Motorists: Understand How Blind Spots Work

With millions of cars registered in the US at any given time, there’s no question that we must all share the road and try to do so as safely as possible. Unfortunately, most of us will be involved in at least one car accident in our lifetimes–but hopefully with defensive driving practices in place, you can lower the odds. Understanding how blind spots work is important, and although you may be aware that sometimes you cannot see another car or motorcycle or truck if it is next to you in the adjacent lane, it is helpful to know more about the technicalities involved—and what you can do to decrease your chance of having an accident due to an incident with a blind spot.

Blind spots are not restricted only to vehicles on the road, but also boats and even planes. If you are riding on a bicycle or a motorcycle or some form of transportation without windows or metal coverings, then you probably do not have to worry about blind spots. Visibility is restricted due to the design of most vehicles, the way mirrors are set up, headrests in the car, and more. The blind spot occurs in the lane next to you at a 45° angle while you are driving and unable to see what is there—which is usually either a car or other vehicle, or if you are hoping to pass, perhaps nothing at all.

There are ways to adjust your mirrors to avoid blind spots altogether, but that does take some technical prowess (and some experts say this is not possible), and in most cases, motorists have their mirrors set so they can see as much traffic as possible. While traveling, if you are about to pass, avoid collisions due to blind spots by looking in your side mirrors, rearview mirrors, and taking the time to turn your head also to look. Taking all these precautions is critical, and especially when on a multi-lane highway.

Trucks present even more issues with blind spots, and they need the help of motorists when passing. If you are traveling behind a truck and decide to pass on the left, make sure you can see the trucker in his mirror (this means he can see you!) as you move out into the next lane, and before you pass over into the next one.

The most important element of driving is simple: focus. This is an important skill to pass on to teen drivers as well, considering distracted driving is the number one threat and killer on highways in the US. With the advent of the smartphone, drivers have so many advantages such as GPS, the ability to make hands-free phone calls, and much more. But there are so many negative aspects of smartphone technology too about distracted driving. Drivers may be unable to resist the temptation to check text messages, and even worse, may feel obligated to respond – and sometimes at length. Beware of other drivers who may also be under the influence, ignoring traffic signals and signs, or driving under the influence.

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.

 

CRPS: Many Physicians Are Unfamiliar with the Signs

Complex regional pain syndrome affects around 200,000 people in the US, although those numbers could be under-reported due to misdiagnoses or others who simply have not come forth with symptoms. The condition is remarkable as it usually appears after another trauma has occurred and injuries have healed. If you have CRPS or you know someone who is suffering from this rare disease affecting the nervous system, then you understand what an unpleasant surprise it can be, developing after moderate musculoskeletal injuries, a broken bone, or a sprained ankle that may have healed.

The only good thing that could be said about CRPS is that sometimes the symptoms are moderate and stay that way, sometimes they lessen over time, and it is rare; however there are many downsides to this condition as it can cause serious, chronic pain making life very uncomfortable. Patients suffering from CRPS maybe so traumatized from the pain of trying to walk or move that they just stop doing so altogether, allowing muscles to atrophy.

Amidst all the suffering and frustration, there is an even worse element to CRPS initially, as it can be difficult to diagnose, and there is no specific test for it yet. This means that a medical professional must be experienced with the condition to know what it is right away. The symptoms can be intense and fairly obvious to a doctor who has seen CRPS before, but usually other conditions and diseases must be ruled out first; for instance, Lyme disease may present itself in a similar manner at first and must be ruled out—along with other conditions causing inflammation and affecting the nervous system.

If CRPS is suspected to be the final diagnosis, the patient may be referred to a specialist, who will then be able to start them on a regimen of medications if necessary. In some cases, CRPS is so mild that only over-the-counter remedies are required, but in others, stronger pain relievers may be called for, such as opioids. There are other treatments that work for CRPS patients too, spanning everything from corticosteroids to anticonvulsants and antidepressants.

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.

 

Brain Injuries May Begin with Subtle Symptoms

The fact that car accidents continue to increase—and especially in Florida—is a subject of consternation for infrastructure analysts, government officials, and anyone who has lost someone due to a car crash, as well as concerned citizens who fear for the safety of all motorists. Escalating fatalities and injuries are not just isolated to cars either, but also trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The roads can be extremely busy in Florida, and even with your best defensive driving practices in place, you could find yourself involved in a serious car accident due to the negligence of other drivers.

Minor injuries such as cuts and contusions, broken bones and ribs, and sprains are common after a car or truck crash. Often though, there are serious and life-threatening injuries like amputations caused during the impact or a result of surgery afterward, neck and back injuries, paralysis, and much more. Injury to the head can be very serious though. While many are lucky to escape with a minor bump on the head, serious concussions are possible, along with traumatic brain injury. A concussion or TBI can sometimes be deceiving too, as you or a loved one could be injured but not even realize it for a while; in fact, they could be walking around as if nothing happened, in a semi-functional state. Usually, if the patient has not realized what is happening, a friend or loved one will point out that something seems off, or that they need medical care.

Traumatic brain injuries could begin with headaches, moodiness, inability to sleep, and more, but they could also present immediately with unconsciousness – even if just at the beginning for 30 minutes or so Difficulty sleeping, problems with coordination, trouble speaking, and more, could become apparent. Traumatic brain injury can in fact be so serious that there could be permanent brain damage. If you suspect you may have sustained a TBI or a serious concussion, you should seek medical attention immediately. These types of injuries can be extremely serious in children and babies too, and difficult to spot at first. Keep an eye out after any type of head trauma for a change in activity levels, lack of appetite or ability to sleep, crankiness, or more serious symptoms like a coma.

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.

After a Car Accident: Move Your Car Out of the Way if Possible

Unfortunately, driving is somewhat of a dangerous activity—and especially if you live in a city. You probably drive a fairly predictable route each day and week, however, revolving around work, school, and where you do your errands; in fact, you may tend to travel in a five- to ten-mile radius and often go no further, unless there is a long daily drive to the office or a trip planned.

The number of car crashes in Florida continues to escalate, as well as incidents regarding aggressive drivers. While there is continual discussion regarding why there are so many car and motorcycle fatalities and injuries, many theories lead to the growing population on both coasts, the continued numbers of visitors streaming into the popular state, good weather that tends to be plentiful all year, and often, seniors who may be driving more slowly.

If you are in a car accident, it is extremely helpful to know what to do ahead of time. While preparing for what to do in case you have an accident is probably not an activity you want to put at the top of your ‘to do’ list (and is something you don’t want to think about at all really ), preferring to assume such an unfortunate event will never occur is unrealistic. And if you are already well-educated on the topic should something happen, you will be much better equipped to deal with what could be a very frightening situation, accompanied by enormous adrenaline flow.

The first step after an accident should always be to assess the physical status of everyone in the car. Medical help should be called for immediately if there is even the slightest question regarding injuries, along with moving the car out of the way. Many motorists are under the impression that moving the car is a bad thing because it could interfere with evidence for the case, or that it may be illegal to move the car in some states. Florida law requires you to make every effort to move your car and not obstruct the flow of traffic.

Once you have done so, proceed to call the police to file a report, as well as getting contact information from the other driver, and any witnesses. If the accident occurred due to the negligence of another driver, most likely you will have a case against their insurance company if you have sustained injuries, or if passengers have been hurt. Do not try to handle such a situation on your own. It is in your best interest to contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker as soon as possible.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Older Travelers at Greater Risk: Whether Driving, Biking, Walking, or Motorcycling

Older travelers are at risk no matter what mode they are in, and no matter what method of transportation you may have chosen. As traffic incidents continue to rise in Florida and around the US, much to the consternation of the government and infrastructure experts everywhere, we must take time to think about those who are more vulnerable. And while older citizens or anyone whose vision or faculties have diminished may need to think about discontinuing driving at some point, we must still share the road with them as they may be crossing near their homes, exercising on bicycles, or be traveling in public with the assistance of someone else.

As a rule, motorists must be especially careful when approaching others who may be less protected in traffic—mainly at intersections and crosswalks. While the safety of other motorists is always a big concern because there are more of them, those traveling on foot are always at greater risk—and along with that fact, seniors and kids are more likely than any other age groups to be involved in fatalities or sustain serious injuries during an altercation with a vehicle.

Florida currently ranks at the top of the list for pedestrian deaths, with travelers on foot over 65 being more likely to be involved in an injury or killed. As experts continue to investigate why fatalities are increasing rather than decreasing, infrastructure issues are blamed for much of the problem, pointing out that if roads, highways, and congested areas near crosswalks were designed better, there would be less catastrophe overall.

No matter what your age is, though, practice these safety tips in traffic so that you are not at greater risk:

  • Be visible. Always wear brightly colored clothing, and at night, use reflectors. You can tape them to your bike or hat or coat, or even your shoes.
  • Make eye contact with motorists before walking straight ahead or turning in crosswalk areas.
  • Know and follow all traffic rules, and never take risks in traffic, no matter how much of a hurry you may be in at that time. This includes avoiding rushing across the street when cars are coming or ‘jaywalking,’ due to a sense of urgency to get to your destination.

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.