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.

Does Your Motorcycle Helmet Pass Muster?

Motorcycles offer a range of benefits to their owners, beginning with the cool factor that has been associated with the biker culture for decades. Revving up the engine and heading out onto the highway on two wheels has been associated with good physical health due to core strengthening, added arm and leg strength, increased use of brain power in constant navigating, as well as enhanced emotional health while enjoying the outdoors, traveling with friends and likeminded souls, and feeling positive about spending less money overall for a trip or that daily commute.

The euphoria that may accompany motorcycling can have a major downside, however, and especially in in the face of a traffic incident—with over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in the US yearly and a 28 percent greater chance of a motorcyclist fatality in a wreck over someone driving a car. It is vital that safety is on the mind foremost when operating a motorcycle, or any other vehicle (this also goes for pedestrians who must be vigilant, and bicyclists too!), putting aside distractions like the smartphone since issues like texting while driving are the number one cause of accidents today.

Protective gear plays a crucial role in the safety of motorcyclists, as always, beginning with the helmet. And although it is always a controversial topic and helmet laws continue to change—as well as vary from state to state—in Florida, you do not have to wear a helmet over the age of 21 if you are carrying $10,000 of medical payment insurance. This is an integral part of protecting the body though, and highly recommended, along with the proper protective clothing, eye-gear, and boots.

There may not be much point in wearing a helmet unless it is approved by the Department of Transportation (according to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218) and sturdy enough to protect your head in the case of a crash. The shell-built helmet is recommended, but it must fit your head properly! Along with the full helmet, there are other popular styles too such as the half shell, modular, or open-face helmets, which should be replaced every few years.

A good helmet is often heavier and should possess a quality liner along with a sturdy chin liner. While motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in the event of a crash, a helmet may prevent serious issues such as facial fractures and traumatic brain injury, which could even cause coma or death.

If you were in a motorcycle accident, you may not only find yourself having to get used to dealing with minor or major physical and emotional injuries, but you may not be able to go back to work either temporarily or even permanently. This can be devastating to your finances, and you may be owed substantial compensation if you were hurt 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.

Drinking and Bicycling Can Have Fatal Results

Millions of enthusiasts around the US enjoy riding bicycles, whether taking the healthy route for a daily commute, not to mention one that is more affordable, plus better for the environment in avoiding the use of any fuel except for that of human exertion. Bicycling is an activity that can be immensely appreciated whether riding solo or in a group with family and friends, contributing to good heart and lung health as well as burning enormous amounts of calories—all while building stronger bones and muscles.

We have produced numerous blogs about the priority that should be placed on safety for kids on bicycles, whether traveling in a group or on their way to school, but as an adult bicyclist, remember that you have the same responsibilities in traffic that other adult motorists do. This includes refraining from riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And while doing so is generally illegal and dangerous, because bicyclists are so much more vulnerable in traffic, alcohol can not only be the cause of bicycle accidents but allow for results that are further catastrophic—even resulting in fatality.

Ongoing data has shown Florida as first in bicyclist fatalities, and while the numbers may simply be higher due to the good weather in the Sunshine State, extreme caution should be exercised while on the streets and highways which are famous for senior drivers, along with many tourists who may not be familiar with the area and are driving erratically.

“You kind of mush it all together, and it helps us explain as best we can what’s going on out there,” said Pam Fischer, author of a recent report for the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Data shows that alcohol use may play an unfortunate role in bicycle accidents and fatalities in Florida, with a significant number of those involved in crashes exhibiting alcohol levels in their blood at the time of the traffic incidents. Distracted driving (especially texting) continues to be the major cause of accidents in terms of motorist negligence as well. Injuries to bicyclists may include concussions or traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries or paralysis, broken bones, sprains, 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.

Lower Your Risk of Having a Motorcycle Accident with These Tips

Motorcycles can offer a much more economical way to travel to and from work during that daily commute. While some may choose to purchase lavish, high-speed bikes, if you enjoy the freedom of traveling on two wheels in the fresh air but want to save money too, it can be much more economical to purchase a moderately priced motorcycle in comparison to a car or truck, along with savings on gas and maintenance and insurance too. The benefits abound too, from getting fresh air (when traveling away from smoggy cities!) and enjoying more expedient travel all around, to using core strength and buffing up just a little more every single time you take a ride.

Amidst all the enjoyment of riding a motorcycle, however, comes a priority on continued safety, whether you are taking a shortcut on a back road, enjoying a road trip through beautiful country areas, or navigating through congested traffic. Motorcycle fatalities have continued to be a concern, despite a decrease in 2017.

“Motorcyclist fatality numbers have fluctuated from year to year over the past decade, so while we are cautiously optimistic about this projection, we really need to see a sustained trend downward toward eventually eliminating motorcyclist fatalities altogether,” said Tara Casanova Powell, who authored a new report putting the spotlight on motorcyclist fatalities for 2017.

Lower your risk by:

  • Being visible – there are many ways to add to your bike and clothing to make sure you are more readily seen by motorists, from wearing bright clothing to adding neon reflective strips to your helmet, boots, and bike. Purchasing a bike that is brightly painted is a great idea too, although not always possible if the model you have your heart set on is mainly black or gray.
  • Knowing and following all the traffic rules – remember that you are beholden to the same rules as cars and trucks, and defensive driving is even more important for motorcycles.
  • Taking extra precautions at intersections – this is one of the most common places for accidents, and is especially dangerous for motorcyclists, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. If possible, make eye contact with motorists before turning.
  • Wearing protective gear – no matter what the law is, donning a helmet may be the difference between emerging unscathed from a motorcycle crash or having traumatic brain injury or facial fractures. To avoid road rash and other injuries, wear recommended protective clothing as well as eyewear and boots.
  • Getting educated – no matter your skill level, continued education on maneuvering your motorcycle is extremely helpful.

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.

Common Symptoms of CRPS: Understanding Allodynia

Complex regional pain syndrome affects around 200,000 known patients in the US, but it often takes a significant amount of time to diagnose this unique condition centered around central nervous system damage. Unfortunately, symptoms—and the pain—can be chronic and severe, causing those who suffer from CRPS to make substantial adjustments to their lives. Symptoms often begin in a limb that was affected by a previous injury.  In many cases, the CRPS patient may have been in a car accident that caused trauma such as a broken arm or leg, or just a sprain. In more moderate cases, there may have just been bruising. Because so often the original injury has already healed and come and gone, individuals who suddenly find themselves suffering from CRPS are painfully surprised.

There are numerous unique and painful issues which may arise, such as allodynia. This fibromyalgic pain is not just restricted to CRPS; in fact, it may be seen in other conditions such as shingles and chronic fatigue syndrome—all related to central nervous system complications. Nerves become overly sensitive, and this may be so severe in topical areas such as the skin that the patient cannot tolerate any contact at all. To put the pain in perspective for those not familiar with what CRPS feels like, imagine being in severe discomfort just because your arm or leg was exposed to a slight breeze! Allodynia is also commonly caused by touch, as well as friction from clothing that is usually not uncomfortable. Mild temperature changes may also cause pain.

Burning and other issues with the skin may cause initial discomfort with CRPS also, to include discoloration, swelling, and even unusual hair growth. Skin may appear glossy in texture, and sensitivity may be so severe that the patient cannot tolerate any contact of any sort in that area—not even that of a slight breeze. Joints may ache, and using muscles surrounding the area of the affected limb can often be so agonizing that the patient becomes reluctant to use them, resulting in atrophy.

Painkillers that can be applied directly to the skin may be recommended for relief, to include Lidocaine or over-the-counter creams. For other symptoms, doctors may prescribe OTC pain relievers as well as opioids, corticosteroids, nerve-blockers, and more.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

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.

Motorcyclists: Don’t Be Distracted Drivers!

With over eight million motorcycles registered in the US and an enthusiastic population of riders that just keeps growing, safety is more important than ever—and especially as traffic incidents continue to rise in the US. There is a long list of benefits associated with riding motorcycles; for instance, nearly every ride you take gives you a core workout, plus requires you to use arm and leg muscles, strengthening them all further nearly every time you go out. Fellowship between other riders is enjoyed on highways around the country, and many motorcyclists are the envy of others as they dream of riding in the fresh air and beautiful landscapes.

Avoiding accidents is central to riding a motorcycle, with other motorists being the greatest threat; however, it is also up to you to drive defensively and watch out for the safety of others too by making sure that you are following traffic rules—and first on that list is avoiding distractions. While motorists are under heavy fire for distracted driving (and with good reason, as it is the number one reason that accidents and fatalities happen), that doesn’t mean that others aren’t suffering from the same temptation, even to include pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is not uncommon for a motorcyclist to feel like they have everything under control and can handle answering a call at a red light or glancing down at their phone to check a text message while traveling with the flow of traffic. Because a traffic accident can happen within the blink of an eye—and because motorcyclists are so much more vulnerable due to their comparative lack of protection—distracted driving while on a motorcycle can lead to catastrophe. The trend continues with others, with government officials and infrastructure specialists who are concerned about rising fatalities in pedestrians and bicyclists too noting that a percentage of these instances occur as people are not focusing on the road but rather on smartphones, or are walking or bicycling with their heads down as they read—increasing their chances of being struck and hurt or even killed. Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries such as road rash, broken arms and legs, spinal problems, traumatic brain injuries, burns, cuts and contusions, and more.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. 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.

Insta-Pot Cookers Are Handy – But Are They Dangerous to You and Your Family?

As the holidays and all the gifts and exchanges associated with the season end, you may still be figuring out some of the new gadgets you either received or gifted yourself and your whole family with. Instant pressure cookers are one of the latest electronic gadgets taking kitchens by storm around the US—but for some that may be all too literal in the case of safety hazards posed by specific items like the Insta-pot.

Pressure cookers have come a long way since the ones your parents and grandparents enjoyed (or the first ones invented hundreds of years ago). Today, whether you are hoping to cook tasty black beans in less than an hour, make a lovely no-fat, vanilla yogurt, brew up some red wine, or brown and prepare meat along with making a tasty broth on the side, you can do it all in one small countertop source. Some products even tout the ability for consumers to be able to cook an entire holiday meal. It is no secret, however, that electric pressure cookers can pose significant dangers due not only to extreme heat, but also the potential for explosion. This is also the case with stovetop pressure cookers and any other similar appliances operating via a sealed apparatus and lots of exceptionally hot steam building inside.

Locking mechanisms on Insta-pots and similar machines may be defective, seals may not work properly, a machine’s design may be defective and cause hazardous overheating (resulting in previous or eventual recalls), or instructions for use may be unclear, leaving consumers to discover the riskier side of pressure cooking on their own, which could be even more dangerous if small children are in the kitchen when a problem occurs.

Scalding ingredients spraying from an Insta-pot or exploding in the kitchen can lead to major harm from defective products, and especially from ingredients like hot liquids if you are making a home-made soup or chili. First, second, or third-degree burns may occur and require a long-term healing process, hospitalization, and even skin grafts and other types of complex procedures. Emotional trauma can be severe for those affected by pressure cooker malfunctions too, leaving them fearful of being in the kitchen or even the home where the explosion and resulting injuries happened.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective Insta-pot or another product, 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.

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.

 

Take Note of Your Surroundings After a Motorcycle Crash

No one likes to look at the dark side of an activity that can be so much fun—as well as rewarding. Riding a motorcycle allows you to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors while in forward motion to a destination—as well as a sense of connection with other likeminded spirits on the road. Riding a motorcycle can also lead to a great workout every time you get on your bike, requiring a surprising amount of core and leg strength that increases with every trip down the highway. This mode of transportation is also often much more economical, with less start-up cost in buying a motorcycle, cheaper gas, cheaper maintenance, and greater ease in maneuvering through traffic during that daily commute.

Safety is a major consideration though, and no matter how defensively you drive, you may still find yourself in an accident due to the negligence of a motorist. While car crashes can lead to a wide range of serious injuries for drivers and passengers, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable as they lack the protection of the weight and steel frame of a car or truck. In Florida, you are in even more danger as it is ranked one of the highest states for motorcyclist fatalities, opening up the potential for serious wounds such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken arms and legs, and road rash—with head on collisions being most common. And although you may never have to use such information, you should definitely be aware of what to do right after an accident.

Assess injuries first. Are you okay? If so, check on the other parties involved in the accident and call for help if necessary. If you can move your motorcycle out of the path of traffic, do so, along with taking pictures of all the damage. This is where the smartphone comes in very handy. Take pictures of everything possible at the scene of the crash, including license plates of all vehicles involved, damage from all sides, the highway area, traffic signs and traffic lights, intersections, road signs, and anything that may be of help to your case later.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. 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.