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young girl holding a burlap wrapped christmas giftEvery year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. releases its nominees for the toys no one should be buying as gifts. This year is no exception, and the non-profit group has released its holiday list. If you’ve gone shopping but haven’t handed out gifts yet or if you are still thinking about when you’re going to get your shopping done, use this list in order to make informed decisions. You certainly don’t want to be putting a child at risk with your thoughtful gift.

1. Itty Bittys Stacking Toy

This toy is sold by Hallmark for under $30, making it popular. The toy is comprised of four rattling rings, presumably for small children, though there is no age recommendation on the packaging. The toy was recalled in August due to it being a choking hazard, but can still be found online if you look hard enough.

2. Pull Along Pony

You can find this toy manufactured by Tolo Toys Limited at a variety of online retailers. There are no warnings included with the toy that includes a 19-inch pull string. Industry standard requires that strings on playpens and crib toys measure a foot or less.

3. Wonder Woman Battle Action Sword

With the wild popularity of the Wonder Woman movie, children across the country have been asking for replicas of items used by their favorite female hero. W.A.T.C.H. suggests you don’t purchase this sword made by Mattel that it considers too rigid to be safe.

4. Hand Fidgetz Spinners

These toys can be purchased for about $2 at various big box stores, making them popular as stocking stuffers. The toys are labeled with a sticker claiming that they are not, surprisingly enough, intended to be used as a toy. Small parts can slip from the toys and cause choking hazards.

5. Spideman Drone

This is an “official movie edition” drone complete with a remote control. It works by spinning several rotor blades and moving upwards into the air. Those blades can cause lacerations and other injuries. The toy comes with numerous warnings that should be heeded.

6. Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow

Zombies are wildly popular thanks to television shows and movies. This toy crossbow is sure to catch the eye of children. Unfortunately, the force of the “arrow” that is launched from the toy makes that arrow strong enough to cause serious injury.

No one wants the gift they give to cause injury. Shopping for children can be difficult, especially as an adult. You want to make them happy and buy them the popular gift, but sometimes those popular gifts are actually very dangerous ones. Visit the W.A.T.C.H. website for a more comprehensive list before you head out to the stores.

If you should ever become injured, you may have a right to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for assistance today. We are happy to offer you a free case evaluation and review the details of your accident in order to provide you with the options that are right for you.

You’re traveling for the holidays when you notice a car in front of you driving erratically. You’re fairly certain that they are either distracted or impaired, and you aren’t sure how to react.  No one wants to be in an accident any time – especially during the holidays.

Thousands of people are killed on the country’s roadways each year due to impaired driving, distracted driving or in some cases, just plain negligence. The holidays are a busy time of year and the amount of accidents that happen during this time of year generally are increased in comparison to other times in the year. If you and your family are planning to visit friends and family this season, here are some tips for staying safe on the road.

1. Keep Your Distance

It can be tempting to drive closely to the car in front of you, especially if you’re in a hurry or traffic is backed up.  The greater the distance you can keep between you and the car in front of you, the better able you are to notice erratic or dangerous driving behaviors.

2. Buckle Up

No, the act of buckling your seat belt won’t protect you from getting in an accident, but it will keep you safer in the event you are in an accident. Buckle your belt every time you get in the car and make your passengers to do the same.

3. Look Both Ways

Many holiday accidents occur at intersections. As you approach one, make sure you are looking both ways, even if you have the green light. If you notice a car coming from your left or right that doesn’t appear to be slowing down, you slow down. Side-impact crashes can cause severe injuries, especially in vehicles that aren’t equipped with side-impact airbags.

4. Stick to the Daylight

If you can avoid driving at night, do it. Studies have shown that accidents are more likely to occur after the sun goes down. Consider also that bars close in the wee hours of the morning and unfortunately their patrons may choose to drive instead of having a designated driver, taxi or Uber. Avoid driving late at night if you can.

5. Be Mindful 

Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day is actually a very dangerous  time of year when it comes to car accidents.  Drive safely and just be aware that the roads are especially busy and dangerous this time of year.

It is impossible to know when you are going to be involved in a car accident.  This list of tips may help you to be more cognoscente of the busy roads and increased number of accidents that typically happen during this time of year.  Drive safe and have happy holidays!

If you should ever happen to be involved in a car accident in the Carolinas, please reach out to our team of experienced injury attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and let you know how we may be able to help you. Compensation for injuries that are caused in an automobile or truck accident may include payment for lost wages, medical bills, future medical care, and pain and suffering among other things.  Make sure you speak to someone that can point you in the right direction.  Let us know if you ever need assistance.

house decorated with lots of christmas lightsDecorating for the holidays has become a sort of competition in some neighborhoods. Thanks to social media and fantastic DIY sites, it’s easier than ever before to get ideas for decking the halls. While you are trying to outdo your neighbor this year, or maybe even just decorate a bit more outlandishly than you did last year, don’t forget that you need to make sure your home and property are safe for guests.

Premise liability is a type of personal injury law that essentially states you are responsible for ensuring the safety of guests while they are on your property. If you decorate your home in a way that presents a hazard to others, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Here are some tips to use when decorating your home this holiday season.

1. Keep Cords Tucked Away

Cords for lights and other decorations should be kept tucked away both in the house and out. Don’t run extension cords over any walkways outdoors, and keep cords for decorations in the house tucked up against baseboards.

2. Don’t Block Walkways

Keep large decorations in the yard or against the house where guests wouldn’t normally walk. This may mean that you have to scale back on outdoor decorations if you have a small yard. With the number of inflatable decorations available, it can be tempting to purchase several. Stick with one or two.

3. Secure the Tree

If you put up a tree this year, make sure that it is securely in place. You may have to tie it to the wall if it is extraordinarily tall. If you have it in a stand, and chances are that you do, make sure that the stand is secure and level. If your tree comes toppling down on an unsuspecting guest, they could be injured.

4. Up on the Rooftop

If you’re going to be hanging decorations up on your roof, make sure they are secure. A strong wind can easily blow off decorations that aren’t tied down properly. Should your roof decor come crashing down, you could find yourself in court if someone is injured.

5. Be Mindful When Asking for Help

You may be thinking of asking for help when decorating this year, but you better ensure that you are providing adequate tools for the job. Old, rickety ladders won’t cut it. If your helper falls off of a ladder that is in ill repair, you could be on the hook for their medical bills.

If you are injured on someone’s property in Charlotte, you have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for more information about your legal rights. We will review the details of your accident during a no-cost case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call today to schedule your appointment or browse our website to learn more about the types of cases we handle.

older basset hound in front of christmas treeYour dog is your best friend and you trust your pet with all that you are. Your sweet dog would never bite anyone. If that is how you currently view your animal, changing your way of thinking could keep both of you safer this time of year.

While anyone with a pet may believe that their animal wouldn’t hurt a fly, the truth of the matter is that any dog can bite and will bite under a given set of circumstances. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, dogs can quickly get out of sorts. Your once loving and trustworthy dog could very well lash out. Think about it from a dog’s point of view:

Your house is normally fairly quiet. You have few guests and you rarely leave. The holidays have rolled around and there are strange sights and sounds. Your social life is on the upswing and guests are coming and going. For dogs, this can be stressful — and one thing is certain: a stressed out dog can behave in unexpected ways.

As a Guest

If you are a guest in someone’s home this holiday season and there is a dog milling about, resist the urge to run up to it and start talking in that baby talk that all pet lovers seem to adopt when they see a new furball. Instead, let the dog approach and sniff you. After it has checked you out, you should have a good feeling if it wants to interact. Pet the dog on the shoulder instead of the top of the head, which can be threatening.

Don’t assume that because an owner says their dog is friendly that it is. Treat every new dog as a potentially aggressive one. Your senses will be more in tune to any threats the dog poses.

As a Pet Owner

It’s true that you know your dog best, but there are a few things you can do to help alleviate its stress at this busy time of year. If your dog is used to calm and quiet, put it in a back bedroom with a radio or television on while company is over. If your dog has a crate, use that.

Ask that your guests not approach or pet your dog without you being present. Your guests may think you are being a bit overprotective, but it’s better than someone being bitten. Give your dog a bit of extra attention when the guests have gone to reassure them.

No one wants to ring in the New Year with a dog bite. Use the tips above to prevent a dog bite in your Charlotte home this holiday season. If you are bitten by a dog in someone’s home, you may have the legal right to compensation for your medical bills and more. Reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys today for assistance. We will speak to you at no cost and advise you of your options.

man and woman on a road trip with the top downAre you preparing for holiday travel? If so, you aren’t alone. Thousands of people will be hitting the nation’s roadways at the end of this month as they head to the homes of friends and relatives. Here’s a surprising fact for you: Christmas is not the holiday during which you are most likely to be involved in a car accident.

While any holiday is more risky than other days of the year due to the sheer number of cars on the road, it’s not the most hazardous. That distinction goes to the Fourth of July. With that in mind, here are the six most dangerous holidays for road travel by the numbers.

1. Fourth of July

For some reason, drinking and driving seems to go hand-in-hand with Independence Day, making it the most dangerous holiday to be on the road. On average, there are over 500 fatalities on the road and almost 60,000 serious injuries reported every Fourth of July.

2. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone and hopefully you made it to your destination safely. In recent years, traffic-related deaths have been on the declined, but it is still considered dangerous. The number of accidents is thought to be due to fatigue and distracted driving.

3. New Year’s Day

Alcohol-fueled parties could be a reason that New Year’s Day is so dangerous. Consider that the day begins just after the clock strikes midnight and many people are heading home. On January 1st, more than half of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol.

4. Christmas

Christmas is a top holiday in America, but it is number four on the list of most dangerous holidays to be on the road. The majority of collisions occur between the afternoon of December 24th and Christmas evening. Those accidents decline when Christmas falls on a day during the week.

5. Labor Day

Labor Day is the official end to summer and that means parties and road trips. There is plenty of traffic on the road during what many spend as a three-day weekend. If you travel on Labor Day, even a short distance from home, keep your eyes focused on the road.

6. Memorial Day

Just as Labor Day is the end to summer, Memorial Day is its official kick off. According to some statistics, there are 32 percent more roadway fatalities on Memorial Day than on the three days prior combined. Many people are out welcoming summer, but just as many are on their way home from a weekend break.

No matter which time of year you are traveling, if you are injured in an auto accident in Charlotte, you have legal rights. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation. We understand what you and your family are going through and we are here for you. Call our office today and schedule your appointment. Let us advise you of your options and help you take the next steps.

woman checking her car during a snowstorm, safety triangle in foregroundIf you had your choice, chances are you would ride out a blizzard or severe snowstorm from the comfort of your couch. Few people, if any, want to find themselves trapped in their car during extreme weather scenarios.  If you should ever find yourself in such a situation, don’t panic!  Cooler heads always prevail.

With winter almost upon us, it’s a good idea to brush up on what you know about surviving in your vehicle.  Preparation can save lives! You may think it will never happen to you, and we hope it doesn’t. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, North Carolina may have a snowy winter this year. Here are some ideas to help you get home safely during a snowstorm.

1. Keep Your Car Serviced

Before a storm hits, make sure your vehicle is serviced. Your windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze should be topped off. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, have good tread and that your brakes are in good working order.

2. Keep the Tank Full

If you become stranded, you will want to be sure that you have enough gas to keep the heat running. You may have heard that you should never let your tank get below a quarter in the cold weather. Why take a chance?  If you can, fill up the tank once it gets to the halfway point.

3. Make an Emergency Kit

You stand a better chance of surviving if you have the tools you need. Invest in a hard-sided cooler if you don’t already have one. Fill it with nonperishable food items, phone charger, bottles of water, a change of socks and shoes, a blanket, a hat and gloves, a flashlight, extra batteries, flares and anything else you think you may need in an emergency situation.

4. Stranded!

What you have prepared for actually happens, and now you’re stranded. First, don’t panic. Make a call to emergency services and huddle down and wait. Get those supplies out of your trunk, wrap yourself in a blanket and wait it out. Get out of the car occasionally, after checking to be sure it is safe to do so, and clear off your car so that it is visible. Don’t let snow and ice clog your exhaust pipe. Put flares or emergency triangles around your vehicle and turn your hazard lights on.

5. Stay Put

You may feel as though help is never coming. Your phone’s battery may have died. You could have a myriad of reasons why you believe that you are in it for the long haul. No matter what you do, do not leave your vehicle. You are more likely to be seriously harmed, or even killed, if you wander off.

Being stranded in the snow is not something anyone wants to be forced to deal with, but it can happen. If you are injured in a vehicle collision in Charlotte this winter, be sure to reach out to our office. We have attorneys who are ready to stand up for your rights. Your case evaluation won’t cost you a thing.

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