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January: a peak time for winter sports head injuries

Head Injuries - a real winter sport risk

According to monthly snowfall data from observation sites across the United States, January is the snowiest month of the year. It’s no wonder January is also a peak time for winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey and snowmobiling.

Unfortunately winter sports can greatly increase the risk of dangerous head injuries, particularly when they are not practiced safely and with proper equipment. We discuss the dangers of severe head injuries and offer tips on how to stay safe while taking part in your favorite winter sport.

What’s a TBI and why should you take it seriously?

Sometimes a head injury causes damage to the brain; this is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States. TBI survivors frequently require prolonged hospital care and long rehabilitation. They often suffer long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological disorders.

January was recently declared National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month to highlight the dangers of traumatic brain injuries and the importance of precautionary measures when engaging in winter sports.

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New Year’s Resolutions: a tool to help rebuild your life

New Year’s Resolutions: a tool to help rebuild your lifeLife is different after a serious accident. This realization becomes all the more poignant as we reflect on the losses we have suffered, while having to face the many challenges the New Year will bring.

New Year’s resolutions can help clear the path and show the way forward. We have prepared a list of goals for 2018 to help you cope with your new reality.

8 New Year’s Resolutions for life after the Accident

Get help – now

People often underestimate the long road to physical recovery. There is only one way to speed up your recovery process, and that is to get more rest. In-home care assistance can be a valuable asset at this time. If you can’t afford paid help, this is the time to reach out to your network of family, friends and neighbors.

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Parties and Alcohol go hand in hand

December is the season for celebrations. Sadly, parties and alcohol are often intertwined. Before you get behind the wheel after having had a few drinks consider the following sobering statistics:

  • Alcohol kills: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 10,497 people were killed as a result of alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016 alone. During that year, alcohol impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 28 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.
  • Drunk Drivers are often young drivers: The percentage of drivers in fatal crashes who were alcohol impaired was highest for 25 to 34 year old drivers, at 27 percent, followed by 21 to 24 year old drivers, at 26 percent.

Drunk Driving: a Holiday Problem

How to Prevent Drunk Driving

Are you planning to attend a New Year’s Eve celebration? If so, ask yourself the following questions:

How will I get back home?

Here are some possible solutions for your trip back home:

  • Select a reliable sober friend to be your designated driver. 
  • Save the phone number of a local taxi service on your phone. Hire a taxi when it’s time to go home.
  • Consider taking public transportation if available.
  • Download the Uber or Lyft app to schedule your trip back home. Uber has partnered with MADD to campaign against drunk driving. Check out their latest joint safety campaign here.
  • Don’t go back home. Instead, book a hotel room or arrange to stay at a friend’s house.

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Travel Forecast for this Holiday Season

Stay Safe with our Holiday Road Safety TipsAccording to the American Automobile Association (AAA) 107.3 million Americans are traveling to holiday celebrations between December 23rd and New Year’s Day. This is the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year.

The majority of travelers – 97.4 million – will hit the road, so traffic will be challenging over the holidays.

Below we’ve compiled some important holiday road safety tips to keep you and your family safe whilst traveling.

Holiday Road Safety Tips

Adverse weather conditions aggravate the consequences of reckless or distracted driving, so be sure to drive cautiously and remain particularly alert whilst driving.

In addition, make sure that your car is in perfect condition before hitting the winter roads. Read on to find out how to winter-proof your vehicle.

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Beware of defective and unsafe Toys

Christmas Toys: How to play it safe - Injury HelpLineStill shopping for toys to put under the Christmas tree? You might want to check out the list of the ten worst toys of 2017 before you head back to the stores. Some toys are best kept away from children, especially if they are under 5 years old.

In 2016, there were an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. An estimated 166,300 (69 percent) of those injuries occurred to children 12 years of age or younger.

Learn about the CPSC Toy Safety System

Purchase safe toys for ChristmasThankfully the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created a sophisticated toy safety system to address many toy safety problems. All children’s toys must be tested and certified to the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety (ASTM F963-16). In addition each toy has too meet a variety of additional requirements pertaining to lead content, phthalates, small parts and toy tracking labels.

 

Top Ten Toy Safety Tips for a worry-free Holiday

However stringent the CPSC requirements may be, parents should remain vigilant to keep their children’s playtime safe. Here are few common sense tips to observe when choosing your children’s Christmas toys:

1. Check the labels

See if the toy meets safety standards, check the recommended age and review the materials used to manufacture the toy.

2. Think big

Injury Helpline recommends to avoid toys with small parts Don’t buy children under 5 toys or games with small parts that could become a choking hazard.

Avoid marbles, balls, and games with balls that have a diameter of 1.75 inches or less. (If they can fit through a toilet paper roll tube, they are too small). Until the child reaches 3 years of age, the toy should be bigger than his or her mouth to prevent the possibility of choking.

 

3. Choose sturdy, high quality toys

Choose toys that can withstand rough playtime without breaking into small or sharp pieces. Parts, strings and straps should be securely attached.

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Protect your Family from Holiday Decoration Hazards

Holiday Decoration HazardsThe holiday season is a magical time, but Christmas traditions and celebrations create plenty of opportunities for personal injury. Last week we discussed the perils of parking lots during the holiday season. This week we’re focusing on the dangers of holiday decorations.

Emergency rooms across the country treated about 14,700 holiday decorating-related injuries over the past holiday season. Read these safety tips and avoid the ER this holiday season!

Don’t let a House Fire ruin your Christmas

Keep your Christmas Tree fresh

This video by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission demonstrates the dangers of dry Christmas Trees. If you’re buying a live tree, make sure it’s fresh. It should have sturdy, green needles and the branches should be easily bent.

At home, choose a safe spot for your tree, far away from heat sources such as fireplaces, vents and radiators.

Christmas Tree SafetyBefore setting your tree up slice a piece off the bottom of the trunk to help it absorb water. Then, place it in a water stand and keep an eye on the water level every day. Water the tree when necessary.

Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

If you choose to buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant”. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. This means the lights meet national industry standards. 

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Parking Lot Safety during the Christmas Holidays

winter-430469_1920 The holiday shopping season is in full swing and malls are humming with activity. Shoppers caught up in the holiday frenzy are often in a hurry and pay little attention to their surroundings, which results in numerous accidents, particularly in the Nation’s crowded parking lots.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and garage structures annually, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries.

One of the major reasons behind the collisions, injuries and even fatalities that happen in parking lots is the false sense of security everyone feels when navigating parking areas: People expect vehicles to drive at slow speeds and therefore are less vigilant.

During the holiday shopping season, crowded parking lots and nasty winter weather can combine to create particularly dangerous parking lot conditions.

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Nearly 51 Million Americans on the Road this Year

Thanksgiving Road Safety TipsThanksgiving brings families and friends together across large distances to celebrate the harvest, give thanks and enjoy each others’ company. This year auto club AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home. That’s the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005! Having more people on the road unfortunately increases the potential of vehicle crashes. That’s why we have compiled a series of safety tips to keep you safe on the road.

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Scary Statistics

Halloween is scary, but not for the reasons that you might think. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation on Halloween night 2016: 

  • 47 people died and nearly a third were due to drunk drivers – three times the fatalities of an average day.
  • Thirty percent of Halloween crash fatalities were pedestrians, compared to only 16 percent on an average day.
  • Over the last four years, from 2012-2016, 22 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

Halloween PumpkinsSafety experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt warn that “twice as many children are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year”. According to research conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces, over 60% of these accidents occur in the 4-hour period from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Aside from motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents, typical Halloween injuries include slip and falls, costume-related accidents and injuries and burns from candles and candlelit pumpkins.

Safety Tips for you and your family

Here’s what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe as you prepare for a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating:

MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE

  • Make sure motorist can see you, especially at night and in low light.
  • Carry a flashlight or wear a small flashing strobe light.
  • Choose brightly colored and reflective clothing. Reflective materials on the parts of your body that move (feet, legs, and arms) are particularly effective.

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What makes a Personal Injury Case

What is a personal injury case?Many people don’t call a personal injury attorney because they aren’t sure if their experience qualifies as a personal injury case. Let’s shed some light on what makes a case.

First of all, for a case to be heard, typically you must have suffered harm as a result of wrongful or negligent actions of a third person or entity. In plain English: Were you hurt and was it someone else’s fault? Then you might have a case.

Personal injury law allows the injured plaintiff to get compensation for the harm suffered, so long as he can demonstrate both liability as well as damages. What does that exactly mean for you? It means that you must be able to prove that whoever harmed you is liable for the damages you suffered. Furthermore, you must be able to explain exactly the extent and nature of the harm you suffered.

Does that all still sound a bit too abstract for you to decide whether you should sue? In that case, we’re here to help. We have connected over 4 million injury victims with experienced personal injury attorneys in their local area. Each of our Injury HelpLine attorneys is prepared and ready to listen to the details of your case. You can choose to hire him or not – the first consultation is free and carries no obligation. At the very least, after talking to one of our licensed attorneys you’ll have a better idea if it’s worth filing a lawsuit.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

If you’re not quite ready to talk to an attorney, we have prepared a list of typical personal injury cases that may help you think through your own situation.

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents include accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, tractors and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). Vehicle accidents are the leading source of personal injury cases in the United States.

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), there were over 6 million reported motor vehicle crashes in 2015 alone, resulting in 35,092 fatalities and 2.4 million people injured.

Vehicle crashes can cause a wide variety of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises, to permanent brain damage or even death.

Injured victims usually file two types of legal claims following a vehicle accident – a claim for property damage, and a claim for personal injury. In fatal accident cases, family members may want to consider a wrongful death claim.

Learn more about vehicle accidents in our car accident claim guide and in our motorcycle accident claim guide.

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