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Avoid Common Hunting Injuries—Take a Safety Course

09-04-17    

Almost one half of hunting related injuries occur during the short gun deer hunting season. A wide variety of injuries occur during hunting activities. While many are minor, serious injury with potential long-term disability or even death may result.

The most common hunting injuries are:

  1. Tree stand injuries
  2. Knife or arrow penetration
  3. Misfire/shooting accidents
  4. Slips and falls
  5. Weapon malfunction including blocked barrels, wrong ammunition, gun wear, bad arrows, unclean guns
  6. Overexertion/hypothermia
  7. Animal related injuries

The good news is that hunting accidents are one of the few categories of fatal accidents that have been in decline over the past two decades. Mandatory Hunter Safety Classes are credited for this trend.

Most states DNR’s offer hunter safety courses during late summer and early fall prior to the start of hunting seasons. Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources offers both instructor led and online courses for adults and a home study course for kids 12 and under. Click here to find the right course for you and your family.

Volunteer instructors schedule the instructor led courses, which usually are completed in a weekend. There are also trapper education courses. Once you complete a course, you can get certified by passing a test. The courses are free and the certification cost is $15. Learn when and where it is legal to hunt the game you want, hunting safety, and the safe handling of firearms.

Even the most experienced hunter can learn something new at one of these courses!


Don’t be a Statistic: Follow These Best Tree Stand Safety Practices

08-29-17    

One out of three hunters will fall from a tree stand in his or her hunting career. Tree stands are popular because they are an fun and effective way to hunt, but every year, hunters are seriously injured and killed from tree stand falls. Follow these basic safety tips to stay safe during the hunting season:

  • The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recommends a Full Body Safety Harness (FBSH) and a climbing safety strap whenever your feet leave the ground.
  • Take a free tree stand safety course online.It only takes 15 minutes and it meets industry standards recognized by Treestand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA). Tree stand safety has evolved over the years-stay on top of best practices.
  • Do not use a single-strap or waist-type harness.  These were once considered safe, but they can cause strangulation in the event of a fall.
  • Most accidents occur when climbing up or down from a tree stand so always use a climbing strap and never climb with anything in your hands. Instead, use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
  • Inspect your tree stand and harness for damage prior to each use. If a fall occurs, the harness should be replaced.
  • Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission for recalls on your old tree stand or safety equipment.
  • Always carry a cell phone or other means of emergency communication while out on a hunt, and let someone know the location where you will be hunting, and when you plan to return.

Putting the word “Fair” back into Fair Market Value: How to get the Insurance Company to Pay What You Deserve for Your Totaled Vehicle

08-15-17    

Guy leaning on a car

When your car has been damaged in an accident, the insurance company for the other driver often sends an appraiser out to look at your car or truck. If the car can be repaired for less than its fair market value, the insurance company must pay to fix your car. If the cost to repair your car exceeds its fair market value, the insurance company must pay you the fair market value. This means your car is totaled. But what if you don’t agree with the insurance company’s value? We see it all the time-the insurance company values a car less than it is worth.

When you hire the Rinehardt Law Firm for your injury claims we will assist you to get the best price for your car, free of charge.

If you want to deal with the insurance company on your own, there are some things you can do:

  • Ask your own automobile insurance company to have it’s claims adjuster estimate your vehicle’s fair market value (if you have collision coverage). If your insurance company’s valuation is higher, you have the right to collect that amount from your insurance company. Your insurance company will then collect that amount from the wrongdoer’s insurance company.
  • Try the NADA guide as one measure of value. This may provide insight for you as to what the car is worth. It is not enough to show the insurance company advertisements with asking prices for a used vehicle comparable to yours You must show what comparable vehicles are actually selling for in your market.
  • If you have made any recent repairs to your vehicle, you should provide copies of the receipts to the claims adjuster. Your recent repair costs can help you to show that your vehicle had a value greater than the “average” vehicle of that make and model. The same is true for any special equipment you have added to your car, such as upgraded tires or rims.

Murky Waters: A Common Misconception on Boat Safety

07-06-17    

Boat and a Jetski

When your car has been damaged in an accident, the insurance company for the other driver often sends an appraiser out to look at your car or truck. If the car can be repaired for less than its fair market value, the insurance company must pay to fix your car. If the cost to repair your car exceeds its fair market value, the insurance company must pay you the fair market value. This means your car is totaled. But what if you don’t agree with the insurance company’s value? We see it all the time-the insurance company values a car less than it is worth.

When you hire the Rinehardt Law Firm for your injury claims we will assist you to get the best price for your car, free of charge.

If you want to deal with the insurance company on your own, there are some things you can do:

  • Ask your own automobile insurance company to have it’s claims adjuster estimate your vehicle’s fair market value (if you have collision coverage). If your insurance company’s valuation is higher, you have the right to collect that amount from your insurance company. Your insurance company will then collect that amount from the wrongdoer’s insurance company.
  • Try the NADA guideas one measure of value. This may provide insight for you as to what the car is worth. It is not enough to show the insurance company advertisements with asking prices for a used vehicle comparable to yours. You must show what comparable vehicles are actually selling for in your market.
  • If you have made any recent repairs to your vehicle, you should provide copies of the receipts to the claims adjuster. Your recent repair costs can help you to show that your vehicle had a value greater than the “average” vehicle of that make and model. The same is true for any special equipment you have added to your car, such as upgraded tires or rims.

A Real Lifesaver: Choosing the Right Life Jacket for You

06-30-17    

Two people wearing life jackets in a kayak

According to the Ohio Division of State Parks and Watercraft, of the twelve boating-related fatalities which occurred in the state throughout 2016, eleven victims were found to not be wearing a personal floatation device. While floatation devices can be a nuisance with bulky padding and constricting straps, the fact remains, they can save you from drowning. Life jackets have long been the most viable, safe, and cost-effective floatation device available, and for personal watercraft riders, water-skiers, and children under the age of 10 on small vessels, Ohio law requires that life jackets be worn at all times. But do not despair-modern technology has offered up a breadth of alternatives to the traditional, cumbersome jacket model. Below are the important specs for all the major types, as well a few tips for putting your prospective purchase to the test:

Pick your Type:

Type I: Offshore Life Jacket

Pros: Extremely durable and highly buoyant, Type I jackets are intended for rough or otherwise intractable waters where rescue may be delayed. Also, they are designed to help unconscious wearers to float on their backs.

Cons: Cumbersome, not comfortable to wear for long periods of time

Type II: Near Shore Buoyant Vest

Pros: Sufficient buoyancy to support most boaters’ needs, especially in commonly-trafficked, relatively tame conditions where rescue will be expedient. Many Type II jackets also help unconscious wearers to back float.

Cons: While less cumbersome that Type I, Type II jackets are not meant to endure rough conditions or prolonged floating. Also, some models do not support unconscious wearers.

Type III – Flotation Aid

Pros: Lightweight, flexible and breathable

Cons: Most do not help unconscious floaters; not intended for inclement conditions.

Pick Your Style:

Inherently Buoyant

Pros: Require little to no maintenance, always performance-ready, approved for wearers of all ages

Cons: Less comfortable, occupy more space than alternatives

Inflatable

Pros: Depending on the model, Inflatable jackets are either meant to be filled manually or to inflate automatically upon contact with water. This feature makes them extremely compact and space-efficient.

Cons: Some, particularly self-inflated models, require assembly on the part of the wearer and are thereby more prone to malfunction. For this reason, they are forbidden from use on children and are not recommended for unskilled swimmers.

Hybrid

Pros: This alternative is meant to combine the safety and reliability of inherently buoyant models with the comfort and discretion of the inflatables. Their enhanced sleekness makes them an easy adjustment for reluctant jacket-wearers.

Cons: While they are available in child sizes, frequent maintenance checks are necessary to ensure their effectiveness.

Guarantee Your Fit

Even if a jacket is Coast Guard approved, failure to fit the device properly to one’s body can be just as dangerous as not wearing one at all, particularly in the case of small children wearing oversized jackets. There is an easy test to help determine whether a device is right for you: After inspecting the label to ensure the jacket is appropriate for your weight, properly secure all buckles so the garment fits snugly. Have another person pull lightly at the top of the arm openings as you hold your arms over your head. If the jacket bunches up over your face, obstructing your vision or breathing in any way, find a smaller size.

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