Parents: Make Sure Your Teens Are Establishing Good Driving Habits

With traffic incidents on the rise, it can be stressful watching your teenagers head out on to busy roads, and especially if you are worried about their driving habits, still developing. It is a rite of passage though in the US and with the proper education and road training, teenagers should be equipped to travel alone before you know it. The process usually begins with a restricted license, allowing older kids to drive with another licensed driver in the passenger seat. Once they have taken the required course and passed the licensing exam, your young drivers can take on a level of independence, bolstered by having a good foundation in learning behind them.

The beginning is the best time to help your teens establish good driving habits. And while they should be book-smart on the topic too, you as the parent are most likely their most influential role model in experience. Good driving habits should include:

  • Avoiding all distractions – teens can be worse than any other age group when it comes to distracted driving, and especially texting while driving. Due to inexperience with driving, they may also think they’ve got multi-tasking down to a science, whether they are engaged with passengers, fiddling with other electronics in the car, or eating or drinking. It can be hard for everyone to avoid distractions while driving but in making a point to ignore the phone while driving, for example, you are teaching your kids a valuable lesson.
  • Following the speed limit – sadly, failure to follow the speed limit is still one of the greatest causes of accidents and fatalities—right up there with drinking and driving. Teaching teen drivers about cruise control and advising them to stay right at the speed limit could save not only their lives, but someone else’s too!
  • Wearing a seat belt – while this is one of the most common-sense exercises in driving a car, far too many teenagers do not wear their seatbelts. They may be influenced by friends who do not, they may think seatbelts are uncool, or they may simply lack a sense of mortality as so many young people do.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs and never drive under the influence – it can be tempting to have a couple of drinks at a family dinner and then drive home, assuming you are okay—but abstinence is best if you are getting behind the wheel. Making this a hard and fast rule should have a lasting effect on your kids. Talk to them about the catastrophic dangers of driving while under the influence, along with the extreme consequences of a DUI. While there is a lot of information shared with the public regarding not drinking (or taking drugs) while driving, seeing you as a role model will make an enormous difference.

Some parents even create contracts with their older kids who are driving, discussing whether other teens can be in the car while they are traveling, as well as establishing consequences for breaking established rules. Safety must be the priority—for all drivers of all ages!

If you 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.


Burning Sensations Common Symptom of CRPS

For many of the 200,000 individuals or more in the US suffering from complex regional pain syndrome, both the onset of the condition and following symptoms can be confounding. While Type 2 CRPS (also known as causalgia) is usually more defined and presents itself after direct damage to the nerves, Type 1 (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome) may occur after a trauma such as a car accident. Commons injuries often include minor sprains or fractures, but they may have already healed in entirety by the time CRPS symptoms arise, seemingly out of nowhere. If you have CRPS, you may have felt both frustrated and shocked after adjusting to a previous injury and then recuperating, only to have an even more uncomfortable and possible long-term chronic condition arise.

CRPS can include a variety of symptoms, with chronic pain being the most difficult to deal with. This may include burning in the affected limb (or limbs, although usually just one is affected), accompanied by possible swelling too. Symptoms vary in severity, but burning pain is sometimes described as intolerable, and the area may be extremely sensitive to touch and temperature as well. Changes to and discoloration in the skin is often a telltale sign of CRPS too, whether extremely pale or even bluish or pink. Hair may begin to grow abnormally on the affected limb too, along with tightening of the muscles and cramping.

If you have been experiencing substantial pain with CRPS, it’s not uncommon to feel anxious about moving or walking and bringing on discomfort. That can be a vicious cycle as mobility is painful, but without exercise muscles will atrophy. Dystonia is also a possibility, as fingers or toes become paralyzed in an abnormal position.

There is not a formal test for CRPS, but it can be narrowed down by ruling out other diseases with similar symptoms like Lyme disease, and then further diagnosed with CTs, MRIs, or bone scans. Depending on your pain, treatment could be as simple as ibuprofen or something stronger. Corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed, along with nerve blockers—and a range of therapies could be suggested, even including 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.


Motorcycle Safety Topics: Beware of That Blind Spot!

If you are thinking about getting a motorcycle, there is a lot to consider—and especially if you are new to the lifestyle. Along with finding a bike of proper size (and one that fits your budget), protective gear such as leather, boots, helmet, and goggles are all usually necessary too. Licensing requirements must be explored, and you may need to take an educational course also. After you have jumped through all those hoops, you may be ready to ride—but don’t forget about the most important conversation of all when it comes to biking: safety.

Florida Is One of the Top States for Motorcycle Accidents

There are so many benefits to riding a motorcycle, whether you do so for pleasure or consider it to be your preferred mode of transportation. Florida is full of scenic byways, no matter which coast you are traveling on, and motorcycle enthusiasts come from all over the country to enjoy riding with an even greater sense of freedom in the year-round sunshine and fresh, tropical air. It cannot be denied though that safety must be of the utmost priority. There are dangers involved in riding a motorcycle—and sadly, most of them are due to negligent motorists. Florida is also known as one of the most dangerous states (coming in tied for the number one spot with Texas) for motorcycle accidents and fatalities. The roads are busy, and they can be hazardous not only for motorcyclists, but also bicyclists and pedestrians.

Always Maintain Good Visibility for Motorists & Yourself

Visibility is always a main issue for bikes, as motorists are generally in the habit of looking for larger vehicles on the road and at intersections, despite continual safety information given to the public about watching for motorcycles. Aside from having additional lighting and wearing bright clothes (or even reflective material), it is critical to make sure motorists can see you in their mirrors. Avoiding blind spots means maneuvering correctly in your lane, and even trying to make eye contact with motorists as they look back. Remember that if you cannot see them in their mirrors, most likely they are not seeing you behind them on the road or traveling right next to them.

Keep a Healthy Distance from Other Vehicles

Always keep a safe distance from cars and other vehicles and have a buffer zone for being able to stop quickly and avoid a potential accident. If you are traveling with other motorcyclists, travel in a safe formation, keeping proper distance between your group and motorists. Find out more here about common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents, as well as what to do if you have been in a collision with a car.

Contact Us for Help Now

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.


When Do Products Get Recalled?

In 2015, there were 4,217 product recalls issued. There have been more than 4,000 recalls every year, since 2010.

In most cases, defective products are recalled when the manufacturer is aware of a defect. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t always discover the defect first.

Product defects sometimes lead to product liability lawsuits: legal action against the manufacturer. Product liability claims help victims recover damages for things like medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering.

The personal injury lawyers from Heintz & Becker discuss product recalls and what to do if a product causes injury.

What’s a Product Recall?

Defective products and product recalls aren’t the same thing.  A defective product is the result of an absent or ineffective recall. A product recall is a process instigated by the manufacturer when a product poses a public danger.

Recalls are initiated for public safety and reduce the risk of legal action taken against a manufacturer.

The recall process includes informing the public of the defect and removing the product from sale. Manufactures must also refund, fix, or replace any defective products sold before the recall was initiated.

Who Finds Product Defects?

Once a safety risk has been identified, the recall process starts. But who’s responsible for finding these dangerous defects?

While it’s in the best interest of the manufacturer to avoid defects, there are several government agencies that provide important oversight on consumer products such as The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

These agencies have combined forces to make it easier for the public to get information about product recalls. Recalls.gov is a “one stop shop for U.S. Government recalls.”

There are also local agencies like the Florida Department of Health that keep tabs on dangerous or contaminated foods as well as recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts.

Recalls are usually a voluntary process initiated by the manufacturer. But in many cases, a government agency will discover a defect and encourage the manufacturer to issue an official recall.

Sadly, many product recalls affect small children. Things like sippy cups, strollers, and even furniture have been recalled after devastating losses. In 2016, the number of children’s product recalls increased 12 percent, year over year.

Product Liability in Florida

People injured by a defective product may be eligible for financial compensation.

There are two legal theories Florida courts use to analyze defective products: negligence theory and product liability theory (also known as strict liability theory). The latter is most common.

Viable product liability cases typically include one of three defect categories:

  • Design defects are usually intended by the manufacture, so the defect is inherent to its design. In Florida, we use what’s called the “consumer expectation test” to make this determination.
  • A manufacturing defect occurs when the product becomes defective during manufacturing or supply chain management.
  • Labeling defects typically involve a failure to warn consumers about a potential danger. This is sometimes called a marketing defect.

Moreover, Florida’s statutes of limitations set time parameters for when a victim must file a product liability lawsuit. In Florida, a defective product claim must be filed within four years of the date of injury.  However, there are some exceptions.

It should be noted that product recalls don’t necessarily prove a product manufacturer is liable. Moreover, large product manufacturers have abundant resources to fight off litigation.

If you’ve been injured by a defective product, contact a Florida product liability lawyer to discuss your legal options. Some injuries won’t be viable claims. For example, if the victim altered the product after purchase.

Product recalls are a safety net for defective products, but it can’t catch every potential danger. 

The best way to avoid dangerous products is to stay informed. Never purchase a product that’s been recalled and check for updates on reliable recall sites.

It’s never been easier to stay informed! Follow Heintz & Becker on Twitter, or ‘like’ us on Facebook for safety updates and more!


Boating Passengers: Avoid Doing These Five Things While on the Water

Boating in Florida can be an enjoyable venture year-round for many outdoorsy water enthusiasts. There are opportunities to catch fish of all kinds, check out wildlife, and enjoy a wide range of activities—including overnight trips and journeys along the Intracoastal Waterway. With all that fun, however, comes a list of safety measures that must be followed to make sure everyone comes back from boating in one piece.

No matter how much experience you may have on the water as a captain or a passenger, avoiding doing these five things while out boating:

  1. Drinking alcohol – although it may be tempting to get out on the water and party, alcohol and the sun are a dangerous mix, not to mention the safety hazards that may arise after judgment is impaired. Carrying a boatful of passengers who have been drinking is a bad idea—and if you are operating the vessel, be aware that it is illegal to drink alcohol while doing so. Too many boating accidents today—and fatalities—include issues with alcohol use.
  2. Overloading the boat – a boat brimming full of passengers is often a recipe for disaster, especially in a smaller boat which may be more susceptible to capsizing due to weather or an unexpected, large wake. Know the boat’s weight capacity and aim to stay under the limit.
  3. Riding in precarious areas of the boat – passengers should be safely seated while the boat is in operation. And although it may be tempting to ride on the bow or near the gunwales, enjoying the breeze—falling overboard and even possibly drowning is not worth it. All it takes is one sudden stop for the boat to hit an obstacle—or a large wake—and passengers may find themselves injured or in the water suddenly.
  4. Going without a life jacket – if you are a weak swimmer or do not know how to swim at all, putting on a life jacket at the dock and keeping it on until you hit shore is an extremely smart idea. By Florida law, children six and under must wear life jackets while on any boat under 26 feet.
  5. Failing to listen to the captain of the boat – many passengers are inexperienced, which makes this safety rule even more important. The captain may need passengers to go to the cabin if there is a storm or may need to issue other instructions depending on the area and conditions. The captain may also need help performing routine tasks or taking safety precautions while underway.

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.


Traffic Accidents: Motorists Must Get Better About Sharing the Road

If you travel major roads or highways daily, it can be hard to get to work or home without driving by a car accident—whether it is a fender bender or a major crash. Of course, the situation becomes much more personal if you or a loved one are involved in a car accident due to the negligence of others, with the possibility of broken bones, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or other serious issues. All too often, fatalities are an unfortunate result of traffic accidents too—along with instances of injury and death for motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Traffic fatalities have been at unfortunate highs for years now, and as infrastructure experts scramble to figure out why this is the case despite evolution in safety features for cars and so much more public knowledge, they usually come down to the same conclusions—and distracted drivers top the list. The temptation of looking at the smartphone while driving seems to have taken over the roads, along with a growing number of other distractions, from the GPS and the stereo to more typical no-no’s like grooming and applying lipstick or mascara while driving. Distracted driving, along with drowsy driving, drunk driving, speeding, and other reckless behaviors are responsible for thousands of crashes every day, along with causing fatalities to those traveling on two wheels and or on foot.

Not sharing the road patiently—or enthusiastically—is another major issue for motorists; for example, they may feel resentful about the bicyclist traveling in front of them in a traffic lane when they are in a hurry. Or they simply may not understand that it is completely legal for bicyclists to be on the road too, as technically they are just another vehicle. Sometimes an adversarial relationship may develop on the road very quickly between those biking and those driving, leading to dangerous consequences resulting from aggressive driving or complete road rage. Bicyclists or pedestrians barely stand a chance against a 4,000-pound car, and there have been common instances where motorists have yelled at them in frustration over being slowed down or have even thrown items at them from car windows.

No matter your mode of travel, it is critical to give the roads your full attention while on the move—along with practicing tolerance and patience for everyone else who has a legal right to be there.

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.

 


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Children

Complex regional pain syndrome lives up to every word in its name. Not only is it unusually complicated, but it is rare and hard to diagnose, and leads many to wonder how a condition often so severe could develop out of something which seemed so minor initially. Type 1 is the form of CRPS affecting 90 percent of patients after some sort of trauma, while Type 2 is rarer and develops from a direct nerve injury.

The condition only affects around 200,000 people in the US to begin with, with women more often having CRPS. So far, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are no children documented with CRPS under the age of five—and few under the age of ten. There tends to be a ‘peak age’ of 40, but for children who are suffering from CRPS, they tend to have complications due to missing school, missing activities, and feeling alone. There may also be a significant gap between the time that they start feeling symptoms from CRPS and the time that it is diagnosed, due to a lack of specific tests for the condition.

No matter their age, as Type 1 develops, the affected individual may be confused and surprised to find out they have CRPS. It can be hard to understand how an injury that healed fairly easily already has re-emerged as a chronic and very painful condition. Car accidents or motorcycle crashes that caused broken bones or sprains are often a trigger, as well as surgeries or even a mild stroke or other health issue.

Symptoms may transform the skin, leading to a wide array of issues such as overwhelming sensitivity and pain, discoloration at the site, and strange and uncomfortable ranges of temperature from hot, to cold, to clammy. Muscle spasms may occur, and those with CRPS sometimes have challenges with mobility overall, as well as issues with dystonia—where fingers or toes become fixed in an unnatural position. The pain associated with CRPS may be so severe at times that patients become afraid to move and trigger an episode.

A variety of medications may be prescribed for CRPS, to include pain relievers, corticosteroids—as well as prescriptive therapies.

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.

 


Aggressive Drivers Are Added Threat to Motorcyclists

Traveling the roads to get from one destination to another is usually just a minor detail in our day. That can change all too quickly, however, in the case of an accident—and especially a serious one.

Traffic accidents continue to rise, and this means that smaller vehicles on the road like motorcycles are at even more risk each time they venture out.

One of the greatest safety threats to motorcyclists is other motorists on the road, and especially aggressive drivers.

Unfortunately, road rage and aggressive behaviors exhibited on the road are all too common. Drivers may be in a hurry to get to work, having an overall bad day, or suffering in the summer heat and lashing out. Road rage is often triggered in those who may have anger issues to begin with, and they feel comfortable acting belligerently from the protective confines of their own cars. This is problematic when one motorist begins raging on another—but when a motorcycle is involved, the consequences could be deadly.

Aggressive drivers may yell or gesture from within their cars and honk the horn initially; in fact, many motorists may consider this type of adversarial behavior to be completely normal, almost as if it is part of their driving persona. When the situation escalates to driving erratically to punish or chase another driver, the safety of a motorcyclist could be deeply threatened as they are pushed off the road, into guardrails, or into oncoming traffic.

The average car weighs over 4,000 pounds in comparison to a motorcycle weighing 400 to 500 pounds on average. A lot of damage can be done—and especially in an accident carried out deliberately by an enraged driver. In a motorcycle crash, the motorcyclists are prone to much more serious harm to include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (hopefully prevented by a helmet)
  • Spinal cord and neck injuries and even paralysis
  • Broken bones (especially broken legs due to bikes falling on the motorcyclists)
  • Road rash and other burns and contusions
  • Facial fractures
  • Fatality

These types of incidents can be particularly dangerous for more inexperienced motorcyclists too, as they may have trouble maneuvering in normal situations, much less handling an aggressive situation.

Everyone on the road must remember to drive as defensively as possible, keeping in mind that all vehicles have a right to be there.

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.


Motorcycle Fatalities: Is Florida’s Year-Round Good Weather to Blame?

Overall, Florida has so much going for it as a state—evidenced by the millions of tourists who flock to the south for a wide range of different attractions, as well as so many who decide to retire there–but it is also becoming infamous for traffic problems and motorcycle fatalities. We’ve got some of the most famous amusement parks in the world, along with the best boating, fishing, and access to protected areas like the Everglades. Great restaurants, shopping, and world-class beaches abound.

Along with the continual influx of people visiting comes high volumes of traffic, which means increased accidents—and fatalities—whether they are car accidents, motorcycle crashes, or pedestrian or bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, such incidents just continue to rise in all areas, meaning that drivers must be more careful than ever on the roads. Motorcyclists must be incredibly defensive while traveling, no matter where they are, but with accidents (and deaths) continuing to trend upward, they must be even more diligent about watching out for what can be their greatest threat on the roads today: motorists.

The motorcyclist is much more vulnerable in traffic, traveling on what is usually a fairly lightweight vehicle in comparison to the average car. After a collision, broken legs and trauma to other limbs are common, along with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and more. In an effort to curb accidents and deaths, experts continue to investigate why there would be an increase—especially with better safety devices in cars today and so much more public knowledge about the dangers of distracted and drunken driving, speeding, and other reckless behaviors.

And while all those behaviors still continue to top the list for the reasons why accidents continue to occur and increase, other more difficult-to-curb factors may be to blame. As the population of Florida continues to grow, there are more motorists on the road and that leads to more problems; however, the outdoorsy nature of Florida’s residents and visitors—combined with the famously good weather of the Sunshine State—means there is more time to be spent on the roads during the day and night. Even if it may not be sunny all the time, the subtropical climate is enticing to those who enjoy motorcycling and other outdoor activities.

If you are a motorcyclist, no matter the state, always be sure that you are visible to others on the road. Shift in lanes appropriately so you avoid getting into blind spots and make eye contact with motorists making left turns at intersections whenever possible. Always be alert, and wary of other drivers.

If you 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.


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Causes

Unless you know someone suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or have it yourself, chances are you may be unaware that the condition even exists. Characterized by a wide range of unusual symptoms, Type 1 (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome or RSD) is often a condition that takes the patient by surprise. They may have been in a car crash, motorcycle accident, or another incident, and experienced a sprain or broken bone that already healed by the time CRPS symptoms arose. They may have also had a major surgery like an amputation or even just a minor procedure in a doctor’s office that triggered Type 1.

Type 2 CRPS (also known as causalgia) is usually brought on by direct nerve damage. Although the symptoms may be the same for both types, this form usually stays within the area that was affected at the time of nerve damage. Both Type 1 and Type 2 can be managed better for most patients if medical professionals are able to make a rapid diagnosis, but unfortunately that is not always so easy. There aren’t any specific tests for CRPS, but medical professionals may use a combination of tools to rule out the condition. They may examine an MRI or CT scan first, along with bone scans, looking for tissue changes. Doctors may also perform nerve system tests meant to gauge temperature and blood flow.

Symptoms often include changes to the skin, including discoloration and transformation in texture. Swelling and sensitivity are common, along with ongoing temperature changes from hot to cold to clammy or sweaty. Muscle spasms, weakness, issues with coordination, and more may occur, but the main symptom almost all patients have in common is pain. Depending on severity, it may be treated with something as simple as over-the-counter pain relievers. If something stronger is necessary, doctors may prescribe opioids, along with other medications to alleviate symptoms such as anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, nerve blockers, and more.

There are also numerous therapies available for CRPS. Physical therapy is often prescribed, along with heat therapy and other alternative forms such as mirror therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, biofeedback, and more.

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.