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.

 

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How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

After experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other serious injury, focusing on your recovery and getting the appropriate medical attention is important. If the injury occurred in a motor vehicle accident, at work or home, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. A lawyer can also help explain your options if your injuries were the result of negligence or malpractice.

There are many reasons why contacting a personal injury lawyer is in your best interest. Here are our top four:

 

1.    A personal injury lawyer will help answer your questions.

Anyone that has been seriously injured or had a loved one struggle with a major injury undoubtedly has questions. Personal injury lawyers with experience handling serious injury cases can help answer your important questions, such as “What happened?” and  “Do we have a case?”.

A personal injury lawyer will conduct a factual investigation through interviews, review of records, and through the experience of professional investigators/consultants to gain information leading up to and at the time of your injury.

The insurance companies representing any possible defendants will be conducting the same type of investigations. The experts at Dye and Russell have experience working with insurance companies and know how to get you the settlement you deserve.

 

2.    A personal injury lawyer will help you understand why an injury may have occurred.

Individuals that have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as their families, may not recognize that other individuals or entities may have contributed to their injury.

A lawyer will be able to assist in identifying all the individuals or entities that may have been a contributing factor to your injury. They will also ensure that those responsible are held accountable to the full extent of the law.

 

3.    A personal injury lawyer will help you understand your rights so you can make informed decisions.

Many serious injuries, such as a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), are often permanent and require a considerable number of medical treatments and/or ongoing care.

Speaking with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, like the ones at Dye and Russell, will help preserve your right to civil action. Our experienced lawyers will work with you to understand your options and help you make an informed decision about moving forward with your case.

 

4.    A personal injury lawyer will help ensure you are fully compensated.

We understand how injuries impact you and your family in the present and how you will be impacted in the future.

The lawyers at Dye and Russell will work to ensure you and your family receive the maximum settlement that you are entitled to for current and future medical expenses. A personal injury lawyer will also seek compensation for current and future pain and suffering, both physical and mental, as well as any loss of wages.

 

Consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer in the wake of an accident is in your best interest. A lawyer will answer your questions and help you understand your rights or why an injury may have occurred. They are there to make sure you receive the maximum settlement you deserve so you can make a full recovery.

Contact the team at Dye and Russell today by calling 1-877-883-6171 or fast dial #1000 from your cell phone.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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How to stay safe in the summer sun

Being outdoors and embracing the warm weather can be lots of fun. Whether you like going on adventurous hikes, swimming at the beach or playing in the backyard—whatever you love doing in the outdoors can create great memories for you and your loved ones. However, while the hot sun can make for a great time to be outdoors it also comes with dangers. It’s important to protect yourself, and those you love, to prevent an injury from happening and to stay safe.

Here’s what you should be paying close attention to:

Ultra violet rays

It’s important to protect yourself against the sun’s harsh rays while outdoors. Too much exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays can cause burns, eye damage and lead to skin cancer.

While outdoors shade yourself by spending time in shaded areas rather than areas with direct sunlight and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (especially mid-day when the sun’s rays are strongest). Also, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 and make sure to reapply it at least every 2 hours.

Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block a minimum of 99% of UV light and by never looking directly at the sun.

Heat

Exposure to heat can cause health issues like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke (which is life-threatening). To help protect yourself and your loved ones from heat there are some simple preventative measures you can take.

While out and about never leave children or animals inside a vehicle as temperatures can rise quickly to dangerously hot levels. While you’re outdoors, wearing clothing that is light in colour and weight, as well as loose-fitting, can help you avoid absorbing the sun’s rays with dark colours. Also, staying hydrated is very important. Make sure to have lots of fluids with you to drink while avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Try to avoid strenuous activities and scheduling events during the midday sun and heat. Check in on friends and family that don’t have air conditioning, and who spend much of their time alone. If you don’t have air conditioning finding air-conditioned locations that you can go to during midday heat (like cooling centers, libraries or malls) is a great way to avoid heat related illnesses.

While you can protect yourself from the sun while you’re out and about this summer, unfortunately sometimes you can get injured in other ways. If you or someone you love has been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Brain injury and memory

Strategies to improve memory after a brain injury

Brain injuries can radically impact your quality of life. One of the areas that can be most affected by a traumatic brain injury is memory. Conversely, memory is a critical function for daily life.

“Memory is your brain taking in, keeping, recalling and using information,” says BrainLine. “A brain injury can affect any of these areas of memory. A brain injury can also make it hard to learn and remember things.”

If your memory has been damaged as a result of a brain injury, or a brain injury has exacerbated existing memory problems, how do you recover what was lost?

Here are three steps to strengthen your memory after a traumatic brain injury.

1. Write it all down

For some, this means keeping a journal or calendar and writing down detailed descriptions to help them throughout the day. For others, this is simply writing cues or prompts to help them remember tasks or objectives. It is helpful, however, to have all of your prompts concentrated in one place to guard against loss.

Other ways to use writing to help you throughout the day are creating checklists, labelling items in shared spaces, making ‘cheat sheets’ for your wallet or cue cards for where items are located.

2. Make smart purchases

If you take medication, a pill organizer can be hugely helpful for those with memory problems. Purchasing appliances that shut off automatically can be helpful to ensuring home safety. If you’re opening a bank account, specify automatic bill payment or authorize a protective payee on your behalf.

3. Use PQRST

PQRST is a technique to help attain and retain information. First, preview the material, casually reading it over to understand what it is about. Second, question it by making a list of queries that you need answered to fully grasp the subject. Third, read! Read the material over again carefully, referring back to the questions list you generated. Fourth, state it in your own words. This could be out loud or on paper. Would you be able to

teach someone this material? Fifth, and finally, test yourself or ask someone else to test you. Repeat as necessary until you are confident you have fully retained the information.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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A parent’s guide to pool safety

With summer making its arrival in Canada, pool season has begun. Pool safety is an important topic this time of year. According to the Lifesaving Society, hundreds of Canadians die each year from drowning. Parents, take note – for children under 10, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death and children under five are the most at risk of drowning.

So, before you, or your children, dip your toes into the backyard pool, it’s important to review some pool safety tips.

1. Appoint a supervisor

Children of all ages require active supervision when in the pool. This means a parent/guardian who is placing their whole attention on the water. Accidents can happen quickly, and a rapid response time is critical. Don’t be fooled by Hollywood films – drowning is quiet and splashing or screaming doesn’t occur. The attention of a parent/guardian can be the difference between life and death.

2. No diving in shallow pools

Most backyard pools are not deep enough for diving, no matter the age of the diver. This is a frequent cause of injury. It’s important to do your own research into what your pool’s size allows. Establish clear rules with your children about diving in the pool, especially in the shallower end. Some parents choose to put up signage, which is available from many hardware stores, as a reminder. Most importantly, talk with your kids and make sure they understand your family’s pool safety rules.

3. Ensure proper fencing

Small children’s curiosity can lead to drowning by falling into pools. Multiple items are available for purchase which can prevent unsupervised access to water by young children. Examples include latching gates and four-sided fencing. It’s important to comply with any local fencing bylaws in your area so make sure to research these before you open your pool for the summer.

4. Arms’ reach matters

For children under 5, it’s important to keep them within arms’ reach when in the water. While supervision may be sufficient for older kids, younger children require the physical support and balance of a parent. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids the basics of swimming and create lasting memories.

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.

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