Holiday Food, Toy Drives

The holiday season is in full swing. People will exchange gifts with their family members, friends, and loved ones.

However, there are families who are unable to do the same. Holiday charity drives are a wonderful time to consider donating food, toys, and other items to those who are most in need.

In the Sarasota and Bradenton area, there are food and toy drives that you can still contribute to if you would like to help children and families. Your contribution will be helpful, as a number of charity drives and toy drives are still need your help.

Here is a list of holiday charity drives to consider donating to for this holiday season. Continue reading

CRPS Discomfort Can Be Some of the Worst Pain Experienced

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare and unique condition that currently causes discomfort and sometimes intense and chronic suffering for around 200,000 people in the US today. While its causes are not always known, CRPS is divided into two different types. Type 1 may occur with no warning or known damage to the nerves, but it often follows an illness or trauma. You may have been in a car accident or a motorcycle crash, experienced an unfortunate amputation, or even something as simple as having a shot administered. The impact to the body may have healed and been forgotten, only to have CRPS begin causing symptoms in the area that was affected—usually one limb (although it can spread to both). Type 2 is usually caused by something that directly affects the nerves and is realized at the time; for instance, Type 2 CRPS may occur after a surgical procedure with complications.

The condition is usually a surprise to the patient, and often medical professionals too who may be challenged to make a diagnosis until all other more conventional diseases can be ruled out with specific tests. There is no specific testing for CRPS, but once it has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as early as possible for the best overall, long-term outcome. The symptoms are unusual too, and often present themselves around the skin, causing discoloration, tenderness, burning and swelling, and more; in fact, the pain can be so severe that just the lightest touch or even a faint breeze can be intensely uncomfortable.

As the name would suggest, CRPS is centered around pain, and sometimes it is so bad that the patient may become almost unwilling to use the limb or limbs that are affected. Joints may be stiff and swollen, and muscles may spasm, along with becoming weaker over time—even to the point of atrophy. Dystonia is often associated with CRPS too, with fingers or toes becoming fixed in an abnormal or twisted position. Pain may be extreme, and continual, in some cases. Treatments vary from over-the-counter medications to opioids to nerve blockers, accompanied by physical therapy at some point. Anti-convulsant medication may be prescribed, as well as antidepressants and therapy.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

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

Bicyclists Riding Against Traffic More Likely to Be Severely Injured or Killed

Bicyclists abound around the US, but as the population in Florida continues to grow, so do outdoor enthusiasts. Traveling on two wheels is not confined just to enjoying the fresh air and beauty of the natural landscape, however. Commuting on bicycles is becoming more popular—and especially in cities. If you are physically active, or working on being so, bicycling to work often means less time traveling as you can circumvent traffic bottlenecks, accidents, and the inconveniences of rush-hour traffic. It is also much more economical, with absolutely no need for fuel other than your own leg power. Maintenance generally requires little expense, and the start-up cost in purchasing a bike can usually fit any budget.

Whether you are traveling alone or with your family or in a group of friends, however, safety should always come first—and unfortunately, the greatest threat is motorists. Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths each year (and hundreds of thousands of injuries), whether this means bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, or other motorists. Defensive ‘traveling’ is necessary no matter your mode of transportation. If you are riding a bike, it is vital to be seen. Wear bright clothing, ride a brightly colored bike, and apply reflective devices wherever possible. When riding at night, make sure you have proper lighting, as well as devices to make you heard such as a bell or horn.

And although you may have heard conflicting views on traveling against traffic while bicycling (or walking), it is not only illegal in Florida but also considerably more unsafe. A recent study by the Florida Department of Transportation shows that bicyclists traveling on the roads against traffic were involved in more severe crashes, as well as more fatalities. Additional data shows that the following contributed to many bicycle crashes:

  • Poor lighting in city areas
  • Unusual intersection patterns
  • Reckless driving
  • Bicyclists hitting parked cars or opening doors

“Engineering countermeasures, including signal optimization, turn restrictions, and sign and pavement marking improvements, could improve the overall safety situation for bicyclists. Agency-wide education campaigns on the laws pertaining to bicyclists and extensive driver education campaigns that focus on driver compliance with bicyclist right-of-way laws and stricter enforcement could improve bicycle safety,” state FDOT researchers.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a bicycle accident injury caused by the negligence of others contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

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

Motorcycle Accidents More Common at Night, Especially on Weekends

Motorcyclists may be in the minority in traffic today, but this portion of the driving/riding population continues to grow, with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrating that Florida is one of the most dangerous places to ride. While landscapes in other states may pose a threat due to curving roads lacking guardrails or snow, ice, and rocky conditions—even those with landslides or more—Florida’s typically flat streets, highways, and byways pose hazards generally created just by other motorists, and a lot of them!

It isn’t called the Sunshine State without good reason, meaning that Florida’s abundantly good weather all year round leads to more motorcyclists, runners, pedestrians, and bicyclists. There are a multitude of different areas where you can get out and drive, ride, walk, or run, but in most cases, there are still traffic dangers. Statistics show that careless drivers continue to pose a hazard on the roads, and Florida leads in motorcycle fatalities.

In the case of a negligent motorist causing harm to others on the road, individuals choosing any other mode of transportation are much more vulnerable due to the lack of protection when facing the weight of a car or truck weighing more than 4,000 pounds. And whether motorcyclists are in harm’s way due to a drunk, distracted, speeding, or otherwise reckless driver, data shows that more deaths and fatalities occur at night and on weekends. Visibility and illumination issues continue to cause challenges when it comes to accidents, with motorists not ‘seeing’ motorcyclists—but this threat applies to pedestrians and bicyclists too. On the weekends, it makes unfortunate sense that there are more accidents in general as less people are indoors at work all day.

Motorcyclists are urged to drive defensively and wear the appropriate protective gear, but also to stand out with bright colors. This doesn’t just mean avoiding darker clothing, either. Choose a bike that is brightly painted, and a helmet that follows suit so that you stand out in traffic. Reflective stickers can also be added to your helmet, motorcycle jacket, boots, and more. Additional lighting is always recommended too.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. 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 informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Motorcycle Protective Gear: Don’t Expect Jeans to Offer Protection

If you own a motorcycle, chances are you enjoy it for a lot more than just the simple commute. This alternative style of transportation allows for a much greater sense of freedom in travel, and many bikers think they enjoy the world’s natural landscape and fresh air more without the constraints of a car or truck. The flip side of that, of course, is that there is much greater chance for injury or fatality; in fact, Florida is one of the most dangerous places to travel on a motorcycle, leading in fatalities.

And while you may enjoy a sense of freedom, traveling down the highway unprotected is a bad idea. This begins at the top, with your helmet, helping prevent serious physical harm such as traumatic brain injury and more. Wearing the proper clothing is vital too, and while many may expect a hardy pair of denims to play a starring role in motorcycle wear, this type of material is not recommended for true protection. Jeans may seem more than thick enough for normal wear, but this is not the case while riding a motorcycle—and especially if you have the unfortunate luck to hit the pavement.

If you wear jeans daily, the best plan may be to wear motorcycle pants that fit over them, or purchase a type of jeans made specifically for motorcyclists. One-piece suits are also highly recommended, especially if you live in an area with colder weather and want to choose more insulation (or you may opt for leather jacket and pants). Don’t forget a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots, along with gloves and protective eyewear. While considering what to wear, keep in mind too that visibility is a major issue to avoid collisions with cars and trucks. While black leather is common, reflective material is highly recommended. Brightly colored bikes are extremely helpful, and this applies to helmets too. Make sure headlights and tail-lights are in good working order—and like many motorcyclists, you may want additional lighting.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. 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 informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Beware: Bicyclists Love Florida—But Greater Numbers Mean More Accidents

Bicycling is an activity you may have been enjoying as long as you can remember. Most of us start out as kids, doing the initial routine with training wheels, and then graduating to a more mature bike with the inevitable spills, and bumps and bruises along the way. You may prefer biking alone around Florida, taking respite from a busy life, enjoying fresh air on quiet roads and paths that are especially satisfying when the sun is shining (not too warmly!), the birds are singing, and other interesting wildlife make an appearance here and there as you travel on your way. Others still may enjoy bicycling as a family activity, getting all the children outside, and sometimes even including babies being pulled in small ‘trailers.’ Commuting is also becoming more and more popular on bikes and proving to be not only more economical but much faster in some city areas.

Florida is extremely popular for activities like swimming, walking, hiking a multitude of trails, motorcycling, and bicycling. Unfortunately, all this fun can also have its hazards—and bicycling is no exception. The Sunshine State is particularly dangerous for bicyclists, with recent data stating that Florida bicyclist fatalities are considerably higher than that of other states, with California and Texas emerging next in line. Higher numbers for Florida are thought to be due to a larger population of ageing drivers and visitors who may not be familiar with roads. Florida also has a large population overall, meaning statistically more accidents are to be expected—along with the addition of enticingly good weather year-round.

While many bike safety tips may seem like common sense, all too often they are overlooked, with visibility being one of the most important. Remember to wear brightly colored clothing, but it is also helpful to have reflective material anywhere possible – including on your helmet, shoes, and bike. Lights should be in working order too. Protective gear is vital, beginning with the helmet. And although kids may balk, knee and elbow pads certainly come in handy if there is an accident, preventing cuts, contusions, and possible road rash from those commonly vulnerable areas. Ride with traffic, not against it – and know and follow all traffic signs and signals. If you are riding with smaller children, make sure they have a full education on everything a bicyclist needs to know—especially if they are riding to and from school each day.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a bicycle accident injury caused by the negligence of others contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

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

Defective Toys Could Land Your Child in the ER

Life can be so complicated for the modern family today as both parents often commute back and forth to work, kids need to get to school, afternoon activities commence throughout the week, and vital errands must be run. It can be extremely satisfying to take just a short break or a weekend respite with the kids, and fun shopping for a new toy or two may be in the plans. While it may be difficult to find exactly the right thing to please small children or to occupy them for any length of time, the last thing you may expect is a product defect that is harmful to your daughter, son, grandchild, or other loved one.

Unfortunately, there are far too many products out on the market that have the potential to be harmful. And while it would seem like toys would be a major priority in terms of product testing, far too many of them cause serious injuries (and in some cases even death) to children each year. You may expect or assume that a toy is safe just because everyone is buying it, and they may have been doing so for years, but manufacturers could be facing allegations of injuries or fatalities and are fighting behind the scenes to prevent necessary recalls that may not happen for a long time.

Choking hazards are one of the main sources of injury or death from toys, and especially if you have small children. This usually becomes more of an issue around the holidays too, whether newer toys or some of the tried and true are being heavily marketed, purchased, and used. While small, unattached pieces should be avoided, it is also important to watch for toys with long strings or attachments that could lead to the potential for wrapping around a child’s neck or cut off circulation to a limb or finger. Toy guns and other play shooting devices may cause hazards, along with riding toys or trampolines.

A serious product defect could find you in the ER with your child being treated for a breathing or choking issue, burns, cuts, and more. Fatalities may be caused due to drowning, asphyxiation, trauma, a serious blow to the head, or more. Contact a skilled product defect attorney as soon as possible if your child or a loved one have been hurt or fatally injured by a defective product. It is imperative that a report or complaint is filed regarding the product, so others are not injured too, and you may be due significant damages after such an incident.

If you or your child have been injured by a defective product, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. 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 informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

CRPS: Even the Slightest Touch May Invoke Pain

Complex regional pain syndrome affects a small number of people in comparison to other more widespread conditions, but with 200,000 people (at least) suffering, that still means a lot of patients are living in discomfort. CRPS is not only considered rare, but extremely unique. Often, the patient may have experienced something traumatic like a car accident or motorcycle crash that resulted in an injury paling in comparison to the suffering caused by CRPS.

While a broken or even sprained ankle may cause considerable pain and inconvenience in mobility, it is an injury that usually heals without complication. If you have been stricken with CRPS, you may have been shocked to experience its onset in lieu of a health issue that dissipated. The symptoms can range from moderate to extremely painful and debilitating, whether you suffer from Type 1 (after an injury that occurred with little known nerve damage) or Type 2 (after an incident causing direct, known nerve damage). Epidermal pain is common, to the extent that even a breeze blowing on your arm or leg may be painful. Even the lightest touch or a bit of fabric making contact may cause torture.

Such discomfort is unusual and while you may not understand it, it may be even harder for those closer to you to comprehend your pain—and on top of that, medical professionals may be challenged to give you an initial diagnosis, with no specific testing available aside from ruling out other conditions. Treatments span a variety of different medications and therapies, depending on the severity of CRPS. Typical signs of this condition include not only discomfort at the epidermal level, but also throbbing and swelling in the affected areas, as well as considerable joint stiffness and pain. If you have CRPS, mobility could become such a challenge that you become reluctant to walk or move around, resulting in atrophy of muscles. Other related problems could arise, such as dystonia, causing fingers or toes to become paralyzed in an abnormal and fixed position.

Early diagnosis and treatment are suggested for CRPS, so seek medical help as soon as possible if you are experiencing symptoms. This could be a condition that continues to progress and worsen over time for some and may even result in the need for antidepressants or therapy to help with adapting to such overwhelming physical changes and challenges.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

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

Swimming Pool Liability: Are Your Drains Updated?

Swimming is usually enjoyable for the whole family, and in Florida especially as it is an activity that everyone can enjoy year-round in many cases. Adults usually enjoy swimming for the exercise it affords, offering health benefits to the health and lungs, as well as building muscle strength and burning mega-calories. If you are a parent, you probably also love to center family gatherings around the pool area, reveling in how worn out kids are after taking a long dip.

Unfortunately, fun activities centered around water usually involve the danger of drowning too. That can be hard to believe sometimes, watching everyone have such a wonderful time while eating, drinking, and celebrating togetherness in their off time. Like car accidents in Florida though, drowning incidents just continue to rise too! Children are primarily at risk, along with the elderly, making it vital to follow the safety laws. While enclosures such as fences, alarms, and pool coverings all help prevent drowning, if drains are not newer or have not been retrofitted for safety, swimmers could be trapped when hair or even limbs are sucked in. Newer drains lack the dangerous suction mechanism, and are larger and rounder in shape, as well as more secure when it comes to fastening (always be sure screws are intact and that drains are in good working order, without any cracks). Pumps should only be run using the settings as instructions outline, and the shutoff should be easy to access.

Even with all the proper maintenance in place though, little of that matters if proper safety guidelines are not followed. While there are probably many adults in attendance during birthday pool parties and other celebrations, don’t let your guard down just because kids are used to swimming in the pool or ‘have been around the water forever.’ A tragic swimming pool accident could occur in a matter of moments, which is why there should always be supervision.

If children are going to be growing up in an area where they will be exposed to the water routinely, as well as expected to be in the pool or ocean, enroll them in swimming lessons. Not only are lessons a great way to become skilled at swimming, they can be a fun social activity. All the normal challenges in a swimming area should continue to be overcome as well, as parents and other adults must discourage running, pushing, rough-housing, and any types of swimming games that could cause injury or drowning. Everyone of age should also know CPR.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a swimming pool accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. 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 informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Personal Injury Protection: Who is Covered?

Car insurance: it’s very likely you own a policy for at least one car, and so does almost everyone you know. Insurers abound, and there are numerous options and limits and plans to choose from. Even if you have been buying insurance for your cars for decades though, there may be plenty you don’t understand, or like most of us—you may have always left figuring out what you needed to the insurance agent.

Many different types of insurance may be required or recommended in your lifetime, from health and life or disability, to homeowners, different types of commercial insurance, and even a variety of different policies like those meant for travel or other temporary measures. Automobile insurance is extremely common, but it may also be the most important form of protection you ever purchase.

Liability insurance is always recommended for your vehicle and required in some states (like Florida). If you are financing your car, it may be impossible to make a purchase without verification of both comprehensive and collision coverage. Other protection regarding payments for injuries is extremely important too, and especially when you consider the increase in traffic incidents in Florida due to careless drivers, leaving the unfortunate potential for serious injury or even fatalities wide open.

You may be in a hurry at the time you are purchasing car insurance. Perhaps you are just rolling off the dealer’s lot—or maybe it is just one more thing to check off your ‘to do’ list, but make sure you understand what you are purchasing in terms of medical payments (often referred to as medpay) and personal injury protection (often referred to as PIP). While medical payment coverage pays for the obvious in terms of any treatment necessary, PIP can even cover the injured party for lost wages and other expenses like funeral costs. This part of your insurance kicks in no matter who was at fault and covers you, your children, and other passengers who may be in the car but do not own personal injury protection on their own.

“People riding in your vehicle who carry PIP will receive coverage under their own PIP for their injuries, and certain licensed drivers who drive your vehicle with your permission. PIP also covers your child if he or she suffers an injury while riding on a school bus. PIP coverage protects you while in someone else’s vehicle, as a pedestrian, or bicyclist if you suffer an injury in a crash involving a motor vehicle. The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida. Florida law requires you to maintain PIP/PDL insurance continuously throughout the licensing and registration period,” states the official Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.

It is important to note that while medical payment coverage can be purchased, PIP coverage is not available for motorcycles. If you own a scooter, PIP is usually not available either. While this type of insurance is excluded for the motorcycle, PIP insurance is simply not required for scooters or mopeds in most cases—and if they are over 50 cc (meaning cubic centimeters of engine displacement), they are considered a motorcycle anyway.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident or car wreck due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. 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 informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.