Memorial Day weekend: a fun-filled weekend, but also the most deadly of driving holidays

Memorial Day weekend 2017

Memorial Day weekend 2017 is here! This coming weekend marks so many good things to all of us Americans – the unofficial beginning to summer, the end of the school year, and the fun and great food of backyard and beach BBQ’s with family and friends. In addition, it is a time to honor those men and women who sacrificed their lives serving in the U.S. military to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in this country today.

 

Unfortunately, this weekend also holds one very dubious title: it is the most dangerous driving weekend of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) More people are killed in motor vehicle accidents over the 3-day Memorial weekend here in Florida and around the United States, on average, than any other 3-day period on the calendar. That includes the 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s weekends.

 

Most recent statistics derived from this article: https://www.valuepenguin.com/most-dangerous-holidays-drive

 

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we value the health and well-being of all of you – our neighbors, friends and family here in Jupiter, Florida, and every town and city throughout this great country of ours. Starting today, be willing to go that extra step that may save your own life, or the lives of people you love.

 

Do not get behind the wheel of an automobile while impaired. In addition, if you are driving, put down your cell phone. If current trends continue, texting and other distracted driving will soon catch and may well surpass drunk driving as the leading single cause of automobile accidents causing serious injury and wrongful death in the United States. If you are one of the guilty parties who do it – Stop It. Stop it Now! If not for yourself, then do it for all those other lives you could have a devastating effect on if you cause an accident.

 

In addition, if you see someone who is impaired and about to start driving a vehicle – whether it be an automobile, a truck, a boat or a motorcycle – stop them. If you are sober, offer to drive them home, or at least call them a cab or an Uber. You may be saving their lives, and the lives of others on the road. At the very least you could be saving them from the pain, stress and significant expense of a DUI.

 

Stay safe this Memorial Day weekend – we want to see all of you healthy and happy next week, and far into the future!

 

If you or someone you know is injured or dies as a result of an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, a distracted driver or someone else’s negligence of any type, please contact us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. immediately. We offer a free initial consultation, and we will work with you to help you through this very difficult and emotional time. Our phone number is (561) 686-3400.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we know that automobile accidents involving drunk drivers happen, particular over the holidays. We help our clients obtain payment to cover hospital and other medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more, if the situation warrants it.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an auto accident, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/auto-accident/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Boating Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred. At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne we have been devoted to protecting south Florida families for over 40 years.

Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne supports NHTSA enhancements to website and social media to help car owners across Florida and the entire U.S.

Recall word on a red round car or vehicle ignition button to ill

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made protecting automobile drivers and owners their top priority. A significant part of that effort has including updating and enhancing its website and social media to make it more user-friendly.

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we strongly support when our government creates laws and tools that assist you, the public, over the special interests of special interest groups like the car manufacturers. In 2013 the federal government recodified the original National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act from 1966 giving the NHTSA the authority to ”issue vehicle safety standards and to require manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet Federal safety standards.”

In just the last 3 years, “more than 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and mopeds, as well as 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats have been recalled to correct safety defects,” according to the NHTSA’s most recent study published on their new “safecar.gov” website. You can find the study here: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm

In addition, the NHTSA’s enhanced website and social media offer consumers several ways to get information on all recalls delivered to them. Here are three easy ways the agency offers on its website:

Get Recalls Information Delivered to You

  1. Free SaferCar Mobile App for Android and Apple devices

Register your vehicles to be notified by NHTSA if a safety issue is discovered. The app also makes it simple to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety problems with your vehicles. Download Android version from google Play store | Download Apple version from the iTunes store

  1. Recalls Info on Facebook and Twitter

Follow NHTSA on Facebook and Twitter to find out about the latest recalls announced by vehicle manufacturers and child car seat makers.

  1. Sign Up to Receive E-Mail Alerts on Recalls

You can sign up to get notifications for up to 5 vehicles, as well as child car seats and tires.

To get started, just go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety# and follow the clear instructions.

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne we feel it is always good when our governments offer easy-to-use solutions for important issue such as automobile safety and recalls of defective vehicles and their parts. If a defective part on your automobile, motorcycle, boat, RV or any other vehicle may have caused you or a loved one to be injured or killed, then you may need to seek legal representation to find out your rights and if you deserve financial compensation.

Our Board Certified lawyers from Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A. are the right lawyers to help you understand the defective product laws, both state of Florida and federal, which may affect your case. To learn more about how we can help you in a defective product case, please go to http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/defective-products/.  We also specialize in Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

For more information on our firm go to http://www.sswlawfl.com or call us at (561) 686-3400. The office of Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne practices law in Jupiter, Florida and Palm Beach County, and has been devoted to protecting South Florida families for over 40 years. We also offer a free consultation to you for your potential case.

Should you bring a lawsuit against the creators of “Pokemon GO” if you get hurt playing? You probably will lose – here’s why

Terms of Service Conditions Rule Policy Regulation Concept
Terms of Service Conditions Rule Policy Regulation Concept

There seems to be a new story almost daily of someone getting in a car accident or injured in some way while playing the new game Pokemon GO on their phone. The game causes people to get distracted, resulting in falls, car accidents (yes, people are playing while driving) and even muggings. But what if you are hurt while playing Pokemon GO? Can you sue the creator of the app and get a financial settlement for helping to cause your injuries?

The answer is: most likely No. Why? The answer lies within the terms of agreement that you agreed to right before you start the process of actually downloading the game app to your cellphone. Included in that rather lengthy document are terms that specifically protects the app’s creator from you suing them.

Here are the sections of the Pokemon GO “Terms of Service” that relate specifically to what you are agreeing to that limit the company’s liability in case you are injured playing the app.

  1. Safe Play
    1. You play the game at your own risk. If you get hurt or hurt someone while playing, the company is not liable. An dispute you have with any other player does not involve the company, either.
  2. Conduct, General Prohibitions and Niantic’s Enforcement Rights
    1. A lengthy section that describes in detail the many things you can do to break the service terms and be banned by the company.
  3. Links to Third Party Websites or Resources
    1. You assume responsibility and risk from using any third party websites or resources while playing the game.
  4. Termination
    1. Niantic can terminate your access to the service at any time, without notice or warning to you.
  5. Disclaimer of Warranties
    1. There is no warranty of any kind.
  6. Indemnity
    1. You hold Niantic and everyone else connected to the game harmless for anything that may happen to you while playing the game.
  7. Limitation of Liability
    1. It is not Niantic’s fault if you lose data or money as a result of playing. At most, the company limits liability up to but not exceeding $1,000.
  8. Dispute Resolution
    1. If you have issue with any of these terms you agree to an independent arbitrator to settle any dispute. You agree not to join in a class action lawsuit and you also agree to go to waive your right to have a trial by jury.

According to consumerist.com, you can opt out of the “Terms of Service” agreement by sending a message directly to Niantic within 30 days of downloading the game. Instructions on how to do so are contained within the following article: https://consumerist.com/2016/07/14/pokemon-go-strips-users-of-their-legal-rights-heres-how-to-opt-out/

But be aware of the fact that Niantic can (and probably will) terminate you from playing the game. This is a fascinating topic that brings up an important facet of the law here in Florida, and the United States. Understanding what rights you could be signing away when you agree to a “Terms of Service” contract.

If you are injured due to the negligence of another person in Florida, you may have a right to bring a claim for various damages and injuries incurred. Call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400. Our main office is located in Jupiter, Florida. We have been devoted to protecting South Florida families for over 40 years.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an accident or some other mishap caused by someone playing Pokemon GO or distracted in some other way while driving, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/wrongful-death/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

Pokemon Go – a lot of fun for many, but quite dangerous for others here in Florida

Pokemon Go
California, United State, 15 July 2016 : Pokmon Go is a free-to-play location based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokmon Company as part of the Pokmon franchise. A man driving while playing Pokemon Go indicati

Since its release 4 weeks ago, the Pokémon Go App has taken our country by storm. Downloads of the app broke records after its first week, and have continued since (according to Apple). By mid -July estimates were that the app was generating $1.6 million in revenue PER DAY, a number also sure to continue a meteoric rise. There is no doubt that Pokémon Go has been very positive (and lucrative) for everyone involved in its release.

Unfortunately, we are also seeing that there is a definitive and quickly growing downside to playing Pokémon Go. For anyone who does not already know, Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed and published by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. It was initially released in selected countries, including the U.S., just last month. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Go)

Accidents, even deaths, have now been directly linked to the playing of this game. The danger is real enough that police departments across the country, including in Florida, have been issuing warning lists against playing “Pokemon Go”. The dangers include:

  • Do not use the application when you are operating a motor vehicle or bicycle
    • Distracted driving already causes thousands of accidents, injuries and deaths in our country each year. Unfortunately this app is going to only add to those numbers.
  • Do not trespass on private property when trying to “catch” a Pokemon
    • Or you will get arrested. Or worse
  • Be aware of your surroundings when walking and do not stare down at your phone not knowing hazards around you, like roadways, drop-offs, waterways, etc.
    • Stories of people breaking their ankles, legs and arms are coming in from all over the country already.
  • Use caution when sharing your location as strangers can see your location information
    • Other stories talk of people getting robbed while playing the game.
  • Travel in groups in public/well lit locations
    • Another warning of common sense. You do not want to go to certain places, particularly at night. Doing so while playing on your cellphone does not make any more sense than it does to do it for any other reason

To read this story in its entirety, go to:

http://www.techinsider.io/first-car-crash-caused-by-pokemon-go-2016-7

We will continue to share information and stories related to issues that arise from the growing craze that is the Pokemon Go App. At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we believe if we can help save one life, stop one accident, it will be more than worth it.

If you are injured in an accident because the other driver was distracted playing Pokemon Go, you may have a right to bring a claim for various damages, injuries incurred, lost wages and more. Call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400. Our main office is located in Jupiter, Florida. We have been devoted to protecting South Florida families for over 40 years.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an automobile accident involving Pokemon Go or other distracted driving, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/auto-accident/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

Boating and Jet skiing accidents increase in Florida in 2015

Jet skiing is one of the most popular shoreline activities to do here in Florida. Flying along across the waves can be incredibly fun and exhilarating – and also quite dangerous. The uneven, rocky shoreline in many areas, combined with our notorious rip currents (currents that flow away from shore) can cause problems for even the most experienced of jet skiers in our area.

 

This now-famous video posted on YouTube captures a jet ski crash that occurred along the Newport Beach, California coastline in June. Although this happened in California, jet ski accidents like this can and do happen here in Florida, as well.

In fact, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,  Florida had 737 boating accidents in total in 2015, which includes jet ski and wave runner accidents. That is 103 more accidents as compared to 2014, however, there was a 25 percent decrease in fatalities. A total of 55 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents.

To read the entire news release related to last year’s boating accidents from May 18th, go to http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2016/may/18/boating-stats/

Our Board Certified lawyers from Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A. are the right lawyers to get you the best legal advice based upon your unique set of circumstances when you have been involved in a boating, jet ski or wave runner accident.  We have more than 40 years of experience specializing in protecting families here in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Stuart and throughout Florida. We make sure to ask the right questions of all companies and interested parties in your case.

If you or someone you know is involved in a boating accident or almost any other marine legal issue, contact us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne. We offer a free initial consultation, and we will try to help you through this very difficult and emotional time. Our phone number is (561) 686-3400. Or go to our website at http://www.sswlawfl.com.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we know that boating, jet ski and wave runner accidents unfortunately happen all the time. We help our clients and their children obtain payment to cover hospital and other medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more, if the situation warrants it. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred. We represent clients anywhere in the state of Florida.

Car seat laws improved but need to go further in Florida to protect more of our children

Beautiful happy girl with teddy bear sleeping in the car

Schools across the state of Florida are letting out for summer break this coming week. That means that the summer driving season is upon us, where families will be driving around the state of Florida and to much more far-flung places around the country to visit relatives, friends and the multitude of tourist attractions that this great country of ours has to offer. Now is the perfect time to remind all of you who will be traveling this summer Florida’s most up-to-date car seat and restraint laws for children.

 

The most recent changes went into effect about a year and a half ago, on January 1st, 2015. Here is a quick refresher of the series of requirements, as stated in the 2015 Florida Statutes:

  • Children through the age of 3 must be secured in a federally-approved car restraint seat.
  • Children through the ages of 4 and 5 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat. Which one depends upon their size.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.613.html

 

These additions to the state law increased requirements up through the age of 5. Before the beginning of last year, car seat requirements for children in the state of Florida only covered up through the age of 3. Although this is certainly an improvement, a number of child safety advocates continue to lobby for Florida state politicians to bring our laws in line with other states or to the standards recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ that children by restrained in a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches (57 inches) tall.

 

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital child advocacy supervisor Bevin Maynard was quoted as saying by the Tampa Bay Times that the magic number “is not weight or age. It is height.”

 

She has had quite a bit of experience working with children and their families when a child has been seriously injured in an automobile accident. She knows that statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the United States is improper restraint when in a traffic accident.

 

Some information for this blog post including the quote from Bevin Maynard was shared from the following article:  http://www.tbo.com/news/politics/new-florida-car-seat-law-takes-effect-jan-1-20141221/

 

If your child or the child of someone you know is injured in an auto accident you probably need a lot of comfort, in addition to expert legal advice on what to do. Call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and we will try to help you through this very difficult and emotional time. Our phone number is (561) 686-3400.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we know that car accidents unfortunately happen all the time. We help our clients and their children obtain payment to cover hospital and other medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more, if the situation warrants it.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an auto accident, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/auto-accident/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, Premises Liability, Boating Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

Our main office is in Jupiter, Florida at 1015 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 101A. We have litigated cases in Palm Beach County and throughout the state of Florida.

 

Teens still need to be pushed to wear their seat belts in cars in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and everywhere else in America

Safety: Female Driver Fastening Seat Belt

Even with the additional emphasis by practically everyone – the media, automobile companies, the government (through their “Click It or Ticket” campaign) and even society in general – the percentage of teenagers who drive without wearing their seatbelts has remained largely unchanged over the last decade and a half. That according to statistics published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Approximately 20% do not wear their seat belt now, or 15 years ago; the percentage of male teen drivers not wearing seat belts is still about 10% higher than female teen drivers; and the percentage of teens who died in motor vehicle accidents who were not wearing their seat belt still hovers around 50%. To read more on these sobering and sad statistics, please go to the following articles:

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

and

http://www.gallup.com/poll/6145/teens-buckling-up.aspx

Advocates of increasing teenage driver safety point to driving programs that “Driving programs that combine education, peer-to-peer strategies, publicized enforcement, and parental monitoring may show potential for increasing teen seat belt use.” – See more at:

http://www.teendriversource.org/stats/support_teens/detail/59#sthash.0KQmDMyw.dpuf

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we agree that driving programs that emphasize better education combined with stricter laws for those who refuse to wear seat belts could work to lower the numbers of teenager injuries and deaths in auto accidents. Ultimately, though, the greatest effect can most likely come from responsible parents, and peers who help to make wearing seat belts fashionable, and a must for all teenagers. WE applaud websites like the CDC and Teen Driver Source that are pushing every day to educate teenagers and their parents on the dangers of not wearing seat belts.

If you are injured in an auto accident because you or someone you love was not wearing a seat belt, you may have a right to bring a claim for various damages and injuries incurred. Call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we know that automobile accidents involving people not wearing their seat belts happen all of the time. If you are in an accident where someone got hurt because they were not wearing their seat belt, then you need to contact us right away. We help our clients obtain payment to cover hospital and other medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more, if the situation warrants it.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an auto accident, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/auto-accident/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products,  Motorcycle accidents, Boating accidents and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

Our main offices are located in Jupiter, Florida at 1015 West Indiantown Road, Suite 101A. We service Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and anyone who needs help with their potential personal injury case anywhere throughout the state of Florida.

  • 1015 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 101A
  • 1015 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 101A