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Waterslide Ends with Tragedy

VerructA tragic incident of a 10-year-old boy who lost his life at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City led to state inspection finding violations on 11 rides including the ride he was on. The audit listed 160 findings with 147 considered to be immediate actions to be taken to repair the rides.

Charles Thomas Schwab, 10 years old, died riding the “Verruct” slide when the raft went airborne. The raft then hit a metal pole causing him severe injuries. Traffically, he died due to his injuries in August 2016.  Charles complied with all the rider instructions. But the ride still costed him his life regardless of him obeying the instructions. Along with Charles, two other women on the same raft as him, were also severely injured. One women suffered a broken jaw. The other a broken bone in her face.

[Read more…]

Sledding and Snow Tubing Safety in Illinois

Sledding and Snow Tubing Safety in IllinoisSafety in the Snow

 

Sledding and snow tubing are fun and healthy activities for kids. But the thrill of speeding down a snowy hill comes with significant risks. Many kids are seriously injured when sledding and snow tubing in Illinois every year. To ensure your kids can participate in one of the season’s most enjoyable activities without an accident, follow these three essential steps.

 

Always Supervise

 

Kids need adult supervision when sledding or snow tubing. An adult should always be present to respond to emergencies and injuries on the spot. It also helps to have an adult make sure kids play it safe and are considerate of other snow-goers. Staffed hills are well supervised but can be crowded. Find a location where you can easily supervise your child, and recruit other parents to oversee runs as well.

 

Never Improvise

 

Make sure your kid uses a sled or snow tube in good condition. Properly inflate snow tubes. An underinflated tube is more likely to catch and drag, potentially causing crashes. Don’t use trash bags, shower curtains, or other slippery materials for a DIY sled. Sleds and tubes are designed to glide over the snow, protecting kids from sharp ice and rocks.

 

Location, Location, Location

 

Sledding and snow tubing areas can get very crowded. And more kids means more risk of kid-to-kid collisions. Also, choose a hill with plenty of snowfall and avoid going after a warm night. You want lots of soft, powdery snow to reduce the risk of injuries. Ideally, you’ll find a hill with few hazards, like trees or ponds, and with a flat area at the end to facilitate smooth stops.

 

Take Steps to Prevent Injuries

 

Nothing will get your kids off the couch faster during the winter than a trip to go sledding and snow tubing. But try to remember the potential for serious injury. Avoid a trip to the emergency room with the above tips. And always make sure you exchange information with parents if your child collides with another, in case you have to file a personal injury claim. Serious injuries can come with serious medical bills, so it’s important to hold negligent parents responsible. A seasoned Arlington Heights personal injury attorney can help you determine liability and seek compensation for your child’s injuries.

 

If your child has recently been injured, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Day Safety

Snow Day Safety When kids wake up to a blanket of freshly fallen snow on the ground, they have one thing on their mind: snow day! But to parents, a snow day can mean potential injuries. With a little preparation, however, you can help your kid have the best snow day ever without worrying about their safety.

 

Prepare for the Cold

 

Layering is the best way to conserve heat for kids and adults. Think multiple, lightweight and loose layers to trap warm air. Avoid using cotton as a base layer because it’s not moisture wicking. It’s best to use a poly or poly blend as a base layer to ensure your kids can sweat in the snow without losing heat.

 

Protect Those Little Hands

 

Protect their little hands and fingers with well fitting, water-resistant gloves. Frostbite can set in quickly, so make sure all their extremities are covered.

 

Increase Their Visibility

 

Snow glare and reduced daylight hours lower visibility. Keep your kids visible to motorists by dressing them in bright or reflective clothes.

 

Don’t Forget About Sun Protection

 

Snow can reflect up to 90% of UV rays, making snow days a prime culprit of winter sunburns, so break out that waterproof sunscreen from summer.

 

Practice Safe Sledding

 

Studies show sledding sends up to 20,000 kids to the ER each year, many with serious head injuries. Pick designated sledding areas, which will have fewer obstacles. Bring younger children at off-peak times to limit the chance of kid-to-kid collisions.

 

Safety Inspect Sports Gear

 

Update your kid’s winter sports gear every year. For skates, skis, and snowboards, well-fitting equipment is the key to safety. If you’re not sure how to do this, have a sports pro assess the fit.

 

Keep Them Hydrated

 

Cold winter air can be drying, especially for kids exerting themselves in play. Have kids take frequent breaks to hydrate, even if they aren’t thirsty. Studies have shown cold weather can play tricks on us, leaving us feeling more hydrated than we are. Take extra precaution with kids with asthma, as the dry air can tighten bronchial passages. Have them wear a scarf around their mouth to warm air before they inhale.

 

Be Wary of Ice and Snow

 

Even small accumulations of snow can hold hidden dangers, and not all water bodies are safe for skating. Check with local authorities to find safe skating spots, and have your kids be careful of freshly fallen snow or large drifts, which can cave in.

 

These are some of the most common dangers kids can face on a snow day. They want to have fun, and you want them to stay safe. Keeping the above tips in mind can make you both happy.

 

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight to get the compensation you deserve. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

Liability May Exist for Poor Conditions of Bike Trails

skokie valley bike trails path

With the weather being so frigidly cold and snowy, many people don’t use bike trails. But the Illinois Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case of a bicyclist injured while cycling on the Skokie Valley Bike Path. Bike trails and paths are at the forefront of their mind.

The Injury

In the early morning of August 2013, Kathy Corbett, an avid cyclist, was thrown from her bicycle was riding along the Skokie Valley Bike Path. However, she did not hit a pothole, speed bump, or other road defect. Corbett hit another cyclist who had also fallen from their bike due to bumps and groves in the pavement. Corbett’s attorney further elaborated on the condition of the bike path. “[T]here were tree roots growing under the asphalt and causing the asphalt to buckle…If you were on a bicycle, you couldn’t see it until you were right on top of it.”

[Read more…]

The Rewards and Risks of Hockey Season

The Rewards and Risks of Hockey Season

Hockey season in Illinois is nearly upon us. Soon, the Chicago Blackhawks and countless junior hockey leagues will be hitting the ice and dropping their pucks. Hockey is one of those sports that come with the risk of serious injuries. For professional and peewee leagues alike, injury prevention is a top priority. Some of the most common injuries include concussions, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones, all of which can require a long recovery.

Hockey Injuries and Insurance Claims

Typically, professional athletes sign releases in their contracts that limit the liability of the team as a legal entity (e.g., a franchise or an organization.) Thus, a professional player who is injured might not have grounds for a personal injury claim. The same goes for amateur and junior league hockey players. Once a release is signed, the player—or the player’s parent—then assumes responsibility for any and all injuries suffered when in practice or the game.

Exceptions to the Rule

Under certain circumstances, injured players can still seek compensation even if they signed a release. Injuries inflicted by negligent or malicious players—not uncommon in hockey—could result in civil liability. Teams aren’t necessarily responsible for every action of the players. So, when the gloves drop, liability isn’t as straightforward. Another situation where an injured player may be able to seek compensation is if his or her gear—such as a helmet—were defective. Unfortunately, these cases can be difficult to litigate.

Hockey injuries aren’t limited to the players. Even as a spectator, you could suffer serious injuries from a rowdy crowd. Indeed, hockey fans are notorious for their passion for the sport. A person who injured you could be liable if he or she were acting negligently, with intent, or were strictly liable for your injuries. The releases athletes sign often absolves the team itself of any strict liability. But if a player intentionally injures you—or your child—it helps to speak with an attorney to learn about your rights.

You’ll need the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney if you are seeking compensation for a hockey injury. Consult with a knowledgeable Arlington Heights personal injury attorney to discuss your case. An attorney can identify any liable parties and advise you on your legal rights. Again, contract releases and player agreements can limit the liability of the parties involved. This leaves the injured person with fewer options. But speaking with an attorney is the only way to know you’ve covered all your bases and can exercise all your rights.

Hockey Season Is Right Around the Corner

Stay safe this hockey season by being a considerate spectator and educating your junior leaguer on how to gear up properly, minimize the risk of injury when checking, and settle their disputes on the ice according to the league rules. Have a fun season, and let’s help the Blackhawks hoist the cup!

 

If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

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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