The Most Common Spring Accident Personal Injury Claims (Part 2)
Even if it’s only a few months every year, winter in Alberta can feel like an eternity of brutal cold, blowing snow, and endless dark—it’s no surprise that as the snow melts, the weather warms, and the sun returns, Albertans are eager to get outside and enjoy spring.
Unfortunately, the return of warm weather means an increase in personal injuries; according to Statistics Canada, 23% of all injuries occur between late March and June. Over the course of this article and its companion piece, The Most Common Spring Accident Personal Injury Claims (Part 1), we will examine some of the most common types of personal injuries that occur during spring, why these injuries occur, and what you can do if you are injured due the actions of another.
After enduring months of limited time outdoors, kids in particular are excited to get outside and get moving; sports, playgrounds, and other outdoor activities are great ways for kids to get some exercise and have fun. But it’s not all fun and games—a report by the Canadian Public Health Association based on the most recent data available indicates that nearly 2,000 Canadian children under the age of 18 required hospitalizations between 2014 and 2015.
The leading cause of playground injuries is falls. While it is possible that some playground injuries are the result of insufficient supervision, or pure bad luck, it is possible that faulty or damaged playground equipment may contribute to (or exacerbate) injuries—especially if the equipment has not been well-maintained over the winter months.
Humans are not the only creatures that look forward to spending more time outside during spring; our furry, four-legged companions also delight in being outside to enjoy the sights and (especially) the smells. Unfortunately, not all dogs are properly trained, adequately socialized, or comfortable being around other people and pets.
- Among infants and toddlers bitten by dogs, more than 2/3rds required emergency treatment for injuries sustained to their faces, heads or necks;
- More children between the ages of 5 and 9 received emergency treatment for dog-bite injuries than for ice-hockey injuries.
- Dog-bite injuries accounted for more emergency department visits than trampoline injuries among youths aged 10-14.
Under Alberta’s Dangerous Dog Act and Occupier’s Liability Act, the owner of a dog may be liable for injuries resulting from a dog bite.
Between initiating home renovation projects dreamed up over the winter and the start of “deck season” in Alberta, spring means that Albertans ranging from professional tradespeople to inspired amateurs are picking up tools and getting to work. With a significant portion of Albertans working to improve their homes, the likelihood of construction accidents increases.
According to a report from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting Prevention Program, the leading causes of home improvement and maintenance injuries requiring hospitalizations are:
- using power and non-powered tools;
- falling from ladders;
- small particle debris (e.g., sawdust in the eyes);
- hits against, or cuts by, materials; and
- slips and trips.
Injuries caused by tools can be self-inflicted, but it is not uncommon for defective, poorly made (or poorly-maintained) tools to fail, resulting in another party being potentially liable.
What Options Are Available If I’m Injured?
When you have suffered an injury (especially through no fault of your own), it can seem like every single system is working against you; the courts can be confusing and time-consuming, insurance companies will do everything possible to deny you compensation to which you may be entitled, and the parties responsible for your injuries may deny fault.
While there may be temptation to navigate an insurance claim alone, you will have to contend with complex and technical language, strict deadlines, and wealthy insurance corporations that make money explicitly by refusing to pay out claims.
A personal injury lawyer is the best ally you can have in the fight for compensation. A personal injury lawyer works for you—they can file the necessary paperwork; leverage strong knowledge of, and experience with, the legal system; provide disbursements to cover incidental costs while a claim is being filed; and ensure that you get every cent to which you are entitled.