Boating Safety Tips: What You Need To Know

The warmer months are here and that means enjoying the sun and summer activities. Boating is incredibly popular with things to do like tubbing, water skiing, fishing, or swimming out in the lake. These are all fun things to de-stress and enjoy this sunny season, but nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware of boat safety rules and regulations. According to the Canadian Red Cross there are over 125+ preventable boating-related fatalities that happen across Canada each year.

If you are your loved ones are planning on enjoying some time on a boat this summer, then here are some ways to prepare for the ride and minimize the risk of injury:


Make a Checklist

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting out on a boat— having a thorough checklist to go over before taking off is a great way to be prepared for any possible emergencies out on the water.

Check the Weather

Take a look at the local weather forecast. The days leading up to your departure is crucial to ensuring you are aware of any possibly changes that could put you in danger. Avoid strong or rough winds, darkening clouds, temperature fluxes, or changes to the waves. Getting caught in a storm can result in serious injury to you or your passengers. If you find yourself in this position our lawyers at Dye & Russell know what to do to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not delay, contact us today if you have sustained injuries or damages on a boat in Ontario.

Develop a Float Plan

Inform a family member or marina staff of your contact information and emergency plan of action. Letting someone know this information along with trip destinations, the warning or help signals to be used, and your boats registration information can be critical in getting you to safety if an emergency occurs. Even the most experienced boaters can sustain injuries or be involved in accidents out on the water. Dye & Russell has the experience to help in your boating accident personal injury case.

Have your tools ready

There are many items that you need to have onboard to ensure everyone is safe while out on the water. Some items and equipment you will need but are not limited to:

  • Life jackets
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Food and water
  • Proper identification, licenses, boat documentation
  • Cellphone and wireless charging bank
  • Electrical tape
  • Emergency flashlight
  • Distress signals
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra fuel
  • Emergency paddles
  • Blankets

Wear A Life Jacket

Did you know the Red Cross reported that less than 50% of Canadians always wear their life jackets when boating? Life jackets are crucial in the prevention of accidental drownings and even help in preventing hypothermia when exposed to cold water conditions for too long.

Besides being a legal requirement, another reason to have life jackets on board is for individuals that may not know how to swim or are generally weak swimmers. In the event of an accident where flooding occurs and your boat begins taking on water, the risk of a slip and fall injury increases. Wearing a life jacket can save a life if someone were to slip and fall into the water or experience a head injury.

Exploring the many great lakes and waters that Canada has to offer is exciting but knowing proper boat safety is key in achieving an accident-free summer. There are many opportunities for injury with all of the different types of activities to enjoy in or on the water, knowing who to contact in the wake of an accident will reduce the stress and anxiety related to your injury.

 

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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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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Water Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children

Teaching your kids to swim & understanding how to be safe around pools or open water is a responsibility every parent takes on. Knowing your toddler or child(ren) can swim can be comforting for parents, but it shouldn’t be your only strategy for keeping them safe.

You teach them to stop & look both ways before crossing the street, not to run out on to the road, to look for cars & where to safely cross the street, yet you wouldn’t leave your toddler or young child unattended playing by the road.

The same goes for pools, open water & even bathtubs. Drownings can occur in as little as 1.5 inches (4 cm) of water.

 

Supervision

A parent or guardian should always be present when toddlers & or young children are near water. They should always know where their child(ren) are & what potential hazards are nearby.

Creating barriers between the child(ren) & the water reduces the ability & likelihood that the child can reach the hazard. Fencing around a pool is a common method used to keep the area inaccessible. Self-latching or locking gates that are also self-closing add additional safety measures. Any gates or barriers should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re functioning properly.

 

Pool Rules

Having established pool rules can help instill the need for safety around the water.

The most common & well-known pool rule of them all is no running around the pool. A slip & fall is more likely to occur on wet surfaces & can result in serious injury.

Cleaning up the pool deck so it’s free from water toys or other pool accessories can minimize a child’s temptation to play in that area. It can also reduce the potential for someone to trip over the objects & fall into the water headfirst.

No adult, no entry. Teach them that entering the pool, lake, pond etc. can only be done once a parent has done so. This will enforce to toddlers & younger children that they shouldn’t be going in the water by themselves & that an adult needs to be with them to be in the water.

Follow through. If you say you’re going to go swimming, make sure you keep that promise. By following through with this promise, the child(ren) won’t feel as strong of a need to go near the water when you aren’t around.

 

Open Water VS Swimming Pool

Swimming at the cottage or in another open body of water is not the same as swimming in a pool at home or recreation centre. A swimming pool is a contained space where the elements can be controlled. Open water brings new hazards that swimmers are faced with. Strong currents, colder water temperatures, greater distances to land or shore, undertows, & even other watercrafts to name a few.

If you or a child has become caught in a river current or fast moving water, the Canadian Red Cross suggests rolling on your back & pointing your feet downstream. This is to avoid hitting any obstacles headfirst. When out of the strongest part of the current, swim straight towards the shore.

 

Lifejackets & Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

Drowning accidents can be preventable. When worn properly, a Canadian approved standard lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious person from their front, over to their back so their face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.

When buying a lifejacket for a child there are certain things you want to look for:

  • Canadian approval label containing the chest size or weight it is intended for
  • Large collars will help support a child’s head & give additional protection
  • A strap on the collar to grab on to
  • A secure strap that fastens between the child’s legs, so the device doesn’t slip off
  • Bright colours are more noticeable in the water; red, yellow & orange are preferred options

Having a lifejacket or PFD close by, even within reach, isn’t close enough. The need for adult supervision is always required around water & lifejackets or PFDs aren’t a replacement.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident your road to recovery is important to us. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and our experienced team at Dye and Russell will get you the support you need.

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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.

 

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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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Getting back to green: economic recovery after injury

Personal injury can seriously impair your personal finances. Injuries can upend all areas of life, including your career and finances. While much focus is given to physical recovery, financial recovery is crucial as well.

Your financial situation can tie into your mental and emotional recovery and, in turn, your physical recovery. Here are some tips for getting back to green after a personal injury:

  1. Consider a new line of work

An injury may make you unable to return to your past line of work (if it’s too unsafe or demanding). This can be very frustrating, especially if you were very passionate about your previous line of work or if you have been very successful in your career. However, there are other career possibilities ahead that may be better suited to you post-injury.

You may even find a new career that you love even more. If you’re able to work in any capacity it can do more than bring you increased financial stability and momentum. Working can also give you a new sense of identity, personal achievement, social contacts, skills development and a sense of structure—all of which can help with your mental health and in turn your physical health.

  1. Ask for help

If you have family or friends that would be able to help you financially consider asking them for help. You might be surprised by their willingness to help, especially if they have seen the effects of a personal injury on your life.

  1. Budget wisely

Recovering from injury can tighten up your finances. Budgeting is vital and can reduce risk of debt or insolvency. If this task seems monumental, ask for help from a family member or friend. Find unnecessary expenses, that you made prior to injury, and eliminate these.

Budgeting creates a solid financial basis for later success. It’s important, when budgeting, to assess your needs and wants differently and to be ruthless and honest with yourself and your finances.

  1. Get legal help

If you’ve been injured, damages may be owed to you. It’s crucial to ask for legal help. A personal injury lawyer can help you to navigate the best course of action. Further to this, they will be able to get you more money than an independent inquiry. These extra funds can be critical for seeing you through recovery.

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. Find out what you’re owed and start your journey back to green.

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How to be safe on a jog

Summer jogging is a great way to stay fit without shelling out big bucks on a gym membership. It’s also a great way to see more of your neighbourhood. Many areas of Ontario have jogging trails and paths of varying length and incline.

Staying safe on a jog, however, can be a challenge. By following some safety steps, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury while on a run. You might not know about many of the safety risks you could face while jogging. Here are some helpful tips on staying safe on a jog.

1. Bring some basics

When disaster happens, be it injury or crime, what you’re carrying can be vital and even save a life. Bringing a phone with you on a jog can mean a way to call for help. A phone can also be a map if you’re lost. Carrying some form of identification can come in handy in case of an emergency.

Other basics for jogs include water, keys, a whistle and even mace (if jogging in a wild or unsafe area). Much of this depends on when you’re jogging, how long the jog is and where it’s happening. It’s always good to be overprepared rather than underprepared.

2. Don’t jog alone

Bringing a jogging buddy can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Wild animals are less likely to attack, and someone may think twice about committing a crime if it’s double the risk. Bringing another jogger also means that if injury happens there is someone to call for help, give a statement and ensure immediate danger is minimized.

This is also a great way to enhance the overall jogging experience and motivate yourself to jog faster and longer.

3. Be traffic safe

Traffic collisions are a common cause of injury to joggers. For joggers, there are ways to avoid traffic-related injuries. By facing oncoming traffic, you have more of a chance to see an approaching vehicle and you improve your response time significantly. For vehicles, this gives them a clear view of you, meaning collision is less likely.

Wearing brightly-colored clothing, such as glow-in-the-dark clothes or runner’s lights, can reduce risk of injury as well. Most of all, don’t jog on the road at night.

4. Know yourself

Jogging is physical activity and we all have limits. It’s good to be ambitious with your fitness plan but also be realistic. If you’re planning to do a marathon distance on a jog, bring enough water to last you and maybe a small snack, especially if your blood sugar drops routinely. Account for distance back home on the jog.

On the jog, monitor yourself. If you’re struggling, don’t force yourself to finish a jog that’s going to injure you. It’s better to slowly make progress than injure yourself and make no progress at all.

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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