Free Case Review
Boating and Water Accidents
There’s nothing we love more on a sunny summer day than heading outdoors and enjoying all that this season has to offer. No matter what you get up to when the mercury rises, let’s take a look at some ways to keep you safe while you have fun in the sun.
Summer is the best time of year to be outdoors and be active. That sunny weather just fills you with good vibes and the desire to try something new—especially in the cooling water. Even if you’re not brave enough for thrill-seeking activities like kiteboarding or wakeboarding, seemingly less hazardous summer activities can still put you at risk. Let’s take a look at some seasonal accidents that might cause personal injuries.
Summer has to be the best time to own a boat—the sense of freedom you get from taking out onto the water is incomparable. But on sunny weekends, it can seem like everyone has had the same idea. Boating accidents are very common in summer, especially in busy areas like Discovery Bay.
Most of these are the aquatic equivalents of fender benders but some can cause damage ranging from minor bumps and sprains to more serious and potentially permanent injuries. California alone sadly sees over 500 recreational boating accidents each year, resulting in roughly 250 injuries and 50 fatalities. Even if you’re an experienced boater with your own sailboat or speedboat, you can still be injured by an inexperienced or inebriated driver—especially if your vehicles collide at speed. One unexpected jolt is all it takes to topple your balance and knock belongings onto the floor, so even minor boating collisions can lead to cuts, concussions and broken bones.
Summer is also the best time to try out water sports such as surfing, wakeboarding and even flyboarding. Beginners are more prone to injury for obvious reasons but pros are still at risk of unavoidable sports injuries and colliding with less experienced adrenaline junkies out in the surf. When you factor in all the surfers, sailors, boaters, jet skiers, swimmers and kiteboarders in the water around you, you have the perfect recipe for a personal injury cocktail.
Find Out If You Have A Case.
With all these hazards in the water, you might feel safer simply lounging at the water’s edge or staying away from the beach altogether in favor of a backyard pool or even a water park. Not so fast—these wet environments are ideal breeding grounds for slip and fall accidents. With water sloshing over the tiled edges of pools, and wet swimmers dripping onto all kinds of surfaces, you should be extra cautious and always watch your step. It even seems like summer footwear is out to get us—flip flops are among the most dangerous shoes, shown to increase your risk of tripping and slipping and to even make driving a car more dangerous.
Whether it’s the ocean, a lake or a hot tub, summer just wouldn’t be summer without water. And we don’t want to put a dampener on your summer fun! We just want to make sure your summer is as safe as it can be. And if you do happen to get into a summer accident and suffer a personal injury, we’ll be by your side to get your life back on track as soon as possible.
Summer Party Liability
We now all know how important it is to stay safe as we enjoy this sunny season. But what if someone else is injured at a summer party on your property? Let’s take a look at your legal position if a guest suffers a or property damage.
When the drinks start flowing and those inhibitions start to loosen, things can get overlooked. It’s easy for a slightly inebriated hand to spill a drink onto a neighbour’s phone. Even when there are no drinks involved, summer barbecues are full of hot surfaces, children playing and water all around. Accidents are usually taken in good humor but there’s no guarantee—especially if an insurance company gets involved or the person has to resort to a claim to afford a replacement for an expensive gadget.
Let’s say that a party guest’s expensive camera has been damaged beyond repair due to an accident involving the pool at your 4th of July cookout. Your guest is worried about their camera but tells you they have insurance so it will be covered—no hard feelings. Phew. The next day, your guest calls their insurance company and informs them of the damage. Their insurance company may refuse to pay out due to this accident clearly being someone else’s fault. As the party host, the insurance company may demand that you cover the costs for a replacement.
Injuries are sadly common at barbecues and backyard parties—the heady mix of sun, food, drinks, a hot grill, lots of people in close quarters, fireworks and maybe even a pool that makes a summer party so fun can also lead to a plethora of hazards. Most injuries sustained at garden parties are minor but it doesn’t take much for a simple slip on a spilled drink to turn into a serious back injury. Many people have no choice but to file a personal injury claim to cover the costs of their medical treatment. If a guest at your summer neighbourhood mixer slips on a puddle of water that has splashed out of the kids’ pool onto your decking, you could be in for a legal headache. In order to cover their medical expenses and loss of income from time off work, a personal injury case might be their only option even if they personally don’t hold it against you.
So, where do you stand?
Your homeowner’s insurance should encompass a level of liability insurance, which would cover the costs of any lawsuit. However, this kind of claim could drastically increase your insurance premium. In some cases, it could actually be cheaper in the long run to pay for your legal expenses out of pocket. You might be better off taking out a separate personal umbrella policy (PUP), which would cover you in any situation where you need legal protection.
Hosting a summer party might seem like a casual affair but this does put you in the position of “Event Organizer”. As such, you are expected to provide a safe environment without unreasonable hazards—this might entail putting a non-slip surface around a pool, positioning your grill far away from where children will be playing, and ensuring that all the food you serve is safe.
BBQ Safety Guide
What could be better than inviting all your nearest and dearest friends, family and neighbors round for a classic summer barbecue? You’ve got drinks chilling, meat marinating and charcoal heating up in the grill. We know that you don’t exactly want to focus on all the things that could go wrong but it’s best to be prepared so you don’t have to deal with any nasty surprises.
On average, over 10,000 Americans suffer BBQ-related burns each year. Burns can be serious and even life-changing if lighter fluid is involved, but people also injure themselves using knives and even deceptively sharp wire barbecue cleaning brushes. Contact burns are very common: although most are thankfully minor enough to treat at home, thousands of Americans end up at the ER each summer with grilling-related burns. That’s why it’s best to position your grill far away from where guests will be moving around and where children will be playing.
Put fire safety first
Barbecues can lead to property damage that might not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. If you position your grill too close to the house or even flammable outdoor furniture, you might have an out-of-control fire to deal with. It’s essential to carry out checks and ensure your grill is well maintained before a party, as failure to do so may void any coverage you have. The U.S. Fire Administration claims that around 5,700 grill fires break out at homes each year. The majority of these are caused by defective gas barbecues, and they can cause millions of dollars in property damage as well as countless injuries each summer.
Go easy on the drink
For some, a summer cookout wouldn’t be complete without an ice-cold beer. But it might be a good idea to wait until all the higher-risk jobs are complete before cracking open a cold one—you are four times more likely to be injured while grilling if you have been drinking alcohol. Booze impacts reaction times as well as critical thinking and dexterity, so a couple of Long Island iced teas can be the difference between nimbly flipping a burger and clumsily fumbling into the hot metal of your grill.
Keep it covered
Drinking alcohol in direct sunlight—particularly in strong midday sun—can really put a strain on your body too, increasingly your likelihood of suffering from dehydration and even heat exhaustion or heat stroke. So, drink water to stay hydrated and lay off the heavy drinking until after the sun is at its hottest between around 12 and 3 pm. Staying out of the sun’s direct rays also prevents sunburn and protects your body from the carcinogenic effects of UV rays.
Invest in a meat thermometer
A staggering 22% of Americans believe they have contracted food poisoning at a cookout, and the majority of grillers (two thirds) don’t use a meat thermometer to check if meat is fully cooked. So, use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is as safe as it is delicious (and if you’re unsure of your next BBQ host’s gung-ho attitude, maybe reach for the veggie burgers instead).
We know, we’ve just given you a load of rules. But we promise a BBQ with no burns, no ER trips and no property damage is even more fun! As long as you make sure you look after your grill well, drink plenty of water and provide an umbrella or awning for shade, there’ll be nothing to stop you enjoying your best summer cookout yet.