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labor day parade
labor day parade
Ever wonder about the history of Labor Day? I’ve always thought of it as “score one for the little guy that we get to take one day off of work just for the heck of it!”  But here’s the rest of the story…
According to the US Department of Labor the first Labor Day was almost a disaster. On the very first Labor Day Parade the morning of September 5, 1882, a crowd of spectators filled the sidewalks of lower Manhattan near city hall and along Broadway. They had come early, well before the Labor Day Parade marchers, to claim the best vantage points from which to view the first Labor Day Parade. A newspaper account of the day described “…men on horseback, men wearing regalia, men with society aprons, and men with flags, musical instruments, badges, and all the other paraphernalia of a procession.”

The police, wary that a riot would break out, were out in force that morning as well. By 9 a.m., columns of police and club-wielding officers on horseback surrounded city hall. By 10 a.m., the Grand Marshall of the parade, William McCabe, his aides and their police escort were all in place for the start of the parade. There was only one problem: none of the men had moved. The few marchers that had shown up had no music. According to McCabe, the spectators began to suggest that he give up the idea of parading, but he was determined to start on time with the few marchers that had shown up. Suddenly, Mathew Maguire of the Central Labor Union of New York (and probably the father of Labor Day) ran across the lawn and told McCabe that two hundred marchers from the Jewelers Union of Newark Two had just crossed the ferry — and they had a band!

Just after 10 a.m., the marching jewelers turned onto lower Broadway — they were playing “When I First Put This Uniform On,” from Patience, an opera by Gilbert and Sullivan. The police escort then took its place in the street. When the jewelers marched past McCabe and his aides, they followed in behind. Then, spectators began to join the march. Eventually there were 700 men in line in the first of three divisions of Labor Day marchers. Final reports of the total number of marchers ranged from 10,000 to 20,000 men and women. With all of the pieces in place, the parade marched through lower Manhattan. The New York Tribune reported that, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

At noon, the marchers arrived at Reservoir Park, the termination point of the parade. While some returned to work, most continued on to the post-parade party at Wendel’s Elm Park at 92nd Street and Ninth Avenue; even some unions that had not participated in the parade showed up to join in the post-parade festivities that included speeches, a picnic, an abundance of cigars and, “Lager beer kegs… mounted in every conceivable place.” (Gotta love that!)  From 1p.m. until 9 p.m. that night, nearly 25,000 union members and their families filled the park and celebrated the very first, and almost entirely disastrous, Labor Day.

Today, our nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.  Now that you know….have a great Labor Day! Be safe out there.

YOUR accident and injury attorney, Marianne Howanitz

Posted Under: news

images
images

The end of summer vacation comes too quickly for most of us in Florida. It can also be an exciting time of year for families as they prepare for the back to school season. With summer vacations wrapping up and traffic increasing as people go back to work and back to school, the end of August means different driving patterns and rules of the road.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA), autumn is the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians, with 29 percent of pedestrian-related fatalities. Here are 5 tips below to help keep you, and your kids, safer as they head back to school. Whether you are a new or long-term driver, use these tips to set the example for others on the road.

  1. Respect the big yellow bus. Imagine being in a large car with 40 noisy 6th-graders. Could be pretty stressful. Do your part and make the bus drivers’ lives easier. Yield when they are attempting to merge, and maintain a significant distance behind them, as they often make unexpected stops.
  2. Get in the zone.Speed limits in Florida school zones typically range between 15 and 25 mph. Abide by the limits and look out for pedestrians, keeping your foot on the brake. School zones are also home to newly licensed teenagers who are largely inexperienced. Teen crashes spike in September as they head back to school and happen more often during hours when school begins and lets out. Speed limits aren’t just for during school hours either – consider after-school marching band practice, late night football games, and other events. When dropping kids off, remember that curbs are reserved for buses and emergency vehicles, so you shouldn’t loiter.
  3. Walk better.Drivers aren’t the only ones who need to obey the rules of the road. A major driving pet peeve is pedestrians who jaywalk, cross at a red light, or text while walking. More than an annoyance, this is a danger, especially in school zones. According to the Safe Routes to School Organization, 33 percent of youth pedestrian crashes are attributed to kids darting out into the road.
  4. A different kind of pool safety. If you’re part of a carpool it’s up to you to remind your children/passengers that seatbelts are a must – no matter who they are driving with. Not only are seat belts the law, they save thousands of lives a year.
  5. Go back to school yourself. Even if you’ve been driving for 30 years, make time for a refresher course in safe driving. Through your insurer, you may be eligible for a discount. Or make it a family night with your teens, and combine with quiz or lesson, such as Toyota’s Distracted Drivers Board Game, available on its website or Driving basics.

Remember that distracted driving unfortunately didn’t end with the summer either. The national report “Distracted Drivers in School Zones” offers sobering statistics about the effects, so turn off/put down your cell phone while in the car. While it’s an exciting time, getting back to school can be stressful, too. Tolerance and defensive driving will get you everywhere you need to go safely.

For a great printout from the National Safety Council click here: http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Back-to-School-Checklist.pdf

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When someone is exposed to a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it – like a serious car crash, they may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (#PTSD).  It is estimated that 9% of survivors of serious traffic accidents develop significant PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD include disabling memories, flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety related to the traumatic event.  As crash victims, they have been physically AND psychologically injured and their ability to think clearly or take the appropriate action that is in their best interest may become affected.  PTSD victims often use avoidance as a coping mechanism.  They just can’t deal with it.  They don’t want to talk about it or even think about it.  One of the most positive aspects of recovering from such a traumatic event is social support from friends and family.  If your family or friends are involved in a serious crash, be on the lookout for signs of PTSD. It is important to identify the symptoms early on and seek appropriate psychological treatment.  Studies warrant that the sooner the treatment, the better the outcome. As their friend or relative, they would want you to help them in this disabling time. Another aspect of the avoidance coping mechanism related to PTSD is that many serious #accident victims do not take action to protect their legal rights.  In the event of a serious car crash, the victim should seek out legal counsel immediately to SECURE THE EVIDENCE AND PROTECT THEIR RIGHTS.  Failure to enlist the help of an experienced accident attorney in a timely matter may dramatically affect their ability to bring a successful claim in the future.   To learn more about accident induced PTSD visit http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0801/p524.html.  To know and protect your legal rights call Marianne Howanitz,

Posted Under: news

sporting accident
sporting accident

Take me out to the ball game….but don’t let me get hit with a bat!  With the summer here, families will often attend sporting events while visiting their vacation destinations or at home to enjoy some well-deserved family time together.  Over 15 million Americans enjoy professional sporting events every year.  While getting injured by a flying ball, puck or bat is not the norm; it is not uncommon.  So who pays for the medical bills that mount up after being injured as a spectator at a sporting event?  The law has shifted over time to favor the venue owner in that spectators assume the risks of the inherent danger of the event.  However, if someone is injured at a venue where there was a dangerous condition that the venue owners knew about, failed to correct and you were injured as a result of, you may have a claim against the venue owner.  So the next time you attend a sporting event, when you hear the coach yell “Keep your eye on the ball!” they may be talking to you!


Continue reading “BAT OUT OF HELL” »

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With the better weather it seems like everyone I know was boating last weekend.  That’s a lot of impaired boaters!  Most recreational boating accidents involve a collision with another vessel or with a fixed object.  The primary cause of these accidents is typically excessive speed and alcohol use.  In some instances, boating accidents are caused by a manufacturing or design defect.  Should you or someone you know be injured in a boating accident, don’t call the Skipper or Gilligan, give “Marianne” a call.

Posted Under: news

next week bni
next week bni
In 2010 the Florida legislature enacted a law that permits parents to sign liability waivers on behalf of their minor children for personal injury during certain activities.  However, in order to be enforceable the waiver must STRICTLY COMPLY with Florida law….meaning, there are many ways to screw it up….ah, em, …I mean, to declare such waivers unenforceable because the language, or even the font size, of the release did not follow the letter of the law to a “T”.  So… if you know of a child that was injured while participating in an inherently risky activity, do not assume they have no legal redress….contact Marianne Howanitz to review your claim for free and, if need be, let her unleash the “Warrior Within!”.

Posted Under: news

HBIC (In Action)
HBIC (In Action)

In continuation of my “EVIDENCE IS KING” thread, I just wanted to alert everybody to the importance of preserving evidence in an accident and injury claim.  Even though you may be the innocent victim of someone else’s negligence, when it comes to your day in court, YOU have the burden of proving who’s at fault and what your damages are.  The at-fault driver or owner of the car does not have a duty to preserve evidence for you to present your case.  The law holds that evidence of an owner of property fixing a dangerous condition after someone is hurt generally CANNOT be used in court to establish that there was a dangerous condition.  This is because our society wants to promote property owners fixing dangerous conditions without the fear of it being used against them.  So…what do you do?  If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another you need to make sure you get an attorney that will aggressively investigate your claim and lock in all of the evidence at the get go.  That’s our “lock and load” stage.  Whether it’s visiting accident scenes, junk yards, inspecting vehicles, obtaining surveillance videos or tracking down witnesses and getting their statements, we are on it.  I give out my cell phone number freely and tell people to put it in their contacts, it’s (352) 441-0113.  Don’t hesitate to call me immediately from the accident scene.  I want to be there when you need me most.  When it comes down to it, you want an attorney that’s not afraid to get “down and dirty” for you! 

 

Posted Under: news

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What’s worse than driving along in your work van and being hit head-on by a garbage truck? When the garbage man lies and says it was your fault!  Unfortunately, this exact scenario happened to one of my clients.  Good thing for him, my client’s boss was a friend of mine and called me from the scene.  I was able to alert them immediately that securing evidence of the resting position of the vehicles involved was critical to proving who was at fault.  My friend said fault was obvious but I insisted that he get out his phone and document the scene.  A judge once told me, and I have never forgotten, EVIDENCE IS KING.

As an Ocala accident and injury attorney, I never assume people are going to take responsibility for their negligent actions.  Unfortunately, I have handled hundreds of cases where the at-fault driver tries to turn the blame to the crash victim.  Many times crash victims or their families call me while they are still at the scene of the crash.  In those instances I have them take pictures with their cell phones and text or e-mail them to me in my office so I can make sure they are getting all of the angles they need with surrounding landmarks to document the placement of the vehicles, the debris pattern in the road, skid marks, airbag deployment and more.  Every crash is different.  In this particular case, my friend commented that it was a good thing he took so many pictures at the scene because he could not believe the garbage truck driver tried to deny it was his fault when he was clearly in the oncoming lane.  I reminded him that if he didn’t have those pictures it would be a “he said, she said” scenario.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car crash and doesn’t know what to do, feel free to call my office (352) 512-0444 or cell phone immediately at (352) 209-4949 and we’ll talk you through it.  Don’t go it alone.  Like my client, you now have a friend in the law …. and my digits.   Be safe out there!

Posted Under: news

hydroplaning
hydroplaning

As you are aware the rainy season is upon us. This makes driving that much more dangerous. Be aware of hydroplaning. This is where your vehicle travels on top of the water and has NO or very little contact with the ground. Here are some safety tips to keep you safer on the roads.

  1. Be careful during the first few minutes of rainfall, as this is when the rain stirs up oil and other substances that have dried on the road. This forms a film that makes the road extra slippery.
  2. As you can see from the image, SLOWING DOWN WILL INCREASE YOUR TIRE’S TRACTION ON THE ROAD.
  3. Avoid driving through puddles and standing water. These are the spots where you’ll be most likely to hydroplane. Try to stay in the center of the road where puddles are less likely to form.
  4. Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly.
  5. Turn off cruise control when it starts raining-you’ll be more in tune with the conditions around you.
  6. To safely get out of a hydroplaning situation let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you must go. Do not make sudden motions and remain calm.

If you or a loved one are injured in a car crash, call me immediately for your free consultation so that you may know your rights and options. Marianne Howanitz, YOUR #personalinjuryattorney!

Posted Under: news