Campfire Safety

Camping season is something Canadians proudly take advantage of every summer with our picturesque landscapes and great weather. Heading to the woods and experiencing all the fun memories camping brings is a staple in our country. Activities like going for a hike, fishing on one of Ontario’s thousands of lakes or gathering around the campfire for ghost stories and s’mores, can bring a ton of excitement to your summer. Ending your day with a warm glowing fire is most camper’s tradition to ending the day. Properly building and extinguishing your campfire is crucial to lowering the risk of an accident.

Campfires are at high risk for injury if not handled with care and proper supervision. An unwatched or carelessly built campfire can result in a dangerous situation that could have been easily avoided by following these helpful tips:

 

Preparation

Being prepared is crucial when building a fire. The first step is knowing whether you are allowed to even do so or not. A fire ban may be in place due to the weather and the potential for wildfires to start. There should be postings by Ontario Parks or local rangers that indicate if there is a fire ban or not, typically indicated by a coloured gauge. The wind is also another weather factor to consider as strong winds and flames create greatly unsafe conditions that can lead to an injury. Should an injury take place, it is critical to handle everything that follows with care and caution. The experts at Dye & Russell are fully prepared to help you on your road to recovery, beginning with a free claim assessment.

 

Location

After ensuring that there is no fire ban you can move on to picking the best spot for you and your loved ones to gather around. Picking a site that is close to the water and sheltered from the wind is key in creating a safe space. Limiting the possibility of fire spreading and having access to water in case of a spread or burn emergency could save lives if an accident occurs. Our lawyers at Dye & Russell are experienced with injuries involving campfires and utilize their in-depth knowledge towards getting what you deserve.

 

Building

Once a spot is chosen it is time to prep the area–build your fire away from anything that may be flammable such as tents, dry/dead grass, unsafe chemicals, or overhanging branches. The ground should be even to build a pit with a perimeter of 10-feet or more to act as a safety zone.

After your logs are in place you are ready to start your fire. Gather some crumpled paper or a fire starter to light the logs and do not use any flammable liquids such as gasoline. Injuries involving gasoline and campfires can be traumatic and can even result in death. Remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if ever caught on fire and in danger of being burned. If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury it is critical you reach out to a professional injury lawyer like the ones at Dye & Russell to have your claim assessed.

 

Extinguish

Never leave your campfire unattended. Once it is time to turn in for the night make sure to extinguish the flames properly and safely. The best course of action is to allow the wood to burn down to ashes and then douse the remains with water while stirring to ensure everything is out and cooled. Camping and conversations around a campfire are memorable for years to come, so it is best to follow these safety tips to make those memories good ones.

 

Accidents do occur even when precautions are taken– If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the professionals at Dye & Russell today for your FREE Claim Assessment and more helpful resources. Reach us toll-free at 1-877-883-6171 or visit us online to speak with a live agent. Your road to recovery is important to us.

 

No comments
Skye OliverCampfire Safety
read more

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Staying safe and following the rules of the road is always important. It becomes even more important during the winter months when roads and driving conditions are less than ideal.

It is during this time that our team at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers see an increase in vehicle accidents among other seasonal accidents such as a slip and fall.

Contacting a #personalinjury lawyer if you have been involved in an accident is one of the first things you should do. The experts at Dye and Russell have experience working with #vehicleaccident claims and understand your frustrations. We are here to get you what you deserve and make recovery as smooth as possible.

If you plan on driving anywhere this winter, here’s what you should know.

 

  1. Winterize your vehicle. 

 Prepare your vehicle for the Canadian winters by taking the necessary precautions.

  • Change your tires from all-seasons to winter tires.
  • Properly defrost windows and remove any obstructions like ice.
  • Update your car safety-kit with winter items like an ice scraper.

Failing to equip your vehicle with the proper tires or performing regular maintenance could lead to an accident and potentially cause serious #injury. In instances when an accident has occurred reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer can help answer many of the questions you will no doubt have.

  1. Keep fluid levels topped up.

In addition to regular maintenance, it is important to keep your fluids (like gas and windshield-washer fluid) topped up. Condensation in the gas tank has the potential to freeze and cause problems and a lack of windshield-washer fluid can limit visibility when driving.

The lack of visibility is a serious risk while driving in winter conditions. It is easy for ice to build up and for a vehicle to spin out of control. Should you find yourself in this situation and an accident you have been involved in has caused injuries, you should contact an expert like the lawyers at Dye and Russell. They work quickly and diligently to ensure you receive the financial and physical compensation you deserve.

  1. Wipe off your vehicle.

Wiping snow off your vehicle reduces the likelihood of snow sliding off and obstructing the view of drivers behind you. Drivers who have been involved in an accident because of the #negligence of another person should speak with a lawyer immediately.

  1. Have a cellphone. 

In the event of an accident, having a cellphone will allow you to connect with help and emergency services (if needed). It also gives you the ability to connect with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the accident. When you fast dial #1000 from your cellphone, you will be connected with our team at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers. Helping you from the start is part of the Dye and Russell experience.

By no means should a cellphone be used by the individual while driving; drivers should pull off to the side of the road before making a call.

  1. Adjust for the road conditions. 

No matter what tips you follow, adjust your driving to match the road conditions. It is your responsibility to be a safe driver and take the necessary precautions.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the experts at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers. Their team of professionals have years of experience in #personalinjury law and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call and book your FREE consultation today at 1-877-883-6171 or fast dial #1000 on your cell phone.

No comments
Skye OliverTips for Safe Winter Driving
read more

Tips & Tricks: Bike Safety Basics

Cycling is a great way to get around—it gets you from point A to point B all while keeping you fit and helping the environment. Some studies have even shown that it is the safest mode of transportation, particularly for young adults. Even so, around 7,500 cyclists suffer severe injuries every year in Canada, while 70, 000 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to cycling, according to the CBC.

Over half of the Toronto population cycles, that’s 54% of Torontonians. Luckily, the Toronto Cycling Network Plan is working on making Toronto a more bike-friendly city. Hopefully, Canadian cities will one day be as welcoming to cyclists as European cities, where cyclist injury and death rates are substantially lower. As this eco-friendly method of transportation becomes more popular, cyclists and drivers will become more aware of their places on the roads and fewer accidents will occur.

Until then, there are many things cyclists can be aware of to ensure their safety on the roads. Here are some bike safety tips and tricks based on facts from the CBC and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:

Where you can and cannot ride

  • Cyclists must stay as close to the right side of the road as possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.
  • Cyclists cannot ride on controlled-access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
  • Cyclists are only allowed to walk their bikes through pedestrian crossovers.

Where and when it’s best to ride

If cyclists aren’t planning to ride to and from work, they should avoid riding during the afternoon rush hour—17% of cyclist deaths and 23% of cyclist injuries occur during this time.

The worst time for a cyclist to ride is at night—30% of cyclist deaths occur at this time. Avoiding busy cities and intersections is ideal for a cyclist’s safety—despite traffic control signs, cyclists are more likely to be injured in an area with these features. Cyclists should also avoid rural areas where the speed limits are 80km/h or more—44% of cyclist deaths happen on these roads.

Wearing a helmet

It is illegal for any cyclist under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet.

For any cyclist under the age of 16, a parent or guardian must ensure that they are not riding without a helmet. Adults are not required to wear a helmet, although it is strongly recommended, as it lowers a cyclist’s chance of injury by 90%.

Additional cycling laws 

The following are changes made regarding cycling law after the passing of Bill 31- Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act , effective September 1, 2015: 

  • All drivers of motor vehicles are required to maintain a minimum distance of one metre, where practical, when passing cyclists on highways;
  • Persons who improperly open or leave opened the doors of motor vehicles on highways face increased penalties (commonly known as “dooring”).
  • The fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements will increase; and
  • Cyclists are permitted to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red light.

 

For more information on Ontario bike laws, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website. If you know of a cyclist who has been in an accident, have them contact us at our Ajax (905-427-2000) or Barrie offices (705-726-2146) for their free consultation.

No comments
gray_adminTips & Tricks: Bike Safety Basics
read more

What You Should Consider When Disputing an Insurance Claim

 

Everyone knows that dealing with the big insurance companies can give you a headache and have you running around in circles with no answers. Policies can be so complex that sadly, insurance companies have often used their inside knowledge to take advantage of insureds through policy loopholes. This can leave insureds at a standstill in regards to their insurance claims and even result in a claim being denied.

Insurance is one of those things that you love to hate but have it anyways. It gives you and your family the protection they will need if something should happen to them or yourself. However, even if you are paying your bill on time each month and never miss a payment, insurance companies will look to find the cheapest way to pay out your claim to save money for themselves, if they pay out at all. This can be the last thing you want to deal with when you’re faced with a loss.

Here are four steps to consider when resolving a dispute with an insurance company.

Gather information

  • Insurance policies aren’t always easily understood by the average person. Ask your agent, broker or insurance representative for clarification about your concern/issue. The rights and responsibilities of all parties are written within the policy (aka contract), however miscommunications can occur.
  • If you have general questions you can contact the IBC Consumer Information Centre (CIC). They can assist with basic questions about policy wording, coverage or how to proceed with a complaint

Get in touch with the insurance companies Complaint Liaison Officer or Ombudsperson

  • Licensed insurers have a complaint resolution process, and someone assigned to enforce this process. This role is regulated by the provincial regulator.
  • If you plan on making a complaint through this channel, be sure to state your complaint clearly, including the expected resolution. Be sure to have all your documentation readily available and take note of all persons you spoke with regarding the complaint as well as what was spoken about. Finally, give the Complaint Liaison Officer or Ombudsperson sufficient time to investigate & respond to your complaint.

Reach out to the GIO (General Insurance OmbudsService)

  • If you’ve gone through your insurers complaint processes and aren’t satisfied you can request a Final Position Letter and contact the GIO. The GIO is an impartial consumer dispute resolution system. It is in place to help you and the insurer resolve disputes about claim-related matters.

Take it to the Federal or Provincial level

  • If your dispute cannot be solved by the GIO, or if the insurance company isn’t a member of the GIO, you can take it a step further by contacting a Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Dye & Russell should be your first call if you’re having issues claiming insurance compensation. We have the experience and knowledge of the industry that keep us from being pushed around by policymakers. Let us handle the big insurance companies and take the stress away from you to get you what you deserve.

If you’ve experienced a claim denial or want to dispute a claim, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

No comments
Skye OliverWhat You Should Consider When Disputing an Insurance Claim
read more

Understanding the Levels of Spinal Cord Injury

Accidents that result in a spinal cord injury can be scary stuff. The spine is made up of vertebrae and depending on the location of the injury there can be life changing effects, like losing the ability to walk or use other parts or functions of the body all together. Generally, injuries have a greater severity and dysfunction tends to occur the higher up the injury is on the spinal cord.

The spine is split into 3 levels; the lower back containing lumbar and sacral nerves, the thoracic nerves in the mid-back and the upper back with the upper and lower cervical nerves. These are some of the outcomes that can be expected if a spinal cord injury is sustained.

Lower Back

Lumbar nerves (L1 – L5)

  • Often, insured parties suffer from loss of function in their hips or legs.
  • There is limited or no voluntary control over the use of the bladder or bowel. However, with the use of special equipment this can be managed on their own.
  • Use of a wheelchair or leg braces may be required depending on the strength of their legs.

Sacral nerves (S1 – S5)

  • Like lumbar nerve injuries, there is often some loss of hip or leg movement as well as limited or no voluntary use of the bladder or bowels. Persons can manage this with use of special equipment.
  • There is a likelihood that walking will occur.


Mid Back

Thoracic nerves (T1 – T5)

  • Injured nerves impact muscles in the upper chest, mid-back and abdominal areas.
  • While hand and arm function may be normal, often times the trunk and legs are affected (known as paraplegia).
  • Persons will typically be able to use a manual wheelchair and eventually drive a modified vehicle. Others will be able to stand in a standing frame or walk with leg braces.

Thoracic nerves (T6 – T12)

  • Tends to result in paraplegia with normal use of the upper body.
  • Persons can maintain control and their balance when in the seated position.
  • May experience some productive coughing if the abdominal muscles are intact.
  • As with the thoracic nerve T1 – T5 injuries, persons most likely use manual wheelchairs, learn to drive modified vehicles, stand with a standing frame and some even walk with braces.

Upper Back

High-cervical nerves (C1 – C4)

  • This most severe level of spinal cord injury; results in complete paralysis of the arms, hands, trunk and legs
  • Generally, persons are unable to breathe, cough, or control bowel or bladder movements on their own.
  • Requires assistance with daily living activities (e.g., bathing, eating) and needs 24-hour a day care.
  • Cannot drive motor vehicles on their own however may be able to use a powered wheelchair with special controls.
  • Speech can also be impaired or reduced.

Low-cervical nerves (C5 – C8)

  • Nerves in this group control the arms and hands
  • This level of injury may allow a person to breathe and speak normally on their own.
  • Each of the vertebrae in this level affects different nerves and muscles and depending on the specific vertebrae that is injured, have different outcomes
    • Injury of the C5 vertebrae for example may leave a person with the ability to move their hands and arms and bend their elbows while an injury of the C7 could mean the person’s elbow and finger extension range is impacted.
    • Injuries of the C6 typically cause paralysis of the hands, trunk and legs where as C8 injuries can affect hand movement and the ability to grasp and release objects.

 

No matter the level of spinal cord injury that a person faces, it is life altering. A task that used to be easy, maybe even taken for granted, is now difficult and could require assistance. Sadly, spinal cord injuries affect approximately 85, 000 Canadians with an average increase of 4000 per year.

 

If you have been injured and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone. We will offer you a FREE claim assessment.

No comments
Skye OliverUnderstanding the Levels of Spinal Cord Injury
read more

5 Common Liability Claims Faced By Homeowners

Home is supposed to be a safe place, not just for you but anyone that comes on to your property. You try to take care of your lawn & trim trees, shovel snow in the winter and fix uneven floorboards on your deck. Sometimes you’re better than other times.

Even with all that upkeep, there are possible hazards in your home and on your property that could cause (accidental) harm to others. A simple slip & fall could land you a hefty bill if a lawsuit is filed & your home insurance policy doesn’t fully cover you.

These are 5 common liability claims that a homeowners could face.

Dog bites

Did you know that most insurance policies cover damages or injuries that are caused by members of your household? Probably. But did you know that pets are often included in that coverage? Apart from some dog breeds, dogs that are at a lower (perceived) risk of biting are considered members of your household & therefore covered by your policy.

In the home or on the property

Accidents ranging from a guest tripping on a carpet that isn’t properly secured or falling through a broken stair are fair game. Even those door-to-door salespeople who come on to your property without your permission. Neglect on your part to clear a sidewalk or path to your front door could mean you’re left on the hook.

Guests under the influence

Hosting a party at home or an event at another location, the liability you have over your guests remains in place. When alcohol is involved and a person becomes intoxicated, any harm they may cause to another person or to property could be your responsibility. Hiring a bartender can help monitor the amount of alcohol guests are consuming.

Falling trees

The extra weight of snow and ice weigh down small trees and branches makes them prime candidates for snapping off and crashing into whatever’s below. It’s a good idea to trim trees and any overhang in the fall before things freeze.

Domestic workers

It is becoming more common for families to hire help around the home. From nanny’s to maintenance workers each person hired to work on your property increases your liability should that person get injured while at work. Sometimes workers can have workers compensation in the event of lost wages, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

 

No comments
Skye Oliver5 Common Liability Claims Faced By Homeowners
read more

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Preventing Injuries

June is an exciting month. Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. It’s also Brain Injury Awareness month and with that comes a number of opportunities to shed light on brain injuries and ways to help prevent them.

Did you know that more than 20, 000 people each year are admitted to the hospital with serious brain related injuries? In 2016 – 2017 alone approximately 46, 000 children went to the emergency room and were diagnosed with a concussion.

Making sure situations such as sports or recreational activities are safe for everyone helps reduce the risk of injury. The key being prevention and awareness. You’re the first line of defense!

Here are 4 things you should know about preventing brain injuries.

  1. Seat Belts

When you’re in the car, no matter how far the drive may be, wearing your seat belt is a top priority.  A significant number of injuries and deaths happen as a result of car accidents and about 50% are prevented thanks to seat belts.

  1. Reduce Distractions

Cell phones are the number one cause of distractions among drivers. When you’re behind the wheel staying focused on the road should be the only thing that’s important. Put the phone down, whatever it is can wait. Your life is more important than the text you just got.

  1. Child Safety

Kids are always getting hurt and bumping their heads on whatever is around. Take steps to prevent trips and falls by installing safety gates around stairs, using non slip mats in bathtubs or putting up window guards to prevent a potentially fatal injury.

  1. Helmets & Safety Gear

Both adults and children are susceptible to head injuries whether at work or during recreation. Make sure you wear a helmet during sports activities like baseball or football or the appropriate safety helmet on construction sites. Keeping your brain protected is one of the smartest things you can do!

 

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

No comments
Skye OliverBrain Injury Awareness Month: Preventing Injuries
read more

Working and long-term disability

What you need to know

After an injury you face a number of uncertainties—especially if one of them is determining whether or not you can continue to work in the role you were in before your injury.

Wondering whether or not you will be able to support yourself, your family and wondering what your financial future will look like can leave you feeling helpless and worried, but there are a number of paths ahead of you to help you get the support that you need.

Returning to work

While on your recovery journey sometimes victims of personal injury can recover to a point where they can return to the work you did before your injury.

Returning to different work

However, unfortunately this isn’t always possible. If you are not able to return to the point where you are able to return to the work you did before your injury, there may be different professions or roles you could pursue with your disability in a new chapter of your life. As difficult this can be, it can open up a new path for you in your life to do different work that also feels rewarding.

Insurance

But, if you are not able to return to work there are a number of resources available to you. If you are covered by short-term or long-term disability insurance this is an outlet to get financial benefits if you are unable to return to work.

Canadian Pension Plan

Another possible way to receive the benefits you need could be through the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP). The CPP has a number of different benefits to help those who are disabled and their families.

No matter where your recovery journey leads you when it comes to your work life it’s important to have an expert to help you secure the legal, financial and personal support necessary following an accident. Dye and Russell is here for you.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

No comments
gray_adminWorking and long-term disability
read more

How self-care can help injury recovery

Self-care—it’s one of those buzz words that’s been floating around, entering the everyday and medical world. But what does it really mean?

The fact that self-care is very personal and situational can make it hard to define, but a general definition is that self-care is “any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.”

Practicing self-care can be a valuable practice that can be catered to anyone’s recovery journey. While your individual injury and situation can dictate what you are capable of doing for yourself (and what will work for you), incorporating self-care into your life can be a key skill to aid in your recovery and adjusting to your new life post-injury. It can help you put yourself in charge of your recovery.

Physical Self-care

After an injury it is likely that your physical needs will change. Whether that’s how long you need to sleep for every night or your eating habits, talking to your doctor about the physical aspects of your life that you will need to adjust after your injury is key to equipping yourself with the knowledge required to make the life adjustments you need.

Making sure you are getting the appropriate amount of sleep can ensure that your body can get the rest it needs to help itself repair. Eating nutritious food that fuels your body is important to giving yourself what you need during and after recovery. Also doing activities within your abilities to energize your body can help you feel better, like stretching, swimming, running, doing yoga, etc.

Mental Self-care

An injury can bring a lot of stress into your life. While stress can be helpful by giving you the ability to deal with challenges and threats you face, lots of it over time can take a toll on you. What helps people destress is a very personal thing. If you already know things that help you destress make time for them in your life. But, if you don’t know what can help you destress, or if you are no longer able to do what used to help you relax before your injury try some new ways and see what works. Taking a long bath, starting a meditation practice, and/or finding a new hobby are all things that could help.

Emotional Self-care

Self-care can also help you cope with the emotional toll an injury can take on your life. Spending time to dedicate to your emotional health, like seeing a counselor, journaling, taking time to talk and spend time with people you love and/or writing down gratitude lists can help

you be with the range of emotional challenges an injury can force you to experience. Among them learning to adjust to your life post-injury can be difficult. Trying to write a new mission statement for your life going forward is a great way to frame your new perspective of success and fulfillment.

Self-care after an injury makes you an empowered member of your circle of care—the team that is there to help you on your recovery journey. Another important member of your circle of care is a personal injury lawyer that can secure the legal, financial and personal support necessary following an accident. That’s where Dye and Russell can be there for you following your accident.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

No comments
gray_adminHow self-care can help injury recovery
read more

Summer BBQ safety tips

There are few things that go better with a summer evening than a cold beverage and barbecue.  But barbecues can cause serious injury if they aren’t used properly. To help keep your summer full of delicious barbecue, as well as safe for you and your loved ones, here are some tips from The Government of Canada:

  1. Do a safety check

Before you start barbecuing it’s important to do a safety check of your grill—especially if it hasn’t been sitting unused for a long period of time. Look for blocked burners, damaged seals and leaks in the hoses or fittings. To check for leaks in the hose or fittings coat the hose and fittings with a soapy water solution. If bubbles form and grow that’s a sign of a leak.

Also, make sure your grill is clean. Cleaning excess grease or fat build-up on your barbeque can remove a source of fuel for dangerous flare-ups and help keep you safe.

  1. Make sure it’s in a safe location

How you position your grill can prevent a fire from happening. Barbeques should be used outdoors (not indoors or under overhangs, enclosures, etc.) in a well-ventilated area and be at least three meters away from any building on an even surface. Also, keep an eye out for other items nearby that could catch fire, like umbrellas or hanging baskets.

  1. Turn on with caution

Before you even think about grilling it’s important that you have read the instructions that came with from the barbecue’s manufacturer to get to know your grill and how to operate it properly.

While going about lighting your barbeque never have the lid closed or lean over the barbeque. If you’re using a gas-powered grill and it doesn’t light right away turn off the gas valve and wait for the gas to go away before re-lighting.

  1. Have the proper tools handy

Preventing an injury can only happen if you’re ready. Make sure you prevent burns by cooking with long-handled utensils and heat-resistant mitts. Have a spray water-bottle handy to help manage flare-ups and a fire extinguisher close in case of a fire.

Also, be very careful while using metal-bristled barbeque brushes. The bristles can come loose, stick to your grill and eventually end up in your food—which can result in serious digestive injuries. Inspect your brush and your grill carefully for loose bristles, throw away brushes when you notice bristles becoming loose, replace brushes often and consider buying non-metal barbeque brushes.

  1. Pay attention

While you’re barbequing never leave the grill unattended and be aware of how much food you are loading onto it. If a fire starts they spread quickly, so your grill needs constant attention. Also, over-loading your grill (especially with fatty meat) can cause an excess of oil or grease and create large flare-ups.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

 

No comments
gray_adminSummer BBQ safety tips
read more