Category Archives: Catastrophic Injuries

July 4th Weekend: Fireworks in Florida

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Two years ago, NFL players C.J. Wilson from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jason Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants drew the nation’s attention to the dangers of fireworks.  In two separate accidents over the same July 4th weekend, these famed NFL players suffered significant injuries to their fingers, requiring both to have fingers amputated.

The fact that these two players have celebrity status helped expose the dangers of fireworks.  Each year, hundreds of Americans are injured and some are even killed while lighting fireworks during the holiday weekend.

It can certainly be exciting to light fireworks in your own backyard, but for safety reasons, we encourage friends and family to leave the fireworks operations to the professionals and either attend one of the thousands of professionally-operated July 4th celebrations in cities throughout the United States or cozy up with your loved ones and watch it from home on a large screen TV.  Either way, you’ll enjoy the holiday with loved ones — and stay safe.

If you or a friend finds fireworks on the 4th of July irresistible, then you should first find out if fireworks are legal in your state – many states have outlawed fireworks.

In the state of Florida, individuals without special permits are only allowed to use the types of fireworks that are categorized as “sparklers.”  These include sparklers, fountains, glow worms, and snakes.

It’s true that retail stores in Florida may sell fireworks beyond the category of “sparklers.”  While you are permitted to buy them in the state, you aren’t permitted to use them unless you have a special permit or are using them for special purposes on a farm or fish hatchery.  If you are caught with illegal fireworks and don’t possess a permit, you can be arrested, fined up to $1,000, or required to spend up to 1 year behind bars.

While we discourage the use of fireworks at home, if your friends or family insist on using fireworks, please follow these general safety measures:

  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool location that is inaccessible to children or pets
  • Never allow small children to handle or be close to fireworks
  • Read and follow instructions on packaging
  • Maintain a large bucket of water and a fire extinguisher at the site when lighting any fireworks
  • Avoid igniting fireworks in or near glass or metal
  • Wear eye protection; never put fireworks in a clothing pocket
  • Do not relight a firework that has malfunctioned
  • Light fireworks one at a time in a clear, outdoor location
  • Do not aim, point, or throw fireworks toward any people, animals, vehicles or structures

As you make your plans for the holiday weekend, please keep in mind that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is watching a show operated by professionals.  However you decide to spend the weekend, stay safe while having fun and celebrating the reason behind the holiday — the independence of the United States of America.
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 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.

 

Vehicle Accident Fatalities: Distracted Driving Outweighs Benefits of New Safety Technologies

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texting driving distractions

The last decade has brought a number of new technologies to motor vehicles to improve the safety on our roadways.  From back-up cameras and sensors to electronic stability control, collision warning systems, and automated emergency braking, our motor vehicles are becoming safer as we move closer to self-driving vehicles.

However, amidst the integration of many novel technologies, national vehicle accident data shows a shocking contradiction:  traffic fatalities increased 8.1% from 2014 to 2015, the largest annual increase in over half a century.  This translates to over 670 individuals killed weekly, resulting in over 35,000 traffic fatalities in 2015.  Moreover, the traffic fatality increase from 2014 to 2015 was even higher for SUVs, at 10.1%.  [1]

With better safety measures in vehicles, what is causing this surge in vehicle accident fatalities?

To begin with, higher employment levels and lower gas prices may help explain a larger number of people on the road and a greater number of miles travelled on the road, contributing to the higher fatality numbers.  But there is something else that’s likely the major contributing factor:  distracted driving, namely, using smart phones while driving.

Sound the alarm in Florida

Since the trend of increasing traffic fatalities started in 2014, traffic fatalities are up 43% in Florida, the highest of any state. [2]

What is being done to combat this deadly surge in fatalities?

The automotive and cell phone industries have put some initiatives in place to reduce distracted driving in our country.  But so much more needs to be done.

  • Organizations such as AT&T, the US Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are pushing nationwide campaigns to reduce distracted driving.
  • Automakers are pledging to have automated emergency braking as standard equipment beginning in 2022.
  • The Department of Transportation is working with vendors to develop applications that analyze how factors such as travel and climate change affect the risk of crash fatalities.

What can you do?

There are many things you can do to help reduce distracted driving!

  1. Test your knowledge: Cell Phone Myths vs. Reality by clicking heretexting .
  2. Never use your cell phone when driving. Visit http://www.distraction.gov to learn more about distracted driving and the affect it has on our collective safety.
  3. Introduce friends and family to “It Can Wait”, a strong campaign against texting and driving. https://www.itcanwait.com/all
  4. Take the pledge. Share through social media #itcanwait and encourage everyone you know to help make our roads safer by also taking the pledge.  https://www.itcanwait.com/pledge
  5. Encourage family members to avoid using cell phones when driving. It can wait.

If you or a loved one was involved in a vehicle accident, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. may be able to help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com. Learn more about distracted driving here.

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 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.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/whats-driving-the-massive-surge-in-traffic-deaths/ar-AAinCfv?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

[2] http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/whats-driving-the-massive-surge-in-traffic-deaths/ar-AAinCfv?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

Pokemon Go and the Law: Unexplored Territory

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Pokemon Injuries

Pokémon Go, has taken Americans — children, teens, and adults — by storm in the last few months.  The game, created by app development company Niantic, Inc, is a virtual interactive game that overlays fictional Pokémon characters on real, local surroundings.  Using a smart phone and the free app, players can search for Pokémon characters throughout local areas, including places of public interest.  It’s similar to a digital scavenger hunt taking place locally.

Personal Injuries

pokemon injury

While many Pokémon Go users play responsibly, some don’t.   Obsessed Pokémon Go fans play the game with such intensity that they have started causing hazards for themselves as well as for others.  For example, in Texas, a Pokémon Go player suddenly stopped his car, jumped out and ran to pursue a Pokémon character.  He left his car illegally parked and another driver accidentally hit the parked car.

In New York, a driver caused a vehicle crash because he was distracted by playing the game while driving.  In Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old playing was so focused on the game that she continued to play as she crossed a highway with oncoming traffic.  She was injured after being struck by a car.   In both Maryland and New York, armed robbers successfully targeted distracted Pokémon Go players.

Trespassing

Another concern facing players is trespassing.  Without permission, homeowners could assume the players are home invaders.  In these situations, it is not uncommon for homeowners to pull out a weapon with the intention of defending themselves and their property from what appears to be intruders.

Nuisance Claims

Other legal issues may focus on players disrupting the use of public spaces.  In Washington, D.C., museum-goers were disenchanted with the large numbers of Pokémon Go players hanging out in front of the Holocaust Museum.  Large gatherings like this can raise nuisance claims.

Violation of Privacy

Another legal claim that may soon come into play is violation of privacy.  When using a smart phone to play the game, the camera and the GPS are used, potentially creating an environment where the personal privacy of bystanders is compromised.

 Property Damage

Another legal issue with Pokémon Go is the risk of property damage as a result of trespassing on private property or in public areas.

Although Pokémon Go players view the liability disclaimer that appears before playing the game, players and the company are at risk of potential lawsuits covering a wide range of claims.

How to Protect Yourself

You may be one of the millions who loves playing Pokémon Go, and that’s fine —  as long as you play responsibly and safely.  In order to enjoy the game and stay protected, follow these suggestions: 

  1. Never, ever play Pokémon Go or any other game or app when driving.
  2. Do not allow yourself to be distracted, whether walking, driving, or riding a bike.
  3. Stay aware of your surroundings — people, streets, vehicles, bicycles, and venture out with other responsible friends or family members.
  4. No matter how enticing your next move may be, don’t sacrifice your safety. Do not enter areas that may be unsafe.
  5. Do not disregard basic stranger safety rules. Consider playing in the daylight and in populated areas.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a Pokemon Go player or from the negligent use of other web-based applications, Goldman and Daszkal, P.A. may be able to help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com. 

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 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.

Flying Safely: In-Flight Aviation Injuries

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SBTravelTips

Air travel is one of the safest types of transportation.  But, on board, airplanes are cramped — fitting dozens of passengers in relatively small areas.  Because passengers and flight attendants need to move through very tight spaces, in-flight incidents occur from time to time, causing injuries.  Injuries during flights may also stem from defective equipment, weather, or human error.   The most common in-flight injuries are related to overhead bin luggage and service carts in the aisles, but burns from scalding liquids and slip and falls are also common.

Read on to learn how to avoid potential injuries during your flight.

Overhead Bins

Please use caution when opening the overhead bins as items may have shifted during the flight.”  You’ve heard the flight attendants announce it hundreds of times.  Passengers may grab their laptops or other items from the overhead bins during flights.  If another passenger isn’t careful and you are sitting in an aisle seat below the bin, you could be at risk of injury from falling baggage.  To avoid potential injuries from falling baggage, stay alert and keep children in the center or window seats.

Service Carts

Use caution when flight attendants are pushing the service carts through the aisles.  Many injuries occur each year when these heavy metal food carts ram into passenger’s ankles, knees and shoulders.

Hot Liquids

When flight attendants pour and serve coffee and tea on flights, they must exercise caution.  The possibility of a passenger or flight attendant knocking them while they are pouring can cause them to spill a scalding liquid on a passenger.  Quick, emergency attention is required for these types of burns.  Be alert when flight attendants are offering coffee and tea, and keep children away from aisles at that time.

Turbulence

It’s not uncommon to experience turbulence during air travel.  When the pilot turns on the “fasten seat belt” sign, take the warning seriously and head to your seat as quickly as possible.

Bathroom Breaks

Passengers are injured each year in slip and fall accidents while heading to the bathroom.  Take care when entering and moving around in the bathroom as floors may be wet.

Legal Claims

If you or a loved one suffered an injury during a flight, you could potentially have a legal claim against the airline, the manufacturer, crew members, or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)  These legal claims require an in-depth understanding of airline safety and FAA rules and regulations.  If you have questions about an injury on a flight, or travel and the law, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.

On behalf of the attorneys and staff at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., we wish you and your loved ones safe travels and a wonderful spring break!

 

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

888-504-HURT (4878)

www.goldmandszkal.com

 

Motorcycle Safety: What You Need to Know Before Going Out on the Road

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It’s hard to beat the exhilarating feeling of riding a motorcycle on the open road.  But motorcycles can be dangerous.  In order to stay safe, motorcyclists must be cautious and use solid judgment when riding.

The facts tell the story:

  • Motorcyclists are 6 times more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash than car occupants.
  • Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash. Over

4,300 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2013.

  • Motorcycles represent 11% of highway fatalities even though only 3% of registered vehicles are motorcycles.
  • Sport motorcyclists have death rates that are double the rates of standard motorcyclists. Super sport motorcycles have driver death rates that are four times the rates of standard motorcyclists.

Motorcycles are less stable than cars and much less visible to other traffic.  In addition, motorcycles have no protection like enclosed vehicles.  With high performance capabilities and no protection, motorcyclists involved in crashes have a greater risk of serious injury or death.

Optimal protection and good defensive driving must go hand-in-hand with that sense of freedom to make motorcycle riding an enjoyable and safe activity.

Follow these tips to enjoy an exhilarating but safe motorcycle ride:

Protect Your Head and Eyes.  Helmets are the #1 safety equipment to protect motorcycle riders. According to US Department of Transportation studies, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 37 percent. Studies show that motorcycle riders without helmets are 3 times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries in a crash than those wearing helmets.  Wear a helmet that meets all U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements along with proper eye protection.

Learn first.  Riding a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car.  Read the owner’s manual.  Attend a training class and obtain a motorcycle license. Then Practice so that you are comfortable with the maneuvers before riding with traffic. 

Check it out.  Before each ride, check tread depth, brakes, tire pressure, fluid levels, lights and signal indicators.  If you plan to take a passenger or to pack a few items, check that you are within weight limit requirements.  Adjust tire pressure as needed.  Make sure your motorcycle is safe before you leave home.

Get Protected.  Wear the right shoes, gloves, and clothing.  Thick clothing can protect you in a crash.  Brightly colored or fluorescent clothing with reflective materials can help you be easily seen, especially at night.

Use a bike with ABS.  Antilock braking systems (ABS) reduce the risk of a crash by preventing the wheels from locking up.  ABS is critical for motorcycles in order to avoid skidding and potential falls.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that motorcycles with ABS have a 30% lower rate of fatal crashes.

Never drink and ride.  Don’t risk your life and the lives of others by drinking and driving.

Ride safely and courteously.

  • Avoid sudden braking or turning, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Always use safe speeds, especially on wet surfaces or gravel roads can be hazardous.
  • Obey all traffic laws and use turn signals.
  • Be careful not to stay in drivers’ blind spots.
  • Don’t tailgate – you won’t have time to stop if vehicles in front of you stop quickly.
  • Do not ride between lanes.
  • Brake firmly and progressively.
  • Be courteous and respectful to motorists on the road.

To learn more about motorcycle riding safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles. 

Do you have questions about motorcycle safety?  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

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 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.

$4.4 Million Settlement Against Post-Hurricane Wilma Contractors after Pedestrian Survives Being Run Over by a Bucket Utility Truck but Sustains Severe Leg Injuries

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The trial team of and Jeffrey D. Kirby, Esq. from the South Florida personal injury law firm of Goldman & Daszkal recently obtained a $4,435,000 settlement for 27-year-old Daniel Lima who was struck by a bucket utility truck while he was walking on a sidewalk toward the Riva Yamaha showroom on Dixie Highway in Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida. The truck was owned by Pro-Tech Building Systems, LLC, and was operated by Michael Honeycutt, an unlicensed driver working for Pro-Tech Building Systems doing Hurricane Wilma restoration and repairs for Bellsouth Telecommunications/AT&T, through one of its master contractors, Gregory Electric Company, Inc.
After the bucket truck crashed into another vehicle, it ran off the road, struck Mr. Lima, and ultimately slammed into the side of the Riva Yamaha building. Later it was discovered that the bucket utility truck was being operated with a bungee cord wrapped around the steering column and affixed to the brake pedal. Mr. Honeycutt testified that his foot became entangled in the bungee cord when a car pulled out in front of him and he tried to brake. Instead of applying the brakes, Mr. Honeycutt hit the accelerator, resulting in Mr. Lima’s catastrophic leg injuries. Mr. Lima suffered extensive lower leg injuries, and he required multiple surgeries using external fixators followed by rodding in order to save his legs.
The defendants alleged that Mr. Honeycutt was an independent contractor and denied liability. Mr. Lima’s case was settled after a Florida judge ruled that the Master Contract entered into between Bellsouth Telecommunications/AT&T and Gregory Electric Company, Inc., which required all persons doing Bellsouth work to be agents and/or employees of Gregory Electric Company, applied to the restoration work conducted in Florida. The ruling was based upon a factual finding that the Master Contract’s descriptive numbers were referenced in all of the Florida subcontracts and thousands of invoices sent to Bellsouth during the several month long project undertaken by Gregory Electric Company and its subcontractors.
In addition to his claim for vicarious liability, Mr. Lima also contended that Gregory Electric Company was directly negligent for failing to comply with very specific safety requirements set forth in its own Safety Manual regarding the hiring and supervision of its subcontractors. Mr. Lima was able to prove that the Safety Director for Gregory Electric Company never even came to Florida during the project and did not implement or enforce any of the detailed Safety Manual requirements, many of which may have prevented the crash.
This settlement represents another multi-million dollar accident injury recovery by the trial lawyers of Goldman, Daszkal, Culter, Kirby & Galsterer. The firm is based in Deerfield Beach, Broward County, Florida and has secured millions of dollars in auto accident, slip and fall, wrongful death, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and defective product awards for its clients since the firm’s inception in 1990.

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