Car Crash? Call Us Immediately!

Florida is a hot zone for car accidents in the US (and not only that, but also for motorcycle wrecks, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian injuries and fatalities too!), and while you may have a lot on your mind when you get in the car, it is vital to make the task of driving your car your number one priority. It is incredibly easy today to become distracted—as so many different factors constantly work to take our attention from the road and the task at hand—from smartphones, to that GPS, to loved ones in the car who may need things or want to engage in lively conversation.

Distracted driving is the number one reason for injuries and accidents, and the best you can do is to drive as defensively as possible. You may see numerous erratic drivers on the roads today, and those are the ones to which you should give a wide berth! Unfortunately, there are also still far too many drivers who are on the road after drinking too much, smoking marijuana, or using other drugs (that may be illegal) making it hazardous for them to drive. Other drivers may be drowsy, falling asleep at the wheel, or stressed out from work and not paying attention. Speeding and reckless driving, however, are still some of the top reasons for crashes—and often both at once as drivers may also swerve into other lanes quickly, and tailgate, with terrible consequences. Running stop signs, ignoring other traffic signals, and failing to use turn signals can all wreak havoc as well.

In the case that you are in an accident, however, know what to do ahead of time. At the scene, make sure to call for help immediately if you or a passenger are injured, call the police, and get contact information from the other driver—as well as any witnesses on the scene (please read over our recent blog, ‘Five Steps to Take Directly After an Accident.’) In the case of injuries—and especially due to the negligence of another party—you may be shocked at how quickly adjusters begin calling you for information. Rather than speaking to them, it is in your best interest to consult with a skilled car accident attorney to protect you and guide you through the process—along with handling all communication with insurers. This could make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case.

Remember, adjusters are interested in one thing: getting as much information as possible from you—and if they can, they will use it against you so they can pay out less or even deny your claim altogether. They may ask about injuries (you may not even know the full extent yet, or other issues could develop), request medical records and ask for police reports—and they may even want to interview you and tape record the conversation. Refer them directly to your car accident attorney!

If you or a loved one have been injured 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.

Can DUI Offenders Find a Way Around the Interlock Device?

Drunk drivers are still a scourge on the highways today, even after decades of campaigning by organizations like MADD. With one person dying due to a driver under the influence nearly every hour, the problem is still a major concern in the US; in fact, it is a serious traffic issue affecting two of out of three people in their lifetimes—and all too often, ending in tragedy.

Drivers who register a blood alcohol level of .08 or more when stopped by law enforcement are usually charged with DUI. Not only can other travelers be killed or seriously injured due to the impaired judgment of someone driving under the influence, the legal consequences can be severe for those practicing such criminal behavior. They may have to pay for a bond to get out of jail and numerous other fines, along with having their driver’s licenses suspended. After a certain period, drivers may be able to get their licenses back, but with certain stipulations. It is usually required that they have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle, and they may have to keep it for as long as a few months, a few years, or more—depending on the number of offenses.

You may wonder how effective such a device is, however, if all is needed is someone sober to blow into it so that the car will start (or keep going after a ‘rolling test’ where the driver must either blow into the device while driving, or pull over), couldn’t anyone do that? Feasibly, the answer is yes, but the owner of the car is asking for trouble as there are major penalties for tampering with the device—although in most cases it is okay for someone else to drive the car if they are sober. Depending on the ignition interlock device, there may be complex anti-tampering features built in—and these can even include a tiny camera. Having someone else blow into a device and fail also causes a host of complications and could cause the driver to lose their license or even go back to jail.

Many other tricks have been tried over time to ‘fool’ the IID, and they almost always fail—whether drivers attempt to eat strong-smelling foods to overpower the device, drink mouthwash (which usually has alcohol in it and may cause an epic ‘fail’) or employ other myths that make no sense. The IID measures blood alcohol level, and until it has returned to normal, the driver must wait. Hopefully, most drivers with IIDs are working on sobriety programs and understand the rules, and consequences, should they break them.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car 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.

Distracted Drivers Number One Killer, But Drunk Drivers Still Cause Too Many Injuries & Deaths

It is certainly no secret to anyone that distracted drivers are out on the roads in droves daily. Even though driving while texting on a smartphone is illegal, chances are you could find numerous motorists engaging in these acts on their way out of driveways, at stop signs, red lights, and while in motion on the streets and highways of Florida and the rest of the US. Distracted driving is the number one killer and top reason for injuries and traffic incidents.

While texting and talking on phones are the most obvious forms of distraction while driving, the Florida Department of Transportation reminds everyone that there are many other ways to be distracted (and a hazard to others) too, from engaging with other passengers and small children, to eating and drinking, grooming on the way to work or an event, or fiddling with other electronics or items in the car that may force you to take your eyes off the road. There is hardly a shortage of public safety campaigns regarding the issue yet distracted and reckless driving continue to persist. And sadly, so does the deadly activity of driving under the influence.

Drinking and driving has decreased significantly in the past few decades due to intense campaigns like those of MADD, but it is still one of the major reasons for accidents and fatalities, along with other unfortunate classics like speeding and reckless driving. The CDC reports that still, one in three accidents is drinking-related. Even with greater ease these days in getting a ride from a service like Uber or Lyft, far too many injuries are caused because of individuals who got behind the wheel while intoxicated and practiced impaired judgment.

If you are on the road and suspect you may be in the vicinity of a drunk or dangerous driver, call 911 if it seems necessary. In the meantime, drive defensively and try to get as far away as possible from anyone who is obviously not following the rules of the road. A drunk driver may be swerving, speeding up or slowing down erratically, or tailgating others. If you are in an accident with a drunk driver, be very careful about approaching them as they could have unpredictable or violent behavior. They may also be injured and in need of an ambulance, just as you or your passengers may be.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car 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.

Hiring an Injury Attorney? Know What Credentials and Qualifications to Seek

If you have been injured in a car accident recently, most likely you are having to adjust to some (or a great deal of) lack of mobility, coupled with managing pain. You may be worrying about going back to work, managing medical bills, paying your regular bills, and stressing over exactly what to say to insurance adjusters who may be calling before you even get back home. This can be an extremely challenging time if you are hurting, your car is damaged, and you aren’t sure where to turn. You may be experiencing a great sense of isolation and even hopelessness, especially if the other party’s insurance company is giving you a hard time.

It is in your best interest to hire a skilled attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as quickly as possible. Not only can they give you excellent legal advice and help guide you through the rest of the process if there is a case, a car accident attorney will be able to take over all communications with the insurance company; in fact, it is best not to answer any questions from the other side’s insurance company at all if you can help it.

Most of us are not in car accidents very often, thankfully (although statistics show most people will experience at least one in their lifetime) so you may be at a complete loss for what criteria to seek in hiring an injury attorney. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Ask for referrals. Your friends and family may be a wealth of information in this area.
  • While licensing is a must and education is obviously required, before you get too snobby about what law school an attorney attended, ask for a snapshot of what is most important: their track record, and training and experience.
  • Does a prospective injury attorney have a history of going to court and winning—or do they almost always settle (some will even tell you that they don’t go to court)? If you want an attorney who is going to fight for your rights, a good record in court is critical!
  • Do they represent accident victims and insurance companies? Seek out a company that is not playing both sides. Your attorney should be specialized in protecting the victims.
  • How accessible are they? If you have been injured and are going through a difficult time, the last thing you want to do is hire a legal professional who will be difficult to get through to when you need them. Will they be handling your case, or will you usually be working with their paralegal?
  • Listen to your intuition. Does this attorney seem like they are sincere in helping you? While you certainly cannot get to know someone completely in just one or two office appointments, it is important to have a comfortable rapport with your attorney, open communication, and a realistic attitude about the case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car 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.

 

Heintz and Becker Desoto Seafood Festival in Palmetto – Check Out Klick – Attorney David Becker’s Band!

From everyone at Heintz & Becker to you: please join us to enjoy sharing food, music, and an all-around good time from April 5-7, 2019 at the Heintz & Becker De Soto Seafood Fest on 6th St. W., Palmetto, FL 34221 (at the corner of 6th St. W and 10th Ave. W). Sponsored by our firm every year, the Seafood Fest is one of Florida’s finest festivals, with thousands attending every year at Sutton Park in downtown Palmetto.

Look forward to great seafood and other local fare from some of the best restaurants and vendors in the area, as well as spectacular live music! This year country music star Craig Morgan is the headliner, rocking the stage on Saturday night—but you can also enjoy listening to our very own Attorney David Becker’s band, Klick, on Sunday afternoon. Enjoy free admission all weekend, with one ticket off military and first responder’s drinks. For the children, there is a free Kid’s Zone—thanks to our amazing sponsor, NEXTGEN family magazine.

The musical lineup and times are as follows:

Friday, April 5th

5:00 – Doors Open

6:00 – Highway to Hell

8:00 – Pitbull Toddler

Saturday, April 6th

12:30 – The Dweebs

4:00 –   Tony Tyler

6:00 –  Saints and Angels

8:30 –  Craig Morgan

Sunday, April 7th

12:00 – The Klick Band

1:30 – The Dweebs

4:00 – The Rolling Stones Tribute Band

Please join us!

CRPS: Healing Through Mirror Therapy

Car accidents may yield an unfortunate range of injuries—and in many cases not just one. You may feel lucky to have escaped with your life after a car wreck or motorcycle crash, but the repercussions may still be debilitating. While fatalities are sometimes the tragic result of motor vehicle accidents, a wide range of injuries can occur. You may sustain minor wounds such as bruises and contusions or sprains, or more serious issues like broken bones, spinal issues or even paralysis, concussion or traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, amputation, or harm to the soft tissue.

Even if injuries are minor, however, and even if they have healed, you could be in for more pain later due to nerve issues or even serious damage. Complex regional pain syndrome only affects about 200,000 individuals in the US, and while for some patients it is only mild or temporary, for others it can be extremely painful, debilitating, and chronic. Car accidents may be the cause of CRPS in some cases because of the amount of trauma experienced. An arm or leg may have been sprained or broken but assumed to be resolved after a suitable amount of time for healing.

CRPS may not only be extremely surprising to the patient, but doctors may be hard pressed to diagnose it at first, being required to rule out other diseases and conditions since there is no specific test for CRPS. Treatment can be hit and miss too at first, depending on the severity of the pain. The patient may be prescribed something as simple as over-the-counter medications, or they may require opioids, corticosteroids, or numerous other types of treatment. Therapy is often required too, and there is a list of options with CRPS, beginning with conventional physical therapy to help improve mobility.

Along with more alternative therapies like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or biofeedback, mirror therapy may be helpful to patients with CRPS. Often effective because it fools the brain into believing the limb is healthy, mirror therapy involves the patient sitting in front of a mirror but moving the opposite limb. Functionality may be improved in some cases, and pain reduced.

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.

 

Research Your Car Insurance: Do Not Forgo Uninsured Motorist Coverage!

In most states, car insurance is a requirement; and usually even if it isn’t, responsible motorists end up buying it anyway. If you have bought and sold multiple cars previously, purchasing insurance may seem like a routine task that you try to do as quickly as possible, while spending as little as possible. Before checking off all the required items, writing a check, and going on your way though, take some time to get educated on what you really need. Envision what could happen in the event of a serious accident. Are you going to be sufficiently covered, or is there the possibility you could be left holding the bag financially?

In Florida, you must have car insurance to register a vehicle with four wheels, and there are standard coverages you must purchase from your insurer, to include minimum personal injury protection (PIP) of $10,000 and property damage liability (PDL) of $10,000. Additions like uninsured motorist coverage could mean the difference between having damage paid for or not if you are in a car crash with someone who for some reason does not have enough bodily injury liability insurance. This type of coverage, usually quite affordable, can help in the case of a hit and run driver too, eliminating the need for you to pay out for a vehicle damage claim you weren’t responsible for in the first place after an accident

If you have been in a car accident, you may also need help dealing with the other party’s insurance company. While they may seem extremely eager to speak with you and resolve your claim, it is rare that they are considering your best interest in any way. Hire a skilled injury attorney from Heintz & Becker to help you get the compensation you deserve, and when adjusters call, refer them directly to your lawyer. Your priority should be on healing and dealing with insurance companies can be stressful. They may request to speak with you and tape record the conversation, request medical documents from you, and even present you with a low-ball settlement—or worse, a major delay or denial.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car 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.

Illegal! Injury Specialists Showing up at the Hospital to take Your Case

If you have been in an accident recently, you may find yourself getting a lot of attention from individuals other than your nurses, doctors, and family who are worried about you. And while legal professionals from a firm like Heintz & Becker who do not want to see you left without fair compensation or being taken advantage of will be concerned about you, if lawyers are showing up at the hospital unsolicited to try and ‘get your business,’ please be aware that their behavior is highly illegal and they are not scrupulous professionals!

Your case should not be solicited at the hospital by anyone else who may be working with an attorney’s office either, or from a paralegal or anyone that you have not called and requested to represent you on your own. The Florida Bar takes these matters extremely seriously, and such behavior is considered a third-degree felony:

“Bar rules prohibit the solicitation – face to face, by phone including via a cold call, or through a third party – of a client who is not a family member or with whom the lawyer does not have a prior professional relationship,” states information from a Florida Bar news article. “Attorneys may not send direct mail solicitations to prospective clients within 30 days of an accident, and then that mailing must meet several conditions including stating where the attorney got the recipient’s name, be marked as an advertisement, and start by advising the recipient to ignore the letter if he or she has already retained another lawyer.”

It is in your interest though to hire a skilled injury attorney if you have been hurt due to the negligence of others. A car crash is a good example of this type of scenario, where you could potentially be in the hospital with insurance adjusters already calling too, hoping to get you in line for a quick and easy settlement with as little effort as possible. If you are owed damages, do not go it alone! An accident like a car crash may leave you with debilitating injuries that make it impossible to work temporarily or even permanently. You may be dealing with a serious concussion, traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, broken bones or sprains, and more. In such a situation, you require honest, reliable legal assistance. If someone approaches you for representation in an atmosphere like a hospital or other immediate stopping point after an accident, they should be reported immediately to the Florida Bar.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car 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.

Motorcyclists: More Likely Victims of Road Rage?

Although there are hundreds of thousands of bikes on the road, there is something about motorcycles and their drivers that undeniably grabs the attention of others. Many of us are interested in what model of bike they have chosen, along with checking out their unique protective gear and varying accoutrements. Motorcyclists often have an air of excitement about them that is contagious—along with enviable camaraderie on the roads. You may find yourself drawn in, listening to the rev of the engine, and watching them take off down the highway, carefree in the fresh air.

There are drawbacks to riding a motorcycle, however, and as you are probably aware, safety is at the top of that list. Without the protection of a car weighing four thousand pounds or more, any type of accident could be very serious for a motorcyclist, and cause major injury—or even death. Other factors, such as road rage, can lead to injury and violence on the road, and should be avoided at all cost. But are motorcyclists at greater risk for being confronted with road rage?

Anyone can be a target of road rage, and other motorists often become enraged with each other over traffic issues such as driving too slowly or too fast or they may know each other personally and be chasing each other or preparing to inflict drive-by violence on one party or another. Motorcyclists are an easier target as they are not encapsulated by a metal vehicle and are out in the open where it is easier to start an argument, or in some cases, even attempt to run into them with a vehicle maliciously. These types of incidents are extremely dangerous to everyone involved as well as other motorists too who may have to stop suddenly in the face of an ongoing altercation or may become involved as the issue escalates further.

Most drivers report having driven aggressively in the past, as well as experiencing road rage while driving. If you are a motorcyclist (or motorist—or anyone else traveling on the road), always drive defensively and avoid getting into potentially volatile issues with other drivers by following traffic rules, be courteous, and avoid anyone who seems to be belligerent in traffic. Avoid stress on your own part by giving yourself plenty of time to get from one destination to another, eliminating distraction in the car, and try to make your minutes and hours in the car peaceful ones.

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.

Truck Accidents: Unsecured Loads May Cause Serious Injury or Death

As millions of cars converge on roads and highways each day, it is up to every one of us to give our complete attention to the duty of driving and look out not only for our own safety and that of our passengers, but everyone else around us too. Truck drivers have an even larger task as they are responsible for driving a vehicle that is exponentially heavier than cars (consider that the average car weighs 4,000 pounds and an 18-wheeler may weigh 80,000 pounds). A crash with another truck or a car has the potential to be catastrophic for everyone involved.

Trucking accidents are further intensified when a semi or 18-wheeler (or any size truck) is carrying cargo that may be unsecured, and hazardous. Many of us have had the experience of gravel or small debris falling on our hood while on the road traveling behind a truck, or even having a windshield cracked, but in many cases, items falling out of a truck can cause a serious accident. The trucker may be considered negligent if this happens, along with the loading company, and/or the trucking company, but with the help of an experienced accident attorney from Heintz & Becker, you should receive fair compensation for any damages.

Trucks can wreak havoc on the road otherwise during blowouts, not only causing accidents or pileups as they may begin losing control of their truck, trailer, and load, but also as they leave a trail of large tire debris everywhere. It is up to them to practice extreme diligence in maintaining their trucks and the tires, which sustain a great deal of wear and tear. Unfortunately, like so many other drivers, truckers may also cause accidents due to distracted driving, entertaining themselves over long periods of time by talking on their phones and reading or sending texts, or even surfing the internet or fiddling with other electronics or recreational devices. Truck drivers may also be exhausted after many hours of travel, falling asleep at the wheel or traveling while overly drowsy, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a truck 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.