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Scales of Justice

Fire Safety For the Cold Months Ahead

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Fire Safety For the Cold Months Ahead

Many Oklahoma residents turn to gas fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and electric blankets to stay warm in the cold winter months.

It’s important to stay safe, take precautions and be prepared to escape if a fire does occur. Minutes can mean life and death in a fire situation; how can you be prepared?

Tips for Home Fire Safety

  1. Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas.
  2. Replace batteries in smoke detectors once a year at the same time. To help remember, replace your batteries on one of the time change weekends or another memorable date. Replace alarms every 10 years.
  3. Do not leave your kitchen unattended when cooking.
  4. Have a plan and discuss it with your family and children. Plan an escape route and alternate routes. Practice it with your family.
  5. Replace faulty or worn-out electrical appliances or appliances with frayed cords.
  6. Clean the lint filter on your clothes dryer every time you use it and clean your dryer exhaust duct once per year.
  7. Clear space around your heater. Anything that could catch fire; curtains, clothing, bedding, children’s toys, and extra firewood – check your specific type of heater for clearance suggestions.
  8. Electric heaters should be turned off at the power source when not using them.
  9. A fireplace should be completely extinguished before you go to bed or leave your house.
  10.  Have a fire extinguisher in your home.
  11. Beware of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.  CO is an odorless and colorless gas that is formed when something burns, commonly wood or gas.  Make sure that all smoke and gas fumes (even though you can’t smell them) are vented to the outside.  Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for use in sleeping areas and where wood or gas is burned.

Fire Facts

More than 2,200 people die each year due to fires at home. Most of these deaths by home fire are in homes with no smoke alarms or in homes with smoke alarms that do not work.

A smoke alarm’s warning can cut the risk of dying from a fire in your home by almost half. Smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2014.

Defective Products

No matter the precautions you take in your home, there are some things that cannot be prevented by your safety measures. Potential fire hazards also exist in defective products like electric blankets and heaters.

Even if you use these products under their safety recommended guidelines, if defective, they can pose a risk to you, your family and your home.

Register your products online, this will allow manufacturers to notify you if you have a recalled product. Another way to stay up to date on safety recalls is to receive alerts from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC sends updates via email on current recalled items.

If you’ve been injured or hurt because of a defective product, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Carr & Carr. We might be able to help you receive compensation allowed by law for damages or injuries. We work with individuals and families across the United States who have been hurt by dangerous products. 

It doesn’t cost you anything to call and talk to a product liability attorney to see what options you have. Please call us today at 888-238-4282 to arrange your consultation or contact us online.

Posted in FAQ

Is Oklahoma Settlement Money Taxable?

Many people wonder if the money they expect to receive from an insurance carrier is taxable. Generally speaking, money received from a personal injury settlement is not taxable. According to the IRS, if you receive a settlement award based on a personal injury and did not make a deduction for your medical expenses related to your injury, the full amount is not taxable. However, if you did take an itemized deduction for the medical expenses you paid in more than one year, you must include in income that portion of the settlement that is for medical expenses you deducted in prior years to the extent the deduction provided a tax benefit. Continue reading “Is Oklahoma Settlement Money Taxable?”

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Property Damage Checklist: Submitting A Claim

property damage claim
Call Carr & Carr Attorneys if you are having problems with a property damage claim.

After major damage to your home, business, car or other property, there are a few steps that you need to take to help with insurance and other paperwork in the coming months. Overwhelming and often intimidating, submitting property damage claims to your insurance company can be complicated, but may ultimately be worth it if you are eligible to receive financial assistance to help deal with your loss. Continue reading “Property Damage Checklist: Submitting A Claim”

Posted in FAQ

What Is A Statute Of Limitations?

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The statute of limitations varies from state to state, and can be different based on circumstances. Talk to an attorney to find out details.

If you have been injured in a car wreck or other manner due to someone else’s negligence, you need to be aware of the statue of limitations and how it can impact your case.  A statute of limitations is the time limit which you have to file a lawsuit. Continue reading “What Is A Statute Of Limitations?”

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What’s A Fair Settlement Offer From An Insurance Company?

If you have been injured in an accident, such as a car accident, that wasn’t your fault, an insurance adjuster may contact you as soon as a few days after the accident.  Typically, the adjuster will want to settle your claim before you’ve had a chance to contact an attorney.  Almost always, the insurance company will offer you an amount of money that does not fairly compensate you for your medical bills, possible future medical bills and pain and suffering.  While it may seem tempting to go ahead and settle early, it’s risky to do so because you do not know the full extent of your injuries so soon after the accident. Continue reading “What’s A Fair Settlement Offer From An Insurance Company?”

Posted in FAQ

Homeowner’s Insurance: Proper Coverage Protects Your Home and Possessions

Home insurance is a necessity for both homeowners and renters.  Without insurance, you have no protection for your house, family and personal possessions, not to mention financial protection if an accident occurs on your property.  Because home owner’s insurance involves so many variables, no one-size-fits-all plan will work for every family.  Continue reading “Homeowner’s Insurance: Proper Coverage Protects Your Home and Possessions”

Posted in FAQ

Tye Smith: McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case Is Not What You Think

By Tye Smith, attorney in our Oklahoma City office

I had planned to write about the second reason why BIG business wants these laws passed.  That’s going to have to wait.

A lot of people I talk to about these issues always say something along the lines of, “Well, I tend to agree with you, but wouldn’t you also have to agree with me that when people are getting millions of dollars for spilling coffee on themselves, something needs to be fixed?”  So, let’s talk about hot coffee.

This McDonald’s coffee case is such a shocking example of BIG business being intellectually dishonest with America that a documentary has been produced.  The film is called “Hot Coffee.”  It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was such a hit that it was bought by HBO.  It should be on TV pretty soon.  You won’t want to miss it.  Click the video to watch an interview with the lady who made the film.  It is worth the 2 minutes it takes to watch it.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHdfRPuEJsk&feature=player_embedded

BIG business spent umpteen million dollars promoting lies about the McDonald’s coffee case as an example of why our legal system needs fixed.  The public was never given the true story about what happened.  As a result, good intentioned people like yourself were only told the lie that BIG business paid to promote and people like yourself were tricked into believing the lie.

I call this being intellectually dishonest.  It sickens me.  My hope is that when you are given the facts, you will be just as outraged at those who promoted the lie as you were at the lawyers, legal system and the old lady who supposedly got rich.  Fortunately, other people before me have written an account of what really happened, so I am going to borrow from their work.

The Facts Of The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case

Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was in the passenger seat of her grandson’s car when she was severely burned by McDonald’s coffee in February 1992. Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was served in a Styrofoam cup at the drive-through window of a local McDonald’s.

After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward and stopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee.  Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.  Liebeck placed the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from the cup.  As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled into her lap.

The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (commonly called third-degree burns) over six percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting.  Liebeck, who also endured painful debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000 but McDonald’s refused.

McDonald’s Knew The Coffee Was Dangerously Hot

During discovery (discovery is the pre-trial process where each party asks for information from the other side to discover important facts), McDonald’s produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992.  Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebeck’s.  This history documented McDonald’s  knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard.

Continue reading “Tye Smith: McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case Is Not What You Think”

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