Does Your City Have Bike Crash ‘Hot Spots?

It is unfortunate that some of the most enjoyable activities in life can also be dangerous to the point of fatality; for instance, learning to ride your bike as a youngster may be a fond memory, shared with family and marked as a milestone when the training wheels came off and you enjoyed one of your first independent endeavors enjoying the fresh air and the freedom of having your own transportation—even if it was just down the road and eventually perhaps traveling to school and back.

Bicycle safety is a big issue for kids, along with making sure they are donning the correct protective gear no matter where they are riding. For adults traveling in traffic though—and for some who may use their bicycles as economical commuting vehicles—the stakes can be even more dangerous navigating through high-speed traffic or the opposite, with congested traffic that can be even worse in some cases despite slower speeds. Although we have so much more information today about how to stay safe in traffic, and infrastructure is so much more progressive, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities have continued to rise. Sadly, Florida tops the list for dangerous areas for bicyclists, and you may be surprised to find out that there are actual ‘hot spots,’ often in areas with colleges or more nightlife, and this may be associated with bicyclists traveling in areas lacking illumination. Distractions and alcohol levels on the part of either the bicyclist or motorist cause more accidents, along with busy intersections, areas featuring higher speed limits, and those with multiple lanes.

Bicycle accidents can be harmful enough due to simple errors on the part of the rider, but when combined with negligence on the part of a 4,000-pound plus car or truck (exponentially heavier), the results can be devastating. Injuries may include severe concussions or even traumatic brain injuries which can lead to a host of different and long-term symptoms such as mood disorders, memory loss, coma, and more. Crashes may also lead to spinal injuries and paralysis, road rash, broken bones, contusions, and more—along with emotional distress that can last over the long-term due to the trauma of being involved in such an incident.

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.

 

Central Nervous System Damage May Cause CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition that may plague patients long-term with a variety of unique and uncomfortable symptoms. Many are centered around the skin in terms of more topical discomfort like sensitivity to touch (and this may be even the slightest bit of contact—or even as extreme as exposure to a light breeze), discoloration, swelling, and more. And while that may seem intolerable enough, pain can be chronic and extreme too, affecting the joints and muscles and even making it difficult to move around.

While CRPS can be confounding in many ways, affecting around 200,000 people in the US, experts consider it to be caused by damage to the central nervous system, with Type 1 often being caused by a trauma like a car accident (with gray area in regards to ‘direct nerve damage’) or in some cases even a minor medical procedure like a blood draw, and Type 2 being related to known central nerve damage in cases such as a surgery or other defining event. For some patients, the condition may be self-limiting but for others it could last indefinitely and cause significant issues; in fact, the pain may sometimes be so terrible that those afflicted with CRPS dread trying to walk simply because of the agony they associate with movement.

Patients may experience moderate to severe pain in Type 1 or Type 2, but diagnosis of the rare condition is not always easy at first as other diseases (such as Lyme) must be ruled out first. There is no actual test for CRPS, and it could take months or even years to diagnose, unfortunately. Treatment usually includes pain relievers first, although they could be as simple as over-the-counter medications. If OTC pain relievers do not work or if the CRPS pain is too severe from the outset, doctors may prescribe a variety of other treatments to include opioids, steroids like prednisone, nerve-blockers, and even antidepressants or anticonvulsants. Therapies may be in order too, including conventional physical therapy for muscles that may be painful or even beginning to atrophy, along with more alternative treatments like biofeedback.

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.

Complications from Your Hernia Repair with Mesh?

While surgery is usually the only way to resolve a hernia, for many it turns into a watch and wait situation. Some hernias may be congenital, but most present themselves as bulging in the abdominal/groin area where the muscles have become not only weakened over time but are then strained by an activity like lifting furniture during a move or hauling around inventory at work. Some hernias can even be caused during allergy season due to repeated coughing and sneezing, or when a patient is obese and may also be prone to negative lifestyle habits like smoking and enjoying too many rich, calorie-laden foods.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that the most typical hernias include:

  • Inner groin
  • Upper thigh
  • Via a scar or incision
  • Abdominal wall
  • Belly-button area
  • Inner abdomen

Once complications to the hernia require surgery, doctors will examine the best route, which may include the use of mesh in either laparoscopic or open repair surgery. Because weakened tissue is commonly seen in hernia cases, surgical mesh is often used to create a more solid foundation internally. Such materials can be made synthetically but are often derived from animals such as pigs and cows. Absorbable mesh is meant to disintegrate within the body over time as tissue strengthens and the implant is no longer needed, while non-absorbable mesh is implanted for permanent use.

Unfortunately, complications can occur and cause severe repercussions to patients, especially in the case of defective or already recalled mesh implants. If you are suffering due to this type of surgery, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker as soon as possible. Typical adverse reactions include pain and infection, along with blockages and bleeding, buildup of fluid, perforations, and more. Mesh may be defective or could migrate or shrink, causing painful complications, along with affecting other organs and tissue unrelated to the original hernia.

You may be owed significant monetary damages for physical and emotional suffering due to mesh hernia implants, and especially if you have been forced to lose your normal source of income, leaving work temporarily or even permanently due to negative repercussions from your surgery.

If you have been adversely affected by a mesh implant for your hernia surgery, 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.

Safety on the Road: Understanding Basic Bicycle Maintenance

Bicycling in Florida (and all around the world) can be enjoyed on so many different levels. You may appreciate riding your bike to work as an economical means of transportation, not to mention a more rapid one in areas with traffic congestion. Your children might ride their bikes to school in the mornings, and home in the afternoons, and you may enjoy riding as a group during your leisure time on weekends—or luxuriate in solitary day trips throughout the state of Florida, where there are plenty of places to enjoy traveling on two wheels while also taking in nature and even some wildlife here and there.

No matter how old you are, it is vital to take the proper safety precautions. You should be dressed in bright colors, add as many additional lights and reflective devices as possible, and ride defensively. While everyone should take advantage of helmets and other protective gear, this is especially important for children, to avoid concussions and traumatic brain injury. Broken bones, soft tissue damage, and cuts and contusions are common too—for anyone involved in a bicycle accident. Issues often arise due to negligence on the part of distracted motorists who may collide with bikes, rear-end them, or hit them head on when turning at intersections.

And while safety in traffic is a priority, maintenance for your bike (just as for a car or any other type of vehicle) should be too so that you are not left high and dry while away from home. Again, in most situations, bicycles are the most economical route to go for ‘vehicle’ maintenance, but make sure to do a thorough onceover periodically, checking:

  • Tire pressure – Don’t be caught with a flat! Your tires should indicate which pressure is necessary. Don’t forget to keep a patch kit on hand either for a quick fix on the road.
  • Brakes – This is one of the most important components of the bike. Check brakes regularly, and especially if they are squeaking or you suspect adjustments or tightening could be necessary.
  • Bicycle chain – Make sure it is properly lubricated and in good working order so that gears shift smoothly.
  • Hardware – Check all nuts and bolts and tighten them when necessary.

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.

 

Your Injury Case: Documenting Evidence After a Car Crash

No matter how defensively you drive, chances are you will be in at least one car accident in your lifetime—and probably more. While they may just be fender benders, no one likes to hear that thud of one car hitting the metal of another, or the sickening tinkle of breaking glass. Traffic incidents are on the rise around the US though, unfortunately, even with so many different public campaigns to educate drivers on the hazards of careless driving.

Distracted driving is the top reason for car accidents, killing thousands of travelers each year. Smartphones are often an irresistible temptation for texting, making calls, and even surfing the net. Other electronics play a role in distracted driving events also, from motorists taking time to fiddle with stereo systems to DVD players, and more; in fact, when you consider all the other activities drivers may be involved in from talking to passengers, dealing with small kids, eating, drinking, and grooming—sometimes it seems like many motorists are behind the wheel focusing on just about everything except driving. Many other factors figure into car accidents though, as far too many drivers still operate vehicles under the influence of drugs and alcohol, speed, ignore traffic stops and signals, and exhibit other reckless behaviors that can lead to injuries and fatalities on the road.

While no one wants to think that they might suffer through a car crash, it is important to be prepared. Educate yourself now on what to do if you are involved in a wreck later. The first thing to do is move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic, take a breath, and figure out whether you or any of your passengers are injured. Medical help should be called for immediately if there is any suspicion of injury—and it may be required for those in the other car(s) also. If possible, barring serious injury, all parties involved should trade contact and insurance information, along with calling the police so that a police report is filed regarding the incident.

Evidence can be the most important quotient in any car accident case, and you may be the one handling vital details right there on the scene as it unfolds. If you have a smartphone handy, be sure to take pictures not only of your car and any damage, but also the other car (including a shot with the license plate). Other details could be important too, so take as many photos as possible to document the entire area, from the road and side areas to any stop signs, lights, or intersections. If you are injured, take pictures or have another party take pictures of you immediately. You may want to write down notes about the accident as well, along with collecting the contact information of any witnesses there.

If you 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.

 

Sidewalks: Safe for Bicyclists?

Unfortunately, the roads in the US are often dangerous areas to navigate, whether you are traveling on town or city streets or major highways. Distracted driving is still the major cause of accidents and fatalities, along with crashes being caused by negligent motorists who ignore speed limits, traffic rules, and may also be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This makes traveling in a car hazardous enough, but if you are traveling on foot or riding a motorcycle or bicycle, practice further caution—especially in the state of Florida, leading in bicyclist fatalities.

Exactly where bicyclists should ride can be a controversial subject for some who believe that bicyclists do not belong in regular traffic no matter their level of experience; however, they have just as much right to be there as any other ‘vehicle,’ even if they may sometimes be traveling more slowly than cars and trucks. Depending on your pace as a bicyclist, you may sometimes want to get out of aggressive traffic but feel unsure about the actual rules for riding. While sidewalks may offer a more relaxed area to ride, they are not designed for bicycles. This type of activity is illegal in some states, but not in Florida; however, if the sidewalk is typically congested with pedestrians, riding a bike there could present challenges as well as opening the potential for accidents and major injury.

While protected bike lanes may not be an option in your town or city, they are the better choice when available. Sidewalks may seem like a more protected area, but pedestrians may feel threatened by your presence there, and you may be at greater risk of being hit by a car as you emerge into crosswalks from the sidewalk area with little warning and even less visibility than usual. No matter where you ride, remember to do so defensively, and to wear bright colors, reflective gear—as well as protective gear such as a helmet and knee and elbow pads if possible, too. Bicycle accidents can be very serious for riders of all ages, resulting in fatalities, plus traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more.

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.

After the Car Crash: Be Careful What You Say!

We know so much more today in the US than we did decades ago regarding the importance of safety—and we have so many progressive mechanisms available to prevent injury in the case of a car accident, not to mention so much more information available to the public on how to avoid crashes. Still, traffic incidents continue to rise, and issues like distracted driving continue to be a major problem—taking thousands of lives each year tragically, and needlessly. Motorists who can’t resist the temptation to use their smartphones while traveling are a problem of epic proportions on the roads, but drunk and reckless drivers still cause many crashes too.

If you are in a serious car wreck, you may be owed damages from the negligent party, but it is very important to protect your case from the beginning. This begins with being very careful about what you say. Being educated on what to do before such an incident occurs is extremely helpful, as you may be shaken after a collision with another vehicle. Take time to catch your breath and regain your composure, along with assessing whether you have any injuries. Upon speaking with the other party, as well as police or medical professionals, remember that there is the possibility anything you say could be used against you later; for instance, the other driver may have been negligent, but if you apologize or indicate in any way that you could have done something to prevent the accident (even when it was clearly not your fault!), such statements could have negative repercussions on your case.

Speak only to the police as they are there compiling the accident report, giving them only the basic facts about the case. You will be required to exchange contact and insurance information with the other motorist but keep any communication to a minimum. Your best bet is to contact an experienced injury attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible. And while it is important to consider your words and actions very carefully directly after an accident that may develop into an injury case, also make sure to speak to any witnesses who may be on the scene and collect their contact information too. That will most likely be the only chance you have to speak with them—and their account of what happened could be extremely important for you later.

If you 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.

Bicycle Accidents in Florida: Beware of the Most Common Contributing Factors

One thing most of us agree on is that we would rather spend more time outdoors relaxing in the fresh air and getting much-needed exercise. Bicycling in the state of Florida fills all those requirements, affording an economical mode of travel too, whether you are traveling alone or with a group of friends or your family. Millions of Americans enjoy this healthy mode of transportation, boosting good health in so many ways as it lifts the spirits overall, burns enormous amounts of calories, promotes strong heart and lung health, and so much more. Unfortunately, amidst all that relaxing lurks numerous safety issues.

Bicycling in Florida can be especially dangerous; in fact, it has been ranked with the highest fatality rate for bicyclists in the nation. Much of the hazards emanate from obvious factors like cars and distracted drivers. With the emergence of the smartphone, texting and driving has superseded all the other classic dangers like drunk driving and speeding—although those are still major issues causing far too many accidents and deaths still. Bicyclists must be extremely defensive while on the road, and especially while riding in traffic. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself and your family safe:

  • Careless drivers – Smartphone usage, drugs and alcohol, and reckless driving are to blame for many accidents. Car doors being opened in traffic areas can cause serious accidents for bicyclists too.
  • Lack of visibility – This can be a major problem for bicyclists. If motorists can’t see you, there is much greater potential for an accident to occur. Make sure to wear bright coloring and use reflectors and neon strips wherever possible.
  • Side-swiping and rear-ending – Motorists may be driving too closely, squeezing bicyclists out of traffic, or hitting them from the side or the back, with the potential to cause major injury or death.
  • Intersections – This is one of the most dangerous areas for anyone driving, but especially motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Make sure that motorists see you if you are turning and attempt to make eye contact with them if possible.
  • Bike path obstacles – Bike paths are usually not a place to travel at high speeds as there may be branches, rocks, litter, or other items in the way, along with other people biking, hiking, walking dogs, strolling children, and more.
  • Ignoring traffic rules – Both motorists and bicyclists can cause great injury to themselves and others when traffic rules are ignored—whether that is stop signs, traffic lights, four-way stops, or more.
  • Environmental issues – Even greater caution must be practiced if there is road construction or bad weather. If you can avoid being out in rain, snow, or ice, and have alternate transportation, that may be your best option—depending on how hardcore you are about your bicycling!

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.

Avoiding Fatalities at the Swimming Pool: Know CPR

Swimming is a year-round activity in Florida, enjoyed by all ages. And while many of us enjoy a dip in the ocean, swimming pools are much more accessible—and often situated right in the patio area or in the backyard. Unfortunately, dangers usually accompany recreation in the water too—causing boating accidents, drownings at the beach, and raising the potential for swimming pool fatalities.

Whether you are permanently retired or enjoy your pool as a getaway from the busy life, it is probably often the center of gatherings between family and friends. Pool parties can be one of the greatest ways to kick back on the weekends, celebrate birthdays, and more. There can be a lot of distractions though and supervision may become difficult, with the alcohol flowing for the adults, and events that involve kids becoming chaotic at times. Safety should always be the first consideration, and this starts with following Florida law regarding pools, requiring homeowners to choose from one option, to include a barrier like a fence or wall (at least four feet high), alarms on windows and doors to the swimming area, a pool cover, or latching gates to entrance/exit areas.

In the event of a swimming accident or a potential drowning, it is extremely helpful to know CPR. Even children as young as nine or so can take classes to learn how to save someone if they require resuscitation, and there have been numerous cases where they were able to save lives due to CPR education. CPR is performed with chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing meant to start the heart again after it has failed in a drowning episode or perhaps even a heart attack that was unrelated to the activities at hand. An individual who experienced distress in the water has a much better chance of survival if CPR is administered almost immediately.

It is important to watch kids constantly while they are in the pool, and if you frequent public pools, make sure there is a lifeguard in charge. Swimming classes may also offer some of the best lessons in life that your kids can learn too, but it is important to keep them enrolled year after year until they have developed into fully capable older swimmers.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a swimming pool accident due to the negligence of another party, 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.

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