How Senior Drivers Can Lower Their Risks of Car Accidents

Old age comes with some issues that can increase the inherent danger of driving. As a senior driver, you should take the relevant steps to minimize the risk of an accident. Below are some precautions that can help.

Don’t Drive In Challenging Conditions

Some things increase the risk of accidents for everyone. However, the risks affect senior drivers more than others because the latter often already have frailties due to old age. Examples of challenging conditions include:

  • Poor visibility due to rain, snow, smog, dust, or darkness
  • Slippery road surfaces due to rainfall, snowfall, or ice
  • Strong winds

Plan your driving routes and times to avoid such dangerous conditions.

Manage Your Health Conditions

Some age-related health problems increase the risk of accidents. Examples of such health problems include:

  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Arthritis
  • Heart problems
  • Dementia

Those who manage their health issues continue to drive safely. For example, if you have a hearing problem, you can get hearing aids so that you can continue to listen to the environment around you and stay safe.

Maintain Physical Agility and Alertness

A physically fit and alert person can react to road dangers faster than other people. Take these measures so that you are always alert behind the wheel:

  • Get adequate sleep, especially the night before a long drive.
  • Stay physically active – your doctor or a physiotherapist can help you identify safe exercises for you.
  • Take regular breaks on long drives.
  • Eat well-balanced meals.

Stop driving and take some rest if you feel drowsy or lethargic at any time on the road.

Drive the Right Car

You shouldn’t struggle with your car. Choose a car that you can easily handle. Examples include:

  • Cars with an automatic transmission
  • Cars with power steering
  • Cars with power brakes

In addition, you should maintain your car to ensure every system is functional. For example, malfunctioning windshield wipers can leave your windshield dirty and interfere with your visibility.

Understand Your Medications’ Side Effects

Some medications induce drowsiness. Examples include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease

Understand all the side effects of your medications so that you can know how they affect your risk on the road. Plan your driving so that you only drive once the effects of your medication wane. Note that you should not have to determine whether you are drowsy. Ask your physician how long the side effects last.

Increase Your Following Distance

Reduced reaction time is a common issue for some senior drivers. Whenever you are on the road, leave an adequate following distance so that you can stop or change lanes should the car in front stop without warning.

Take Defensive Driving Classes

Defensive driving classes, especially those that target seniors, can also improve your road safety. The classes will teach you:

  • How to avoid distractions
  • How to deal with difficult driving conditions
  • How to deal with age-related frailties that affect driving safety

As a bonus, many insurance companies give discounts to senior drivers who complete these classes.

Acknowledge Your Limitations

Human nature means that many people don’t like to admit their weaknesses. However, you risk yourself and other road users if you deny your weaknesses, such as hearing or vision impairment. Acknowledge your limitations so that you can take measures to deal with them. For example, once you learn that you can’t drive 300 miles without rest, you probably shouldn’t attempt it again.

Hopefully, you won’t experience any car accident in your senior years. However, in case of a car accident, consult an experienced lawyer to review your case and advise you on the way forward. Contact Hernandez Law Offices for a free initial consultation on your car accident case.

A Guide to Negligence Involving Slip &Fall Take-Out Restaurant Cases

Due to the worldwide pandemic, many restaurants are changing the way they serve customers and provide service. As take-out options increase for dining establishments, so does the chance for a slip and fall accident. While some slip and fall accidents are truly just a clumsy mistake, others might be the direct result of the negligence of a restaurant.

If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident at a restaurant, then consider how the restaurant may have been responsible for your injuries. You may be unaware of the many ways a restaurant can be held negligent in an injury case.

Take-Out Areas

Not every restaurant was equipped to handle take-out orders. In some cases, restaurants had to shift, adjust, and make do with limited amounts of space. For example, some restaurants may have an outdoor waiting area. The outdoor space may not be properly lit or have proper safety precautions.

If a patron has to step up over a curb or sidewalk, then the take-out space should have warning signs, especially with the expanded foot traffic. Without the warning signs, guests can easily trip and fall in this area. After your injury occurs, images will provide clear views of the take-out location and the presence of natural dangers.

Walking Conditions

A restaurant’s entranceway and lot should also provide ideal walking conditions for guests who walk in and out. In many cases, the food you carry could block out views of obstacles and objects as you head back to your car. A parking lot with potholes, loose gravel, or obstacles could turn into a disaster as you slip and fall.

The weather conditions and proper care could also play an impact. For example, you may have been injured due to icy walkways in front of the restaurant. Soaked entry carpets could create slippery puddles. During poor weather conditions, employees and managers should keep up with the ground conditions both inside and outside the restaurant.

In some conditions like heavy snowfall or downpours, constant cleaning may be impossible. In those cases, safety signs should be used to indicate potential problems. A lack of proper safety and warning signs could create a negligent situation for a restaurant.

Restaurant Cleanliness

Weather is not the only factor that contributes to injuries, as cleanliness plays a big role in consumer safety. Straw wrappers, receipts, and pieces of food can all create dangerous walking conditions and may cause a person to slip when stepped on. Negligence occurs when an injury incident could have been avoided with proper care, such as when such litter is ignored rather than cleaned up.

Witness statements, pictures, and video surveillance can present extra details for such a case. For example, if there was a food spill, the surveillance video can show exactly when the spill occurred and how long the mess was ignored. With enough evidence, a lawyer can hold a restaurant liable for your injuries.

Food Temperatures

Food and beverages may contribute to slip and fall injury cases. If hot soups or hot drinks spill out of containers, you could suffer from serious burns. A third-degree burn includes the charring of the skin, potential scarring, and emergency room treatment.

In some cases, these injuries could be worse than the fall itself. Restaurants could also be liable for serving food at temperatures that are too hot. Even if take-out orders are meant to cool off, customers should not handle dangerously hot food when they pick up take-out in the first place.

Based on the burns, a doctor can determine the temperature that the food was served, and if the food was served too hot.

Move forward with your case with the help of the trained lawyers at Hernandez Law Offices. We will help you seek compensation for your slip and fall injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied? 3 Steps to Take

Injuring yourself at work can be a traumatizing experience. Not only could it cause physical pain and immobility in some cases, but a workplace injury can also affect your emotional health and cause financial distress for you and your family.

Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are possible in most situations – and even if your claim is denied, you can still appeal and win benefits to help you become financially whole. Learn the three things you need to do if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.

1. Hire an Attorney

Consult an attorney immediately if your claim is denied. Your attorney will not only be able to help determine why your claim was denied, but they’ll devise a plan to appeal the denial to secure you the compensation you need. On average, individuals who hired lawyers to appeal their denial were awarded 47 percentmore in benefits, so legal help can be a worthwhile investment.

Make sure to gather all the necessary documents before your legal consultation. Your attorney will want to see copies of your initial injury report, medical records showing the extent of your injury and treatment, income statements, and the letter notifying you of your compensation denial.

2. Understand the Reason

You may be surprised to learn why your workers’ compensation claim was denied, but an attorney can help.

Timing is one of the most common decisions why a workers’ compensation claim is denied. Basically, you need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days as per California state law. Therefore, if you fell or hurt yourself on a piece of machinery, your claim will be better off if you notify your employer immediately. You also must file a claim for workers’ compensation within the proper time frame, or your claim could be denied.

A denial may also occur if your employer disputes your claim. For example, your employer may state your injury or illness occurred outside of work. You and your attorney can work together to gather evidence proving the workplace or your position resulted in the injury or illness.

Finally, if you did not receive any medical treatment because of your injury or you are unable to provide proof any medical treatment, your claim will most likely be denied.

3. Appeal the Denial

Once you and your attorney determine and understand the reason for the denial, you can begin the appeal process. An appeal requires a multi-step process, but your attorney will help you through the entire process.

To get started, an application for adjudication of claim must be filed within one year after your injury, after the last day you received medical benefits, or after the day when your temporary disability benefits end. This form opens your workers’ compensation claim with the state’s appeal board.

You and your lawyer will also need to file a “declaration of readiness to proceed,” which notifies the judge you are ready for a hearing. You may then schedule a meeting with your attorney and judge to reach a settlement agreement.

If you are unable to reach a settlement agreement, your appeal will get a hearing, which is similar to a trial. The judge will make a decision based on the arguments and evidence from both sides to determine if your denial was warranted or if you do, in fact, need workers’ compensation benefits.

Help is available if your workers’ compensation claim was denied. Contact Hernandez Law Offices today for assistance. Our experienced team is ready to help you get back on track financially after your workplace injury, so get in touch today to set up a consultation about your claim.