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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!

Additional Illinois Shoveling Tips

shoveling

As another snowstorm comes to Arlington Heights, remember that shoveling your sidewalk provides you immunity from liability. But at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., we want to provide you with the best safety advice on snowfall. The 1979 Snow and Ice Removal Act shields property owners from liability if someone gets hurt. But in a recent Illinois Supreme Court case, they clarified the requirements.

[Read more…]

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.

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.

 

 

Eagle Watching in Winter: How to Safety Enjoy Wildlife

Eagle Watching in Winter: How to Safety Enjoy WildlifeFrom late December to March, thousands of eagles make their way to Illinois to feast on fish from the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Winter is the perfect time to witness this wildlife spectacle. But with winter comes poor road conditions and inclement weather, making the drive out to some of the remote areas where you can see eagles hazardous. Also, the bright white flash of a bald eagle’s head is enough to distract you from safe driving. Consequently, it’s more important than ever to stay alert and safe on the road.

 

Safe and Fun Wildlife Watching

 

Eagle watching in Illinois is an event everyone can enjoy. But to do so safely, keep these things in mind:

 

You aren’t the only car on the road. Eagles gather and feed along rivers and streams until they freeze over. Roads that provide access to these areas might not have designated pull out areas or shoulders. Don’t be tempted to stop on the side of the road unless there is a place you can safely park. If you are unable to pull off the road fully, keep driving.

 

If you can safely and completely pull off the road, respect the eagles. Wildlife experts recommend you don’t come within a quarter mile from eagles and try to watch them from inside your vehicle (another reason to find a safe place to pull off.) Use binoculars instead of trying to get closer. Avoid making loud noises. Even just slamming your car door can alarm an eagle. Eagles need to conserve their energy, and disturbing them can hinder their ability to do so.

 

Practice common sense. Be careful when driving at dusk and dawn when eagles are most active. Other wildlife, such as deer and small mammals, may also be active during these times. When coupled with low visibility, your risk for an accident goes up. If the sun starts to set while you’re eagle watching, consider packing up and heading home. Use high beam headlights if you can, and stay vigilant when scanning the road.

 

The winter eagle migration is a must see. Be cautious when driving at dawn and dusk, and always pull your car entirely off the road. Leave the eagles undisturbed and enjoy one of Illinois’ most amazing wildlife spectacles. If you are involved in an accident while out on the roads this winter, consult with an experienced Arlington Heights auto accident attorney. An attorney can help you file your claim and get you fair compensation for your losses.

 

If you’ve been injured in a car 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 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.

 

Winter Motorcycle Safety

Winter Motorcycle Safety Winter weather brings rain, snow, and ice to Illinois’ roads, all of which are significant hazards to motorcyclists. Motorcycles weigh less than cars, have a different center of gravity and a smaller tire footprint, all making them susceptible to losing traction, slipping, and skidding out of control. Although riding in wet, icy conditions isn’t recommended, here are a few safety tips if you do find yourself out on the road this winter.

 

Use Common Sense

 

Motorcycles and cars should slow down when the roads are slippery or visibility is low. Slowing down is step one to motorcycle safety. Go easy on the accelerator and give yourself plenty of time to break or make turns. Pay attention to black ice, slush, or wet leaves on the ground; these can cause you to lose control in the blink of an eye.

 

Be Aware of Your Traction

 

Tire pressure decreases in cold weather. For motorcycle tires, which already have a low tire to road surface area, low tire pressure means less traction. Check your tire pressure before every ride, especially in the morning or after prolonged periods parked outdoors.

 

Gear Up Right

 

You don’t know cold until you’ve ridden a motorcycle in the winter. Even at low speeds, the air chill is enough to inhibit your ability to react quickly to hazards on the road. Wear a full-face, DOT-approved helmet and ruggedized jacket and pants. Wear waterproof, wind-proof gloves, and consider heated gloves or handlebars to make sure your hands stay flexible and responsive.

 

Know When to Stop

 

When the snow starts to fall, park your bike. Even if you are experienced, you should be concerned about other cars. You’ll need to go very slow to keep control of your motorcycle in the snow, and most car drivers won’t appreciate that. Although they should exercise the same caution and are required to share the road with all motor vehicles, don’t chance it.

 

Emergency Response

 

If your bike won’t start or you crash, you should have it towed. But keep in mind, not all tow trucks can tow a bike. You need to find a tower with a flatbed, which can be hard, especially in adverse weather. Get the number for one in advance. Ask other bikers for recommendations or join the American Motorcyclist Association, which can provide roadside assistance in emergencies.

 

 

If you’ve been involved in an accident, consult with an experienced Arlington Heights motorcycle accident attorney. Find an attorney who is familiar with motorcycle accident cases and understands the unique challenges you may face. Motorcycle accidents can be fatal or result in traumatic injuries. When seriously injured, it’s crucial to work with an attorney who can be your advocate so you can focus on recovery.

 

Safety First

 

Winter weather conditions aren’t ideal for motorcyclists, but if you’re not deterred, follow these motorcycle safety tips to stay in control while you ride. Go slow, be wary of cars on the road, and know when it isn’t safe to ride.

 

If you have 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.

 

 

 

Sleet, Snow, and Ice: How to Stay Safe on Slippery Roads

Sleet, Snow, and Ice: How to Stay Safe on Slippery RoadsSleet, snow, and ice are the culprits of many auto accidents in the winter. If you only drive in these conditions occasionally, it’s difficult to develop the skills and experience needed to avoid collisions on slippery winter roads. While the best way to sharpen your driving skills is getting behind the wheel to practice, here are some tips to keep in mind when heading out on slippery roads this winter.

 

Stay in Control

 

Slippery roads significantly increase braking distance. Whether on snow or ice, you can expect it to take longer to brake to a stop. Similarly, ice and snow can cause your tires to lose traction. So the first thing you should do is drive slower when the roads are slippery. This can reduce the chance your tires will lose traction and make it easier to come to a full stop if you lose control.

 

You should also increase your following distance. Because braking times are longer and the risk of losing control is greater on slippery roads, you need to increase your following distance, so you have a better chance of bringing your vehicle to a stop or avoiding a collision with the vehicle in front of you.

 

Easy Does It

 

In addition to driving slower and increasing your following distance, take it easy when turning or accelerating. Slippery roads are difficult to navigate, and accelerating can cause loss of traction. Similarly, executing turns on slick roads—even at very low speeds—can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Corners and intersections are dangerous points in the road to lose control because pedestrians and bicyclists are more likely to be crossing the street. To keep yourself and others safe, be gentle with the accelerator and cautious when turning.

 

Watch Out for Other Drivers

 

No matter how slow and safe you drive on slippery roads, you could still get in an accident. Other drivers on the road pose a threat to you, so watch out for them. And if you are involved in an accident, contact an attorney right away. A knowledgeable Arlington Heights car accident attorney can explain your rights and help you navigate the insurance claims process from start to finish.

 

Filing an auto-accident claim can be overwhelming, and Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer understands how you feel. 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.

 

 

 

 

Help for Seniors During the Holiday Season

Winter can bring many health care challenges for older people. With many suffering from mobility issues, it becomes important for family, friends, and neighbors to make sure the senior citizens in their life are safe. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that you provide them with safe conditions in case they do explore outside of the home. During the winter months, ice, snow and cold temperatures can make life challenging for everyone. Specifically, slippery sidewalks and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses for seniors.

Lending a Helping Hand

Everyday tasks that we take for granted can become too much of  a challenge for senior citizens and sometimes a safety issue–such as using a ladder. So reach out to seniors in your family and neighborhood and offer to help them with chores and activities during the holiday season.

[Read more…]

2018 Winter Safe Driving Tips and Tricks

Many people don’t just walk through the winter wonderland anymore. Additionally, few of us take a sleigh ride. And if you watch the news, you would think everyone boards a plane at O’Hare. But most people drive to their holiday parties.  How can you make sure you make it there with the pie you baked and the presents for Gramma?

[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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