Just as I recently blogged on whether or not inflatable bounce houses are safe, there are also new studies that find zipline-related injuries are rapidly increasing. Here in northwest Florida, we have several different places where we can go to zipline and as the weather gets warmer and we have more tourists that come to our area, they will not only flock to our beautiful beaches, but also our recreational attractions which includes ziplines. As you drive up and down Highway 98, it is obvious that the popularity of ziplining has skyrocketed rapidly in recent years. In fact, the number of commercial ziplines in the U.S. rose from 10 in 2001 to more than 200 in 2012, in addition to more than 13,000 amateur ziplines which can be found in outdoor education programs, camps, and backyards. The increase in popularity has also increased the number of injuries related to ziplining. Consequently, it is not surprising that a recent study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that an estimated 16,850 non-fatal zipline-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency departments from 1997 through 2012. The study, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, found that falls accounted for more than three-quarters (77 percent) of zipline-related injuries followed by collisions (13 percent), including those with tree and other anchor structures
Fitness trackers are the new craze. You can walk into any gym and see that the majority of people have some type of device tracking their heart rate, the steps walked or calories burned. A Fitbit has recently made headlines here in Florida . Nina Risley, from St. Petersburg, traveled to Pennsylvania and was staying at her boss' home when police say she called to report she was raped by an unknown intruder. According to the police report, officers obtained her Fitbit Surge device and "the Fitbit device showed that Nina was awake and walking around the entire night prior to the incident and did not go to bed as reported" Police believe the steps recorded on her device prove Nina was awake and staging the crime scene instead of being asleep and ripped out of bed like she claimed. She was later charged with making a false report and tampering with evidence.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 14-year-old girl died from injuries she suffered in a three-vehicle crash last week. The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that the young girl of Youngstown was a passenger in a northbound 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by a 16 year old male from Milton, when he lost control of the vehicle just after 10 p.m. on U.S. 231 just south of Johnny Lane. Mann began driving into the median and then began to overturn into the southbound lanes. Two other vehicles struck the trailblazer as it entered the southbound lanes. Mann and his two passengers were all ejected from the vehicle, but the 14 year old female died from her injuries. FHP says no one in the trailblazer was wearing a seatbelt.
Hospital Conglomerate HCA Hospital is asking a South Florida Court to dismiss a case arguing it has no merit and reject a bid to make it a class action. The suit has been brought by four Florida drivers, Marisela Herrera, Luz Sanchez, Nicholas Acosta and Wollmen who were involved in separate car accidents, treated at these hospitals and in each visit- the hospital took the entire $10,000.00 PIP benefits, and then some. It names as defendants JFK Medical Center, Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, North Florida Regional Medical Center and HCA Holdings Inc. This lawsuit claims hospitals are the ones ripping off consumers and exploiting the No-Fault system. According to the claimants' attorney, the hospitals are purposely overcharging and thus taking the money from those needing the medical care and help. As expected, the Hospital attorneys refute the allegations and say if drivers have a problem, they should take it up with their insurance company that agreed to pay the charges.
We were hiking this past weekend in a state park and saw several recreational vehicles (RV) parked enjoying the weekend. My children asked me if we had an RV would they have to wear a seat belt if they were sitting in the living quarters of the RV. I honestly had to research it to make sure I had the correct answer and I was surprised to find out where Florida law stood. Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 316.614 Safety Belt Usage:
WJHG Channel 7 reports there was a tragic accident that occurred on last Tuesday night where one individual lost his life. The traffic crash happened in Calhoun County when a 71 year old man from Altha driving a Camry rolled through a stop sign and into the path of a Dodge Durango. The Durango hit the driver's side of the Camry and the elderly man did not survive his injuries. It happened at the intersection of County Road 274 and Porter Road just after 7 p.m. The elderly man's passenger and the two people in the Durango suffered injuries too.
It is a part of the job for us, conflict. In many ways, it is second nature. It is a struggle for many of our clients to understand when they start and maneuver through their case with us. We deal with various forms of conflict on a regular basis; it's negotiating a settlement, arguing for our client in court, going toe to toe with opposing counsel in a brief or in a hearing. What can be challenging for a lawyer or even our clients is unnecessary conflict. Sometimes our clients will see unnecessary conflict at mediation or even at trial. It is important for not only us but also our clients to remember is to constantly communicate with us as they observe what they might observe as unnecessary conflict but for us is necessary conflict as we step up to argue for our client in various situations. As lawyers, we have to assess the defendant, the defendant's lawyer, the judge, a mediator, various parties that may play a part in our client's case and figure out how to communicate with them and keep the conflict as beneficial to our client as possible. Here are some of the Communication Styles we see on a daily basis, and based on these styles, we have to negotiate differently to be effective for our clients. It is good for our clients to be able to assess these styles too. The Florida Justice Association recently posted an article on communicators and we at Brannon & Brannon thought it would beneficial for our clients to read. Communication Styles
We are only one month into 2016 and for most of us getting into shape is one of the goals for this year. Part of getting into shape is getting to the gym and lifting those weights and introducing cardio into our exercise regime. Whatever your fitness goals, getting injured surely isn't one of them. But according to a study from the University of Arkansas, there has been a 35 percent increase in gym injuries in recent years. As mentioned above, there is research that shows an increase in gym injuries and even treadmill injuries as shown below.
I have to admit, I have not gotten on a hoverboard, but I have seen them all around my neighborhood and I have seen them on tv, the internet and have read numerous articles about hoverboards. I am hesitant to buy them for my children based upon the risks that come with the hoverboards and the lack of regulations that the toys have or warnings that the manufacturers give to consumers. I have done enough research that most people who do use a hoverboard do not use it safely and as a result....ER physicians are seeing hundreds of people with injuries because of dangerous falls that are occurring.
As a smaller law firm in Northwest Florida, we pride ourselves on the one-on-one attention we give each one of our cases. We don't hand our clients off to case managers, paralegals, or legal assistants. Yes, we have paralegals and legal assistants, but the attorneys are your primary contact in our office. The practice of giving personal attention to clients has generated hundreds, if not thousands, of referrals from our past clients. We were happy to see that The Florida Bar recently tightened up the rules governing the practice of law by taking issue with the Florida law firms that try to sign up a prospective client by using unethical and improper actions and communication. The Bar's Special Committee to Study the Unethical and Illegal Solicitation of Legal Business has seen an uptick in the improper solicitation of personal injury victims by lawyers and non-lawyers.