Sea Fog Dangers – Legal Requirements for Drivers

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Public Service Announcement – When warm, moist air flows across cool coastal Gulf waters, the result can be dense sea fog that blankets the land near the coast. Fog can be deadly because it reduces visibility and puts a film of condensation on the roads, which increases stopping distance. Under Florida law, when drivers encounter fog they are required to turn on their headlights and reduce their speed as necessary to avoid running into things. Driving with four-way flashers on is illegal. Additionally, the use of high beam headlights actually decreases visibility and is illegal within 500 feet of oncoming…

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Carbon Monoxide Kills – Get a Detector

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This year for Christmas, give your loved ones the gift of safety – a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is┬áscentless, colorless, and tasteless, but it’s extremely deadly. Carbon monoxide is created any time you burn a fuel, like gasoline, natural gas, wood, oil, propane, or charcoal. When the carbon monoxide can’t dissipate because the burning is happening inside a house or garage, the result can be deadly. Hundreds of people die and tens of thousands are hospitalized due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year. If you’re exposed to a toxic level of carbon monoxide, you probably won’t realize it…

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Margie’s Second ABC Appearance

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Here’s a link to Margie’s appearance on ABC’s┬áThe Morning Blend talking about how Swope Law helps women maneuver through the insurance claims process after being injured in an accident. Women and men are very different, both physically and emotionally. Did you know that a woman is twice as likely to suffer a serious emotional injury in an accident than a man? Women are more susceptible to suffering from PTSD after an accident. Women and men also differ in how they heal from physical injuries. Women produce estrogen which can inhibit inflammation and extend the healing process.

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Takata airbag recall significantly expanded

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The Takata airbag recall has been significantly expanded. We encourage you to go to vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin to see if your vehicle is subject to the recall, particularly if you own an Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevy, Chrysler, Sprinter, Dodge/Ram, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Subaru, Toyota, or Volkswagen. Significant scarring and death can occur from a defective airbag deployment. Be safe out there!

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Margie’s ABC Appearance

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Margie was recently interviewed by the host of the Morning Blend on ABC Tampa Bay. She discusses why she focuses on representing women who have been injured and how women’s injuries are different. Here’s the link: http://www.abcactionnews.com/morning-blend/swope-law

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Insurance Companies Still Fleecing Floridians

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A few years ago, insurance companies convinced some of our Florida legislators to amend the “no fault” (or PIP) insurance regulations to limit an injured person’s medical bills to $2,500 unless a doctor determined that the person suffered from an emergency medical condition in an accident. Everyone who owns a car in Florida must pay for $10,000 in PIP coverage, but with the recent law change only some of us will actually receive the full benefit. The insurance companies promised the legislature that limiting their payment responsibility to $2,500 (even though we still had to pay for $10,000 in coverage)…

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Approaching Crosswalks – To Stop or Not to Stop

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After the accident on April 22, 2016 in which 15 year old Jacob Giner was struck as a pedestrian while in a marked crosswalk on Alternate 19 in Palm Harbor, we received several inquiries about the legal requirements for drivers approaching a crosswalk. Here’s what the law says. Florida Statute 316.130, titled “Pedestrians; traffic regulations,” states that there are two times when a vehicle must stop when a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk. The first is when the pedestrian steps into the crosswalk on the side of the road on which the vehicle is traveling. The second is when…

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New Law Adds to Hospital Billing Transparency

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A new law in Florida gives patients receiving treatment in a hospital facility the right to request a good faith estimate of reasonably anticipated charges for the treatment of their condition. Hospitals in the bay area charge wildly different amounts for the treatment of identical conditions. Hopefully, the new transparency law will empower patients to make informed healthcare decisions and will put pressure on hospitals to charge more reasonable amounts for services.

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Tips to Avoid Wrong Way Drivers

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The recent death of a Hillsborough County deputy reminds us that wrong way drivers can be a deadly problem. Most wrong way driving accidents involve drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who are elderly or inexperienced. The Safe America Foundation has posted five tips to avoid a wrong way driver. We have read that some people want spike strips at exit ramps to prevent vehicles from entering a highway the wrong way. However, a study by the Texas Department of Transportation found that spike strips would be more dangerous than nothing at all. Spike strips…

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