What Small Business Owners Need to Know: Property Liability Lawsuits

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As a small business owner, you probably have your hands full directing your business, supervising employees, managing logistics, selecting the right vendors, and dealing with customers.

Unless your small business is a law office, chances are that property liability is probably not at the top of your list…in fact, it may not even be on your list… but it should be!

Here’s why!

Several studies across the insurance industry indicate that at least 40% of all small businesses will experience general or property liability claims within the next ten years.  That’s nearly half of all small businesses!

As a small business owner, you need to be aware of potential liabilities, and how to prevent and mediate them.

Here are the top 10 risks and liabilities for small businesses:

  • Burglary and Theft
  • Water and Freezing Damage
  • Fire Damage
  • Wind and Hail Damage
  • Customer Injury and Damage
  • Customer Slip and Fall
  • Product Liability
  • Reputational Harm
  • Vehicle Accident
  • Individual Hit by Object

When any of these claims arise, they can be costly.

As a small business owner, you need to take basic precautions to avoid claims and lawsuits.  Here are some suggestions to get started:

  1. Evaluate your potential risks and consider purchasing a basic commercial general liability insurance policy for as little as $500 that can cover up to $1 million. Select a reputable insurance agent who can help you determine the best insurance for your business.  Once you purchase insurance, reassess annually.
  1. Prevent injuries and liability claims by inspecting and monitoring workplace conditions.
  1. Detect and correct any potentially unsafe conditions in the workplace and around the office building. Be sure to prepare for snow, ice, flooding, or other dangerous conditions that could affect an employee or customer entering the workplace.  Your liability doesn’t end at the front door.
  1. Create policies and procedures so your employees will be on the lookout for unsafe conditions and correct them promptly.
  1. If any potential hazards can’t be resolved immediately, put out clear warning signs for all employees and customers.
  1. Conduct background checks on all employees prior to hiring.
  1. Create and update emergency plans annually for fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
  1. Keep the building exterior clear of debris and equipment. If the weather is extremely cold, take precautions to avoid freezing pipes.
  1. Establish a safety program for employees that drive as part of their job.
  1. Ensure images or wording used in marketing materials, on your website or on social media are not copyrighted.
  1. Use good judgement when talking about competitors and other businesses. Reputational harm is a serious liability.

Finally, as your business expands, so will your potential liabilities.  It’s critical that you reassess and update your insurance policy as your business grows.

Putting the right insurance in place and establishing good policies and procedures in the workplace will position you to run a successful business!

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Ride Sharing Accidents (Uber/Lyft)

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Ridesharing Uber Lyft

Ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber are garnering major market share over taxis.  Ridesharing services offer prompt, affordable transportation service that can be easily ordered and paid for via smart phone apps.  Riders can select the specific vehicles and drivers after reviewing driver ratings on the app.

It’s easy to find ridesharing services in most cities and towns throughout the United States.  Along with the ease of service and payment, ridesharing services make it so simple to catch a ride, they are expected to help reduce the number of drunk driving-related accidents and fatalities.

Ridesharing Service Accidents

While there are great benefits to using ridesharing services, driving safety and vehicle accidents are a concern.  Several Uber and Lyft drivers have been in accidents while transporting riders.

Who is Responsible?

If you are riding in a vehicle that was in a crash, the driver who caused the crash may be held responsible for any injuries to you or others because of the crash.

Uber and Lyft both have liability and uninsured motorist policies that will cover the passenger if the driver is at fault, or even if the driver is not at fault, but has insufficient coverage.

What to do if you were in a Lyft or Uber accident

If you were in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle or if you were hit by a ridesharing vehicle, we recommend you follow this protocol:

  • Call 911 immediately to request emergency medical services.
  • Once you leave the accident scene or the hospital, contact experienced attorneys such as Goldman and Daszkal, P.A. at (954) 428-9333 for a free consultation.
  • Avoid answering calls that are not from your ACTUAL LAWYER. Representatives may attempt to contact you.  DO NOT DISCUSS ANYTHING about the ACCIDENT.  Soliciting accident victims is illegal!
  • When you meet with your attorney, bring the photos, notes, witness contact information, case number, police accident report, and any communications you received from insurance companies. Additionally, bring any bills related to EMS, hospitals, healthcare professionals, medicines or medical treatment that you received since the accident as well as damage estimates or receipts from vehicle repairs.

The good news is that most Uber and Lyft contractors are safe drivers.  Accidents are not frequent.  Be prepared by following the tips above.

Also, before you take a ridesharing service or allow your teen to do so, be sure to review this important post about ridesharing personal safety.  

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Self-Driving Cars Part IV: Vehicle Update

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Over the last few years, we’ve been keeping tabs on the development of driverless (self-driving) autonomous vehicles.  Click here for earlier post.   Experts believe that the paradigm shift to driverless vehicles will have a positive effect in the United States, lowering the number of traffic crashes that are overwhelmingly due to human error.  Consequently, researchers believe that driverless cars will reduce the number of lives lost on our roads.

Better or Much Better?

Ironically, many Americans are concerned about the safety of driverless vehicles.  Correspondingly, there is conflict about whether to allow self-driving vehicles to travel on the roads now – when they are considered “slightly better” than human drivers – or to wait until the self-driving vehicles are far superior to human drivers – potentially several years from now.  Experts argue that waiting for further technological progress delays our ability to make a positive impact – and save thousands of lives that are taken each year on our roads.  Their studies indicate that the earlier self-driving vehicles are commonly used on the roads, the quicker these vehicles will “master the art of driving” on our roads.

The “New Wild West” – Arizona

Consequently, this update on self-driving vehicles takes us to Arizona to learn about the “new wild west” that caters to vehicles, large and small, with and without drivers.  Arizona, and, in particular, the town of Chandler, Arizona, have welcomed companies developing self-driving vehicles.  Distinct from many other towns, the local government has encouraged the testing of different types of driverless vehicles on the roads in Chandler and the surrounding areas.  And, unlike another large testing ground in California, Arizona has very few laws that regulate driverless vehicles, making it a great place for companies like Waymo to set up shop.  In addition, General Motors, Intel, Uber, and Lyft are also operating and testing self-driving cars on the Arizona roads.

Nevertheless, the downside for the public is that Arizona doesn’t require public companies to release information about self-driving vehicle accidents.  Consequently, safety reports from self-driving vehicle companies may be partial, although this may change as new legislation governing the testing and use of driverless cars comes into play.

Waymo

Waymo is one of the leading companies in the development of self-driving vehicles.  Waymo is the autonomous vehicle division of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.  Since October, Waymo has been operating self-driving vehicles on roads around Chandler.  In contrast to updates on driverless vehicle technology from a year ago, these vehicles do not have safety drivers behind the wheel.[1]  In fact, the humans in the vehicles sit in the back, behind the driver’s seat, rather than at the wheel.  This is equivalent to Level 4 autonomy, in which a vehicle is capable of driving with no human behind the wheel.  These vehicles rely on powerful sensing devices to detect objects up to 300 meters away, and allows the vehicle system to look over, under and around vehicles.

Currently, Waymo is in partnerships with Fiat-Chrysler, Lyft and Avis.  According to recent news articles, Waymo’s next move is a commercial ride service using self-driving cars, where people will use an app, possibly Lyft, to hail a vehicle.  For now, Waymo is making headway by using over 100 Chrysler self-driving vehicles to transport select individuals as part of a trial.  Plans indicate this will soon ramp up to 600 vehicles.

Insurance Coverage for Driverless Cars

Several months ago, a crash between a self-driving Uber vehicle and another driver resulted in a citation for the driver of the other vehicle.  While this accident was resolved quickly, the next big question that is still looming over self-driving cars is who will be responsible if the driverless car is at fault in an accident.  While this important insurance issue is being debated, the race to driverless cars is on – and there is no sign of slowing down!

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/07/waymo-now-testing-its-self-driving-cars-on-public-roads-with-no-one-at-the-wheel/

Bicycling Accidents in Florida

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Bicycle riding, also known as cycling, is a great, low-impact sport.  Each day, hundreds of Floridians engage in bicycle riding, either to and from school, work, the park, or just for exercise.

While cycling is both fun and exhilarating, cyclists need to be careful, especially when they share the roads with motorists.  Bicycle riders need to pay special attention to road signs and traffic patterns, and be aware of the dangers on our Florida roadways.

The Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), statistics estimate there were over 1,000 bicyclist deaths in 2015.  In addition, the same source states there were nearly 467,000 bicycle-related injuries that year.[1]   While these statistics are for the entire country, it’s disturbing, but important to note that Florida leads the nation with the highest number of bicycle fatalities of any state.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) website[2], “bicyclists accounted for 2 percent of all traffic deaths and 2 percent of all crash-related injuries in 2014. Bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (20%) and in urban areas (71%).”  In addition, the NHTSA indicates that most of bicyclists killed were male and over 20% of them had an illegal level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – over the limit for riding or driving.[3]  

It’s clear that bicyclists face safety concerns each time they’re out on the road.  But bicyclists can take measures to help protect themselves.  What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones when riding your bicycle on the roads of South Florida?  Click here to read about cycling safety.  

Sometimes, there is a misconception that the bicyclist is to blame in bicycle – vehicle crashes, but statistics show that motorists are cited in many of these incidents.

Handling a bicycle accident case requires knowledge of traffic patterns, right-of-way laws, as well as city and state bicycling and vehicle regulations.  We have experienced attorneys who have handled both bicycle and motor vehicle accidents along with nearly 3 decades of serving the state of Florida in all types of personal injury claims.

Questions about bicycle safety, motorists, and the law?   Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandszkal.com.

Ready to hit the road?  Follow the safety tips here, get outside, and enjoy the ride.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/bicycle/

[2] https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists

[3] https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists

Christmas Tree Safety

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Tree Fire Statistics

Fire departments across the country responded to 210 Christmas tree fires between 2010-2014.[1]   The number of tree fires dropped dramatically from 850 in 1980 to 170 in 2014.[2]  But these fires still cause many injuries, deaths, and millions of dollars in direct property damage each year.

While we can know that Christmas tree fires aren’t as common as home fires, statistics indicate that tree fires are more deadly.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1 in 34 Christmas tree related fires resulted in at least one death while 1 in 142 regular home fires resulted in a death.

Decorative lights, wiring, plugs, candles, and heating equipment play a role in most Christmas tree fires.  Lighting or heat sources too close to the tree caused most tree fires, as analyzed by the NFPA.

We know that you and your family are looking forward to a safe holiday celebration.  Read on to find out the important safety tips recommended by NFPA to reduce the risk of Christmas tree fires.  Additionally, learn more about lighting safety here.

Choosing the Right Tree
  • Find a fresh tree with green needles.
  • Avoid choosing any tree with needles that fall off when touched.
  • If you choose to use an artificial tree, be sure it has been tested and labeled as fire resistent.

Selecting the Indoor Location

  • Cut at least 2 inches from the trunk base and place properly in a tree stand with water.
  • Find a location for the tree that doesn’t block an exit, and make sure the tree is 3 feet or further away from any type of heat source including heat vents, lights, radiators, fireplaces, or candles.
Decorating the Tree
  • Only use decorations that are marked inflammable and for indoor use and have an “independent testing laboratory” or Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. Older light strands don’t have fused plugs and may short circuit, so stick with newer, safer lights. Read the instruction guide to determine how to connect the strands.
  • If any bulbs are broken, have frayed ends, have loose connections, or look old and warn, do not use them.
  • Be extra careful with cords, decorations, drapes, and debris when using ladders near the tree.

Daily Tree Reminders

  • Do not put candles on or near the tree.
  • Make sure to water the tree daily.
  • Avoid extension cords overheating by unplugging them if they are hot to the touch.
  • Shut off the decorations and tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
Cleaning it Up
  • Remove the tree and bring to a local community tree recycling station. Dry, brittle branches and trees pose a fire danger outside.
  • Unplug, bring in, and store outdoor electrical lights to prevent hazards.

When it comes to holiday safety, taking care of the tree is a great start.  And for more information on lighting safety, click here.  Take time to review the aforementioned tips so that you and your loved ones enjoy a happy, healthy and safe holiday. 

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Winter-holiday-safety/Christmas-tree-fires

[2] http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Winter-holiday-safety/Christmas-tree-fires

 

National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

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The weather is getting cooler in Florida and it’s beginning to feel like the holidays.  As we begin to think about family gatherings, football games, and gifts for the children, please take a few minutes to consider toy and gift safety before you head to the store or visit your favorite online retailer.  In the spirit of holiday safety, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. is helping spread the word that December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

From thousands of toy-related injuries each year to millions of recalled toys, we all need to be vigilant with the toys we choose and allow our children to play with.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is leading the way to help make toys safe for our children.

In the last few years, they have created and enforced limits on toxic chemicals such as lead and phthalates in toys.  The CPSC is also requiring toy testing by third party, independent laboratories to help prevent dangerous toys from entering the United States.

As parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, we need to boost our own efforts to ensure the toys our loved ones play with are safe.  Here are some important tips for family members and friends with young children or for those shopping for gifts for children.

  1. Inspect all Toys Prior to Play

Inspect all toys to ensure they are appropriate for the child’s age, developmental stage and skill level.

  • Avoid giving children toys with ropes, chains, sharp edges, magnets, heating elements, or buttons that can easily be detached and swallowed.
  • Insist that children wear properly-fitted helmets and safety gear when riding on toys, skateboards, ripsticks, or skates.
  • Manage battery access, installation, and charging away from children. Follow the instructions and keep these away from children as they can cause burns.  
  1. Avoid Choking Hazards

Young children explore the world by putting objects in their mouths.  Small toys or parts of toys can be a prime target for a young child’s curiosity.  Keep small toys and parts away to prevent choking.

  • After opening gifts, remove all plastic film and packaging and place in a garbage or recycling bin that children cannot access.
  • Deflated or broken balloons are a choking hazard for young children. Immediately throw away any deflated or broken balloons in a receptacle that children cannot access.
  • Some activity sets use high-powered magnets. These are particularly dangerous for children and should always be kept away.
  • Be cautious with toy jewelry and other painted toys that may contain lead. Check out the CPSC lead website for more information.
  1. Get Notified!

Sign up at the CPSC website to receive information on recalled toys.  Click here or go to https://www.cpsc.gov/.

Once you’ve reviewed these safety tips, you’ll be ready to head out to the stores or log on to your computer and find the perfect, safe gifts.  But before you go, share these important tips with your family and friends using the links below.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

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On behalf of our attorneys and staff, we wish you and your loved ones a Thanksgiving filled with happiness, appreciation, and good health.

We appreciate all of our team members who reach out and lend a helping hand.  

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. is privileged to have not only a talented team of legal professionals, but also a group of individuals who believe in giving back to our communities. Here are some highlights of the ways our team is helping to make a difference in the lives of others when they are “out of the office.”

Attorney Nathan Hoy represented Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. at the Make-a-Wish Foundation Ball held November 4th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami. The theme was “Mystical Music Box, and over 900 attendees enjoyed dinner, dancing, drinks, and live and silent auction bidding, with all proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.” The InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has raised over $21 million in the last 22 years, enough to grant the heartfelt wishes of more than 4,300 children with life-threatening medical conditions. For more information, click here.

Last month, Attorney Sean Pleus attended the Leadership Broward Profiles in Leadership Gala honoring several outstanding community leaders. The event was held at the Westin Fort Lauderdale. Leadership Broward is a non-profit organization tasked with developing local leaders to strengthen the future of Broward community.

In October, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. was a proud sponsor of Gilda’s Club Annual Casino Night. The Roaring ’20s themed event was designed to generate funds to support Gilda’s Club, the non-profit organization named in honor of comedian Gilda Radner – one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. The organization, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, offers free programs for men, women, teens, and children as well as their families and friends who have been touched by cancer. Click here to learn more.

Finally, Attorney Sean Pleus recently attended a “Meet and Greet” for Children’s Harbor at the famed restaurant, YOLO, in Fort Lauderdale. Children’s Harbor is a 501(c)(3) child welfare organization that aims to ensure foster children stay united as a family – keeping siblings together, raising them, and giving them the professional guidance they need to rebuild their lives.

We appreciate all of our team members who reach out and lend a helping hand.
On behalf of our attorneys and staff, we wish you and your loved ones a Thanksgiving filled with happiness, appreciation, and good health.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to workGoldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Infotainment Technology – Dashboard Distractions

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Dashboards of Today = Infotainment Systems

Surveys indicate that nearly ¾ of drivers in the United States prefer having the latest interactive technology in their vehicles.  And vehicle manufacturers have been listening.

Vehicle infotainment system is a term used to describe the car dashboard systems that have evolved over the last few decades from radio to cassette tapes, to CDs, and now to digital.  Today’s digital infotainment systems provide more functionality and are becoming more sophisticated, complex, and… dangerous.

Not only are vehicle manufacturers giving drivers the ability to talk and listen to music, but they give drivers the ability to use multiple types of commands to access and send social media, email, and text messages.  Some systems use touch screens, while others have voice commands, writing pads, windshield or mirror displays, knobs, buttons, or a combination of the above to control the infotainment.

Distracted Driving = Danger

While manufacturers claim that the infotainment systems were designed to require very short amounts of focus time like older radios and climate control systems, most drivers need to take their eyes off the road for longer periods of time to actively use the infotainment systems of today.

AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a study on 2017 vehicle infotainment systems and the comparative attention required from drivers to effectively operate the systems.[1]  Of the 30 cars and light trucks tested, not one of the 30 vehicles tested was quick and easy enough to be rated “low” for the required level of attention required by the driver to operate the system.  Only seven of the vehicle infotainment systems needed “moderate” levels of attention.    That left the majority — 23 of the vehicle infotainment systems tested – rated as requiring “high” or “very high” levels of driver attention to use effectively.

To find out how your vehicle infotainment system rates, check below.

Most distracting infotainment systems ranked as “very high”: [2]

  • Audi Q7 QPP
  • Chrysler 300 C
  • Dodge Durango GT
  • Ford Mustang GT
  • GMC Yukon SLT
  • Honda Civic Touring
  • Honda Ridgeline RTL-E
  • Mazda3 Touring
  • Nissan Armada SV
  • Subaru Crosstrek Premium
  • Tesla Model S
  • Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription

“High” distraction level infotainment systems:

  • Cadillac XT5 Luxury
  • Chevrolet Traverse LT
  • Dodge Ram 1500
  • Ford Fusion Titanium
  • Hyundai Sonata Base
  • Infiniti Q50 Premium
  • Jeep Compass Sport
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
  • Kia Sorento LX
  • Nissan Maxima SV
  • Toyota Rav 4 XLE

“Moderate” distraction level infotainment systems:

  • Chevrolet Equinox  LT
  • Ford F250 XLT
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • Lincoln MKC Premiere
  • Toyota Camry SE
  • Toyota Corolla SE
  • Toyota Sienna XLE

While the articles didn’t provide details equating attention levels to length of distraction, researchers did equate “very high” required driver attention with trying to balance a checkbook while driving.  Moreover, common sense tells us that it is likely that drivers are taking their eyes off the road to operate these infotainment systems for 1 or even 2 seconds, or maybe more.  And that’s where the danger comes in.  According to earlier AAA research, drivers who take their eyes of the road for just two seconds increases the likelihood of a crash by 200%.

Of all the different infotainment activities, the most driver-distracting activity was using the navigation system, which took an average of 40 seconds to program.  AAA representatives stress that in those 40 seconds, a vehicle going 25 mph can travel the length of four football fields. [3]

Five years ago, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) released guidelines recommending that car manufacturers permit navigation systems to be programmed only when the vehicle is stopped.  However, of the 30 vehicles tested in the study, 12 still gave the driver ability to program navigation systems while driving.

Resolving the Infotainment Distraction Dilemma

Drivers may enjoy using the bells and whistles on their new infotainment dashboards, but vehicle manufacturers need to improve ease of use and reduce the amount of attention required from drivers to use these systems.  At the same time, drivers need to be aware that distracted driving isn’t only about texting and driving – it’s about any type of distraction that requires them to take their eyes off the road – including dashboard infotainment activities.   Distracted driving can lead to dangerous driving and accidents.

Stay safe.  Steer clear of driving distractions and keep your eyes on the road.

 

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/10/05/aaa-distracted-driving-infotainment-study/734677001/

[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/10/05/aaa-distracted-driving-infotainment-study/734677001/

[3] http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/10/new-vehicle-infotainment-systems-create-increased-distractions-behind-wheel/

Thanksgiving Travel and Cargo Carriers

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road-trip

Thanksgiving Travel

The American Automobile Association (AAA) projected that nearly 49 million Americans would travel during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  We can expect similar numbers of Americans traveling for this Thanksgiving holiday, November 23 – 26.

While some will travel by air, roughly 89% or 43 million Americans are expected to travel by car.

While there is some disagreement among sources as to which is the busier travel day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, all sources indicate that U.S. highways will be full of travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.

Before heading out on any road trip, it’s always a good idea to inspect tire pressure, tire tread, and windshield wipers. For those traveling to areas with potential winter weather, AAA recommends that drivers bring an emergency kit containing a flashlight, shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, and extra blankets or extra clothing.

Cargo Carriers

Cargo boxes, baskets, tops, and bags can all be helpful as a transport system for skis, paddles, clothing and other gear on road trips.  Novice and experienced road trippers appreciate these easy-to-use storage systems that provide bonus storage space outside of the cabin.  Most are installed on top of the vehicle using the top rack, although some systems such as the car back carrier hang down from the luggage racks and hug the back of the vehicle.

These vehicle cargo tops, baskets, boxes and bags help solve the quandary of how to fit everything in the car; but the downside of cargo carriers – the extra wind resistance, noise, and height restrictions should be carefully considered before using.  Consequently, you’ll need to determine which type of system will be the best fit for your vehicle.  Ready to figure out which cargo system is best for you?  Click here for the Top 10 Safety Tips that You Need to Know Regarding Cargo and Car Top Carrier Safety.

 

Road Trip Safety Refresher

In addition to those important safety tips for vehicles using cargo baskets, boxes, tops or bags, here’s a quick refresher on general road trip safety tips:

  1. Drive sober or get pulled over! Alcohol and drugs significantly increase your reaction time, impair your judgement, and minimize your focus.   If you’re not sober, don’t drive.
  2. Never text and drive. Avoid driver distraction!  Put cellphones away in the glove compartment, avoid eating while driving, and keep your focus on the road.
  3. Buckle up! Florida laws require that all front seat passengers and those under 18 always use seat belts.  Children should be in proper restraint systems based on height and weight.
  4. Always obey traffic laws and speed limits on highways and roads.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Florida Trip & Fall Accidents: Premises Liability

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When do “Trip and Falls” happen?

Trip and fall accidents occur when uneven surfaces or objects in a path cause someone to stumble and fall.

What causes “Trip and Falls”?

Some of the most common causes of trip and falls are potholes, broken sidewalks, cracked pavement, uneven floors, damaged stairs, uneven concrete slabs, and broken tiles.  Other tripping hazards include thick rugs, carpeting that is not flush or is bunched, and even poor lighting.

Who is responsible when someone trips and falls?

Property owners, home owners, building or store managers, and landlords have the responsibility to take reasonable care to ensure that their property is safe for customers, tenants or visitors.  Thus, the landlord, property owner, or manager should conduct routine inspections and make maintenance a priority, ensuring that the property is free of any hazards.  If there is a dangerous condition that can’t be immediately fixed, it’s the responsibility of the landlord, owner, or manager to post proper signage alerting all tenants, customers or visitors.

Whether the property is a restaurant, grocery store, office building, public park, or convenience store, premises liability law holds.  The law states that the property owner may be held liable for any injuries sustained by individuals while on their property if the owner does not exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises free from hazardous conditions.

If the owner, landlord, or manager is negligent and fails to keep the property free of hazardous conditions, they can be liable for any injuries that an individual suffers while on the property.  Common injuries from a trip and falls accident include neck, back and extremity injuries such as ankle, knee, elbow and wrists, and in some extreme cases brain injuries may occur.

What should you do if you or a loved one is injured in a trip and fall accident?

If you are injured in a trip and fall accident, call 9-1-1 first for medical help if necessary.  Then, if possible, take pictures of the accident site and jot down notes about what happened as well as the exact location, date and time.  This will be very helpful to build a case.

Next, contact a reputable personal injury attorney with experience handling trip and fall cases.

If the property owner or manager is found to be negligent, the injured individual may receive fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, physical disability, or lost income that was a result of the trip and fall accident.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.