Parents Beware: Injuries to Children Increase on Halloweenentry-title

Kids trick-or-treating on Halloween

Halloween is a perfect holiday for families and children to dress up, eat candy and have fun in their neighborhoods while trick-or-treating. All of this excitement in one night can unfortunately lead to injuries to your children, and injuries can definitely dampen the Halloween spirit. Here’s what you should look out for on Halloween night to ensure the risk of injuries and accidents is minimal.

How Could My Child Suffer From a Serious Injury on Halloween Night?

  • Don’t let your young children trick-or-treat alone. This is an obvious safety tip, but many families are still unaware of the dangers of letting their small children walk in their neighborhood alone on Halloween. As a parent you should always accompany your young children. Older children should always travel in groups and be back home before extremely late hours.

  • Be prepared for night-walking. The combination of walking at sundown or nighttime in unfamiliar areas with a mask or heavy costume could result in falls that could leave broken bones, brain injuries, sprains and bruises. Make sure you and your child have a flashlight just in case you’re on a poorly lit street.

  • Ensure costumes fit properly. In order to avoid tripping and falling while trick-or-treating, make sure that your child’s costume doesn’t drag on the ground or isn’t too heavy and awkward. Also, ensure that any masks or headwear/eyewear doesn’t obstruct your child’s eyesight completely.

  • Be cautious while carving pumpkins. Don’t let your young children carve any pumpkins with a sharp knife because they could easily cut their hands or other part of their body. A safer approach could be using paint or non-carving decoration kits for younger children, or you can cut the Jack-o-Lantern for them.

If you or your child suffers a serious injury on Halloween night due to negligence on someone else’s property, speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you need help now, call Steve Gnau at (951) 370-1111 for a free case evaluation.

What Catastrophic Injuries Could I Sustain from a Slip and Fall Accident?entry-title

Photo Of Head Injury

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common accidents that can happen at any place, any time, and to anyone. This is because there are many different ways you could slip, fall and become seriously injured. Whether you’re inside of your own home, at work, at a swimming pool or hotel, or just walking down the street, you can slip and fall if you’re not paying attention or if someone was negligent. Sometimes, these injuries can be minor, but they can also be catastrophic injuries that you or a loved one has to live with for a long time.

What Types of Catastrophic Injuries Result from a Slip and Fall?

Traumatic brain injury. One common catastrophic injury that can occur after a slip and fall accident is a TBI, or traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slip and falls account for over 35 percent of all TBIs, especially if someone falls backward. TBI’s can include multiple type of head injuries, including concussions, brain contusions, and internal bleedings (hemorrhages).
Spinal cord injury. Many people can also experience severe whiplash while they are slipping and falling, which can result in spinal cord injuries. Falls result in about 25 percent of spinal cord injuries, and many of these injuries are permanent.
Bone fracture. Depending on how someone falls and in what direction, he or she can sustain a bone fracture from the slip and fall they experience. Fracturing a wrist or arm is common if the person grabs for a railing or another object while falling, and many people also land on their hips which can result in hip fractures.
Knee injury. Cartilage or ligament damage to the knees can occur while twisting into a fall. Our knees bear a lot of our body weight, so if we experience an injury, the recovery process can be particularly long and painful. Over time, knee injuries usually require expensive surgery to repair serious muscle and nerve damage.
Shoulder injury. Slip and falls can easily result in a shoulder injury because many people will try to fall forward and to the side in order to avoid falling on their head. Strains, sprains and tears to the shoulder structure of your upper arm can be painful and hard to heal.

If you have experienced any of these catastrophic injuries after a slip and fall accident due to someone’s negligence, you could potentially file an injury lawsuit. You should first contact Steve Gnau, who is a serious personal injury attorney for the Murrieta, California area. Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.

What Types of Serious Injuries Can I Sustain from a Bicycle Accident?entry-title

bicycleaccident

Riding a bicycle is an easy and fun way to travel to and from any local destinations. California’s metro areas have many bicyclists who use this form of transportation to get to work and other places. However, riding a bicycle in California can be dangerous. There were over 800 bicycle-related fatalities in 2015 alone. Not all bicycle accidents end in death, but many do result in serious injuries that could affect the bicyclist’s life forever.

What Are the Serious Injuries that Bicyclists Face?

Bicycle injuries can be attributed to rider error, motorist error, environmental hazards, or bicycle mechanical failures. Faster riding speed usually always contributes to serious injuries and fatalities on the road, so the number one rule to protect yourself is to follow a safe riding speed at all times. Common serious injuries that can result from these bicycle accidents are:

  • Head trauma: Head injuries occur in up to 48 percent of serious bicycle accidents, often as a result of a crash with a motor vehicle. They are also responsible for over 60 percent of bicycle-related fatalities and long-term disabilities. Head trauma can include skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions, and hemorrhages.
  • Bone/skeletal injuries: These can include any fractures, dislocations or strains of the arms or legs from a serious bicycle accident.
  • Chest injuries: Rib fractures and lung injuries may result from a bicycle accident.
  • Skin and soft tissue injuries: “Road rash” abrasions, lacerations, contusions, bruises and scrapes are included in these types of injuries.

Serious bicycle injuries can be minimized if the bicyclist is wearing the appropriate head gear and outfit. Also, following all traffic and road rules is very important if you want to reduce your chance of a bicycle accident. Our Murrieta bicycle accident attorneys know what your rights are a cyclist, and we can help you pursue a compensation claim for your injuries caused due to someone’s negligence. Contact Steve Gnau today for more information.

What Damages Are Available for Me from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?entry-title

Overcoming Relentless Emotional Turmoil After A Loved One's Death

When a loved one dies, emotional trauma can arrive and affect an entire family and each of its members. A death in the family can also cause extreme financial hardship, and it can leave family members at a loss for what to do next. California laws have been enacted in order to decrease these struggles for families, especially when a person or other party is found legally responsible for your loved one’s death. It’s crucial that you and your family know the different types of compensation (also known as damages) that are available in wrongful death lawsuits.

What Are the Different Categories of Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit?

There are two general categories of damages in a wrongful death case.  The two categories are called economic damages and non-economic damages.

The first category involves the loss of financial support, household services and loss of benefits or gifts that the deceased would have provided.  This category also involves burial expenses paid by the family.

The second category of damages involves the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, moral support and affection that the family member suffered.  This category also involves the loss of training and guidance that the deceased would have provided to the family.

These categories of damages are designed to compensate the family for any financial losses, and they are intended to replace the value of money the deceased would have earned were it not for his or her death (lost wages). Loss of consortium can also be included in this damages category, which is where a spouse or immediate family member is deprived of the deceased’s love and companionship.

Most of the time, wrongful death damages are rewarded to spouses, children or parents of the deceased. If you are interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit and would like to recover damages, we can help. Steve Gnau has extensive wrongful death case experience, and he will help represent you in court. Just contact our office today for a free consultation.

Why Sleeping in Your Car Can Result in a Deadly Injury or Accidententry-title

Photo Of Rear End Car Accident

There are many reasons why you would need to sleep in your vehicle. You could be waiting to “sober up” after drinking, you could be homeless and have nowhere else to temporarily stay, or you could be traveling and taking a quick nap. Whether or not you are sleeping in your car because you need somewhere to live, or if you need somewhere to temporarily sleep, you should know the potential ramifications of this. There are multiple factors that will depend on the circumstances you receive.

How Can I Legally Sleep in my Car?

There are a few tips you should take if you are planning on taking a long road trip or if you have become temporarily displaced.

  • Use rest stops and campsites: If you properly plan ahead, public rest stops are typically places where you can legally sleep in your vehicle. You can’t camp there, but you can park and keep your car in a parking spot for a few hours or potentially overnight. However, if it seems that you are attempting to live there, police who are monitoring the area might charge you for illegal camping. Make sure not to stay in a campground without permission or paying the appropriate fees.
  • Be careful on public and private property: There are state laws and local regulations that apply to sleeping in your vehicle on public property. This will all depend on what type of public property, what time of the day it is, and where you specifically parked. Private property is usually a little more lenient, but make sure you personally check in with whomever owns the property and what their specific regulations are.
  • Turn off your vehicle while you’re sleeping: Keeping your engine running while you’re sleeping is extremely dangerous to yourself and others. Carbon monoxide can build up inside the vehicle if you don’t have any windows open, and you will also run out of gas much faster. If it’s cold, make sure you pack blankets, jackets, or insulated sleeping bags so you won’t have to keep the heat on.
  • Don’t drink and drive: Many people will want to sleep for a short period of time after a night out with too many drinks. If this is your only safe option, don’t hesitate to do this. Some tips are to sleep in the back seat instead of the front, turn off your engine, and keep your car keys out of view. Keep in mind that you could still receive a parking ticket or a DUI charge.

Sleeping in your car is a risky move to make, because you could be putting yourself at risk for arrest or injuries. Steve Gnau can tell you more on the importance of safe driving, contact his office today.