Car Crashes Top the List for Teen Deaths

Most of us are stymied as to why traffic incidents and car crashes in the United States continue to escalate. After all, haven’t we evolved so much more as a society in recent decades that we understand how to be better defensive drivers, enjoy better safety mechanisms in our cars, and watch out for so many of the hazards we are constantly warned about? The problem is that many motorists give in to temptations that cause hazard, while other accidents are caused by weather, obstacles in the road, or issues that are seemingly unavoidable (aside from staying off the road completely—which is sometimes the best choice).

While distracted driving is one of the number one killers in the US today regarding car accidents, the problem looms larger in terms of teenagers and their driving habits. Although teens may have all the experience of a driver’s education course behind them, they are still fragile when it comes to experience; after all, consider how many years of driving experience you may have on the road—and there are still hazards to navigate past every day.

For a teenager, every bit of traveling on the road is a new experience as they are suddenly behind the wheel of the car. While they may doubt their mortality like many other young people, they may also be overconfident in their skills to multitask while behind the wheel. This could mean heavy overuse of the cell phone with calls coming in and being returned, voicemails being closely monitored, and text messages being read—and even worse, returned at length.

Most teenagers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. If you are a parent to a teen who has just started driving, continue to emphasize the dangers, set rules about phone usage while in the car, and be a good role model yourself. For some adults, that may be the hardest part of the equation, as we have a hard time putting down the phones too sometimes. It is critical for every driver, and especially teenagers who are just learning ‘the lay of the land,’ to give every ounce of attention to the task at hand when operating a vehicle—and doing so defensively.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, 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.

Hit and Run Car Accident: Know What to Do

If you walk away from a car crash alive, most likely you will be very grateful to have survived the incident; unfortunately, there may be a long list of items to take care of following such a traumatic event. And there is simply no way around it: if you have experienced property damage to your car or sustained physical injuries, you will be left with a list of responsibilities to handle.

The situation is exponentially compounded if you are in a hit-and-run accident. Enduring an accident due to the negligence of another party is a lot to process to begin with—but if they drive away from the scene of an accident, you may feel extremely angry. Victims of hit-and-run accidents sometimes have a very difficult time recovering from the emotional aspects of the incident; after all, to be potentially, seriously hurt and then just have someone drive away—or to be left with the tragedy of a loved one who passed away after the wreck—can be devastating enough to cause long-lasting symptoms of PTSD.

If you are hit by another driver and notice that they are taking off before the police arrive, do your best to note the type of car they are driving. Write down the make, model, and color or whatever information you have—with any information or even partial numbers of their license plate being most valuable. Jot down everything you can remember about their physical description, and seek out any witnesses on the scene of the accident—chances are, if this was during a busy time of day, someone noticed what happened and may be willing to talk to the police or even testify in your case. Don’t be shy about speaking to witnesses at the scene of ‘the crime,’ as this may be the only chance you would ever have to see them or speak to them.

A hit-and-run accident can add extreme chaos to an experience that is already fraught with intensity. Remember that your safety and immediate medical treatment should come before anything else. Consult with a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible too so that you are not left feeling isolated in such a difficult time or dealing with the insurance adjusters alone. If given a chance, the insurance company will most likely attempt to pay you as little as possible for what could have been catastrophic injury and property damage.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, 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.

Bicycling Safety: Prevent Your Child from Riding at Night

Kids and bicycles go together like peanut butter and jelly, as we all know. And for many adults too, their bicycle is a constant attachment and sometimes even an extremely economical form of transportation. Healthy exercises like bicycling are often passed down from parents to their children, encouraging the enjoyment of family time or solo exercise in the fresh air and the outdoors—as opposed to sitting inside staring at a tablet, the TV, or phone screen—along with building strong muscle and bone, and completing a good cardio and core work out every time.

Of course, most children are not concerned about the safety or health aspects of riding a bike. They usually have some place to go! And whether that is to school or a friend’s house, they may not be considering elements like time of day, weather, or other logistics that could make it dangerous to travel. It is highly recommended that you do not allow your child to ride their bicycle at night, but the true issue is in not allowing them to ride in the dark, which could apply to early rides to school also. This harkens back to the most important safety issue, which is visibility for motorists and others, and if it is dark, obviously your child is not going to be seen very easily (despite possible reflective gear and lights). Even during the day, bright clothing should be worn whenever possible—along with a bicycle helmet and recommended elbow and knee pads too.

Because bicycling offers so many health benefits, most of us are willing to overlook many safety issues that must be considered, and especially in Florida where bicyclist deaths continue to increase. Recent news shows that Florida is a dangerous place to ride:

“Each year about 2 percent of deaths in motor vehicle crashes are bicyclists. Although child bicyclist deaths have declined over the years, deaths among bicyclists age 20 and older have tripled since 1975,” states AAA data. “Florida leads the nation in bicycle fatalities. The latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows 783 bicyclists were killed in the U.S. in 2017; 125 (16%) were in Florida.”

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

 

CRPS Often Occurs After Musculoskeletal Injury

Complex regional pain syndrome is a rare condition that confounds many in the beginning; after all, if you are suffering from CRPS, it may have been quite surprising to you to heal from a sprain, a break, or a mild musculoskeletal injury, only to be stricken with something worse. While a muscle injury or a fracture can often be inconsequential in the scope of your health overall, getting over these issues can take a toll—and there is a healing period involved—meaning that when CRPS arises suddenly, most patients are not just surprised, they are extremely disappointed to have to deal with another health issue.

Following a musculoskeletal injury, CRPS symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Affecting only around 200,000 people in the US, CRPS is also without any specific diagnostics, apart from noting superficial symptoms. Testing involves ruling out other diseases first, but an experienced doctor who has seen CRPS before will probably be alerted by symptoms like sudden skin issues, to include inflammation, swelling, strange growth of hair (or nails), and even strange discoloration which can cause the skin to turn bluish or pinkish, with the texture becoming glossy or even thin and fragile in appearance.

Previous injuries may have rendered a CRPS patient immobile for a short time, but as the condition progresses, it may become so painful to move around that they become reluctant to do so at any point. This can cause serious atrophy in the muscles and limbs, along with other issues such as dystonia, with toes or fingers fixed in an unnatural position. These types of problems cause further distress to the patient who may then become self-conscious, beginning a vicious cycle of both physical and emotional issues.

Many different types of treatment can be offered for CRPS, beginning with over-the-counter medications, and then graduating to stronger prescriptions if necessary. Other treatments may help too, like corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and in many cases antidepressants too, in helping to deal with the understandable depression that may accompany CRPS. Different types of therapy are available too, from more traditional mental therapy sessions to physical therapy, as well as alternative methods like biofeedback or mirror 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.

Older Kids and Boating: When Are They Ready to Take the Helm?

Operating a boat in Florida is frequently an activity (and a skill) that is handed from parents to children, and a process that may be seamless for many kids and young adults as they have been on the water since they were babies. This is often the case around the coasts and waterways of the United States—and the world—as boats are very common and sometimes considered a more casual form of transportation; after all, in some cases (enviable to many) it is very easy to head down to the dock, hop into the boat, and take off. It is, however, critical to understand the laws in your state before allowing your child to do so. In Florida, kids must be at least 14 before they can drive a boat. If they are ages 14 to 16, they may operate a vessel alone if they have completed an approved boating course or if they are traveling with an adult over the age of 18. If traveling alone, they should carry a copy of their ID card/certification on board.

While it is important for all ages to take safety measures into account first and foremost, younger boaters may not be as acclimated, depending on the vessel they are operating, And they should always know where lifejackets and flotation devices are stowed, along with instructions on how to operate a radio, and other lifesaving devices like the airhorn and flares. If heading out alone, they should always create a float plan to leave behind with a friend or family member who is staying on land that day. Younger boaters should create or be provided with a safety/supply checklist to use every time before going out, reminding them to check the following:

  • Fuel and oil levels
  • Anchor
  • Battery
  • Bilge pump
  • Fire extinguisher, air horn, EPIRB
  • Water supply
  • Tool and first-aid kits
  • Life vests

New boaters, as well as captains of all ages, should always be in the habit of checking the weather before going out and should be skilled in handling choppy waves in the case of a squall popping up—especially in Florida, where that is a common occurrence. Younger boaters should also be extremely aware of the dangers involved in boating while under the influence, along with realizing that there can be legal repercussions just like driving while impaired.

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

Did You Know That Less Than Two Percent of Florida Lawyers Are Board Certified in Civil Trial?

If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, it is critical to have expert, licensed, aggressive legal assistance on your side. You may not be aware that less than two percent of attorneys in Florida are board-certified in civil trial! At Heintz & Becker, we do have the credentials, and we will take your case to trial if necessary. Our attorneys practice aggressive advocacy, and while we will try to negotiate a fair settlement, we will never accept a lowball offer or bend to bad faith practices of any sort.

A car accident is a perfect example of how important it is to have an experienced law firm on your side. As you approach your vehicle every morning, the scenario looks innocent enough. Your sturdy, four-thousand-pound car is faithfully waiting to take you to your destination. The sun may be out, birds chirping, and everything is just as it should be—until that is, you pull out of the driveway, head on to the highway, and are at the mercy of so many other motorists who may not be doing their jobs—which is to focus on the road 100 percent of the time, keeping the wheel steady and everyone safe.

Unfortunately, traffic incidents of all sorts are on the rise in Florida, and around most of the US. Whether you are a motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian, this not only means that you have a greater chance of being injured but unfortunately also killed as fatalities continue to rise. Diligence and extreme defensiveness are required every time you drive from one place to another. And while that may sound extreme, if you look at the statistics, there is no denying it.

No matter how focused you are as a driver, the sad news is that you are in the minority. Far too many other drivers are engaged in a myriad of distractions such as looking at their phones, talking on their phones, fiddling with their phones, or engaging with passengers who are distracting, not to mention eating, drinking, and grooming. Other drivers may be under the influence, whether drunk, on drugs, or even just drowsy. Many drivers are reckless, have no regard for traffic rules or traffic signs, and they put everyone at risk.

Just as you must be completely focused on driving, if you are involved in a serious accident or you are injured due to the negligence of someone else, you must be equally diligent about finding the most skilled and experienced car accident attorney to represent you so that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and stress. If our attorneys take your case to trial, we will prepare meticulously to ensure that the jury understands all the facts.

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.

 

Family Topics: When Your Spouse Wants to Buy a Motorcycle

The dangers of riding on a motorcycle are obvious. We have all heard the horror stories, and it’s obvious how vulnerable a motorcycle is in traffic in comparison to a car. And although more female riders are choosing to purchase their own motorcycles, if one partner wants a motorcycle while the other is hesitating with trepidation, today it is still usually the husband who wants a bike while the wife is worried about death and disaster (and rightly so, in some cases).

With over half a million motorcycles registered in the state of Florida, this is obviously a mode of transportation that is not slowing in popularity anytime soon—and there must be some good reasons behind that. So whether your spouse has surprised you with such a request, or if this has been an ongoing conversation (but a reluctant one on your part), it is important to understand the benefits too of having a motorcycle—and especially if it does not seem like your spouse wants to back down on the idea!

Let’s look at the downsides first:

  • Motorcycles lack the protection that cars have and the potential for injury in an accident is much greater.
  • Motorcyclists are in greater danger in traffic—and motorists are often the biggest threat.
  • Motorists and truck drivers often do not see the motorcyclist and will cite the lack of visibility in an accident. This is usually simply because motorcycles are in the minority and others are used to looking for cars or larger trucks, rather than motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
  • Areas like intersections and road construction zones are hot spots for accidents, along with added difficulty in traveling safely during bad weather.

There are many good points if you can get past the safety worries:

  • The economics of riding a motorcycle can be substantially cheaper. The initial cost or monthly payment is usually much lower too.
  • Fuel and maintenance cost much less.
  • Motorcycle insurance is considerably less.
  • There are many health benefits to riding a motorcycle, with every ride being a core workout.

The spiritual, Zen aspect of riding a motorcycle cannot be overlooked either, as motorcyclists not only enjoy the fresh air and freedom, but they also enjoy a camaraderie amongst other motorcyclists.

If your spouse is considering getting a motorcycle, but you are still worried, the best thing to do is continue an ongoing conversation, mainly revolving around safety. To get licensed, they will have to take a course, and this includes reviewing many safety rules and regulations, as well as training. Along with all the basic information and learning how to ride (if that is a need due to a novice driver), all motorcyclists should know what to do in the case of an accident.

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.

 

Traffic Safety for Children: Their Vision May Not Be Fully Developed

One of the most critical rules we all must remember about moving in traffic is that the road is meant to be shared amongst everyone. While there may be many irritations that we have to deal with, not to mention inconveniences, as we try to get to our destinations on time, the priority is staying focused behind the wheel, and safe. The task at hand—driving—requires 100 percent of our attention over everything else.

Most of us are suffering from one condition or another—even if that just involves trying to shake off the work stress of the day. As travelers, we may be young, or old, or in between, but in sharing the road, we must be educated on traffic rules and understand them and follow them. It is important to keep in mind, however, that some people may be in different stages of life, or more vulnerable in traffic, and we should work even harder to protect them too.

Obviously, senior citizens may be having more trouble crossing the road sometimes due to trouble with mobility, or they may pause longer at a red light or an intersection, as their hearing or eyesight may not be as good as it once was—but still sufficient to allow them to travel alone. All of us will reach that point someday. But on the flipside, children may also not be completely developed, and this can lead to hesitation or errors in judgment while near traffic areas. Often, while younger children may seem responsible enough to walk or cross in traffic, their eyesight still may not be as keen as yours as their bodies are still developing. They also may not be able to handle all the stimulation coming at them, and this can cause challenges at crosswalk areas or as they travel on bicycles.

As a motorist, you may find yourself often traveling through school zones. Speed limits are set at an extremely low rate in these areas for obvious reasons, and there may be crowds of children around at the beginning of the day and in the afternoons. Kids may be traveling on foot, on bicycles, or waiting to get into cars, but the bottom line is they may not have a total grasp on what it means to navigate through traffic.

If your child is traveling to and from school alone, or waits at a bus stop each day, or even just in a car line make sure they understand the hazards of traffic, are dressed visibly and are knowledgeable about traffic rules and road signs.

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.

Larger Motorcycle Motors Often Correspond to Worse Injuries

While motorcycles may be one of the more dangerous ways to travel today (and historically—even worse), statistics seem to show that navigating through traffic in any form is hazardous for nearly everyone in the vicinity of a side street, major road, highway, or byway. And in Florida, traffic incidents are on the rise not only between motorists and truckers and motorcyclists, but also pedestrians, and bicyclists. No one is safe, but others are more vulnerable for many different reasons.

Walking or traveling in the fresh air can be a great boon to our psyche, and give a fresh perspective on the day, especially if you have a stressful work life, or often need to get out of the house and clear your head. As a motorcyclist, you may enjoy breaking free of the confines and protection that the metal structure, seatbelts, and airbags offer to travelers choosing to ride in cars; however, this does come with some potential sacrifice for safety—and unfortunately, the sacrifice of life in some cases as fatalities continue to rise on Florida roads.

The irony is that riding a motorcycle offers so many health benefits too, and the first is building up strength. Handling a large motorcycle is no easy feat, and novices should be very well trained before heading out onto the road. Recent data from IIHS suggests that the actual size of a motorcycle motor may play a part in creating more accidents:

“Engine sizes of motorcycles whose drivers were killed in crashes have gone up dramatically. Among motorcycle drivers killed in 2017, 33 percent drove motorcycles with engine sizes larger than 1,400 cc, compared with 9 percent in 2000 and less than 1 percent in 1990.”

Corresponding data also states that most motorcycle fatalities involve men, with most female fatalities occurring when women are riding as passengers. If you are a motorcyclist, or a passenger, be aware of additional ways to stay safe. This includes being extremely visible with bright clothing, reflectors at night, and additional clothing. Always make eye contact with motorists at intersections (especially before turning left) and make yourself seen and heard.

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.