There is perhaps nothing sweeter and more genuine than the utter delight of a child with a new toy.

At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we are a family of parents. We take particular care when working with children, whether in our offices, in the courtroom, or in working with the March of Dimes and holiday toy drives. But we also continue to monitor with concern the growing and evolving risks of product injuries involving children.

Nearly 200,000 children visited hospital emergency rooms last year because of toy-related injuries. Boys accounted for just over half of the injured. Three-quarters of those injured were children under the age of 14. Nearly half occurred to toddlers under the age of 4, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.kidsplaying-300x214

Neighbors are calling for change at a North Fort Myers intersection after separate collisions killed a child and injured a teenager.

NBC-2 reports a 5-year-old girl was killed when she rode her scooter into the road near Castleview Drive at Bayshore Road, where she was struck and killed by an SUV driven by a 91-year-old, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Days later, a 16-year-old girl was seriously injured after she was hit by a pickup truck. Neighbors in the area complained of speeders and unsafe drivers.pedestriansafety-1-225x300

The two tragedies have the patrol reminding motorists of a message often delivered here on our blog: Always be extra cautious around bicyclists and pedestrians, who continue to be disproportionately victimized in Southwest Florida traffic collisions.

“Anytime a pedestrian is near a roadway or bicyclist, you have to be 100% cautious behind the wheel, focus on your actions because we want to do everything in our power to prevent those tragedies from occurring. This season, we noticed the difference already, traffic in our roadways, the volume of cars, and unfortunately the tragedy that is occurring in our roadways. We want to do everything in our power to prevent these tragedies from occurring,” said Lt. Greg Bueno with Florida Highway Patrol.

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Most of us start with the best of intentions each holiday shopping season. We set a budget. We make a plan. We resolve to slow down and enjoy ourselves.

There is every evidence the holiday season is in full season as early as ever in Southwest Florida this year, to the joy of most as we continue the fight to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic that has cast a shadow over the world for nearly two years. More events are planned. More family gatherings are happening. Legions of people have made positive changes to their work-life balance that are likely to endure well after we put the pandemic behind us. chrsitmassafety-300x225

At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we wish each of you a peaceful and joyful holiday season full of family, friends, good times and lasting memories. Understanding the risks, talking with friends  and loved one, visiting elderly relatives, teaching your children, and resolving to stay safe will all help ensure a great end to 2021 and a hopeful start to 2022.

Here is our best advice when it comes to staying safe.

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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is joining forces with local law enforcement this October to bring attention to National Pedestrian Safety Month.

Our pedestrian injury lawyers have written extensively about the epidemic of serious and fatal pedestrian collisions throughout Florida. South Florida, in particular, has been repeatedly cited as the most dangerous location in the nation for walkers, with Cape Coral, Orlando, and Miami all making the list of 5 most dangerous metro areas in the country for pedestrians.intersection1-300x225

“Last year, we lost more than 700 Floridians – our friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers – in senseless and preventable pedestrian-involved crashes,” said FLHSMV Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes. “Pedestrian safety is not a one-way street – it’s the responsibility of all road users, and it’s crucial that motorists and pedestrians alike stay alert and look out for one another’s safety.

Last year, more than 8,000 pedestrian collisions in Florida claimed 712 lives, accounting for 1 in every 5 traffic fatalities. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports Florida pedestrian deaths declined by 2 percent last year, the first decline in more than a decade. However, the state still ranked deadliest in the nation behind California, which was the only state to report more than 1,000 walking deaths.

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Fort Myers police have made an arrest in a deadly hit-and-run crash on State Road 82,  NBC-2 reports.

The arrest comes several months after a 30-year-old man was killed in the June 1 collision in the 11900 block of State Route 82. Authorities say the defendant caused the collision through “reckless driving and actions.”stormystreet-300x201

Our car accident attorneys in Cape Coral and Fort Myers note it’s a tragic reminder of the risks responsible drivers face in Florida. Several years ago, lawmakers updated F.S. 316.027 to make it a third-degree felony to leave the scene of an accident involving injury and a first-degree felony for leaving the scene of a crash involving death. Previous to that legal change, drivers faced less severe consequences for being caught leaving the scene than for staying and being charged in the wake of a crash that caused serious or fatal injuries.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports the number of hit-and-run collisions has increased steadily in the state, with such crashes now accounting for one-fourth of all traffic crashes.  The new law allows for license revocation for at least three years and up to 5 years in prison. for injury crashes. Leaving the scene of a crash involving death is now punishable by a prison sentence of 4 to 30 years.

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A Cape Coral man died last week after being pinned between two vehicles along a neighborhood street, NBC-2 reported.

The man was putting tools into the back of his vehicle when a Nissan Sentra driven by a 26-year-old man struck him, pinning him between the two vehicles, according to authorities. The driver said he couldn’t see because of sun glare and condensation on the windshield. Neither speed nor impairment are believed to be factors in the crash, according to authorities.

Floridians do not have to deal with snow and ice. So there is little excuse for leaving the driveway with obstructed views. Take a few moments to clear fog and condensation from your windows. If your windows fog while en route, pull over to the side of the road and give your defrosters a chance to catch up.

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When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, few places share a bleaker outlook than Florida nursing homes.

The Naples Daily News reports Florida nursing home employees continue to fight vaccine mandates, which could halt new admissions.  The pushback against a federal mandate for all nursing home employees is worsening an already dire staffing shortage. Many employees have already left nursing homes for better, safer, jobs amid the nationwide shortage for hospital employees. Now, many others are threatening to leave in the face of the vaccine mandate.wheelchair3-300x200

The Daily News reports the resulting staffing shortage could halt new admissions, according to Leading Age, which represents a consortium of care providers in Florida.

While liability for preventable COVID-related injury and death is an issue in the early stages of litigation, with no clear-cut answers, our Fort Myers nursing home neglect attorneys know staffing shortage is a long-standing issue in many facilities that has directly contributed to countless preventable injuries and deaths.

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The death of an Ohio woman in a personal watercraft accident on Fort Myers Beach highlights the risk of injury to tourists both in and out of the water.

With all of us facing  the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, it is particularly disheartening to hear of serious or fatal injury occurring to those who have sought a brief escape along Southwest Florida’s coastline. Many businesses are suffering from pandemic-related economic losses and the lack of tourism traffic. It’s important that we all do our part to make the area a welcoming safe-haven from the stresses of everyday life.

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The Fort Myers Beach Observer reports the fatal watercraft accident occurred while the woman was on a rented craft near the Fort Myers Beach Pier. The Fort Myers Beach Fire Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard all responded to the scene. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports the woman was a passenger on a rented watercraft when she was thrown during an attempted turn. Staff from the rental company arrived on scene and attempted life-saving efforts, according to FWC.

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The holiday season is typically the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to bringing dangerous or defective products into the home. But, like most aspects of life, COVID has also changed the risk of product injury. Pandemic quarantines have found all of us spending much more time at home. Online shopping has further complicated the picture when it comes to holding companies accountable for endangering consumers.internet-300x229

The Government Accountability Office reported last fall that the government’s watchdog for dangerous and defective products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, needs to do a better job of protecting consumers and addressing the risks of today’s diversified online marketplace. Our defective product lawyers want consumers to know that anyone involved in marketing, supplying, manufacturing or delivering a dangerous or defective product can be held responsible for resulting damages under federal law.

Specifically, the agency found:

Sexual assault has been in the news in an increasing number of cases this year. From Bill Cosby to Jeffrey Epstein, to the Boy Scouts, Catholic Church, local massage parlors, and even Olympic Gymnasts.

While you might be tempted to think the rash of publicity highlights a drastic increase in such criminal conduct, our sexual assault attorneys know that the truth is that victims are becoming more willing to come forward about crimes that have long taken place in the shadows. playgroundswings-300x200

It takes courage. But holding abusers accountable is the only way to ensure they do not continue to prey on other victims. The fact of the matter is that these criminals rarely, if ever, stop victimizing people on their own. For decades they have counted on the shame and silence of their victims to allow them to avoid the public shame and criminal penalties their actions deserve.

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