As daylight hours lengthen and the sun dries up the floods we are able to break our hibernation and venture out into our beautiful area to revel in the fun of summer. Whilst we are all giddy on sunshine our resident legal eagle draws on a lifetime of dealing with accident claims of all varieties to highlight common summer problems that can cause often catastrophic injuries and can so easily be avoided.
One of the main and obvious benefits of the seasonal rise in temperature is that we can wear fewer clothes and whilst this is liberating do not forget that a primary use of clothes is to provide protection. Having acted for several groundsmen who were allowed to wear soft shoes or were not supplied with steel toe capped boots I consider myself lucky that I can use my own digits to count past twenty. They can’t!
It’s sweaty and uncomfortable to wear boots but when using lawnmowers, strimmers and trimmers the discomfort just must be endured or the consequences can be a permanent loss of weight, but in a bad way.
Boots in summer may cause athlete’s foot but they help prevent the much more deadly “gravel rash” particularly when riding your fairweather only motorcycle. Flipflops and Fireblade’s don’t mix!
Whilst we are on the point, if you must take your girlfriend on the back of your bike because it’s a nice day and she is only an occasional pillion she will need protection just as much as you. If you love her, protect her and, don’t take this the wrong way, the best thing to do is buy her lots of leather gear!
The rise in the use of cycle helmets has to be applauded and whilst they cannot prevent the recent spate of fatal cycle accidents in London they can save you from brain damage if you are sent flying after your front wheel disappears into a pothole caused by the spring melt of the winter frost that eats tarmac. It is now a real live legal issue for insurers to argue that cyclists have contributed to their head injury by failing to wear a helmet. In a car accident damages could be reduced by up to 25% so a similar argument could be used against a cyclist. Wear a helmet however hot it gets.
There is always a welcome rise in employment in Summer and we must be thankful that with more people able to get out, there are more consumers so more work. The rise in work brings welcome benefits but increased risk and that needs good management. Personal protective equipment by its very nature is often heavy, cumbersome and insufferably hot with hard hats becoming an instrument of torture on a par with thumb screws and the rack from the dark ages. Discard it at your peril though and if you do again it may be difficult avoid criticism from a Judge should you be injured and bring a claim for compensation.
Summer is a wonderful time of year and to be enjoyed by all and one of the most iconic sounds of our childhood is that of the ice cream van followed by the click of mum’s purse. Despite today’s kids having iPads and Xboxes they are still excited at the thought of a ninety nine and do run across the road in a state of ecstasy. Trust me my most depressing yet worthy cases in my career have been on behalf of children knocked down around an ice cream van. There is a reason these vans now have “Mind that Child” on the back so as a car driver take note and crawl past at no more than walking pace. If you don’t and the worst happens you may have a very restricted view of the sun through a small window with metal bars!
Have a lovely and safe summer.