What to Do After An Auto Collision

The initial thing to do when you’re in a car accident is to assess the situation. Has anyone been seriously injured? Consider safety first. Check to be sure that you and everyone involved in the accident is okay. If there are any potentially serious injuries, call 911 immediately.

The first steps to take include:

Take a deep breath and stay calm.

Call 911 and report the accident and basic information, including location & injuries.

Check for injuries.

Make sure oncoming traffic knows there is a problem by putting flashers on.

Move your car to the side of the road if possible.

Have a pen and paper to write down important information.

Make immediate notes about the accident, including specific damages to all vehicles involved, witness information, etc.

Remember to call the police, even if the accident is minor. You may have injuries and not be aware until days later.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you can call our office for help at 239-549-6689.

This week is National Tire Safety Week May 28 – June 3


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends drivers check tire pressure at least once per month. Also, check your tire tread. Proper tread depth gives your vehicle the traction to stop and hold the road on curves.

As a quick home test, you can check tread depth with a U.S. penny, make sure the tread goes over Lincoln’s head. If it doesn’t, your tire needs to be replaced.

Spending just a few minutes each month on maintenance can make all the difference in your tires’ safety, life, and performance. Just stick to the four essentials.


Proper inflation pressure gives tires the ability to support the vehicle and you to control it for maximum performance. Maintaining proper inflation pressure maximizes fuel economy, too. Check your tires at least once a month. Under-inflated tires generate excessive heat build-up and stress, causing irregular wear and internal damage. Over-inflated tires are more likely to be cut, punctured or damaged when hitting an obstacle, such as a pothole. Check your tire pressure using a tire gauge to check inflation pressure. And don’t forget about your spare.


Tread equals traction—giving your tires a grip on the road, especially in bad weather. Lose too much tread and you could lose control.


Rotating your tires based on the recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual can prevent irregular tire wear. Tires should be changed every 5,000 to 8,000 miles for most cars.


Striking a pothole or other road hazard could cause alignment issues. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven, rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a tire dealer.

Spending a little time on these essentials every month and every few thousand miles will help your tires keep you safe.

Also keep in mind, as seasons change, so do driving conditions. Prepare for safer travels in all kinds of weather with tire care and driving tips for spring, summer, fall and winter.


Break Glass In Case Of Emergency

You never think of real life emergencies happening to you, but you should always be prepared. One handy tool that will get you out of an emergency situation is a safety hammer.  The safety hammer has an infinite set of practical uses and will provide a lifetime of reliable service.

You may be in a car crash where your car is in the water and power to your car is disrupted and your door is jammed. In that situation, if you have that hammer in your car you can break a window and it also has a blade to cut your seatbelt.

We recommend that everyone keeps a safety hammer in their car.

Be well prepared & stay safe!

Berke Law Firm, P.A.
4423 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, Florida 33904
(239) 549-6689-phone
(239) 549-3331-fax

How to Avoid Lightning


When you see a lightning flash, count the number of seconds until you hear thunder, and seek shelter if the count is less than 30. Seek shelter in any closed building with a roof, four walls and an insulating floor or a vehicle with a roof. You should avoid open garages, patios, and convertible automobiles. When inside, avoid using water or landline telephones because lightning travels through plumbing and telephone wires. You should stay indoors for 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder. After 30 minutes, you can be sure the storm is too far away to strike you with a bolt of positive lightning.

Here are some helpful tips to staying safe:

Stay indoors if possible

Stay away from windows.

Don’t touch anything metal or electrical.

Get out of the water.

Be alert for more lightning strikes

Minimize your risk. If you absolutely cannot reach shelter during a lightning storm, do everything you can to minimize your risk. The safest place to be during an electrical storm is indoors. Pay special attention to the weather forecast in cases like these to keep yourself updated.




Installing a car seat correctly is no easy task. You must first make sure you are using the right car seat type.

Then there’s the question of when to transition your child to another type of car seat.

You should position car seats in the back seat. This is the safest location in the car for a child to ride.

Lock the seat belt. If your vehicle doesn’t have lower anchors, refer to your owner’s manual to find out how to lock a seat belt once the seat is in place.

Secure tightly. Once the safety seat is in place and attached with either the seat belt or lower anchors, wiggle it side to side, back and forth. It should not move more than 1 inch in any direction.

Adjust the recline angle. For rear-facing seats, it is important that the base of your car seat is level to prevent your child’s head from flopping forward. Most seats will have indicators on the side to help.

Connect the tether strap. Forward-facing seats have an extra strap at the top as an added safety measure. Double-check your vehicle and attach and tighten the tether strap if possible to prevent head movement in the event of a crash.

Child safety seats greatly reduce the risks of fatal injury in infants and toddlers riding in motor vehicles. Keep in mind that car seats should be replaced after a car accident. NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash.

Just as you would click your own seatbelt to keep yourself safe, you should always buckle your child into the right car seat for their age and size.

Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Florida Unclaimed Property

Ever wonder if there is money out there with your name on it? Well the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Unclaimed Property is currently holding unclaimed property valued at more than One Billion dollars. This unclaimed property belongs to individuals as well as companies.

Some of the unclaimed property includes:

  • Money
  • Watches
  • Jewelry
  • Coins
  • Stamps
  • Historical items
  • Abandoned safe deposit boxes content
  • Dormant Bank Accounts

Unclaimed money is deposited into the state school fund, where it is used for public education. There is, however, no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property any time at no cost.

Visit their website to find out if there is in fact money with your name on it!!!


How long does it take to get a 3rd degree burn from hot water?

A 3rd degree burn can occur in 1 second!

A third degree burn is severe and can cause scarring and might even require amputation depending on the severity of the burn.

It only takes a few seconds for hot water to cause a third degree burn.

Hot Water Causes Third Degree Burns…

…in 1 second at 156º

…in 2 seconds at 149º

…in 5 seconds at 140º

…in 15 seconds at 133º.

Third degree burns are very common, especially from hot water and other hot liquids.

Here are some helpful hints to help prevent burns from happening.

  • Make sure you’re being aware of hot liquids and supervise children and older people in tub baths as the water temperature can easily increase in temperature and cause skin to burn.
  • Make sure your water heater thermostat is at a safe level.
  • Set your water heater thermostat at low, which is usually about 120º – for safety, and to save 18% of the energy used at 140º.

Hot liquids can burn you just like a fire can and can cause life threatening burn injuries.

Use care when using hot water to ensure your own safety as well as everyone around you.





April is Distracted Driving Month in Florida

Various agencies are teaming up in the month of April to bring awareness to distracted driving. The FHP along with the Department of Transportation, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association, and AAA are asking motorists to focus on driving.
There were almost 50,000 crashes in Florida last year that involved distracted driving, and they accounted for more than 3,500 serious bodily injuries and 233 fatalities.
Driver distractions include visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (mind not on driving). Texting is one of the most dangerous driver distractions since it involves visual, manual and cognitive distractions. However, texting is not the only distracted driving behavior; other dangerous driving distractions include putting on makeup, tending to children in the backseat, eating, tuning the radio, checking GPS navigation, and even daydreaming.

The public is encouraged to report dangerous and drunk drivers by safely dialing *FHP (*347).

If you are not 100 percent focused, then you’re not 100 percent driving!

Self-Driving Cars can now be legally driven in Florida.

Florida has recently enacted Florida Statute 316.003 (2).

This law allows any person that possesses a valid driver’s license to operate a self-driving vehicle in self-driving mode. No specialized safety education is required before a person is permitted to operate a self-driving vehicle on Florida’s roadways. The person operating the self-driving vehicle does not have to be in the vehicle when it is driving.

An operator and/or owner of a self-driving vehicle could be liable for a crash despite not being in or near his or her vehicle at the time the crash occurs.

A copy of the Florida statute can be reached at the link below.




Berke Law Firm, P.A.
4423 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, Florida 33904
(239) 549-6689-phone
(239) 549-3331-fax




Does your back hurt?

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for physician visits in the United States. Most Americans have experienced low back pain, and approximately one quarter of U.S. adults reported having low back pain lasting at least 1 day in the past 3 months. Low back pain is associated with high costs, including those related to health care and indirect costs from missed work or reduced productivity. For patients who do seek medical care, pain, disability, and return to work typically improve rapidly in the first month. However, up to one third of patients report persistent back pain of at least moderate intensity 1 year after an acute episode and 1 in 5 report substantial limitations in activity. Many noninvasive treatment options are available for radicular and nonradicular low back pain, including pharmacologic and nonpharmacological interventions.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on noninvasive treatment of low back pain. Here are 3 recommendations for treatment.
Recommendation 1: Most patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation.
Recommendation 2: For patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially select nonpharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.
Recommendation 3: In patients with chronic low back pain who have had an inadequate response to nonpharmacologic therapy, clinicians and patients should consider pharmacologic treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as first-line therapy, or tramadol or duloxetine as second-line therapy.

Click on the link below to see a complete copy of the guidelines.