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Drive Safely In And Around School Zones

Posted on 27 January, 2013 at 20:50 Comments comments (316)
The Florida Department of Transportation, and the Community Safety Program are just reminding motorists and pedestrians to take extra traffic safety precautions around school zones, or while driving to or from schools.
Tips for Motorists:
• Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
• Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
• Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
• Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children.
• Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
• When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
Tips for Parents:
• Be a good role model.
• Always buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules.
• Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.
• If your child is under 4 years old and weighs less than 40 pounds, make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat.
• Children, ages 4 to 8, weighing over 40 pounds and measuring four feet nine inches or less should ride in a booster seat.
• In addition, safety experts advise that all children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat.
• Make sure that your teen driver understands and obeys all traffic laws.
Tips for Students:
• Always buckle up when riding in a car.
• Be sure to remove your backpack before getting in the vehicle.
• Never buckle your safety belt with your backpack on.
• Always ride in the back seat. It’s the safest place for young people.
• Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
• If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.
• It’s extremely important for you to use sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, and always walk facing traffic.
• Always cross at crosswalks; obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
• Cross railroad tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
• Do not walk, run or ride your bicycle down railroad tracks. It's illegal and dangerous.
• Teen drivers should avoid speeding and distractions while driving, such as texting, talking on cell phones, eating and adjusting the radio.
• Teens are also reminded never to overload their vehicle; everyone riding in a vehicle must use a safety belt.
If you happen to get into an accident or crash, remember to contact an experiences auto accident law firm.  Steven Meyer is a board certified specialist in civil trial cases, which is a category of litigation that includes auto accident and injury cases.
We hope that these tips have been a helpful reminder and will be put to great use.  Please stay safe!

How Healthy Is Your Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Nowegian, Carnival or Disney Cruise Ship?

Posted on 27 January, 2013 at 20:46 Comments comments (299)
There are frequent stories about a large number of passengers on a cruise ship becoming ill.  If you become ill on a cruise ship, you may want to consult with an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer.

Our office handles cases against Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, Disney and other cruise lines. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) is designed to prevent and control the spread of cruise ship illness claims and diseases, by implementing regular inspections and regulations.

The VSP inspects cruise ships periodically.   It monitors outbreaks and trains crew members on public health practices.   Ships sailing out of US ports are inspected at least twice a year.   One visit is announced; the other a surprise. 
Cruise ship owners pay for the inspections based upon the weight of the ship. Prices range from $1,300 to $15,600 per inspection depending on the ship's size. Inspectors examine the medical facilities, drinking water, swimming pools, food service, childcare centers, hotel services, ventilation and common areas. A final report is prepared and sent to the cruise line.
Ships are graded on a 100 point scale. Points are deducted whenever a safety violation is found. Certain violations are easily fixed immediately, often during the actual inspection. Other more complicated issues may take longer to correct.
If a ship fails an inspection that is deemed to be an "imminent public health risk" that jeopardizes passenger safety, the VSP can recommend that the ship be docked. Imminent public health risks are:
1. Undrinkable water.
2. Unsafe food preparation.
3. Inadequate cleaning equipment.
4. Inadequate waste disposal.
5. An infectious disease outbreak.

If you are about to take a cruise, I urge you to review your ship's annual inspection report.  For example, in November, 2012, inspectors gave the "Amadea," a ship operated by the Phoenix Reissen Cruise Line a score of 63 out of 100!  It's potable water production system was operating improperly and without appropriate maintenance or inspection. Inspectors also found no water production records for the entire month of November.
Cruise ships can be a wonderful way to travel and see the world. But selecting the correct cruise line and ship can make the difference between having a great vacation or getting sick. Please check out how healthy your ship is before booking your next cruise.  
Remember also that if you become ill while on a cruise, don't wait to contact an experienced cruise ship accident attorney.  Steven Meyer is an expert in handling civil trial cases, which includes injuries on cruise ships.

Passenger Tells Story of Riding Out Hurricane Aboard the Cruise Ship Carnival Glory

Posted on 9 November, 2012 at 0:00 Comments comments (276)
Hurricane Sandy left a path of death and destruction in the Carribean and the US states along the Atlantic coast.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who lost loved ones and their homes.
The Hurricane seriously affected the cruise ship industry, leading many to wonder how many passengers and crewmembers will be in need of a cruise ship injury lawyer.  Dozens of cruise ships had to change their intineraries to avoid the storm.   One ship, the Carnival Glory, had its own rocky start to a Caribbean itinerary due to the storm.
According to a Cruise Bruise report, Gretchen Rhodecap, a travel agent, was on board the Carnival Glory when the storm was making its way through the Bahamas. Rhodecap explained the sailing was anything but smooth after a passenger suffered a medical emergency during the storm.
"There was a medical emergency onboard the Carnival Glory last night and the ship had to turn around and head back to Norfolk so the Coast Guard could reach us to airlift the person off at around 11pm... so now we are arriving Nassau late..." recounted Rhodecap.
As Hurricane Sandy drew near, it caused the ship to rock back and forth.  Rhodecap said that being on the cruise ship was like "being on a rollercoaster."
"Carnival Glory changed the itinerary again due to Tropical Storm Sandy.... our port of call Friday at Freeport has been canceled... and we are not overnighting in Nassau either.  We will instead be docking at Port Canaveral... three days in Bahamas just turned into a half day and then Florida..."
The itinerary changes didn't stop there.  Rhodecap later wrote that the ship did not dock in Florida after all.  The ship had to remain at sea for three days to avoid the storm.
"We aren't going anywhere... word around the ship is that we are going further out into the Atlantic to avoid some of storm."
Rhodecap added that along with passengers, "there were a lot of crew at the medical center."
While no severe injuries have been reported due to Sandy, nearly everyone on board the Glory and other cruise lines who were affected by the wind and waves became ill with motion sickness.
It may be some time before we hear stories of more serious injuries.   Anyone who has suffered an accident onboard any cruise ship because of the storm is encouraged to seek legal help immediately.  Our office handles cruise ship injury cases, and we are here to help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries, and your pain and suffering.  Please call our firm today to get started on your injury claim right away.

Wet Carpeting Causes Man to Fall Down Stairs in Hotel

Posted on 26 October, 2012 at 22:17 Comments comments (66)
A Louisiana man has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Comfort Inn claiming that they failed to warn him that the carpet was wet, which caused him to fall down an entire flight of stairs.
Walter Steele filed suit against Laxmi Lodging Inc. on Oct. 12 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.
The incident occurred as Steele was walking down a carpeted staircase at a Comfort Inn in Palestine, Texas.  His foot slipped on the wet carpeting and he fell down the entire flight of stairs and onto the concrete floor.
The fall caused Steele serious and permanent disabling injuries to his back and spine.
According to the lawsuit, the hotel had washed, shampooed or cleaned its carpets prior to Steele’s arrival and left them in a wet and slippery condition without any warning to Steele.
The lawsuit accuses the hotel owner of negligence in failing to inspect its premises to be sure that they were free of unreasonably dangerous conditions, dry its floors after cleaning, limit access to areas in which the floors were not yet dry, warn guests of the existence of the wet carpeting, select and hire competent contractors in such a way as to ensure that they were not creating an unreasonable risk of harm to invitees.
Our office has handled many cases involving hotel guests who were injured due to dangerous conditions at the hotel in which they were staying.  If you have been injured while a guest at a hotel or resort in Florida, the Bahamas or other islands in the Caribbean, please contact our office. 

Sensible Precautions Before Attending a Motorcycle Rally

Posted on 23 October, 2012 at 15:23 Comments comments (116)
Attending a motorcycle rally can be a great experience, but it is important to take some sensible precautions beforehand.
Make Certain Your Bike is Ready to Ride: Not only is it important to ensure that you are up-to-date on your motorcycle's regular maintenance, but you should also take into account the mileage you will accrue getting to and from the rally. Money spent on a trip to a trusted mechanic before you go is far preferable to the potentially high bill of an unknown mechanic if you break down on the road.
Do Not Drink and Drive: Drinking and driving puts you and others at risk of great harm or death. It is illegal and irresponsible, and there is never a good excuse.
Bring Some Cash: While carrying a large sum of money on you is not advisable due to potential theft, it is a good idea to bring along a small amount of cash for places that you cannot use a credit or debit card in order to avoid ATM fees. Another way to escape ATM fees is to use a card to buy a small item from a convenience store and ask for some cash back.
Plan Your Itinerary: Plan your route ahead of time and check for road construction or other travel issues. Also, although part of the experience is to simply relax and enjoy the rally, seasoned travelers know that it is wise to plan in advance which events you will attend.  Many rallies have websites describing the activities at the rally and listing the vendors who will be present, as well as travel tips.
Watch Out for Bike Thieves:  Unfortunately, motorcycle thefts do occur during rallies. Of course, it is not your fault if your motorcycle is stolen, but there are some precautions that will make it less likely to happen:
  • Always park in a well-lit, well-trafficked location and, if possible, one with a security camera
  • Always use a lock on your motorcycle
  • Check your motorcycle a few minutes after parking to see if anyone is eyeing it or behaving in a suspicious manner
  • Never keep your registration information on the bike itself
Following these practices will help ensure that you and your fellow bikers will have a safe and enjoyable rally.
Our office has handled many cases involving motorcycle accidents and crashes.  Steven Meyer is board certified by The Florida Bar as an expert in civil trial law.  If you have been injured in a motorcyle accident in Florida, consult an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer.  We handle cases throughout Florida, including such areas as Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

Update on Costa Concordia case

Posted on 18 October, 2012 at 9:26 Comments comments (324)
Following a court hearing in the Costa Concordia cruise accident case, the captain of the ship has issued a public apology to passengers and to the family members of those who died in the tragedy. Captain Francesco Schettino, who has been blamed for the capsizing of the ship off the coast of Italy in January, was charged with manslaughter and abandoning ship. Thirty-two people died in the tragedy and scores of survivors were injured, but the captain has asserted in court that he did nothing wrong. However, this week he apologized to some of the survivors for his actions.
The Concordia cruise ship capsized on January 13 just off the small island of Giglio.  The ship hit a rock which tore a gash in its hull and the captain was blamed for altering the direction of the ship, which ultimately led to the tragic cruise ship accident. While Schettino admitted he made mistakes, he has accused the company of mishandling the situation after it fired him.  He has actually sued Costa Cruises, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp., for wrongful termination of his employment. 
Schettino is accused of abandoning the ship before his passengers and crew were safe.   The fact that he has decided to sue the cruise line for his termination is beyond belief for critics. The captain is in the midst of pre-trial hearings that will determine whether or not he will go to trial. Schettino faces multiple charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship, but he isn't the only one being investigated. Eight other crewmembers, as well as the ship's owner, are being accused of contributing to the cruise ship accident. Surviving passengers corroborate that the evacuation process was extremely chaotic and no crewmember seemed to know what they were doing. The bodies of two missing passengers have yet to be recovered as well and the cruise ship currently sits half-submerged near Giglio.
While fingers are being pointed at the captain, Costa Cruises shares the blame. Because cruise lines are responsible for the safety of their passengers and crew, accidents that occur at sea can result in the cruise line itself being held accountable. Unfortunately, cruise line operators do everything possible to try and avoid taking responsibility when a cruise ship accident occurs, but having a top cruise ship injury attorney on your side will ensure your rights as a cruise injury victim are upheld.
Our office is currently representing many passengers who have been injured on cruise ships.  We will work diligently to secure you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve.   Earlier this year, we obtained a jury verdict of over $2,676,000 in a trial in Miami against a cruise line.
Call our office to discuss your options and to get started on your cruise injury accident case today.

Older Florida Drivers Have More Auto Accidents While Turning Left

Posted on 13 September, 2012 at 23:15 Comments comments (130)
Older Drivers Are Most Likely to Have a Car Accident While Turning Left.
In 2010, the South Florida Sun Sentinel analyzed data from car accidents in the Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach areas.  The data showed that older drivers are most likely to have an auto accident while making a left hand turn.    
Left-turn accidents can be very serious. A late left turn leaves a vehicle open to a t-bone accident. Oncoming traffic may be travelling at high speeds and serious injuries can result from these collisions.
In a recent Boynton Beach crash several people were injured and a passenger was killed after the driver of the car attempted to make a left turn and was hit by another car. The driver of the car was 73 years old. This was not an isolated accident.
In the Ft. Lauderdale area, there were 382 serious left-turn accidents in 2010 that invovled drivers over the age of 70.  Drivers over the age of 70 were also more likely than younger drivers to be seriously injured in these left-turn Florida auto accidents.
Why Are Older Drivers at a Higher Risk?
The paper attributes higher crash rates for older drivers to slower response times.  Often, the driver begins to make a left turn and misjudges the speed of the oncoming traffic.
The national Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also found through its research that the most common mistake for older drivers is failure to yield the right of way.
What Can Be Done to Avoid These Crashes?
More traffic signals with designated left turn arrows may be one way to reduce these accidents.
Older drivers across Florida must be aware of the dangers.  While left turns cannot always be avoided, more caution is needed as reflexes slow with age.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Older drivers more vulnerable when making left turns," Angel Streeter and Dana Williams, May 2, 2012.

Alleged sexual assault of teenager reported on Carnival Sensation cruise ship

Posted on 11 September, 2012 at 2:41 Comments comments (322)
On behalf of the Law Offices of Steven H. Meyer, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida, posted on Monday, September 11, 2012

Cruise ships can offer great family vacations.  Unfortunately, many people are also injured on cruises.  Our ofice represents many people who are injured on cruises.  There are strict guidelines that passengers must follow in order to make a claim, including a very short time limit to file a claim.   Many cruise lines require passengers to file a claim in Miami, Florida, irrespective of where the ship was located when the injury occurred. 

If you're injured, consult with an attorney who handles these claims as soon as possible to find out about your rights.

Many injuries are the result of the negligence of the cruise line.  However, other incidents involve assaults by passengers, many of whom have had too much to drink. 

A 31 year old man has been charged by federal authorities for participating in the alleged rape of a teenage girl aboard the ship Carnival Sensation.   The man claims he passed out and did not participate in the alleged attack.  Several teenage boys have also been accused of participating  in the assault.  However, federal prosecutors have not yet charged them, because the Attorney General of the United States must give them permission to do so.  

Medical personnel on the ship treated the girl for her injuries.  Carnival says it reported the incident to federal authorities as soon as the girl and her family told them what had happened.

As a result of the case, the FBI reiterated some tips for families traveling with children on cruises. While some of the suggestions might seem like an overabundance of caution, no family wants to find itself in the situation the girl and her family have had to endure. Some of the tips include:

  • Don't let your kids wander alone, especially in unfamiliar areas. Nobody can be sure of the character of everyone aboard.
  • Don't let kids socialize with unknown people or reveal personal information to them.
  • Don't let kids use public restrooms without parental oversight.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Feds charge man in gang rape of girl on cruise ship," Amy Pavuk, Aug. 22, 2012

Our office is currently representing many passengers who have been injured on cruise ships. We will work diligently to secure you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve. Earlier this year, we obtained a jury verdict of over $2,676,000 in a trial in Miami against a cruise line.
Call our office to discuss your options and to get started on your cruise injury accident case today.