Understanding the Definition of Reckless Driving

With millions of cars on the roads in the US every day, accidents are inevitable. And while sometimes they may be the result of bad weather, issues with infrastructure, road repairs, or more, other motorists are usually the problem. It is easy to see why too, unfortunately. Just in one trip to work and back, or even to the grocery store, you may encounter multiple distracted drivers. Sometimes you can even see drivers in the next lane reading messages at red lights (or while in transit!), texting, engaging in conversation, or fiddling with the GPS settings. There may be lively interactions with passengers, eating and drinking after getting through the fast-food drive-thru, brushing hair and applying makeup—and as a result of this, you may also notice erratic driving, swerving, slowing down and speeding up, and other dangerous behavior.

Not surprisingly, distracted driving is the number one cause of injuries and fatalities, claiming thousands of lives each year—with just texting and driving alone being the cause of hundreds of thousands of injuries. Whether you are in a fender bender or a serious crash, you could experience anything from cuts and contusions to a broken arm or leg, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injury, or even complex regional pain syndrome (with trauma sparking off painful nerve damage) and serious long-term effects.

Smartphones came along and added an entirely new quotient to the range of hazards already continually present in traffic, such as reckless driving. This is a broad category, encompassing every type of driving that puts other property or motorists at risk, to include fleeing from law enforcement. One of the most blatant (and common) types of reckless driving is speeding, and when this occurs as offenders also sail through red lights and/or intersections, the danger is exponentially worse for everyone present.

Driving under the influence is another example of terrible judgment and reckless driving, whether the motorist has been drinking or using drugs. Disregard for traffic signs and traffic rules also causes far too many crashes each year, involving other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of a reckless 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.

Can DUI Offenders Find a Way Around the Interlock Device?

Drunk drivers are still a scourge on the highways today, even after decades of campaigning by organizations like MADD. With one person dying due to a driver under the influence nearly every hour, the problem is still a major concern in the US; in fact, it is a serious traffic issue affecting two of out of three people in their lifetimes—and all too often, ending in tragedy.

Drivers who register a blood alcohol level of .08 or more when stopped by law enforcement are usually charged with DUI. Not only can other travelers be killed or seriously injured due to the impaired judgment of someone driving under the influence, the legal consequences can be severe for those practicing such criminal behavior. They may have to pay for a bond to get out of jail and numerous other fines, along with having their driver’s licenses suspended. After a certain period, drivers may be able to get their licenses back, but with certain stipulations. It is usually required that they have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle, and they may have to keep it for as long as a few months, a few years, or more—depending on the number of offenses.

You may wonder how effective such a device is, however, if all is needed is someone sober to blow into it so that the car will start (or keep going after a ‘rolling test’ where the driver must either blow into the device while driving, or pull over), couldn’t anyone do that? Feasibly, the answer is yes, but the owner of the car is asking for trouble as there are major penalties for tampering with the device—although in most cases it is okay for someone else to drive the car if they are sober. Depending on the ignition interlock device, there may be complex anti-tampering features built in—and these can even include a tiny camera. Having someone else blow into a device and fail also causes a host of complications and could cause the driver to lose their license or even go back to jail.

Many other tricks have been tried over time to ‘fool’ the IID, and they almost always fail—whether drivers attempt to eat strong-smelling foods to overpower the device, drink mouthwash (which usually has alcohol in it and may cause an epic ‘fail’) or employ other myths that make no sense. The IID measures blood alcohol level, and until it has returned to normal, the driver must wait. Hopefully, most drivers with IIDs are working on sobriety programs and understand the rules, and consequences, should they break them.

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.

Did CRPS Kick in After a Car Accident?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a unique condition affecting around 200,000 people in the US. Unless you or a loved one have suffered from CRPS, you would, fortunately, probably have no idea what it is. Strangely, the potentially debilitating condition usually emerges just after a limb is fractured or sprained in a trauma—such as a car accident. The patient is usually surprised and confused, not to mention extremely disappointed to have what could be a serious physical issue presenting itself just when they thought they were healed from something minor—or at the very least, not long-term and debilitating in any way.

Triggers are usually apparent, as in the case of a car accident and an obvious injury, with CRPS having caused what could only be termed as an ‘over-reaction’ in so many patients, with the original pain becoming exponentially magnified. For some, CRPS could even be triggered by a blood draw or the most minor of medical procedures—along with other more substantial surgeries, to include amputations. Diagnosis may not be easy in some cases though, and especially since there is not a specific test for the condition. Rather than arriving at a definitive diagnosis due to a positive indication on a test, medical professionals must instead rule out other similar conditions like Lyme disease.

While just figuring out what is wrong initially can be exhausting, greater success in treatment has been noted with early diagnosis. CRPS patients may suffer from so much pain that they have trouble functioning in their daily lives—and along with that, they may become so frightened of experiencing agonizing pain that they are reluctant to walk or move around. This may cause a vicious cycle of muscle loss and even complete atrophy. Patients may experience inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, and awkward symptoms like dystonia where a hand or foot becomes twisted in a fixed position.

Treatments may include simple relief like over-the-counter medication or more serious pain pills like opioids. Corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and even antidepressants may be prescribed, along with a wide range of different therapies, some of which are conventional physical therapies—and others which are more alternative but highly effective in some cases.

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.

 

Relaxed Marijuana Laws—and Drivers–May Lead to More Accidents

Driving while high on marijuana comes with all the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug. And although it may be difficult to detect, law enforcement officials are becoming much more well-trained in methods for dealing with stoned drivers. It may now be legal for medical marijuana users to ingest cannabis if they suffer from debilitating illnesses, but it is not okay for them to drive while high under any circumstances.

The public perception—and this is growing around the US—is that marijuana in all its many forms is becoming more acceptable to use daily. This may lead more drivers who are users to hop in their cars and drive while high than ever before as they are led to believe, erroneously, that they have more control than they would if they had been imbibing in alcohol. They may have been drinking too, which makes the situation even worse. States like Colorado have established state laws for legal amounts of THC in the blood, but law enforcement officials overall are simply having to become much more adept at recognizing the signs as they pull drivers over, often for other offenses too other than the typical weaving in lanes.

While drivers who are high may not be three sheets to the wind (or appear so, anyway), after smoking marijuana in comparison to drinking, their reflexes may be impaired, and they may be inclined to take dangerous risks that they would not ordinarily take, endangering everyone’s lives on the roads. In recent news, David Harkey of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute points out that there are definitely risks in operating a vehicle after smoking marijuana, and there are even greater concerns without a simple way to test for THC in the blood.

“It’s certainly early in the game,” Harkey told NBC News. But in a recent interview he also warned, “We’re seeing a trend in the wrong direction.”

Recent studies by the IIHS have demonstrated that states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington with legalized recreational marijuana are showing an increase of car crashes up to six percent.

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.

 

Road Construction Areas Can Lead to Serious Auto Accidents & Injuries

As a resident or visitor to Florida—along with many other states—you may be so used to driving through road construction that you barely even notice it anymore. Still, however, following the reduced speed signs and warnings, and slowing to navigate through areas with guard rails and orange cones is vital to your safety, along with that of road construction workers, and other motorists. It may be a major inconvenience and you may not even see the need for it in some cases, but it is happening, so you must follow the rules regardless.

Significant road construction projects are gearing up all over Florida, leaving many motorists both frustrated, bored, tired, and angry; no one wants to sit on the highway endlessly stuck in traffic, and we all have places to be, but these areas are prone to more peril for motorists than others. Traffic is usually heavy in these areas, and even with a multitude of slow-moving traffic jams, accidents are frequently caused due to carelessness of other drivers, along with infrastructure issues such as temporary guarding rails or traffic cones that are built or placed improperly, or with lanes poorly painted.

Causing motorists to come to a sudden stop in road construction areas, forgetting to put up appropriate signage, or forcing drivers into unreasonably narrow lanes can lead to accidents from moderate to severe. Construction equipment may be left jutting out into traffic too, making it difficult to navigate through such areas—made exponentially worse by bad weather. Most importantly though, government workers or those contracted to work on the roads are responsible for your safety and must be vigilant while on the roads, as motorists should be too.

Traffic incidents leading to injuries and even deaths can affect motorists, truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Serious concussions, traumatic brain and spinal injuries, sprains and breaks, internal bleeding, and more may be the result of any type of traffic accident, also leading to the inability to work whether for a short time or forever. Unfortunately, Florida is already one of the leading states for car accidents, and especially bicycling and pedestrian incidents—including fatalities.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of a truck 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

Were You in a Car Crash Involving a Semi?

Any type of car accident can be devastating, leading to catastrophic injuries and even death as heavy vehicles have the potential to spin out of control. This is even more disastrous in the case of an accident between a car and a large truck known as a semi, or semitruck—dubbed so as they are usually pulling a semi-trailer but can also go without (as you have probably seen before on the highway as they travel down the road looking rather stubby without a truck). The average car weighs around 4,000 pounds, while a semi-truck is about 80,000 pounds.

With such a staggering difference in weight, it may surprise you that anyone gets out alive when such vehicles collide—and especially considering the damage that can be done in a typical accident between two similarly-sized cars. Accidents can occur for numerous reasons, but often, truck drivers may be exhausted after days or even weeks of traveling the country. Some may not have been driving for long and inexperience may have resulted in a serious accident, along with a host of other typical issues such as distracted driving (texting or talking while at the wheel), speeding, driving under the influence, ignoring traffic signals, and more.

Contact an experienced attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible if you have lost a loved one in an accident with a semi or if you have sustained injuries due to the negligence of a truck driver. While injuries may cause you to lose income either temporarily or permanently, you may also be left suffering and adjusting from debilitating pain due to spinal injuries, neck injuries, head and brain injuries, burns, broken limbs, sprains, and more.

Over 100,000 individuals in the US are injured because of truck accidents, with over 6,000 of them occurring in Florida, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fighting the insurance companies on your own is not a good idea in any case, but especially when it comes to these types of cases as records may be tampered with and they may do everything possible to get out of paying a substantial claim.

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

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.

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.