Heintz & Becker Boating Safety Series Part 12: Anna Maria Island Sail & Power Squadron Promotes Safety and Education

There’s a wonderful non-profit community organization in northwest Bradenton that has an active social network and is dedicated to providing boating safety and educational services to local boaters.  It’s called the Anna Maria Island Sail & Power Squadron and it’s located at 1200 71st St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209.  The Anna Maria Squadron is just one of 17 other Squadrons in West Central Florida that are affiliated with the United States Powers Squadrons. If you are a Manatee County boater, you’ll definitely want to check out their page on Facebook to see all that they have to offer. Continue reading

Heintz & Becker Motorcycle Safety Series Part 23: Helmet and Accessory Recalls

We dealt with the important issue of motorcycle recalls in our most recent motorcycle safety post, but those are not the only type of recall that motorcycle owners need to be aware of.  Recall notices can also be issued for helmets and accessories.  That means your super cool helmet, your killer handle bars or some other accessory may be unsafe.  Helmet and accessory recalls are serious.  Helmets are subject to recalls if they fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  These helmets may not adequately protect a user in the event of a head impact during a crash.  Recalled accessories may have parts that can fail or come loose, or present some other serious safety issue.  False, missing or incomplete labeling information can also result in a helmet or accessory being recalled. Continue reading

Motorcycle Safety Series Part 22: Important Recall Reminder

While newspapers, television and online news services frequently provide up to the minute recall advisories for cars and trucks, that same level of coverage is just not provided when it comes to motorcycles.

For example, there was little coverage given to Yamaha’s recent announcement that it is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 YZF-R3 F/G motorcycles manufactured Jan. 1, 2015 to April 15, 2016 for a serious problem that could prevent riders from being able to disengage the clutch, cause them to be unable to stop and create a dangerous crash risk (Yamaha Recall No. 990105).

While Yamaha will send notification to owners of record, some bikes may have been sold and some owners may have moved, meaning that some owners may have no idea that their bike may have a serious safety issue. Continue reading

Beware the Yard Sale: Are You Getting Recalled Products?

“Yard-selling,” the oft well-planned and strategized hobby of traveling to other’s yards looking to uncover treasures untold, is an American passion. A quick Google search even gets a frequent search topic of “yard selling tips.” However, underlying dangers lurk; and even the most astute sellers are often unaware. Due to the frequency of manufacturer recalls, that treasure you just unearthed could be the next worst thing you own. In addition to purchasing potentially dangerous items, you – the seller – could face legal consequences for selling an unrepaired item that has been recalled!

Do you know what you’re buying?

The recent IKEA furniture recall should put into perspective how careful one must be in regard to product recall awareness. With nearly 30 million items on the recall list, it’s easy to see how a yard sale or two might contain a dresser that is on the IKEA recall list. The age of the product line (nearly thirty years old) makes it highly probable that many recalled products have been or could be resold unknowingly. This could result in injuries like those caused in the “tip over” accidents that led to the massive recall.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act made the resale of recalled items illegal. The law places liability on both companies and individuals reselling the products. The regulations require the sellers to ensure that the sale of their items does not violate federal laws.

Obviously, a greater concern is with larger online and retail shops such as Craigslist, eBay, or local consignment shops and policing these is easier than tracking down wayward yard sale sellers, but we believe knowledge is power!

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) expects anyone participating in the sale of used items to visit http://www.cpsc.gov and confirm that their items are safe to resell. It’s an easy step that could bring serious peace of mind.

We’re here to help

The attorneys at Heintz & Becker hope that by helping to keep you better informed, you are better able to avoid potentially harmful situations. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a faulty product or someone’s negligent actions, visit www.HeintzLaw.com or call 941-748-2916 to speak to a member of our staff.

Hurricane Season 2016

As of June 1st, the 2016 tropical season is officially upon us. The National Weather Service has predicted a very active season, which should make safety preparation for Floridians and other high risk area residents a top priority. This summer’s predicted strong La Nina weather pattern indicates that the southeastern United States could experience anywhere from 10-16 named storms. Hurricane Alex formed in the Atlantic early this year and was the first hurricane to form in the month of January since 1955. If Alex is an indication of things to come, we should take the message of getting prepared very seriously.

The lack of tropical activity in previous years has more than likely placed thoughts of dangerous weather in the back of my people’s minds. With consistent and favorable conditions for tropical cyclone development upon us, now is the time for you to prepare and have a plan in the event of an unexpected catastrophe. There are numerous resources available, including many websites, that can help you keep abreast of current weather conditions and provide how-to’s for getting “Hurricane Ready.”

Aside from awareness, having a plan to avoid disaster is essential. Ideally you will know if evacuation is necessary a few days before a storm hits. However, we all know weather can change very rapidly which is why readying family and home with supplies is key for residents of higher risk areas. In 2004, Hurricane Charley took an unexpected turn from the predicted path and devastated unsuspecting residents of Punta Gorda, FL. A full tank of gas in your vehicle and healthy quantities of bottled water and non-perishable food reserves are a good start to making the best of a disastrous scenario. The American Red Cross has detailed advice and instruction for how to prepare for and recover from catastrophe. As Florida residents it is important to stay in the know and expect the unexpected!

The team at Heintz & Becker hopes you’ll take this short blog to heart and beef up your hurricane preparations. Should you or a loved one need the help of an attorney, please call our office. If we are unable to help, we are always happy to try and provide you with an alternative.

Looking for a New Pet? Manatee County Adopt-A-Palooza is this Saturday, August 6, 2016 with all Adoptions only $5.00!

If you have been thinking about getting a new pet, the attorneys at Heintz & Becker ask you to mark your calendar and don’t miss this Saturday’s Adopt-A-Palooza at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, Haben Boulevard, Palmetto FL 34221.  All adoptions will be offered at the incredibly low price of only $5.00, plus $15.00 Manatee County License Fee and will support Manatee County’s No Kill Shelter Program.  The event starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs through 4:00 p.m., with free parking and free admission.  Attendees are encouraged to bring pet toys to be donated to the animal shelter.

In addition to pet adoptions, the event will feature rescue groups, specialty retailers, a
“Monster Mutt Truck”, food, beverages and raffle prizes.  Click on the video link below to watch the promotional video:

For more information, contact Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933.  If you can’t make to Adopt-A-Palooza, Heintz & Becker urges you to check the Manatee County Animal Services Website for available dogs and cats, or plan a visit to the Palmetto Shelter or Downtown Meowtown:

Palmetto Shelter

305 – 25 Street W

Palmetto, Florida  34221


Monday -Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday 10:00a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Downtown Meowtown

1002 Manatee Ave. W.

Bradenton, Fl.


Tues-Sat, 11 am – 3 pm

Source(s): Manatee County Animal Services

Heintz & Becker Boating Safety Series Part 11: Boating with Kids

There are few things more exciting to many kids than getting to go on a boat.  Not only is it a great way to have fun and enjoy the outdoors, it can be a great way to teach kids about safety, teamwork and responsibility.  When kids are introduced to safe boating at an early age, they are much more likely to become safe boaters for life.

Life Jackets and Sunscreen are a MUST! Alcohol is NOT!

sailboat kids cartoonWhatever the age, all children and adults should wear age-appropriate life jackets – no exceptions.  The better the fit and comfort, the less fussing and complaining you’ll get, so invest in a good quality, comfortable life jacket.  Remember, what you do while boating with your kids teaches your kids by example.  So, put on a life jacket yourself and leave the alcohol at home.  Before strapping on the life jackets you need to slather on the sunscreen.  Getting sunscreen on a bunch of wiggling kids is real work, but make it a rule – no sunscreen – no boat.  Top it off with protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.


Get The Kids Involved!

Next, bring on the gear and provisions.  Assign each kid some age-appropriate tasks like counting out 2-3 bottles of water for each person, helping make sandwiches, and packing healthy snacks.  Someone also needs to be responsible for making a list of what you’re bringing with you so you don’t accidently leave things behind.  More mature kids can also help check the weather forecast, make up your Float-Plan and communicate your plan to friends and relatives.

Be prepared to spend more time preparing, packing, unpacking and cleaning up than boating itself.  The smaller the kids, the shorter the trip should be.  Take things slow and teach boating safety in increments – what things are called, what they do, etc.  Kids want to learn how to do things themselves, so encourage them: give kids short lengths of rope and begin teaching them how to tie basic knots, let them help chart your course, check your lights, first-aid kit and other safety gear, and show them how to use your GPS.

Can I Drive?

Of course, what do kids want to be allowed to do more than anything?  Drive the boat!  Letting your kid drive the boat will give them a feeling of independence, control and responsibility.  Florida has no minimum age requirements to operate a boat.  A child may be allowed to “drive” under the supervision of a qualified, responsible adult who is responsible for the safe operation of the vessel (a person who is least 18 years old who is either exempt from the educational requirements or who possesses the required Boating Safety Education Identification Card).  Use this time to teach kids how to safely operate the controls, how to read channel markers and how to operate around other boats with courtesy.

Heintz & Becker hopes that parents will find this information useful.  Remember, be a good example, teach and explain, and give kids a chance to help and be involved.  We thank all of our readers who have helped to make our boating safety series a big success.  As always, Heintz & Becker’s experienced boating accident attorneys are standing by if you are ever injured as the result of someone else’s careless boating.

Source(s): Boating Magazine, “Boating With Kids”, posted February 4, 2009; BoatUS, “Boating With Children”, posted April/May 2015