Injuries happen daily in the United States. However, some injuries are more common than others, and certain kinds of injuries might occur more frequently, depending on the season.
Take fall for example. The weather is cooling down, people are back in school, and the risks are out there. Some of these common injuries in the fall might surprise you, while others should not. Regardless, knowing what risks are out there could be beneficial so that you can avoid joining the statistics.
Autumn, or the fall season, spans from September to winter season. Temperatures cool down noticeably, the days are shorter, and the risks for certain types of accidents increase.
The days are much shorter in the fall, and the time change does not help. With fewer hours in the day of active sunlight, if a person is walking, they might find themselves in the danger zone hours more frequently. Sunrise and sunset are always dangerous for pedestrians. The sun and glare often reduce visibility for drivers, which increases the chances of a pedestrian versus vehicle accident.
In the fall, the sun might start setting as early at 5:00 pm. This means fewer hours in which you can walk outdoors with natural sunlight, making yourself visible to motorists.
If you might be out past 5:00 pm or early before sunrise, take steps to make sure you are visible to drivers:
The fall season brings a drop in temperatures, increase in the rain, and plenty of leaves to mix on the ground with mud. Before you know it, sidewalks and parking lots are littered with slip hazards. If you have walked over a pile of muddy leaves, then you might be aware of this as they create a slick surface.
While you walk, be cautious about puddles, mud, or leaves, because these all create serious slipping hazards. Also, in the early morning, you may have some ice accumulation, especially on sidewalks or driveways where water pools.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are nothing minor. In fact, these can lead to serious, long-term injuries and defects. A trip or fall could result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, lacerations, and other internal organ trauma.
If you were to slip and fall down concrete stairs, the risks for severe injuries increase dramatically, too. Even if you do not suffer from head trauma, you are likely to break bones. And those bones could require extensive medical care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and cause a tremendous amount of pain.
Another risk is motor vehicle accidents. Annually, motor vehicle crashes are a risk. But as stated before, you are dealing with decreased hours of daylight, which means more potential for accidents. Just like with pedestrians, limited visibility at night could result in a collision with a standing object (e.g., light pole, fence, or parked car) or a collision with another vehicle.
When the sun’s glare is in your eyes on your way to work and your way home, drive extra cautiously. Give yourself extra room between the vehicle in front of you and yourself. Furthermore, give yourself extra time to get to work in the morning so that you are not rushing and ignoring the risks in front of you.
Fall is that time of the year where you want to cuddle up on the couch and enjoy your fireplace once again. Unfortunately, live fires increase the chance of a fire in the house and also serious burns. Make sure your fireplace is gated properly so that no one can accidentally fall or reach into the open flame.
Before using your fireplace for the first time this season, have it inspected for any issues with the flue and ensure proper ventilation each time you use it.
Have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home as well, especially if you plan to use your fireplace frequently. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that you cannot smell or see. Therefore, the only way to know your home is not at risk is to install one of these essential detectors.
Whether you have a fire in the house or you are roasting a few marshmallows in the fire pit outside, always exercise caution. Be aware of any small children nearby who might not understand the dangers of an open flame, and keep away any loose clothing, debris, or other flammables that might ignite.
Cold and flu season means that hospitals and doctors offices are overrun with patients. Urgent care facilities will also find an increase in patients. Furthermore, holidays can increase the load of patients that doctors see (like injuries on Halloween or Thanksgiving).
While a busy doctor does not necessarily make mistakes, being overwhelmed with patients does increase the likelihood of an injury. A doctor may be too rushed to give you a thorough examination or listen to your complaints. They might forget to order labs. Also, nursing staff might forget to order labs or call a patient back for a follow-up. All of these can contribute to diagnoses being delayed or an incorrect diagnosis given to a patient altogether.
Be proactive in your care. If you know something is wrong but the doctor seems busy, speak up and let them know your concerns. Also, if you have new symptoms, do not be afraid to ask your doctor what those symptoms might indicate or to request further testing to rule anything out.
There are a few reasons lacerations increase in the fall, and the two most prominent are the holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving.
At Halloween, everyone is using knives to carve their pumpkins. At Thanksgiving, you have people using carving knives and even electric knives to cut up a big turkey, prepare homemade potatoes, and more. The risks of an accident in the kitchen will only increase under the stress of those holidays.
Sometimes lacerations are minor, but other times they can require medical attention.
Product injuries are a risk that occurs year-round. Personal injury claims are common in the US, and they involve unexpected injuries that occur due to a defective product. It can involve defects in the product itself, the manufacturing/assembling of the product, or in the warning labels on the product.
Defective product claims can range from consumer products to appliances, to vehicles, to prescription medications. These cases might turn into a class action lawsuit, especially if there are multiple instances of the defect causing injury.
In some cases, plaintiffs might receive punitive damages for their injuries – especially if the manufacturer exercised gross negligence when they allowed a defective product onto the market, knowing that there was a risk.
While you have risks that increase in the autumn months, there are others that decrease.
These accidents that pose fewer threats in the fall include:
It does not matter if your injury happened in the spring, summer, fall, or winter. When you are seriously injured because of someone’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation against the at-fault party.
You need a team of attorneys that knows what is at stake in your case. Berkowitz Hanna has helped countless victims seek compensation and receive funds for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one was injured seriously at work, in a vehicle accident, or on someone’s property, contact an attorney immediately.