When to Put the Brakes on Elderly Drivers?

How do you tell your elderly parent or client that it is time to stop driving?

Driving is an important piece of freedom, but there are alternatives, including Uber. The reality is most elderly respond when they realize they could hurt someone they love or make an age related mistake because they can't see or hear and hurt someone they don't know. It could require a family "driving intervention" to take the keys away. 

Like most things, advanced age affects you in your own way, but everyone agrees driving abilities decline. However, like similar to other age groups, driving skills vary from one elderly person to another. Telling elderly drivers that it may be time to stop driving can be one of the most difficult milestones for caregivers. Driving represents freedom and independence for the elderly - the ability to visit friends, go to the movies and shop - without relying on anyone else.

When the question of declining driving abilities becomes personal, it can be an emotional time in any family. Elderly drivers may become defensive - even angry - when the subject of their driving abilities is raised. 

It is critical that the decision-making process involves the elderly person along with his or her loved ones. It can also be very helpful if both you and your elderly loved one discuss the matter together with family members, doctors, and other people they respect, such as clergy and friends. 

However, you may still have to make the decision to put the brakes on an elderly driver in your family in order to maximize safety for everyone. 

How does aging affect the abilities of elderly drivers?

Safe elderly drivers require the complex coordination of many different skills. The physical and mental changes that accompany aging can diminish the abilities of elderly drivers. These include:

 

Taken separately, none of these changes automatically means that elderly drivers should stop. But caregivers need to regularly evaluate the elderly person's driving skills to determine if they need to alter driving habits or stop driving altogether.

A checklist on safe elderly driving:

Watch for telltale signs of decline in the elderly person's driving abilities. Do they:

If you or someone you love is dealing with this difficult decision, feel free to call our office for advice. We have been involved in multiple accidents that could have been prevented with proper knowledge, planning, and loving care. 


Top Audiobooks to Download Before You Travel

In the spirit of the holiday season, we are sharing our non-legal selections for the most brilliant and life-changing audiobook performances of all time. In return, we hope to hear about your personal choices regarding your all time favorite audiobooks.  Few things give us more pleasure than the pure entertainment which results from listening to an extraordinary book. If you try one of these, do not be surprised to find yourself inexplicably sitting in your driveway.

Our firm has acquired a library of hundreds of audiobook performances. When selecting our most entertaining audiobooks of all time, we focus not only on the quality of the writing and story, but also on the narrator’s performance quality.  We strongly prefer unabridged books.  Also, we have created a diverse, eclectic collection. The list includes fiction, nonfiction, autobiographies, classics, fiction based on fact, as well as books which are downright quirky and unusual. Our goal is to expose ourselves to every conceivable genre of writing, literature and school of thought.

Again, we would love to hear about your personal favorites, so please let us know. We are always looking to expand our library. Enjoy!

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, narrated by Patrick Stewart.

The Old Man And The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, narrated by Charlton Heston

The Martian, by Andy Weir, narrated by R.C. Bray

Pillars Of The Earth, by Ken Follett, narrated by John Lee (unabridged) or Richard Grant (abridged)

11-22-63: A Novel, by Stephen King, narrated by Craig Wasson

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, narrated by Dylan Baker

Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen, narrated by David LeDoux & John Randolph Jones

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, narrated by Edward Herrmann

American Assassin, by Vince Flynn, narrated by George Guidall

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, & Cassandra Campbell

The Lords Of Discipline, by Pat Conroy, narrated by Dan John Miller

Silence Of The Lambs, by Thomas Harris, narrated by Frank Muller (unabridged) or Kathy Bates (abridged)
The Killer Angels: A Novel Of The Civil War, by Michael Shaara, narrated by Stephen Hoye

Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles, narrated by Jeff Harding

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir

Born To Run, by Christopher McDougall, narrated by Fred Sanders

The Godfather, by Mario Puzo, narrated by Joe Mantegna

All The Light You Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, narrated by Zach Appelman (unabridged) or Julie Teal (abridged)


Should You Buy Uninsured Motorists Coverage?

In a word, yes. At Page & Eichenblatt , we recommend all Florida drivers purchase UM, or Uninsured Motorist coverage, even if it’s a stretch. Do not assume you have this coverage already! In fact, we encourage you to ASK your agent or insurance representative specifically.

3 Reasons You Cannot Afford to Reject this Coverage

1.)  Over 20% of motorists in the state of Florida do not have insurance. This means over 1 in 5 vehicles on the roadways have no auto insurance whatsoever.

2.)  Florida law shockingly does not require drivers to buy mandatory bodily injury liability insurance to protect you if you are injured by another's negligence, By the way, many states do!

3.)  Uninsured motorist coverage is the ONLY valuable coverage that protects you and your family members who live with you if you are negligently injured by either an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

So, if you saved a little bit of money by rejecting this coverage, consider calling and making a change today. If you are not sure if you have UM as part of your car insurance plan, call and find out today. You will not regret it.

Call any of our lawyers for free advice about auto coverages and how they protect you. Uninsured motorist coverages and terms like stacking may mean the difference between financial disaster and relief if not asked of your agent. We will explain... 


STEVEN S. EICHENBLATT concentrates his practice primarily in the area of personal injury, with a special interest in automobile accidents, complex tort litigation, workers compensation and medical malpractice. Steve graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. He is a Circuit and Supreme Court Certified Mediator and a Voluntary Grievance Mediator for the Florida Bar. Steve, along with Gregg Page, founded the Firm in 1993.

Gregg Page is a trial lawyer who focuses his practice on helping individuals injured by the  wrongful acts of others, including special emphasis on traumatic brain injury cases and child advocacy. He enjoys primarily a word of mouth practice representing individuals referred by former clients and friends. Gregg is a trial lawyer who has personally achieved verdicts or settlements in excess of one million dollars. Two of Gregg’s most significant cases involved multi-million dollar results achieved for young children who suffered severe brain injury as a result of others wrongful conduct.

Selecting an Attorney Specializing in Construction Law

Beaches“Maybe you have never needed the services of an attorney before; but now you do. Obviously, you want a lawyer who is able to handle your particular legal situation, and who has expertise in the area of law relating to your legal needs.

To assist you in finding such a lawyer, the Supreme Court of Florida directed The Florida Bar to offer a "Board Certification" program for Florida Bar members. The program is designed to help the public make an informed decision when seeking and selecting a lawyer.

While all lawyers are allowed to advertise, only certified attorneys are allowed to identify themselves as "Florida Bar Board Certified" or as a "specialist." Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

A lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets the standards set by the Supreme Court of Florida, may become a "Board Certified Construction Lawyer."

Lawyers certified in construction law deal with matters relating to the design and construction of improvements on private and public projects including, but not limited to, construction dispute resolution, contract negotiation, preparation, award and administration, lobbying in governmental hearings, oversight and document review, construction scheduling analysis and delay claims, lending and insurance, construction licensing, and the analysis and litigation of problems arising out of the Florida Construction Lien Law, section 255.05, Florida Statutes, and the federal Miller Act, 40 U.S.C. _3131-3134.

Every board certified construction lawyer has practiced law on a full-time basis for at least five years and been substantially involved-40 percent or more-in the area of construction law during the three years preceding application.

Each certified lawyer must also have passed peer review, completed 45 hours of continuing legal education within the three years preceding application and passed a written examination demonstrating knowledge, skills and proficiency in the field of construction law to justify the representation of special competence.

Board certification is valid for five years, during which time the attorney must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. To be recertified, requirements similar to those for initial certification must be met. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra step to have their competence and experience recognized.

Brian W. Bennett is Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law and concentrates his practice in civil litigation with a special emphasis on commercial and construction disputes as well as complex torts. He has represented various participants in the construction process, including owners, general contractors, design professionals and major subcontractors. His work with the American Bar Association’s Construction Litigation Committee includes serving as past chair of the expert subcommittee and speaking at ABA meetings on construction law topics. In addition to representing clients in the general construction, theme park and manufacturing industries, Mr. Bennett serves as construction counsel to the largest casual dining chain in the United States.

 


 

One of our goals at Page & Eichenblatt is to share relevant, unbiased information regarding social justice issues in the news. During the last decade, much has been spoken and written about the alleged medical malpractice crisis. At times, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to separate fact from fiction. As a firm, we constantly search for meaningful information to help us understand these complex issues.

For decades, Forbes magazine has been a prominent voice of American business. Published biweekly, this periodical features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and other topics relating to big business. When Forbes magazine recently featured an editorial citing statistics and research proving that the alleged medical negligence crisis is a myth, we could not wait to share the research.

Although consumer justice attorneys have been citing the same or similar statistics for years in opposition to the powerful tort reform movement, our bias often weakens the message. Hopefully, as we present the same viewpoint from this historically pro-business perspective, it will shed light on the truth about the subject:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecohen/2015/03/02/on-tort-reform-its-time-to-declare-victory-and-withdraw/

 


Your Kids and The Power of Attorney – Client-Parent  Privilege

Do you remember as a kid the dreaded dinner questions like, “What  did you learn at school today?” or “Have you done your homework?”  Most likely, you mumbled,   “ I don’t know,”  or answered  by saying” nothing” or saying nothing (silence). When asked, I would do my best to shrink and maintain eye contact with my plate of spaghettios pretending to count the Os’.  The tactic never actually worked but my counting improved.

BeachesConvincing students to talk is always challenging but it’s an important mission as an adult who is trying to help. As lawyers, persuading clients to open up and engage is much easier when you explain the importance and sacred nature of the attorney/client privilege. Clients’ have to feel comfortable communicating with their lawyers for the relationship to work.  

So, we used that tactic with the high school students on Senior Day.

For the 9th consecutive year, Steve Eichenblatt, Catherine Marlowe, a local Prosecutor, Warren Lindsey, a criminal  defense attorney,  were invited to speak to high school students before graduation. Our goal is to engage in  open and honest discussions about real life issues they might be afraid to ask their parents and teachers.

In order to set the stage for quality conversation, we have learned it is best to kick the administrators and teachers out of the room. We ask  the students to  assume that they are temporarily   under the protection of the attorney-client privilege. Thus, they are free to ask anything they want, without repercussion. We set no limits or boundaries on the questions. We always start off by sharing some of our own personal experiences in overcoming mistakes or obstacles.

Instead of lecturing them, which tends to produce eye rolling, snoring, and smart phone pararlysis, , we do our best to create a safe place to answer and all legal questions on the students’ minds. Once they realize it is safe to open up and share, the discussion  turns to real life problems facing today’s students and complex hypotheticals.

BeachesThis year, we spoke to the Lake Highland Senior classes and the questions were endless.  Every area of college life was covered from the powers of the campus police to hazing to fake IDs to police stops. The minefields of Internet postings, Facebook, texting, sexting and the affect on future job and graduate school applications were big concerns.  When we ran out of time and questions were still pending, we knew we had  kept their attention.  Over the years, we usually get at least one or two calls from students who had heard our talk and wanted advice on how to solve their problem. Last year, we were invited to and spoke to a large  fraternity  at the Univeristy of Florda.

Getting your kids to understand its’ safe  to open up and share is a challenge we all face as parents. So, the next time you decide to ask those dinner questions,  try explaining that  you are invoking your own form of privileged  and confidential communication. Let them know that what they say will not be used against them in the court of parental law.

But get ready. It’s gonna get interesting.



5 Mistakes that Can Haunt You Forever and How to Prevent Them

As lawyers, there is nothing harder than walking into the home of a family who has lost a child in an accident. Over the years, we have helped families face unimaginable and indescribable tragedy. Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and the Florida sunshine can become your nightmare. Here are some reminders for all of us:

Hot Cars

Every year, we hear about a responsible parent, rushing to work, who somehow forgets their sleeping child tucked in his or her car seat. This tragic event usually involves an altered routine, or distraction. Even recently, a Florida couple, both lawyers, lost their child when she was left in a hot car by one of the parents. On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles. Even the best caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.

Although no one plans to get distracted or forget a child, summer schedules are often different. These altered routines coupled with the heat index presents a dangerous mix. To prevent disaster, always place an item in the backseat that you will need in your next location. This includes a purse, laptop, backpack, or wallet. Pets also should be protected from hot cars.

BeachesOpen Water Education

Don’t let your beach vacation or trip to one of our great water parks become the worst day of your life. Do not leave your children unattended when close to Florida waters. Small toddlers are attracted to water and tragedy will strike in an instant. We had a case involving a waterpark where parents thought “floaties’ would prevent their child from being pushed underwater. Their child sank and drowned before anyone even noticed he was gone.

Drowning takes seconds and each body of water has its’ own danger because of currents, depths, undertows , or unanticipated dangers. Teach children the difference between pool water and open water. Implement a buddy system so no one swims alone, and always keep rescue equipment and flotation devices near water. Beware rip currents which each summer steals the lives of both children and adults.

Driving while Intexticated

School is out so even more young drivers fill the roadways. It is estimated that 25 – 30% of car accidents involve cellphones. Just five seconds of distracted driving can increase your risk of a collision. This phenomenon has become known as “Driving while Intexticated,” because distraction can be as deadly as drunk driving. Talk to your teenagers about the dangers associated with texting, dialing, talking on the phone, and even reaching for a device. And if you know your child is driving, don’t text them. Resist the urge to text when you drive but if you insist, make sure your seatbelt is on, because you will eventually crash.

Boat Safety

We hear much about DUI’s and the accidents caused on the roadway. Just as bad is BUI or boating under the influence. Many of the accidents on our local lakes and rivers are alcohol related. Know the boat owners your kids may be wakeboarding or heading to the local picnic or party spot.

Also, while “floaties” and “noodles” are fun for children, they should never replace Coast Guard approved floatation devices while around open water. Flotation devices should fit snugly. Test your child’s life jacket by having them raise their arms in the air. The jacket should stay in place, and not move up to their chin or ears. Young children while on the water should wear lifejackets. Make sure whenever you are in someone’s boat, you double check that life jackets are accessible and usable

Hydration and Sunscreen

Children who weigh less than 90 pounds should drink 10 gulps of water for every 20 minutes of outdoor playtime to replace lost fluids. Adults and teenagers weighing over 130 pounds need 20 gulps for every 20 minutes of outdoor activity.

Sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Try to limit exposure to sun during the times of 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM.