What Are Some Tips to Prevent Stroller Injuries to Children?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Although stroller and other child safety technologies have advanced over the years, they are still not 100% safe in every situation. During a five-year study, there were an estimated 64,373 stroller-related injuries to children three years old and younger. In the study, 70% of children came to hospitals for stroller-related head traumas. Stroller injuries are unfortunately common, particularly in the first year of a child’s life. Learn how to prevent stroller injuries, and help ensure your child does not become a statistic.

Choose Your Stroller Wisely

Stroller safety begins with buying the right stroller for your child. There are a variety of stroller designs available to parents today, each with its own pros and cons. When looking for strollers for your baby, consider where you will be using the device. If you live in a city, for example, you will need one that can maneuver along sidewalks and collapse to fit onto a bus or subway. In more rural locations, you may need a more durable stroller for dirt roads that can fold to fit inside your vehicle’s trunk. Also, think about when you will be using the stroller. There are special strollers designed for jogging, for instance.

Your child’s age is a major consideration when choosing a stroller. A newborn needs a stroller that reclines, since newborns cannot sit up or support the weight of their heads. Some strollers work with a bassinet attachment or infant car seat. Jogging strollers and umbrella strollers typically are not meant for newborns younger than six months old, as they do not provide adequate head support. If your baby has special needs, the stroller needs storage for any necessary equipment.

Check Your Stroller’s Brakes

A stroller rolling into traffic is a parent’s worst nightmare. Help prevent this tragedy by choosing a stroller with practical, easy to operate brakes. A special safety feature on some strollers is brakes that lock two wheels for extra protection. The brakes should be easy to engage, but not easy to disengage. Make sure the brake release lever is out of reach of your child while in the stroller. Always engage your brakes when you stop the stroller. Check for stroller recalls to ensure that you do not purchase one with a known defect or hazard.

Know Your Stroller’s Pinch Points

Most strollers today are expertly designed to prevent child injuries. Checking the design for yourself, however, is an excellent way to ensure you purchase the safest one for your needs. Many stroller injuries result from pinched or caught extremities, leading to lacerations or crushed bones. If you need a double stroller, for example, look for one with a single footrest to avoid your child’s feet becoming trapped between separate footrests.

Often, strollers have hinges that may injure a child’s fingers. Manufacturers have even recalled several models for this reason over the years. Use the pencil test to check for other parts of the stroller that could potentially pinch or injure your child. If the pencil can go into a point and get stuck, your child’s fingers are at risk. Keep a close eye to keep your child’s hands away from recognized pinch points, and keep children a safe distance away while folding and unfolding the stroller.

Stay Close to the Stroller

Never leave your child unattended in the stroller or unbuckled. Watch out for any situation that could lead to the stroller tipping over, as this is a common cause of stroller-related head injuries. Avoid hanging heavy items on the stroller’s handlebars to further prevent this issue, and ensure that your child is within the weight limits of the stroller. Prevent accidents from happening by knowing what to look out for and staying close to your child while in the stroller.

Posted by at 9:18 pm

Can I Hire an Attorney in a Different State Than Where I Reside/Accident Happened?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Accidents can happen at any time and in any place. When one occurs in a different state than where you reside, it can complicate the claims process. The laws may be different than in your state, and you may want to hire an attorney who holds a license in the state where you are addressing the legal issue.

Protocol for Interstate Legal Problems

Jurisdiction laws typically require that you file a case in the state where the accident occurred. However, it is common for plaintiffs to want to hire a lawyer from their home state. In general, an attorney must have admittance to the state bar in the state in which he or she wishes to represent a client. This is true for any kind of case, whether you need an attorney to represent you in a personal injury suit or a real estate transaction. If you need an attorney to represent you in the state in which an accident happened, the attorney must have a license in that particular state.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you would prefer to use an attorney from your home state with whom you have worked before in a different state, find out if that state will grant your attorney a limited law license. States will grant this request in some situations, usually for public defenders or legal aid services. The attorney must have a license to practice law in another state for this option. Some states also allow an in-house counsel exception, in which a corporation hires an out-of-state attorney to represent them as in-house counsel.

In some cases, the state will allow an attorney from out of state to represent a client “for this one case,” or “pro hac vice.” The attorney must petition the court to represent the client and must have a license in another state. It is up to the court’s discretion whether to grant the petition, grant it with conditions, or deny the petition. A condition may be that the attorney must work with in-state counsel, for example.

Pro hac vice is only a good option if the attorney is familiar with local and state laws. An attorney can obtain state licensure without taking the bar exam in certain situations. If an attorney has practiced law in another state for a certain number of years, some states will grant faster admission to the bar. This is called reciprocity.

Should You Hire an Out-of-State Attorney?

Deciding whether to try to bring an out-of-state attorney to your case or to hire an attorney in an unfamiliar state depends greatly on the circumstances of your case. If you are the defendant in a case, for example, your insurance company will likely provide you with a personal injury lawyer. In this case, you would not have to worry about hiring an attorney at all. Since most personal injury cases get settled outside of court without litigation, your attorney only needs to be competent and knowledgeable enough to skillfully handle negotiations.

If you are the plaintiff, on the other hand, the state in which your personal injury attorney holds a license matters more. If you believe your case will go to court instead of reaching a settlement, it is wise to hire a personal injury attorney who lives near you. This makes it easier to communicate with them regularly about your case’s progress and work with them face-to-face. However, it is crucial that you hire an attorney with the proper skill set and expertise to obtain the best outcome for your case.

An out-of-state attorney may not have as deep a grasp of the state laws as a local attorney. Ask your desired attorney if petitioning the court to practice law in a different state is the best option for your case.

Posted by at 10:18 pm