Month: October 2015

Madison accident law firm Boller & Vaughan - Protecting the Rights of Injured People

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Costume Contact Lenses Lead To Serious Eye Injuries

Costume Contact Lenses Cause Serious Eye InjuriesThis message is so important that we’re skipping our customary lead-in language and getting right to the point: whatever you do this Halloween, DON’T use special effect contact lenses purchased without a prescription. The bizarre looking contact lenses being sold online, at flea markets and convenience stores are dangerous, illegal, and can cause serious eye injuries.

Sellers of illegal lenses are exploiting unsuspecting buyers without regard to their safety.  Illegal lenses have been known to cause eye infections, conjunctivitis, impaired vision and even blindness.  Trafficking in illegal lenses is big business.  Earlier this month, a cooperative operation of several U.S. agencies called “operation Double Visions” resulted in the seizure of more than 20,000 pairs of counterfeit and decorative contact lenses.

To be safe, people should only use FDA approved contact lenses that they buy through a licensed provider who requires a prescription.  The popular Halloween retailer Spirit Halloween offers FDA approved special effect lenses, but they won’t sell them to you without a prescription.  Given the risks of cheaper illegal lenses, pay the added cost and protect your eyes.

Parents, check with your kids to make sure they have not purchased any illegal lenses and make sure they understand the dangers.  If you or your child develops eye redness or irritation after using any of these lenses, get to an eye doctor immediately and take the lenses that were used with you.  If it turns out that the lenses were illegal, keep the lenses and all purchase information as evidence and report the illegal sale to the FDA.

Heintz & Becker is watching out for the safety of our readers and hopes that no one is injured this Halloween, whether by illegal special effect contacts lenses or through someone’s negligent driving or other actions.  We have taken special interest in eye injuries due to illegal contact lenses and urge you to call us if you or a member of your family has been harmed by the seller of illegal lenses.

Source(s): The Tribune, “Colorado ICE officials warning public about decorative contact lenses”, posted October 30, 2015; FDA, “Buying Contact Lenses”


Boating Safety Series Part 3: MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY . . .

Mayday (originally from the French term “venez m’aider” meaning “come help me”) is the universal distress signal to call out to marine rescue and other vessels that you are in imminent grave and life-threatening danger and need immediate assistance.  A Mayday call has absolute priority over all other transmissions.

Knowing how to make a Mayday call is essential and may someday save your life.  If you experience a life-threatening situation (fire, explosion, life-threatening injury or illness, taking on water, person overboard), here is a summary of the basic steps to make a Mayday call:

  • Tune to marine VHF radio channel one-six (16) or Frequency 161.400 or 156.800 MHz; marine MF/SSB on 2182 kHz.
  • Push the red “DSC” button, if you have one.  “DSC” or “Digital Select Calling” will automatically transmit your GPS coordinates to the coastguard along with a Mayday beacon.
  • Press and hold the talk button and CALMLY say “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday this is [your name] on the [vessel name] callsign [state your callsign].  Also give your Mobile Service Identity (MMSI)) if you are using a VHF-DSC radio.
  • Release the button momentarily and then continue “Mayday, this is [vessel name], we are located [give current position, speed and bearing], we are a [describe the type of boat] with [number of people on board] experiencing [describe emergency]. OVER.”
  • Wait for a response and follow instructions.  If you do not hear a response after 15 seconds, repeat the call again.
  • If you hear another vessel issue a Mayday call you should cease all transmissions capable of interfering with subsequent messages and continue to listen.  There is a possibility that YOU may be close enough to render assistance. If so, use channel 16 to transmit that you are responding to the distress.

Even more instructive than reading about how to make a Mayday call is listening to a real Mayday recording.  One of the most infamous Mayday calls from our area is the one made on May 9, 1980 when the carrier ship Summit Venture ran into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The impact caused a large section of the bridge to collapse and fall 165 feet into the waters of Tampa Bay, taking with it a Greyhound bus and six other vehicles, and causing the deaths of a total of 35 people. Click here to listen to the actual recording: Sunshine Skyway Disaster Mayday Call.


Heintz & Becker takes the issue of boating safety very seriously and encourages all boaters to follow our boating safety series.  Many boating accidents can be prevented through safety preparedness and education.  If you really want to make boating safety and being prepared a priority, why not make a commitment to participate in boater safety courses and engage in safe boating practices.  And remember, Heintz & Becker offers free, no-obligation consultations to anyone who has been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s fault.

Source(s): 1st Coast Guard District SPECIAL NOTICE TO MARINERS 2001 Edition, wikiHow, “How to Call Mayday from a Marine Vessel”, Wikipedia, “MV Summit Venture”

Motorcyclist Killed in Brandon – FHP Asks for Help to Locate Driver of Chevy Equinox

Heintz & Becker is reaching out to its readers to try to help the Florida Highway Patrol in its search for the driver of a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox who caused a deadly motorcycle crash on Brandon Boulevard on the evening of October 3, 2015. Around 8:30 p.m. the driver’s vehicle was seen pulling out of the parking lot of the Advanced Auto Parts at the intersection of Brandon Boulevard and Parsons Avenue right into the path of an approaching Honda motorcycle being driven by Scott Randall Caput, 50, of Brandon.

Caput swerved to avoid colliding with the Equinox, lost control and crashed. Caput, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital where he died a short time later. The driver of the Equinox did not stop and drove away down Brandon Boulevard.

Now, FHP authorities are searching for the Equinox and its driver and ask anyone with information to contact them at 813-631-4020. Are you the one who was driving the Equinox or do you know who that person is? If so, we urge you to do what is right and contact the FHP.

Accidents like the one that killed Scott Caput happen far too often, killing three motorcyclists in the U.S. on an average day. This latest accident serves as an important reminder for all motorists to remember to “Look Twice. Save a Life” when preparing to enter a roadway.

In 1974, injury attorney Steven E. Heintz was riding his own motorcycle when he was hit by a car that ran a red light and left with permanent injuries. He has spent his entire career ever since representing motorcycle accident victims and their families. He’s hoping that this message will reach the right readers and help the FHP find the driver of that 2011 Equinox for the family of Scott Caput.

If you or a member of your family is also a motorcycle accident victim, call us at 941-748-2916 or send us an e-mail to arrange to talk to an experienced accident lawyer. If you are unable to come to us, we can arrange to come to you.

Source(s):, “FHP search for driver who caused fatal Brandon motorcycle crash”, posted October 4, 2015; Tampa Tribune, “Brandon motorcyclist killed when SUV pulls in front of him, troopers say”, posted October 4, 2015; ABC Action News, “Driver sought after fatal Hillsborough accident”, posted October 4, 2015