him with third degree burns to his entire face, serious burns to his esophagus and battery acid in his lungs. Another man from Longboat Key was hospitalized with serious burns and required skin grafts after his e-cigarette exploded in the pocket of his shorts. These are just a few examples of the growing number of exploding e-cigarette tragedies which have prompted numerous lawsuits and calls for mandatory consumer warnings and regulation of the e-cigarette industry.

Heintz & Becker Golf Cart Series Part 7: Buying Insurance for your Golf Cart

We've arrived at everyone's favorite subject - insurance. Unfortunately, Florida is plagued with high numbers of drivers who have little insurance or none at all. If one of these drivers runs into you, you will need to look to your own insurance for coverage. For all of you who just want to know the bottom line, here it is: regardless of whether or not it is required by law, in order to protect yourself and your assets you should purchase the following coverages for your golf cart or Low Speed Vehicle and make sure it is listed as a covered vehicle on the printed policies: personal injury protection (commonly called "PIP" or "No-Fault" insurance), property damage coverage, bodily injury liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (commonly called "UM" insurance). If you want the best possible coverage, you can add an "Umbrella Policy" to your list.

Manatee County Upgrades to Next Generation 911 System with New Timesaving Features

In an effort to keep up with the times and be able to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible, Manatee County has completed the first phase of major 911 System upgrades to its 911 Call Center. The new call handling system is called VESTA 911 and uses touchscreen technology to cut down on the time it takes 911 operators to send information to first responders.

Heintz & Becker Golf Cart Series Part 6: "GolfBoards" Bring Excitement and New Safety Issues to Golfers

A revolution is underway at the Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch that lets golfers "surf the turf." It's called 'GolfBoarding" and it's the latest golfing craze thanks to the invention of the "GolfBoard" by Don Wildman, who created Bally Total Fitness, and Laird Hamilton, a well-known professional surfer. For those invested in the golf industry, the hope is that the trendy machine that resembles a giant skateboard on wheels will attract more young players and revitalize excitement in the game.

Heintz & Becker Boating Safety Series Part 8: New Law Signed after Heartbreaking loss of two Florida Teens

Last July, two Florida teenagers, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, set out for a day of boating from the Jupiter Inlet and were never heard from again. Days of searching and hoping turned up nothing. What happened to the teens and their 19-foot, single-engine boat remains a mystery. Only one thing is known for certain - searchers would have had a better chance of finding the boys if their boat had been equipped with an emergency indicator radio beacon (EPIRB) that could have signaled their location.

Heintz & Becker Golf Cart Series Part 5: Safety Issues Associated With Golf Carts and Low Speed Vehicles

The fun, convenience and economy of getting around in a golf cart or Low Speed Vehicle can be very appealing. But, there is a major catch. Golf carts and Low Speed Vehicles are just not designed to be as crashworthy as cars or to offer the same kind of protection against injury to their occupants. So, if you get in an accident in one of these alternative vehicles, you are more likely to be ejected and/or suffer serious injuries than if you had been in a traditional automobile. Over 10,000 golf cart related injuries send people to the emergency room in the U.S. every year with head trauma, fractures and other serious injuries.

Heintz & Becker Brain Injury Series Part 8: How Sleep May Improve Post-Concussion Recovery Results

As we saw in our last post the very first thing recommended by doctors after a concussion is "rest and recovery," including getting as much sleep as possible.  Indeed, the best course of action for someone who has suffered a blow to the head and has concussion symptoms is to be evaluated by a brain injury specialist immediately and to implement a plan designed to give some the best chances for a successful recovery which starts off with maximizing sleep and restful activities.

Pirates Charities and Bradenton Boosters Giving Back to Local Community

There's a lot more to having the Pittsburg Pirates in Bradenton than baseball.  Pirates Charities and the Bradenton Boosters are also hard at work helping to make a difference in our community.  As part of Pirates Charities Adopt-a-School program, which was created in 2014, the Pittsburgh Pirates have entered into a partnership with the Mosaic Company and the Manatee Education Foundation to provide $30,000 in support to six Manatee County elementary and middle schools in the coming year.  The funds will be utilized to help purchase items such as school supplies and books for Wakeland Elementary School of International Studies, Ballard Elementary School, G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary School, James Tillman Elementary Magnet School, Myakka City Elementary and Martha B. King Middle School.  Wakeland Elementary will also receive help aimed at improving its reading and literacy initiative.

Heintz & Becker Brain Injury Series Part 7: The NFL Concussion Protocol is Subject of Post-Season Review

Throughout the 2015 NFL season, fans were frequently advised that a player was entering the "concussion protocol" and would need to be "cleared" before returning to play.  Based on the observations of the sideline staff and a spotter located in the press box above the field, players will be evaluated on the sideline and removed from play if a concussion was suspected.  If confirmed, players then enter the concussion protocol.  It's been estimated that close to 200 concussions were suffered by NFL players this past season, and in some of those cases the NFL concussion protocol missed its mark.  One of those cases involved the failure of sideline staff to remove Rams quarterback Case Keenum from the game after his head was slammed to the ground in the Rams' Week 11 game against the Baltimore Ravens.  Another case involved the "clearance" of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by team doctors just days after suffering a concussion, which was reversed the following day after an independent neurologist concluded that it was too early to clear him to return to competition.

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