Prescription Meds and Driving: Are Patients Being Properly Warned and Informed?

We write about drunk driving often because it is such a serious issue in south Florida and all across the country. Reuters reported that “one in five drivers in a random survey had taken prescription drugs that could impair their driving ability, and most were on the road despite having been warned about the risks, a U.S. study found.”

These are not necessarily “narcotics” but could be normal medicines that people take for any number of routine or serious illnesses that may have dramatic side-effects and cause impairment to a driver’s ability to maneuver a motor vehicle.

“Among those who used sedatives or narcotics, 85% said they received a warning from their healthcare provider or the medication label about possible impairment. However, just 63% of drivers using antidepressants and 58% of those using stimulants reported receiving warnings about their risk.”

The study found that many patients did receive a warning, but chose to drive anyway. Others said they never received any warning. It’s very important to read the labels and accompanying instructions every time you pick up a prescription. Better, take a moment to discuss the medicine with your pharmacist. Pretty much every time you are checking out at the pharmacy, someone will ask you “do you have any questions?” Don’t rush off….say yes! And make sure you are 100% clear on what you are putting into your body.

There is more in the news about robots taking on more duties in pharmacies, and this is concerning because already patients don’t usually have the time to spend actually conversing with their local pharmacist.

Anyone can make a mistake, including physicians and pharmacists. If you feel that you have been harmed by a prescription drug that was prescribed or dispensed improperly, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages, pain, and suffering. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll discuss your situation confidentially.

How to Properly Wear a Seat Belt When Pregnant

If you’re a woman and you have been pregnant, or if you have lived with someone who is pregnant, you know that pregnant people have a tough time being comfortable. It’s hard for them to sit, stand, sleep, walk, or go to the bathroom. It’s just a fact that when you have a giant protrusion in your belly it’s going to be a pain.

Driving is especially difficult for pregnant people because it’s important to be situate in the right spot so your legs reach the pedals, but you don’t want the steering wheel jammed into your belly. Then you have the issue of the seat belt!

You never want to go anywhere in a car without your seat belt, not even around the block.

There are certain modifications you can make while wearing a seat belt. Some of these modifications include:

  • Make sure you always wear both the shoulder strap and the lap belt. Also, ensure that they both fit you properly.
  • Ensure that the shoulder strap is placed between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen. Make sure never to place the shoulder strap under your arm.
  • Buckle your lap belt under the belly and over the hip.

In general, it’s probably not a good idea for pregnant people to go on very long car trips. Stay close to home or take an airplane.

Car accidents can seriously harm both mother and baby.

Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, and when you are pregnant the crash can harm both you and your baby. Depending on how bad the crash and how serious your injuries are, a car accident can increase the risk of developing serious complications during pregnancy such as premature rupture of the membranes, preterm labor, placental abruption, miscarriage and even stillbirth. It is needless to mention that a car accident can cause more damage to a pregnant woman than it can to a normal person.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has represented victims of car accidents for over 20 years. We have seen unborn babies injured in crashes and it is tragic. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about an accident or about the best way to protect yourself and baby while driving. We can be reached at 954-356-0006.

South Florida Car Accident Attorney

Who is at Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident?

Who is at Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident? South Florida Car Accident Attorney

It’s long been (mostly) true that if you are struck by a car coming up behind you, it’s their fault. But what happens when there is a chain-reaction accident and you’re somewhere in the middle?

South Florida is known for its afternoon rain storms, and after a long, hot, sunny day when the rain hits the pavement it’s a slippery situation. Chain reaction accidents are common, and usually they’re just dented fenders and some scratches. Each driver will likely be able to have their own insurance company take care of the damage, and there is not a federal investigation.

But in the case of a serious multi-car accident where people are injured, looking into who is at fault may become necessary in order to properly compensate those with significant damage and injuries.

As a driver, you are not prepared or qualified to get the facts necessary, and it’s not something you want to get involved with. As qualified Florida accident and personal injury attorneys, this is what we do every day.

It’s not always the car who hit another car first that is at fault, and there are often extenuating circumstances. For example, there may be:

  • A driver who failed to use their brake lights or other signals.
  • A driver who was following too closely.
  • A driver who was speeding.
  • A driver who was texting or distracted behind the wheel, unable to react properly to the first crash.
  • The public agency that failed to install or maintain proper traffic signs.
  • The public agency that failed to clear the road of obstacles that caused drivers to abruptly stop.

All that said, there are also cases where no one can actually be blamed for the crash. An example is when the accident occurred because of bad weather or natural hazards on the road such as an ice patch. Another is when a driver inadvertently instigated the accident because they were losing consciousness at the wheel due to a medical condition. In cases like these, the liability may be reduced or eliminated altogether. Our job is to persist until we find the facts.

South Florida Car Accident Attorney

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been investigating very complex crashes for over 20 years. We understand the dynamics of crashes and we have expert accident investigators we work with who are capable of getting the facts.

Often a case may require an expert witness to testify as to how an accident occurred and who was at fault. We handle these details.

Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions about an accident and we’ll be happy to advise you on the best course of action.

Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Florida Car Accident Attorneys

Florida Car Accident AttorneysThe best way to save on car insurance in Florida might be to move!

The television commercials for one car insurance company say switch to them, and you’ll save money. That may or may not be true, but one recent study shows that auto insurance rates in Florida vary significantly based on where you live.

As you might guess, Miami-Dade County is the highest-priced county with an average annual cost of $2,457 which is 58% higher than the state average of $1546, which is ranked 6th highest nationally.

You can buy minimum insurance for less than these prices, but most people buy more coverage than that required by law.

The least expensive county in Florida for auto insurance is Alachua, where these five cities enjoy these low average rates:

Waldo — $1,169; 24 percent below average

Alachua — $1,171; 24 percent below average

Gainesville — $1,174; 24 percent below average

Earlton — $1,175; 24 percent below average

Newberry — $1,177; 24 percent below average

We recommend people purchase insurance that fits their needs and their budgets, but please understand that the minimum (PIP) insurance is very limited in what it will cover in case of an accident. For very serious accidents, you may be liable for very high damages if you are at fault.

Florida Car Accident Attorneys

If you’re involved in an accident and do not fully understand where you stand with regards to your insurance, please reach out and give us a call. We are always available to help. 954-356-0006

Fraud Hurts Us All

Dear Friends and Clients:

I wanted to take this opportunity to bring to your attention that recently, four local personal injury attorneys have been charged criminally for engaging in kickback schemes with tow truck drivers, tow yards and medical providers. Simply put, it is alleged that these attorneys were being paid cash for new cases, which is a clear violation of Florida’s criminal statutes. Even though the names and photos of these attorneys have been published by the Sun-Sentinel, I have decided not to name them out of respect for their families. Although these specific attorneys are innocent until proven guilty, those of us who do this for a living have known for years that these kickback schemes have been ongoing.

In fact, as a young attorney over 20 years ago, I met with a local chiropractor for lunch and he offered me $2,000 cash for each client that I referred to his clinic for treatment. Think about that for a moment. This was the first time I had met this chiropractor but he felt completely comfortable in soliciting me to commit a crime. Without hesitation, I rejected his offer and ended the lunch early. I know I will be accused of sounding self-righteous but I have always advocated that all ‘honest’ plaintiff’s attorneys have a duty to speak out when fraud is being committed. A fraud of this nature further tarnishes the reputation of injury attorneys and as we know, our reputations as a whole are already tarnished.

Other types of auto insurance fraud hurt consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums. Estimates vary greatly but the Coalition for Insurance Fraud puts the cost of fraudulent claims in the range of $80 billion dollars annually. While I think that is an inflated number presented by a group that is friendly to the insurance industry, once again, there is no denying that fraud exists and that it increases our insurance premiums. As I have always done, I am advising all clients and friends to report any incidences of attorney fraud. If you are in an accident and someone in a tow truck, tow yard or emergency room approaches you with an attorney referral, they may be engaging in a crime. If someone contacts you without your permission–either on your cell phone or home telephone line–and attempts to refer you to a lawyer, they are likely working with a lawyer who is aware of their actions. This constitutes a clear violation of the Florida Bar rules and may also be a crime.

Finally, choose your attorney wisely because it will likely mean the difference between a bad or good settlement amount. Those injury attorneys who illegally solicit patients often work on a high volume/low margin business model. They don’t care if they don’t obtain just compensation for you because they have so many cases that they earn a profit on turnover and sheer volume. Simply put, this means they will not fight for you on those cases where you deserve a higher settlement. I hope all of you have recovered from the recent storm. If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me at the office. (954) 356-0006.

Gary T. Lazarus, Esq.
1625 North Commerce Parkway
Weston, Florida 33326
(954) 356-0006
www.Lazaruslaw.us

Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage – Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Insurance! Thank goodness for insurance, many people have said when they experience a fire, flood, accident, or sickness. It is good to have insurance, but it can be expensive! And how do you know if you have enough? Or maybe you have too much? I remember the scene in “Groundhog Day” when Bill Murray buys every kind of insurance their is from his old classmate, including “optional death and dismemberment” coverage. One of those things you don’t want to think about.

Getting a handle on your insurance situation begins with understanding all the different coverage and policy options are, and we’re going to deal only with motor-vehicle-related insurance in this article. In the future we will provide some information for boats.

First, what is required? This is from the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:  “The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida. Florida law requires you to maintain PIP/PDL insurance continuously throughout the licensing and registration period.” More information here.

So, that being said, get it and keep it, as a minimum. Now, anything else beyond that, we cannot advise you about because we are not licensed insurance agents. We are accident attorneys. However, we can share a very interesting info-graphic from the Insurance Information Institute:

Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Find an insurance agent you can trust, someone who is recommended by a friend or family member. We live in an online world, but we suggest meeting with an agent in person, much the way we like to sit down and talk with our clients. It’s easier to ask questions and have complicated subjects explained. Buy the coverage that’s right for you.

If you are involved in an accident, and you have been injured, please reach out to us at 954-356-0006 and we will be happy to arrange a confidential consultation. You rights are our primary concern.

Florida Accident Attorneys

Is Your License Suspended? You Better Check – Auto Accident Attorneys

Most  law enforcement agencies in south Florida will place you under arrest and take you to jail if you are driving with a suspended or revokedFlorida Auto Accident Attorneys driver’s license. “Well, that certainly doesn’t apply to me,” you say. Really? Are you sure? There are many things that can pop up to cause a suspension, and you may not be aware of it.

We received a frantic call a few years ago from a friend who forgot to pay some tickets and his license was suspended. He went to jail! So what can you do if you’re just not sure if you’re in the clear or you have an issue? Go online!

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has a page on their website where you can check your license. All you have to do is click here and enter your DL number. If it shows as suspended, or if there are any other problems, you’ll want to resolve them immediately. For a general resolution page, click here.

We are not traffic ticket attorneys, but we like to provide information to help people stay safe and on the right side of the law. Our area involves people who been involved in accidents that resulted in serious injuries and/or damage to property. We have been helping victims receive compensation from negligent persons or entities for over 25 years and we have developed a track record for getting results. Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have been involved in an car, truck, motorcycle, or public transportation accident. W are here to help.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Getting Hit by an Uninsured Driver – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Florida ranks very high in some rather dubious categories related to safety on our roads and highways, including the face that we are the most dangerous state for motorcyclists. The Sunshine State is also ranked very high (#2) for the number of uninsured motorists. According to the Insurance Information Institute the worst 10 states for uninsured motorists are:

Oklahoma 25.9%
Florida 23.8%
Mississippi 22.9%
New Mexico 21.6%
Michigan 21.1%
Tennessee 20.1%
Alabama 19.6%
Rhode Island 17.1%
Colorado 16.2%
Washington 16.1

Unfortunately that means if you are hit by another motorist, there is a one-in-four chance it will be an uninsured motorist. So, what do you do?

First, one thing to be aware of is there are many motorists who will show “proof” of insurance in the form of an identification card or some other paper that refers to an outdated, expired, or terminated insurance policy. This happens quite often.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysIf there are any injuries at all or damage is more than minimal, you’ll want to call an experienced accident attorney. Verifying insurance coverage or lack of coverage is something an attorney can do properly. You may have someone tell you that if the other driver has no insurance, there is nothing you can do but that is absolutely not true. Many times there are other avenues and once again an attorney understands how to approach these situations.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Understanding the law and how to see that your rights are protected and you receive compensation for your injuries and damage is best handled by someone who has experience. The accident attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have dealt with hundreds of cases involving uninsured motorists and we know how to handle these cases. Please feel free to call us at 954-356-0006 and we will be happy to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

pharmacy errors

Do a Pharmacy Check-Up for Your Safety – Pharmacy Errors

Today’s pharmacies are busy places. Thousands of incoming orders and outgoing medications, it’s difficult to find data on what the exact volume is. But if you’ve been to your local pharmacy recently, you know it’s a lot.

Some states have proposed limiting the number of prescriptions that can be filled per pharmacist, but there is little control over that type of system. Reality is that most prescription orders are actually filled by the technicians and “verified” by the pharmacist. Most patients are at the mercy of “the system” which includes all your information being kept in a computer database, and this is where you can take steps to at least make sure they have accurate information.

It’s probably not a good idea to use more than one pharmacy for your medications. The reason is that pharmacy computer where you order your medications keeps a list of all your medications and this way they are able to check for the potential for adverse reactions. If you are frequenting pharmacies that data is probably not shared.

So, many health care specialists recommend you do a pharmacy check-up at least twice a year. This means setting aside some time to ask your pharmacist to verify the information in their computer system as accurate and up-to-date. You should always have a list of exactly what medications you are taking and what the dosage is. Verify all this with your pharmacist. When anything changes, let them know immediately.

If you stop taking a particular medication, you should notify your pharmacist so they can remove it as being a “current” medication. We are at the mercy of the system in many respects, so we have to work with it and do our best to make sure the information is accurate.

Every time you drop off your prescriptions:

• Tell your pharmacist all the medications and over-the-counter drugs you take – especially those vitamins and herbal remedies purchased at health food or grocery stores, nutrition or smoothie shops. Your pharmacist has references that identify potential drug interactions.
• Confirm that the computer has your current prescription benefit information, allergies and/or drug intolerances, and phone number.
• Find out how many refills you can get. Make sure that your physician has provided enough refills until your next visit. Prescriptions and refills are only valid for one year.

Each time you pick up your prescriptions:

• Confirm the drug is correct at the pharmacy counter. Compare the instructions given by your physician to the drug name on the pharmacy label.
• Open the bottle and look at the medications to confirm that the medications are imprinted with the correct drug name and strength. If there is no imprint, ask the pharmacist technician or the pharmacist to show you the bottle from which the medication was dispensed for comparison. Also learn what your medications look like if you take them over a period of time.
• Liquids usually have a unique scent. Learn to recognize your liquid medications by smell.
• Confirm the dosage is correct. Compare the instructions given by your physician to the instructions on the pharmacy label.
• Pediatric medications are at high risk for dosage errors. Most drugs’ dosages are based on weight. Confirm your child’s medication dose with your child’s doctor and/or pharmacist.

Every patient should try to play a role in the system by being inquisitive. Ask questions and verify everything. If you feel confused and don’t believe you can adequately do these things, ask for help. If a pharmacist or pharmacy tech won’t give you the time to properly explain things to you, ask the store manager. If you’re not satisfied, you may want to try a different pharmacy. And you can always ask your doctor for help, or the staff.

No system is perfect, but today’s prescription medication process is so stressed with high volume and multiple drugs that mistakes are common. Working with patients who are victims of pharmacy errors has been a special area of focus for our law practice for many years. It is a complex area and requires extensive knowledge of drugs and procedures used by physicians and pharmacies. If you believe you may have been made sick because of a pharmacy error, you should give us a call and tell us your circumstances. We are here to help. 954-356-0006.

Why You Should Consider Lazarus and Lazarus for Your Auto Accident Injury Case

You’ve been injured in an automobile accident in south Florida, or you’ve been hurt in some other incident where someone else may be at fault. What do you do?Personal Injury Attorney You’ll have questions about medical bills, insurance, and how to get help for your lost time from work. You’ll want to know your rights. Everyone tells you to call an attorney, and they are correct. But who?

Here are some staggering numbers: In 1980, Florida had 27,000 lawyers. Since 2000, five new law schools have opened in Florida and the number of lawyers in the state has increased from 60,900 to 96,511!

Fast Fact: If you spent 8 hours a day calling 96,511 lawyers and spent 10 minutes on each call, it would take 5 1/2 years to call them all.

So let’s narrow things down. You’ll want to have some criteria for choosing an attorney.

You’ll want someone who is in the area, who is experienced handling personal injury cases, and who has positive reviews from other clients. Even then, you will have a great number of attorneys to consider. We would like to tell you a little about our firm, and why we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your options. Some of the important things to consider when choosing a personal injury attorney:

Experience – Our firm was founded in 1992, and our practice has been focused on helping south Floridians who are injured since the start. We’re a small firm, and we only take cases when we know that we can really help. This is a family law firm, and you will meet with Gary or Arleen Lazarus, you will not be assigned an attorney fresh from law school who doesn’t have much experience.

Communication – We are with you every step. When you reach out for information about your case you will be treated with courtesy and respect and you’ll be told the exact status of your case. We don’t sugar-coat things, we tell you the truth. We don’t want to waste your time and drag things out.

Reputation – We have established a sterling reputation for protecting the rights of our clients, and delivering on the commitments we make to them. We work hard to deliver the maximum amount of compensation for damage, injuries, pain, and suffering. Our reviews across all sources are superior. including AVVO, the most trusted source for attorney recommendations and information.

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions, and thank you.