Six Ways To Avoid Personal Injury Liability As Temperatures Drop

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The cold weather will create many hazards over the next few months, but many of those threats can be prevented with the right precautions. The personal injury lawyers of the Ochs Law Firm want to limit injurious incidents as fall gives way to winter, and they’ve compiled tips focused on doing just that.

A little bit of property upkeep and caution on the roads can go a long way toward eliminating the threats that reside in a given community

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, citizens across the country can focus on coping with the cold temperatures that await them over the next couple months. Along with those temperatures come such hazards as blizzards, icy roads, and holiday shopping (and if you don’t think that’s hazardous, you’ve clearly never been to the mall the day after Thanksgiving).

Personal injuries also tend to rise during this time of the year, largely due to the inattentiveness of those who failed to recognize a hazard that resided in their own backyards. Like clockwork, such threats will lead to a crop of lawsuits, meaning that while some people are able to enjoy the upcoming holidays with friends and family, others will have to focus on legal maneuvering and maybe even a court date.

The Ochs Law Firm has seen many such situations play out, having helped numerous injured parties file lawsuits against those persons whose negligence led them to that juncture. Lead attorney Jason E. Ochs hopes, though, that prevention will be a part of all citizens’ holiday plans this year.

“What makes many personal injuries at this time of the year so frustrating is the fact that they usually could have been avoided,” said Mr. Ochs. “A little bit of property upkeep and caution on the roads can go a long way toward eliminating the threats that reside in a given community. If the guidance we’re offering keeps even one injury from occurring, we’ll have done our job.”

With that in mind, citizens in cold weather locales may consider the tips put together by the firm:

1. Shovel Your Property- When snow gets dumped on a neighborhood, home and property owners should be out within 24 hours to clear the cement. Otherwise, someone passing through could slip and fall, and that injury could leave the property owner liable. Attentiveness should continue throughout the winter, especially as snow melts and turns to ice.

2. Beat The Heat- As people look to space heaters and other products to heat their homes during the winter, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of unsafe usage. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that a whopping 53,600 fires from 2011 alone can be attributed to home heating equipment.

During winter months, the temptation will be to leave heaters running at night, while you’re gone, or even to bundle them underneath the sheets for extra warmth. Please refrain from engaging in such habits. Doing so puts anyone on the property and nearby environs in danger.

3. Go Easy On The Holiday Decorations- There’s nothing wrong with spreading good cheer, but no one wants to be responsible for stringing up a set of lights that sets fire to the whole neighborhood. Surge protectors are a fantastic investment, and if the choice ever comes down to not having as many decorations or overloading an electrical outlet, discretion is the better part of valor.

4. Drive Defensively- Most accidents that take place in the winter are the result of a driver who severely overestimated his or her ability to navigate icy roads. Rather than be held responsible for a deadly or injurious accident, drivers should keep their speed to a minimum in such an environment. Cellphones must be stowed so concentration can remain on the road, and at no point should alcohol enter the equation.

5. Stay Off The Roads- Better yet, an accident during inclement weather can’t happen if your car never takes to an ice-covered road in the first place.

6. Have Patience When Holiday Shopping- Black Friday will be coming up soon, but even average shopping days will test the patience of consumers. Rather than get violent in the store or aggressive in the parking lot, take a deep breath and realize that it’s better to lose a few minutes at the mall than to lose months or years in a hospital or a courtroom.

“By following these tips,” said Mr. Ochs, “citizens can avoid those incidents which so often end up in court.”

Ochs Law is an award-winning practice recognized by such entities as the American Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice. With offices in Wyoming, California, and Colorado, the firm is able to offer representation to victims of personal injury accidents as well as assistance to persons going through divorce, filing class action lawsuits, defending against criminal accusations, and more. At http://www.ochslawfirm.com, visitors can gain access to a free consultation service and a litany of resources geared toward those who are hoping to learn more about legal representation.

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Jason Ochs
Ochs Law Firm
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