May Is a Good Time to Review Pool Safety Guidelines [Updated] (2018)

Spring of 2018 has finally arrived and it comes with a reminder of the importance of pool safety. Charleston pools will soon be filling with those seeking refuge from the rising temperatures. With the heat, the fun of pool play should also come with a safety reminder.

Most people going for a swim don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the risks. However, in 2018, people are going to be injured and even killed during a day in the water.

What Should I Know about Pool Safety Risks?

Before you get ready to take your kids for a day in the pool, consider these facts.

  • An average of 10 people die from accidental drowning every day
  • More than 3,500 people die every year
  • 20% of drowning victims are under the age of 14 years old

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains a pool safety page with a variety of resources for education and prevention. These statistics from their page should be a sobering reminder of the risks swimming can bring.

How do I Keep Kids Safe in the Pool?

One website dedicated to everything “pools” recently updated their swimming safety blog. Poolonomics.com added a number of points about key practices to keep everyone safe. Given that children are a precious resource, they’re first on the list when it comes to pool safety.

1. Teach Kids to Swim as Soon as Possible

The Hartman Law Firm LLC charleston swimming accident injury attorney

At the Hartman Law Firm, we believe pool safety is paramount for protecting your kids. Follow our step-by-step guide to keep your kids safe and sound.

“…get your children into the pool with you and teach them how to swim as quickly as they can learn,” says Poolonomics. “When around water in general, they’ll always be able to swim away from danger.”

The simple ability to stay afloat and get to safety is the first factor when it comes to kid’s protection. It’s important to stress that this isn’t just about telling kids. You have to practice what you preach, or your children may decide that they don’t have to listen.

It’s also very important to teach everything possible about pool safety. Therefore, make sure to cover the following points:

  • No running around the pool area. Anyone who has gone swimming as a kid should know this one. It’s almost always yelled by the lifeguard or a watchful adult.
    • Running is dangerous because of the possibility of slipping and falling. In one case, someone can fall and hit their head, seriously injuring themself. To add insult to injury, falling into the pool water with a head injury can lead to drowning.
  • Don’t play near pool drains. In one very tragic instance, a 6-year-old girl was seriously injured when the suction from a pool drain pulled a portion of her intestines out. This is a gruesome example of the power of pumping water. It may seem “neat” to feel the water being pulled through the drain cover. Regardless of this fact, children should never go near them.
  • Diving head first into a pool is dangerous. Children often don’t understand how fast they’re moving when they jump into the water. They can hit their head on the bottom of the pool, which can create several scenarios for tragedy.
    • The force of impact from diving into a pool can cause head trauma, neck and spine injuries, cuts and abrasions, and, possibly most terrifying, unconsciousness. Of course, if you’re unconscious in the water, your chances of drowning are very high.
  • Children that aren’t strong swimmers should stay in the shallow end of the pool. Teach kids that they have just as much fun in the shallow end as the deep end.
    • One great strategy for encouraging kids to stay in the shallow end is providing fun activities. If they can play and have fun, they won’t be as tempted to go for the deeper waters. Here are some fun shallow water activity suggestions from icebreakerideas.com.
      • Swimming races across the shallow end
      • Diving for water toys with a pair of goggles
      • Water balloon fights
      • Pool tag
      • The Invisible Bottle game
      • Find more at the link above
  • Teach your children to pay attention to their surroundings while swimming. Public pools are most likely going to be full of plenty of other people. Courtesy and respect are important to keeping a safe, fun and happy atmosphere.
  • Speaking of their surroundings, kids should also know that if they have a bad feeling about the pool, or the surrounding area, they should trust their instincts. It’s better to miss a day of swimming than get caught up in a tragic situation.
    • Part of being aware of surroundings also means keeping an eye out for others in need. Children should know to tell an adult immediately if they see something amiss in the water. It can take less than a minute for someone to drown. That’s not a lot of time to pull them from the water and perform first aid.

Remind younger children that the kids who learn how to swim sooner have more fun. Encourage them to work hard on passing their swim classes and practicing their swimming techniques while in the pool. The sooner they learn how to swim at an “expert” level, the sooner they can join their friends.

2.Encourage Your Teen to Learn to be a Lifeguard

Young adults can learn responsibility, as well as an employable skill, by taking Lifeguard training from Charleston County Parks and Recreation. This training provides a number of benefits.

  • Young adults with lifeguard and first aid skills make the whole pool a safer place. Qualified lifeguards are essentially on standby while they’re in the pool.
  • Most teens want to find a job when they come of age. Lifeguarding is not only a valuable skill set for this age group to offer, but some jobs pay up to $16 per hour. That may not sound like much to some people. For a teenager, this is a great paycheck.
  • Having the extra confidence to know that they’re trained for an emergency helps these young adults with self esteem.
  • It provides positive reinforcement for young adult’s self awareness and gives everyone a better pool experience. As poolonomics puts it, “[young adults] feel part of something important and a valued member of society.”

If you really want to get invested in pool safety, teach your kids, teens, and yourself, to take the CPSC Pool Safety Pledge.

3. Lead by Example and Learn to Save Lives in the Pool

Adults who want to prevent swimming pool injuries should practice what they preach. Don’t just put the burden on your kids and hope things go well. Be part of the prevention solution yourself.

Lifeguard and swimming classes in Charleston are fun, educational, and usually low-cost. This small investment in learning can save money and time in the future. To be truly effective at emergency care in the water, here are the most important skills you should know:

  • How to watch the area and identify someone in distress
  • Rescue procedures for retrieving a drowning, or drowned, person
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use and safety
  • First aid for common injuries, including drowning, head, neck and spine injuries, cuts, scrapes, and more

4. If You Own a Pool, You’re Responsible for Keeping it Safe

The Hartman Law Firm LLC north charleston pool safety for kids

Charleston, South Carolina pools should always be well maintained. Be sure that they’re secured from small children, and have a great Summer!

Liability for swimming accident injuries falls on the owner, more often than not. Whether your pool is in use, or empty, you should always take measures to keep it safe. To do this, the following safety prevention rules should be followed:

  • There should always be a fence around the pool. It should have a reliable gate and there shouldn’t be any gaps that a young child can fit through.
  • The gate should always remain closed and locked. By keeping everyone out and maintaining an obvious barrier, you’re telling everyone around to keep out.
  • An alarm should be installed to notify you that someone has breached the pool area perimeter. Today’s modern technology will even allow you to monitor it on your smartphone when you’re out of town. That’s just a no-brainer.
  • The pool should be covered during periods without use. The covering should be safe and durable. This protects people, and also the water and equipment, which can get clogged with debris.

What Injuries Happen in Swimming Pools the Most?

As the saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.” Pool safety is about saving lives and preventing injuries. Liability falls on any responsible party that is negligent of swimming area safety.

Many of the common causes of swimming-related accidents are avoidable. They can include:

  • Missing signage alerting users to hazards, and water depths. This includes notification when there are no lifeguards present.
  • Defective or below-standard equipment for pool cleaning and safety
  • Pool decks that are excessively slippery
  • Failure to properly maintain the pool conditions
  • Pool water with debris or similar objects in the water
  • Lack of proper pool maintenance
  • Unsecured pool areas with unrestricted access

Remember: pool safety is everyone’s responsibility. Take action and be prepared to lend a hand, when it’s needed.

To learn more about pool safety, and just pools in general, poolonomics.com offers a whole array of articles and information on the subject.

Can I Get Financial Compensation for a Swimming Pool Injury?

If someone is injured while swimming, they may be entitled to significant financial compensation. The consequences of getting hurt can mean physical, emotional, and financial costs. It’s only fair that the person who caused that distress should pay for those costs.

Injuries from a swimming pool can lead to problems that quickly pile up. These include:

  • Medical costs for emergency care and hospitalization
  • Ongoing bills for doctor visits, physical therapy, and pain medications
  • Loss of work due to the injury, or even long-term side effects of injuries
  • Permanent or long-term disability
  • Loss of mobility or motor functions
  • Poor quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement

Call the Hartman Law Firm Today to Speak to a Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer

If you, a loved one, or your child was injured in a swimming pool accident, you need to speak to an experienced, qualified attorney as soon as possible. Charleston accident injury attorney Frank Hartman has represented countless victims of negligence. He has a strong record of success and will help you find the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with Frank, call 843-300-7600 today or contact us online.

The Takata Airbag Recall: Plans for Safety in a Car Accident Might Explode in Your Face (2018)

The Hartman Law Firm Takata airbag failure recall

If you own a vehicle with a Takata airbag, you could be putting your life in the wrong hands. Imagine the shock of an auto collision; the impact of steel and fiberglass at 25 miles per hour.

Now, imagine that your accident was a minor fender bender. The most trusted safety feature, the airbag, deployed. And when it deployed, it exploded . Shrapnel from the sudden failure blew into your face and body.

This hypothetical story was reality for at least 184 victims in the U.S. That doesn’t count many more throughout the world.

Fourteen of the 184 plus injured people were killed by similar explosions.

The Problem With Takata Airbags

Takata knew about the danger of their product since 2015. Airbag deployment test data showed that there was a likelihood of failure.

The culprit for the airbag bombs turned out to be the airbag inflators. A propellant inside the units became unstable over time, especially in certain conditions. The canister holding the propellant would become over-pressurized during inflation of the airbag. The excess pressure acted like an explosive inside a grenade. Pieces of the canister become projectiles, hitting the driver.

One case involved the death of a 17-year-old girl. Huma Hanif was involved in a minor crash. She should have had little to no injuries. Instead, a piece of the canister’s metal shell hit her in the neck and she bled to death at the scene.

Takata Engineers Knew About the Problem But Didn’t Fix It

The problem started in Takata’s Japan-based engineering facility. Testing on the inflators revealed up to a 50% rupture rate of the canisters. This means that almost half of 70 million vehicles on the road were equiped with potentially fatal airbags. They were literally ticking time bombs.

Engineers at Takata wanted to keep the negative results from making it to the public. So, since at least the year 2000, they began manipulating their data to look more favorable.

In January of 2016, an article in the New York times revealed a long-standing deception by Takata. Emails between Japanese and U.S. Takata engineers revealed manipulated airbag testing results.

According to the article, Takata engineer Bob Schubert, admitted to changing graphics to show better results. This practice had been taking place for 16 or more years company wide. It was so widespread that Schubert referred to it as, “the way we do business in Japan.”

Changes were made to test data before being sent to customers. This included Honda, GMC, Ford, and many more companies. As a result, the companies had no knowledge of the issue until the defect harmed accident victims.

A Victim Represented in North Charleston, SC was Awarded $450,000

A victim of the Takata airbag defect was seriously injured when the inflator in his vehicle ruptured. An 18-year-old driver of a 2001 Honda CP compact rear-ended another vehicle. It should have been a minor accident, but when the Honda’s Takata airbag deployed, the propellant canister exploded.

Aluminum shrapnel cut through the fabric of the airbag and then through the boy’s face and neck. One large projectile struck him in the throat. It damaged his voice box and nearly cut his carotid artery open. Had it been a millimeter to the right, the injury could have been fatal.

The young man sat for more than 45 minutes on the curb waiting for emergency crews, the shard of Takata’s canister still in place. When EMS arrived on scene, they were unable to remove the metal lodged in the young man’s throat.

Finally, the emergency room staff had to perform surgery to free the life-threatening shrapnel. For this victim, the negligence and deliberate manipulation of safety test results by Takata became a horror story in real life.

As a North Charleston accident injury attorney, Frank Hartman was able to win a $450,000 compensation settlement. This helps to cover the financial costs of the incident. However, nothing will erase the painful memories of a young man who narrowly escaped death.

What Vehicle Makes, Models, and Years are Affected by the Takata Airbag Recall?

When more than 70 million cars have a potentially fatal flaw, fixing the issue takes a long time. Auto companies didn’t have enough parts to take in so many vehicles at once.
The estimated timeline for recalling and repairing all affected autos was 52% in 2016. Honda predicted that the rate would decline every year after that. That would come out to about 30% of the remaining vehicles repaired a decade out.
The makes and models of cars equipped with the defective inflater are as follows:

  • Acura
    • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
    • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
    • 2013-2016 Acura ILX
    • 2013-2014 Acura ILX Hybrid
    • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
    • 2007-2016 Acura RDX
    • 2005-2012 Acura RL
  • Audi
    • 2009-2014 Acura TL
    • 2009-2014 Acura TSX
    • 2010-2013 Acura ZDX
    • 2006-2013 Audi A3
    • 2005-2008 Audi A4 Avant
    • 2006-2009 Audi A4 Cabriolet
    • 2005-2008 Audi A4 Sedan
    • 2010-2011 Audi A5 Cabriolet
    • 2003-2011 Audi A6 Avant
    • 2005-2011 Audi A6 Sedan
    • 2009-2012 Audi Q5
    • 2017 Audi R8
    • 2008 Audi RS 4 Cabriolet
    • 2007-2008 Audi RS 4 Sedan
    • 2005-2008 Audi S4 Avant
    • 2007-2009 Audi S4 Cabriolet
    • 2005-2008 Audi S4 Sedan
    • 2010-2012 Audi S5 Cabriolet
    • 2007-2011 Audi S6 Sedan
    • 2016-2017 Audi TT
  • BMW
    • Note: With more than 40 models a􀃗ected between 2000 and 2015, BMW is one of the most recalled brands impacted by the Takata airbag scandal. (BMW)
    • 2000-2013 BMW 3 Series
    • 2002-2003 BMW 5 Series
    • 2011-2015 BMW X1
    • 2007-2010 BMW X3
    • 2003-2013 BMW X5
    • 2008-2014 BMW X6
    • 2010-2011 BMW X6 Hybrid
  • Cadillac
    • Note: The EXT is one of three Escalade styles made between 2007 and 2011 that has since been recalled by Cadillac. (JIM
    • FETS/GENERAL MOTORS)
    • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
    • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV
    • 2007-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT2008-2013 BMW 1 Series
  • Chevrolet
    • Note: The 2007 and 2008 Silverado 2500 and 3500 are the only Chevrolet models a􀃗ected by the recall. (GM/WIECK)
    • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
    • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD
    • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
    • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe Chrysler
  • Daimler
    • Note: The 2005 to 2010 model year Chrysler 300s and 300 Cs are subject to the Takata airbag recall. (2005 CHRYSLER 300)
    • 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen
    • 2005-2015 Chrysler 300
    • 2007-2008 Chrysler Crossfire
    • 2007-2009 Dodge Sprinter
    • 2007-2017 Freightliner Sprinter 2500
    • 2010-2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
    • Note: The 2010 to 2014 model year Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans are subject to the Takata airbag recall, along with several other Daimler models. (DAIMLER AG)
  • 2008-2009 Sterling Bullet
  • Dodge/Ram
    • Note: Takata airbags in Dodge Chargers released between 2006 and 2010 have been recalled. (KYLE CAMPBELL)
    • 2008-2014 Dodge Challenger
    • 2006-2015 Dodge Charger
    • 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota
    • 2004-2009 Dodge Durango
    • 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum
    • 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 1500
    • 2005-2009 Dodge Ram 2500
    • 2006-2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Pickup
    • 2007-2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
    • 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500
    • 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 5500
  • Ferrari
    • Note: The 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider is one of several recent Ferrari models recalled for having potentially-defective Takata airbags. (FERRARI)
    • 2010-2015 Ferrari 458 Italia
    • 2014-2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale
    • 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale A
    • 2012-2015 Ferrari 458 Spider
    • 2016-2017 Ferrari 488 GTB
    • 2016-2017 Ferrari 488 Spider
    • 2009-2014 Ferrari California
    • 2015-2017 Ferrari California T
    • 2013-2017 Ferrari F12
    • 2016-2017 Ferrari F12 tdf
    • 2016 Ferrari F60
    • 2012-2016 Ferrari FF
    • 2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso
  • Fisker
  • The 2012 Karma is the only Fisker vehicle recalled for the defective air bag in􀃓ators. (BRUCE BENEDICT 2011)
  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • Ford
    • Note: The several models of the Ford Ranger, Mustang and GT have been impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (FORD)
    • 2004-2011 Ford Ranger
    • 2005-2006 Ford GT
    • 2005-2014 Ford Mustang
    • 2007-2010 Ford Edge
    • 2006-2012 Ford Fusion
    • 2009-2010 Ford Mustang
    • 2013 Ford Mustang
    • 2009-2010 Ford Fusion
    • 2009-2010 Ford Ranger
    • 2009-2010 Ford Edge
  • GMC
    • Note: The 2007-2008 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 trucks were impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (GM/WIECK)
    • 2007-2013 GMC Sierra 1500
    • 2007-2014 GMC Sierra HD
    • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon
    • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL
  • Honda
    • Note: Honda CR-Z from model years 2011 through 2015 are a part of the Takata recall. (HONDA/WIECK)
    • 2001-2012 Honda Accord
    • 2001-2011 Honda Civic
    • 2003-2011 Honda Civic Hybrid
    • 2001-2011 Honda Civic NGV
    • 2010-2015 Honda Crosstour
    • 2002-2011 Honda CR-V
    • 2011-2015 Honda CR-Z
    • 2003-2011 Honda Element
    • 2010-2014 Honda FCX Clarity
    • 2007-2013 Honda Fit
    • 2013-2014 Honda Fit EV
    • 2010-2014 Honda Insight
    • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
    • 2003-2015 Honda Pilot
    • 2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline
  • Infiniti
    • Note: The 2006 In􀃒niti M35 and M45 were out􀃒tted with possibly-defective Takata airbags. (INFINITI)
    • 2003-2008 In􀃤niti FX
    • 2001 In􀃤niti I30
    • 2002-2004 In􀃤niti I35
    • 2006-2010 In􀃤niti M
    • 2002-2003 In􀃤niti QX4
  • Jaguar
    • Note: Jaguar XF sedans from the 2009 through 2015 model years are being recalled. (JAGUAR LAND ROVER)
    • 2009-2015 Jaguar XF
  • Jeep
    • Note: The 2016 Jeep Wrangler is among the models being recalled by the historic truck brand. (JOANNA TAVARES)
    • 2007-2016 Jeep Wrangler
  • Land Rover
    • Note: Land Rover Range Rover SUVs from the 2007 through 2012 model years have been recalled because of the deadly air bag inflators. (JAGUAR LAND ROVER)
    • 2007-2012 Land Rover Range Rover
  • Lexus
    • Note: The 2006 through 2011 models of the Lexus IS was recalled in May 2016. (TOYOTA)
    • 2007-2012 Lexus ES350
    • 2010-2017 Lexus GX460
    • 2006-2013 Lexus IS250/350
    • 2010-2015 Lexus IS250C/350C
    • 2008-2014 Lexus IS F
    • 2012 Lexus LFA
    • 2002-2010 Lexus SC430
  • Lincoln
    • Note: The 2006 through 2011 Lincoln MKZ was recalled at the beginning of June 2016. (IFCAR)
    • 2007-2010 Lincoln MKX
    • 2006-2012 Lincoln MKZ/Zephyr
  • Mazda
    • Note: The 2003 through 2008 models of the Mazda6 were subject to the Takata airbag recall. (MAZDA)
    • 2004-2009 Mazda B-Series
    • 2007-2012 Mazda CX-7
    • 2007-2015 Mazda CX-9
    • 2003-2011 Mazda6
    • 2006-2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6
    • 2004-2006 Mazda MPV
    • 2004-2011 Mazda RX-8
  • McLaren
    • Not: The 650S is one of several McLaren models out􀃒tted with Takata air bags. (MCLAREN)
    • 2016-2017 McLaren 570
    • 2015-2016 McLaren 650S
    • 2016 McLaren 675LT
    • 2012-2014 McLaren MP4-12C
    • 2011-2015 McLaren P1
  • Mercedes-Benz
    • Note: Mercedes-Benz had 36 models a􀃗ected by the Takata airbag recall, including the SLS AMG. (DAIMLER AG – GLOBAL
    • COMMUNICATIO)
    • 2005-2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    • 2010-2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    • 2011-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabrio
    • 2010-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
    • 2009-2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
    • 2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
    • 2009-2010 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class
    • 2009-2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
    • 2007-2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
    • 2011-2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class
  • Mercury
    • Note: Mercury is now defunct, but any Milans released between 2006 and 2011 that were still on the road were recalled in June 2016. (IFCAR)
    • 2006-2011 Mercury Milan
  • Mitsubishi
    • Note: The Raider is one of four Mitsubishi lines impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (MITSUBISHI)
    • 2012-2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
    • 2004-2007 Mitsubishi Lancer
    • 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
    • 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
    • 2006-2009 Mitsubishi Raider
  • Nissan
    • Note: The 2002 through 2006 Nissan Sentra, as well as 2001 through 2003 Maxima and 2002 through 2004 Pathfinder
    • were all impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (NISSAN)
    • 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima
    • 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder
    • 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra
    • 2007-2012 Nissan Versa
  • Pontiac
    • Note: The Vibe was the only Pontiac model impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (PONTIAC)
    • 2003-2010 Pontiac Vibe
  • Saab
    • Note: The Saab 9-2x, 9-3 and 9-5 were all impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (SAAB)
    • 2005-2006 Saab 9-2x
    • 2006-2011 Saab 9-3
    • 2006-2009 Saab 9-5
  • Saturn
    • Note: The 2008 and 2009 Astras were the only Saturn models impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (SATURN)
    • 2008-2009 Saturn Astra
  • Scion
    • Note: The Scion xB was recalled in May 2016. (TOYOTA)
    • 2008-2015 Scion xB
  • Subaru
    • Note: The 2003 through 2008 Outbacks were among the Subaru models impacted by the Takata airbag recall. (SUBARU)
    • 2003-2006 Subaru Baja
    • 2009-2013 Subaru Forester
    • 2004-2011 Subaru Impreza
    • 2003-2014 Subaru Legacy
    • 2003-2014 Subaru Outback
    • 2006-2014 Subaru Tribeca
    • 2012-2014 Subaru WRX/STI
  • Tesla
    • Tesla’s 2012-2016 Model S electric vehicles have several advanced safety features, but the Takata air bags inside them might be the biggest threat of all to occupants. (TESLA)
    • 2012-2016 Tesla Model S
  • Toyota
    • Note: About 160,000 Toyota RAV4 SUVs from the 2004 and 2005 model years were included in a recent Takata airbagrelated
    • recall. (TOYOTA)
    • 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
    • 2003-2013 Toyota Corolla
    • 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla Matrix
    • 2009-2013 Toyota Matrix
    • 2004-2005 Toyota Rav4
    • 2002-2006 Toyota Sequoia
    • 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna
    • 2003-2006 Toyota Tundra
    • 2006-2011 Toyota Yaris (Hatch Back)
    • 2007-2012 Toyota Yaris (Sedan)
  • Volkswagen (VW)
    • Note: Volkswagen Passats released between 2006 and 2010 and between 2012 and 2014 are being recalled for airbag inflator replacement.
    • 2009-2017 Volkswagen CC
    • 2010-2014 Volkswagen Eos
    • 2010-2014 Volkswagen Golf
    • 2013 Volkswagen Golf R
    • 2009-2013 Volkswagen GTI
    • 2012-2014 Volkswagen Passat
    • 2006-2010 Volkswagen Passat Sedan
    • 2006-2010 Volkswagen Passat Wagon

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Who Can Advise You About Your Next Steps

If you were injured due to a Takata airbag failure, you are entitled to compensation. Finding the right lawyer immediately is critical to ensuring that your case is handled fairly.

I represented an injury victim of a Takata airbag explosion and won them $450,000 in settlement compensation. That’s the representation that I offer, and I always fight for my clients.

To learn more about personal injury lawyers, your rights during case litigation, and how much compensation you might be entitled to, contact my North Charleston Accident Law Firm, The Hartman Law Firm, LLC. I’m available by phone at (843) 300-7600 or you can email me at james@thehartmanlawfirm.com.

3 Things You Need to Know About Finding an Excellent Attorney

3 Things You Need to Know About Finding an Excellent Attorney

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC best personal injury attorneyHiring an excellent lawyer who understands the law about your individual circumstances can be a challenge. You need to know that you can trust your attorney to provide you with the best legal representation possible.

Unfortunately, not all lawyers are the same. It’s easy to find a lawyer without enough experience or knowledge to effectively protect your legal interests in and out of the courtroom. Just do a simple Google search and list of law firms will magically appear. But how do you really know if the one you choose will be aggressive, competitive, and reliable?

The good news is that there are things that you can do to find an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer with a successful track record. If you know how to spot the right attorney for the job, the process gets much easier.

You Can See Lawyer Reviews on Legal Listing Websites

Marketing for attorneys is a highly competitive undertaking. Lawyers have to contend with thousands of other law firms to stand out among their peers. That can be good and bad when it comes to finding the right one for the job.

The first place to start is Google. Search for lawyers in the area of law that you need help with. Here’s a list of practice areas to get you on the right path.

  • Personal Injury – Car Accidents, Slips and Falls, Medical Malpractice
  • Business Law – Corporate Business Formation, Business Contracts, Employer/employee Disputes
  • Criminal Law – Criminal Defense
  • Divorce and Family Law – Divorce, Child Custody, Property Division, Spousal Maintenance
  • Real Estate Law – Property Contracts, Purchasing Contracts, Property Leasing Contracts, Landlord/Tenant Mediation
  • Patent, Copyright, and Trademark Law – Intellectual Property Rights, Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Tax Law – tax audit disputes, IRS penalties and charges

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC find excellent attorney on AvvoYou can also find lawyer listings on sites like FindLaw.com and Avvo.com. These sites provide information on the attorneys in your area, as well as ratings and reviews. This gives a fair indicator of the legal representation that’s available.

One word of warning: Make sure that you cross-reference and thoroughly check a lawyer’s background to make sure that they have a strong record of success and a reputation for protecting their client’s concerns.

Lawyer Referrals Provide Word-of-Mouth Confirmation for Quality Representation

Attorney referral services go through a screening process to vet out lawyers. Traditionally, they provide reliable recommendations based on your needs and the qualifications of their lawyer client base.

Another advantage to using a referral service is that you can work with a person who understands your needs. Your individual circumstances can be reviewed, and recommendations given based on actual one-on-one interaction with the attorney.

In addition, your referral representative can often give you insight into the methods and personality of an individual. This can include their responsiveness to clients, their courtroom strategy, and how aggressively they have represented other clients in the past.

A Consultation Appointment Can Tell You A Lot About an Attorney

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC giving a lawyer referral

Most law firms and their attorneys offer free legal consultations to discuss the details of your case. This gives you the 

 

opportunity to meet and talk with them.

Consultations can be done over the phone, but meeting in person is highly recommended. Body language, demeanor, and overall appearance speak volumes more than just a voice on the phone. Meeting face to face give you the opportunity to get a reliable first impression.

Before going to a consultation appointment, make sure that you’re prepared. Make a list of questions that you want to ask. Questions should include an overview of your case. You should also include questions about the lawyer’s track record and experience. Challenge them to convince you that you need them and that they can represent you better than the alternative.

Don’t Be Casual About Hiring the Right Attorney for Your Legal Needs

Due diligence has proven, time and time again, to be well worth the effort. There are clients who have hired attorneys that completely failed to represent them. They did their customers a significant disservice, and cost them valuable time, money, and heartache.

If you’re in the process of seeking out qualified legal representation, make sure to follow these suggestions, and do everything that you can to ensure that you’re hiring the best lawyer possible.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Who Can Advise You About Your Next Steps

If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Finding the right lawyer immediately is critical to ensuring that your case is handled fairly.

To learn more about personal injury lawyers, your rights during case litigation, and how much compensation you might be entitled to, contact my North Charleston Accident Law Firm, The Hartman Law Firm, LLC. I’m available by phone at (843) 300-7600 or you can email me at james@thehartmanlawfirm.com.

Everything You Need to Know About Slips and Falls

Everything You Need to Know About Slips and Falls

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC old-people-couple-together-connected

The Centers for Disease Control have dedicated a whole page to slips and falls in the most susceptible populations. The two most common accidents involve accidents in the workplace, and adults over the age of 65. In fact, slips and falls were the number one cause of injuries and death for this age group in America in 2014.

The South Carolina Department Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released data showing that slips and falls claimed 417 lives in 2014. The most at-risk group was people aged 85 and older, and women from that group were the most likely to be hospitalized due to these types of injuries.

Resources for Slip and Fall Accident Prevention

The CDC and the South Carolina DHEC has released several publications for distribution covering prevention of slip and fall accidents. The DHEC has worked with the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Federal and State branches of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) to compile health and safety education documents to help prevent these kinds of accidents in the workplace.

In an effort to provide the loved ones of at risk groups with more information about slip and fall prevention, the CDC also released several prevention education documents. Following is a list of publications and links to find them online.

What to do When Slip and Fall Prevention Fails

It’s as important to know what to do after a slip and fall accident as it is to prevent them taking place. Whether the accident was due to the victim’s own actions, or due to the negligence of others, immediate response is important.

The first thing to do immediately after a slip and fall accident happens is to check the condition of the victim. If an incident did not cause any visible harm, it’s still important to make sure the injured party gets a medical screening. If possible, offer them a ride to the hospital to request an assessment of their injuries.

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC workplace slip and fall injury preventionAnother very important step to take immediately after an injury is to fill out and file an incident report. Details of the report should include, at a minimum:

  • The location of the accident
  • A detailed description of the accident. Be sure to include a description of the circumstances which led to the accident. Doing this right when the incident is still fresh in people’s minds helps paint a clearer picture about what happened.
  • Surface conditions which may have led to the accident. This may include a wet floor, a wrinkle in the carpet, or a loose floorboard.
  • Related weather conditions, especially in the event of rain or other inclement weather
  • The date and time of the incident
  • What was the victim doing prior to the accident? Were they walking when they slipped in puddle, or were they running on a linoleum floor?
  • The footwear the injured person was wearing. Safety shoes shouldn’t slip when walking on a slippery service. On the other hand, flat soled dress shoes may have contributed to the incident.
  • Names of victims and, if possible, contact information for follow-up by insurance and authorities
  • Any details related to the accident or surroundings. This could include whether a wet floor had a caution sign, or if an elderly or injured person was walking with a can or walking stick.
  • The documentor’s name and contact information

Keep a close eye of the person who suffered the fall. A spine, neck, or head injury could have serious implications. Never ignore a person who hit their head during the fall. In many cases, traumatic brain injury (TBI) was discovered long after the accident. A concussion injury is also very dangerous and should be monitored for any changes in the person’s health.

Fill out any worker’s compensation or official incident reports for injuries that happened while a person was working. In any case where the injured person was not at fault, they should be considering Workers Compensation. This is especially true if the injuries led to any sort of disability, whether temporary or permanent.

Don’t speak to the insurance company about an incident if you or someone close to you was hurt in a slip and fall accident. Doing so could unwittingly lead to presumptions of fault by the insurance provider. Furthermore, legal representation should be contacted if a slip and fall accident was not the fault of the victim.

Get Advice About What to do After a Slip and Fall Incident

There is a litany of events, people, and organizations that can contact a person after being injured from a fall. Medical practitioners will be following up to make sure the injured person didn’t experience any further pain from the injury. Friends, family, coworkers and supervisors will ask about the person’s condition.

If a person was hurt while they were in a business, the business’s insurance will want to follow up. This is when things can get tricky. Any contacted by an insurance agency should contact a lawyer with experience in personal injury and workplace accidents. Giving more information than a person should can lead to some negative consequences.

Insurance companies are not out to help. They’re out to make money and keep money. Never trust an insurance representative to have you or your loved one’s best interests in mind. They work for the insurance company, and the company wants to succeed as a business.

You can contact an experienced accident attorney for more information on the topic of slips and falls. They are subject matter experts who know more about these incidents than just about anyone else.

Thank you for reading my blog. My name is Frank Hartman and I am the owner of The Hartman Law Firm, LLC. I am a North Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer. If you searched “car accident lawyer near me”, “car accident attorney near me” “accident attorney near me” or “personal injury attorney near me”, you have come to the right place! I am a personal injury law firm but I am primarily a car accident law firm.

I hope you have found what you are looking for. If not, please call me: (843)300-7600.

Accidents Are One of the Top 10 Causes of Death in South Carolina (2018)

It almost seems hard to believe that a major cause of death in South Carolina is accidents. Not just car accidents, but preventable accidents that occurred in homes, workplaces, and businesses throughout the state.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) tracks statewide mortality statistics. They found that 2,998 people died in 2016 due to a range of vehicle, pedestrian, watercraft, and other types of accidents.

What Are the Most Common Accident Types?

REviewing the South Carolina accidental death statistics can be overwhelming, to say the least. The raw data covers over 100 categories of fatal injuries. However, there are two that stand out over the rest.

Car Accidents are the Most Common Cause of Death

The DHEC reported that 1,049 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2016. Over the past ten years, the percent of deaths per capita has barely changed. However, the death toll jumped by almost 19% in 2015.

 

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety publishes the Traffic Collision Fact Book every year. The 2015 statistics show a 20.5% increase in fatal collisions between 2014 and 2015. There was an increase of only 18.6% over the previous five years. This shows an alarming trend.

If those numbers aren’t enough to worry drivers, the data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis is just as scary. The increase in U.S. car accident deaths in 2015 was the highest since 1966, the same year that seat belt laws were enacted.

Why Were There So Many Auto Collision Deaths in 2015?

There were many factors that contributed to the traffic fatality toll in 2015. Among the most significant were distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and failure to wear seat belts. Out of these four leading causes, distracted driving increased by 8.8%, statewide.

The second most common cause of death was failure to wear a seatbelt. Unrestrained passenger deaths increased by 5% the same year. Distracted driving was almost twice that.

All of these deaths had one thing in common: they were all preventable. Negligence and complacency were the most significant common factors for every fatal collision. This brings home the value of taking the time and effort to drive safely. After all, you won’t get where you’re going if you’re dead.

How to Drive Safely and Prevent Auto Collisions

The literature covering safe and responsible driving is everywhere. It can be found online with a simple search. There is a huge number of organizations providing information on driving smart and safely.

Given the prevalence of distracted driving and driving without a seat belt, the two safest things that you can do are pay attention and wear a seatbelt. That’s how simple it can be to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic.

Consumer Reports published a simple article on eight easy steps for driving more safely. They are so simple, there’s really no excuse not to follow them.

  1. Wear your seatbelt – The sudden, dramatic forces in a car accident can be catastrophic to the human body. Impacting the steering wheel, suffering a blow to the head on the windshield, or being ejected from the vehicle, can all be fatal. Taking five seconds to buckle up can keep you in your seat and away from serious or fatal harm.
  2. Protect your youngest passengers – Children under the age of 12 should always ride in the back seat. They should always wear their seat belts, and they should be riding in a seat made for their age and size.
  3. Don’t speed – This is so easy, and so common. By simply taking a deep breath and slowing down on the road, you can avoid potential collisions.
  4. Pay attention – Distracted driving killed 3,477 people and injured another 391,000 in the U.S. in 2015. These accidents accounted for 10% of all fatal crashes for the year.
  5. Maintain your car – Keeping track of your vehicle’s condition can keep you alive. Check your tires, your oil, windshield wiper fluid and wipers, batteries, and gas on a regular basis. A blown out tire in high-speed traffic can kill you and a others on a crowded road.
  6. Don’t drink and drive! – No one should have to be told this, but it’s sadly necessary. Alcohol-impaired drivers cost 10,497 people their lives in 2016. Twenty-three percent of those killed weren’t driving or riding in the offending vehicle.
  7. Stay alert; stay alive – Don’t stare straight ahead and ignore the areas surrounding your car. Use your mirrors and check your blind spots constantly. Scanning for dangers on the road, including obstacles, pedestrians, and drivers, will keep you safe, alive, and out of trouble.
  8. Use your turn signals – Making others aware of your intentions should be common courtesy. By law, you should signal for a turn at least 200 feet before reaching it. Not only will this help avoid accidents, but it will also help you avoid a ticket.

Accidental Poisoning Killed Almost as Many People as Traffic Incidents

Surprisingly, accidental poisoning accounted for almost a third of all South Carolina accidental deaths. A total of 843 people were killed by accidental poisoning and exposure to toxic substances in 2015. That was an increase of 10% over the year before.

The most tragic fact about these deaths is the age group most susceptible to them. Children under the age of 6 accounted for more than one million poison-related injuries in the country in 2015. That was almost half of all such incidents. In the year before, more than 27,000 children under the age of 4 did not survive poisoning in the U.S.

How to Prevent Poison and Noxious Gas Exposure

The Centers for Disease Control published two poison prevention articles which are available on their website. They laid out the following tips to keep your loved ones safe.

Infants and toddlers learn through sensation. Putting things in their mouth is an instinct to increase their learning. Unfortunately, these age groups are the most vulnerable to poisoning.

Keep batteries and buttons out of the reach of small children. Batteries can seem safe at first look. But if they have been swallowed, batteries can break down in the digestive acids of the stomach. The chemicals inside are extremely toxic and can lead to death in a matter of hours or even minutes.

Lock up any hazardous household chemicals, including:

  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid or powder drain clog removers
  • Automobile chemicals, such as windshield washer fluid, oil, and gasoline
  • Garden chemicals and pesticides/insecticides
  • Household cleaners
  • Paints, paint thinners, and spray paints

Medications should be kept out of arm’s reach of small children. It’s an even better idea to keep them locked up. In addition, children should be given medicines according the directions listed on the packaging. Children can overdose on cough medicine, allergy medications, and other common medications.

Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Carbon monoxide doesn’t have a taste or odor, nor is it visible. It’s also the first indicator of a potential fire, as it’s the primary byproduct of combustion. For the cost of less than eating out, you can protect your family from fire and smoke inhalation.

Use child locks in your home if you have children under the age of 6. Lock cabinets, doors, and any other closed off spaces that your child might be able to get into. Don’t take your child’s naivety for granted. In many cases, babies and toddlers learn at such a high rate of speed that you may have missed when they learned to climb on furniture and counters.

Prevent Accidents and Don’t Become a Statistic

The number of accident-related deaths in South Carolina and the U.S. is way too high. Especially when you consider that every one of them is preventable. Driving safely is a matter of following simple rules that everyone should know. The same goes for preventing poisoning and exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Losing a loved one, especially a child, can cause immense devastation. It’s one thing to lose an elderly family member to natural causes. It’s another thing entirely when someone is taken suddenly. They are simply gone and too often the causes were preventable.

A North Charleston, South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

If you’ve lost a loved one or family member to a car accident, or due to the negligence of another, you should immediately discuss your rights and options with an experienced personal injury lawyer in North Charleston SC. At The Hartman Law Firm, LLC, we regularly handle both personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from car accidents and negligence. Please call our office at 843-300-7600 for a free consultation today.

Is Driving After Thanksgiving Dinner Dangerous?

One glorious Thursday in the third week of December families across America enjoy a day off and a glutinous spread of delectable Thanksgiving dishes. There are mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and, without question, the all-day-roasted turkey. After a meal with so many choices and so little room in their stomachs, the family take part in the next great Thanksgiving tradition: the after dinner nap.

The most notorious culprit for making everyone sleepy after their holiday meal is Tryptophan. The story goes that turkey contains high levels of this amino acid and by consuming the meat it is ingested and induces sleepiness.

As it turns out, though, this is a myth. There is no more Tryptophan in turkey than there is in many other meats.[1] Furthermore, the tiredness that people feel after their Thanksgiving dinner has very little to do with any sort of sleeping agents found in the food.

What Makes Me Sleepy After Thanksgiving Dinner?

While Tryptophan is the most identified reason for the strong urge to snooze after the great meal, the drowsiness following is actually the body’s doing. Thanksgiving dishes are well-known for being saturated with simple carbohydrates. The body responds to the onslaught of carbs by producing insulin. Insulin actually blocks most of the amino acids going to the brain, but Tryptophan is not affected.

Tryptophan enters the brain by way of the body’s release of insulin. When there is a high amount of insulin in the body, more Tryptophan is released and absorbed by the brain. In the brain, the amino acid causes high releases of Serotonin and Melatonin.

Serotonin is what makes people feel happy. The higher the amount consumed by the brain, the happier a person may be. People suffering from depressive mood disorders are often experience low levels of the mood enhancing chemical.

Melatonin interacts with the brain to make people sleepy. This is why people take it just before bed.

So, what really causes the sleepiness after Thanksgiving dinner is the result of eating a huge plate of comfort food.

Is it Safe to Drive After a Thanksgiving Meal?

You are very likely to become sleepy if you have a tendency to engorge yourself on the holiday feast. Driving while you feel drowsy is very dangerous. Falling asleep at the wheel will most likely cause you to lose control of your car and end up getting into an accident. The greatest driving dangers on Thanksgiving, however, are not due to the after-meal food coma.

A publication released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that from 1995 to 2005, between 41 and 53 percent of all accidents on Thanksgiving Day were drunk driving related. Driving during holidays was shown to be very dangerous, but the primary cause was drowsy driving.

Another publication from NHTSA stated that between 2011 and 2015, an average of just 2.4% of all crashes were related to drowsy driving. The total annual death toll from these accidents was a little over 800. By comparison, in 2016 alone there were 10,497 alcohol-related fatalities.

Driving after a large meal that makes you feel tired is never wise. However, driving during the holidays is particularly dangerous because of drinking and driving. Turkey-related driving deaths, on the other hand, are minimal.

Thank you for reading my blog. My name is Frank Hartman and I am the owner of The Hartman Law Firm, LLC. I am a North Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer. If you searched “car accident lawyer near me”, “car accident attorney near me” “accident attorney near me” or “personal injury attorney near me”, you have come to the right place! I am a personal injury law firm but I am primarily a car accident law firm.
I hope you have found what you are looking for. If not, please call me: 843-300-7600.

What is the Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverages?

The time after a car accident can be stressful, no matter what. There are many questions and unknown outcomes that have to be dealt with. Answers come slowly, in most cases, and waiting for insurance, litigation, and compensation can feel like an eternity.

One thing that can make matters much worse is involvement in a car accident where the other driver either doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for the damages, or they simply don’t have any insurance at all. When this happens, you end up in an underinsured or uninsured motorist case and many of your expenses can require money out of your wallet.

This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes in to save the day, and your finances.

What is underinsured and uninsured insurance?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you when you’re in an accident with a driver who is responsible for the collision and doesn’t have liability insurance. On the other hand, underinsured motorist insurance covers the costs of your accident which are more than the other driver’s liability coverage limits. Once the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance are reached, your underinsured coverage will pay for any left-over costs.

There are two types of coverage in these cases. This includes underinsured or uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI), including the costs for medical care after an accident, or lost wages resulting from your injuries. Bodily injury covers you and any other passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident.

The second type of coverage is for underinsured or uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD), which includes damages to your vehicle that the other driver’s insurance, or lack thereof, didn’t pay for.

How Do I Get Underinsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

UMBI and UMPD are required in most states and should come standard with any insurance policy. Call your insurance company and ask if your policy includes these types of coverages. You can get underinsured and underinsured motorist insurance by simply asking your carrier to add them onto your existing coverage.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been in an Accident Involving a Driver Without Enough Insurance?

If you have been in a car accident that was the other driver’s fault, it’s important that you contact an auto collision attorney as soon as possible. The sooner that you get legal representation, the more likely you are to get fair compensation for your damages.

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC handles UMBI and UMPD cases and will provide you with knowledge and experience that has been proven to get results. Call Frank now at (843) 300-7600 and ensure that you get the money you deserve for your accident.

Can Loneliness Make Me A Bad Driver? (INFOGRAPHIC)

The modern world is advancing faster than anyone can keep pace. New technology emerges daily, mostly targeted to savvy consumers who are ever-searching for something new to fulfill their electronic craving.Bad Habits That Make You Dangerous

Keeping up in this advancing society takes quick thinking and fast reflexes. The most important tool for success in this battle is your brain. If you treat it right, it will greatly improve your chances for staying on the cutting edge. Treat it wrong, and you will end up watching the future change while you fight to catch up.

In the spirit of staying on top of the of modern world, here are eight habits that you need to avoid if you want to keep your brain in top condition.

Avoid Missing Sleep

Staying up an extra hour to finish binge watching the latest super-series drama can lead to long term damaging effects. Studies show that missing sleep on a regular basis can lead to dementia and even be a contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.

In a recent study conducted at Washington University, researchers found that extended periods with little or no sleep led to the production of two proteins which are linked with Alzheimer’s. The good news is that the protein levels returned to normal after study subjects were able to get full nights of sleep.

Don’t Spend Too Much Time in Isolation

It is a proven fact that lack of social interaction can actually lead to poor brain health. One researcher on loneliness stated, “Just like hunger and thirst and pain, loneliness signals something important for the survival of your genes—the need for connection to other individuals.”

People need people and without them, stress hormones and additional negative effects can quickly arise and affect your overall health.

Avoid Eating Too Much Junk Food

You may not think about it when you’re eating a bag of candy, or gulping down the latest berry-flavored juice drink, but junk food isn’t just bad for your waist line. In fact, people who eat more unhealthy foods than they should have been shown to have smaller parts of the brain associated with learning, memory, and mental health.

Does Loud Music Really Melt Your Brain?

Yes. Well, sort of. The fact is, listening to loud music, or any noise over the comfort threshold, can lead to hearing loss in less than a half-hour. That part, your parents got right.

Unfortunately, what no one told you is that listening to loud music was actually identified as a factor in a significant number of Alzheimer cases.

Don’t Just Sit There; Do Something!

“Couch Potato” is a moniker much distributed since the invention of the television. It is a well-known fact that sitting sedentary for long periods of time with little to no exercise is bad for you. It is a factor in many health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. However, lack of exercise can also be a factor in dementia.

Smoking is Bad For Your Brain

It should go without saying that smoking cigarettes is bad for every part of your body. The number of chemical additives, not to mention smoke inhalation, and any number of potential disease-related carcinogens, make cigarettes incredibly unhealthy. This means your brain, too. Smoking is another factor linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Don’t Eat Too Much Food

Along the line of eating too much junk food, eating too much food overall is unhealthy, as well. Eating too much food over a long period of time, no matter how healthy, can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure… and it can be a contributor to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Don’t Shy Away From Your Time in the Sun

Sunlight can pose a risk for those who are sensitive to exposure, but only for extended periods of time. In reality, your body needs sunlight to survive. Sunlight stimulates production of Vitamin D, necessary for brain health, as well as a balanced mood. Spend too much time indoors and your brain can actually slow down. The sun is actually very healthy, as long as you don’t fall asleep sitting by the pool for an hour or so.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that these habits aren’t just bad for your health. They also have a direct link to your driving habits.

“How’s that,” you ask?

Well, there are a few ways that unhealthy habits can be linked to your driving. First of all, a healthy brain leads to better attention. If your brain is foggy, you aren’t paying attention to your driving as well as you would be if  your were clear and alert.

Second, the reaction time of an unhealthy brain is slower than a healthy one. If you’re driving and the car in front of you slams on their brakes, you have to react fast. If you have an unhealthy brain, heart, and overall body, you will suffer a slower response. This could mean getting into an accident when you could have otherwise avoided it.

Third, an unhealthy brain can affect your vision. It should be obvious that poor vision is definitely a hindrance on the roadway. If you can’t clearly see all of the drivers around you, a critical key to defensive driving, you won’t see them coming when an accident is imminent.

The health effects of these habits are numerous. Taking care of your mind and body is not only a responsible way to live your life, maintain a longer, more coherent existence, and feel better, it can also mean better driving habits. Better driving habits will lead to fewer, or no, accidents, as well as lower insurance and, possibly fewer tickets.

Your brain is your best friend. Take care of it and it will take care of you.

Thank you to Positive Health and Wellness for the Infographic.

If you are looking for a car accident law firm, Frank Hartman specializes in car accident representation. Contact the experienced and trusted North Charleston injury attorneys at The Hartman Law Firm, LLC today to talk about your game plan. Call us at 843-300-7600. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Drinking and Driving is Crazy! Driving, Driving and Texting or Videoing? EpicFail

Every driver should know just how dangerous it is to drink and drive. In addition, drivers should all appreciate how easily texting or being distracted by a smartphone can lead to severe crashes. Unfortunately, some people fail to care about the safety of themselves or others and continue to engage in drunk driving or distracted driving. In one recent tragic case, a young driver decided to engage in both of these highly reckless behaviors with devastating results.
An 18-year-old driver was reportedly under the influence of alcohol and was also live streaming to Facebook footage of herself singing along to the music on the car radio. The driver then lost control of the vehicle and crashed, causing the car to eject her 14-year-old sister. Perhaps displaying the driver’s level of intoxication, she then continued live streaming the footage of the wreckage and her sister’s body on the ground. The 14-year-old girl did not survive, and another teenager sustained injuries in the crash.
Another case of drinking, driving and videoing was also taped by some girls in the Ukraine. One of the girls was 16 and one was 24. Both too young too die. In the video you can see the alcohol, the girls having a good time and then the crash. The silence says enough.

The purpose of posting this video is to show how fast things can go wrong. It also shows the complete recklessness of these ladies.

Here is a photo of their car the next day. Had they hit someone else, it would have likely caused, at the very minimum, serious injury but more likely death.

Dead drunk driver
Drivers Can Be Dangerous

The above crash illustrates that despite any level of education regarding the dangers of impaired driving or distracted driving, many drivers continue to act with poor judgment, and put the lives of others in jeopardy on a regular basis. You never know when you may be driving alongside someone who is engaging in dangerous behaviors, and a crash may happen when you least expect it, completely changing your life. In some situations, a dangerous driver may tragically take the life of someone you love.

If you are injured, the law allows you to file a personal injury claim against the driver who acted negligently and caused the crash. You can seek damages for your medical bills, any earnings you lost, your physical and mental pain and suffering, and more. In the tragic event that a drunk driver, a driver who was on their phone, or any other type of dangerous driver kills a loved one, South Carolina law allows surviving family members to seek damages for wrongful death.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in South Carolina

Each state has specific laws regarding wrongful death claims. The following is some information regarding this type of lawsuit in South Carolina:

  • A “wrongful death” is any death caused by the neglect or wrongful act of another party.
  • While the lawsuit is actually filed by the executor of the deceased person’s estate, the proceeds go to surviving family members including a spouse and children, parents if there is no spouse of children, or any legal heirs if none of the aforementioned exist.
  • Damages sought for a wrongful death can include funeral and burial costs, lost earnings due to the premature death, medical expenses for the fatal injuries, lost care and support to the family, emotional injuries and suffering of the family, and any other financial losses related to the death.
  • State law requires individuals to file a claim within three years of the date of a victim’s death.

Contact a North Charleston, South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyer As Soon As Possible

If you lost a family member in a tragic car accident, you should immediately discuss your rights and options with a skilled personal injury lawyer in North Charleston SC who understands wrongful death laws in South Carolina. At The Hartman Law Firm, LLC we regularly handle both personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from car accidents caused by dangerous drivers. Please call our office at 843-300-7600 for a free consultation today.

What Causes Back Pain?

Millions of Americans live with back pain every day. Back pain can take a significant toll on your life, and many others may not understand just how much you can suffer because of a back injury. Our personal injury law firm has seen firsthand just how devastating a back injury can be and the many losses that may result. If your back injury happened because another person acted in a negligent manner, Hartman Law Firm knows how to seek compensation on your behalf for your losses, and how to help you relieve some of the financial stress resulting from your accident. The following is some information regarding back injuries in personal injury cases.

Accidents That Can Cause Back Injuries

Not every back injury will result in a personal injury claim. If you are lifting a box at home and twist your back, there is likely no one else to blame for your injury. However, if your back injury occurred due to the negligence of another party, you have the right to hold that party liable. The following are some examples of accidents that can cause injury that may be caused by negligence:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Construction accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Surgical errors
  • Falls

In the above cases, The Hartman Law Firm, LLC will examine your situation and determine whether it is possible to hold anyone else responsible for your back injury.

The Effects of a Back Injury on Your Life

Back injuries can range widely in terms of nature and severity. Yet no matter what type of injury you sustain, it is likely that you will experience numerous painful symptoms. In addition, you will likely have to spend a lot of time undergoing treatment. Treatment can include medication, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery and hospitalization. You may also be forced to stop working while you recover, and this can result in lost wages. In addition, back injuries often cause restrictions on your mobility. While some people recover from their injuries, others may be left with chronic pain and problems for a long period of time. If your back injury is the result of the negligence of another party, you have the right to recover for your treatment costs, lost wages, and more. 

Discuss Your Rights With a Charleston Personal injury Attorney Today

At The Hartman Law Firm, LLC we take your back injury and pain seriously. We know how much this type of injury can affect your life and finances, and we are here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve from any negligent parties. Please call our office at 843-300-7600 for a free consultation with a North Charleston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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