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chrsitmassafety-300x225Black Friday signals the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This year’s season is the shortest possible — 6 days fewer than last year and the fewest number of holiday shopping days since 2013.

Combine that with an early start to frigid northern temperatures that descended upon the midwest before Thanksgiving dinner was on the table, and the forecast in Southwest Florida calls for packed roads and burgeoning malls and shopping centers from now until Christmas Eve Day.

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral wish each of you a safe and blessed holiday season. Staying safe is a proactive activity that approaches the level of a competitive sport as shoppers and arriving winter residents and tourists compete for space.

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A recent tragedy in Southwest Florida highlights the risk of backover and driveway accidents.

The Fort Myers News-Press reported the death of a 5-year-old girl, who was struck and killed in a driveway on Cypress Lake Drive. The Florida Highway Patrol reports the girl was struck by a Jeep Wranger pulling into the driveway around another parked vehicle that was obstructing the driver’s view. kidsplaying-300x214

Injuries to children in driveways most commonly result from backover accidents. Large holiday gatherings are the unfortunate scene of most of these tragedies. The prevalence of large gatherings of family and friends, the start of colder weather up north, and the popularity of today’s large pickup trucks and SUVs all play a role.

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The end of the year is a time of self-reflection and self-renewal. A time for family and for resolutions.

It is also a time when we deal with much of the paperwork that runs our lives. As part of your annual review, our experienced injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers urge you to take a careful look at your auto insurance policy to make sure it will be there for you in the event of a serious accident.driver at a glance

For many victims, it will be their own insurance policy that will be the best source of financial relief in the aftermath of a serious or fatal motor vehicle injury. And, for too many, their own auto insurance policy may even turn out to be the only source of compensation.

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The National Safety Council is urging motorists to consider all forms of impairment this holiday travel season.

For more than 20 years, drivers with alcohol concentrations at or above 0.08 have remained involved in about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. That’s about 10,000 lives lost every year. Our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have made fighting for the rights of drunk-driving collision victims a primary focus since 1971.buyabeer-200x300

We remain active this holiday season in supporting the Lee County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and have long supported DUI checkpoints and increased patrols conducted by local law enforcement agencies, including the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cape Coral Police Department.

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Thanksgiving is the busiest travel weekend of the year. But it also signals the beginning of the long holiday travel season and the beginning of winter tourism season in Southwest Florida.drivefast-300x224

Early darkness, holiday stress, more cars on the road, and a large number of visitors and tourists, all increase the risks of motor-vehicle collisions through the remainder of the year.

Last year, AAA reported about 54-million people traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday. And by the end of the year, 112-million people total traveled for the holidays. The agency is expecting to see that trend to continue this year. That means about 1-in-3 Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home this year, or about 300,000 people traveling to or from Lee County this holiday season.

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The end of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday Nov. 3 means many motorists can expect darkness during their morning and afternoon commutes. It will get light a bit earlier, but seasonal darkness will eliminate most of that advantage, meaning morning motorists must remain alert, particularly for pedestrians in residential neighborhoods and along main thoroughfares. Motorists will face early darkness in the afternoon as their commute actually takes place an hour later.night-highway-1450204-300x184

Once used to give farmers extra summer daylight, and used extensively during the World Wars to conserve energy, Daylight Savings Time is either loved or hated, depending upon your perspective.

But what is not up for debate, our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know, is the role visibility often plays in traffic collisions. Rain can make for particularly hazardous driving conditions, especially during the height of rainy season. But with seasonal rains quickly dissipating, it is the early darkness descending upon Southwest Florida that will increase traffic risks through the remainder of the year.

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With early darkness approaching and the year-end holidays just around the corner, local road-safety advocates are warning residents and visitors alike to make safety a priority.boatinginjury-300x156

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers see an increase in crashes each autumn. We have written recently about the collision risks associated with back-to-school, as well as Halloween pedestrian safety. However, early darkness brings with it its own risks, not the least of which is the return of snowbirds and other winter residents.

Florida saw a record 126 million visitors last year. But the record is expected to be short-lived, with even more people expected to visit the Sunshine State this year. More than 1 million of those will visit Southwest Florida during the year-end holidays, according to the Lee County Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

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A woman in Key West recently suffered serious injuries after being struck by the propeller of a private airplane. The incident highlights the risks faced by those who enjoy Southwest Florida’s thriving private aviation community.

USAToday reported she lost her right hand and two toes of her right foot when a propeller blade hit her Saturday as she was helping to prepare a private plane for takeoff at Key West International Airport. The airplane accident involved a a 1966 Cessna model 172S plane rented in Fort Myers. The plane was being piloted by her husband; the couple resides in Fort Myers. cessna-300x204

The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation of the accident. The 46-year-old victim was initially taken to Lower Keys Medical Center and later flown out to Ryder Trauma in Miami. Continue reading →

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Wrongful death lawsuits are distinct in a number of ways under Florida law. Unlike personal injury lawsuits, which are filed by the victim, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the estate of the deceased, and must seek recoverable damages on the part of one of more living parties. surgery-300x225

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune recently looked at a gap in Florida wrongful death law, which may leave young, single adults over the age of 25 without a party that can bring an actionable claim for damages in the wake of a negligent death.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know many of the same law firms that advertise representation of personal injury victims, also handle wrongful death claims. However, victims need to understand that these two claims are vastly different, both in terms of proving damages and in how they are pursued in a court of law.

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A series of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents in Lee County has authorities renewing calls for safety and awareness as we head into the height of the winter riding and tourist season.motorcycle accident

The News-Press reported a motorcycle accident occurred on Bayshore near I-75 when the victim was thrown from his 2006 Kawasaki. The pickup truck driver fled the scene on foot but was later apprehended and charged with failing to report a crash, driving on a suspended license and obstruction. The victim was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. The Naples Daily News reports a man was killed and another critically injured after a motorcycle collided with a motor vehicle in Charlotte County.

A Cape Coral man was killed and a Michigan man was injured in separate motorcycle accidents last week, according to media reports.

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers have long been advocates for riding safety and rider rights. We know October is the beginning of peak riding season in Southwest Florida, as the temperatures moderate and the rains abate. While northern riders are storing their bikes for winter, Southwest Florida sees a significant increase in the number of riders on the road. Add to this the increase in visitors and seasonal traffic, many of whom are unfamiliar with the area and not used to looking for motorcycle riders during winter months, and the number of serious and fatal motorcycle collisions typically increases as the winter riding season gets underway.

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