Teach Your Child About Safety

Once the summer ends and school is back in session, you shouldn’t have to worry about your child, wondering if he or she is safe. While schools should be a safe environment for children of all ages, children are still prone to injury at school or during extracurricular activities. It’s impossible to follow your child around all the time nor can you create a magic bubble to protect them from harm. You can, however, teach your children how to be safe at school and during other activities away from home. Your child may still suffer an accidental injury, but if he or she is prepared to be safer the chances of injury are less likely.

At School


Children of any age are prone to injury from time to time, it just seems to be a natural occurrence. Whether your Kindergartener tripped on his untied shoelaces or your teen daughter slipped on the ice while wearing slick soled shoes, you can’t always predict when an accident will occur and if an injury will be the result. When your child attends school, he or she is taught about school safety and what choices are safest. Unfortunately, like many children are known to do, some follow the rules only some of the time. Here are some ways to reinforce your child’s  safety at school:


  • Remind your child to follow directions and don’t break any safety rules.


  • Encourage your child to think before he or she makes a choice at school. For example, ask questions that will make your child think about consequences. What would happen if you pulled on your classmate’s shirt? What might happen if you jump off of the monkey bars? How would you feel if your chair fell on the floor because you were tipping backwards?


  • Explain your expectations and discuss consequences for not following safety rules at school.

On the Field


Kids who play sports are almost destined for an injury. Each year, millions of children of all ages visit the ER for various sport related injuries from dislocations to concussions. While it’s the coach’s responsibility to supply safety equipment and teach your child how to use it properly, you can be influential in your child’s safety during sports. Explain to your child why safety equipment, such as helmets and pads, are essential while playing a sport. Encourage your child to talk to you if he or she feels like the sport is too dangerous or if he or she sees that the equipment is not being used properly. Additionally, always encourage your child to warm up and to stay hydrated in order to prevent injury.

Out and About


Whether your child walks home from school with a friend or is taking the bus for an extracurricular activity, your child must know how to be safe. While goofing around on the school bus seems to be the “cool” thing to do, remind your child how to be safe while riding a school bus and explain that failing to follow directions can lead to injury.


If your child is old enough to walk home from school or walk around the neighborhood with friends, he or she may still need to be reminded about safety. Even in low traffic neighborhoods, children may be injured as a result of failing to pay attention to traffic or walking in the street.


If a child is well-informed about safety and injury prevention, he or she can have more independence without causing you stress or worry.


Choosing a Personal Injury Specialization

As a lawyer fresh from law school, or even as an established member of the bar, it is easy to see and note the various occurrences that result in personal injury all around you. There are so many cases of personal injury each year that it can be tempting to want to handle every single one of them. Asides from the sheer volume of the work that would definitely weigh one down, it is noteworthy to mention that narrowing your field can help you better concentrate in your particular niche. Choosing the right specialization can help you do good for society and excel in your area of expertise.

Types Of Personal Injury Cases

There are many different types of personal injury cases, and some of them include traffic accidents, work accidents, assault, product defect, holiday accidents, medical malpractice and negligence (including dental), industrial diseases, repetitive strain injuries etc. The following are some questions you should ask yourself when you are trying to decide what aspect or type of personal injury case to specialize in:

Is This Your Passion?

The best personal injury lawyers are always passionate about the area they specialize in. You should ask yourself if you are concerned about a particular personal injury. Your compassion for victims of that particular injury would motivate you to do your best for them. Being too passionate about a cause can be a double-edged sword. If you should happen to be too passionate about the particular injury, your judgment could become clouded, or your decisions could be called in to question due to personal bias.

Do You Understand It Well?

Understanding the aspect of personal injury is a major requirement for choosing your focus area. It is common sense that you are likely to continue to do well in an area that you understand well. If you are a recent member of the bar, you can choose an aspect that formed a part of your bachelor’s degree, or if you are a seasoned attorney, then you must know or have a very good idea of what areas you have aptitude in.

Are You Compassionate?

Every personal injury lawyer, just like every lawyer, is in it for the win. You need to win the case and ensure your client gets what they deserve. However, in personal injury law there is also the humanity factor. Many of the top personal injury lawyers would tell you that the most important factor in this field is compassion. If you are compassionate with your clients about their personal injury struggles, and you are concerned with getting them their due, this will give you the motivation to succeed in doing so.

Making The Decision

You must be sure that you want to pursue personal injury law before even pondering a specialization. If you have decided that this is the route for you, choose the focus are in which you have a combination of passion, knowledge, and compassion. Narrowing it down in this way should help make your decision an easier task.

Feel Better After Suffering Medical Malpractice

Feel Better After Suffering Medical Malpractice

After an injury related to medical malpractice, it is not uncommon to be reluctant to want to stay away from hospitals. While that is understandable given the circumstance of the injury, rehabilitation is a necessary part of the healing process. This requires a professional level of care and stress relief. This stress relief can come from sources other hospitals, and some of the techniques can even be performed by you. The following are some simple ways you can relieve stress and feel better after experiencing a medical malpractice injury.


People often try to return to full capacity after undergoing a medical procedure. If you have experienced an injury in the process, getting plenty of rest is especially crucial to help feel better and heal. It is important to let your body recover at its own pace. Do not rush this process by attempting to jump back into your previous routine until you are fully ready to do so. This will help also help to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the injury, and help to prevent further injury. Studies show that injuries occur more frequently when there is a preexisting injury.

Get a Soothing Massage

For thousands of years, massages have proven to be a sure solution for aches and pains. There are different massage therapies that can be implemented, depending on your injury and injury site. They can help with pain management and stress relief. There are many types of massages that target different results. Some examples of the many varieties of massage therapy styles include: Trigger point massages which focus on the area of injury where muscles have knotted due to the trauma, and Key area massages which focus on specific portions of the body which have been shown to have effects on other parts of the body.

Licensed chiropractors can provide this type of relief by pinpointing your trouble areas and focusing in on spots that are most troubling to you.

Other kinds of massage that are popular and well known include Swedish massage, Deep tissue massage and the Sports Massage. The Sports Massage deals with muscle based injuries. It should also be noted that massages are not restricted to muscle trauma, but can also help fibromyalgia, insomnia, anxiety and many other ailments.

Give Yourself a Massage

This massage is highly effective in treating trauma related injuries. It involves placing a ball, usually a tennis ball, on the floor of your tub which is to be filled with bearably hot water and then lying on the ball in order to run it across your back. This particular massage is effective because it utilizes both the hot temperature of the water and the nature of the ball to massage the injured area. There are many ways you can relieve stress and assist your body in the healing process after an injury. There are studies that state that having a positive outlook can help expedite your healing time. Try not to become overly angry or anxious about your medical malpractice injury. This will only add stress that can slow down your recovery. Focus instead on action items you can do to improve your circumstance.

According to the Colleran Firm, 70% of medical malpractice injuries cause serious injuries and 30% cause death. Medical malpractice is more serious than many people perceive it to be. It is a leading cause of death, yet it does not seem to get the same awareness as more ‘sensationalized’ news stories. Sadly, many Americans are experiencing the repercussions first hand.


Product Recall? Here Are Your Options

Consumer products are recalled nearly every day. As discussed on USA.gov, recalls may be initiated by the manufacturer or the government to protect consumers from products that have the potential of creating health and safety risks.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for recalls in a range of categories, including children’s products, appliances, electronic and electrical products, clothing, furniture, household products, outdoor products, lighting, and sports and exercise equipment, as reported on Recalls.gov. Recent recalls are posted on the CPSC home page. Before you buy a product, particularly a children’s product, it is good idea to check and ensure that it has not been recalled.

When a recall action is taken, according to USA.gov, sale of the product may be banned or consumers might be asked to return it for repair or replacement. In some cases, the manufacturer provides an additional part to make the product safe.

If you have purchased a product that has been recalled, take the following measures to ensure yours and your family’s safety:

  1. Go to the CPSC website page where product recalls are posted and locate your recalled product.
  2. Find out what the hazard is and why the product was recalled.
  3. Double check the model numbers to ensure you have the same product.
  4. Find out what the remedy is for that particular recall. You may be asked to:
  • Return the item to the manufacturer for a replacement
  • Take the product back to the store for a refund or exchange
  • Return a part of the product to the manufacturer for replacement
  • Order a repair kit free of charge
  • Throw the item away and receive a refund or exchange
  • Remove a dangerous piece from the item to eliminate the hazard
  • Replace instruction books or warning labels for the product

You will almost certainly need to contact the manufacturer of the recalled product. This is generally done by calling a toll-free number, but manufacturers may provide a way to contact them online regarding recalls.

In the case of baby products, About Parenting recommends that you register products using the forms provided when they are purchased so the manufacturer can contact you in the event of a recall. About Parenting also states that CPSC has warned consumers against attempting to repair recalled cribs on their own. In fact, you should not try to fix any recalled product on your own unless you have specific instructions from CSPC or the manufacturer to do so.

Before You Rent Out Your House Make it Safe for Tenants

Before You Rent Out Your House: Make it Safe for Tenants

Rental properties can be a great and relatively easy investment, particularly if you find responsible renters who love the apartment or house and plan to live at the residence long term. As a landlord, you have many responsibilities which include making your property safe and sound for any potential renters.

Even if you are hesitant to put a lot of money into a property that may get wrecked by rowdy renters, you must keep tenants safe from falls due to a broken stairwell or scalding burns from an old water heater. Your investment in your renters’ safety will save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.

Your Renters Have Rights

As a landlord, you have expectations of your renters that you make clear in the lease which most often includes paying rent on time and being respectful of the rental property. However, if you fail to make the rental property “livable” you are violating your renters’ rights and they have the right to withhold rent payments, ask for compensation, or even sue you for negligence.

Even if your rental property is older and requires a little work, simply reducing the rent will not compensate for lack of safety or livability. In order for a rental property, apartment or house, to be considered a habitable living space (also known as Implied Warranty of Habitability) includes the following, but may not be limited to:

  • Structurally Safe and Sound: Stairs, floors, foundation, and the roof should all be intact and safe for inhabitants. This means that the roof should be free from leaks and flooring should be strong.
  • Keep the Basics Operational: An apartment with faulty wiring, bad plumbing, or broken elevators are a recipe for disaster and tenant injuries. A good question to ask yourself; would you live in your own rental property? If you say “no”, you’ve got some work to do.
  • Heat & Water: Heat and water are basic needs. Your renters should be supplied with hot water and heat for the colder months. Make sure that equipment to heat water, such as water heaters or boilers, are in good working condition and set to a reasonable temperature. Too hot and your tenants can be injured badly.
  • No Exposure to Toxins: Many rental properties are old homes and buildings built with materials that are now known to pose health threats (such as asbestos and lead paint). Renters must know if they could be potentially exposed to toxins and you, as a landlord, should do your best to eliminate or reduce hazardous material.

When considering the purchase of a rental property, you must always consider the safety of the building. A certified home inspector, upon thorough inspection, can report what may need to be repaired. If too many things need fixing or replacing to make it safe before you rent, it may not be a worthy investment. Remember, as a landlord, your obligations are to recognize your renter’s rights and make your property as safe as possible.


Preparing for a Party or Event? Make Your Home Safe and Secure

Do not take unnecessary risks if you are hosting a party or event. Keep your guests safe, and avoid a potential injury or a lawsuit due to hazardous conditions. In fact, spinal cord injuries have been known to happen from a walk down a flight of stairs gone bad. It’s easy to overlook safety issues with all the activity of setting up a party, but the extra precautions will be worth the effort.

Examine the inside and the perimeter of the event location. Are there cracks in the sidewalk or potholes in the driveway? These could cause a slip and fall, making you potentially liable for any injury. If you have a bouncy house for a child’s party, make sure it is properly anchored and have an adult supervise it. Walkways should be free of obstructions or debris; clear out any furniture that obstructs the passageways. You should consider putting away small objects that can easily break or be swallowed by toddlers. You may want to use plastic and paper products rather than serve food and drinks in glass containers that can break.

A primary cause of accidents is a pool that is ungated or unattended. If you have no gate around your pool, designate one or more persons to keep an eye on swimmers and small children around the pool area. A fenced pool is not a guarantee that children won’t find a way in, so all children must be supervised at all times if a pool is on the property. Be alert for toddlers falling in the pool or jumping in without a parent. Water makes the poolside slippery, so ask guests not to run. Walking with bare feet on cement or slippery tiles could result in a head injury or worse. If adults are drinking alcohol, this adds a risk factor as well.

Take Safety Precautions to Avoid an Accident

Some safety precautions to take are:

  • Place decorative markers on sliding glass doors so no one runs into them.
  • Put extension cord covers on electrical wires to prevent tripping.
  • Put safety runners on slippery surfaces such as high polished wood or tile.
  • Cordon off staircases if small children are present or if stairs are worn; make sure hand railings are secure.
  • Keep knives or sharp objects beyond the reach of children.
  • Monitor alcohol intake of your guests; make sure they do not drink and drive.

It is well worth your while to make a checklist ahead of time for party and event safety. Make especially sure that there are sufficient fire exits and bathroom facilities. If it is a pool party or barbeque, have supervisors at these locations. An event or party can be a fun and memorable experience for you and your guests. Keep everyone safe and secure and it will be a hit!


Slip and Fall Cases – A Serious Risk for Business Owners

Most business owners have their attention focused on the day-to-day operations of their business, as well as its immediate and future success. The majority work hard to present a positive image of the business, improve sales and keep customers happy. Very few are worried about the risk of accident or injury, despite the fact that slip and fall cases can pose a serious and costly risk for business owners.

Under premises liability laws, business owners have a duty to reasonably maintain their property and premises in such a way so as to keep customers and invited guests safe. If a broken stairwell goes unrepaired, a leaky pipe is allowed to drip to the point where water pools on the ground, or an uneven sidewalk is not fixed in a timely fashion, it can pose a significant danger. In these situations, if a customer were to slip and fall due to an unsafe condition the business owner should have been previously aware of and taken prompt action to fix, that business owner could be liable for any injuries or loss caused as a result of his or her negligence.

The Severity of Slip and Fall Accidents

The severity of injuries in a slip and fall accident will largely depend on the surface where the accident took place, the cause of the accident, the force of impact, and the age of the victim. Some people will only suffer bumps and bruises after a slip and fall, while others may suffer broken bones, severe back and neck injuries, and traumatic head injuries. In rare instances, an individual could succumb to injuries sustained in a slip and fall. The medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and other accident-related expenses for which a business owner could be held liable will quickly add up.

In one case, an appeals court awarded $400,000 to the family of a victim who slipped, fell and broke his hip in a Target store parking lot. The man’s surviving family members received the award, as the victim and his wife had passed away before they were able to get their day in court.

Another woman was recently awarded $5 million dollars in a settlement brought about by injuries she suffered after slipping and falling on wet flooring glue at the school where she was a high school administrator. Her injuries caused long-term nerve damage and left her unable to walk without the use of the cane. She was later diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, as a result of her injuries, and requires assistance 24 hours a day.

What Business Owners Can Do to Minimize the Risk of Slip and Falls

Business owners can minimize their risk in slip and fall accidents by being diligent. Making sure walkways stay free of debris and clutter, keeping an eye out for potential slip and fall hazards, encouraging employees to report conditions which could prove dangerous, and following through with timely repairs can all reduce the liability a business owner may face. Even putting up wet floor signs can reduce the risk of injury and lower the potential for a premises liability case.


Important – But Often Overlooked – Business Start Up Tips

New business startups are challenging and adventurous, with a multitude of factors to consider. If you plan to grow your business or sell it someday, it is important that you run it right from the beginning and operate within the confines of the law. The basics steps involved in starting a new business are not difficult to find. For example, an article on Forbes tells you how to go about it in 8 key steps. The Small Business Administration also provides step-by-step instructions. However, certain new business tips, although equally important, are frequently overlooked.

Commonly Overlooked Tips for Business Start Ups

Get the insurance coverage your business needs. According to an article on Forbes, a small business owner may need any combination of 13 different types of insurance. A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines coverage your business needs in one package and typically saves you money. A BOP may include property insurance, auto insurance, liability insurance, crime insurance, and business interruption insurance. Depending on the type of business you have, you may also need errors and omissions professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, directors and officers insurance, data breach insurance, or other types of coverage.

Set up your general ledger properly. You can buy off-the-shelf software for this purpose, but according to an article on Entrepreneur, you should carefully consider your initial financial setup in order to fully understand your company financials and for future proof of the value you have built in your business. It may be in your best interests to hire an accountant to set up your books initially.

Keep careful records of your expenses. As covered in the Entrepreneur article, it is important to understand the extent of the items you are allowed to expense in your business. Keep all your receipts and meticulous records. This will help you with audits and due diligence of future potential buyers or investors, and enable you to reduce your taxable income without hurting the value of your company.

Keep business and personal expenses separate. A range of expenses meet generally acceptable accounting principle (GAAP) standards and it is perfectly legitimate to use business funds to pay for them. Using business funds for personal use, on the other hand, can get you in trouble with the IRS and expose you to liability, as covered in the Entrepreneur article. If you paid for personal expenses with business funds, it would be difficult to separate them out if your company was being valued in the future. The best policy is to keep personal expenses out of the business from the start.

Report all company revenue. If you are doing business in cash, it may be easy to skim money off the business, but that would be unadvisable. It could get you in trouble with the IRS and reduce the value of your company in the long run. It would be difficult to establish the value and growth of your business if you were not reporting the correct numbers.


What to Do When You Have a Defective Product in Your Home

Defective products enter homes every day. According to Andrade Law Offices, even companies who pride themselves on the highest of quality are not immune to releasing a product that could potentially cause a personal injury or kill someone. As careful as many consumers try to be, they are also not guaranteed a safe product. Defective products, sad to say, are a fact of life. Does this mean that we, as consumers, need to be OK with that? Of course not, but we can prevent the possibility of an incident in our own home by being a little more proactive and aware.

What is a Defective Product?

A defective product is simply something that doesn’t work the way it was intended to and can potentially result in the injury or death of an individual. Generally, there are three types of product defects: design, manufacturing, and marketing.

  • Design Defect exists before the product is manufactured. For example, a piece of machinery could be missing an essential safeguard that was overlooked during the design process. If someone is injured while using this product, it could be blamed on a design defect.
  • Manufacturing Defect occurs during the construction or production of the item. In many incidents relating to a manufacturing defect, only a small amount of the product (such as a batch) are deemed defective. Manufacturing defects are common and can include anything from automotive recalls, food products, and various products throughout the home.
  • Marketing Defect is the failure to warn consumers of danger or having improper instructions. Most often, marketing defects are fixed shortly after the report of a design defect.

In some cases of a defective product, the product can be taken off of the market because it contains all three defects.

Defective Products: Dangerous for All Ages

Visit Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on a weekly basis and you will most likely see new recalls directly related to a design, manufacturing, or marketing flaw. CPSC’s mission is to alert consumers before anyone is injured or killed. In the case of many recalls, the defect was discovered before an incident occurred or reported. Any product can be defective, whether they are toys for a child or a simple over the counter medication. Here are just a few examples of defective products that really left a lasting impression on consumers of all ages:

  • Bouncy Moon Houses: These inflatable amusement houses that have gained popularity in backyards and kid-centered events for years. Between 2003-2013, there were an estimated 113,272 ER treated injuries and 12 deaths associated with the inflatable homes.
  • Tylenol: This common, over-the-counter pain reliever was forced to recall millions of product in 1982, when 7 people died after ingesting Extra-Strength Tylenol laced with potassium cyanide. In a “Top 10 Recalls” list released by Time, the tragic incident forced Tylenol to change packaging, resulting in a much safer product.
  • Firestone Tires: In 2000, 6.5 million Firestone brand times were recalled after 175 deaths and more than 700 injuries, a defect related to manufacturing.

What if I have a Defective Product?

The best way to avoid purchasing a defective product is by paying attention to daily and weekly reports released by the CPSC. While they cannot guarantee “catching” every defect, their list is extensive and lifesaving.

If you suspect or know a product is defective, collect as much information as you can about the product (serial numbers, barcodes, descriptive information) and report it to saferproducts.gov Don’t become a statistic, help prevent defective products from entering homes.


What Are Your Options if You’ve Become Disabled?

Immediate Steps for Possible Benefits

If you have long been in the workforce, but have recently become disabled, it’s clear that your world has suddenly changed in a big way. Among other pressing concerns, you may be worried about how you are going to get by financially. If you are unable to work, the first step you can take down this path is to find out what benefits you may qualify for—there are systems in place for people in your situation.

If you became disabled on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation (which varies by state). Some states also offer public disability insurance, which will assist you if you have been paying into their program. Finally, those who have been paying into Social Security, and who are unable to work for 12 (consecutive) months due to a disability, should qualify for benefits from that program.

For help filing a claim, you can speak with a Flint Social Security Disability lawyer. The process can be quite complicated, so it’s worth getting legal advice: social security decides whether or not you are disabled regardless of what your doctor says. It can take up to five months to receive a decision, and sometimes claims are initially denied (though you may appeal). On the plus side, it may surprise you to learn that you can enroll in Medicare after two years of receiving Social Security disability benefits, even if you are not yet of retirement age.

Looking Ahead and Returning to Work

There is no shame in applying for benefits while you are unable to work, but of course it’s natural to be hopeful about returning to work one day. According to the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University, about a third of disabled Americans aged 21-64 are in fact employed. Moreover, it is illegal for employers (barring some small employers) from discriminating against those with disabilities. You may be able to return to your old job in exactly the same capacity as before, or your work life may look completely different after becoming disabled.

If you are looking for a completely new job, you may want to try GettingHired, which is an online resource for finding employment that suits your skills and needs as a disabled person. Some federal agencies actually have incentives to hire workers with disabilities, and the application process for these agencies is thus often streamlined. You may also consider working from home and/or becoming self-employment, especially if your disability involves fatigue or difficulty moving around.

As goes for all job-seekers, volunteering can be a good way to explore a field that interests you, and help get your foot in the door. Volunteer positions are also usually more flexible than paid positions, which may make them an attractive stepping-stone on your way to another job. Regardless of what you choose, remember that you have many abilities in addition to your disability, and that there is help available to you from many avenues.