As we close out 2014 with gratitude and look forward with hope, the personal injury and disability benefits law firm of Geoff McDonald & Associates suggests the following resolutions for the New Year. In 2015, let’s all resolve to:
Whether your resolution is to start or continue to drive safely, this should be an easy resolution to keep. We all know the practices that lead to car accidents. We should all know how to avoid them. Resolve today to never purposely engage in distracted driving, drowsy driving or driving while impaired. You should also resolve to be more careful about speeding, tailgating and aggressive driving.
Eliminate falling hazards.
Falls account for about 40 percent of all traumatic brain injury cases in the U.S. that result in an emergency room visit, hospitalization or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls are also a leading cause of workplace injuries. Make sure halls, stairs and walkways inside and outside of your home are free of obstacles, clutter and ice. Also, make sure they are properly lit. Area rugs and doormats should have rubber, non-skid backing. At work, follow safety rules and use safety equipment if you must climb ladders or scaffolding or otherwise work at heights.
Practice fire safety.
More than 500,000 structure and vehicle fires in the U.S. every year cause thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in property losses, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Don’t think a fire can’t happen to you. Make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check them at least twice a year. Have a plan of escape in case a structure fire occurs. Practice it with your family members. Learn about potential burn injuries at your job site and how to avoid them.
Keep your children safe.
Many child injuries happen because adults who are in charge neglect their duty to keep an eye out for the children under their supervision. Keep an eye out for children at home to make sure they do not hurt themselves in preventable falls or by burning themselves in the kitchen (hot surfaces and foods) or bathroom (scalding water) or around hot grills and fire pits. Lock and store medicine and dangerous household products out of the reach of children. Let’s make sure all small children are in child safety seats whenever they are in a car. Avoid dog bites by teaching children how to approach dogs safely. Never leave a young child unsupervised in a bathtub or near a pool or body of water. If your children play sports, learn about concussions and how they can be prevented and managed.
Fight disease with diet.
A poor diet can lead to many disabling medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. There is good reason that eating better, losing weight and getting fit are always popular New Year’s resolutions. Cut calories while boosting the nutrition in your diet for better health in 2015. WebMD offers “10 Amazing Disease-Fighting Foods” and Health.com has “17 Superfoods That Fight Disease.” Bon appétit!
Review your insurance policies.
Auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, life insurance and health insurance are necessary to guard against financial ruin if a serious accident occurs. However, insurance is complicated. Many of us would have to admit that we don’t know much about the insurance coverage we pay for each month. Our firm has a primer about issues with Virginia auto insurance. Also, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers general tips about auto, home, health and life insurance. Check out those sites for information.
Be in the know about safety.
Knowledge is great protection from harm. Others have done the heavy lifting for you in many cases. All you have to do is avail yourself of the information they offer. For example, to help you protect your rights, we have developed “8 Steps to Take After a Car Accident. Bookmark this page on your phone or other portable device or print out a copy for your glove box. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission provide notices about recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts concerning defective consumer products and drugs via e-mail. Sign up! At your job, review your employee handbook for safety rules and what to do in case of a workplace accident.
Stand up for yourself!
Even though you may have taken all of the necessary steps to be safe, you may still be involved in an accident caused by another. The costs of property damage, medical expenses and lost income add up quickly after an accident. Those who have done nothing wrong should not have to bear these losses on their own. You have rights.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we help injured individuals and the families of people who have died in accidents. We seek compensation for those who have been unjustly harmed, including those who deserve medical and wage benefits after workplace accidents.
Contact us if you have been unjustly harmed. We will stand up for you.