The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Naples Legal Blog

Man arrested after fleeing fatal accident scene on foot

One might think that most everyone in Naples (even those that have not been involved in car accidents) would know what to do immediately after a collision. After ensuring everyone's safety, those involved should contact local law enforcement authorities (as well as first responders, if they are needed) and then proceed to exchange information. Even the driver responsible for causing the accident is expected to do this. It is understandable that one might not want to have to "face the music" in such a way, yet not doing so could compound whatever problems he or she might already be facing. 

A Hollywood man is having to learn this lesson the hard way after causing a fatal accident in Ft. Lauderdale. The man struck a disabled vehicle as it was being loaded on to a tow truck. In the process, a man who had come to assist the driver of the disabled car became pinned against the guardrail. He later died from injuries sustained during the collision. 

What factors could cause a pedestrian accident?

Pedestrian accidents are not uncommon events, and all too often, they have fatal outcomes. Thousands of individuals die in these incidents every year, and even more suffer severe injuries. You may have known someone who was involved in such an incident, and because you and your loved ones do walk to your destinations on occasion, you may worry about being involved in an accident yourself or hearing news of a loved one's death.

The manner in which a pedestrian accident occurs can have an impact on whether the injured party or a deceased victim's family could be entitled to compensation. Therefore, you may want to better understand the many factors that could contribute to these incidents.

Zero tolerance laws save lives

One-fourth of young drivers aged 15-20 who are killed in crashes have been drinking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Of those killed, 82 percent of them had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 or higher. The other side of that equation shows that nationwide, laws setting a minimum drinking age of 21 have helped save more than 30,000 lives since 1975.

FindLaw explains that, for drivers 21 and older, the legal BAC limit is 0.07 percent. Anything higher gets you a ticket for DUI. However, younger drivers face criminal charges for having a BAC of 0.02 or higher. Why so tough on young drivers? Because their alcohol-involvement rate is nearly double that of older drivers, and underage drinking at any level, even a tiny amount, increases the risk of fatal accidents.

What is the dangerous instrumentality doctrine?

Imagine getting into a car accident in Naples, in which you not only sustain injuries but also extensive damage to your vehicle. You then later find out that the driver had multiple drunk driving arrests on his or her record, and that he or she was driving with a suspended license. Your frustration over the results of your accident is probably then only matched by your confusion as to why someone would allow such an individual to drive a car. That confusion may prompt you to ask whether the person who permitted the driver to operate his or her vehicle can also be held responsible. Is this possible? 

Many states subscribe to the legal principle of negligent entrustment which holds automobile owners who lend their cars to reckless, incompetent or inexperienced drivers liable for the accidents they cause. Florida, however, does not. Yet the state does recognize the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, which assigns liability to owners of dangerous instruments who allow others to use them. Per Section 327.32 of the Florida state statutes, all vessels (including cars) are viewed as dangerous instruments over which their operators must exercise extreme caution. 

Dangerous products cause innocent consumers harm

When you buy a product at the store or purchase something to use in your home, you do so with the expectation that it is safe. Unfortunately, there can be issues with consumer products that can cause significant harm to you and your loved ones. Victims of dangerous consumer products are often unsure about their legal rights.

If your Florida family is suffering because of a dangerous consumer product, you have options. Whether it was a harmful medication, an incorrectly labeled food product or other item that caused pain and suffering, it is possible to pursue compensation. A product liability claim could be a valid option for you.

How can I ensure a safe graduation night?

Graduation season is here and that means graduation night celebrations for many teens in Naples and Collier County. For parents who think they are being responsible by hosting parties instead of having children celebrate elsewhere, you should know that you can be held responsible for what comes after the party—teen DUIs, accidents and injuries.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office warns parents that underage drinking that takes place on their property could result in criminal and civil penalties. Some ideas for parents to help teens stay safe after graduation include the following.

  • Speak to the parents of your teen’s friends. Let them know your expectations of your child and theirs. Ask them about their own expectations as well.
  • Make sure your teen understands the rules for graduation night, including how often to check in, curfews, where not to go and any other guidelines you have.
  • Ask for information. Know who is driving and where your teen and his or her friends are going to be.
  • Ensure your teen takes a cell phone along for emergencies. Make sure you have the numbers of his friends’ phones too.
  • Let your teen know you will wait up for him or her to get home.

How can you protect yourself as a medical malpractice victim?

When other parties cause you harm, you have the right to hold those parties accountable and seek appropriate compensation. However, you may feel unsure of your options or if you even have a case, especially if you believe you might be the victim of medical malpractice.

Victims of any type of medical malpractice have rights. As a Florida resident who experienced suffering because of the negligent or reckless actions of a medical professional, doctor, surgeon or hospital, it can be beneficial to take steps to protect your interests. It is smart to first seek a complete explanation of the options that might be available to you.

How drug charges get dropped

At the Caldarone Law Group, P.A., we have seen too many lives nearly ruined due to overzealous enforcers, manufactured charges or excessively harsh sentencing. It is no secret that Florida is tough on drugs, but we believe that there is a definite line between reducing crime and intentionally destroying someone's future prospects by bending the rules. 

One of the first things we do when one of our clients comes to us with a drug charge is to determine how we might persuade the prosecuting attorney to drop the charges. We often do this by showing the prosecution that it would not win in open court. If we are unable to convince the opposing attorney, there are many potential defense strategies that might result in the court dismissing accusations of drug possession, distribution or manufacturing:

Could medical marijuana help alleviate the opioid crisis?

The opioid crisis is hardly a new topic for most of the nation. After all, the epidemic has claimed thousands of lives in recent years. As Floridians continue to grapple with drug abuse and addiction, a new topic has reached the media spotlight: that of medical marijuana. Lawmakers have recently debated whether legal marijuana could help alleviate the opioid issue running current through the United States.

When it comes to addressing America's widespread prescription drug problem, the solutions can become complex. CBS News focused on this issue, turning to the discussion on medical marijuana and its potential to help put a stop to this crippling drug dependence. Empirically speaking, the states that have legalized marijuana have seen a decrease in opioid prescriptions. While this observation falls short of proving a cause and effect analysis, it does use the work of researchers to show a 14.5 percent decrease in opiate use after marijuana legalization. Roughly 20 states have yet to follow suit in legalizing this drug to some extent, but experts are hopeful that marijuana may become the next tool to help combat prescription drug addictions.

How does your breath relate to your BAC?

The legal requirement to submit to chemical breath tests as well as the accuracy of such tests (or lack of it) have been detailed on this blog in the past. All of this talk about measuring your breath might prompt a perfectly relevant question: Why measure your breath to determine if something is in your blood?

Alcohol follows a strange pathway when it enters your body. This pathway is described in detail by The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership. Because the particular form of alcohol used in drinks such as beer, wine and liquor (ethanol) is water-soluble, it can pass through the membranes of your stomach and small intestine through a process known as passive diffusion. This is how it enters into the bloodstream via capillaries and is transported throughout your body.

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