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Protecting Yourself for the Upcoming New Year

Protecting yourself and your family can mean many things: having insurance, living somewhere you feel safe, and staying healthy. With the upcoming new year, our personal injury and insurance attorneys created a guide on how you can protect yourself this new year.

Filing Insurance Claims

After sustaining damage on an insured item, you will need to document all damage done so that you can file an insurance claim. Insurance claims can get you a payout from your insurance company to help rebuild or replace the item, or in some cases pay medical bills for those involved in the accident. When filing an insurance claim, consult a trusted insurance attorney who can help guide you through the filing process so that you can get the largest payout possible in the least amount of time.

Storm Damage

If you own your home, it is critical that you also insure it. Disasters are right around the corner this winter, and home insurance can save you thousands when it comes to leaky roofs, broken windows, and structural damage resulting from winter storms.

If you become a victim of winter storm damage, document all of the damage — including damage to your home, your possessions indoors, and your family. Any injuries sustained during the home damage, such as a partial collapse or wounds from a broken window, may be covered under your home insurance policy.

Car Accidents

The winter months can be much more dangerous to drive in as the roads may get slick and icy or even completely covered in snow. When driving, stay alert and watch for unfavorable driving conditions or accidents around you.

If you get into a car accident, pull over if you can and dial 911. If safe and while waiting for the police to arrive, exchange license and insurance information with the other driver so you can file an insurance claim for any vehicle damage. A police officer will assess the damage to both vehicles and you will receive a written report which can be used in your insurance filing.

When filing your insurance claim, compile images of both vehicles and your written report and consult a trusted insurance attorney. An insurance attorney can help you with the filing process and make sure that you provide all the information the insurance company needs.

Defective Products

Holiday gifting is exciting, especially in the eyes of your little ones. But the holiday spirit may be dampened if gifts are defective. If you suspect that you have been given a defective product, remove all batteries if possible and put the product in a safe place. Make sure to document the defect so your defective product attorney can help trace the defect back when filing a claim.

Road Safety

When on the road, remember that the roads may be a bit busier this time of year. Holiday shoppers, those out to visit their families, and those engaging in holiday festivities will all be on the roads at the same time as you, so remember to have patience on the roads. We also recommend you to:

  • Give other cars around you space, especially if you are on an icy or slick road.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times when driving.
  • Stay alert and look for other cars and obstacles around you.
  • Slow down and begin to brake earlier than normal.
  • Refrain from driving erratically.
  • If you pass by an accident, move one lane over to give the accident space.
  • If you are unable to drive due to intoxication, take a ridesharing service, such as Uber or Lyft.
  • If the weather conditions make it unsafe to drive, stay home.

If you spot inclement weather conditions or the weather around you is making it unsafe to drive, pull over for the time being into a parking lot. Putting yourself in safe situations can largely help you stay safe on the road this holiday season.

Home Safety

While home insurance is a key part of home safety, there are a few more things that you can do to protect your family this winter.

Winter Decorations

If you are hanging holiday decorations and lights, make sure that all lights are plugged in properly. Avoid “daisy-chaining” lights, as they can be dangerous and start electrical fires. Instead, plug your lights into one outdoor grade extension cord to protect your home from decoration damage. Do not overload extension cords above their capacity and check the wiring to make sure it is not frayed. If there is frayed wiring, your lights or extension cords can injure someone or start fires.

In indoor situations, make sure that all lights and plug-ins are plugged into a surge protector in case of an electrical short. Periodically check your lights to make sure they are working properly and if you spot an issue, unplug them immediately.

If you use candles in your windows during the wintertime, consider exchanging your candles with electric candles instead. Battery-operated or plug-in candles can eliminate the risk of fire, as the candles do not actually burn but instead use light to simulate burning.

Sidewalks and Driveways

If it snows or ices over, make sure to clear your sidewalk and driveway by shoveling, snow blowing, or salting. Clearing walkways can protect you and your family from slip and fall injuries this winter.

If you are filing an insurance claim as a result of damage this winter, call our insurance attorneys at (515) 298-5056 today to schedule an initial consultation. Our skilled lawyers can help you file your claim and earn the best payout possible.

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