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Are You Allowed to Put a Security Camera on Your House?

With the rise of companies like Nest and Ring, millions of Americans have added security measures to their homes. In addition to security systems, these small security camera devices can protect your home. And its convenience makes it similar to monitor from anywhere. All you need is your phone and the app. Recently, in Mount Prospect, an interior security camera – with the help of a scream – caught a home invader on tape. However, this technology has restrictions.

Where Can You Point a Security Camera?

Generally, cameras outside are almost always fair game. Many buildings in urban and suburban areas have a number of security cameras. In fact, you may request this footage in cases of slips and falls. However, if a camera points somewhere private, like a neighbor’s window, then you may risk someone else’s privacy. Generally, the outdoor cameras could not be placed in an area that would invade someone else’s property. But to be the best neighbor possible, make sure your camera’s range only protects your home.

Many cameras today have a wide range and high definition. The best practice is to ensure safety and protect everyone’s privacy. If you are a property owner, you can contact professionals to place cameras. And if you believe someone has invaded your privacy through the use of an improperly located camera, contact an attorney, like the attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today.

Placing an Indoor Security Camera

Some businesses place security cameras inside to prevent shoplifting. These cameras are generally placed where no one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like a storeroom floor. However, in some instances stores place securitycameras in places where one may expect some privacy. Examples include bathrooms and dressing rooms.

Generally, stores may place security cameras in some dressing rooms, but many national chains place them outside of the dressing room instead to provide customers with privacy. Bathrooms have been almost universally deemed off limits by courts for placement of security cameras. Other areas like rented rooms, hotel rooms, and locker rooms are generally off limits for security cameras.

Additionally, it’s legal in the United States to record surveillance video with a hidden camera in your home. Many people use nanny cams or other hidden cameras. But similarly to placing a camera outside, if you want to ensure your placement follows the laws of Illinois, contact an attorney. For instance, he only time surveillance laws in Illinois permit you to record someone secretly is if you have a reasonable expectation that a crime is about to be committed against you or someone in your household.

Winter Pet Protection Tips and Recommendations

 

We have had a lot of cold and snow in Chicago this winter. After all of this shoveling and heavy coats, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. is ready for spring. And although many of us know that we need to watch for summer dangers to our pets, we forget that our animals also feel the cold.

Even if we all want winter to end really soon, the groundhog may not be right – we still have at least another month of winter weather. And snow can sometimes fall in April! With the snow and the cold, some people think that their pets get to enjoy that weather due to their big, heavy fur coats. However, if you are cold, your pet is also cold!

Winter Weather Tips for Your Pets

Pets are just as likely to get frostbite and hypothermia as you. But it’s easy to protect them from the cold. Below are several tips to keep your best friend safe this winter.

Limit time outdoors

Even the biggest and furriest dog should not spend huge amounts of time outside in the winter. A thick coat does not protect all of their body parts, especially their paws, their nose, and their ears. First, never leave your pets outside alone, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs loves their walks and exercise, but otherwise, they should stay inside. Even if you think your pet may tolerate cold weather better, if you do not want to be outside, don’t leave them out there.

Additionally, arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Just as we worry about our elderly neighbors as they grab the shovel and go outside, please stay alert of your pets who may need extra care and patience on the ice.

Bundle Up and Wipe Down

Next, some dogs have short coats, especially short-haired and smaller dogs. If you have such a pet, consider putting on a dry sweater or coat when you take them for their walk. Additionally, older dogs and puppies may have stronger reactions to the cold.

Additionally, many sidewalks may have salts or other chemicals on them. Your pet’s paws and bellies can become coated in these chemicals, which will irritate their skin. Wipe down all of the paws with a damp towel before you pet licks them. You definitely do not want the salt in their mouths! At this time, also check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. Chemicals can get caught between their foot pads to cause severe pain as they burn the dog’s skin.

Lastly, if you use a de-icing treatment, consider using a pet-safe deicer that you can purchase at many pet stores.

Listen to Your Pet

Although they may not have a voice, your pet can tell you how they feel in different ways. For example, if you notice that your pet begins to whine or shiver, they should come inside. Signs of hypothermia for your pet is the same as they are for you. However, you may have trouble identifying frostbite. Either way, if your animal appears in pain due to any exposure to the cold, be safe and consult your veterinarian immediately. Damage may take a few days to show their true signs and a trained vet will help.

Protect Outdoor Pets

For example, if you have an outdoor cat, remember to provide them protection. They need extra food and water, so give them a hand.

Lastly, livestock have their own needs. If you have a horse, remember to provide them an area to escape from the wind and cold. Provide a lot of water and food during extreme cold as they will use this energy to stay warm. And a horse always loves to have a dry blanket placed on them.

Conclusion

Although winter may come to an end (hopefully!) soon, the cold air can stay in Arlington Heights for a long time. As you walk your dog around Lake Arlington or in Busse Woods this spring, if you have a coat on, consider protecting your dog. Even with the daffodils coming out of the ground, remember to keep everyone safe.

If you take these steps, your pets will enjoy the play and exercise but will also stay safe. However, you may also encounter pets that do not have owners who understand the dangers of the winter. If you see a pet outside too long, politely let the owner know about the risks and your concerns. Many people just do not understand how the cold affects their animals and need to know this information. Stay warm and enjoy the snow!

Heart Month — New Hands-Only CPR

As a leading cause of death for both men and women, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. proudly participates in American Heart Month to prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk the Department of Health and Human Services recommends to:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke,
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure,
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, and
  • Get active and eat healthy.

In addition to traditional CPR, officials also recommend everyone learns how to perform hands-only CPR.

What is Hands-Only CPR?

Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. They recommend this tactic for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting. For example, if you see someone suddenly collapse while playing basketball, officials recommend attempting hands-only CPR. It consists of two easy steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

Next, when you call 911, you need to stay on the phone until the 911 dispatcher tells you to hang up. The operator will ask you about the emergency. Then they will also ask for details of the location, the individual’s status, and other relevant information. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to be specific about all of the details. It will make it easier for emergency personnel to find you and help the individual. Lastly, remember that answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Chest compressions push oxygen-rich blood through the body to keep vital organs alive. Hands-Only CPR buys time until EMS arrives.

How To Keep the Beat

The American Heart Association recommends keeping a few songs in your head in an emergency. Depending on your taste in music, they have several examples so that you remember the correct rate to compress an individual’s chest.  Song examples include

  • “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees,
  • “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z,
  • “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira” or
  • “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash.

If you like a more scientific method, when performing CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Of course, that corresponds to the beat of the song examples above.

Should I shovel my sidewalk?

Ron Wittmeyer here, personal injury lawyer in Arlington Heights. As you can see, we have had our first snow of the season. And that reminds me of a question that we are often asked this time of year and that is: Am I better off just leaving the snow on my sidewalk, in terms of someone suing me? The answer to that question is: no. You are better off shoveling your sidewalk; help keep your neighborhood safe and neighbors safe. Several years ago, the Illinois legislature adopted a Snow Removal Immunity Act that applies to residential properties. So, if you get out, shovel your sidewalk, you are immune for your efforts in doing that. As you know many people in our community use the sidewalks all year long for exercise, walking their dogs, and it sure is nice to have that entire sidewalk clear. Please do your part to keep the sidewalks clear over the winter months and know that you are immune from liability for your efforts in doing that. Ron Wittmeyer, personal injury lawyer in Arlington heights.  Until next time, stay safe and be well.

In Illinois, if you shovel your sidewalks, the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act provides immunity for your efforts. Keep your sidewalks clear! If you or someone you love have been injured by an unshoveled sidewalk, please contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today at (847) 357-0403 for a free consultation.

What To Do If You Are Injured at Work?

Injured at Work

No one wants to get injured at work. However, on occasion, injuries happen. If you have suffered an injury at work, you need to understand your state’s worker’s compensation laws. If you suffer a job-related injury, protect your legal rights. Nearly every employer is required by state law to provide some sort of workers compensation to their employees.

Accident Report

The first thing you should so after being injured is report immediately to your supervisor. Many states only allow a short period of time to report your accident under workers compensation. Some states require a notice to the employer in writing, while others accept a verbal notice. Employees should report all on-the-job injuries. Even if the employee did not sustain actual injuries, employers may need to implement new safety measures at work.

See a Doctor

You should see a doctor as soon as possible and if your injury warrants it, then go to the emergency room.

  • If you did not suffer a serious injury, ask your employer if they require you to see a certain doctor or if you may choose the doctor of your choice.
  • Specifically, if you are a federal employee, you are covered under Workers Compensation for Federal Employees (FECA), which means you may select any qualified doctor to be your treated doctor.
  • If FECA does not cover you, state laws will apply.

In some states, you have the right to see your own doctor if you make the request in writing. However, in most states you must see the company doctor for a maximum of 30 days. After 30 days, you are free to choose your own doctor.

Doctors report will have a big impact on the benefits you will receiving. You may be entitled to second opinion from a doctor under workers compensation. If the second doctor’s report agrees with the first doctor, then there is no problem and the compensation payment continues uninterrupted. But, if the second doctors’ opinion is different then, the office can weigh to see which doctor’s opinion is more credible or see a third doctor.

Filing Workers Compensation

Filing workers compensation is like filing an insurance claim, requesting for benefit. After notifying your employer, the employer must offer you a claim form immediately. The claim form must be completed in order for the employer to be obligated to provide benefits. If the form is not provided to you by the state, it can be located through this site:  state government agencies page. When completed, return the claim form to your employer. Remember to keep a copy of the completed claim form for yourself. Your employer would then have to complete “employer” section. The insurance company has 14 days to mail you a status letter about your claim. If the insurance company does not contact you within 14 days, you should call the insurance company.

Hire a Lawyer

Needing a lawyer depends no the complexity of the case. If there is confusion, or you do not understand any part of you case, be sure to contact a lawyer to represent you. For any reason the case involves you to stand before an administrative or court judge, you should hire a lawyer. If you or someone you love suffered an injury at work, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today for a free consultation.

Fall Bike Safety Tips

fall bike

As the leaves change and the temperatures drop, many jump on their bikes to explore the Northwest suburbs. You can see all of the Halloween decorations in your neighborhood. And you can experience the beautiful foliage in our state and county parks. But unfortunately, the change in weather can lead to more bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

[Read more…]

Car Seat Installation Tips and Common Mistakes

Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash. However, the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 remains car crashes. As you buckle up your child this fall, remember to use the right car seat every time. Car seat installation seems relatively simple, but with a simple mistake, your child may be at risk. Follow these simple tips and remember to watch for common mistakes to stay safe this fall.

How to Find the Right Car Seat

Depending on the size of your child and your vehicle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration details four car seat types. First, the best seat for your young child is the rear facing seat. With a harness, it cradles and moves with your child in a crash. This reduces the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. Second, the forward facing car seat has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash. Third, the booster seat positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body. Lastly, the seat belt should lie across the upper thighs. Make sure the belt is snug across the shoulder and chest to restrain your child safely in a crash. The belt should not on a child’s belly or cover a child’s face. The NHTSA has a Car Seat Finder tool that lets you compare seats and ease-of-use ratings to find the right car seat for your child.

[Read more…]

Protect Your Family From Bug Bites

Bug Bites

You’re enjoying your fire pit on a beautiful summer evening. But then you hear a buzzing around your head. A small mosquito lands on your arm and you’re too slow to swat it away. Although the resulting bump may get itchy, unfortunately, bug bites could lead to more serious issues.

Bugs, including mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies, can spread diseases like Zika, dengue, and Lyme disease. Unfortunately, many of these cannot be prevented or treated with a vaccine or medicine. But you can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

  • Avoid outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active
  • Avoid playing in or around standing puddles of water or flowerbeds
  • Wear thin, long sleeved shirts and long pants to minimize skin exposure

What Kind of Bug Spray Should I Use?

Generally, bug spray is okay to use. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET.

However, follow these instructions for applying repellent on children:

  • Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Children should not touch repellent. Adults should apply it to their hands and gently spread it over the child’s exposed skin.
  • Do not apply repellent to children’s hands because they tend to put their hands in their mouths.

Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Additionally, children should never apply it on their own. When applying insect repellent to your child’s face, spray it into your hands, and then rub it onto your child’s face. Make sure to avoid their mouth and eyes. Lastly, never use repellents on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.

Beware the Ticks

When children play in a wooded area, they should wear protective clothing like long sleeves to avoid ticks. Bug spray helps, too, but with ticks, clothing is the best defense. Although they don’t cause the bug bites we all think of, they have become more prevalent in the Northwest Suburbs.

A government study recently stated that to prepare for summer protection from ticks, wear clothes  pretreated with permethrin. Permethrim is a synthetic form of an insect-thwarting compound from the chrysanthemum flower. You can find it in insecticide sprays and shampoos and creams that treat lice and scabies.

Doctors worry about ticks because they can cause illness, like Lyme disease. Parents should check kids’ heads and bodies to look for ticks. Remove a tick with a tweezers. Lastly, if you need assurance that your children are safe, some doctors’ offices can test the bug.

 

Hunting Accidents: Wrongful Death and Negligence Injuries

hunting accidents

During the last week of March of this year, an Illinois juvenile suffered non-fatal injuries after being shot in a hunting accident. The accident occurred on March 30, 2018 around 8:00 A.M. near southern Davison County in South Dakota. According to Conservation Officer Brian Humphrey of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Departments, the Illinoisan was hunting snow goose when the gun that injured him appeared to not have its safe on and was bumped causing a round to fire at the juvenile.

While this incident occurred in South Dakota to an Illinois resident, many hunting accidents happen in the State of Illinois. According to the Department of Natural Resources, also known as the IDNR, “Hunting Incidents by Year Cumulative Report,” in 2015, a total of 308,878 hunting licenses were sold, and 41 fatal and non-fatal accidents were reported. This does not account for other accidents that were not reported to the IDNR.

[Read more…]

Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Nursing Home Fall?

nursing home fall

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 36% of hospital emergency room visits for long-term care residents are due to falls. The average assisted living facility accounts for 100 to 200 falls each year. Unfortunately, a nursing home fall can cause serious problems effecting the quality of life, disability, and reduced independence. Of course, as our population ages, the CDC estimates by 2030, nearly 3 million people will live in assisted living facilities.

About 20% of these falls can be prevented by improving controllable environmental factors. These factors include poor lighting, wet floors, and incorrect bed height. According to the CDC, only about 5% of seniors live in assisted living facilities, but they account for up to 20% of the deaths due to falls. But many times, the last nursing home fall was not the first fall. The CDC estimates that each elder citizen falls 2.6 times. In the end, about 1,800 senior citizen die each year from a fall.

[Read more…]

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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