| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

Wrongful Death in California—Who Can File a Lawsuit?

Unexpectedly losing a family member is a traumatic event. When a loved one dies due to another person’s negligence, sadness may turn into anger. Understandably, you want to hold the responsible party accountable for your family’s loss. While no amount of money can bring a loved one back, a wrongful death lawsuit could ease some of your family’s financial burden. Only certain family members are eligible to bring a claim, so you may be wondering, Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit? Who Can File for Wrongful Death in California? At Young Wooldridge, LLP, our California wrongful death attorneys can help you determine whether you qualify to bring a claim. Those eligible parties who can file for wrongful death include: The surviving spouse; The surviving domestic partner; and Any surviving children and grandchildren. If there are no surviving family members who fall under one of these categories, then the eligibility transfers to someone who has a legal right under California law to inherit property from the deceased. Examples of eligible people could be the deceased’s siblings or parents, depending on who is still alive. Someone who is not related to the deceased or was not dependent on the deceased for services and support is not eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An adult child cannot file if the deceased has a surviving spouse. Parents of an adult child cannot file if the deceased has a surviving spouse or minor children. What Can Cause Wrongful Death? Wrongful death claims arise from a wide variety of accidents and other incidents. Some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths we represent clients for result from: Car accidents, Truck accidents, Pedestrian accidents, Motorcycle accidents, Medical malpractice, Defective products, Workplace accidents, Nursing home abuse, Negligent security, Premises accidents, and Criminal acts. Even if your loved one’s death was caused by something not on this list, you may benefit from consulting with a lawyer. Any circumstances where one or more parties contributed to another person’s death through negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions could be the basis for a wrongful death suit. How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? You have only a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. In most cases, the deadline is two years from the date of death. However, there are some circumstances that may extend the statute of limitation. It is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer about a potential wrongful death claim, even if you think the deadline may have passed. What Is the Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process? If you determine you’re eligible to file a suit and there is a valid cause of action for wrongful death, you should start meeting with wrongful death lawyers. Once you retain an attorney, they will begin an independent investigation and determine your potential case value. When your case is ready, your attorney will file a formal complaint on your behalf. During the pre-trial process, your attorney will continue to negotiate with the defendants in hopes of settling the case without going to trial. If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement with the at-fault party, then your attorney will continue to prepare your case for trial. You may be called to give a deposition or participate in mediation or arbitration. Do You Need a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Filing a wrongful death claim can be a complicated process. If you make any mistakes, it could ultimately jeopardize your case. Also, many wrongful death claims end up in litigation. You will definitely want an experienced trial attorney representing you throughout the litigation phase. It’s better to hire an attorney right from the start so they can be involved in gathering evidence and building a strong case early on. How Does Hiring a Lawyer Help Your Wrongful Death Case? Before you decide to pursue a claim on your own, it’s helpful to understand how an attorney can help. If you are ready to pursue a wrongful death claim, here are some of the tasks an attorney can assist with: Thoroughly explain the wrongful death claims process in California and advise what your legal options are; Help you identify all possible plaintiffs; Identify all possible defendants and potential insurance coverage; Handle all negotiations with the defendants and attempt to reach a fair settlement before filing a wrongful death lawsuit; Represent you throughout the entire legal process, including litigation; Ensure no filing or court deadlines are missed and that your case is filed in the proper jurisdiction and venue; Oversee collecting your settlement or jury award; and Represent you if either you or the defendant decide to appeal the court’s decision.  Wrongful death lawsuits can take considerable time to resolve. An attorney can make sure you have a strong case for trial. If your case could benefit from hiring specific experts, they will advance the legal fees to get them involved in your case.   Hiring the Right Lawyer for Your Needs Retaining the right attorney for a wrongful death case is crucial. Because these cases are typically complicated and may wind up resolving through a jury trial, you need a skilled California wrongful death attorney who has the experience and resources to build a strong case. If you lost a family member due to someone else’s negligence, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP, to schedule an initial consultation. We have decades of combined experience representing clients for all their personal injury needs, including wrongful death claims. Call our office today, and let us help you get justice for your loved one.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

How Do I Know the Value of My Construction Accident Settlement?

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places. They pose a risk to both workers and people passing by on the street. While there are strict regulations to keep construction sites as safe as possible, accidents happen regularly. If you were injured at a California construction site, you might be wondering what a fair construction accident settlement amount is. To learn more about what your case is potentially worth, contact a skilled California construction accident lawyer. No two accidents are exactly alike, and therefore, no two settlements are exactly alike. Your case value is dependent on multiple factors, including liability and your damages. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, we can evaluate your case and let you know what you might receive in a settlement or a jury trial. How to Tell If I Have a Case Just because you are injured in a construction accident, doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a successful claim. Before you can collect a settlement for a construction accident, you need to prove the basic elements of a personal injury case. You need to demonstrate that the defendants were negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. You also need to show that the injury resulted in your damages. These damages may include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Are you an injured construction worker? In California, construction companies are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are a construction employee who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you would need to file a claim for any injuries sustained on the job. If you are covered by workers’ compensation benefits, you’re prohibited from filing a claim against your employer. However, if there was another party responsible for your injuries, you could bring a third-party claim against them. If you work as an independent contractor or an innocent victim, you could file a lawsuit against the responsible party. What Steps Should I Take After the Accident? Immediately following the accident, try to document the scene if your injuries are not too severe. It would help if you tried to get photos of the site and whatever caused your accident. Try to take pictures of your injuries as well. If your injuries are severe, you should call 911 to have emergency responders dispatched. If they are not transporting you to the emergency room from the scene, you still need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you plan to pursue a claim for reimbursement of your damages, contact an experienced California construction accident attorney who can help. Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with a Settlement for a Construction Accident? You are not obligated to hire an attorney to represent you, but we recommend it. Construction accident claims are complicated and may involve numerous defendants. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, our legal team has decades of combined experience with construction accidents. Our top priority is helping you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. How Do I Know If the Insurance Company Is Offering a Fair Settlement? The best way to determine whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement is to speak with an attorney. If you have not already retained a personal injury lawyer, now is the time. You should not agree to settle or sign a release of claims without speaking with a California construction accident attorney first. Without legal representation, it’s doubtful that the insurance company will be offering you a fair amount for your injuries. Insurance companies look for ways to deny claims or avoid paying high settlement amounts. Despite what they may try to tell you, they are not on your side. Without an attorney representing you, you could be missing out on the compensation you are owed. How Do I Know What My Case Is Really Worth? Before you can settle your construction accident case, you must calculate the value of your claim. Two types of damages make up the value of your construction accident claim. The first is economic damages, which reflect your quantifiable financial losses. These may include: Medical expenses; Physical therapy and rehabilitation; Prescription costs; and Lost earnings. The second type of damages is your non-economic damages, which are subjective in value. These damages include things like: Pain and suffering, Loss of consortium, Emotional distress, and Loss of enjoyment of life. In limited circumstances, punitive damages may also be available. These are not awarded to compensate you for the accident. Instead, they are to deter the defendant from engaging in the same behavior and punish them. Punitive damages are available only in exceptional cases—ones where the defendant’s actions were intentional, extremely reckless, or involved fraud or malice. Even if your case technically qualifies for a punitive damages award, there’s no guarantee the court will award one. Comparative Negligence Fault also plays a role in determining the value of your case. California is what’s known as a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can still recover compensation for your injuries, even if you are partially at fault. However, the court will reduce your award according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault for the accident, you could claim only 70% of your damages. Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer If you were injured in a construction accident, finding the right California personal injury attorney is crucial. Construction accident claims are complicated to pursue, especially when liability is in dispute and there are multiple responsible parties. Do not retain an attorney who doesn’t have prior experience successfully resolving similar cases. There is a chance that your construction accident claim will proceed into litigation. Choose a firm with a proven record of success at trial. To learn how we can help you resolve your construction accident claim for the maximum compensation possible, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP, today to schedule an initial consultation.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

Premises Liability Laws in California—Do You Have a Case?

Premises liability cases involve injuries that occurred on someone else’s property. A property owner can be held legally responsible for damages that take place on their property in certain situations. If you slip and fall in a grocery store, do you have a premises liability case? If you can prove negligence against the property owner or business tenant, you might have a valid legal claim. Pursuing compensation in these matters can be complicated, which is why it’s crucial to retain a skilled California premises liability attorney. What Is Premises Liability? Under premises liability laws, property owners must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors. They must warn visitors and guests of any dangerous conditions, especially those hazards that may not be open and obvious. If a jury decides a property owner is negligent, injured victims have a right to recover compensation for their injuries and other damages. Property owners cannot avoid legal responsibility by claiming to not know about the hazard. To determine whether a property owner should’ve learned about the dangerous condition, look at factors such as: How obvious was the danger? Were there complaints about any hazardous conditions? How long did the hazardous condition exist? Did the hazard injure anyone else? Were there poor attempts at fixing the dangerous condition? Premises liability doesn’t typically deal with minor or trivial defects. Determining what a dangerous condition is can depend on the type of property. If property owners cannot fix the hazard, they must at least warn visitors. A property owner can achieve this by posting a visible notice that warns arriving visitors before they are in a situation that could result in harm. Types of Premises Liability Cases in California Some people mistakenly assume premises liability cases deal only with slip and fall accidents. While attorneys typically file a significant number of slip and fall lawsuits on behalf of clients, many other accidents fall under premises liability laws. Some of the most common premises liability cases in California include the following: Slip and falls: uneven flooring, loose carpets, spilled liquids, ice, missing stair railing, broken stairs, etc.; Dog bites: bites and other injuries caused by someone’s animal; Construction accidents: crane accidents, falls from scaffolding and ladders, roofing accidents, no warning signs for people passing by, etc.; Amusement parks and waterparks: rides, parking lots, line areas, and food-service outlets; Swimming pools: falls and drownings at either public or private pools; Elevators and escalators: Faulty equipment and negligent maintenance; and Negligent security: Assault or other crimes that occur due to a lack of proper security. Premises liability claims arise from injuries sustained on nearly every type of property. You could be injured at a private residence, public parking lot, shopping mall, retail store, school campus, apartment complex, government building, hospital, and more. California Premises Liability Laws Premises liability in California is based on negligence. Property owners and those who occupy a property have a legal obligation to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If they do not or fail to warn visitors about hazards, they could be held legally responsible. Establishing the threshold for what’s reasonably safe will depend on what a prudent property owner would have done when faced with similar circumstances. Unfortunately, determining what a reasonable property owner would do is not necessarily straightforward. If your case is decided through a jury trial, the jury will consider multiple factors before finalizing a liability decision. Some of these factors can include: Where the property is located; The chances of another person entering the property in the same manner as you; The likelihood that an injury would result; Whether the owner was aware of the hazardous condition or should’ve known; Who had the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk; and The degree of control the owner had over the hazardous condition. California premises liability laws allow you to sue the person or company who owns, leases, occupies, or controls the property where you were injured. The law doesn’t require this to be the same person or entity. Someone could manage and control the property but not own it. In some cases, you’ll have multiple defendants. Some property owners and businesses will try to delegate their duty to others, but California’s premises liability laws won’t allow it. That means if an employee doesn’t fix a hazardous condition or warn their employer, the employer could still be liable for someone’s injuries. Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, employers are vicariously liable for any acts of negligence that occur within the course and scope of an employee’s job duties. How Do I Know If I Have a Case? To successfully sue for premises liability in California, you must prove negligence against the property owner. To start, you have to show the defendant is the one who owns, leases, or has control of the property. This person or entity has to be the party who is tasked with inspecting, examining, and verifying the property is reasonably safe. You must show how the defendant was accountable for their property. Is there something missing that would’ve made the property reasonably safe? Consider a negligent security claim for a parking lot assault. Did the store owner know about crimes occurring in the parking lot but fail to install any security cameras or hire a security guard? This case could be an example of breaching a duty of care. Were you injured due to the hazardous condition? You must show evidence that you suffered injuries on the property due to the dangerous condition. This evidence includes verifiable losses, meaning you must have sought medical treatment, lost time from work, etc. You can be injured, but if you don’t seek medical treatment for your injuries, you won’t be able to prove damages. Finding the Right Injury Lawyers to Help Choosing the right premises liability attorney in California is crucial. You need an attorney with the necessary experience and resources to litigate your case. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to deny premises liability...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Big Box Stores and Premises Liability

Californians enjoy the savings provided by big box stores. A number of major retail chains provide a wide variety of items in bulk for a significant discount. And who doesn’t like to save money, right? But are there risks to shopping in these huge stores? When accidents happen in a commercial business, the injuries are often subject to personal injury claims under premises liability laws. If you or a loved one suffer an injury while shopping in a big box discount store, you could be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield can help you determine if you have a case. What is Premises Liability? Premises liability laws are in place to protect the public from accidents in public, commercial buildings, and other places. Basically, the owner or store manager has a responsibility to take all reasonable actions to ensure that the store is free of obstacles or other means by which patrons could become injured. For example, if a customer spills laundry detergent on the floor of a store, the store must take certain actions. First, a store employee will clean up the mess. Then, proper warning signs must be posted around the site for a certain amount of time, warning other shoppers of a wet floor and possible fall risk. If the mess is not cleaned up properly, or no signage is in view, and another shopper slips and falls, they could possibly file a claim against the store under premises liability law. What About Big Box Retail Stores? Large chain big box retail stores make their profits by buying huge quantities of products and selling them cheaply, and often in bulk. Warehousing costs are reduced by storing large pallets of products right in the store. Very often, this shelving is located immediately above the products on display for sale. A roll of paper towels is relatively light; but the weight of a wooden pallet containing 24 cases, each with 100 rolls of paper towels is significant. In the event of a collapse or inadvertent shifting of a load while placing more pallets of product nearby, these heavy amounts of products could fall on unsuspecting patrons, causing serious injuries. Moreover, since this accident features heavy objects falling from above, head injuries are likely and could be catastrophic. If you or a loved one suffers an injury in a bog box retail location and have questions about your legal rights, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Our Personal Injury attorneys have experience with handling premises liability accident claims. We can help you file the claim and vigorously pursue your right to compensation from the responsible parties. Call us today or send a message online to arrange your free same-day, initial case review.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most California personal injury cases, negligence is a deciding factor. Therefore, knowing about what constitutes negligence and how to prove it is important. If you or someone you love have suffered a personal injury through the fault of another party, it is highly likely that negligence is involved. Defining Negligence Negligence is legally defined as follows: “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct).” While aspects of “ordinary prudence” and “some duty to act” are often debated, the courts generally have a firm understanding of these terms as applied to personal injury negligence cases. Basically, a person of ordinary intelligence and capacity who acts or fails to act in such a way that causes another person or party to sustain an injury is guilty of negligence. Proving Negligence Claiming another person or party was negligent in their actions or lack thereof is not sufficient; the law demands that the injured party provide sufficient proof of said negligence. Legally, four elements must combine to prove negligence occurred. They are: Duty, breach, cause, and harm. The existence of a legal duty of care – this means that the defendant (the accused) was obligated to prevent harm from happening to the plaintiff (the victim of injury). The breach of that duty – this means that the negligent party created or allowed a dangerous situation to occur when they could have taken reasonable measures to stop it. The sufferance of an injury or harm – this refers to the physical and mental trauma, property damage, and lost income that resulted from the breach of duty. The proof that said breach caused the injury – this is evidence that the actions or omissions of the defendant directly or indirectly caused the plaintiff’s injury. If all four factors can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before the court, you may be able to collect financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. Many other factors can be involved, as every personal injury case is different, whether it happened in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, through a defective product, a construction accident, or by other means. If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury where you believe negligence is a factor, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP by phone or contact form. We are able to fully serve your legal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic and can provide a same-day review of your case with a free phone or video consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

When Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Life is never really the same when you or someone you love suffers a personal injury. You may be forced to adopt dramatic changes to even performing the most mundane tasks. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that around 31 million people each year receive medical treatment due to injury. Many people wonder when or if they should contact a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield. Young Wooldridge, LLP has served our surrounding communities since 1939, and we have the seasoned experience to help you in the event of an accident. What is Involved in CA Personal Injury Law? The personal injury laws of California provide legal recourse for those suffering personal injuries from the actions or negligence of another party or parties. Young Wooldridge, LLP can assist you with filing a claim with the courts to pursue compensation. Our attorneys have forged strong relationships throughout our community with legal and medical professionals. These partnerships allow us to formulate the best possible defense for your claim. When you need a talented, experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield, Young Wooldridge, LLP can provide the legal assistance you need for the following types of accidents: Car Accidents Construction/Industrial/Oil Field Accidents Burn Accidents Dangerous and Defective Products Dog Bites Motorcycle Accidents Premises Liability Traumatic Brain Injuries Truck Accidents Wrongful Death If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP by phone or online to schedule a confidential consultation. How Can Young Wooldridge, LLP Help? Every accident is as unique as the Bakersfield resident who suffers an injury. Due to these differences, and the many complexities that can be present, California personal injury laws can be complicated. You need a seasoned, knowledgeable personal injury attorney to defend your rights and fight to obtain you the compensation you deserve. In cases where one of the family’s providers becomes injured and unable to work, it is especially important that your attorney be able to provide efficient and effective negotiation and litigation on behalf of your claim for compensation.  Call or send an online message to Young Wooldridge, LLP today if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Keeping your Tween Safe in the Car

Personal Injury Lawyer | Tween Car Safety Guidelines You read a lot about infant and small child car seat safety. There is always an emphasis on teen drivers. What about the kids in the middle? How do we protect the group that early elementary kids call the “big kids”? But over five years, 1,552 kids between the ages of 8 and 14 died in motor vehicle crashes. Tragically, almost half of them were not buckled in. Personal injury lawyers frequently see cases where injury or death could have been prevented if the injured party was wearing a properly-fitted seat belt. To avoid these situations, parents need to practice diligent safety for their kids while shuffling them from school to extracurricular activities and from the movies to sleepovers with their friends.  Tweens If you don’t have any, you may not be familiar with the term “tween”, a word that encompasses kids ages 8 through 12. These increasingly independent and inquisitive life explorers are learning who they are and what interests them. They’re transitioning away from the safety of their parents faster than some may like. Tweens are a busy group with active social lives, increasing school demands, and the inability to ferry themselves from place to place. Parents spend a great deal of time playing chauffeur to tweens and their friends. Having a plan in place to keep this group safe in transit just makes sense. We’ll discuss some of the challenges tween passengers face and what parents can do to keep them safe. Challenges When parents and caregivers fail to buckle up, children are far less likely to want to wear seat belts. Tweens are distracted with devices, eating, reading, and other social concerns. Disorganization, due to lack of maturity and experience, leaves these kids in a rushed, chaotic state much of the time. Sometimes kids will put their seat belts behind their backs or under their arms because they feel uncomfortable. This could be because they’ve been prematurely moved from a booster seat.  Burgeoning image concerns make tweens embarrassed by perceived “baby” behaviors. What You Should Know Experts advise that children remain in a booster seat until they fit correctly in a regular seat belt. The belt should rest snugly across the chest and never cross the neck. The lap belt should sit high on the hips, not across the belly or midsection. Children typically reach a safe height and weight (4’9″ or taller and over 80 pounds is recommended) for regular seat belts between the ages of 8 and 14. Children should remain in the back seat, the safest place until they are at least 13 years of age. In the event of an accident, airbags can cause additional injuries to children younger than this. It is illegal to ride without seat belts in most states, and you can receive a fine for unbuckled minor passengers. What You Can Do Always model proper seatbelt safety. Keep kids in a booster as long as possible. Do not make exceptions or feed into the “uncool” image perception by allowing them out of the booster for special occasions. Keep kids in the back seat until they are at least 13. Check every car for proper seat belt fit. Some vehicles may require a booster while others do not. Never put the car in motion until everyone is buckled up. Never assume your tween is wearing their seat belt. Offer short-term rewards and consequences for non-compliance. Never negotiate on seat belt rules. Always be consistent in your messaging. Help to lower the number of tween injuries and fatalities in car accidents by setting hard and fast rules for all passengers in your vehicle. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP, can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Car Seat Styles and How to Install Them Safely

Personal Injury Lawyer | Car Seat Styles and a Guide to Installing Them Safely For parents, the safety of their children is of paramount importance at all times. From sports to toys, food to illnesses, we keep a close eye and shepherd them through their younger years. One of the most crucial places for child safety is in the car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 325 children were saved by car seats in 2017. If you and your family are in a car accident, being properly secured in the right car seat is your child’s best chance of avoiding personal injury. Personal Injury Lawyers who can help to ensure you get the care and compensation you may be entitled to in the event of an accident. This guide will introduce you to three different car seat styles and will explain how to install them. However, while this is meant to give you an overview, you should always be familiar with the owner’s manual for your car as well as the car seat as the best installation can vary. Infant Car Seats Infant car seats have a harness and are designed to move with your child, cradling them to reduce the risk of injury to their fragile frame. Infant car seats generally come in two pieces: the base and the bucket. The bucket, or actual seat part, is portable and unlatches from the base. Often parents have more than one base for easy pick-up and drop-off duty sharing. Infant car seats are rear-facing only and should never be installed facing the front. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you keep a child rear-facing as long as possible. It is the best way to keep them safe in the event of a crash. Children should be rear-facing at least until their first birthday. It is important to install the base securely in the vehicle. When possible, use the anchor hooks and attach them to the anchors between the seats of your vehicle. Cinch the seat snuggly to the car using your knee to simulate the weight of the bucket and child. If your car does not have anchors, follow the manufacturer and car recommendations to install the seat using the seat belt. Be sure that every time you place the portable bucket into the base, that it latches completely. Forward-Facing Car Seats Forward-facing seats use a harness and tethers to limit your child’s movement during a crash. They come in convertible, combination and all-in-one styles. Each of these can be used rear-facing until your child is big enough to move to a forward-facing position. It is recommended that children remain rear-facing for as long as possible, up to the age of three. To install these seats you can use either the anchors or the seat belt strap. If using anchors, use a top tether until your child reaches the recommended weight to do without it. If you choose the seat belt strap method, guide the seat belt through the channel indicated on the seat and latch it securely. Make sure the seat belt isn’t twisted during installation and ensure that it is completely extended and in the locked position. Children should stay in the forward-facing seat with harness and tether until they reach the maximum weight and height for the seat. Often, they can transition between ages four and seven. Booster Seats Booster seats are designed to redirect and position the car’s seat belt so that it fits properly over the child. Various models of boosters exist, including the previously mentioned convertible car seat which may transition from a forward-facing to a booster. Additionally, there are boosters that are simply the bottom seat part and boosters that also have a high back. Boosters can be used until the age of 12. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing seat, it is ok to move them to a booster seat. However, they should still ride in the back seat. This is the safest place since deployed airbags can cause additional harm to children. Installation of these seats is simple. Make sure that the seat sits properly on the car’s seat cushion and use the seat belt to secure the child in. When using a high back booster, guide the belt through the shoulder channel and then across the lap through the armrests. The seat belt should fit across your child’s shoulder and not their neck. The lap belt should tighten snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. Use NHTSA’s helpful car seat finder to feel confident you’re choosing the correct seat for your kid. If you are not confident or comfortable installing your child’s car seat, you can find a Certified Carseat Technician in your area. Usually, your local fire department will have someone on hand to help you. Many communities host periodic “Check The Seat” events where they will provide information for parents and inspect to make sure they are installed properly. Protect your kids by keeping them secure any time they’re in the vehicle. If you, or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Safe Celebrating: A Guide to Safely Handling Personal Fireworks

Personal Injury Lawyer | Safe Celebrating: A Guide to Safely Handling Personal Fireworks Contact an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer if you are injured this July 4th while celebrating. They can inform you of your rights. For many Americans, fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day celebrations. Like apple pie and backyard barbeques, lighting a few personal fireworks for the neighborhood kids is a time-honored tradition. With the use of fireworks so ingrained in our idea of July 4th celebrating, it can seem simple and safe pastime to partake in. However, the dangers of fireworks are so threatening that the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA) is firmly opposed to the use of consumer fireworks altogether. Let’s look at the facts: Consumer fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year including structure fires, vehicle fires and others. Fireworks related fires account for an average of $43 million in direct property damage. In the month surrounding July 4th, approximately 280 people are seen in emergency rooms across the U.S. for fireworks related injuries. Children younger than 15 account for one-third of fireworks injuries. In at least 10 states, consumer fireworks are restricted or banned completely. Safety organizations like the NFPA, National Safety Council (NSC) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend that Americans only enjoy fireworks displays that are handled by the pros. If you still feel the need to partake in fourth of July pyrotechnics, be sure to take the following safety precautions to reduce your risk of an Independence Day disaster. Never let children play with fireworks. Sparklers burn at an alarming 1,200 degrees. That’s hot enough to melt some metals. Instead, have adults light sparklers and put on a show for children. Always make sure that you explain the dangers of fireworks to little ones before starting the show. Always keep water nearby. Keep a bucket of water nearby for immediate dowsing if a fire does break out. Have the hose handy should you need more. Put fireworks remains and any malfunctioning fireworks in water before discarding them. Trash can fires can occur from still smoldering pieces. Never use fireworks when impaired by alcohol. If you’ve been celebrating with alcohol, don’t celebrate with fire. Only light fireworks away from people, houses and other flammable materials. As mentioned above, cars and other property are at risk around fireworks. Only light one device at a time and never relight a dud. Make sure to get a safe distance immediately after igniting fireworks and never stand directly over fireworks while lighting them. Store and transport fireworks safely. Never carry fireworks in your pocket where friction can cause them to ignite. Store fireworks in a cool dry place in the home. Never purchase illegal fireworks. M80’s, M100’s, blockbusters and quarter pounders were banned in 1966 but still account for injuries each year. Illegal fireworks will be wrapped in brown paper and will not have consumer warnings clearly displayed on them. This fourth of July, protect your friends and family by establishing strict personal fireworks safety measures at your celebration. You can enjoy the festivities longer if you aren’t making an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. If you, or someone you love has been injured by personal fireworks, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Personal Injury Lawyer│According to the 2019 AAA Travel survey, more than 100 million Americans are planning to take a family vacation this year. Two-thirds of these family travelers will get away from home during the summer, making it a popular time for family road trips. Truly one of the best ways to travel, the time-honored road trip makes the journey just as exciting as the destination. However, child meltdowns, vehicle breakdowns, and car accidents can bring the fun to a screeching halt. The Road Trip Safety Checklist below will ensure that your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Service Your Vehicle About a week before you set out on the open road, take your vehicle into your local service station for a tune-up. Let them know that you’re planning a road trip. You’ll be asking a lot of your car as you travel in hot weather for several hours every day. Ensure that it has what it needs to function at peak performance. The National Highway Travel Safety Administration(NHTSA) recommends that you service these areas: Battery Lights Belts and Hoses Fluids Wipers Tires Air Conditioning Pack An Emergency Roadside Kit If you’ve performed the above tune-up, it’s not likely that you will be stranded roadside during your trip. However, it’s always a good idea to prepare for even the worst case scenario. Put together an Emergency Roadside Kit that can tackle several needs in a tough situation. Include the below items: Fully charged phone Flashlight First aid kit Jumper cables Tire pressure gauge Jack for changing tires and a tire iron Work gloves Duct tape Jug of water and paper towels for cleanup Windshield washer fluid Food, drinking water and medicines Towels and blankets Map Check That All Child Seats Are Secured You probably installed your child’s car seat long ago. How often do you check to make sure it’s secured tightly in the car? After packing up and moving items into places that are usually unused into your vehicle, car seats can loosen and shift. Take a minute to unhook and reinstall your child seats. Keeping the little ones secured should be one of the highest priorities on your checklist. Make A Plan With Frequent Stops Speaking of those little guys, any parent can tell you that children need regular breaks on long drives. Not only that, but your car will thank you too. Half the fun of a road trip is what you see along the way. So, take advantage of the break time and see some local attractions. Pack a picnic lunch instead of hitting the fast food drive through. Plan your trip and your stops in advance so that you don’t miss any highlights along the way. Share The Road As you probably know, you won’t be the only person road tripping this summer. Motorcycles, bicyclists and even pedestrians will be more present during these warmer months. Although anyone who uses the road shares certain responsibilities to keep everyone safe, these three groups are far more vulnerable without the protection of an enclosed vehicle around them. Use caution, exercise patience, and be mindful when you need to share the road. Stay Alert One of the most important things you should do before any long drive is to get a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can be deadly on a road trip. Being awake and alert will improve not only your mood but also your ability to enjoy the drive. Stay off of cell phones and other screens while driving. Save these activities for the next time you make a pit stop. Fill up while stopped and make a pledge not to eat while driving. Allow another passenger to assist youngsters in the backseat while you keep your eyes, and mind, on the task of driving. If you, or your loved ones, have been hurt in an auto accident, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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