Rear End Collisions: Don’t Be the Negligent Party!

Many of us have an unfortunate need for speed throughout the day, and it often begins as soon as that alarm clock rings, propelling us into motion. The problem, however, is when that sense of urgency translates to the highway. This is a common problem for many drivers—and is often the reason behind traffic accidents related to speeding, whether they are simple fender benders or car wrecks or motorcycle crashes resulting in tragic fatalities.

The rear-end collision is a common result of speeding—as well as distracted driving. Although operating a vehicle should be treated as an intensely serious exercise (after all, negligent drivers may hold the lives of other motorists in their hands), that is often not the case, and especially for those who drive a lot. While typical offenses such as drunk and reckless driving are still the causes of many injuries and deaths on the road, distracted driving is now the top reason for accidents. Thousands of deaths occur and hundreds of thousands of people are hurt due to motorists who cannot resist the temptation to pick up the phone, read a text, send a message, or perform other unnecessary activities that involve holding and manipulating electronics. And unfortunately, for the innocent driving along doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, being ‘run into’ is an all too common occurrence.

In most cases, one motorist will hit another from behind due to a lack of time to hit the brakes. This is usually deemed to be their fault. Although there can be extenuating circumstances such as multi-car pileups or weather issues, the bottom line is that whoever could have prevented the accident is generally at fault. If you or a loved one were injured due to a rear-end collision, you may have experienced any range of injuries from cuts and contusions to whiplash, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, severe spinal injuries, paralysis, and more. Do not try to go it alone against the other motorist’s insurance carrier if this is the case. They may attempt to interview you and tape record conversations, request medical records, speak to witnesses who were on the scene when the accident occurred, and more. It is in your best interest to work with a skilled injury attorney!

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.

Intersections: All Travelers Must Take Extra Precautions to Avoid Injury

The roads are full of hazards. While you may find yourself driving white-knuckled to work in rain or snow or weaving through road construction zones that sometimes seem like an extremely difficult and unfair road test, there are many, many other dangers that cannot be underestimated—and both sadly and unfortunately, most of these other hazards are presented by humans and could be prevented in many cases.

Distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers to everyone traveling today, and that goes for motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and anyone on the road. With driving and texting being one of the biggest quotients in distracted driving, states such as Florida have made such activity illegal.

Still, however, thousands of lives are claimed each year. And while that may be a host of new problems motorists and law enforcement officials are forced to deal with, most of the other issues still plague the roads too such as drunk driving, speeding, and other reckless behaviors, even including those who may simply be drowsy.

Your greatest weapon as a motorist is in defensive driving! And while this begins as soon as you put on your seatbelt and turn your key in the ignition, there are hotspots that require extra precautions, from following direction at stoplights and stop signs, to ensuring that you are giving other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians right of way as required. Intersections are the one of the most high-risk zones.

Obviously—and especially in larger cities—there is a lot going on at most intersections, and especially during rush hour. You must navigate lanes, stoplights, turning, and all the while there may be other traffic crossing too such as adults and children on bikes or people traveling on foot.

Crashes at intersections tend to be even worse. While motorists making left turns must be cautious, this is even more true for those traveling on two wheels. Motorcyclists or bicyclists in traffic should always doublecheck before turning and even attempt to make eye contact with motorists if possible.

Extreme alertness is required by all parties to avoid any potential for a crash. Motorists who run red lights also put everyone in grave danger, most commonly sideswiping others traveling innocently along. Rear-endings are a common type of accident at intersections too, with any of these crashes leading to the possibility of fatalities or harm such as:

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.

Keeping Your Distance: Rear End Collisions Often Fatal to Motorcyclist

Motorcyclists are often a rare breed, turning travel into more of a lifestyle than a commute, and forming quick bonds with other like-minded souls on the road. Those who are experienced riders have often already had an accident or two in their lifetime and are wary during their daytime commute or joyriding as they take off in much coveted down time and enjoy the natural landscape of the US.

Even most novices understand what to do to avoid accidents with cars, although they may not be as skilled at handling themselves in the event of a collision. The standard advice such as remaining visible (brightly colored clothing, neon strips on helmets, bike, etc.) usually applies to most individuals riding, along with being heard—which might be why you often hear engines revved at traffic stops. Education about riding is key, along with understanding the specific bike, and knowing how to perform basic, required maneuvers.

What is often overlooked, however, is the knowledge all motorists should have so they can avoid colliding with a motorcycle (as well as bicyclists or pedestrians, all of which are a concern with traffic accidents on the rise). Unfortunately, the most basic issues such as visibility are often a challenge to begin with as motorists’ eyes are so much more attuned to seeing larger objects like vehicles and trucks—and this is one of the biggest causes of accidents. But along with making sure they see motorcycles, motorists should always be aware of their blind spots, doublechecking for drivers behind them.

Keeping the proper distance can be the most important safety measure in avoiding a collision with a motorcycle though. Employing the three- to four-second rule is a good way to prevent accidents, and especially a rear-end collision—keeping in mind that motorcyclists may not give you immediate warning with a brake light if they are gearing down or coasting in anticipation of a stop. While it is easy to get irritated in traffic with any driver, remember that a rear-end collision could end in substantial property damage, severe injury to a motorcyclist, and even fatality; in fact, rear-end collisions tend to be much more fatal for individuals riding on motorcycles than in cars.

Think of how many fender benders you may have been in personally—or how many you may have seen occur between cars. While a tap on a bumper may have meant little in an incident between a car or a truck, in the case of a motorcycle, the motorcyclist could be thrown from their bike. While fatalities are all too common (and sadly, Florida tops the list for motorcycle deaths), serious injuries such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, fractures, and burns may occur—along with broken bones and a variety of cuts and contusions. Motorcyclists must also be defensive in their driving and wear protective gear such as helmets.

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!

Angry Drivers Endanger the Lives of Everyone on the Road

Most of us would be hard pressed to say that we have never become irritated while driving. Traffic doesn’t even have to be heavy to hold you up in some cases; in fact, there could be one slow driver—whether they are older, younger, distracted, drunk, or lost—that makes you late for work and gets you in trouble before the day has barely started. A sense of urgency is usually what causes us to become anxious about someone else’s driving, but safety on the road must come before everything else.

Aggressive driving and road rage are the very antithesis of safety, and while such behavior may serve as an (unhealthy) outlet for other daily frustrations, it can also result in serious violence, car and motorcycle accidents, and even death. There are already far too many reasons for accidents to occur on the roads. With over 260 million cars registered in the US and millions of individuals driving back and forth in large cities each day with commutes and other transportation needs, there are more distracted motorists than ever traversing the highways.

While enraged drivers offer their own set of dangers to those traveling, distracted drivers top the list for causing accidents—and this unfortunate modern trend just continues to grow. Unable to look up from their smartphones long enough to perform the vital duty of driving, many drivers today are the cause of injuries and even fatalities. And even worse, all the other classic problems such as reckless driving, impaired driving, and speeding continue to cause harm too.

If you feel like you may have an anger problem, refrain from taking it out on other drivers, and seek professional help as soon as possible. If you encounter an aggressive driver or someone clearly in the throes of road rage, do not engage them by agitating them further or worse—by losing your temper too. If the situation is out of control, contact the authorities; otherwise, do your best to stay out of the way of such motorists without returning ‘fire’ such as swerving, blocking lanes, yelling, gesturing, or honking the horn.

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.

Careless Driving Continues to Be a Health Hazard

With record numbers of drivers licensed in the US today, most of us are hard pressed to find quiet roads to travel on; in fact, if you live in a bigger city, there could be millions commuting back and forth daily—with you joining them. Driving is a part of life for most adults, unless you are lucky enough to move to a tiny (and enviable!) community where you can walk and bike everywhere—or perhaps you have mastered the public transportation system, or prefer to Uber it most places. No matter what though, chances are you are in moving traffic each day.

Due to such repetition, driving can indeed become a rote activity. The temptation is there for many to become distracted as they worry about multi-tasking. What’s happened with that big work project? Where are the kids and what are they doing right now? Should we go out for dinner tonight or call in for pizza? Our time in traffic often allows for pensiveness—and that can lead many drivers to become engaged in intense communication not appropriate for the driving process.

Distracted drivers not only cause a multitude of car accidents daily but take thousands of lives each year. Even with countless campaigns against such activity like texting and driving (and the fact that it is illegal in Florida and most other states), not to mention cell phone use, the problem continues to grow—accompanied by a host of the same old issues too: speeding, driving under the influence, and other reckless behaviors. Recent news explains that even after adjusting statistics regarding accidents for increased numbers of vehicles on the road, crashes are continuing to increase.

Careless driving behavior has increased by staggering numbers:

  • Improper lane usage – increased by 50 percent.
  • Improper passing – increased by 47 percent.
  • Colliding with other cars traveling in same direction – increased by 40 percent.
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals – increased by 34 percent.

“It’s an epidemic, frankly,” said Keyna Cory, coordinator for the Florida Don’t Text and Drive Coalition. Cory has no doubt that the sharp rise in accidents is the result of texting and cellphone use.

“As you drive down the road in South Florida, they’re driving in somebody else’s lane,” she said. “We all know young people do it, but I’m now seeing older people doing it as well.”

Just one wrong move by a negligent driver can cause fatalities, or catastrophic harm to include traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and much more—not to mention psychological trauma.

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.

Tailgating Causes a Third of All Car Crashes

Most of us are forced to keep up with a busy schedule. Work, kids, and other myriad tasks keep us running daily; in fact, you may often find yourself thinking if there was just one thing you could wish for, it would be more hours in the day! There may not be much time to smell the roses (and especially on busy weekdays), with this sense of urgency usually translating into a lot of time spent in the car too.

Motorists are often frustrated by traffic moving too slowly overall, or especially by those traveling in front of them who may seem to be dilly-dallying down the road at a luxuriously ‘relaxed’ speed. While some drivers may just be driving more slowly than you would like, other times they may be distracted, driving under the influence, tired—or just inexperienced. Tailgating is never good under any circumstance, and it is one of the leading causes of car crashes—contributing to one third of accidents in the US. Not only that, recent studies even show that tailgating reduces efficiency and speed in traffic flow.

Having someone too close to your bumper in traffic is usually unnerving. Motorists may do so because they just don’t realize they are driving too closely, or indeed, they may aggressively be trying to pass you. The dangers of such behavior are clear, as there obviously is little time to stop if the motorist in front is forced to brake abruptly. Tailgating and road rage are connected as well, and such activity is all too often accompanied by honking, swearing, and gesturing. Such activity can lead to more serious altercations, and even violence in some cases. If you find yourself having road rage while on the road, it may be time to consider how to manage your anger better—and if you are on the other side of things with an aggressive driver threatening you, consider calling 911.

Serious injury can result if there is an accident due to a rear-ending, including neck and spinal injuries, broken bones, head injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and more. 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.

Speeders, Lighting, and More May Be Contributing to Rise in Pedestrian Accidents

Considering how much more we all know today about traffic safety—and how many mechanisms are in place to prevent accidents—you may be stymied as to why car crashes, motorcycle wrecks, and incidents regarding pedestrians are on the rise. Many government officials and those responsible for designing infrastructure continue to express concern and explore ways to reverse the problems.

Unfortunately, many of the same old issues still cause accidents and deaths on the road. Distracted driving tops the list as so many travelers—no matter the mode of transportation—seem to have trouble looking away from handheld electronic devices like phones. Speeding and other modes of reckless driving are culprits, to include driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Inexperienced drivers, exhausted drivers, and those who have no regard for traffic signs or rules can wreak havoc on the roads. And while those traveling by car, motorcycle, or bicycle are all vulnerable in the case of an accident, pedestrians are at the greatest disadvantage.

Recent data shows that pedestrian deaths have risen to historic highs, with an increase of 46 percent between 2008 and 2016. While it has been suggested that pedestrians who are injured or killed often tend to be walking in high-speed areas where they are even more vulnerable to heavier vehicles like SUVs, illumination is ‘coming to light’ as an area where improvement is needed; after all, visibility is key, and especially for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends better lighting for cars, as most incidents between pedestrians and cars occur at dusk or in the dark. This means raising the standards for headlights and making them even brighter than they usually are today—while encouraging drivers to update lights on older cars. Pedestrians can also take matters into their own hands to stay safer while traveling on foot by wearing bright clothing, and even reflective vests or strips if walking at night. It is critical to be alert (put the phone away!), as well as only crossing at designated areas, rather than walking across dark, busy roads at night where motorists may not expect pedestrians.

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

Bone Scans May Be Used to Diagnose Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome is a rare condition characterized by what is usually serious discomfort in areas that experienced trauma previously. What makes CRPS unique—and confuses patients suffering from symptoms—is that a mere sprain (brought on by a car accident or another trauma) which could have already completely healed may suddenly be replaced by chronic pain.

One limb is usually affected, and CRPS may present itself with a variety of symptoms. Discomfort or discoloration in skin is often an indicator of CRPS. If you are suffering from this condition, you may find that the appearance of your skin has changed to a blotchy color or it may be bluish or pink. The texture may have also become glossy and thin, and there may be burning or swelling. Coordination is an issue for some, and mobility can become difficult; in fact, CRPS is so severe in some cases that the fingers or toes may become fixed in an awkward position due to dystonia. Pain is also so severe that sometimes patients are anxious about bringing it on by moving at all. Muscles may begin to atrophy as a result.

Even if you are exhibiting the unique symptoms associated with CRPS, your doctor will probably rule out all other similar conditions first, to include other inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. MRIs are often used to diagnose CRPS, but bone scans are helpful too as they can display evidence of typical characteristics and abnormalities. Several phases are required for this type of diagnostic device, with the images recorded with initial blood flow. Next, blood pooling is recorded as doctors watch for inflammation, and a couple of hours later, they examine how much of the tracer used in the blood scan has been metabolized.

If a positive diagnosis has been made, treatments vary depending on severity; for example, in more moderate cases, doctors may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers. If that treatment does not work, they may prescribe opioids, nerve blockers, or corticosteroids like prednisone. Topical treatments or therapy may be suggested also, to include heat therapy, physical therapy, as well as other types of stimulation to alleviate pain and symptoms.

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.

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.