Animal attack statistics that SHOULD concern you

Know your breed

Planning your summer vacation yet? School will soon be out and the kids will be home.  What you don’t plan on could come back to bite you — an animal attack!

Whether you’re a “helicopter parent”, a “free-range parent” or somewhere in the middle of that spectrum,  a normal parent tries to protect their children from harm.

Naturally, our parental warning radar pops into high alert when the Center for Disease Control warns us that there are 4.5 million dog bites a year.  According to DogsBite.org , there were only 39  dog bite fatalities in the U.S. during 2017.  Of these fatalities, 15 were children under the age of 9.

One of the most chilling factors in the 2017 statistics is that NINE of these fatalities were infants killed by a family dog!  Even scarier, most of these dogs had no history of aggression. You can read the stories with citations at DogsBite.org.

While you are at least 30,000 times more likely to die in an auto accident than an animal attack, a serious dog bite leaves both emotional and physical scars.

Just reading the horrific true stories of the men, women, and children who died from a dog attack gave me the chills. It’s a bloody, brutal death, made even worse if a trusted family pet turns on you.

Imagine being one of more than 28,000 people in need of reconstructive surgery due to dog bites!  (2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2015)

As a safety precaution, teach your children some basic common sense tips!  Help prevent dog bite or other animal attacks.

( This  Washington Post article states that you’re almost as likely to be killed by a cow as a dog. Not surprisingly, farm workers are at the greatest risk for this category of fatalities.)

COMMON SENSE DOG BITE PREVENTION TIPS:

 

  • Basic rule of thumb: Never leave a baby unattended with a family dog. If your child is going to babysit, this is also the safest practice for sitters.READ up on your breed before you adopt. Not to start a “breed war”, but a dog breed with any history of aggression does not belong with small children!

  • Don’t get your family dog riled up around small children. In fact, aggressive play with your dog is never a good idea.

  • Ask your in-laws, friends, or relatives to also never leave your infant or small child alone with their dog.  One dog bite can change family relationships forever!

  • Teach your child to never approach a strange dog. This is a rule I broke when my daughter was young! Gulp!  I did always warned her to ask the dog owner first. Dogs are often kid-magnets, depending on the kid! Mine is a dog-lover.

  • Teach RESPECT for other people’s property.  If your teens are caught trespassing, that dog bite might serve them right.

  • If greeting a friend or family member’s dog with permission, approach gently and allow the dog to sniff you first. Don’t stare into the dog’s eyes!

  • Call Animal Control if a strange dog is running loose. Many towns have ordinances about loose dogs (for good reason). In our town, the police arrived when Animal Control was delayed. Why? Our neighbor’s pit bull attempted to escape her fenced yard and was hanging from her chain over the fence. We could NOT approach safely to help her. The police were able to quickly and safely help the dog.

  • Do stay calm, don’t run, and don’t make panicky moves or noises if a strange dog approaches.

  • Have YOU been injured in a dog-bite attack? You need the help of an experienced animal attack attorney with extensive knowledge of your local laws in Missouri. You can reach Attorney Nathan A. Steimel at 636-244-3737. You will not be charged any lawyer fees unless your case settles favorably!

  • For more information on your likelihood of animal attacks (Good news, mainly, but watch out for … BEES!) check out the article and info-graphic below.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/17/health/animal-attacks-statistics/index.html

http://

Dog Bite Statistic Infographic
Source: CanineJournal.com

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

What you need to know about a deer-related car accident (with a few tips to help avoid deer)

Courtesy of State Farm

Did you know Missouri drivers are considered at high risk for a deer-related car accident?  Car accidents are a major stress point. So watch out for those pesky deer! According to insurance data and claims forms analyzed by State Farm auto insurance, 1 in 117 Missouri drivers in 2016 were involved in a deer-related car accident.

Fox2 Now also reported in December of 2017 that Missouri is in the “high-risk” category for deer-related car accidents.

Fall and winter are the worst seasons for this type of auto accident. It pays to be alert.  Deer just can’t read those “deer crossing” signs!  They don’t warn you of their presence, either. They are silent and swift but none too smart, apparently.

Unfortunately, the size of the beast causes a lot of body damage to a vehicle.  According to one auto insurance site, the average cost of deer-related car accident damage is about $4,000. Thankfully, these accidents cause very few deaths. Just stress, stress, and more stress!

When you’re tired and on your way home from work, put yourself on high alert. Dusk is just the time when the deer love to come out to feed. If your drive takes you past woods, farms, and fields, chances are even greater of a deer encounter!

Deer are social beings. Expect that when one deer appears, their family and friends are not far behind. I’ve counted at least eight deer leaping across the road in front of me in one incident. Fortunately, I’d been warned to expect a crowd! Even better, I’d seen the leader of the pack  in time to actually safely brake.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) says you should not swerve to avoid hitting a deer.  That’s the natural reaction for most folks. Instead, use your brakes!  Swerving creates huge problems, especially if there is oncoming traffic. A deer-related car accident that involves a second vehicle becomes much more complicated.

What happens if you don’t see a deer in time?

courtesy of the American Automobile Association (AAA)
  • Document your accident. If you think you have any insurance coverage, make sure you call the police. Take photos. Note the time, date, and place of the accident.
  • Don’t approach an injured deer. You could put yourself in harm’s way. Again, this is the time for a phone call. Police will dispatch someone to put the creature out of its misery.
  • If another vehicle was harmed due to your deer-related car accident, you absolutely must call the police. Again, document everything you can. Take plenty of pictures.
  • Take a deep breath and do a self-check. Any potential injuries? Did you hit your head? You may discover that you have whiplash symptoms hours later.  This is another reason to document your accident for insurance purposes.
  • Don’t drive your vehicle unless you are totally certain that it is safe to drive.
  • Call your car insurance company if you plan to make a claim.
  • IF you need to call your car insurance company, you may also need the services of a car accident attorney.

Why should you even consider calling a car accident lawyer?

Your car insurance company will seek to settle for the lowest acceptable pay-out.

You may discover you have long-term chronic pain in your neck or back as a result of your car accident. Sadly, chronic pain makes working a challenge and may even lead to job loss.

Attorney Nathan A. Steimel expertly handles car crash settlement cases in the greater St. Louis area. Book a free initial consultation today at 636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

How to avoid common pitfalls that cause construction accidents

Does your work take you down in the trenches? Did you know that trench collapses are among the top hazards for serious construction accidents?

According to this 2017 OSHA news release, trench cave-ins  and excavation operations caused more than 20 deaths and 12 injuries in 2016. A St. Louis area plumbing company was recently cited in more than one incident of unprotected trench construction at construction sites.

Sadly the second incident came on the heels of their 33 year-old employee’s death due to a trench cave-in construction accident.  What a tragic waste of a life!

In the citations, OSHA noted that the employees of the plumbing company were not properly trained in the hazards of trench excavation. A 12 foot trench was not properly protected with a support system. Even more basic, no ladder was supplied for the employees to quickly exit the trench in case of emergency.

It’s hard to understand this lack of safety equipment and basic safety knowledge.

Small businesses work so hard to build their clientele. Hiring good employees is another huge challenge. Why would you not protect them on the job?

We’re all going to have bad days! However, safety systems, training, and equipment help us all have fewer bad days. Construction accidents equal a very bad day.

With spring just around the corner,  the construction industry is going to be picking up speed and adding projects. As a worker, what can you do to protect yourself from a construction accident?

  • If you’re a construction worker, you can research your own job. Take a little initiative. What’s the proper safety equipment you need? Ask your employer. If they downplay this question, it’s a sign. No fortune cookie needed. Keep your eyes open for a new job!
  • Does a procedure look unsafe? Question it! It’s okay to stand up for yourself and the safety of those around you.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. This may mean cranking down the music, and responding to calls or texts only on a break.
  • Don’t let fellow workers distract you!  Any parent knows that the worst  accidents happen in a moment of brief distraction. Same rule applies on the job.
  • Be careful with prescription medications on the job.  You need to make sure you are okay to operate heavy equipment on your current medication.
  • Arrive at work sober. This may seem like a given, but bringing “Jim Bean”, “Jack Daniels” or any of his cousins to work increases your risk of construction accidents.
  • Make sure your safety equipment is working properly. ( Like checking your own latch on an amusement park ride.) If you see other workers tossing aside the safety equipment, be the safety advocate.  Someone’s mother will thank you!

Maybe you’ve already been injured in a construction accident. The stress is real! Pain, time off work, mounting bills — just to name a few issues.

 Need help getting your workers’ compensation pay? You must prove that your injuries are due to an accident on the job, no matter who was at fault. Expert workers’ compensation lawyers from The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC are available to fight your legal battles for you. Attorney Steimel is licensed to represent cases in both Missouri and Illinois.

Call 636-244-3737 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

Aggressive drivers and your auto accident

Aggressive driver?

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation statistics, aggressive drivers top the list for causing serious injuries and fatalities in the state. That means aggressive drivers caused 400 more deaths between 2013 and 2015 than drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Anyone here ever had to suddenly change lanes or pull off to the shoulder to avoid being hit by a “NASCAR” driver? Even if you managed to avoid a car accident, you still experience the trauma. Shortness of breath. Heart pounding. Hands shaking!

You’re not alone. MoDOT’s top category for serious car accident injuries is sadly named “run-off-road” crashes.  This type of accident caused almost 6,000 serious injuries and over 1,000 fatalities from 2013 to 2015.

The problem with a “run-off-road” crash is that many times the aggressive driver is nowhere to be found.

It’s terrible to witness a bad car accident, and not be able to identify the culprit.  This happened to me once.  Out of the corner of my eye in my rear view mirror, I saw an 18 wheeler going at least 60mph suddenly change lanes in front of an SUV. I was stopped in the far left turn lane. The SUV swerved to avoid the truck .  It flipped across the intersection in front of me onto the opposite side of the highway. Thankfully the opposing traffic was stopped at a red light.

The SUV was totaled. The 18 wheeler was long gone. Perhaps the truck driver never even knew he caused a terrible accident in his haste and carelessness. I could only say it was a white truck. Not much evidence to go on, for sure! I could only hope the driver didn’t sustain serious long-term injuries.

If you’ve been in a serious car accident caused by an aggressive driver, please read on!  Don’t just let your insurance company settle for you.

Even the Department of Motor Vehicles admits on their website that the auto insurance adjuster is going to offer you a low settlement fee. It’s their job. They have to watch out for the bottom line of the company they work for — even if it is car insurance you paid for.

However, a serious auto accident can cause a multitude of “hidden” costs over the years such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Back, neck, and spine issues
  • Eventual surgery
  • Lost hours of work
  • Worry and emotional stress due to pain and financial losses

Worse than a low settlement fee, your insurance company may try to claim your car accident was partially your fault.

If you’ve been the victim of a “run-off-road crash”, this scenario is even more likely.  Let’s hope you have a good, solid witness to your car crash. Aggressive drivers are often hard to catch!

Did you know that a car accident attorney will often take your personal injury case on a contingency fee basis?

This means the lawyer only gets paid if he wins your case. Then he gets a percentage of the settlement.

You owe it to yourself and your family to get the best possible legal outcome if your auto accident was caused by an aggressive driver.  The Law Offices of Nathan  A. Steimel, LLC  has a top rating as car accident attorneys by AVVO.  Don’t hassle with the insurance company! Get expert legal help instead.

Call 636-244-3737 today for a free initial consultation.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship

 

 

Construction boss? How to avoid hypothermia AND a workers’ compensation case

If you’re a great construction boss, you know your men. You do your best to protect them and your company from personal injury and the risk of a workers’ compensation case.

Your radar is on “high alert” if you have  a worker who regularly shows up with that suspicious whiff of alcohol on his breath.   However, you may not be aware that drinking alcohol puts your worker at greater risk for hypothermia.

It’s the slow season for those who work outside — roofers, home improvement contractors, and anyone in the construction industry. So, you take work when you can get it, right?  Working out in the elements is just something you do to make ends meet.  Plus, you need to keep your crew busy so they can feed their families.

Finding skilled reliable help is always a huge challenge for home improvement contractors and the construction industry. It’s easy to ignore that whiff of alcohol, however, when a crew member shows up dependably, works hard, and does good work. Your sharp eyes will always be watching to see if they are able to safely and reliably do their job.

Prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures is a game-changer.

That’s right. According to WebMD, alcohol increases this risk of hypothermia. Hypothermia threatens the safety of your crew and those around them in several ways.  To prevent a  serious accident on the job and  avoid a personal injury or workers’ compensation case due to hypothermia, you need to know the signs.

  • Shivering! This is actually a good thing. While there’s shivering, there’s hope! While we’ve all done our share of shivering due to winter weather, there’s a difference. In the early stages of hypothermia, shivering is uncontrollable. As hypothermia progresses, shivering stops. I experienced this years ago during a surfing lesson in the Pacific Ocean. The thickest wet suit available did not shut out the cold ocean temperatures. My teeth would not stop chattering!  Burying myself in the sun-warmed sand did the trick.  The key is WARM UP immediately!
  • Confusion. If your worker is not making sense, this is an elevated cause for alarm. Hypothermia is a medical emergency. It should not be ignored. It’s time to bring your crew in out of the cold for regular “warm-up” breaks. If you see a confused worker, you need to take swift action. While you wait  with the victim indoors for the ambulance to arrive, remove any wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and apply dry heat to the neck and middle portion of the body. Offer warm fluids. (NO alcohol, as that speeds up hypothermia.)
  • Clumsiness and lack of coordination. Cold weather numbs both the extremities and the brain. That roofing nail gun or circular saw becomes a deadly weapon in clumsy hands! Avoid a personal injury case and a workers’ compensation case by checking for hypothermia, offering warm drinks, and frequent breaks to your crew.
  • Shallow breathing, slurred speech, drowsiness and exhaustion — also watch for these signs of hypothermia.

The onset of flu symptoms combined with working in frigid temperatures is an added ingredient for a possible fatality.

It’s a rugged outdoor life as a construction worker. When tough guys try to power through  the weather, making that tough call may save lives and your business.

Injured on the job in Missouri or Illinois? You can find experienced, aggressive legal help today for your workers’ compensation case or personal injury case. Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC at (636)244-3737 for a free initial consultation.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.