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

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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

Yes, you only have a limited time to bring a Defective Products lawsuit in Florida

Defective Products - kids equipment

People do get hurt every day while using the machines, appliances, equipment and even toys that assist us as we live our lives on a daily basis. Sometimes these injuries are 100% due to user error, or alterations made to the products leading to accidents because of improper usage. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, a defective product is partially or fully to blame for you or your loved one getting injured, or even dying.

The law of product liability is the area of law that deals with the liability of the manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of a product for injuries resulting from that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts of the product, an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retail store or other ultimate seller of the product, and any other party in the distributive chain, regardless of whether you actually purchased the item yourself.

One of the most important aspects of product liability cases is the statute of limitations as stated in Title VIII, Chapter 95 of the 2015 Florida Statutes. Contained within the list of 17 different actionable events described under the FOUR YEARS Section of Chapter 95.11 are the following two items:

  • An action founded on negligence.

and

  • An action for injury to a person founded on the design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of personal property that is not permanently incorporated in an improvement to real property, including fixtures.

Go here to read the entire Chapter 95.11 (Section 11) of the 2015 Florida Statutes: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

This means according to the most recent Florida Statutes you have up to FOUR YEARS to file most defective product claims.  This may seem like a long time, but four years can go by in a blink of an eye; particularly if you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries or even death from a defective product or some other type of manufacturer or retailer negligence.

Instead of trying to figure out how to get some type of settlement out of the manufacturer or their high-powered, expensive lawyers who are paid to keep as much money from you as possible, come to Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We are a law firm who has well over four decades of experience helping our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation they deserve for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering due to defective products.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A., we know that any product may cause injury or death. Even if the defect is not due to any negligence on the part of the manufacturer, the manufacturer can be held responsible for any damage caused by the defective product. The retailer may also be viewed are partially responsible for having canned and sold the defective product. A claim can even be brought against the person or company that was involved in producing or distributing the defective product.

If you want to learn more about how to go about hiring the right attorneys for you in a situation where you have been injured by a defective product, then go to http://sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/defective-products/. We also specialize in Accident & Serious Injury, Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Auto Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Boating Accidents and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

Whether you are in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Stuart, West Palm Beach or any other location throughout the state of Florida, you need to find and hire a law firm that has the level of knowledge and experience that will yield you maximum results, while also working with you throughout your particular situation until it is resolved. With over four decades of experience, that firm is Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne.

Our main office is located in south Florida in Jupiter at 1015 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 101A. You can contact us directly at (561) 686-3400, or via email at info@sswlawfl.com. Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

Should I hire a lawyer if I have been in an auto accident in Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens? How to decide

Car Crash

“Do I really need to hire a lawyer if I have been in an automobile accident?”

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we have been asked this question asked many times. Our answer is almost always “Yes”. But is that because we are attorneys ourselves, so we are obviously biased? Although it would seem that way, we actually feel this way for some fundamentally sound reasons that become more obvious as you read this article.

Let’s start at the beginning – when the car accident actually happens. As soon as the trauma and adrenaline of the accident starts to wear off, you have a lot on your mind – and that is true even if you have not suffered significant injuries. In addition to your injuries you have to deal with the emotional stress and turmoil; the damage to your vehicle; the handling of your claim(s) with the insurance companies and/or a court of law; and many other issues depending upon your particular situation.

Lawyers like those at our highly experienced law firm can help you deal with many of your post-accident issues. Therefore, we offer you the following information from the website www.dmv.org to help you determine whether hiring an attorney is the right choice for you:

“Property Damage

One of the biggest losses after an accident is the loss of property. Your vehicle may be heavily damaged and, in some cases, be considered a total loss.

It’s typically the car insurance company’s prerogative to either:

  • Deem your car a total loss.
    OR
  • Pay for repairs.

First, you’ll need to determine whether your coverage will pay or whether the other company will pay. For instance:

  • If you are at fault, you’ll seek reimbursement through your own policy.
  • If you are not at fault, you’ll generally seek payment through the other insurer.
  • In some cases (e.g., if you live in a no-fault state, or you were in a hit and run), you may seek compensation from your own car insurance company.

Regardless of the company from which you’re seeking payment, you might find their initial claim offer is insufficient to fully cover your repair or replacement costs.

If you don’t have the energy or knowledge to pursue a more substantial claim, you need the services of an attorney to ensure you get what you deserve.

Personal Injury

If you are injured as a result of an accident, you need to get the proper medical care right away. If you delay, it can be harder to prove your injuries resulted from the car accident. In addition, in the state of Florida, if you do not go to a doctor within 14 days after the accident, you will most likely not get compensated for your injuries – even if they do not start to affect you until after the 14 days have passed.

Your payment for care will depend on the coverages in your policy. If you are not at fault, your bills will be paid for by the other driver’s liability coverage. If you live in a no-fault state, however, you can seek payment from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to get your bills without the delay of negotiation between companies.

You can also seek payment from:

When You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

As you seek reimbursement, remember that it’s extremely common to get pushback on these expenses. Insruance companies try to avoid paying more than they need to and will check to make sure all the expenses are valid. Keep all of your documentation and receipts. If you continue to have trouble getting your medical bills paid, seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney.

Attorneys have experience working with insurance providers to get the highest possible settlement amounts for clients.

They also have experience getting compensation for general damages that are difficult to determine, such as:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish.

For example, if you’ve lost your vision due to an accident resulting from another driver’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer can help you get general damages in addition to the actual costs of your medical bills.

Statute of Limitations

If you have been injured or you have lost any type of personal or business property due to an accident, don’t wait to get the help you need and deserve.

You have only a short amount of time under local, state, and federal law to file your claim and protect your rights. This time limit is called the statute of limitations, and varies by state.

If you feel you need an attorney to navigate your claim, contact one without delay.

Having the help of an experienced attorney can leave you free to concentrate on healing and moving on with your life.”

This entire article is available at: http://www.dmv.org/insurance/when-to-hire-a-personal-injury-attorney.php

Our Board Certified lawyers from Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne are the right lawyers to get you the best settlement that you deserve based upon your unique set of circumstances when you have been involved in an automobile accident.  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 a person you care about gets hurt or killed in a car, motorcycle or boating accident, or you simply have a question about a potential 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, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we understand that motor vehicle accidents happen every day. 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://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/auto-accident/. 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.

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.

Contact us directly at (561) 686-3400, or via email at info@sswlawfl.com.

Slip & Fall Accidents – common here in Jupiter, and everywhere else in the United States

Many people do not realize it, but Slip and Fall accidents are the most common accidents that result in hospital visits in the United States today. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), over 1 million people each year go to the hospital due to a Slip & fall accident. 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors.  https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/

Slip and fall accidents are generally considered “premises liability” cases in Florida and most other states in America. These cases arise when a property owner or custodian is negligent in the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the property in question. Many states have laws that require landowners to maintain their property so that it does not present an unreasonable risk of harm to those that visit the property. Often, these laws pertain to both business owners and homeowners.

In many states, a merchant/store owner has a responsibility to people who use his premises to exercise reasonable care to keep his aisles, passageways, and floors in a reasonably safe condition. This responsibility includes a reasonable effort to keep the premises free of any hazardous conditions which reasonably might give rise to damage. Wet or overly waxed floors, obstructions in the middle of aisles, and other obstructions are normally seen as the owner’s responsibility here in the state of Florida.

Premise liability cases include: “slip and falls at commercial establishments caused by liquids or foreign substances; “trip and fall incidents caused by unsafe property conditions; “construction site accidents and, assaults by employees or business patrons in many states, business owners and property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for individuals on their premises.

If you are injured because a property owner or a business establishment fails to provide a safe environment, even if you are an employee at that establishment, you may have a right to bring a claim for various damages incurred due to your injury. In many states, these damages include pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.

The liability of a premises owner or operator depends on the state and federal laws that apply to the circumstances. For example, an owner of a home or public store has a duty to warn you about any known hazards that you might encounter. Construction workers are legally obligated to warn and protect the public from hazard at their work sites. Depending on individual circumstances, all may still be liable for injuries you receive while on their premises, even if they warned you of potential injury.

To read the entire article, please go to: http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/premises-liability-who-is-responsible.html

If you or a person you care about gets injured in a “Slip and fall” accident or you simply have a question about a potential personal injury situation, contact us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400.

At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we know that Slip and fall accidents happen all the time. If you are in a Slip and fall accident because of the negligence of a business, property or home owner, 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.

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

Have a Christmas tree in Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens? Be careful or risk a fatal fire

Chestnuts roasting over an open fire…  The house filled with the smells of scrumptious holiday meals cooking and the Christmas tree giving off the most pleasant of pine fresh aromas. Ahhh, what a wonderful time of the year! Unless you are one of the unlucky few who have their Christmas tree catch on fire.

Unfortunately, Christmas trees can and do catch on fire, particularly if they are not well-tended and have been allowed to dry out during their time standing in a home. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey show that between 2009-2013, Christmas trees were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven deaths, 19 injuries, and $17.5 million in property damage directly related to the fire.

Furthermore, it was found that one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in at least one death, compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires. Neither agency offered a reason for why a home fire involving a Christmas tree was also more likely to cause a death to occur. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the speed with which a fire grows when a dry tree (such as a Christmas tree) is involved can be a significant part of why death is more likely to occur.

To read this entire article please go to: http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes/holiday/christmas-tree-and-holiday-lights

Safety with Christmas trees, Chanukah candles, toys, holiday lights and all other things associated with the holidays is an important issue to keep at the front of your mind this holiday season. Our Board Certified lawyers from Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A. wish you a Happy, and just as importantly Safe Holiday Season this year, and every year.

If you or a person you care about gets hurt or killed in a fire, or a car, motorcycle or boating accident, or you simply have a question about a potential personal injury situation that you have not yet had answered, please contact us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been injured in some type of 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, Defective Products, 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.

Contact us directly at (561) 686-3400, or via email at info@sswlawfl.com.