Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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We are entering the height of hurricane season in Southwest Florida and that means any number of additional dangers on the road.

NBC-2 reported a motorist escape injury last week after crashing a car into deep standing water in a field in Fort Myers. The incident illustrates the risks drivers face anytime they leave the roadway during rainy season in Southwest Florida, where standing water, retention ponds, and hundreds of miles of canals, rivers and inlets pose unique risks to motorists. lightninginjuries-240x300

In a separate incident, six people were hurt after lightning struck the rooftop of an apartment complex. In that case, the injured were working on the roof. One woman fell two stories. Another victim fell from a ladder and struck his head on the pavement.

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The raging debate over the safety of e-scooters is coming to Southwest Florida, as Florida lawmakers largely swept away any final hurdles to the self-transportation devices that have proved wildly popular with teenagers and millennials.e-scooterinjury-273x300

The Tallahassee Democrat reports more than 1,000 e-scooters hit the streets of the state capital this week for a 3-month pilot program. The scooters can be rented at 21 locations operated by five different companies as tens of thousands of people visit the area for college football games this autumn. Pilot programs are also underway in numerous other Florida cities, including Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

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Florida has been named the third most-dangerous state in America. ambulance-300x201

ABC News reports Florida ranked 48th safest in a study that looked at five factors: Personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety and emergency preparedness. Only Louisiana and Mississippi ranked worse.

The annual WalletHub report looked at a total of 52 key indicators, including homicides and assault, unemployment levels, and the impact of natural disasters.

Injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know Florida residents continue to be most impacted by road safety. Florida ranked almost dead last for traffic safety and reports the highest levels of traffic fatalities for pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents, while ranking behind only California and Texas when it comes to drunk driving accidents, car accidents and accidents involving trucks or other large commercial vehicles, according to annual data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Corporate America continues to use mandatory arbitration agreements to strip consumers of their right to make civil claims in court. medicalrecords-200x300

“Voluntary” and forced arbitration agreements are quickly becoming the norm as businesses seek to shield themselves from liability. Kiplinger Finance recently examined the trend of forced arbitration agreements in credit card and other financial contracts. In many cases, consumers are given the option of opting out of arbitration. It’s critical to read the fine print of your contracts and follow up by opting out of such agreements whenever possible.

While most civil claims, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, are decided in court, arbitration agreements force both sides to agree to settle their differences through an arbitrator of facts, outside the court of law. Frequently, these arbitrators survive on corporate business.

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As we enter the height of summer, all of us at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, wish you a wonderful Independence Day.

fireworks-1443766-300x214The weather is beautiful and the beaches and waterways are flourishing. Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers remind you to plan your trip and drive safely, always designate a driver and avoid distraction. Your number one injury risk this summer is being involved in a traffic collision. Boating and water safety should also be high on your list of concerns if you plan to be on the water.

But each year fireworks hit the night sky to signal the start of the peak summer season.  And each year injuries occur, both at sanctioned municipal or corporate shows, or as a result of using backyard fireworks. These incidents are not rare. In fact, they have grown increasingly common amid the nation’s lax enforcement attitude toward fireworks sales. And the injuries typically result in permanent scarring or lasting disability, with severe burns, facial disfigurement, loss of eyesight and loss of fingers being among the most common.

The Insurance Journal reports nearly 13,000 serious firework injuries occur each year in the United States as fireworks sales approach $1 billion amid relaxed laws and enforcement. At least 8 people a year die as result of fireworks injuries. Two-thirds of accidents occur between mid June and mid July.

In Florida, F.S. Chapter 791 governs the sale of fireworks. While the law allows for the sale of fireworks, it prohibits consumer use of anything that explodes or emits sparks, except by permitted groups and organizations that seek advanced permission.  Roadside stands and temporary fireworks emporiums that spring up each summer use the law to sell many fireworks that are not legal for consumers to detonate in Florida.

Effectively, Florida law outlaws all but the sparklers, smoke bombs, and other minor novelty items of the type sold at Publix or Walmart.

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car accidentFlorida lawmakers have passed a tougher measure aimed at texting drivers. Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys continue to see far too many collisions caused by distraction and view this as a long overdue step in the right direction.

The new law, which awaits Gov. Ron Desantis’ signature, makes texting (including messaging, emailing and other forms of typing on a mobile device) a primary violation, meaning an officer can stop and cite a motorist without other cause for the traffic stop. Under current law, a texting violation is a secondary offense, meaning a motorist can only be cited once stopped for committing another traffic violation.

In January, we wrote on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog about the lack of progress Florida lawmakers have made when it comes to improving traffic safety. Florida continues to lag far behind most other states by almost every measure. AAA reports 44 other states already have laws as strong or stronger on the books. More than half of all states ban all hand-held cell phone use by drivers as studies continue to show hands-free options contribute to a significant number of serious and fatal distracted driving accidents.

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Workplace violence is an area of growing focus and concern for area employers.

The National Safety Council reports more than 18,000 injuries and nearly 500 fatalities occur each year as a result of workplace violence, making it among the leading causes of serious and fatal on-the-job injuries.

Certain careers, including healthcare, education and taxi or livery drivers, face higher risks. But every workplace should have a plan when it comes to reducing or eliminating the chances of workplace violence.workviolence-300x225

Our injury attorneys in Cape Coral and Fort Myers know it’s the mass shootings that make the news. But these incidents more commonly involve former spouses, or a personal dispute that results in a perpetrator assaulting an employee in the workplace. Many of these instances can be prevented by properly monitoring workplace access, and by educating employees about how to deal with trespassers or intruders.

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The risk of construction injuries has increased substantially as the Southwest Florida economy continues to flourish.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited numerous Florida companies for incidents that have resulted in serious and fatal employee injuries since the first of the year. In March, a South Florida restaurant was cited after an employee suffered severe burn injuries, a contractor was cited for safety violations after two fatalities at a hotel construction site in Orando and a contractor was cited after a roofing worker fell to his death at the Forest Glenn Community in Naples.scaffolding-accident-300x199

Other recent Florida work safety violations include a landscaper who suffered fatal heat-related injury, and employers that have been cited for amputation and machine-guard risks or violations. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know those working in the construction industry face the highest injury risks.

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We celebrated the first day of spring a few days ago.

The vernal equinox marks one of the two times a year when day and night are nearly the same length. The term equinox comes from the Latin word equinoxium, which means “equality between day and night.” That was March 20 this year, and always occurs on either March 19, 20, or 21, CNN reported. beach-300x226

While for northerners it means a return to longer days and better weather, in Southwest Florida we know it as the time of year spring breakers hit the beaches and the equipment haulers for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox roll into town. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know the risk of tourist injuries will be highest through the next six weeks.

This year’s crowds in Southwest Florida are reaching their peak, and tourists face a variety of risks.

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The Florida Highway Patrol brought extra enforcement to Southwest Florida to open the spring break and baseball spring training season.

“Operation Safe DRIVE” is the patrol’s campaign to reduce serious and fatal traffic accidents through Distracted Reckless Impaired Visibility Enforcement.car accident

“Motorists can reduce crashes if they share the roads safely, avoid aggressive driving behaviors and exercise additional caution when driving near larger vehicles,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have posted here about the added risks of driving in Southwest Florida, particularly from now until Easter.

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