Prescription drug abuse continues to lead to more DUI arrests in Jupiter and throughout Florida

DUI - prescription drug automobile accident deaths

By now almost everyone in south Florida and throughout the rest of the country has heard about Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest here in Jupiter early Monday morning. As more details have come out about the arrest, one of Tiger’s own statements that has received attention has been his contention that he was actually not under the influence of alcohol, but of a combination of prescription drugs.

 

When most of us think of DUI – Driving Under the Influence, we think of alcohol, hard core drugs like cocaine. The truth is that prescription drugs make up a significant portion of DUI arrests. Although the exact percentages are not known due to a lack of specific statistics, a 2010 study showed that prescription drugs were the 2nd most abused drug before driving when a fatal accident was involved. Only marijuana usage was higher on that list, while driving under the influence of cocaine caused only 25% of the number of automobile accident fatalities as prescription drugs, according to that same study.

 

To read about that study, go to: http://www.recoveryfirst.org/dui-drugged-driving/

 

Prescription drug abuse has become a serious problem in the United States. Numerous studies, stories and articles have highlighted the fact that pain clinics (sometimes referred to as “pill mills”) right here in Florida are helping to fuel the growth in this abuse problem.

 

Here is one of those many articles on this topic: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2016/08/25/florida-fuels-prescription-drug-abuse-epidemic-archive/89299090/

 

In the state of Florida, the term DUI in our statutes encompasses significantly more than just alcohol, or even alcohol and hard-core drugs. Prescription drug use and abuse is involved in a significant amount of the motor vehicle accidents on our roadways and waterways – and you need a law firm well-versed in the laws of our state to help you get the compensation you deserve if you are involved in an accident caused by someone who is impaired by prescription drugs, or other drugs or alcohol in the state of Florida.

 

Just as with alcohol, that impaired person is held responsible for all damages incurred in the accident, even if under the influence of prescription drugs. That is obvious to most people. Fewer people realize that in this scenario you may also be considered a victim of a criminal act under our state law.

 

 

If you or a person you care about gets injured in a vehicle accident caused by a driver under the influence 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 know that drunk driving accidents happen all the time. If you are in an accident because of the negligence of another driver, or the establishment who overserved that person, 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 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, 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.

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The Frye vs. Daubert standards – and why they are important to you as a citizen of Florida, and the United States

In our most recent article we discussed the recent ruling by Florida’s Supreme Court to halt the enactment of a state statute enacted in 2013 that would have required much more stringent standards for admission of expert medical testimony in medical malpractice lawsuits. Politicians and attorneys alike are familiar with both legal standards that are being pitted against one another in this legal battle – the older Frye Standard versus the newer and more stringent (and therefore more defendant-friendly) Daubert Standard. But most of the general public are not.

 

Here is a quick synopsis of each standard, and where they originated from:

 

According to Wikipedia, the Frye standard: “To meet the Frye standard, scientific evidence presented to the court must be interpreted by the court as “generally accepted” by a meaningful segment of the associated scientific community. This applies to procedures, principles or techniques that may be presented in the proceedings of a court case.” The case this test comes from, Frye v. United States, was originally tried in 1923. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frye_standard

 

From that point forward the Frye standard became the widely-used and cited case law for the admissibility of evidence in civil court, particularly medical malpractice cases. Until 1993, that is.

 

In 1993, a ruling in the case of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals held that “the Federal Rules of Evidence did not incorporate the Frye “general acceptance” test as a basis for assessing the admissibility of scientific expert testimony, but a flexible reliability and relevancy standard instead,”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daubert_standard

 

What does this mean to the average American? Using the Daubert standard over the last two decades has given judges more latitude to rule some expert testimony inadmissible before that testimony is seen by the jury. According to a 2002 RAND study cited in the Wikipedia article, “post Daubert, the percentage of expert testimony by scientists that was excluded from the courtroom significantly rose. This rise likely contributed to a doubling in successful motions for summary judgment in which 90% were against plaintiffs.[16] Beyond this study, there is little empirical evidence of the impact of Daubert. However, some critics argue that Daubert has disrupted the balance between plaintiffs and defendants.”

 

Florida was, in fact, one of the last states to have its Legislature try to adopt the Daubert Standard through statute enactment. As we previously noted, the state currently has a Republican majority in its Legislature, a Republican Governor (Rick Scott) and a Democrat-leaning Supreme Court. And since the ruling in February by the Supreme Court was not definitive, expect this tug-of-war to continue in our state government and others moving forward.

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we will keep an eye on this and all other legislation that could affect you and your family if you are ever faced with having to sue for medical malpractice, defective products, or practically any other personal injury situation where either you or a loved one has suffered a wrongful death or serious injury.  We have been practicing personal injury law in south Florida for over 40 years.

For more information or for a free initial consultation, contact us at http://www.sswlawfl.com or at (561) 686-3400.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Florida?

a-statute-of-limitation

Like every other state in America, Florida has a law in its statutes that specifically sets a deadline for the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit in our state’s civil courts against the person or business that might be legally at fault for your injuries caused in an accident. This law is called a statute of limitations, and in Florida law this statute can be found in the Florida Statutes Annotated section 95.11.

 

The most important aspect of the statute of limitations for you if you are injured in an accident is that it gives you four (4) years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Otherwise, unless under extreme and very rare cases, the court will almost certainly refuse to even hear your case at all.

 

One important adjunct to the Florida statute of limitations law is that if your injury claims are against either a city, county or state government entity or official your time limit to file is only three (3) years.

 

To read more on Florida’s Personal Injury Laws & Statutory Rules go to: http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/laws-florida.html

 

Our Board Certified lawyers from Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, P.A. 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, truck accident, boating accident, motorcycle accident, any other vehicle or a slip and fall.  We have been devoted to protecting South Florida families for over 40 years.

 

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 and you are not sure whether hiring an attorney is your best plan of action, please call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400.

 

Your initial consultation with our law firm is free, and we lay out all of your options for you honestly and completely. If we do agree to move forward together you will find that we work tirelessly to help you and/or your loved ones 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, 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.

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.

 

Steps you need to take if you are involved in a Slip & Fall accident

Wet Floor Warning

 

“Slip & Fall” accidents happen every day, particularly afflicting the elderly and others who have a hard time moving around. But it can happen to you, as well. Do you know what to do if you are a loved one gets hurt in a Slip & fall accident?

If you are involved in a slip/trip & fall accident, you should:

  • Avoid making any detailed statements concerning fault. Saying the wrong thing, or just saying too much can and will be used against you in court.
  • Make sure to get names of owners and managers of the property
  • Write down the names of witnesses; try to get their phone numbers as well.
  • If you are not incapacitated by your injuries, take good pictures of the scene and of your injuries.
  • Save the footwear and clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident.
  • Seek medical attention if injured immediately. If not immediately, then at least within 14 days, as required by current Florida Statute. Otherwise, you will not be able to seek full compensation for future medical bills, and it may cost you other compensation as well.

And

  • Do not give recorded statements to any insurance adjusters. Period. Even your own.

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 more on what you should do if you are involved in a Slip and fall, go to: http://accident-law.freeadvice.com/accident-law/slips_falls/fall_what_to_do.htm

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, 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 know that Slip and fall accidents happen all the time. In fact, there are around 1 million Slip and fall accidents per year. If you are in an 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.

If you want to 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, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred in Jupiter and anywhere else in the state of Florida.

Required personal injury protection benefits in Florida – what they mean to you as a Florida resident

Personal Injury Claim

Most people who live here in Florida are aware that the state has a series of laws called the Florida Statutes that are “a permanent collection of state laws organized by subject area into a code made up of titles, chapters, parts, and sections. The Florida Statutes are updated annually by laws that create, amend, transfer, or repeal statutory material.”

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?Mode=View%20Statutes&Submenu=1&Tab=statutes

Included amongst the 2015 Florida Statutes is an entire section on Insurance: Title XXXVII, Chapters 624 through 651. Chapter 627 of this section covers Insurance Rates and Contracts. 627.736 refers to “Required personal injury protection benefits; exclusions; priority; claims”

At Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. we realize that most Florida residents reading this blog do not want to read through the rather complicated and long-winded statutes that discuss insurance requirements. You want to know what they are and how they affect you and your loved ones, in plain English.

Since the last changes to the statutes in 2012 & 2013, Florida drivers have been required to carry the following minimum insurances:

  • $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, and
  • $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) benefits.

Florida does not, however, require drivers to have bodily injury liability (BIL) benefits (which pay the costs of others’ injuries if a crash occurs). Most other states do require you to have BIL benefits in your insurance coverage. All auto insurance policies must be purchased from insurers licensed to do business in Florida. Driving without insurance in Florida is illegal, and a driver may have his or her license suspended if caught driving without at least the minimum required insurance. To get a license reinstated, a driver has to show proof of insurance on every vehicle owned in the state of Florida, and must pay a fine of up to $500 per violation.

These are just the basic rules of insurance as they are presently constituted here in Florida. 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 will find out what coverage you and all of the motorists involved in the accident have – making sure to ask all of the right questions of all companies and interested parties in your case.

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 also understand that not everyone has the minimum insurance coverage required under the current state statutes.

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, 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.

 

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.