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May is Motorcycle Accident Safety Awareness Month
As the weather gets warmer, more and more motorcycles will be on the road. Whether you are on two wheels or four, it’s everybody’s responsibility to drive safely and provide a safe environment for all road users.
• Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
• Motorcycles are smaller than most cars and trucks so they may look farther away than they are. For that reason, it may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into a driveway, always assume a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
• Motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots. Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
• Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting so you may not always see a brake light. Always keep a safe distance away. At intersections, motorcyclists sometimes slow down without warning.
• Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling. Some riders may forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change.
• Motorcyclists often move within a lane to be seen more easily or to avoid road debris, passing vehicles and wind.
• While bikes are much easier to maneuver than a car or truck, don’t always expect that motorcyclists will be able to get out of the way in an emergency situation.
• When a motorcycle is in motion, don’t think of it as a motorcycle; think of it as a person.
Motorcycles are considered motor vehicles and follow the same rules as trucks and cars when it comes to accidents and insurance claims. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important you get informed.
Keep motorcycle riders safe on the road during motorcycle safety and all year around. Please share the road.
Flooding has become a frequent occurrence over the past years as we hear of more and more homes and families wiped out by water damage and without insurance coverage to bail themselves out. Water damage can be costly for homeowners. Water can damage just about anything leaving homeowners devastated and dealing with soaring repair bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, flood coverage is not automatically included in all home insurance policies.
Know your homeowner’s liability policy
Read your homeowner’s liability policy, commercial liability policy and / or tenant’s insurance policy to make sure you are properly insured. Among other things, these policies cover you if someone is hurt on your property. If someone is injured and you do not have adequate insurance, the injured person’s lawyer could come after your assets. Make sure you have enough enough insurance to cover a flooding disaster.
Flood insurance can always be purchased as optional coverage, but homeowners are usually still surprised to learn that they are not automatically covered when they find themselves in need. Be aware of short timelines if someone becomes injured. If someone is injured on city property, the timelines are quite short and notice must be given within 10 days.
Fortunately, there are many things that a homeowner can do to protect their home, property and self.
- Store important documents and personal items away from flood prone areas like basements.
- Carefully chose your footwear. Choose a shoe that has the most grip.
- Never store hazardous materials such as paint, oil and cleaning supplies in the basement. They can leak when submerged in water and create an environmental hazard.
- Know where the water main shut off is in your house.
- Never walk through water in flooded areas if the power is still on.
- Make a plan for your pets in case of evacuation. They are not often welcome in shelters.
- Have a friend or neighbour check your home daily if you are planning to go away during the winter.
- Raise large appliances off the basement floor to avoid water damage.
- Anchor fuel tanks. These tanks can float or tip over in a flood causing leakage and a possible fire.
It’s a sure sign of spring when neighborhood streets and sidewalk traffic is jammed with kids on bikes, their flowered baskets and suped up BMX models. Kids love bikes, but travelling at high speeds, lack of control over the bike when learning and neglecting to wear a helmet contribute to the risk and a cycling accident can be the end result for this popular spring pastime.
Who is at most at risk of a cycling accident?
Much has been written about the safety of our urban cyclist and cycling accidents and commuters, but children between the ages of 1 and 14 have the highest incidence of hospitalization due to bicycle injury. (Canada injury compass 2015.) Speed loving, stunt driving 10 – 14 years olds have the highest rate of hospitalization, followed by kids 5 – 9 years old leaving the little ones 1 – 4 with the lowest rate of injury. Not surprisingly, boys are injured far more often than girls. In 2010 – 2011 670 boys were hospitalized compared to only 195 girls. (CHIH’s Hospital Morbidity Database 2010 – 2011) Also notable is that the types of injuries sustained varied between age groups. 1 – 10 year olds were more likely to be injured due to loss of control and speed or distraction, whereas children aged 10 – 14 were injured doing stunts, tricks and biking on rough terrain. This age group was also involved in accidents with other motor vehicles. In all of these cases, there were head injuries which could have serious consequences short and long-term. Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of severe injury to kids on bicycles.
How to avoid a cycling accident
As with any sport or childhood activity, the best way to avoid treatment is through prevention. Make sure that your child always wears a helmet. Helmet use reduces the severity of injury by 80%. Parents should also wear helmets both for their safety and to model positive behaviour in their children. If you would like more information on insurance claims involving a cycling accident, we would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.
A very normal response to a tragic and abnormal event, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common form of mental illness brought on by exposure to serious trauma and events. People who suffer from this disorder are not always soldiers returning from the war front as we once thought. In fact, car accidents, cycling accidents and violent assaults are some of leading causes of PTSD.
When do PTSD symptoms appear?
While it is normal to be upset and anxious after a traumatic event, symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks. When they fade or get worse over time, PTSD may be the cause.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
There are several signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that are fairly easy to detect. Regular flashbacks of the tragedy, nightmares, constant anxiety and fear are all typical hallmarks. In addition, several risk factors increase the likelihood that someone will develop PTSD following an accident or tragedy. If the accident was particularity severe, if the victim was catastrophically injured or feels that their life was threatened by the accident or if the victim has had a previous traumatic experience or history of mental illness, there is a greater likelihood that the disorder will develop.
Lately, there seems to be an increased awareness of PTSD, but those who suffer still struggle when bringing claims related to non-physical injuries to court. Medical evidence is always key to proving your condition. If you have suffered a trauma and are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible to reduce the symptoms and allow you to cope better. It will also be helpful keep records of everything that you have experienced in the aftermath of the traumatic incident.
The success of a personal injury claim for PTSD always depends on the nature of the injury as well as the medical diagnosis and the evidence. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you make the claim with making claims and get you compensation for your treatment, loss of income, pain and suffering and other damages.