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.

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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.

Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. school driving safety tips, part 2 – dropping off children at school

School drop off - car cutting drop off line

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we believe that if we help one person avoid a potentially dangerous situation that leads to an injury or their death. That is why we dedicate many of our blog posts and articles to sharing information that helps you and your loved ones to be safe and hopefully stay healthy. In the next several blog posts we offer “back to school driving safety tips”. Important tips to help you share the road safely with other cars, pedestrians, school buses and bicyclists.

In this post we offer tips on do’s and don’ts of what to do if you are dropping off children at school here in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach or anywhere else in a community where schools and/or children reside.

When you are dropping off children at school:

  • Carpool wherever possible
    • Carpooling reduces congestion and helps reduce pollution.
  • Do not drop your children off across the street from the school
    • Yes, it takes a few extra minutes to get in line and drop off in front of the school. It also saves your children from crossing a very busy, potentially dangerous street.
  • Do not double park
    • This raises congestion and causes potentially dangerous blind spots. It also raises everyone’s frustration level, just like the next point.
  • Do not cut the line
    • Every car in front of you is waiting to pick up their child just like you. The more respectful everyone is, the quicker each person moves through, picks up their child/children, and completes the process.
  • Try to stay off your mobile devices, if possible.
    • Particularly if you are moving. Children can be unpredictable, and one can come jumping out from the sidewalk or from behind a vehicle in a split second without notice. If you are distracted, if even for a moment, it can change that other person’s life, forever. And, your own.

We acknowledge using and sharing this important information with you from the National Safety Council. To read their entire article dedicated to back to school safety, please go to: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx

Unfortunately, we all know that automobile accidents in school zones and everywhere else where vehicles travel happen every day. If you or a person you care about gets injured or killed in an automobile accident or any other situation, contact us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. Or, if you have a question about any type of personal injury situation that you have not yet had answered, please call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation: our phone number is (561) 686-3400 and our email address is info@sswlawfl.com.

Accidents involving children happen. 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 accident, then go to this page on our website: http://sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/accidents-serious-injury/. We also specialize in Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Slip and Fall, Defective Products, Motorcycle accidents, Boating accidents and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

Whether you are in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Stuart, West Palm Beach or any other city in the state of Florida, you need to find and hire a law firm that has the level of knowledge and experience that will get you the financial results you deserve, while also working with you throughout your case until some type of resolution has been reached. With over four decades of experience, that firm is Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, where we have been devoted to protecting south Florida families for over 40 years.

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.

Tips for safe boating during the summer season in Florida

Family in Life jackets on a boat on a lake

Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and schools are on summer vacation. The summer boating season has begun. Now is a great time to remind all of you out there who plan on boating this summer here in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and throughout south Florida of some important boating safety tips to help keep you, your family and friends healthy and happy out on the open water this year.

Here is a list of 8 boating safety tips that you, your family should follow each and every time you go out on a boat here in south Florida at this time of year:

  1. Do not drink if you are driving or planning to drive the boat. First of all, it is just as illegal to drink and drive a boat as it is an automobile or motorcycle. Furthermore, drinking dulls your senses, greatly increases your response time if something happens. And boats do not maneuver as fast as cars to begin with. Leave the drinking for later.
  2. Check the weather before you go – have an idea what is supposed to happen throughout the time you are out on the ocean. People who have lived here a while already know this, but the summer season on the east coast of Florida sees many afternoon rain storms that also go out over the Atlantic Ocean. If you are unaware or not paying attention, you can be caught in a dangerous rain squall in a relatively short amount of time.
  3. Make a “float plan” and share it with someone. Let at least one other person (several, optimally) know of your travel plans for that day. Include your name, address, phone number, make and model of the boat, departure and arrival time and any stops you are planning along the way.

** There are mobile phone apps available for just this purpose. Here is a list of a few of them from Discover Boating.com:

http://www.discoverboating.com/appsandtools.aspx?c=681

  1. Check the boat for sea-worthiness before putting it in the water. The middle of the ocean is no place to figure out that your boat has a problem that you could have detected before leaving.
  2. Make sure you have all the proper safety equipment onboard. In addition to having and wearing life jackets, make sure to carry at least the minimum required equipment by the U.S. Coast Guard. Here is a list, depending upon the length of your boat: http://www.boatus.org/guide/equipment_6.html
  3. Once onboard, wear a properly fitting life jacket; make sure to outfit any children with life jackets as well. The United States Coast Guard recently released estimates stating that over 80% of the people who died in boating accidents could have been saved if they had been wearing a life jacket.
  4. Ensure the safety of every child on board your boat:
    1. Make sure they have a life vest made for their size
    2. Teach them not to run around the boat; to stay seated while the boat is moving, and to keep their hands and feet inside the boat at all times
    3. If they are your children and you plan on having them out on the water with any consistency, have them enrolled in swimming and boater safety classes.
  5.  Watch for swimmers and other smaller water craft. You are in control of a vehicle that can turn into a deadly weapon very easily. You can neither slow down, reverse or maneuver anywhere near as quickly as you can when manning most other types of vehicles, particularly in the canals and Intracoastal Waterway areas. Therefore, you need to anticipate what moves anyone else within your vicinity might make at least 8 to 10 seconds in advance, if possible.

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 accident or any type of incident out on the water.  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. We represent clients anywhere in the state of Florida.

If you or someone you know is involved in a boating accident or 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.

Accidents can and do happen. 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.

The following additional articles were referenced in the compilation of this blog:

https://blog.boatsetter.com/boating-safety-tips/

http://www.coit.com/blog/boating-safety-tips

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.