As a personal injury and disability lawyers, we are quite attuned to all the ways that people can get hurt. That’s why we wanted to take a moment to offer some safety tips.
While we can, in some cases, help you get compensation or disability payments after an injury, that money comes at a high price. It’s usually better to avoid getting injured at all! And in certain cases, using these safety tips can keep you from becoming named as the at-fault party in an unintentional tort case.
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#1) Don’t Text and Walk
As the summer heat fades you might feel inclined to get outside more before the winter chill gets here. If you’re going to be walking in areas where traffic exists, take extra care. Texting and walking can mean you miss vital developments in traffic and can result in a fatal accident.
We even recommend taking out earbuds as you enter crosswalks, just to make sure you can hear what’s going on.
#2) Keep Walkways Clear
From wet, slippery leaves to snow, fall and winter months bring plenty of sidewalk hazards. If you’re responsible for the sidewalks in front of your home then you could be liable if someone else slips, trips, or falls on them.
Of course, your own family and friends probably use those sidewalks and walkways a fair amount too, so this is a great way to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe.
#3) Perform Basic Car Maintenance
Plenty of car accidents happens just because the car wasn’t in good repair. This is the perfect time of year to:
- Check your oil
- Check your tire pressure and tread depth
- Check exterior lights
- Check signals
- Replace wiper blades
- Top off washer fluid
- Check coolant levels
- Check brake fluid levels
If you don’t already have a winter safety kit in your car, add one: you’ll need a spare tire, a tire replacement kit, flashlights, a first aid kit, bottled water, blankets, and flares in case harsh winter weather forces you to park on the side of the road for long periods of time.
#4) Make Time for Fire Prevention
Fall usually means fires and furnaces. Accidents here can be absolutely devastating, so take a moment to take precautions.
Start by getting an autumn tune-up for your furnace. This can catch small problems before they become major problems.
Get your fireplace cleaned if you have one. If you don’t already have a fireplace screen, get one installed so sparks stay where they belong. Never leave a fire unattended!
If you use space heaters, be sure you understand the heater you’re using. Some require venting. Most require at least three feet of empty space around them before they may be used properly.
Finally, candles in the fall are lovely, but consider switching to electric candles, or be prepared to put them out when you need to walk away from them. Over 10,000 home fires start every year just because candles were burned improperly. Always keep candles away from pets and children!
#5) Update Your Footwear
Tis the season for slips, trips, and falls, which means it’s a great season to invest in good winter boots, good rain galoshes, and, if you work in an environment where there are a lot of spill hazards, some solid grip-sole shoes.
A lot of slip and fall cases get generated by bad footwear. Many of our readers are already doing back-to-school shopping for the kids. It’s an ideal time to update some of your own supplies as well.
#6) Check Parking Lot Lights
The nights are getting darker. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business owner you have a duty of care to mitigate the risks that darkness creates on your parking lot. A dark parking lot creates a trip hazard and increases the risk that someone might get attacked on your property. The latter scenario can become your responsibility in a lawsuit, so don’t take chances.
Besides, you probably have to walk across your own parking lot from time to time, as do your employees. Taking these precautions (and filling cracks and potholes while you’re at it) keeps you up and moving and reduces your chances of having to deal with WCB claims later down the line.
Take a walk around your parking lot at night, and check your lighting. If you see issues, get an electrician out to take a look.
#7) Update Worn Rugs, Runners, and Mats
Rugs, runners, and mats can make homes cozier and can keep dirt off the floor, but old, frayed ones can send you tumbling to the ground at an inopportune moment. Make sure rugs sit tight to the floor and replace anything that seems dodgy.
#8) Prep for Power Outages
Winter storms can be dangerous. If you don’t have a fireplace with plenty of firewood a safe emergency heating method is vital. At the very least you should have heavy emergency blankets, food, water, flashlights, and a first-aid kit on hand.
#9) Pick Up Some Reflectors
If you’re going to be walking at night then reflectors are vital for preventing accidents. Fortunately, you don’t have to apply reflective tape to every jacket and shoe you own. There are inexpensive and convenient armbands available for sale online.
#10) Ward Off Illness
Viruses are more aggressive during the winter months, and between the flu, Covid, and other diseases there are plenty of opportunities to pick up some serious illnesses. Get vaccinated, mask up, and wash your hands.
Getting WCB benefits for illnesses is very difficult even if you contract yours at work, and disability insurance companies are starting to balk at covering the costs of a long-term illness too.
Remember, it’s Not Always Possible to Press a Personal Injury Claim or to Claim Disability.
A personal injury claim won’t cover you every single time you get injured. They aren’t meant to help you deal with every single problem that can crop up in your life. They’re only meant to help you get compensation in cases where someone else’s negligence has harmed you. That is: you would have been fine but for the actions of another individual.
You can, and should, protect yourself with insurance coverage of your own, such as long-term disability insurance. Nevertheless, there are times when this coverage can fail you as well, requiring you to get help from a lawyer just to claim the benefits you’re supposed to be entitled to. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to claim that your injuries aren’t as bad as you say they are, for example.
So stay safe, take precautions, and have a safe, happy fall and winter season!
If you’ve been injured our Red Deer injury lawyer team may be able to help you press your personal injury case or claim your disability benefits. Most of our lawyers have over 20 years of experience. We’re responsive, kind, and have a long track record of success.
Remember, we don’t get paid until we bring your case to a satisfactory conclusion. You don’t have to worry about coming up with a retainer or paying an exorbitant hourly rate. Calling our team is 100% risk-free.
Call (403) 269-7777 to schedule a case evaluation today.