The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days for travel. While gas prices are at record highs, there are no indications that families are cutting back on travel plans this summer after two years of pandemic related isolation and restrictions.
Our car accident lawyers and Fort Myers have been representing families dealing with the serious injury or death of a loved one in Southwest Florida for more than half a century. In most cases, these “accidents” are entirely preventable. In fact, they are most often caused by the same dangerous driving behaviors we see over, and over, and over again. We have written about them often, but we encourage you to take a moment to read them and make safe driving a topic of family conversation. There are real, concrete steps each driver in your household can take to drastically reduce the chances of being involved in a life-altering motor vehicle collision.
Our Fort Myers injury lawyers often remind motorists about the importance of auto insurance, particularly the need to purchase policies with significant liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident at a minimum, and higher limits are recommended and typically available for a modest increase in premiums. Likewise, uninsured motorist/uninsured motorist coverage, which is optional in Florida, offers vital protection to you and your family in the event you are involved in a collision with one of the many uninsured or underinsured drivers on the road.
But we spend less time talking about your homeowner’s liability insurance, which is also a critical component when it comes to protecting the financial well-being of you and your family. The increasing challenges facing Florida homeowners when it comes to purchasing and maintaining homeowner’s insurance has been a frequent topic in the news lately. But those challenges are related to the storm damage portion of your policy as hurricanes become more common and power powerful along the coast each year.
With schools letting out for summer, kids are ready for a much deserved break. There is every evidence, after two years of COVID, that families are planning more trips and more gatherings with family and friends, than they have in recent years.
All of us at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, wish all of you a safe and enjoyable summer. We urge you to pay particular attention to the risks associated with backyard swimming pools. Florida has nearly 1 million pools – more than anywhere else in the nation – and the start of summer is typically the most dangerous time of the year for drowning and near-drowning accidents.
Florida law puts the responsibility for swimming pool safety on the homeowner by requiring locked fences, door alarms, and other safety features be installed on almost all private pools. When it comes to kids, Florida’s attractive nuisance doctrine may hold homeowners liable for serious or fatal injuries even if a child trespasses. The law recognizes property owners have an obligation to keep children safe from dangerous conditions on their properties that might entice them.
May is motorcycle safety awareness month. It is also the start of the summer riding season in Southwest Florida.
While Florida weather permits year-around riding, it also exacerbates the risks, both because motorcycles are on the road all year, and because the never-ending ride breeds complacency among motorists who, because they see riders all year long, might not see them at all.
The truth is the vast majority of motorcycle accidents involving a motor vehicle are the fault of the vehicle’s driver. But that does not mean motorcyclists are powerless when it comes to reducing the risks. Our motorcycle injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have been representing riders and their families in personal injury and wrongful death claims for half a century. And there are a number of lessons we have learned over the years when it comes to safe riding on the roads of Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties.
Motorcycles are on the road all year long in Florida. That can build complacency among drivers, who simply stop paying attention to them. Know that even a low-speed collision with a rider has every chance of resulting in very serious or fatal injuries. Motorists must avoid the heartache of being involved in a tragedy, as well as the very serious liability, by respecting their rights and always giving riders the right of way. The few extra seconds it takes to avoid a tragedy is well worth it.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers
As veteran motorcycle injury lawyers, we have been representing riders and their families in personal injury and wrongful death claims in Southwest Florida for more than half a century. Here is our best advice for you, the driver:
Yield: Always, always yield to a rider. Let them pass. Let them turn in front of you. Give them time to get going after a light turns green. Essentially, avoid any potential conflict or contact.
Beware turning riders: Motorcycles take longer to stop and generally slow by downshifting, not applying the brake. Turn signals are not self-cancelling and may not activate, so should not be relied upon. Let a rider complete a turn by slowing down well before they make their move.
Look twice: Riders are difficult to see. They can be easily missed or hidden in a blind spot. Whether turning, or changing lanes, always look twice for riders.
Be careful at intersections: These are a leading spot for accidents. Look for cross traffic. Riders sometimes cannot stop in time to avoid a yellow light. Make sure the roadway is clear and don’t jump the light. Understand a motorcycle takes a moment to start from a dead stop, as a rider gets his balance. Don’t tailgate. A surprising number of accidents occur when a vehicle rear-ends a rider.
Don’t try to judge speed: Because of their small size, motorcycles are often traveling faster than it seems. Don’t try to turn in front of an oncoming rider, which is the leading cause of collisions. And slow well before you come upon a rider.
By doing your part this summer, you can avoid being involved in a tragedy. Every motorist has an obligation to do whatever they can to make sure these riders make it home safely to their families.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210. Continue reading ›
If you are new to Southwest Florida, or just visiting, the force of tropical rain storms may take you by surprise. While rain storms up north typically build to several moments of blinding rain, storms in South Florida are likely to result in blinding rain from start to finish. While such downpours are typically relatively brief, they can reduce visibility to zero and quickly make safe driving impossible.
Opposition is coming from current operators of parasailing and personal watercraft rentals on the beach, citing increased competition and the potential for more safety issues. The town has limited the number of operators since 1995, following restrictions enacted by Lee County in the wake of a number of safety issues. Current operators are pushing to force the resort developers to purchase licenses from an existing operator, which the resort said would cost more than some real estate on the beach and would be cost prohibitive. One estimate put the cost of a license at more than $1 million.
The referenced Lee County Ordinances and Fort Myers Beach ordinances primarily aim to restrict areas in which rental craft and other personal watercraft can be operated along the shoreline, and to ensure such businesses are properly registered so that the county can collect business taxes. Ordinances also require both personal watercraft and parasailing businesses to carry liability insurance, although there is no mechanism in place to ensure compliance. Continue reading ›
With an increasing number of options for private individuals to engage in driving for hire, it’s important to understand the insurance implications, and to make sure you have the proper protection in place in the event of an accident.
The increasing popularity of services like DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber, and Lyft, provide many people with the opportunity to earn extra income. The flexible schedules are another perk of these types of app-based employment opportunities, which often allow drivers to make their own schedules. College students and young adults are among those most likely to take advantage of these opportunities. Unfortunately, these drivers, already the most likely to be involved in a serious traffic collision, are also among those most likely to have their claims scrutinized by insurance adjusters in the wake of a serious or fatal collision.
Driver distraction is the leading cause of serious and fatal traffic collisions in the United States. By some estimates, nearly half of all collisions involve some form of driver distraction. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and is a great time to resolve to avoid distraction while driving as we head into the summer travel months.
Safety advocates continue to preach the message but there is concern that drivers have grown weary of listening to it. There is little evidence that the risks of distraction are decreasing. On the contrary, the growing prevalence of in-car technologies, and the increasing capabilities of the smart phone, have only combined to increase the risks.