I Resolve to …
New Year’s resolutions. Many of us make them, but not many of us manage to keep them. They generally have to do with things we feel, if accomplished, would make us a better, or healthier, or more prosperous person. We resolve to lose weight, or stop smoking, or to start working out or running, or to simply try to be a nicer human being.
These are all laudable and worthwhile objectives, and we encourage everyone to do your best to achieve whatever goals you’ve resolved to reach in 2012. But, we have a couple of items we’d like to suggest that you add to your list. They’re not traditional New Year’s resolutions, but we think they would be worth your time and effort, and might save you, or a loved one, or even a total stranger from harm and/or liability in the coming months and years.
Make a List … or Several
- Have all your vehicles checked thoroughly for potential safety issues. This means your cars, motorcycles, motor homes, watercraft, camping trailers, bicycles, even your skateboard. Check them all to be sure that wheels, brakes, lights – anything that could cause an accident, should it malfunction – are in good working order.
- Take a tour around your home and surrounding property with a clipboard and a pen. Make note of any potential safety hazard that should be removed, repaired, replaced, cleaned up, or thrown away – inside and outside your home. Loose bricks, rotten trees, exposed electrical, plumbing, or pool equipment that might cause a fall or other injury. Be sure to check water heaters, pool heaters, and other gas appliances. See to it that your pets are secured and cannot leave your property. Don’t worry about fixing everything. Just make a complete list.
- If you’re a business owner, and work from an office or storefront, take the same tour and make the same list of items that need attention at your place of business. This should be done not only with an eye to potential customers and visitors, but with employees in mind as well. The people who work for you, and are in your office or store every day, are the ones most likely to be injured by any unattended hazard.
- Review your auto, home, and business property and liability insurance policies. Be sure they have been kept up to date with inflation and the changing value of your home or business. Make adjustments when you find something lacking. Even if your home or office offers little apparent opportunity for personal injury, you can never foresee every potential risk. Protect yourself.
- And finally, even if you’re a renter at home or at work, you are not relieved of responsibility should injury occur on your rented property. So, after you’ve taken a good look at all the above, and have made your lists, present them to the person who is responsible for their maintenance and repair. This might be the property owner, a management agency, or an on-site property manager. Document, in some way, that you have relayed your concerns and your list to the proper entity. You can use registered or certified mail with a signature receipt to accomplish this. Then, follow up on your concerns until they are addressed.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
Now, we realize that this is a big resolution. But remember, it doesn’t all have to be disposed of immediately. Start by making your list. You might be surprised at how many things you find to include on it. Then, prioritize your list and start addressing the most important and potentially dangerous items first. Hack away at it regularly. And before you know it, you’ll have them all cleared up in plenty of time to start a new list in January of 2013. We never suggested it would be a one-time thing.
All of us at The Mandell Law Firm wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year. And, while you’re at it, it never hurts to stop smoking.
We’re Here to Help
When considering a claim for injury resulting from accident or negligence, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in this field, and who has demonstrated a determination to fight for his or her clients.To arrange a free consultation, contact Robert Mandell at The Mandell Law Firm in Northridge. 818.886.6600.