Many people think our personal injury practice receives more cases in the winter.  Between slip and falls on ice as well as driving in the snow, we do get many cases each winter.  However, we are busier in the summer months with new cases.  People seem to get hurt more in the summer than in the winter.  Perhaps people are just out of the house more in the summer, so read on for summer safety tips!


This month’s column deals with some of the types of cases we receive in the summer months, and more importantly, what to do to protect your family and friends from becoming the latest clients of McCready, Garcia & Leet.


Bicycle safety

Whether for recreation or for exercise, many people ride bikes in the summer.  As a result, we handle many bike injury cases.  From our experience, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always wear a helmet.  There is no doubt about it.  Helmets save lives and prevent more serious injuries.
  • Beware of “dooring.”  While riding on the street, “dooring” occurs when someone in a parked car opens a door into the path of a bicycle.  Drivers may not be aware you are riding your bike as you pass, so always be aware of parked cars
  • Watch for pot holes.  Our roads take quite a beating in the winter, leaving pot holes and other hazards.  Each summer, we get calls from people who have serious falls after striking a pot hole or other road hazard.  Always be award of your surroundings and what you are riding over with your bike.


Lawn Mower Safety

It may seem obvious, but lawn mowers can be very dangerous.  Never operate lawn mowers or tractors without the safety equipment in place.  Additionally, lawn mowers and weed whackers propel gravel, rocks and other objects.  Always stay away from the path of someone using lawn equipment.  We have handled several cases where people have received injuries due to lawn mowers and weed whackers shooting rocks which have struck people in the face and eyes.


Pool Safety

Thankfully, we have never handled a case involving someone who has drowned in a swimming pool.  But, the chance is always there and here are a few things to keep in mind.  Never swim alone or allow a child to be in the pool unattended.  Be sure your ladder or fence is secure and does not allow access.  Finally, inspect the filter and drains to be sure they are in proper working order.  There are reported drownings of people whose hair has become entangled in malfunctioning pool drains.


Firework Safety

I know, this seems so obvious, but each summer we receive several calls from people injured by fireworks.  First, be very careful when you are lighting fireworks.  There is no legal case for injuring yourself due to stupidity.  Believe me when I say people do really dumb things with fireworks. Search fireworks accidents on YouTube for examples.  More importantly, be careful about where you light the fireworks to be sure no one is in danger from them.  Be sure everyone is far enough away in the event the firework does not shoot in the manner expected.  Better yet, leave the firework displays to the professionals.


Workplace Safety

Just as our personal injury cases increase in the summer, so too do our workers’ compensation cases.  Lifting injuries increase in the summer months as more people work outside.  Also, carelessness by co-employees seems to spike in the summer.  Everyone has something other than work on their mind on those gorgeous summer days.


Boating Safety

Boats require the same amount of safe operation as cars.  That means DUI laws apply to boating.  Don’t mix alcohol and boating.  We have handled all manners of injuries stemming from the negligent operation of a boat.  Don’t operate boats at an unsafe speed, be careful of other boats and swimmers in the water and watch for water hazards.  Boats do not maneuver as smoothly as cars, which can result in falls on the boat when a driver makes a sudden turn.  As a passenger on a boat, be aware of your surroundings and of the actions of the boat operator.  It is as much your responsibility to watch for your own safety as it is the operator.

Enjoy the summer and stay safe!