When the weather heats up, Floridians hit the water to cool down and spend quality time with family. Whether you prefer the ocean, freshwater lakes, springs or rivers – Florida has an abundant supply for a splish-splash of a good time. With the summer season in high swing, we’ve got tons of long hours of sun-filled days ahead of us. It’s the perfect time to pick your favorite body of water and set out for a day on the boat.
However, boating in Florida can also present hazards that end in personal injuries, as well as violations of boating regulations that could have legal consequences – all of which ruins a good time out on the water. Patton Law, P.A. wants to help you prepare for summer fun and avoid unnecessary dangers, so part two of our summer safety tips series has some helpful hints on how to keep yourself safe from boating hazards and not risk legal ramifications.
1.Education is Key! Take a Boater Safety Course
Many first-time boaters take for granted how serious it is to operate a boat, and how quickly dangers can pop up. It’s so serious that Florida now requires anyone operating a boat, with a motor of 10 or more horsepower and who was born after January 1, 1988, to take a state-approved boating safety course and hold a valid Boating Safety Education ID Card. Even if you miss the age requirement, it’s a great idea to take the course anyway so that you operate safely out on the water.
2.Equip Your Vessel
Florida also requires that boaters have at a minimum a standard supply of safety equipment on board and in good working order. The list for most recreational boats includes but is not limited to, personal flotation devices (one for each person on the boat at any given time and they must be US Coast Guard/USCG approved), a working USCG-approved fire extinguisher, some sort of device to make noise so that other vessels who may not see you at first will hear you (a horn or loud whistle), adequate lighting, and more. For a complete list, click here.
Most boating accidents happen because the driver of the boat simply isn’t paying attention. Just like texting while driving a vehicle is a bad idea, texting and operating a boat is a terrible idea that leads to accidents. Make sure that you secure items in your boat before taking off, and also ensure that all passengers are safely seated. These precautions can eliminate unnecessary distractions for boat drivers.
4.Refrain from Alcohol
While it’s not illegal to have open containers of alcohol on a boat while you’re using it, it is against the law for the operator of the boat to have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. Since alcohol is one of the leading causes of boating accidents and even fatal injuries, it is not taken lightly if you are found operating a boat while under the influence. If you are caught, it can mean heavy fines and even jail time. Even worse, it could end in a serious injury. If you do get charged with boating under the influence, Patton Law is here to help – contact us for more information.
5.Be Courteous & Exercise Good Judgement
Boaters are typically courteous folks looking to have a great day on the water. Be kind and polite – look out for fellow boaters’ interests and follow all posted regulations. This may seem simple, but it’s often that following the easy reminders saves us a world of trouble.
If you have a legal concern regarding a boating incident or accident, Patton Law, P.A. is here to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Please give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your legal needs. We are conveniently located in South Lakeland, a short drive from Winter Haven, Bartow or Tampa.
We hope your summer 2018 is one to remember – not because of a boating incident, but because you had such an amazing time enjoying the great outdoors. From all of us at Patton Law, P.A., be safe and have a great summer!
Contact Patton Law, P.A. to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
Summertime in Florida means fun outdoor activities for the whole family from sun up to lights out. With the kids out of school, there are a myriad of opportunities for families to get together and have a good time.
At Patton Law, P.A., we love our community and want your 2018 summer to be the best ever – filled with tons of sunny days at the beach, on the water, or out and about enjoying your favorite hobby. However, when it comes to the summer fun, injuries can happen at a moment’s notice. Attorney Adam Patton firmly believes that it’s important to be aware of the dangers and get prepared for summer in order to avoid unnecessary issues that can ruin a good time.
To help you prepare for a safe summer, here are Patton Law’s top safety tips for tons of fun-in-the-sun!
1.Protect Yourself from Harmful UV Rays
The Summer Sun is intense in the Sunshine State, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy endless hours outdoors. Remember to slather on the sunscreen and re-apply frequently as instructed on the bottle. You can also think ahead and add that extra layer by wearing protective clothing. Just throw on your favorite hat, long-sleeve t-shirt, or bathing suit cover-up for additional protection. And, don’t forget to rock your favorite shades – sunglasses protect your eyes and help you see clearer.
2.Beat the Heat
The heat of Summer can create some serious health issues if you’re not prepared. One of the biggest mistakes folks make is not drinking enough water. Patton Law’s recommendation? Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! Water is essential, especially for children, so keep nice and cool water bottles nearby and make sure your loved ones are regularly taking a break from play to drink a little H2O. Another hot topic to remember is: never leave a child or pet in a hot vehicle. It doesn’t take long for the heat to rise, which can end in a serious injury or worse.
3.Enjoy the Water
Florida is surrounded by water and offers adventurous activities for all water bugs. To keep the good times rolling, Patton Law advises that you and your loved ones know how to swim like a fish! It’s vital to teach your kids to swim at an early age in order to avoid unfortunate drownings. Summer swimming lessons are easy to find and it’s a fun activity for all involved.
4.Parental Supervision is Advised
Keep a watchful eye on your loved ones at all times when you’re enjoying a day on the water or by the pool. Never leave a child unattended by a body of water. Proper adult supervision can mean the difference in having an amazing day with the family or suffering a horrible loss.
5.Explore with Caution
Summer is the perfect time to discover Florida’s lakes, rivers, springs and oceans, but always know your environment and put safety first. Wherever you go, pay attention to signage alerting you to dangers. Be on the lookout for wildlife and information on currents or other dangers that nature presents.
Patton Law, P.A. is here to help with any legal questions or concerns you may have. Please give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your legal needs. We are conveniently located in South Lakeland, a short drive from Winter Haven, Bartow or Tampa.
Best wishes for a great summer with your loved ones!
Contact Patton Law, P.A. to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation.
If you’re like most folks, you didn’t grow up with a “silver spoon” and you had to work for everything you have achieved in life. Working hard, building your life and your estate, and watching your family grow and flourish are all part of the challenges that give life meaning. Protecting these assets, especially your most precious valuables – your loved ones – grows ever more important the older you get. Since providing for them has been a focus for your life, you want to ensure that they are well cared for in the event you are no longer able to care for them.
These are the concerns that parents and grandparents face as they take in the grand nature of life, the beauty of the families they’ve built, and the desire to leave a lasting legacy for them. However, for most, they often don’t consider finding a family attorney they can turn to in order to help them plan for whatever the future brings. Many consider this as a concept that is only available for the elite. This is not so when it comes to Patton Law, P.A.
A Family Attorney Fighting for You
Attorney Adam Patton is a family man at heart. He understands what it means to cherish your loved ones and the desire to take care of them long after you’re gone. Like you, Adam wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth – he’s worked hard for all that he has in life. He applies this same work ethic and understanding to helping clients plan for their futures.
Adam prides himself on being a real attorney fighting for real people. As such, he developed his law practice to help regular people who have worked hard to build the lives they want. He can serve as your family attorney, available to assist with any legal concern that comes your way.
Help with Basic Estate Planning and Wills
At a minimum, family heads should give serious consideration to legal help with basic estate planning and wills. Adam and his team of legal professionals offer services you can trust for protecting your assets and the future stability of your loved ones. His team will walk you through the process and ensure that you understand the choices in front of you and that all documents are prepared accurately. He will stand by you and your family as your attorney fighting for you.
If you are interested in obtaining a family lawyer to assist you with your legal concerns, contact the Lakeland office of Patton Law today. We offer a complimentary consultation with lawyer Adam Patton to discuss your legal needs.
To schedule your free initial meeting with Patton Law, P.A., please call 863-225-3550 or email email@example.com.
You’ve seen their billboards. You’ve heard their radio ads. You even know their slogans by heart. The question is, are these valid reasons to choose an attorney to represent you in an important legal matter? The short answer: no. Just because our highways, radio stations and digital media are inundated with the advertising and marketing of the big-name lawyers in town, doesn’t mean they are actually going to fight for you and what’s in your best interests.
Lakeland attorney Adam Patton believes that all of his clients deserve a lawyer with unshakable values to represent them with integrity, intelligence and ingenuity. These principles guide his approach to the practice of law, and stem from deep beliefs and a desire to promote positive change within his community and for his family.
Adam chose to pursue a legal career while participating in a high school internship where he found a mentor in an attorney from Idaho, Mike Sasser. Mike impressed Adam in many ways – he was a family man through and through with strong values, but he was also a powerful attorney. Adam witnessed the positive impact that Mike had on his community and the potential for a good lawyer to make a difference. According to Adam, Mike was able to “move mountains with his pen.”
Adam wanted to do just that – make the world a better place by becoming an attorney with the ability to move legal “mountains” for people and communities. He understood from a young age that to be a real attorney requires more than just a law degree. While it is a powerful field, that power must be tempered with solid principles.
Thus, integrity is at the core of Adam’s practice. He defined it as, “doing what is right no matter what – even when no one is watching.” This belief has led Adam to look for ways to use his business to better the Lakeland community. He said that the best way to do this is to “get involved and be someone who cares about people.”
Most recently, Adam got involved by purchasing new uniforms for Kathleen High School’s Girls’ Soccer Team. “It wasn’t a huge investment, but it made the kids feel like someone cared to invest in them,” said Adam. Patton Law has also sponsored a scholarship program for students from George Jenkins and Kathleen who want to pursue a legal career.
Another principle that is paramount to Adam’s success as a lawyer is intelligence. Adam said that this “means more than just attaining knowledge. Intelligence involves the application of knowledge and experience – perhaps better described as wisdom.” He uses the wisdom he has acquired over the years to provide intelligent arguments in behalf of his clients.
The final guiding principle of Patton Law is ingenuity. For Adam, this means going outside his normal realm of operations in order to “try something different if it’s in the best interests of the client.” This includes the use of technology within his practice. Patton Law offers a client portal for easy access to important documents and the latest updates on their cases. Clients can access their case information with the assurance that this technology is secure and their case details are safe.
When it comes to choosing an attorney for a legal issue in Polk County – whether you are facing a Family Law matter, Personal Injury case, or a Criminal Charge – choose a Lakeland attorney who will fight for you as he would for his own family. Attorney Adam Patton will use integrity, intelligence and ingenuity to move mountains for you and your family.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Patton Law, please call 863-225-3550.
When I was about 8 years old I remember being in my first car accident. No It was not because I was an 8 year old driving a car. I was driving with my grandfather to get some ice cream and root beer from the grocery store "up the street" so we could make dessert for the rest of the grand kids. I felt special to be the one that go to go with him to get the supplies. He let me sit up front, and his car had electric windows that I loved to play with. That night it was dark and cold. We had pulled up to the intersection to make a right hand turn into the store. The car in front of us had about 50 helium balloons in the back seat, completely blocking the drivers view of us behind her. Apparently the driver of the other car had gone beyond the stop bar while the light was green, and decided to back up after the light turned red. I remember her reverse lights coming on and instantly knowing that something was not right. My grandfathers strong arm reached across the passenger seat to secure me in place as we braced for impact. She did not see us there, and by the time she realized that we were honking at her it was too late. The damage was minimal, both cars had old fashioned bumpers on them that really hadn't been scratched, but my grandfather had to replace a head light. The driver ahead felt horrible, and even worse when she realized there was a child in the car. A local police officer was close by, he quickly helped secure the scene, write a report and helped us all on our way.
My grandfather did all he could to protect me then, when the accident was slight and we could all see it coming in slow motion. Most accidents don't happen that way, and usually there are a lot of things going through your head all at once to process. I've complied from a number of sources the following lists of things to do before and after an accident.
First, preparation. My days in the scouting program taught to be prepared, so first things first, 5 things to do to prepare for an accident:
1. Prepare a paperwork packet to get to easily. This would have a copy of your registration and insurance, phone number or card of your agent, a note pad and pen and if you have one the number for your family lawyer.
2. Prepare a packet of things for your trunk. Cones or flares to help divert traffic, snacks and water bottle in case you our small passengers need something because of the delay.
3. A cell phone and camera.
4. A plan as to who to contact to let them know what the situation is. This can be critical, and a great thing to prepare for. When I got my drivers license, I was told that if or when I got into an accident, I was to call my Dad first. When I got into my first accident, guess what the only thing I remembered was? Call Dad. That helped me through the rest of the incident.
5. First Aid kit and basic first aid course. Sometimes you are the first responder to an accident. having a basic knowledge of what to do in an emergency can be invaluable. Also having a basic kit in the car can help in any situation.
Now 10 things to do after an accident:
1. STAY CALM. No seriously. Take a deep breathe and assess the situation. It will not help you to jump out and yell at someone. Take a second and collect yourself, whether you are involved in the accident or a witness.
2. Assess the situation. Are you obviously injured or bleeding? Are your passengers all right? Is your car smoking and about to catch fire? Calmly seeing what is going on can help more than you know.
3. Stay in your car and do not leave the scene of the accident. Unless there is a major emergency, this is the best place to be. You are less likely to be seriously injured in a vehicle on pedestrian accident inside your car. A good friend was an over the road truck driver. He witnessed a accident and got out or his truck to assist. Before he got to the accident, another truck hit him at highway speeds. The man is lucky to be alive today. So unless there is a fire, or the police have arrived and secured the scene, stay put.
4. Report the accident. This involves that cell phone from earlier. In Florida, you can decide to have a law enforcement officer file a report or not later, but having them there will help to make sure that there is nothing wrong, ie, oil or coolant pouring out of the engine compartment that you think is fine or other safety issues. They are trained in this stuff, let them do their job.
5. Exchange information. Once the scene is safe, get out and exchange information if you are able to. Having things prepared in your car already is great, or use the note pad to write down yours for them. Name, Address, Phone numbers, Driver's License number, Insurance information, Make model of vehicle. Any information that would be useful to help you describe the situation later.
6. Photograph and document what happened. Again that cell phone, use the camera to document what happened, use the voice recorder to say what you remember happening, use the note pad to jot some things down. You probably won't remember later and everything feels like it is happening so fast.
7. Assess injuries, but do not share them. Often injuries go unnoticed because of an adrenaline rush or other situation. If asked if you are hurt, be honest, but also realize you probably don't know for sure yet. You may be in shock, or just not feel it yet. When I played football, I got clocked on a punt return. Helmet to helmet, big linebacker knocked me off me feet. Coach asked if I was hurt and I said I was not, but I sure hurt in the morning. "I am not sure", or "I am still a little shaken up" are perfectly honest answers that allow you to take some time to see how you really are doing. This is not the time to show how tough you are.
8. Receive medial treatment. Again, like talking to the Officer, these people have gone through a ton of training to assess peoples injuries. Let them do their job. You don't know what to look for, and if you do, you should not be practicing on yourself. This does not mean you have to ride away in an ambulance, but at the very least get in to see your doctor the next day. It will help to know that either you are or are not hurt.
9. Don't claim responsibility. You may feel like it was your fault, you may think it was your fault, but it may not be your fault. On the flip side, you may think it was the other guys fault, and start screaming that and it only makes the situation worse. The officer, who again is trained to determine what happened and who is at fault will make that determination. Sometime, both parties are at fault and sometimes neither are. Let them do their job.
10. Report the accident to your insurance company. You pay for them for this reason. They will be able to help you sooner if they know about the situation.
Contact your Lawyer; Having a family lawyer can be valuable here. Just like I called my Dad, calling another person, who knows what to do, and is a little separated from the situation can help you navigate through the mess.
Count your blessings; According to asirt.org, nearly 1.3 million people die in car accidents each year. If you are able to go through that checklist, be grateful that you aren't of that number.
Again, not legal advice for your specific case, just some thoughts on how to better handle a car accident.
When you are looking to file an injunction for protection you often find yourself sitting at the courthouse, with a form in front of you asking you to put all the information down to protect you or your family from a threat that you feel is all too real. There are a number of things to consider when you are filling out this document. First, what are you filing and why? Filing the right form is often critical to you. Was there violence? Was there stalking? Were threats made? Are you related to the person you are seeking protection from? The people at the window of the clerks office may try to help to the best of their ability, but they are not allowed to tell you what to file. I have seen people battered and bruised, tears streaming down their faces at the clerks window begging for help, but these lovely people simply are not allowed to tell you what to file. Why? Because doing so would be to give you legal advice, and even though you are tearing their hearts out, they could lose their jobs if they tell you what to do. Even here in this blog, I can not give you legal advice, because to do so could establish some sort of attorney client privilege, which could put my career in jeopardy. However, I can let you know some basics. First, Florida has a great searchable database for its statutes. If you go to www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm you will find an online searchable database for all of Florida's statues. From there type in the type of injunction you are planning to file. Domestic Violence? Repeat Violence? Stalking? Dating Violence? If you look at what the legislature says is required to obtain one of these injunctions for protection you will have a better idea of what to fill out and what to ask the judge. Additionally you can always meet with an attorney prior to filing, or prior to any hearing to make sure that you are getting good legal advice for the specific case that you are filing.