Red Light Runner Causes Crash on U.S. 301 that leaves 87 Year Old Parrish Woman with Serious Injuries

By Steve Heintz of Heintz & Becker posted in Car Accidents on Monday, October 19, 2015.

Virginia Boria, 87, of Parrish was seriously injured on Saturday, October 17, 2015, after the driver of the car she was a passenger in ran a red light at the intersection of U.S. 301 and 60th Avenue East in Manatee County.  Diane Salmonsen, 57, of Parrish was headed west with Boria on U.S. 301 in a 2011 Toyota Rav4 when she ran a red light and crashed into a 2006 Honda Pilot driven by Clifford Temps, 77, of Bradenton.

This accident serves as one of the latest examples of a person being seriously injured or killed as the result of the actions of a red light runner.  Here is a list of things you may not realize about this serious issue:

  1. There are an average of 7 fatal crashes and over 1,000 injury crashes at signalized intersections across the U.S. on any given day.
  2. A person has a higher chance of being injured in a red-light running crash than any other type of crash.
  3. Red light running is the most common cause of all urban crashes.
  4. Someone runs a red light an average of every 20 minutes at urban intersections.
  5. Red light runners injure an estimated 165,000 motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians each year in the U.S.

Red light running accidents are preventable and you can be part of the solution.  Heintz & Becker asks everyone to exercise due care when driving and to not take chances at intersections.  Slowing down, instead of speeding up at yellow lights is one of the best ways to prevent accidents and injuries.  As to the drivers who continue to take chances by running red lights, Heintz & Becker stands ready to hold them accountable for the consequences of their actions.  If you or a member of your family is the victim of a red light runner, call the attorneys at Heintz & Becker – we want to hear from you.

Source(s): Herald-Tribune, “3 injured in accident on U.S. 301”, posted October 18, 2015; Federal Highway Administration, “Red-Light Running”

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.

The GolfBoard was named new golf product of the year in 2014 and is taking the greens by storm.

“It is a blast. I’m telling you”, says Legacy Golf Club General Manager Kevin Paschall. “We’ve had people from 16 to 85 already trying it out.”

GolfBoards have a stability bar with a switch, and a high-tech suspension system for a smooth ride. Turning is accomplished by shifting your body to the direction you want to go – much like skateboarding and snowboarding.

Obviously, these new machines do not come without safety concerns. So, how do you learn how to safely operate a GolfBoard and reduce your chances of getting hurt? Before you can set out on your GolfBoarding adventure at the Legacy Golf Club you must complete a training session and sign a waiver which says the Club is not responsible for any accidents or injuries.

There’s also an informative safety video available for first time users:

In addition to keeping our readers informed about safety issues, Heintz & Becker is always looking for new developments to share information about. The GolfBoard is the most exciting development to come to golfing in years and we are excited that our local Legacy Golf Club is taking the lead in making GolfBoards available to its players.

Whether you are adventurous enough to try GolfBoarding or prefer the traditional comfort of a golf cart, the injury attorneys at Heintz & Becker remind you to make safety a priority at all times.

Source(s): KGNS-TV, “Golfboards introduce a new way to play the game”, posted March 29, 2016;, “Invention Of The Week? Golfboard: Surf And Swing”, posted August, 2015

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.

In response to the tragedy, Florida lawmakers looked for a way to provide an extra incentive to encourage boat operators to equip their vessels with EPIRB’s and other safety features. The resulting legislation is HB 427, which, beginning on July 1, 2016, gives boat owners a reduction in their registration fees if their vessel is equipped with an EPIRB and other features.

Upon signing the new law, Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “I continue to offer my deepest condolences to the families of the teenagers who lost their lives after sailing from the Jupiter Inlet. It is heartbreaking to consider the grief of a family losing a child. I hope these important safety measures we signed into law today will help ensure that this kind of tragedy never happens again.”

The attorneys at Heintz & Becker ask all boaters to act now and install an EPIRB on their vessel and make sure their lifejackets, first aid kits and all other safety gear is in order. We also want to remind everyone that whether the boat is yours or someone else’s – if the boat does not have proper safety equipment or if you have any safety concerns, STAY SAFE – DON’T GO. Don’t let your safety concerns slide. They’re just too important.

Source(s): Florida Sportsman Newswire, “Gov. Scott Signs Legislation for Boater Safety in Florida”, posted April 11, 2016; Orlando Sentinel, “Boater-safety bill becomes law”, posted April 13, 2016

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

Golf Cart Safety

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 crash-worthy 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.

Golf Cart Safety Tips

Because they are intended for low risk driving, these alternative vehicles just don’t measure up to traditional automobiles in terms of passenger protection, braking ability and impact absorption. In addition, sharp turns and steep inclines and declines can create the danger of rolling over or passengers being ejected.

Just think of all of the safety features and safety testing that come with a traditional automobile. Compare that list to what you get with a golf cart or Low Speed Vehicle and it’s easy to see why the safety differences exist. Safety concerns are multiplied further in situations where golf carts and low speed vehicles use the same roadways as cars and trucks.

That’s why golf cart friendly communities like the Villages and Sun City Center go to great lengths to emphasize responsible driving, safety and accident prevention. For these communities, maintaining the privilege of being able to get around by golf cart and Low Speed Vehicle as safely as possible is a real priority that requires constant work, dedication and cooperation.

Click play below to watch a free golf cart safety video produced by the Villages Homeowners Association:

Golf Cart Injury Attorneys

Heintz & Becker urges drivers of all types of vehicles to make safety a personal priority and to share the road responsibly and with common courtesy. We hope that you enjoy accident free driving, but should you ever be injured due to another driver’s carelessness, our experienced accident attorneys are here to help with your injury-related claims. Please continue watching for more valuable information about golf carts and Low Speed Vehicles. Our next feature will discuss ways to protect yourself with golf cart and Low Speed Vehicle insurance.

Source(s): WUFT-TV, “How Safe Is It To Drive Golf Carts In The Villages?”, posted February 29, 2016;, “SCC golf cart driving exemption a privilege, not entitlement”, posted January 6, 2016; CBS News, “Low-speed electric vehicles on the fast track among seniors”, posted December 26, 2015;, “Golf Cart Communities: A Modern Trend”, posted October 12, 2012;, “Greater Sun City Center Golf Cart Drivers Handbook”

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.

Enhance Brain Injury Recovery

It’s well known that many mild traumatic brain injury and concussion patients suffer from disruptions of their normal sleep/wake patterns and can develop long-term sleep disorders.  Now, many experts are in agreement that how well someone’s brain recovers after a concussion may depend on the quality of sleep they get in the days and weeks following their injury.

Another thing they agree on is that additional study is needed to test and develop sleep-related treatments to improve patient outcomes.  One thing in particular that they hope to study is whether a chemically induced sleep (compared to natural sleep) can be an effective treatment option to enhance brain recovery.

One NFL player who believes in the importance of getting a good night’s sleep is Tom Brady.  In addition to religiously going to bed around 9.00 P.M. and waking up without the assistance of an alarm, he also does brain exercises geared at winding down, preparing for and enhancing the quality of his sleep.

According to Brady, “The body is a whole system and that includes the brain.”  Adding, “I’m building resiliency and staying sharp. I feel like that’s really where my edge is.”

Brain Injury Attorneys

The attorneys at Heintz & Becker know that concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are very serious and can have long-term adverse effects.  The seriousness of such an injury is the same whether you are a well-known NFL player, a kid playing youth sports, or an average person who has been hurt in a traffic accident.

If you, your child or a member of your family has suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of someone else, please call us to discuss your claim.

Source(s): Advocate Health Care, “Can better sleep help with concussion symptoms?”, posted April 1, 2016; Science Codex, “New recommendations link better sleep to improved concussion outcomes”, posted March 31, 2016; Fansided, “Tom Brady’s Terrific Brain Key To His Success”, posted January, 2015