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    Have a Teen Driver? Tips for Promoting Safe Driving Habits

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Teen drivers are the highest risk group for fatal auto accidents, according to the IIHS, and car collisions are also a leading cause of death for teens ages 16 to 19. To make matters worse, Florida is also one of the worst states in the nation for auto accidents and pedestrian collisions. Any parent would be worried for their child’s safety with these statistics behind the wheel, but you can take encourage your teen to use safe driving practices by:

    Being a Role Model

    An estimated 18 percent of all auto accidents in 2010 involved driver distraction. You may have even picked up some bad habits such as talking on the phone, texting, or eating while driving. Several distractions are a recipe for disaster, especially when they’re paired with an inexperienced driver. Driving with too many passengers or at night are common factors correlating to high crash rates in teen drivers.

    Teaching Them “Rules of Thumb”

    Driver experience can be hard to describe, especially considering that there are plenty of negligent adults. Consider this: does your teen know how to handle a skid? Or how to safely pull over for the police or other emergency? Developing a situational awareness for different road conditions is an acquired skill, and there are some things that driver’s education simply doesn’t teach.

    Pacing Their Learning

    Remember that a person can only learn so much in a limited amount of time. It’s unreasonable to expect your teen to memorize everything after an hour-long drive and then learn the rest through osmosis, so teach them to drive gradually. Try letting your teen take the wheel during normal trips to the store or to and from school when they have a learner’s permit.

    While you can reduce the likelihood of an auto accident, there is no way to prevent the possibility entirely. If and when you or your family has been injured in an auto accident in Florida, Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. can help you protect your rights. Call (407) 329-3923 today for more information.

    Driving, Vision, and the Law in the State of Florida

    Last updated 11 months ago

    May is Healthy Vision Month, and good eyesight is one of the most important factors in preventing auto accidents. Many people have less than perfect vision due to genetics, health issues, or old age, but exactly how good does your vision have to be to obtain a Florida driver’s license, or more importantly, to avoid an auto accident? According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, you must be able to pass a vision test with at least 20/40 vision in both eyes without corrective lenses; readings poorer than this will have to see an eye specialist to assess improvement options.

    If your vision cannot be improved, applicants with a minimum visual acuity of 20/70 in either eye (without or without corrective lenses) can still obtain a driver’s license. Applicants who are legally blind in one eye with 20/200 vision or worse can still receive a license if the other eye has at least 20/40 vision. Florida law also requires drivers age 80 and over to pass a vision test for driver’s license renewals every six years. There are no restrictions for those suffering from color blindness.

    Deteriorating eyesight can be difficult to talk about, especially with a close friend or an older family member. Elderly drivers are statistically one of the least likely age groups to get into an auto accident until about age 70, but they are also more likely to have other distractions such as degraded hearing, slower reaction speeds, and side effects from medications.

    Regardless of physical handicaps, it is a driver’s responsibility to obey the law and do their part to ensure the safety of those around them. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. has years of experience in auto collision cases throughout Florida, and can provide you with the legal guidance to protect your rights and pursue compensation. Call (407) 329-3923 today for more information.

    Letting a Friend Borrow Your Car? What You Need to Know

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Certain situations may come up where a friend or family member may ask to use your car, and while you may trust someone enough to let them get behind the wheel, it is important to be aware of how liability works in the event of an auto accident.

    For all intents and purposes, once you lend your car keys to someone else, you’re also lending your insurance coverage. That means that any at-fault accidents caused by a friend or family member’s negligent driving will affect your insurance premiums accordingly. Because Florida follows a no-fault insurance structure, you’ll still deal with your own insurance if a stranger causes an accident with your car, but your premiums may not increase as much and your driving record will stay clean. If the driver you lend your car to is unlicensed or driving your car out of state, then it may invalidate your insurance coverage.

    Drivers should take care to keep all relevant licensing and registration available for any and all emergencies. No-fault insurance only pays for damages up to a point, after which the injured parties can still sue to offset the costs of medical treatment and property damage. If the driver does not have a license or is clearly unfit to drive (ex.: is intoxicated, has a history of reckless driving, etc.), then you may be held accountable for damages due to negligent entrustment of your vehicle.

    Anyone can take steps to prevent an auto accident, but the risk is always present, and these are just a few of the concerns to consider when lending your vehicle to a friend or family member. To protect your rights after an auto accident due to another person’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. for professional legal guidance.

    Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice?

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Medical mistakes can leave victims with lifelong injuries and extensive medical bills, but determining fault in a medical malpractice case can be a confusing process. Either hospitals or doctors can be responsible for medical accidents, but liability varies based on individual circumstances.

    Hospitals are responsible for hiring employees with appropriate credentials and ensuring that they follow appropriate safety measures. The hospital is generally liable for errors committed by employees such as nurses, paramedics, and employed doctors; however, first responders generally receive more legal protection due to the inherent risks of their position.

    Independent doctors may be held individually responsible for errors committed by themselves or under their direct supervision. Hospitals may also be responsible for the actions of an employee or doctor if they were aware, or should have been aware, of incompetent behavior.

    Medical negligence can have serious and lifelong repercussions and result in significant emotional and physical trauma, but establishing liability under malpractice law can be a complex process. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. is an experienced lawyer in the Orlando area with an extensive medical background. Call (407) 329-6923 to schedule a free professional consultation.

    Breast Cancer Misdiagnoses: What You Need to Know

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Although breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in American women as well as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, misdiagnoses are also common occurrences. Follow-up imaging and diagnostic tests can reduce the likelihood of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, but there is no safeguard against simple medical negligence.

    Modern mammograms can detect breast cancer with 83 percent accuracy in women over the age of 50—they do, however, miss about 17 percent of breast cancers. This high accuracy rate comes with considerable risk of false positives. Studies show that the odds of having a false positive over 10 annual mammograms are approximately 50 to 60 percent.

    Mammogram scans are accurate at identifying foreign masses, but only an experienced radiologist can provide an accurate assessment of the results. Mammograms can reveal masses that are only a few cells in size, making it difficult to differentiate between a benign mass and the early stages of breast cancer. For this reason, medical professionals may perform a series of follow-up biopsies and imaging tests in order to provide an accurate diagnosis.

    A false positive can result in considerable fear and worry, but they generally do not pose an immediate physical threat if they are caught early enough, before the patient has undergone potentially harmful treatments or surgeries. Conversely, a failure to diagnose breast cancer from an accurate mammogram can prevent a patient from receiving timely and effective treatments.

    Medical technology may not be infallible, but as a patient you have the right to receive accurate medical diagnostics and safe treatments. As a licensed doctor and lawyer, Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. has the medical and legal expertise to counsel you and guide you through your medical malpractice claim. You can set up a free consultation online or by calling (407) 329-6923 today.

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