Category Archives: Personal Injury

The More You Know: Headaches After Accidents

Vehicle crashes occur daily on our busy South Florida roads.  Unfortunately, injuries and even fatalities are often the result of these automobile accidents throughout the state of Florida.

Sometimes the collision results in what may appear to be only very minor or no apparent injuries.  In fact, those with head and neck injuries may experience delayed pain…feeling the damage only hours or days after the accident.  Whiplash symptoms may take days to materialize because adrenaline and cortisol flowing through your body right after the accident can mask the pain, allowing your brain to move beyond pain and respond to what it perceives as danger.  When the adrenaline and cortisol begin to dissipate in your system, the swelling and pain caused by the injury become apparent.

Brain injuries can cause severe, long-lasting damage.  Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be caused by a strong jolt to the head.  Traumatic brain injuries most often arise from injuries such as skull fractures and concussions, however, they may also come about from other less apparent trauma to the head.  Resulting health repercussions may include headaches, mood changes, sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, nausea, loss of coordination, speech or vision problems, and comas.  Traumatic brain injuries often require a high level of care, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatment.  Sadly, some accidents leave victims unable to care for and/or support themselves.

Individuals often assume that if they did not seek medical attention promptly after a vehicle accident, they are no longer entitled to obtain medical treatment paid for by an insurance company.  Under the Florida no-fault law, motorists may be entitled to benefits under their own insurance policy, or that of the vehicle they are a passenger, if treatment is received within 14 days after the accident.  The amount of coverage and benefits may differ as well depending on the severity of the injuries.

Generally speaking, you should always seek medical treatment promptly after an automobile collision if you feel you have sustained injuries.  If the medical problem is urgent, call 911 or go immediately to the ER.  If the injury is not an emergency, call your insurance company to report the accident and make sure they are aware you plan on seeing a medical professional.  Make sure to let your doctor know that you were involved in an auto accident and provide them with any claim information so their office can submit any bills and reports timely.

Once you receive medical treatment, we recommend that you find an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you and recover any lost wages and injury compensation to which you are entitled.  Goldman and Daszkal, P.A., is a reputable Florida based law firm and has been representing those injured in auto accidents and other personal injury claims for the past 27 years

When you contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., the firm will provide a free consultation to help you understand your rights and obligations.  A firm representative can meet with you at the law office or at a convenient location for you.  Then, your attorney can then take over the handling of your claim and contacting any remaining parties, allowing you to have peace of mind while you recover.  Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

 

SnapChat, Speed, and Statutes

You’re familiar with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter… and you’ve probably heard of Snapchat, the social media application that allows users to share photos and other content that disappear seconds after being viewed.  Snapchat also allows users to prominently display the speed at which they are traveling when using the app, a feature that is causing more scrutiny than perhaps originally intended.  Young drivers are using the speed filter feature while driving at excessive speeds so they can boast about it to their friends, causing tumult when their daring driving feats have harmful consequences.

In one case in Georgia, an 18 year old woman was driving in excess of 100 MPH, using her Snapchat speed filter to document her surplus speed to friends.  She crashed into another vehicle at 107 MPH, leaving the occupant with permanent brain damage.

Victims of such Snapchat-distracted driver crashes have filed lawsuits suing both the distracted driver who caused the accident as well as Snapchat.  In this aforementioned Georgia case, the judge’s ruling found fault with the young driver, but not with Snapchat.  The judge cited that Snapchat was protected by the Communications Decency Act, a law that provides immunity to the interactive computer service since they are not the publisher or speaker of the communicated information.  In addition, Snapchat noted that it has positioned itself as a provider of strong warnings to discourage anyone from using the app while driving.

The next question is whether the relevant digital evidence found in Snapchat will be allowed in court.  Thus far, a handful of cases involving juvenile delinquency have included convictions resulting from screenshots (taken by witnesses) of Snapchat videos immediately before the videos were automatically deleted by the social media platform.

Snapchat now has a Law Enforcement Guide on its site that covers the types of data that are possible to recover and how to request that data with a subpoena, search warrant, or court order. [1]

Another important question is if Snapchat will have a legal duty to restrict use of the speed filter since it appears that the main utilization for this tool is to enable users to document themselves driving at excessive speeds.  Although this appears to be fun and exciting for many Snapchat users and young drivers, there will be an ongoing debate regarding whether the damage caused by the use of the speed filter tool outweighs the benefits of it.

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] https://storage.googleapis.com/snap-inc/privacy/lawenforcement.pdf

Celebrating Safely on St. Patrick’s Day

While partygoers nationwide are donning their bright green shirts and drinking chartreuse-tinted drinks at themed St. Patrick’s Day parties, law enforcement officers are prepared and out on the streets looking for drivers who should not be on the road.

There are a few specific days throughout the year that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) observes a spike in serious vehicle accidents and fatalities related to drunk driving.  One of those spikes occurs in March each year — on St. Patrick’s Day. 

According to the NHTSA, approximately 40% of all vehicle accident fatalities around St. Patrick’s Day in 2013 were linked to driving under the influence.  Moreover, looking back at the statistics from 2009 to 2013, we can see that over 75% of the drunk driving fatalities involved drivers who had consumed at least double the legal limit of alcohol.

Here’s what you need to do before going out on St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Make your Patrick’s Day plans and designate a safe, sober driver, also known as the Very Important Partygoer (VIP).
  • Make sure your Uber or Lyft apps are ready to go just in case you need it. And you can always call a taxi.
  • Before you drink, leave your keys with a responsible person who is not going to drink.
  • Celebrate the person who agrees to be the designated driver. Instead of posting your own personal pictures or drinks, make the night about your Very Important Partygoer (VIP) on social media.
  • Check on your other friends and family members to ensure they have a VIP and a clear plan in place to get home safely.

Keep in mind that if you have a party and alcohol is served, you could be liable if one of your partygoers ends up in a crash linked to driving under the influence.  As an alternative, collect keys at your door and let guests stay or call a taxi or ride sharing service to get them home safely.

For St. Patrick’s Day and for every holiday, we encourage you to enjoy the celebrations, drink responsibly, and always have a sober way home.

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.

Spring Break – Ready to Rent Your Place?

Have you ever booked your vacation accommodations through vacation property rental sites like AirBnB or HomeAway?

Have you ever considered renting out your property as a vacation rental? 

With the growth in the peer-to-peer (P2P) property rental market in the last few years, individuals across the United States are discovering a relatively simple, straight forward new revenue stream — renting out their homes via internet-based property rental companies such as AirBnb, VRBO, Flipkey and HomeAway.

If renting your home as a vacation rental is a tempting proposal, read these important tips before you sign up!

In the United States, people are realizing that they may be able to rent out all or part of their home for up to 14 days per year, tax-free.  The income from the two week rental may be a nice bonus, especially if it’s for a property you only use occasionally.  To find out if you are able to rent out your property and how to account for related taxes, consult with local property rental laws and a qualified accountant.

If you are considering renting out your place for over two weeks per year, you may be able to deduct  direct expenses related to renting out your home, including rental agency, advertising, cleaning, and repair costs.  To find out how to structure your rental property lease and taxes, consult your accountant and the property rental company of your choice.

 But what about property liability?

Although vacation rental property companies witness few incidents of major property damage, minor scratches and damage to furniture and the interior of the home is common.  How can you protect your property and the individuals renting it?

  1. Meet with your insurance agent and select an insurance policy that is optimal for you, your home, and the regularity with which you plan to rent out your home. If you rent out your home frequently, you may want to consider a landlord insurance policy or something similar that protects your home, furniture, appliances, as well as lost rental income due to damage, legal fees, and liability protection.   Another option is to require guests to purchase damage protection to cover any accidental damage.
  2. Make sure you include an ample refundable damage deposit in the agreement to deter potential renter carelessness and provide a means to repair damage.
  3. Keep updated photos of each room of the home as reference.
  4. Carefully document any damage with photos stamped with the date and time.  Include notes about the findings.
  5. Put a protocol in place for anyone who may visit the property during or after renter stays (e.g., cleaning or maintenance contractor.) Ensure that the protocol addresses what they should do if they find any damage.
  6. If the damage is small, you may want to consider it as general “wear-and-tear”.
  7. If there is more than basic “wear-and-tear” damage, take time to investigate the situation before making any assumptions. Contact the renter to discuss the damage; ask neighbors if they saw or heard anything.
  8. Depending on the extent of the damage, you will need to 1) consider whether it makes sense to keep the deposit, 2) determine if you should pursue an insurance claim, 3) decide that the damage is part of the property rental business and return a partial or full deposit, or 4) consider legal action.  Keep in mind that your decision – even if it’s completely justified –  may also be reflected as a negative review for your property on your vacation rental booking site.
  9. If you plan to make a claim against your property insurance for the damage, consult with your insurance agent first.
  10. If the damage was significant and the deposit won’t begin to cover it, it may be time to consider legal options. Consult a law firm with expertise in property liability such as Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

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.

Florida Petextrians: Heads Up, Phones Down

Most Americans are well aware of the dangers of texting and driving.

But did you know that there have been dramatic increases in the number of emergency room visits for injuries caused by texting and walking?

Yes, you heard this correctly.

Texting and walking, also known as distracted walking, has caused over 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011, according to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2015. [1]  Because of this, the National Safety Council has now included “distracted walking” as one of its categories under unintentional deaths and injuries in its annual statistics reports.

Since the 1970s, the number of pedestrian deaths has been decreasing.  And most pedestrian deaths and injuries were the result of individuals, mostly children under 15, darting out into the street.

Today, we are seeing a new trend.  Distracted walkers, also known as petextrians, are increasingly getting injured while carelessly walking and texting.  Keeping their eyes and minds on their phones results in a  lack of awareness of their surroundings, putting them at risk of running into objects, tripping, falling, and attempting to cross the street amidst traffic.

Accidental pedestrian injuries are now the fifth leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 5 to 19 in the United States.  And, the teen death rate is double that for young children.  In terms of injuries, the majority of injured petextrians are under 40.  But while many petextrians are young people, distracted walking injuries are not limited to the millennial generation.  According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2015, nearly half of all petextrian injuries happened to individuals over 40.  Nearly 80% of all injuries occurred due to a fall and slightly more than half of these injuries happened at home.

We all need to do something to help stop these truly senseless injuries!  Remember Head Up, Phone Down.  That’s the new slogan that’s receiving lots of buzz these days.  Remember this when walking!

Additionally, the following tips are recommended by NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) and NSC (National Safety Council) to help prevent petextrian injuries:

General Walking Tips

  • Avoid using a cell phone, headphones, or any electronic device while walking
  • Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult
  • Use designated crosswalks only
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing and walk in groups

Important Road and Sidewalk Tips

  • Do not assume a car will stop!
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Look left, right and left one more time (because a car can move quickly) before crossing the street
  • Be aware of drivers when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
  • If your view is blocked, stop and move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic before attempting to cross

Walking is a great form of exercise and mode of transportation.  When walking, play it safe by being alert and attentive.  Keep your head up and your phone down to avoid distraction and injury.

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]  Injury Facts® 2015, the statistical report on unintentional deaths and injuries published by the National Safety Council,

Cruising with Care

Cruising is a great vacation choice for couples, families, friends, and multiple generations because cruising offers so many different activities wrapped into one.   Cruising can also be a great value — combining dining, overnight accommodations, and a myriad activities for a reasonable price.

But what happens when you’re on a cruise and your spouse comes down with food poisoning or the Norovirus?  What recourse do you have and what are your legal rights?

Cruising:  The Legal Side

First, it’s important to understand that cruise ships are considered to be “common carriers” — meaning that they must exercise the highest degree of care and diligence for the safety of their passengers.  Therefore, cruise ships are obligated to protect their passengers from harm and ensure that all passengers disembark safely at port.

Second, if a cruise ship passenger is exposed to hazardous conditions, and as a result, he or she is injured, the cruise ship company may be liable.  The injured passenger may file a claim against the cruise ship owner, the company selling the ticket, or the company chartering or operating the cruise.

Common cruise ship injury claims may include the Norovirus or the Norwalk Virus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease (and other illnesses from unhygienic conditions), food poisoning, slip and falls or other minor accidents on the ship, dock accidents, robberies, injuries resulting from accidents, fires, or malfunctions on the ship, medical negligence or malpractice, or physical or sexual assault that occurs on the ship.

In order to recognize your rights as a passenger, you must understand the cruise ship ticket contract.  Among other stipulations, the cruising contract covers the specific requirements necessary to file a claim.  It also outlines the imposed statute of limitations to file a lawsuit (how long you have to file a claim from the time the injury occurred), and the cities, states, or countries where lawsuits may be filed.   Since the statute of limitations is typically short for maritime lawsuits, failing to file promptly may prevent an injured passenger from obtaining compensation.  Additionally, if you agree to a settlement offered by a cruise ship representative, you may unknowingly waive your right to seek compensation for damages and/or medical costs.  Consequently, if you or a family member was injured on a cruise ship, contact a reputable attorney with expertise in maritime and personal injury law.

Cruising:  Preventative Care

If you are planning to take a cruise, follow these 9 tips to cruise with care:

  1. Take time to review and understand the fine print of the contract in your cruise ticket.
  2. Take out a travel insurance policy with a provision for medical evaluations since medical care may be inadequate on the ship.
  3. Since germs can spread quickly in small areas, protect yourself against contagious colds, viruses and the Norwalk virus by thoroughly washing your hands and taking normal flu season precautions.
  4. If you feel sick, visit the physician. Travel medical insurance may cover treatment.  Also, some ships will over cover treatment related to Norwalk virus or other highly contagious illnesses.
  5. While crime is not common on ships, keep a close eye on your belongings and don’t leave cash or valuables in your room.
  6. When visiting port cities, always use basic safety precautions. Keep your belongings on or close to your body.  Avoid becoming intoxicated.
  7. Steer clear of potentially illegal substances when traveling in ports. Laws in foreign countries may differ, so be sure to err on the side of caution.
  8. Immediately tell staff members if you smell smoke or see a fire, no matter how small.
  9. Never throw a cigarette butt or any lit match over the side in the trash or over a railing; it could start a fire. Unplug electric appliances when not using them.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A attorneys specialize in maritime law and understand the complexities of personal injury lawsuits that may fall under state, federal and international maritime laws.  If you have a question about a personal injury that occurred on a cruise, contact our team at  (954) 428-9333.  

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.

Ubering it Safely: Staying Safe During the Holidays with Ride-Sharing

Ridesharing Uber Lyft

Ridesharing Uber Lyft

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft may already be contributing to safer roadways.  Ridesharing services offer affordable, safe transportation that is likely cutting down on drunk driving-related fatalities.

According to an Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) study conducted with individuals under age 30, drunk driving crashes dropped over 6% in markets where Uber operates in California.  Moreover, the study revealed that nearly 80% of respondents said friends were likely to take ridesharing services rather than driving home after drinking.[1]

Uber and Lyft take safety seriously; both companies require drivers to go through a complete background check.  But if you are wondering what else you should do to ensure the safety of your Uber or Lyft ride this holiday season, follow these important recommendations.

General Safety Recommendations for Ridesharing

  • Check the license plate and the car make and model against the information displayed on your app. Make sure there is a match or don’t get in the vehicle.
  • Ask for the driver’s name and make sure it’s a match with your Smartphone app.
  • Stay alert so you can keep an eye on yourself, your friends, and your belongings.
  • Stay away from the front seat so you can keep a safe distance from the driver.
  • Keep in touch with a close friend or family member using a charged cell phone. Send him or her the car and driver information, your destination, and anything important about the route.
  • Use the driver rating system to view scores and to provide feedback after the ride.
  • Trust your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, don’t get in the vehicle.
  • When using ridesharing services after a large event, find out if there is an official rideshare pick-up lot, making it easier to find your ride.

How to Handle Your Teen and Ridesharing 

  • Decide in advance how to handle situations when your teen plans to use a rideshare service. Technically, teens under 18 should be accompanied by an adult.
  • Make sure that teens taking a ridesharing service send you a picture of the car and license plate. You can monitor the car with a Smartphone app.
  • Talk with your teen to make sure he or she understands that the Uber driver is a stranger and to be cautious around him or her. Don’t assume he or she is your next buddy.
  • Recommend that your teen travel with friends or family; never alone.

With the holidays approaching, you may even want to consider purchasing an Uber or Lyft gift card as a stocking stuffer.  Ridesharing gift cards will be available at CVS, Target, Walmart, and Starbuck’s in time for the holidays.

Taking Lyft or Uber is a smart, cost-effective way to get home, especially after a night on the town with friends or family.  However you plan to use Lyft or Uber this holiday season, be sure to take a few minutes to review the aforementioned tips with your loved ones so you can all enjoy a safe and joyful season.  

If you or a loved one was involved in a ridesharing incident or a vehicle accident, Goldman & 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.

[1] http://www.madd.org/media-center/press-releases/2015/new-report-from-madd-uber.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

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

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

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.

National Teen Drive Safety Week (NTDSW) Oct. 16 – 22, 2016

teen_drivers

October 16 – 22, 2016 is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), a week designated to raise awareness for teen driver safety. Research indicates that teens often recognize they are at higher risk for vehicle crashes than others, but NTDSW endeavors to help these teens better understand both the crash statistics and the specific factors that put them at risk, including distraction, fatigue, drug use, alcohol consumption, as well as overpowering emotions.

The Stats
Although teenagers drive less than nearly all adults over 19, the number of crashes involving teens at the wheel is disproportionately high. In fact, in the U.S., the rate of fatal crashes per mile for teens (ages 16-19) is 3 times that for adult drivers over age 19. Moreover, the fatal crash rate per mile for 16-17 year olds is double the rate for 18-19 year olds.

With the intention of reducing teen crashes, U.S. states added state-controlled, phased licensing systems, whereby teens would gradually gain driving privileges. Some states also raised the age for obtaining a drivers license. Studies show that these laws have helped lower teen fatal crashes, but we still need to drastically reduce the number of teen driver crashes.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, “Young drivers tend to overestimate their own driving abilities and, at the same time, underestimate the dangers on the road. An Institute research review confirmed that age and experience both have strong effects on teenage drivers’ crash risk. Crash rates for young drivers are high largely because of their immaturity combined with driving inexperience. The immaturity is apparent in young drivers’ risky driving practices such as speeding. At the same time, teenagers’ lack of experience behind the wheel makes it difficult for them to recognize and respond to hazards. They get in trouble trying to handle unusual driving situations, and these situations turn disastrous more often than when older people drive.”

The statistics below, also from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, show the percentage of driver crashes with driver error, speeding, and single vehicle crashes by age. Not surprisingly, teens have a much higher percentage of speeding and driver errors in crashes than other adults. Evidence also shows that the presence of other passengers with teen drivers elevates the risk of crash. For adults over 30, the presence of passengers actually decreases risk of crash.

Percentage of passenger vehicle driver involvements in fatal crashes with specific crash characteristics, by driver age, 2014

Teen Driving Stats

Wondering how you can assess your own teen? Click here to find out “What You Need to Know Before Your Teen Gets Behind the Wheel” and “What can you do to reduce these risks for your new teen driver?
Teen Driving Stats

Do you have a new teen driver? If so, we recommend reviewing “How to Guide Your Teen Towards Safe Driving and Independence” (link to earlier post)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provides free recommendations for safe and affordable vehicles. Check out the “Best Choices” and “Good Choices” lists, comprised of the safest vehicles appropriate for teen drivers under $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. The list is broken up by large, midsize, minivans, pickups, and small, midsize and large SUVs. To review this list, click here or visit http://www.iihs.org and search for status report 2015.

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.