Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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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, 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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When it comes to the injury risks in Southwest Florida, it’s hard to overstate the risk of walking.

Nationwide, the risks have reached epidemic levels, and Florida has long been the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrians.

NPR reported this week that pedestrian deaths have reached levels not seen in decades. A new report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association identified 6,227 pedestrians who were killed by motor vehicles last year.

As our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers recently reported, Florida is the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrian accidents. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral area is among 8 metro areas in Florida to be named to the nation’s 10 deadliest areas for walkers, according to Smart Growth America’s report, Dangerous by Design, which largely focuses on inadequate infrastructure, like sidewalks and crosswalks.

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Fall injuries are a serious concern. Only those who have never dealt with the consequences of a serious fall think of a”slip and fall” lawsuit as someone who is just trying to make a buck.

As the New York Times reported this week: Falls can kill you. 

Southwest Florida’s aging population, and wet tropical climate are just two factors that make the region particular susceptible to fall injuries. Our injury lawyers want fall victims to know they have certain rights, although these cases can be complex and consultation with an experienced law firm is best done as soon as possible after an accident.slip and fall

It’s no longer enough to prove injury occurred by falling on a substance or hazard while at a business. Florida’s tourism industry and business-friendly environment helped lawmakers push through an amendment that now requires a business to have had actual or constructive knowledge of a hazard and to have failed to correct it. Constructive knowledge generally means a hazard existed for a length of time sufficient enough to have been discovered.

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The apathy and inaction of lawmakers is having a major impact when it comes to increasing the dangers motorists face on Florida roads,  according to the 2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws released by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Florida has fallen woefully behind many other states when it comes to using the law to improve traffic safety, despite being among the most dangerous states in the nation for all types of traffic collisions, including car accidents (3rd), motorcycle accidents (2nd), bicycle accidents (1st) and pedestrian accidents (1st). truck accident lawyer

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers continue to advocate for safer roads in Southwest Florida. Current trends are alarming, particularly when you consider how long safety improvements take to enact and have a measurable impact on road safety.

 

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Local businesses are expecting a record-breaking year for tourism in Southwest Florida.

WINK News began the year reporting a booming business on Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Islands, as Southwest Florida looks to overcome red tide and other water-quality issues that plagued the region through much of 2018. boating accident

Water quality issues cost Fort Myers Beach $12 million in August. Captiva reported $15 million in lost revenue. Still, tourism will be Southwest Florida’s biggest business through the Spring Training baseball season. The Naples Daily News reported the day after Christmas that Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) saw record traffic, with more than 9 million annual passengers last year.

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