08Mar 2019

National Patient Safety Awareness Week

Nearly everyone will need healthcare at some point. Being a patient means putting your trust in someone else. While most Americans have had positive experiences with healthcare providers, 21 percent of adults report having personally experienced medical error, according to a national survey released in 2017 by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). Medical mistakes can often have lasting impacts on a patient’s physical health, financial well-being or family relationships. Some studies suggest that medical error may cause as many as 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

Medical errors and safety lapses can happen in many forms:

  • Diagnosis: National Academy of Medicine estimates suggest that 5 percent of U.S. adults who seek outpatient care experience a diagnostic error.
  • Infection: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that 1 in 31 hospitalized patients will contract an infection there.
  • Medication errors and adverse events: These are the most common errors in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

In recognition of patient safety issues, IHI and NPSF have created National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 10-16 to focus on a culture of safety and patient engagement.

While most will receive medical treatment without errors, mistakes can be made. Patients have a responsibility to take part in their care. The following are ways to be proactive and help reduce the possibility of healthcare errors.

  • Share your health history with your caregiver. This includes medication, operations or allergies. The more your caregiver knows, the more successful your care plan and recovery will be.
  • Be your own advocate or ask someone you trust to be one for you. Know all the who, what, when, where and why about your care and treatment. Expect everyone involved in your care to introduce themselves by name, and to wear an identification badge.
  • Make sure to tell your healthcare professional if you think he or she has you confused with another patient, if you think you are about to receive the wrong medication or if something doesn’t seem right. Don’t assume anything.
  • Ask your doctor about the specialized training and experience that qualify him or her to treat your illness. Medical terminology can be confusing; make sure you understand the words used by your caregivers.
  • Be sure to ask any questions you may have before signing any forms. Write down important facts your doctor tells you.
  • Help reduce the risk of infection.Remind caregivers and everyone around you to wash their hands before they care for you. Wash your own hands and keep any wounds clean and dry.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or wrongful death due to healthcare safety errors, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. The attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. are board certified by the Florida Bar. Areas of practice include personal injury and accidents, fall and premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice.

25Jun 2018

Product Liability and Toy Injuries

Child toy choking hazard warning and adviceWhile the enjoyment of receiving the newest gadgets, toys and accessories is a wondrous time during the holidays, sometimes the latest inventions don’t always hold up to standards. Each year thousands of children are taken to the emergency room due to toy-related injuries. According to the U.S. Product Safety Commission (UPSC), in 2016, there were an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Injuries treated were classified as abrasions, contusions or lacerations, and nearly forty-five percent of these injuries were to the head and face area. While toys are supposed to be fun and educational, accidents and injuries do happen.

Most children’s items and toys are labeled with age-appropriate guidelines. However, although the toys may be age appropriate for your child, when caring for young children, adult supervision is always a must. Young children need to learn how to use new toys properly and without guidance and supervision, injuries may occur.

Product Defects and Product Liability

Although there are many injuries young children may be at risk of sustaining from toys which are a result from improper use or poor supervision, not all toy-related injuries are solely due to these reasons alone. At times, toys or other products may have flaws or defective parts. Defective toys or products are the cause of thousands of injuries each year and the U.S. Product Liability Law is in place to protect an injured person. Product defects can fall under three different categories which are:

  • Manufacturing Defects – Defects which are caused by assembly error.
  • Design Defects – Defects due to an error in the original designing of the product.
  • Marketing Defects – Defects or flaws in the marketing of the product (safety warning, insufficient directions).

Seek legal help if your child is hurt by defective toysProduct Liability Attorney

If your child has been involved in a toy-related injury due to a defective product, it is important to seek advice from attorneys experienced with personal injury and product liability cases. Product liability laws differ from ordinary injury laws and there are many factors involved in cases of toy-related injuries. The attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz are very experienced in personal injury cases and we are here to represent you. Call us today for a consultation.

25Jun 2018

School Bus Accidents & Safety Tips

school bus crashes cause serious injuryWith the 2017-2018 school year in full swing, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding all motorists to be alert while on the roadways, as they will be shared with school buses filled with children. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 18 school aged children die each year in school transportation-related crashes, with an average of six of those children being school transportation vehicle occupants.

Recent School Bus Accidents

August 2017, Jefferson County Missouri – A school bus from Fox C-6 School District was involved in an accident. The school bus was occupied and fortunately, no one on the bus appeared to be hurt. There are no reports on the cause of the accident.

August 2017, Calumet Township Indiana – A school bus was struck after the driver of a Honda Civic allegedly disregarded stopping at a stop sign and struck the school bus. The school bus was occupied by 3 students and 2 school employees. Luckily none of these occupants were injured, however, the driver of the Honda Civic had two passengers in the vehicle. One passenger, a 6-year-old child, died from blunt force trauma injuries resulting from the crash, the other, also a juvenile, was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle was allegedly found to be driving on a suspended license and investigations show that alcohol, traffic offenses, and speed contributed to the crash.
school bus crash injures kids and drivers

Share the Road with School Buses

Hearing of an accident involving a school bus is frightening for any parent of school-aged children. Studies show that school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. School buses are big, bright yellow and are designed for safety. However, even with these safety features in place, accidents involving school buses still occur. Learning how to share the roads with school buses can help to reduce the number of crashes involving school transportation vehicles.


Here are a few tips on Sharing the Road with School Buses:

  • Always be alert around school buses, children are often unpredictable
  • All traffic must stop if the stop arm is extended and the yellow or red lights on the bus are flashing
  • When stopping for a bus, always allow enough space for children to enter and exit the bus safely
  • Never pass a bus from behind when it is stopped to load or unload children

If you need an attorney because you or your child were hurt in a school bus accident

Any motor vehicle accident is tragic, but when accidents involve school buses and children, no words can describe how these crashes affect the families and communities of all involved. If someone you know has been the victim of a school bus accident, the attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz are here to fight for you. We have over 50 years of experience with personal injury cases involving motor vehicle crashes. We have six offices to serve you. Our locations are in Fort Myers (2 offices to serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte. Call us to set up your appointment for a free consultation.

23Jun 2018

4th of July Drunk Driving Accidents in Southwest Florida

DUI Crash on I-75 could have caused serious injuries to passengerAs you make your plans for the upcoming 4th of July holiday celebrations, make sure that your plans include a safe ride home, especially if your plans include consuming alcoholic beverages.  When celebrating Independence Day many Americans enjoy celebrating the occasion with fireworks, barbeques and alcoholic drinks.  Though this may sound like a fun, exciting gathering, it can turn into a life-altering day for you or others if drunk driving should occur.

The Fourth of July ranks high on the list for the Deadliest Holiday Weekends.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Marketing, during the 2015 Fourth of July holiday, which is considered to be from 6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6, there were 146 fatalities from crashes involving at least one impaired driver with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC of .08 or higher.  During this same time frame, 92 people died in vehicle accidents which involved an impaired driver with a BAC of .15 or higher which is nearly twice the legal limit.

Impaired driving can have very serious ramifications for those involved.  While no one plans for an accident to happen, car crashes do occur.  Being a responsible citizen and planning ahead can help to prevent some accidents due to drunk driving.

rear end suv collision in FloridaPrevent Drunk Driving on Southwest Florida roads

Careful planning can help to prevent drunk driving fatalities.  Some things to remember when planning your holiday celebration:

  • Make sure that everyone has made arrangements for a safe way home if they are planning to consume alcohol.
  • Have a relative or friend pledge to be the designated driver for the evening.
  • Before drinking make sure your designated driver will stay sober and give them your keys.
  • Call a taxi or other ride share programs such as Uber of Lyft.
  • If you are the designated driver, don’t text and drive, stay alert and abide by the speed limits.
  • Buckle up and make sure all occupants in the vehicle are using safety restraints.
  • If you encounter a drunk driver do not attempt to stop them, keep your distance and don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.

Contact Our Experienced Staff to Help you with DUI Questions

If you have been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz.  There are many factors involved in a DUI case and our attorneys have extensive knowledge with these types of cases.  We have six offices in Southwest Florida.  Our offices are conveniently located in Fort Myers (two offices to serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh and Port CharlotteCall us today to schedule your appointment for a free consultation.