30Aug 2019

As part of ongoing support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and DUI prevention, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz was honored to provide the briefing dinner for Saturation Saturday Aug. 24, an event organized by MADD Southwest Florida that included the Cape Coral Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Fort Myers Police Department and the Sanibel Police Department.

The operation was a saturation patrol, focusing on identifying and taking impaired drivers off the road as well as targeting areas with traffic issues that cause crashes.

#SaturationSaturday Aug. 24 resulted in statewide DUI prevention activities by more than 60 law enforcement agencies. Launched by MADD, the first Saturation Saturday was held in Missouri in 2016 as a night of increased law enforcement patrols and sobriety checkpoints designed to reduce incidents of drunk or drugged driving. It coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which runs from Aug. 14 through Sept. 2.

One of the cornerstones of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is increased, high-visibility law enforcement to both catch drunk drivers and to deter others by sending a strong message that if you drive drunk, you will get caught.

In addition to supporting sobriety checkpoints throughout the year, the firm is presenting sponsor for Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Walk Like MADD 5K walk and run that raises money to ensure no one in our community suffers from the impacts of impaired drivers.

Walk like MADD will be at JetBlue Park at Fenway South Sept. 28. CLICK HERE for information or to sign up to participate.

02Aug 2019

WLM-New-Logo_2016_RegTrademark_FULL-COLOR-01Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz are community leaders in reducing the risk of injuries from drunk drivers.

For two years, the firm has been a presenting sponsor for Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Walk Like MADD 5k walk and run that raises money to ensure no one in our community suffers from the impacts of impaired drivers.

Funds raised through Walk Like MADD events across the country have saved 350,000 lives and served 820,000 victims. The Southwest Florida event planned for Sept. 28 hopes to raise $60,000.

“Having committed community and event partners like Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz, brings us closer to a community of No More Victims of drunk, drugged and impaired driving,” said Lori Burke, executive director of the MADD Southwest Florida Office.

Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz staff and attorneys see the impact of drunk driving through the clients they represent, reinforcing their advocacy for MADD.

Firm partners Christopher and Andrea Smith are passionate personal supporters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), with Chris leading the firm’s team fundraising efforts for the walk. Both Chris and Andrea have lost family members to drunken drivers. In fact, Chris was named after a family member who was killed by a drunken driver.

In addition, attorneys from the firm have been active in supporting area multi-jurisdiction DUI checkpoints, most recently providing food for the law enforcement officers.

“Sponsoring the briefing dinner at the checkpoint demonstrates to the officers that the law firm and the community supports them in their dedication to make our community safer for all residents and visitors,” Burke said.

Nationally on average, two out of three people will be impacted by drunk driving in their lifetime. Every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash and every day 28 people are killed by drunk driving.

Walk like MADD will be at JetBlue Park at Fenway South Sept. 28. For information or to sign up to participate: https://www.walklikemadd.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=943.

To support the Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz team: https://www.walklikemadd.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=15138

09Jul 2019

Maybe your parents took you to an empty parking lot to teach you how to drive as a teenager. That may be one of the safest parking lot experiences you will have.

With slow moving vehicles, one would think parking lots are safer than roads. But one of every five motor vehicle accidents and 14% of all claims of auto damage happen in parking lots.

Non-residential parking facilities are used by 175 million people every day, and it seems that most drivers are not paying attention. A National Safety Council Public Opinion Poll found that 66% of drivers said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots, 63% would program GPS systems, 56% would text, 53% would use social media, 50% would send or receive emails, 49% would take photos or watch videos.

In a single year, 99 people were killed and 2,000 injured when they were hit by cars backing out of parking spots, and 106 fatalities and 5,000 injuries were caused from cars moving forward. Five deaths were caused by pedestrians struck by driverless cars! Of children ages 5 to 9 who died in traffic crashes, 22% were pedestrians. Most deaths occurred because drivers failed to see kids while backing up.

Parking lot injuries can be extensive and include medical bills, lost wages and even disability. Victims hit by a careless or distracted motorist are entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Not all parking lot injuries are caused by vehicles. Slip and fall accidents are also common in parking lots. While Florida doesn’t have the hazards caused by snow and ice, inadequate striping, potholes or cracks, lack of signage, debris, poor lighting and puddles can also lead to injuries.

In addition, more than 400,000 violent crimes are committed in parking lots or garages each year, including rape, robbery and aggravated assault.  The law in Florida requires that owners of parking lots have appropriate security in place.  If they do not, they can be found liable for people injured in their lots in violent crimes.

An owner of a parking lot can be found liable for injuries caused by the following:

  • Lack of designated walkways for handicapped and other people
  • Poorly designed structures with bad traffic flow
  • Inadequate signals or markings
  • Inadequate security and lighting
  • Uneven surfaces and potholes
  • Blind spots that block drivers’ vision
  • Improperly marked handicapped zones
  • Oil spills or runoff from poor drainage

What can you do to help ensure compensation for your injuries caused in a parking lot or a garage?

  • As soon as you can, take photos and videos of the dangerous condition that caused your injury. If you don’t have a measuring tape, use any other object to help show the depth and diameter of a hole or condition that cause your fall. Take as many pictures as possible, from a variety of angles.
  • If someone saw you fall and you are able, ask for their name and contact information and a description of what they saw. Ask them to sign and date the statement. If they are willing, use your cell phone to video an eyewitness account.
  • Criminal activity must be immediately reported to police. Always call 911 to notify law enforcement of robbery or assault.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a parking lot accident and have sustained injuries or death, it is important to seek advice from attorneys experienced with personal injury cases. The attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz have over 50 years of experience with personal injury cases and we are here to represent you. We have six locations in Southwest Florida. Our offices are conveniently located in Fort Myers (2 to serve you), NaplesCape CoralLehigh Acres and Port Charlotte. Contact the office nearest you and set up your appointment for a free consultation today.

28Jun 2019

Emily’s DonationLegal Assistant Emily Miller made good use of a spare office recently as she collected items for donation to homeless veterans through the Cape Coral office of U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Through coupons, in a couple months, she was able to collect $4,300 worth of food, self-care and other products. Miller, who has been with the firm for 10 years, started couponing for herself about two years ago. She became so good at couponing, she began sharing excess deals with friends. “It starts to accumulate over time,” she said, so she decided to collect items the homeless might need. “You can get things for pennies on the dollar. It does get time consuming with the planning and driving. My biggest investment is time.” The only drawback? With a sleeve full of coupons, she’s that person slowing down the grocery line. “They can heckle me all they want. I’m helping people.” Want to help? Contact Frank Jones, 239-652-1800, ext. 20551 or http://www.leegov.com/dhs/veterans.