While it’s very rare for extreme heat events to affect the Pacific Northwest, especially as far north as Whatcom County, we know they can happen. We were recently reminded of this reality at the end of June and early July with three days of record-breaking heat. Sadly, the Washington State Department of Health reports that during the extreme weather event, one person died in Whatcom County and a total of 91 people died across the State of Washington. The last time we saw temperatures at these levels was in 2009, but scientists expect extreme heat events to become more common in the coming years.
For most people who live in a home without air conditioning, an extreme heat wave is very uncomfortable but not deadly. There are groups of people who are more vulnerable when exposed to very high temperatures, including:
- Infants and kids up to four years of age
- People who are obese
- People who are suffering from chronic illnesses or who are taking certain medications
Keeping your Family Safe during a Heat Wave
There are measures we can take to prevent tragic accidents from heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion.
These safety tips from redcross.org are a great place to start:
- Cars are extremely dangerous during heat waves because inside temperatures can soar in as little as a few minutes. NEVER leave any person or pet – but especially pets, infants, children, or people with disabilities – in a car without air conditioning running on a warm or hot day. Cracking a window open is not enough on a very hot day.
- Keep yourself and your kids hydrated. Cool, non-alcoholic, non-sugary, and non-caffeinated drinks are best during a heat wave. Water is ideal but sports drinks or coconut water are also important as they can help replace the mineral salts we lose from sweating. Speak to your doctor about the amount of water that is safe for you to drink if you have been asked to limit water intake or take water pills. You should also speak to your doctor before consuming sports drinks if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic illnesses that affect the amount of salt intake that is safe for your body.
- Keep your pets hydrated. Make sure to provide cool, fresh drinking water for your pets during a heat wave.
- Do everything possible to keep yourself cool.
- If you have access to an air-conditioned space, spend as much time there as possible.
- Setup window or portable air-conditioning units in your most used room if you own them.
- Shut out the heat with blackout curtains or with a slab of cardboard with tin foil on the backside to refract the light.
- Avoid regular fans if your indoor space is above 96 degrees.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
- Avoid using your stove or oven, if possible.
- Avoid activities that raise body temperature such as exercise or yard work.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen and stick to shady areas, if possible, if you venture outdoors.
- If you have elderly or ill neighbors, friends, or loved ones, check in on them at least twice a day to make sure they are doing okay. Encourage them to drink cold water or sports drinks and to take cool showers as needed. Offer to take them to a place that has air conditioning if they do not have it at home. If they do not sound like themselves or tell you that they aren’t feeling well or are experiencing any combination of the symptoms of heat stress discussed below, it may be time to call an ambulance.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion
According to cdc.gov, these are the symptoms of heat exhaustion to watch out for:
- Heavy sweating
- Elevated body temperature
Seek the help of a personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!
Personal injury claims are brought to hold the negligent party accountable for the damages they caused. Pain and suffering is a part of the compensation provided in a personal injury claim. But what is it? Pain and suffering is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused by an injury; it is a non-economic loss that is worthy of financial compensation.
Some damages that fall under the pain and suffering portion of a personal injury claim are:
- A loss of enjoyment or disruption to the way you normally live your life
- Temporary or life-long limitations on activity
- Loss of the ability to communicate effectively
- Loss of eyesight
- Debilitating physical impairments or disabilities such as paralysis
- Mental and emotional distress
- Aches and chronic pain
- Physical deformities or disfigurements such as severe scarring or loss of a limb
- Forced infertility or the loss of reproductive organs
- Shortened life span
How is pain and suffering proved in a personal injury claim?
In a successful injury claim, your personal injury lawyer will secure compensation for pain and suffering by proving that you have suffered. In order to prove that you have endured or continue to endure pain and suffering, the accident attorney gathers relevant information, including:
- Medical diagnoses
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Pictures of injuries
- Records of psychiatric care
- Testimony from medical experts, as needed
How is pain and suffering calculated?
In addition to proving pain and suffering, the law also requires that a value is assigned to it. A personal injury lawyer can accurately identify the value of your claim based on your injuries. If you bear partial fault for the accident, there was no damage to the vehicle or if the injuries were minor, you can expect the insurance adjuster to reduce your pain and suffering offer. The injury lawyer also factors in a settlement range that is most likely to be offered in negotiations or in a jury award. This information gives the plaintiff a good idea of what compensation they can expect for their pain and suffering from a reasonable offer.
One of the many advantages of hiring a personal injury attorney to help with a personal injury claim is their help calculating a dollar value for your pain and suffering.
Is there a time limit on recovering for pain and suffering?
Yes, personal injury claims come with a “statute of limitations” that puts a cap on the time that an injury claim may be filed. If a claim is brought after the deadline, the judge may deny the claim. In Washington State, most injury claims have a three-year statute of limitations but an exception is made for minors who have three years from the day they turn 18 to file a claim.
There are also practical reasons for contacting an attorney as soon as possible:
- Filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit takes time.
- The farther away from the accident, the harder it is to remember details or to keep track of witnesses.
Seek the help of a personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!Read More
Lawyers get a bad rap and personal injury lawyers are no exception. We’ve all heard the jokes. In truth, commonly held false assumptions, misconceptions and wild myths keep some injured people from getting the help they need to reach a fair settlement on their injury claim. Sadly, this plays right into the hands of the insurance industry that would love nothing more than to have all their low-ball settlement offers accepted by people lacking representation.
We hope to debunk some of the most common myths about personal injury lawyers in this article so you can feel more confident seeking much needed legal advice for your injuries.Read More
Most people are not familiar with personal injury claims because, thankfully, they haven’t endured a serious accident caused by the negligence or malicious intent of another. Others have been in an accident and try to work with the at-fault insurance adjuster to settle their injury claim themselves. In some cases, injured people avoid contacting a personal injury attorney for help with their personal injury claim because of common myths and misunderstandings.
If you were injured in a serious accident, we want to reassure you that the best way to get a fair settlement is with the help of a personal injury lawyer.Read More
If you were injured in an accident because of the negligence of another, you should know that lienholders can legally claim part of your settlement compensation. If you are dealing with lienholders on your claim compensation (or you aren’t sure if you are), you will benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney.
Types of lienholders in personal injury claims
There are many different types of lienholders that can lay claim to a portion of your injury settlement, including:
- Medicare and Medicaid (government)
- Doctors, hospital and other health care providers
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Health insurance company
- Veterans administration
- State child support agencies
- Car insurance company*
*A car insurance company is the most likely to place a lien on your compensation so they can recover the money they paid for your medical care (this is called subrogation).Read More
If you were seriously injured because of the negligence or willful act of another but have never worked with a personal injury lawyer before, you may be feeling uncertain about what it would be like to hire an injury attorney for help. Let’s start with why people hire personal injury lawyers.
Why do people hire personal injury lawyers?
It is common for injured victims to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance agency themselves. This can be difficult when it isn’t completely clear who is liable for the accident (or how liability should be shared), when the insurance company is refusing to offer a fair settlement or when an uninsured motorist is at-fault for the accident. Injured victims hire personal injury attorneys to fight for a fair injury settlement on their behalf. Often, this means tough negotiating with the at-fault insurance company. A local personal injury attorney is best suited to navigate the negotiations because they know the laws in your state, what your case is worth and how to overcome objections by the defendant’s insurance company. In rare cases, claims go to trial for resolution and your personal injury attorney handles this process as well.Read More
In personal injury cases, medical exams provide critical information about the specific injuries endured by the plaintiff and how bad they are. The insurance agency that is responsible for paying for these injuries will always try to deny responsibility and/or downplay the severity of the injuries in order to get out of paying a fair settlement. This is why they often request that plaintiffs undergo an independent medical examination (IME). These requests are commonly made in personal injury lawsuits for car accidents because they want to bring in an expert witness who can use the results as part of their testimony.Read More
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are responsible for many deaths and permanent disabilities every year. TBIs are typically caused by a violent bump, blow, or jolt to the head. In some cases, an object penetrates the brain such as a shard of glass from a windshield and causes a penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include physical paralysis, chronic pain, sleep issues, loss of hearing, loss of control of bowels or bladder, headaches, lost sense of taste, and seizures. The list of potential health issues goes on from there.Read More
There are many different types of personal injury claims, though some are more common than others. One thing to keep in mind is that they have one thing in common: the claimant was injured because of the negligence or willful act of another. There are also a set of elements that must be proved for any successful personal injury claim.
If you were injured because of the negligence or willful act of another, contact a personal injury attorney for legal help. The injury lawyer will assess your accident and injuries and can discuss your legal rights.Read More
Vandalism is an intentional property crime that involves damaging or destroying another person’s property; usually a car, house or building. People often describe being vandalized like a personal assault. When someone breaks into our property and vandalizes it with graffiti, by breaking windows, slashing tires or gluing locks, it can leave us feeling shaken and violated. On top of this, it costs money to fix the damage and restore the property to the way it was. Even when a property is insured, victims are usually left with a deductible to pay before the insurance will cover remaining damages. (more…)Read More