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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 ways to avoid personal injury on an ATV or motorcycle

The invention of the wheel changed people’s lives forever.

Our obssession with wheels and travel keeps evolving.

We go further and faster than any previous generation. The flip side of the coin is that few of us get through life without some sort of personal injury due a car or motorcyle accident.

I’ll never forget the day my brother’s set of wheels failed him!

We’re talking two wheels here. In fact, it was a souped-up bicycle with an actual motor attached.  He didn’t have to waste good energy pedaling.  It saved him extra exhaustion from the summer’s heat while he commuted to do yard work for clients a few miles away. (When you’re competing with older siblings for a ride to work, having your own wheels is a real plus!)

Unfortunately, he experienced a mechanical failure that sent him face first into a gravel driveway.

No bones were broken, but a faceful of imbedded gravel is super painful! Thankfully, there were no serious lasting injuries. Just a few facial scars.

Mechanical failure is one cause of car and motorcycle accidents.

Unfortunately,  the most common motorcycle and ATV accidents happen due to human failure — mistakes in judgment or carelessness.

Kids, country living, room to roam — add wheels to the mix, and you have the recipe for personal injuries that could be life-changing!

A friend I know was a best man at a wedding years ago. The night before the wedding, to celebrate,  friends and the groom-to-be took a rip-roaring spin through the fields and woods. No alcohol was involved.  Just speed-lovin’ guys and their wheels…

The bride will never forget that her groom arrived at the wedding with his arm in a cast and his ribs taped.

Again, it could have been so much worse.  Thankfully, none of his groomsmen suffered permanent injuries, and the groom recovered!

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports  over 1,700 deaths in 2014 due to motorcycle crashes alone.  Close to 2,000 injuries were reported.  https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/SAC/crash_data_motorcycle_960grid.html

This does not include any statistics for ATVs or other offroad vehicles that young people love to use.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data reports show that nationwide fatal ATV accidents have reduced significantly since 2006. The average for adult deaths per year ranges around 564 adult ATV-related deaths and 123 children.

If your young person is going to enjoy some offroading fun on a motorcycle or ATV, here are some safety pointers to review:  ( see https://onsafety.cps.gov)

1.) Get training on how to use the ATV from an experienced instructor.

Like me, you may know very little about operating an ATV. You need a teacher who knows what they are talking about and can show you or your young person the ropes in a hands-on way!

2.) Like a motorcyclist or any cyclist, you should always wear your helmet!

Just do it.  Head injuries account for almost 30% of personal injuries due to ATV accidents.  Would you really choose a wheelchair to be your next set of wheels? Imagine a brain injury that takes away your child’s ability to work or take care of himself!

3.) Maybe you’re working on that farmer’s tan, but wear protective clothing, too!

Long sleeves, long pants, protective eyewear — these are all smart moves to help protect against personal injury.

4.) Don’t overload the motorcycle or ATV! 

Seriously, unless you’re in a third world country and this is your ride to work, no crowds allowed!

5.) Last but not least, don’t let your smaller young person drive an adult-sized ATV!

Kids die in these accidents. Trying to drive a 600lb +vehicle  is a far cry from riding a bicycle. These wheels are FAST and HEAVY.  Even your super-kid with common sense may find themselves overwhelmed and unprepared.

Your friends at The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC want to encourage you to avoid needing a personal injury lawyer.  However, if you or your child have suffered a personal injury in an ATV or motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal help!

You will receive meticulous attention and a free evaluation of your personal injury case at The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC.  They will aggressively pursue your rights to compensation.

To schedule your free consultation call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC at 636-244-3737.

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

 

 

Facing a lifetime injury from an auto accident? Read this before you settle…

An auto accident injury could change your life forever!

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, and your insurance company is in a hurry to settle — BEWARE!

The quickest, easiest path is not necessarily the BEST choice. Think about it. Who will profit from a quick settlement? Most likely — both insurance companies involved. My friend Annie * is the perfect example of this.

Annie has been a  paraplegic for more than twenty years. She nearly died in terrible car crash after being t-boned by car racing through a red light at around 80 mph.  During long months in the hospital and rehab,  she was repeatedly asked to settle by her insurance company.

Thankfully, Annie didn’t settle. She realized her life was changed forever. Who can put a price tag on that?

She hired a savvy personal injury/car accident lawyer.

She waited for years to settle, learning over time all of the hidden costs of living life as a paraplegic.

Her list of new needs was much longer and more costly than she could have anticipated in the early days of recovery from her personal injuries.

She needs 24/7 live-in help.  Multiply that by 20 + years now.  Add inflation to the cost of living. Factor in finding honest, reliable help.  That’s a huge challenge by itself.

Her entire house had to be retrofitted for her to drive her scooter around inside the house. Doorways widened. New shower and safety bars installed. She needed new ramps built for her home’s exterior.

Of course, now she has to hire help to maintain every aspect of her home’s interior and exterior.

She also needed enough money for all of her routine bills for the rest of her life:  house payment, food, electric, water, gas, phone, clothing, etc…  And this was just the tip of the iceberg!

In order to get to doctors’ and therapists’ visits,  a handicapped van was required.

Surprise, surprise! The maintenance costs for such a vehicle are astronomical.  Another friend with handicapped children recently told me that their routine oil changes are nearly double the cost due to the modifications on their handicapped van.  Then, of course, over time, this vehicle needs to be replaced!

Because Annie is a spunky, smart go-getter, she didn’t settle for routine therapies.  After all, she only had limited success with those. Annie wanted to have a life!

Instead she tried alternative routes until she found healing therapies that worked best for her body and needs.

She was able to lose weight! She found an exercise routine and equipment that worked for her. She was actually able to bring back a certain quality to her life.  She lives modestly in a comfortable home of her own.

Did I mention that Annie is spunky? She has gone on adventures like sky-diving and hot-air ballooning. She takes vacations. She even takes time for mission trips to help others in third world countries.

In short, she is not miserable and neglected in some government-run assisted living home!

None of this would have been possible if she had listened to her insurance company’s many pleas to settle. 

Annie would probably have been forced to live in poverty, quite possibly in a group home. She would have had to rely on public transportation.

Worst of all, she would have to rely on the “moods” of overworked care-givers instead of hiring and firing her own private care-givers.

Her medical therapies and care would have been minimal.  Annie’s pain levels would likely been poorly managed.  This tragic accident could have led to a life no one wants to live!

Delaying insurance settlement for her best possible outcome made a huge difference for Annie!

Yes, it was a fight that went on for years!

Without an aggressive auto injury attorney on her side, life would undeniably have been very different for Annie*. 

*Name changed to protect personal privacy.

Are you or a loved one facing a life turned upside down due to serious personal injuries in a car accident?

Before you settle with any insurance company, be sure to seek professional legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Take a page out of Annie’s book — don’t settle for less than your best possible outcome!

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

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC are here to fight aggressively for you — not for the big insurance companies!  They won’t “farm out” your case to an inexperienced lawyer like some big law firms commonly do.

You need the best possible coverage to face such a mega life challenge.  Call 636-244-3737 today for your free 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drive to survive: How to avoid “road-rage” car accidents

Why does vacation time turn some folks into zombie-like drivers?

Vacation is supposed to be stress-free and happy, right?

If you live along a beach  or vacation traffic route like me, you know exactly what I mean.

You almost feel like these zombie drivers pack and hit the road with a killer-instinct for anyone who might be on their road.  Maybe they add some extra “juice” to their coffee?

For many years, our beach route highway was only one lane each direction with double yellow lines most of the way.  In the summer,  we cringed when we approach a curve or slight hill. You never knew if you will encounter someone zooming head-on in your lane  at 65 to 70 mph.  It made for a white-knuckled drive!

Thankfully they’re widening our highway bit by bit.  Who knows how many lives have been lost over the years especially during peak traffic season!  The locals blame the big city drivers from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. for the hair-raising drive to the beach.

The locals are right! These big city drivers have earned their reputation, too! Baltimore and D.C.  rank 8th and 10th as the top ten cities with the worst road-rage drivers according to http://www.monkeymeter.com

It’s no wonder handmade signs sometimes appear along our stretch of highway, “Go HOME! The beach is closed.”

While the St. Louis area is happily known for its courteous drivers,  distracted or careless driving can still easily spark a road-rage induced car accident.  You’ve all seen that speeding driver weaving in and out of traffic.

Or, a driver cuts you off,  and you narrowly avoid an accident!  You can’t help but notice they’re on their cell. Grrr!  See what I mean?  The blood pressure rises just thinking about it!

Those most likely to display road rage are between the ages of 18 and 39. That might include your vulnerable, newly-minted teen driver!

Need help starting that conversation? Tell your teen how not become a zombie driver.

Here are some common sense tips for surviving  zombie drivers:

  • Stay on “high-alert” for zombie drivers.  Don’t zone out.  You need to keep at least four of your senses in action. Hands on the steering wheel! Eyes on the road and mirrors! Ears tuned in for revving engines or other signs of trouble!   Your nose, well, if you drive an older car, this comes in handy for sniffing out trouble with your own vehicle.
  • Take a chill-pill. That’s right. If someone cuts you off, take a deep breath and let it go. Being tail-gated? Go ahead and get out of the left lane already!  Swerving car? Just try to stay out of their way.  I’ve seen my grandfather kindly pull off to the shoulder numerous times to let faster moving traffic go past him. That’s right, parents! It’s up to us to show our teens how to respond to road rage.
  • Decide if the driver needs police intervention.  Once we noticed a semi- truck repeatedly swerving into the lane beside him. Knowing that truck drivers often face crazy deadlines, we wondered if he was sleepy. After watching him carefully from a distance for a few miles, we decided to call the police. It was for his own safety as well the safety of others.
  • Never pull over to speak to an angry driver!  Don’t pull over unless you caused an auto accident! Even so, take precautions to protect yourself from an irate driver. Call 911 yourself.  Then call your car accident attorney as soon as possible.  http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury-motorvehicle.html

We’re human. Accidents happen even when we try to avoid being that zombie driver!

If you’ve been involved in a car crash,  you need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer.  The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC knows that being involved in an auto accident is a very stressful time for you!

They care about your rights and helping you get the full accident compensation that you need.  Call today 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.

 

 

Construction worker accidents in the FATAL FOUR due to missing work safety equipment!

Injured on the job due to a construction accident?

When you shoot the breeze with a good buddy who works construction, it’s not long before the accident stories begin to surface.

In fact,  a certain family member of mine is legendary for surviving a fall off of a steep, two-story roof.   He was self-employed, working alone, and the house was rather isolated.  Fortunately someone drove by and saw him lying on the ground.

His injuries were not covered by any workers’ compensation.  He lost weeks of work. He spent many pain-filled days.  Recovery was a long, slow process.

The most troubling part was that his injuries were largely preventable.  All he needed was about $150 worth of safety equipment (safety harness, rope, and roof anchors).  Thankfully, he recovered!

Shockingly, according to OSHA, the number one standard that is commonly violated in the construction industry is fall protection!

https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

We can only take a stab at the reasons. Maybe companies are trying to save money.  None of us want to think they just don’t care!

Or, maybe, like the seatbelt laws, workers just don’t like to  comply and wear the equipment.  Inconvenient? Uncomfortable?

NO survival story bragging rights is worth a slip-and-fall accident! Your life may be forever changed in a terrible way.

Here are some more cold, hard facts for you to chew on.

  • The construction industry accounts for one in five fatal work accidents.
  • OSHA lists construction falls as number one of the “FATAL FOUR”.
  • Falls account for 38.8% of deaths by construction accidents.

These figures do not include the life-changing injuries that often occur in a slip-and-fall accident.

What if you suffer a spinal cord injury? Have you ever imagined your life in a wheelchair? I’ve seen what it’s like — up close and personal.

You need someone to dress, shower, and groom you.

You need someone to get you out of bed every morning and put you to bed each night. If you’re fortunate to have the use of your hands, you can operate your own wheelchair.

You probably need someone to drive you everywhere you need to go.

Someone else must cook and clean for you.

You may suffer extreme pain every single day of your life.

While you can certainly triumph over these circumstances, it’s a life no one picks out on purpose!

Good safety practices on the job ought to be part of living the Golden Rule. 

We’ve come a long ways from the Industrial Revolution era when factory owners put children’s lives at risk daily in terrible, unsafe working conditions.

Sadly,  some  construction companies still do not use or enforce the use of simple, standard safety equipment!

Providing and enforcing the use of safety equipment on the job is in your company’s best interest in the long run.

  • Saves a company’s good reputation.
  • Avoids lawsuits and workers’ compensation pay-outs.
  • Builds a positive company culture.
  • Helps prevent expensive worker turnover.

You should not be afraid to speak up if your construction company does not provide safety equipment needed to prevent or catch you during a slip-and-fall accident.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a construction accident due to a lack of safety equipment, you need to call an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer today. The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free, initial consultation. http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

Call Attorney Steimel 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.

 

Drive to survive — even when your cell’s ringing!

Distracted driving has advanced with each new generation.

I once spoke to a small-town resident who spent most of his life in the same county.  “Harry” used to drive his farm wagon into town to deliver fresh produce.  Incredibly,  his horse knew the way home from his route. Harry could day-dream “behind the wheel”, so to speak.  He might have even munched on a stray carrot or strawberry left over from his route. No big deal when you’re limited to a horsepower of one, right?

Fast forward almost a century! (Yes, “Harry” was in nineties when I met him.) Our horsepower behind the wheel is at least 10x what it used to be!

When my brothers learned to drive, cell phones were  still a brand-new, space-age technology. That wasn’t the issue. Early work hours were. Hot oatmeal was still on the menu for breakfast.

Grab and go breakfast meant a tub of hot oatmeal.

Combine that with a newly-minted driver! Dad’s work truck ended up hitting and destroying a mailbox, post and all, due to one tub of hot oatmeal spilling in the driver’s lap.

Fortunately, the residents were understanding. No personal injury lawyers were needed. Just a handshake, a sincere apology, and some sweat to replace the post and mailbox repaired the damages.  No lives were injured or lost. We all counted our blessings!

How many of you eat and drive? Guilty hand raised here! I’m going estimate at least 95% of folks do.

Have you ever had an auto accident related to distracted driving? Did your burger and fries do more damage than just clogging your arteries? What about hot coffee? I’ve had a few close calls myself with that form of distracted driving.

Cell phones! Now there’s the major culprit in distracted driving. Some states ban hand-held cell usage altogether while driving.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety,  80% of drivers feel unsafe due to distracted drivers.  How many times have you been tempted to yell at a fellow driver, “Hang up the phone and drive!”?  More times than you can count, right?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for over 3, 000 deaths in 2015!

Worse yet, the distracted driving auto accident injuries are over the 300,000 mark!

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

Teens are especially vulnerable to distracted driving. Again, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety  conducted a study on teen drivers.  They found teens drive distracted about 25 % of the time.  We all need help!

3 simple ways to avoid causing a distracted driving car crash:

1.) Don’t allow your teen to use their cell phone while driving.  Check their phones regularly. You may have to become the phone Nazi, but saving lives is worth it!

2.) Set the example! Turn your own phone off or on vibrate. Maybe you really need to take a call? Operate hands-free only! Pull over if at all possible. Show your teen how responsible drivers operate.

3.) Limit food intake on the road! Who am I kidding? We’re all going to eat and drive. Our lives are just too busy not to.  At least forget that messy, drippy taco or the super-sized burger whlle driving.

Sometimes I wish we could return to the days of “Harry” and join him on his leisurely produce wagon deliveries.  No massive traffic, no cell phones, no angry drivers cutting you off in traffic, and almost no distracted drivers, right?

Maybe someone in your house has had an auto accident due to a distracted driver.  You need an experienced car crash attorney to help you pursue your best legal options.

http://steimel-law.com/traffic-matters.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC are here to help. Call (636)244-3737 for a free initial consulation 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

 

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.