Written By: Rikin Morzaria and Patrick Sinclair, Articling Student
As personal injury lawyers, we here at McLeish Orlando have many people coming to our firm for help after suffering a wide range of injuries. We are always ready to help those coming to our doors with injury claims, but we would prefer to see people avoiding accidents in the first place.
Below are some steps you can take in your everyday life to reduce the likelihood of being involved in some of the most common accidents we see.
No matter if your sport is cycling, soccer, skiing, or hockey, is it vital that you have properly maintained equipment to decrease the risk of injury while playing the sport you love. This is particularly important when it comes to helmets. Helmet safety has been making great strides in recent years, but you should be careful to match the helmet to the sport and to ensure that the helmet is in good condition.
Bike helmets do their job for cyclists, but should never be used as a substitute for a hockey helmet when out on public skating rinks. Different sports have different styles of helmets for a reason. Make sure you and your loved ones have the right helmet to protect yourselves from the types of head injuries most common in your sport.
Helmet manufacturers have recommended lifespans for their helmets, and they should not be used past the end of that period. At the start of every season make sure that your helmet has not exceeded its lifespan and shows no signs of damage.
If you are a skier, make sure that you have properly sized skis that have been recently waxed and sharpened. Observe the Alpine Responsibility Code, and give inexperienced skiers a wide berth as their actions might be erratic.
If you are a cyclist, your tires should be properly pressured and inspected for cracks to prevent unnecessary bike accidents. Wear bright clothing, know the rules of the road, and ride defensively. Having the right of way does not mean the vehicles nearby have seen you. When in doubt err on the side of caution and arrive late rather than not at all.
Slip and Falls
Falls are one of the largest causes of orthopedic injuries, but, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Wearing proper footwear for the weather and being mindful of changing conditions are essential components of fall prevention. Avoiding over-exertion in hot weather can be as important as watching out for ice in the winter.
If you are responsible for maintaining a driveway or walkway, be sure it is properly salted, sanded and shovelled to prevent unnecessary slips. If you are going to be doing the shovelling yourself, make sure to take your time and know when you are too tired. Shovelling can be heavy work, and it is okay to take a break!
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The risk of the most common cause of serious personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, can be limited by ensuring that you have proper tires for the season, and you are using defensive driving techniques.
When driving inside the city, be mindful of pedestrians, even when you are not approaching crosswalks, and be wary of cars making left-hand turns in uncontrolled intersections.
On highways, maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, and if a car is tailgating you, consider changing to a different lane where possible. The Ontario Government recommends maintaining at a minimum, “two seconds” of space between vehicles.
Protection in Case of Injury
By observing the tips above you will be able to lessen the risk of being injured in an accident, but accidents can still happen. That is why it is important to have adequate protection should a personal injury occur.
Your automotive policy should respond to accidents that you are involved in with motor vehicles, but standard policy limits are often low, and the policies do not respond when it comes to other kinds of personal injuries. Consider talking to your insurance provider about what additional coverage you are getting from your home, and healthcare insurance policies. It may be in your best interest to investigate personal umbrella coverage to protect you and you loved ones in a broader array of accidents, and to provide additional coverage above your current policy limits. Talk to your broker about what coverage they can offer as policies will differ.