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As the temperatures begin to drop to more comfortable levels, we are reminded that winter will soon be upon us. While some boaters will pack it in for the season, others will brave the cold temperatures and head out on the water in hope for at least one more good haul. If you are planning on fishing during the cold weather months, there are some things that you need to consider in order to stay safe.

Buoys Will Change

The U.S. Coast Guard replaces aid-to-navigation buoys with ones that are more basic. Strong winter storms can damage buoys, and the smaller ones are less susceptible to damage. These buoys can be tricky to see in storms or low-light conditions. Be prepared to rely on your navigation system more than you do in the summer.

Float Plan

It is even more important to file a float plan when temperatures drop. You do not want to be stranded on the water when the air and water are colder than you are used to. Tell at least one person where you are going and how long you will be gone. Make an agreement that you will text that person as soon as you get back to land.

Charge the Batteries

Batteries are more prone to losing their charge in cold weather. Pack an extra battery for your cell phone and any other device that needs juice to run. Use your electronics as little as possible to extend their life. If you have to use them, by all means do so, but now is not the time to play Angry Birds while you drift down the lake.

Fashion Show

Boating in cold weather requires that you wear the proper clothing. Remember that it is always colder on the water than it is on land. Water also takes the heat from your body faster. Wear several layers of clothing and pack a few more. Be sure to wear your life jacket over your clothes as well.

If you are gung-ho about boating during the cold weather months, use your head. Dress for the weather, tell friends and family where you will be going, and make sure that your boat is in good repair. When you take the time to do these things, your trip is more likely to be a good one.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, we are here for you. Contact our offices today for your free case evaluation. Call now.

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download (5)A fifth-grade boy from Florida heroically rescued three other school children who were trapped inside a partial submerged school bus near Tampa last week.

Officials say that the school bus was carrying 27 students form the Marcy E. Bryant Elementary School when it veered off the road and plunged into a shallow pond.

Nicholas Sierra, 10, member of the school’s safety patrol member, ran to the site of the accident and grabbed one student, a kindergartner, put her arms around his neck and then carried her to safety. Sierra then returned to the school bus and pulled out two additional students from the bus.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies then arrived on the scene and went into the bus to rescue the other 24 children on board the bus.

According to eyewitness accounts given to Hillsborough Sheriff’s deputies, the driver, Lenoir Sainfimin, 54, did attempt to push the brakes but the brakes failed, causing the school bus to go into the water after striking a tree. Sainfimin stayed with the bus until all of the 27 children who were placed in his charge aboard the bus were safely ashore. Deputies say that Sainfimin will not be charged.

No parent sends their child to school with the slightest idea that they could possibly get into an accident. No matter how short a trip between home and school, accidents can happen as it did in this case.

It’s reassuring to know that there are fast thinking people such as young Nicholas Sierra and the Hillsborough County Sheriffs who do whatever they can in order to ensure everyone is taken to safety after the accident.

If you or someone you love has recently been involved in an accident of any kind, call the offices of Auger & Auger today. You and your family could be eligible for compensation to help with any medical expenses, time off the job or other related costs that are incurred after an accident.

When it happens, that’s the time when you need to have good, solid legal counsel in order to receive the compensation and sense of justice you and your family deserve. Contact the law offices of Auger & Auger today for a free consultation.

The crisp night air is moving in. Soon, cooler weather during the day will follow. As you put pumpkins on your stoop and skeletons on your entry door, it is time to take a closer look at your home. Fall brings with it specific safety dangers that you may not have considered. When you take the time to inspect your home, you make it safer for your family and guests.

Smoke Alarms

When was the last time you made sure your smoke alarm was in operational order? As fall and winter approach, we tend to plug more things into our walls than normal. This creates a higher risk of electrical fires. Make sure that your smoke alarm is ready to sound a warning should the need arise.

Flammables

If you use your furnace closet to store items, or have items covering your vents, it is time to move them. Clothing, cardboard, paint products and anything else flammable should be stored safely for the winter. If it can catch on fire, it shouldn’t be near your furnace.

Space Heaters

If you plan to use space heaters, make sure you are doing so safely. Turn your heater off at night when you sleep and any time you leave the house. Make sure that your children and pets are never near the heater without you close by to supervise.

Repairs

Take a good look around your home and make note of any repairs that you have been putting off. Now that the temperatures are bearable, you have no reason not to get those things done. Repair steps, handrails, sidewalks, and driveways before the first snow storm sneaks up on you.

Leaf Piles

Kids and leaf piles are something of a fall tradition. If you are going to allow your children to jump in the leaves, do not let it be any that are piled along the curb. You never know what can be hiding in these piles, and your children are at risk of being hit by passing vehicles.

Fall and winter bring with them special sets of safety concerns. Use the tips above to be sure that you, your family and your home are ready for the upcoming seasons.

If you have been injured in an accident, call our offices as soon as possible. We are here for you, and we will fight for your rights in court. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call now for a free case evaluation.

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If you are like many, your mobile device controls your life. You use your smartphone to talk to friends and family, text the people you know, keep up with social media, and entertain you when you’ve got a few minutes to kill. As a boater, you can use your tech device for a multitude of things, all with the touch, or tap, of a finger.

Here are some of the best apps for the savvy boater:

  1. BoatUS Towing

Think you may need assistance in the water? This app give you 24/7 access to help. Should you need it, the app gives your GPS coordinates to the largest towing fleet on the water.

  1. Boat Essentials – USCG Safety Gear

Wonder what kind of safety gear you should stow on board? Take a look at this handy app. Simply choose the type of boating you will be doing and it will tell you which items are essential.

  1. Boaters Pocket Reference

From boating information to illustrations, this application is perfect for novice and experienced boaters alike. Charts and graphs are helpful, as are photographs and nautical calculators.

  1. WindGuru

Forget licking your finger and putting it in the air. This app will tell you the wind direction and strength no matter where you are in the world.

  1. Boat Ramps

It is always a good idea to know where you plan to dock but if you don’t, this app can help you out. Use it to find any of the more than 35,000 boat ramps listed across the nation.

  1. Float Plan

Creating a float plan is always a good safety idea. This app makes doing it extremely easy. With just a few, quick steps, you have a float plan to share with family and friends.

  1. Pro Knot

So you weren’t a boy scout. Don’t fret. Pro Knot will show you how to tie more than 30 useful knots.

  1. Whale Alert

If you will be traveling on the North Atlantic, consider using this fun application. It depicts active right whales, offering you tips on routes to avoid if you don’t want to run into one of the large mammals. It’s also good if your goal is to see one of these beautiful animals in its natural habitat.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, please call our offices today. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here for you and your family. Call now for your free initial consultation.

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No matter the size of your boat or how much you paid for it, keeping it properly maintained is one of the first keys to safety. Not only will maintenance keep your boat in working order, but routine maintenance will alert you to issues that need prompt attention.

Routine maintenance is fairly simple. While some repairs will obviously require the expertise of a marine mechanic, there is plenty that you can do on your own. With a little elbow grease, you can keep your boat running smooth and safe.

Wash It

You may think that because your boat is in the water frequently that you don’t need to wash it. On the contrary, salt can build up on your vessel, corroding metal and marring your gel coat. Your boat should be rinsed with water after every trip. Give your boat a good scrub down at least once a week with marine boatwash or car wash soap. A soft-bristled brush can help scrape away any salt that refuses to budge.

Change the Oil

Knowing how to change your boat’s oil can save you money. The good news is that it isn’t a difficult undertaking. Do it once and you will find out just how simple it is. When your boat is in the water, start the engine and let it run for five minutes. Turn off the engine and remove your oil’s dipstick. Remove old oil with the oil extractor suction tube. Remove the oil filter and install a new one. Put the dipstick back where it belongs and fill the engine with clean oil.

If you aren’t sure if these steps are the correct ones for your particular vessel, check out your owner’s manual. You will discover how to change the oil and what type of oil your engine calls for. If you are truly not confident in your abilities, a marine mechanic can change your oil for you.

Propeller Check

Inspect your propeller when it is off. Do this at least once a week. Look for dents, nicks and signs of damage. Any sign of impact should alert you to the need for professional inspection. Remove any fishing line, string or seaweed that is wound around your propeller. Keeping your propeller maintained will prevent it from vibrating and your boat to lose performance.

As a boat owner, safety is your responsibility. Routine maintenance is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your vessel is seaworthy. Your owner’s manual will layout routine maintenance suggestions for your particular vessel.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you may be entitled to by law. Call now.

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As autumn approaches, you may be planning a road trip with the family. Taking scenic tours is a favorite way for many to see the beautiful colors of fall. But wait. Before you pack up the family and jump into the car, why not see the sights in an alternative fashion? Boating can offer access to scenery not viewed by the masses. Fall foliage reflecting off of the water is truly a sight to behold. Here are the top five waterways for anyone who wants to see fall foliage in a slightly different way.

Bar Harbor, Maine

New England is a popular destination for fall foliage seekers. If you don’t have your own boat, consider renting one from any one of the many rental and charter businesses in the area. Peak season runs from late September to the middle of October.

Lake Jocassee, South Carolina

Closer to home than the other destinations on this list, Lake Jocassee is accessible through Devils Fork State Park. The shoreline is undeveloped, making it a truly unique experience. Not only will you see the foliage on the trees, but the marsh grasses turn to hues of amber and gold come fall. Plan on visiting from late October to the first week of November.

Lake George, New York

You will find Lake George at the base of the Adirondacks. It is a large lake, covering over 30 miles. Come late September, autumn takes over and lights the lake with ambers, oranges and golds. There are several rental outfits to choose from, making it a popular destination for people in the area and surrounding states.

Saugatuck, Michigan

If you love the water, Michigan is the place to be in the fall. There are well over 10,000 inland lakes in the state, and more than 3,000 miles of shoreline along the Great Lakes. Pick your views from the hills or the water…you won’t be disappointed. October is the best month to visit.

Lake Tellico, Tennessee

Lake Tellico connects to many waterways, making it the perfect destination for any boater. Imagine looking at the foliage reflecting off of the water against the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains. The views are breathtaking. Head to Tennessee from mid-October through the end of November for the best sights.

No matter if you are taking your own boat or renting someone else’s, safety should still be a priority on your fall foliage tour. If you are not an experienced boater, consider booking a charter rather than renting a boat.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Call us today for a free initial consultation. We will advise you how to best proceed with your case. Call now.

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You know that using your cell phone or mobile device in your car is distracting. You know that screaming children in the backseat can be not only distracting, but aggravating. But have you considered that eating in the car can also be distracting?

You are busy and your time is short. It’s often easier to make your coffee and take it on the road. You run through the drive thru for a quick breakfast and eat it on the way to work. Hold on a minute. Before you decide to eat your next meal in the car, consider this.

You Drip

You can be as careful as you want to be, but eating that cheeseburger is messy. Condiments drip out, lettuce falls, and onions cascade. The same can be said for tacos and other loosely-built foods. Few people can keep their eyes on the road as their sandwich drips onto their clean and pressed pants.

You Spill

Your coffee tips. Your pop explodes. Whatever it is, any liquid has the chance of spilling. Think about hot coffee in your lap or your soda landing on your laptop. Think you can keep driving in a straight line? Chances are slim. You can wait for 30 minutes before your next drink. If you have a long commute, stick to water.

You Swerve

Any time something lands in your lap, you run the risk of taking your eyes off of the road. When your eyes leave the road, you increase the risk of drifting in your lane or swerving into the next. It simply isn’t worth it. Eating in the car may have been something you have done a hundred times without incident, but it is that one time that can change your life forever.

If you are hungry in the morning, set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier. If you don’t have time to eat a full meal, grab a bagel, a toaster pastry, or a piece of fruit. No meal in the car is worth the possible consequences of your actions. Eating in the car is distracted driving. Add it to the list of things you should never do when you are behind the wheel.

If you have been injured in a car accident, our attorneys are here to help you. Call our offices today for a free initial consultation. Our compassionate attorneys are here to help you and your family move forward with your lives. Call now.

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download (62)Two young women are now dead after a tragic accident on Saturday involving a stolen vehicle that was attempting to evade authorities.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, they were notified of a stolen 2008 gold Kia Rio. The stolen vehicle was reported as travelling on Central Avenue. The stolen vehicle was  tracked via traffic cameras until officers were able make a traffic stop near the intersection of Ashley Road and Wilkinson Boulevard. However, the driver refused to pull over and attempted to evade police. The driver of the stolen Kia lost control and crashed the vehicle into a building.

Emergency crews pronounced Sarah Bianca Love, 22, dead at the scene of the crash. Jennifer Taggart, 17, along with the male driver, Kennith Marquis Goggins, 23, to Carolinas Medical Center to be treated for critical and serious injuries. Taggart later died as the result of injuries she sustained in the crash.

Goggins has been charged with felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, DWI, reckless driving, possession of a stolen vehicle and other related charges.

In life, not every choice a person makes is a good one. Sometimes making a choice can lead to tragic results that can get others killed or worse. Accidents involving the loss of a loved one are devastating for families; especially when a young person with their whole life seemingly ahead of them tragically dies as a result. Nothing that anyone says or does can make the tragedy of loss go away. That is when you need an attorney who can be there to give strength and guidance after a tragic accident.

While no amount of money can replace a loved one, dealing with the expenses that come after the accident and seeing that justice is served is what we at Auger & Auger do. We are here to help you in any possible after the accident.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or tragically lost through the irresponsible actions of another person, give the offices of Auger & Auger a call for your free consultation.

We have included several articles in our blog about the risks that boating can present. Operating a motorized vessel is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. But what about non-motorized boats? These smaller, man-powered vessels are rarely considered when it comes to boating safety. The truth of the matter is this: Non-motorized boats can present just as many dangers as their more powerful cousins.

Here are just two examples.

Christopher Gromley, 18, booked a kayaking trip with a route that would take him across calm, open water. Gromley’s trip actually took him across rough waters and his boat capsized. Because Gromley was not wearing a wet suit, as they were not recommended by the trip’s advertisers, he died of hypothermia.

Tyler Madoff, 15, signed up for a guided kayak tour in beautiful Hawaii. The teenager was washed out to sea during the trip and ultimately died. In both of these cases, the kayakers ran across unexpected dangers.

The lesson to be learned here is that no matter how a trip is advertised or what you expect to encounter on your route, you should always be prepared for an emergency. Each time you enter your kayak, canoe or rowboat, be sure that you have on a properly-fitted life vest. Know what you will do should inclement weather sneak up on you. Tell friends and family where you are going and how long you plan to be gone. 75 percent of people who died in kayaking accidents were not wearing life jackets, according to the American Canoe Association.

Do not assume that a non-motorized boat is safer than one with an engine. The only thing it is missing is an external power source. A kayak or canoe should still be respected as the vehicle it is. Situations can turn on a dime. The unexpected can occur in a moment. The more prepared you are, the less risk of injury or, worse, death, you carry. Be prepared with a plan before you paddle away onto the open water.

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of boating accident, please contact our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced defending people in these types of cases, and we are here to help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Call today for your free initial consultation and let us review the details of your unique case. We are here for you.

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No one can deny that vacations are a great way to bond with the family and remove a bit of stress from your life. What happens when the kids go back to school and you aren’t ready for summer to end? A staycation! Staying home with the family can be just as fun as getting away, provided you do things right. An injury to a family member or guest can quickly ruin a good time. Follow these tips to keep your backyard a safe place for everyone.

Playground: If your kids have their own private playground, make sure that it is in good condition. Check for rotting spots in the wood, look for rusted metal, and keep an eye out for pests. Limit swings and other accessories to no more than two per section.

What is the playground sitting on? For the ultimate in safety, be sure that there is a foot of sand, mulch or rubber underneath the playground. You may need to add more every year or so as the ground settles.

Decks: If your deck isn’t in good condition, it is an accident waiting to happen. Check for loose boards and railings. Replace any boards that are not in top condition. If your deck was built with pressure-treated wood prior to 2003, be sure to seal it. These types of boards were treated with arsenic that can leach in wet weather.

Toxic Plants: What type of plants are in your yard? If you don’t know, it is time to find out. Certain landscape plants can be toxic to pets and people. If you aren’t sure of what type of plants you have, or you can’t find out, discourage pets from chewing them and children from touching them.

Outdoor Kitchens: Whether you have an outdoor kitchen or a simple grill, make sure all of your equipment is well-maintained. Outdoor appliances can be left dangerous if you don’t perform the necessary up-keep.

Staycations can be fun for the whole family. Renting movies, sitting outside roasting marshmallows, and enjoying each other’s company is a great bonding experience. By making sure your backyard is in great shape, you reduce the risk of injury and ensure that the whole family has a good time.

If you have been injured and need an attorney, contact our offices today. Our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience it takes to fight for your rights in court. Call now for a free initial consultation.

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