National Child Passenger Safety Week — 3 ways to protect your child from personal injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control,  more than 121,350 children  ages 12 and under were injured and 602 chldren  died in car accidents in 2014!  Statistics like these are why September 17-23, 2017 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

This hits close to home for anyone who loves and cares for children. In fact, car seat and seatbelt use saved the lives of both of my friend’s neices a few years ago. Sadly, this horrific accident claimed the lives of three adults in the same vehicle.

Here’s another story I’ll never forget:

A fifteen passenger van collided with a semi-truck on a high speed highway years ago wiping out almost the entire vanload of passengers. A tiny survivor was found still strapped into his car seat in the middle of the highway, basically uninjured.

You may have a similar story to tell.  No doubt, child safety seats and seatbelts save lives!

Parents and caregivers, you can help protect our most precious natural resource — your children — whenever they travel in a vehicle.

Here are three simple steps to improve child passenger safety:

1.) Choose the right safety seat.
This sounds like a no-brainer. But, if you are a busy parent  or childcare provider with multiple children,  this step might fall through the cracks.

There are basically four types of car seats/restraints suitable for children — rear facing, forward facing, booster, and seat belt.

The appropriate type of child safety restraint changes with size and age.

For an excellent guide on which restraint is appropriate for your children’s size and age, check out this page: https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Types.htm?view=full

2.)  Check to see if your child safety seat  may be unsafe due to excess usage or involvement in a car crash:

Sometimes  budget constraints cause us to “make do” with what we have on hand.  A car seat’s buckles and straps get worn out by multiple users, limiting their effectiveness in an auto accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Advisory (NHTSA) advises against reusing a car seat that has been in a moderate to severe car accident.

How do we define a moderate to severe car crash? Again,  www.safercar.gov has a helpful brief guide here:  https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Using-Car-Seat-After-Crash.htm?view=full

Did you know that you can get your car seat inspected for safety and correct installation  for free?

To find a free inspection station near you, check out the link on NHTSA’s website.  https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats#inspection-inspection

3.)  Buckle up that tween in the back seat away from airbags. This may be the most difficult step to follow!  Gulp.

We wear seat belts in our family. Period. That’s a non-negotiable. It’s also the law.

Riding in the car’s front passenger seat, however, is another battle for a coveted spot!

It’s common knowledge that many car accidents damage the front of the car. So, the back seat is usually safer for children ages 12 and under.

Why? That’s the question your tween will ask. Ha! Here’s your bullet-proof answer. Airbags deploy at approximately 200 mph.

Imagine the damage this could inflict to anyone, let alone a child!  If you parent a tween,  you will have to decide if this is a risk worth fighting for.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the state of Missouri, children under 16 must wear a seat belt.  Unfortunately, this does not apply to school buses or public carriers for hire.  We have safety issues that still need to be addressed!

National Child Passenger Safety Week is just a friendly reminder to help you protect your most valuable treasures — your children.

If you or your child are injured in an auto accident due to another’s negligence, you need a car accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve!  A good car accident attorney will help you handle the insurance company as well as expertly represent you in court.

You will need money to cover injuries, damages, loss of work, and the many hidden costs of a car crash.

Do not settle with your insurance company without first contacting an experienced car crash attorney! 

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC believes in fighting aggressively for your rights. Call to schedule your free evaluation at 636-244-3737 today!

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.

 

 

 

 

Ride to survive — bicycle safety and enjoyment tips

While the National Bike Challenge of 2017 ends on September 30th,  that won’t stop you from pedaling along if you are a bike enthusiast!  (Be sure to sign up next May for the next National Bike Challenge.)

You may love to cycle for many reasons.  The crisp, cool fall weather is the perfect time to get out and go cycling!

Commute to work, anyone?  We have a friend who regularly cycled twenty-plus miles each way to work for a few years. Only bad weather dampened his enthusiasm.  That’s a lot of leg power!

Small town or big city dweller, cycling to work has seen a 40% increase since 2000 according to this  Business Insider  article.

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-reasons-you-should-bike-to-work-2012-10

My favorite reason  for biking to work cited by the  author was the overall health benefits.  Places like Portland, Oregon have invested in a biking culture with the potential of saving millions of dollars in healthcare expenses over the years.

Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are probably the top reasons people enjoy biking. 

Cycling is great personal therapy!  You cycle to get away from the “rat race” and to feel the wind in your face.

For you, biking is a wonderfully healthy hobby.

Want to explore a new trail away from the traffic? If you live in the greater St. Louis area, there are  many trails options to enjoy.

You can check them out here:  https://www.traillink.com/cityactivity/st-charles-mo-bike-trails/

Riding bikes together can promote family unity and happiness. 

Skinned knees and scraped hands — who remembers the thrill of learning to ride your own bike?

I was reminded of this childhood rite of passage when visiting with a nephew and niece this summer.  Their young faces beamed with pride as they boasted of their new skills on wheels!

Commuting, therapy or hobby cycling, and family cycling — wherever you roll, you want to stay safe and avoid being an bicycle accident statistic.

The good news is that only 2% of traffic deaths in 2014 were bicyclists!  To help stay on the good side of those statistics,  a quick run-down of safety rules on a regular basis is helpful.  Read and share the love (and safety) with your family!

Basic Bicycle Safety Tips:

  • Protect your brain-power. Wear a proper-fitting safety helmet.
  • Follow all traffic laws. It’s the law!
  • Avoid cycling at dawn, dusk, and after dark. Even with safety reflectors, bike lights, and light-colored clothing, bicycles and pedestrians are still almost invisible at these times of day.
  • Make sure your bike is in tip-top shape — no faulty brakes or leaky tires.
  • Cut out distractions such as cell-phone usage or listening to music on headphones.
  • Wear protective and reflective clothing. Fellow flip-flop wearer?  Well, just give them up for the ride!
  • Avoid drinking and riding. Why? One in five fatal bike crashes involved a cyclist with a blood alcohol content of .08  according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists
  • Printable bike safety tips are available from AAA: http://exchange.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/AAA-Bike-Basics.pdf

Sadly, even the best bicycle safety practices cannot prevent all accidents due to a negligent driver. If you or a loved one are suffering with a personal injury from a bicycle accident due to a careless driver, you need expert legal help and advice!

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free consultation and a fair evaluation of your personal injury case with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Call 636-244-3737 to get help today!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 ways to avoid a work-related accident…

A family friend loves to circle the children around him, especially when he meets new people.  It’s story-time!

He flashes his hand with the stubby thumb  and says, “Guess what I ate for lunch?” The littlest ones eyes grow big,  while the older ones give “Bob” a knowing stare.  There’s more to this story — can’t fool the tweens!

After all,  if you only have a stump of a thumb left, you might as well milk it for all its worth.  Gotta make some lemonade with that lemon. “Bob’s” thumb is not going to grow back!

While “Bob’s” accident was related to a home-improvement project on his own property,  many other work-related accidents occur in the U.S. each year. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics for 2015,  some manufacturing businesses were listed as having the highest numbers of work-related injuries.  https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/ostb4741.pdf

We’ve come a long ways since the horrors of the 1911 Triangle Factory (clothing manufacturer) fire in Manhatten. Workers were locked inside this high-rise building to prevent theft.  As the fire spread,  most of the young women factory workers jumped out of the windows to their death rather than being burned alive.

Safety and concern for human life seem to be hard-earned lessons for the human race!

With careful thought and planning,  most companies in the U.S. today work hard to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

Still, almost any job has work-related hazards. You could even trip and fall over poorly installed computer wires!
I spent a summer working in a country store deli as kitchen help. Since I was just over 18, I had the joy and privilege of running the giant electric meat slicer!

I was duly warned about the dangers and given training on equipment safety techniques. Still, every time I was sent to slice I breathed a sigh of relief when the job was done.  I really enjoy using both of my thumbs to this day. (Sorry,  “Bob”.)

Based on what I learned to safely operate the meat slicer, here are a few basic work safety tips for every job requiring  the use of tools.

1.) Don’t let co-workers distract you while you work with tools!

Yep! Your fellow man can be both your greatest help and your biggest liability! Talking with your co-worker about weekend plans while running a potentially dangerous tool is a seriously bad idea. It’s like texting and driving.  Just don’t  do it!

2.) Write a list of basic safety procedures needed to do your job if your company doesn’t already provide one!

Refresh your memory often.  Take your list to work if need be.  Being prepared is so much better than operating blindly! Sometimes  on-the-job safety training is simply inadequate. It’s rushed. You only practice once. You come into work the next day a bit puzzled, trying to remember the right steps in the right order.

Ask questions!  Be a pest. It’s okay.  Safe is better than sorry. That’s what your momma always said, right?

3.) Let your boss know when you are under the weather, or seriously “off your game”.

Obviously I couldn’t run the meat slicer if I was coughing and sneezing — a germ hazard for others, for sure.  However, having a headache and slicing meat is an equally bad idea. If you are not “on your game”,  no boss should want you operating heavy or dangerous equipment.  if they do, well, …

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job even if you are at fault,  you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney  in your corner to fight for your rights. Work-related injuries can change your life forever!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC is licensed to handle workers’ compensation cases both in Missouri and Illinois. You will  receive experienced and aggressive legal help for your work-related injury case. You can find more information here:  http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC wants you to know that  even if you have been denied workers’ compensation, you may still have a personal injury case!  Call for a free consultation 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer fun in the sun? How to avoid needing a personal injury lawyer for your backyard

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School’s out! Sun’s up, fun’s up! Shoo those kids out to the backyard already.

My kid has already been cherry-picking. She can’t wait to take her first outdoor swim of the season, too. ( We have a kind neighbor in town.) If only I had a way to get her out in the yard every single sunny day!

Like myself, more parents are  trying to think of ways to get our children outdoors on a regular basis even when their friends are on vacation!

One idea that bounced through my mind was this: a trampoline would be a great investment in fun, sun, and solitary exercise!

Saying this on personal injury lawyer’s website, I must mention that trampoline injuries are certainly a safety issue.

https://greatoutdoorsfamily.com/2017/04/13/are-trampolines-dangerous/

The short answer in the article above is YES. Trampolines are dangerous. So is riding bikes. Gymnastics, swimming, baseball, soccer — you name it — kids get injured doing these activities on a regular basis.

However, letting your child’s mind and body veg in front of a screen all day is a equally dangerous.

In fact,  pediatricians in the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend no more than 2 hours of screen time daily.

Tragically, even our youngest children are becoming more and more sedentary!

According to an article on http://healthychildren.org by Kelsey Sisti, M.D., FAAP,  one in five kindergarteners are carrying excess weight.  To be fair, diet and exercise are not the only factors in childhood obesity, but they certainly do contribute.

We need to unplug our kids!

I’m preaching to myself here. It’s on my active radar to find ways to keep us moving. I write from home.  When I need to focus,  it’s easy to plug my child in to buy myself some white space.

Setting up an enticing backyard play area can be key to promoting a healthy lifestyle.

This could include a pool of any size, play equipment, soccer goals, and, yes, a trampoline!  Can you tell I’m a bit hooked on the idea?

Pools and trampolines are kid-magnets. Buy either one, and you could end up with a flock of neighborhood kids in your backyard!

What if your neighbor’s child breaks a bone on your trampoline?  Even worse, imagine a back or neck injury that lasts a lifetime.

You can be sure someone will have to pay those medical bills.

What about some common sense tips to protect you from being sued because of your backyard trampoline?

  • Research which trampoline models have good safety ratings and features. Again, the article and website linked above will provide you with some good research. Having a protective netting around the trampoline seems to be key to preventing the worst sorts of head and neck injuries.
  • Set up your trampoline in a gated and locked back yard, if at all possible.  Just like you don’t want your neighbor kids sneaking in to use a pool, the same applies to the trampoline.
  • Put “No trespassing” signs up on your fenced back yard.  This may offer you some legal protection. See your personal injury lawyer for details.
  • Establish safety rules for the trampoline. Write them down. Make your kids memorize and spout them back to you. (accompanied by the usual sighs and eyerolls, to be sure.)
  • Talk to any parents whose children might be invited to use the trampoline and give them your list of safety rules
  • Call both your homeowner’s insurance company and a personal injury lawyerhttp://steimel-law.com/personal-injury-premisesliability.html  Find out what you would be liable for in your state and county!
  • IF you allow friends or neighbors to use your trampoline, this is time for adult supervision. You need to make sure your safety rules are being followed.

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC want to help you avoid being sued for a slip-and-fall accident on your property.  If you should need legal help, please call for a free initial consultation. (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.

Suffering chronic pain from a (even minor) car accident?

Maybe you were recently rear-ended in a minor car accident. Your car was only slightly damaged. But what about your body? 

The next day, perhaps you woke up with a sore neck or even lower back pain. Trip after trip to the doctor has sucked away your precious time and money.

“It’s just a soft tissue injury. Give it time.” Have you heard this?

Unfortunately, your insurance adjuster often considers a soft tissue injury as minor.  So might your doctor!

Weeks can turn into months of pain. Your medical coverage may run out. You can barely work or function around the house. Even worse, your injury is “invisible” to most.

“But you look SO good!” You may have heard these words from family, friends, and neighbors if you are suffering from chronic “invisible” pain. It’s just human nature to not believe what we cannot see.

Recently, a family member was told by a pain management doctor that his back pain was his friend. “Suffering is just part of the journey.”

Yeah, well! Let’s trade shoes for a week, shall we? Pain is a friend no one wants to keep!

Instead, listen to what one local chiropractor says about soft tissue injury.

“…soft tissue injury can result in chronic pain and limited mobility which can result in permanent disability.” (from the newsletter of Dr. Martin Schmaltz of Hazelwood, MO,  www.drmartinschmaltz.com)

Fortunately, you have these experts in soft tissue injury on your side. Your local chiropractor may be just the medical expert to see after even a minor car accident. They can help you in two ways!

1.) Documentation for your personal injury lawyer to help fight for insurance coverage

Chiropractors will help document soft tissue damage that may lead to chronic pain and disability. They take these injuries very seriously.

Records from your local chiropractor can be used to aid your personal injury lawyer to get the best possible coverage from your insurance company.

Partner with your local personal injury lawyer!  Ask about which chiropractor your car accident attorney recommends.

2.) Treatment for your soft tissue injury

Together your personal injury attorney and your chiropractor can possibly prevent a life of chronic pain and disability! Let’s get rid of that unwanted “friend”.

Have you been experiencing chronic pain over time due to a car crash?

Maybe you’ve already used up insurance coverage for a prior auto accident where you were not at fault. Perhaps you did not have an attorney’s help. You can still get a free initial consultation from a personal injury lawyer to see if there is any additional help or coverage possible.

At The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC, chronic pain from any sort of car accident or slip and fall is a serious matter. Attorney Steimel knows how chronic pain turns your life upside down. He will fight for your ability to get the treatment you need!

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury-carcrash.html

NO money, no worries! You will pay no attorney fees unless a settlement is reached in your favor. 

Give The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC,  a call today for help with your accident-related chronic pain. (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.

5 Open season safety tips (for pools and kids, that is)

 

Warm weather, sunshine, and outdoor pool time – sounds wonderful and innocent like childhood should be, right?

For one family I met, though, the backyard pool was covered with vines. It was a horrible, daily reminder of the tragic drowning loss of their three-year old daughter.  As a guest at their home, I could barely bring myself to look at it either!

It is surprising to learn, though, that “drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4,” according to Pool Safely.

Homepage

 

Let’s ask an important question here. What if that drowned child was your neighbor’s kid swimming in YOUR backyard pool?

A drowning tragedy is something you never want to experience in your family or your friends and neighbor’s families. The consequences could spiral – broken relationships and possible personal injury lawsuits being among them. Even a bad slip and fall injury at your family’s pool could really dampen the summer fun.

So here are a few basic “hello, there” reminders to help avoid injury or even death this summer. They may seem obvious, but sometimes the simplest steps are the best.

 

1) NEVER let children swim alone.

Truth! It’s not even a great idea for teens or adults to swim solo, but we do. Imagine the sick feeling we had when we learned a friend’s son drowned while swimming alone in the ocean! We like to think we’re invincible. In fact, life is so fragile.

Children should always swim with a responsible older person.  Make sure that person knows they are the designated child watcher, too.

 

2) FENCE, GATE, AND LOCK your pool.

If you can afford to maintain a pool, you can afford a fence with a gate and some sort of lock. Some districts require this of homeowners. You will never be sorry you had these safety measures in place.

We’ve all heard the tales of neighbor kids sneaking into a pool while the family was gone. It’s just too big of a temptation to resist for some kids! Hang a “NO Trespassing” sign, too, just to cover all your bases. You really do not want be held liable or start a neighborhood feud.

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury-premisesliability.html 

3) Make sure your kids know how to swim!

Our family doesn’t own a pool. We’ve been kindly invited to spend time at a neighbor’s pool each summer. I always accept! Why? Teaching my child how to swim was on my top 10 life-skills list. It took multiple summers, but I’m the proud momma of an official swimmer now. The drowning risk is lessened!

4) Ban running around the pool perimeter. Really?

Think wet pavement. Think slip and fall accident. Think concussion, broken bones, or stitches. If you have a pool brimming with kids, you need some basic sanity rules. This is just one of a handful of rules you need.

5) Check/Install anti-entrapment drain covers AND cover your pool when not in use.

Kids and kittens do the craziest stunts! Just add water to create more drama. Extra precautions are more than wise. You may even save a life!

At The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC , we can help if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident. Attorney Steimel is an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call for a free initial consultation 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 survive your teen learning to drive

Drive to Survive: why some driver’s ed for teens is a good idea

Do you have teens anxious to get behind the wheel? It’s a terrifying stage of parenthood for many folks.  When it is time for your teen to learn to drive, not only do you want full and proper insurance coverage, you want them to have mad driving skills. After all, there are a lot of crazies on the road!

So do you have what it takes to pass these survival skills along? Or do you need to hire a driver’s ed company? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Am I a patient teacher? 

Equipping your teen to drive safely and avoid unnecessary auto accidents takes time, practice, and patience. Loads of patience! Are you ready for that?

Am I a good example?

Step back and take a long look at yourself.  What is your driving record like?

Do you have a history of at-fault car crashes?  Loads of speeding tickets?

Hopefully not a DUI on your record, right? If you’re not pretty clean, you should consider deferring to someone else to teach your teen.

Do I or my spouse have time to invest in hours of driver instruction?

You and I both know it’s a dangerous road out there. Not only does your teen have to deal with their own lack of driving experience, they will have  to deal with the reckless and sometimes dangerous driving of others. You will need to plan to spend many hours beside your teen as they drive in many  different situations and weather. (Just no tornado chasing, okay?)

Does your teen listen to you …fairly well?

Ah! There’s the rub for a number of parents. If your teen constantly tunes you out, teaching them to drive is likely to make these issues worse. You need to know your teen will listen fairly well as you give driving instructions. Patiently, of course!

How well do you know the traffic laws? 

Many of us could use a refresher course, right? Things change over the years.

Some of us, well, know family members or friends we wish we could send to driving school.

Of course, this is no excuse to shuffle the job to someone else. Get the Driver’s Handbook out and review! You could make it a trivia game with your teen.

Is your child’s life worth the risk?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens aged 16-19! Honestly, considering all the distractions available to drivers today, that’s not too surprising. You want to do your best to protect them against a tragic car accident!

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

Actually, the best option is parental training and a driver’s ed class. 

After all, you are the person who cares the most for your child’s well-being,  right?

Pick the safest parent teacher. You get a refresher course in defensive  driving as you teach your teen what you know.

You’ve lived this long already! Your experience really does count.

Happily, whatever they learn from you is  reinforced by an outside authority.  That way it’s not just what Dad and Mom say.  Your teen may even end up being impressed with your driver savvy. If not,  it’s time to take  them out go-cart racing!

Good news! If you pay for defensive driving classes, you can save on your teen’s auto insurance. 

While driver’s ed is not mandatory in the state of Missouri , defensive driving classes do save you money in the long run. Most insurance companies will offer a 5% to 15% discount for certified completion of defensive driving or even an online driving class.

https://www.dmv.com/mo/missouri/drivers-ed

At The Law Offices of Nathan Steimel, LLC,  we think defensive driving safety is important! It’s like eating healthy food, exercising, and getting  your regular check-ups. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowledge and practice! That’s what it takes to build a safe driving experience for your teen. If you or your teen should end up in an auto accident, you can protect your legal rights by calling our car crash attorneys at (636)244-3737.

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

 

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.