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Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett | Legal Blog

Apr  20,  2015
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Personal injury attorney Jennifer Burns, of Tampa Bay's leading injury law firm of Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett P.A., cautions Tampa Bay sports enthusiasts that failure to wear protective gear while skateboarding can lead to serious injury, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and even death.

The February 1, 2015 death of St. Petersburg, Florida teen Austin Demauro, resulting from a dangerous skateboarding game known as “skitching”, is a stark reminder that skateboarding is a hazardous sport that can yield deadly results if not approached cautiously. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Demauro was not wearing a helmet when he latched onto the back of a friend’s moving car while riding his skateboard. After losing control of the skateboard, Demauro fell and hit his head on the pavement, dying from his injuries. 

According the National Safety Counsel, more than 78,000 people sought care in emergency rooms in 2011 alone, as a result of skateboarding injuries. More than half of the injured skateboarders were under the age of 15.  Skateboardsafety.org indicates that skateboarding injuries often occur when the skateboarder loses balance, and usually involve the wrist, ankle or face. 

Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, recommends several measures skateboarders should take to protect themselves against injury and death, including wearing a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and a mouth guard; riding on smooth, dry surfaces located in a well-lit area away from traffic; checking skateboards for problems before each use; and crouching down when losing balance to minimize the impact of a fall.

Attorney Jennifer Burns reminds sports enthusiasts that, “Skateboarding can be a fun way to burn calories while increasing balance and coordination. While the sport is not without risk, injuries can be avoided or minimized by following the advice of leading safety organizations, especially the recommendation to wear a helmet 100% of the time.”

Attorney Jennifer Burns helps skateboarders, bikers and other sports enthusiasts who are injured as a result of another person’s negligence to evaluate the merits of their case and develop an effective strategy for pursuing compensation under Florida’s personal injury laws. 

This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


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Posted in Personal Injury|News and Media
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Apr  20,  2015
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Prominent accident attorney Edward D. Carlson, of Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, P.A. warns Tampa Bay bicyclists and pedestrians of the dangers looming on Florida roads for those who are not vigilant about their safety.

The State of Florida recognizes Florida Bicycle Month in March, a time to shine a spotlight on the significant role bicycling plays in the lives of nearly 25 million Florida residents and tourists.

Florida Bicycle Month is the perfect time to focus on a continuing problem in the state – the high incidence of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities on Florida roads and highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 122 bicyclists were killed in Florida in 2012. In the same year, there were 476 pedestrian fatalities in the state. Smart Growth America, an advocacy organization for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods, reports that Florida’s overall Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) is 168.65, which places it first nationally as the most dangerous state for pedestrians.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) blames bicyclists’ failure to wear helmets and alcohol impairment as major contributing factors in bicyclist deaths.Alcohol impairment is also a leading cause of pedestrian fatalities, according to the GHSA.

Personal injury attorney Edward Carlson, of premier Tampa Bay personal injury law firm Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, warns Florida pedestrians and bicyclists to, “avoid injury or death by making smart choices and following the laws intended to protect them, such as paying attention to traffic, putting down their smart phones and taking off headphones when navigating busy streets; cross the road at crosswalks only, wear bright or reflective clothing at night, walk on sidewalks, and bicycle in bike lanes or on the paved shoulder.” Carlson also advocates the use of helmets while biking and refraining from drinking or using drugs while bicycling or walking on Florida roads.

Attorney Edward Carlson assists pedestrians and bicyclists who have been injured due to the negligence of another person by evaluating the specific circumstances of their case, determining potential damages and pursuing maximum compensation under Florida’s personal injury laws.

This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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Apr  20,  2015
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Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett’s Kevin Hayslett says remaining silent at DUI checkpoints is a strategy that just might keep Florida drivers out of jail and preserve their driving privileges.

The Washington Post’s recent report of a Boca Raton attorney’s approach to helping drivers avoiding DUI arrests at checkpoints – by remaining silent and directing police to a plastic bag containing their driver’s license, automobile registration, proof of insurance and a “fair DUI flyer” – is generating buzz and controversy among DUI defense attorneys and the public at large.

According to the Washington Post’s February 10, 2015 article, the “fair DUI flyer” informs police to place any DUI ticket under the automobile’s windshield wiper and states that Florida drivers at DUI checkpoints are only required to show law enforcement officers the documents in the plastic bag, not to physically hand the information over to the officers.

Debates over the legality of this novel approach are rampant, with law enforcement officials pointing to the 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, as authority for their right to conduct DUI checkpoints, according to the Washington Post. Advocacy organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) believe that sobriety checkpoints are one of the most effective DUI enforcement tools, reducing fatalities by 20 percent. According to MADD, there were 40,677 DUI arrests in Florida in 2014 and 676 drunk driving fatalities

High-profile Clearwater DUI defense attorney and "The Attorney to the Stars", Kevin Hayslett, of Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, stated that, “The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida are severe and a DUI charge can have serious and wide-ranging consequences. While it is debatable how a court will ultimately rule on this clever strategy, if remaining silent can help drivers avoid taking a field sobriety test and Breathalyzer test it is a worthwhile approach to dealing with DUI checkpoints.”

Attorney Hayslett helps drivers charged with DUI evaluate their case and develop an effective defense strategy to preserve their rights, keep their record clean, and prevent them from losing their freedom and license to drive.

This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


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Posted in Criminal Defense|News and Media|DUI
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Apr  20,  2015
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Veteran Clearwater criminal defense attorney Paul A. Meissner continues to bring leadership, excellence and dedication to the field of criminal law, benchmarking more than three decades after his release of the Florida Law Enforcement Manual. The manual provides comprehensive coverage of Florida statutes, rules of law, case law and evidence issues for law enforcement officers. The Manual is available for purchase on Amazon.

With more than 40 years of service in the legal profession, including 24 years as a Florida Bar Board Certified specialist in criminal law, Meissner is well-suited to assist clients charged with a crime understand court procedures and terminology and he is a zealous negotiator with prosecutors, mitigating the criminal charges and penalties clients face. Attorney Meissner is skilled in handling even the most challenging criminal cases, developing strategic criminal defense solutions that are uniquely suited to each client's circumstances.

Law enforcement officers continue to rely on attorney Meissner for his expertise in such issues as probable cause for police searches, Miranda Rights, search warrants and much more. The “Frequently Asked Questions” link on the Carlson Meissner website contains a wealth of information pertaining to criminal law and procedure that is beneficial to officers and clients alike.

Meissner is distinguished as an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®, admitted to practice law in Florida and Colorado. He is a member of the Clearwater Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Association for Justice. Attorney Meissner has served as an adjunct professor at the Stetson College of Law and an instructor at St. Petersburg College for many years.

For more information about Clearwater attorney Paul A. Meissner or Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., visit http://www.CarlsonMeissner.com

Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, P.A., a Criminal Defense firm with offices in Tampa, Bradenton, Clearwater, New Port Richey and Spring Hill, are experienced attorneys skilled at defending clients in all criminal matters. The firm's main office is located at 250 N. Belcher Rd., Suite 102, Clearwater, Florida and may be contacted at (877) 728-9653. Additional information about Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, P.A and Paul A. Meissner, may be obtained from the firm’s website at http://www.carlsonmeissner.com.


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