holiday travels

Personal injuries happening over the holidays can ruin that holiday spirit. Take extra time going places, be just a little more deliberate. No amount of money replaces good health. I have a trial coming up in February where my client suffered the loss of a kidney transplant as a result of food poisoning. He would trade any amount of money we recover to get off dialysis and return to work. Four hours per day of dialysis five days a week is no way to spend your 20’s. He hopes to pay for another transplant, and get back to his life.
Make these holidays filled with good deeds and memories.

Bicyclist hit by SUV-Gainesville Sun reprint

Below is an article from the Gainesville Sun about a bicyclist struck by an SUV. Not surprising is the reported suffering of serious personal injuries. This was a night time accident in an area very near apartments where many U of F graduate students live. It is another cautionary story to share the road; for bikers to take every precaution they can, and follow the rules of the road. Let’s wish her a speedy recovery.

Bicyclist hit by SUV, seriously hurt

Police inspect an accident at the intersection of Southwest 13th Street and Southwest 14th Drive on Saturday evening, December 8, 2012.

Elizabeth Hamilton/Correspondent
Staff report

A female bicyclist was hit by an SUV and seriously injured in the northbound lanes of Southwest 13th Street Saturday night.

Gainesville police officers at the scene could not identify the cyclist, who they said was rushed to the hospital after the accident, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of 13th Street and Southwest 14th Drive, in front of the Paramount Plaza Hotel & Suites.

At 10:45 p.m, northbound traffic on Southwest 13th Street was still being rerouted onto 14th Drive as investigators marked off the location of the accident, just to the north of the intersection.

motorcycle accidents; deaths and injuries

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20121130/ARTICLES/121139970/1139/frontpage?Title=Many-were-hurt-at-Gatorback-event-in-which-racer-died-

The link above is to an concerning article from the Gainesville Sun today concerning motorcycle accidents occurring at a motocross event. I would love the opportunity to review the liability release documents the event sponsors have participants sign. Releases signed by minors raises issues as does releases signed by only one parent.

I suspect the great majority of participants take every precaution within their control, and use every available piece safety equipment out there; helmets, goggles, gloves, pads, boots and more.

The liability issues can arise from factors out of the control and knowledge of participants; What are track conditions like; Are riders given the opportunity to survey the track before a race; If not who does; What are the qualifications and experience of event organizers; How many racers are permitted in each race, and is the track designed to handle the numbers; Who verifies the experience of the participants and how is that done.

Motocross is a dangerous sport for the novice/beginner. Event sponsors have a duty to see that safety factors under their control are employed to prevent unnecessary collisions and crashes.

Fla. Highway Patrol; Share the Road with Bicycles

I have copied and pasted below a page from the website of the Florida Highway Patrol. The link to the site is in our links if you’d like to visit their site.

Bike on car accidents can result in the worst personal injuries. Wearing a helmet is crucial to minimizing injuries. I have ridden recreationally and felt the antagonism of automobile drivers at having to share the road. These drivers either do not know the law or do not care. In Gainesville, where a university is located we have a good number of bicyclist. Some of these cyclist do not know the law or do not care making the antagonism worse. Avoid an accident, share the road…

Share the Road
FHP Home
Dear Driver:
Over 40 million Americans ride bicycles. They, and millions more, would like to be able to bicycle on public roads without fear. Many are afraid to because drivers sometimes squeeze past. Though drivers rarely intend any harm, this frightening and illegal behavior has scared many bicyclists and occasionally causes collisions. Please remember: the laws in every state require that “Drivers shall pass at a safe distance.”
(FL 316.083 (1))
When there isn’t enough space for safe passing within the lane, bicyclists should be given use of the whole lane.
When bicyclists squeeze over to the right, they endanger themselves. They end up being squeezed between hazards, rubbing against gutter lips or sliding on sand or debris, or colliding with opening doors of parked cars. That is why, bike lane or not, in most states the rule for bicyclists is ride to the right *EXCEPT* when passing or turning left; or to avoid objects, parked cars, moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface or other hazards; or when in a vehicle lane too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane.
(FL 316.2065 (5a))
Safe bicyclists will politely *merge* left and ride nearer the center of a vehicle lane, instead of squeezing next to hazards — just as any safe driver would do. Some may think this unsafe; but please note that there is only one general rule for safe bicycling, and it instructs that safe bicyclists behave as operators of vehicles:
“Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights, and all of the duties, applicable to other drivers…”
(FL 316.2065 (1))
So please – don’t squeeze. Keep a safe distance – at least three feet – when passing a bicyclist. If you can’t pass safely, please wait.
***
Bicyclists, in turn, need to know that they can easily make themselves safe and respected on nearly every road. Millions of bicyclists manage to ride in traffic every day, year after year, without collision or trouble. Many of these are Cooperative Cyclists. They have learned to follow all the rules of the road to cooperate with other drivers: to signal, merge, yield, change lanes and use lights at night. They are rarely squeezed past, and studies show that they are much safer than other cyclists.
(Please see www.bikeleague.org and study the Bicycle Drivers Manual at www.bicyclinglife.com)
Sometimes police, and prosecutors, don’t uphold the rights of bicyclists and pedestrians to safe passage. Cyclists may be perceived as traffic scofflaws. But, like motorists, cyclists are individuals – responsible for their own traffic behavior, not that of others. So please: enforce our common-sense traffic laws, fairly and equally for all. Those who squeeze too close to bicyclists, drive without lights at night, travel the wrong way on the roadway, travel too fast for conditions or run red lights endanger others or themselves.
Please remember that public roads were not built just for cars: before the car, roads in the USA were already being paved for bicyclists. Every bicyclist has a right to use public roads, and to enjoy the protection of the law on them.
Please note that every State Drivers’ Manual recommends that safe practice for motorists is:
“Adjust your speed for blind hills, curves, pedestrians, bicyclists, and slow-moving vehicles.
These conditions make the posted speed limit unsafe. By law, you must drive slower.
It is your responsibility to adjust your driving to assure everyone’s safety.”
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Information provided by
Lauren Cooper and (Ret.) Chief J. W. Rittenhouse
of The Equal Rights for Cyclists Campaign,
approved and edited by
The State Safety Office of the
Florida Department of Transportation

Motorcycle accidents now becoming Tricycle accidents

ABC news recently ran a story about the increasing popularity of tricycles that the baby boomer generation is turning to for recreational transportation. These tricycles are high powered fast vehicles that may seem more stable than motorcycles. I am seeing many of these vehicles in the Gainesville area. Tricycle accidents even at low speeds are much more dangerous to drivers and passengers than when you are surrounded by the metal of a car and airbags. Defensive driving is critical on these vehicles. It is not a fun retirement time if you are dealing with serious personal injuries following an accident on one of these vehicles. Be safe, take a driving class, learn how to avoid the accidents when possible.

Qui tam actions: whistleblowers with real remedies

A collegue and I were recently discussing false claims against the government. If you’re aware of and fed up with abuse you should know there are remedies private citizens can pursue. Qui tam actions allow a private individual with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to file suit against the alleged wrongdoer(s) in the name of the government. The federal False Claims Act contains qui tam provisions that encourage private whistleblowers (known as relators) to file Medicare and Medicaid fraud lawsuits on behalf of the government. The federal False Claims Act allows the Department of Justice to investigate the claims and decide whether to intervene and assume responsibility for the suit. If the government intervenes, the whistleblower is entitled to between 15 and 25 percent of the damages recovered, depending on the extent the relator contributed to the case. If the government chooses not to intervene, the whistleblower can continue the case alone and is entitled to receive between 25 and 30 percent of damages awarded. There are similar statutes at the state level which encourage private individuals to pursue actions on behalf of the State.

personal injury lawyers gainesville

Automobile accidents, trip and falls, nursing home neglect or products liability all might have you looking for a lawyer. Often that search starts with a television commercial. Don’t let the search end there. Have a face to face meeting with the lawyer, knowing there is no obligation to hire him or her. Go in to learn about the process and get a feel for who well you can communicate with this person and staff. If the service is worth paying 33% of any settlement it is worth the time and care in selecting someone whose advice you trust.

Auto accidents and personal injury protection

Laws regulating claims for injuries arising from automobile accidents vary from state to state. Florida is called a “no fault” injury state. The name comes from the laws that require that everyone who owns a car have insurance that pays for the first $10,000 medical bills or lost wages. These monies are available to the car owner, and passengers in many circumstances regardless of who is at fault (hence “no fault”). Recent changes to the Florida law have changed the conditions under which these benefits are owed. If you have been injured in an auto accident and you are uncertain whether your are eligible for them call us.

Fire Damages and personal injuries

The cold season has arrived. Be careful with space heaters, wood burning stoves, fireplaces, any device used to heat the home. These can all be deadly or cause substantial property loss. There is a reason we see public service announcements every year about this time. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Fire damage can spread quickly. Stay alert. The personal injuries suffered from burns are without question the most  excruciating, and require a long slow expensive recovery. Money awards from law suits help but there is no replacing your health. Stay safe.

Florida meningitis claims continue to rise

The Gainesville Sun reported The Florida Department of Health has confirmed another case of meningitis in the Alachua/Marion County areas. This case is said to be in a man who received a pain shot 5 weeks ago. Dr. Armstrong, the state health secretary said the average incubation period is 14 to 81 days. Three of the cases in Marion County have resulted in death. I have repeated the symptoms which are reported to accompany the fungal meningitis in earlier blogs. If you have received this product call your physician, if they have not already called you.