As most in the Sarasota area are aware, celebrating the birth of our nation is best accompanied by the rumble and thunder of powerboats cutting through the Gulf off Lido Key. Luckily, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival is back in town this week with events continuing through the 4th of July. This year, instead of a parade, there is a block party downtown, which is just one of the many events scheduled throughout the weekend at this family-friendly festival.
The Grand Prix has been produced by Suncoast Charities for Children for
the past 30 years and continues to raise the necessary funds to support those in need in our local community. Suncoast Charities for Children provides support to five non-profit organizations in the Sarasota County area. Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc., The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Loveland Village, Children First, Special Olympics Florida (Sarasota County), and Special Athlete Boosters serve over eight thousand clients with special needs. These organizations also provide support to the families of children and adults with disabilities.
This year marks the start of the Share the Beach Campaign where the focus is to protect our local marine life and their habitats. For more information on how you can help “Share the Beach,” please visit: http://sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org/race/environmental-conservation/ . This link to the festival website gives tips for boaters, bringing personal property on the beach, and tips for how to protect sea turtles, manatees, and other marine life impacted by the festival, along with contact information for proper authorities in case of emergencies. This year, let’s do our part to keep our beaches and downtown clean by disposing of all trash in marked receptacles, and cleaning up after ourselves! And, most importantly, have a fun and relaxing 4th of July.
For a complete schedule of Grand Prix events please visit: http://sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org/schedule/
Distracted driving is a major contributor to easily avoidable crashes. From eating in the car, to texting while driving, there are countless ways for a driver to become distracted. It might be surprising to find out, cellphone use is not the most engaged-in distracting behavior, according to a study sponsored by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Interacting with a passenger is the distracting behavior that drivers engage with most often.
According to an Overview of the NHTSA's Driver Distraction Program, distraction can be categorized into the following three types: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction is comprised of tasks which require the driver to look away from the roadway to visually obtain information. Manual distraction consists of tasks which require the driver to take a hand off the steering wheel in order to manipulate a device. Cognitive distraction involves when the driver is thinking about something other than driving.
Any of these types of distractions can cause a near-crash, or even a collision on the roadways. Technology has been developed by many vehicle manufacturers to help minimize distraction of drivers; however, if your vehicle is not equipped with the latest technology, you might want to know how best to avoid distracting behaviors.
Staying focused while in your vehicle...
Staying focused on the roadways, and the conditions on the roadway before you, is the best way to avoid distraction-related crashes. Be aware and stay safe! Always remember that when you get behind the wheel, you have much more than your own life in your hands.
Sometimes, understanding the Florida statutes, or laws, regarding workers’ compensation benefits can be difficult. This is especially true when reading section 440.15 of the Florida Statutes which covers impairment benefits. Impairment benefits are based on the percentage of impairment, or the “impairment rating” the physician assigns the injured worker once he or she has reached “maximum medical improvement.” Only statute-approved physicians can determine an impairment rating, and once the physician has done so, impairment benefits are due and payable within 14 days after the carrier (the workers’ compensation insurance carrier) has knowledge of the impairment.
Impairment ratings are based solely upon the employee’s physical diagnosis and findings, and in no way reflect that employee’s limitations. The impairment rating also has nothing to do with any disability the injured worker may have. Impairment benefits are paid every two weeks, at the rate of 75% of the employee’s compensation rate, if the employee is not working. If the injured worker has gone back to work, the impairment benefits are paid at 50% of the injured worker’s compensation rate.
The period of time for which impairment benefits are paid is figured according to the impairment rating. The statute states benefits are paid for the following periods:
This means that if you are given an impairment rating of 22%, you receive two weeks times ten (20 weeks) of benefits for your percentage points from 1% through 10%, three weeks times five (15 weeks) of benefits for your percentage points from 11% through 15%, four weeks times five (20 weeks) of benefits for your percentage points from 16% through 20%, and six weeks times two (12 weeks) for your percentage points from 21% to 22%. All these weeks are added together, so for an impairment rating of 22%, you would receive a total of sixty-seven (67) weeks of benefits paid.
Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Let the experienced attorneys at Lancaster & Eure help you through this difficult time. Each attorney gives every client unique and personal attention. Call us for a free consultation (941) 365-7575, or, feel free to contact us online.