HALLOWEEN SURVIVAL GUIDE: STAYING SAFE ON THE SCARIEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR
Costume parties, roving Disney and superhero characters, monster movie marathons, free candy — Halloween can be one of the most entertaining celebrations of the year. Unfortunately, Halloween is also one of the most hazardous nights of the year. Many cities see a spike in vandalism, theft, and other crimes. Drivers need to be on high alert for the dangers posed by children in dark costumes on poorly lit streets, as well as other risks stemming from adults who’ve partied too much before getting behind the wheel.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your loved ones and your property safe so you can enjoy the celebration.
PROTECTING YOUR HOME: THEFT, VANDALISM, ACCIDENTS, AND PETS
One study found that violent crime in Boston went up significantly during the evening hours of October 31 over a four-year period—nearly double the average number of incidents, and 50 percent higher than any other date of the year. Property crime is also a problem—not just a little vandalism by pranksters, but home burglaries and car thefts, too. According to a report on NerdWallet, “crime-related insurance claims spike by 24% on Halloween, more than on any other day of the year.”
Many of these offenses are crimes of opportunity. Homes are kept dark to discourage trick-or-treaters or because the occupants are out on the town, but the lack of light encourages burglars. Home security experts recommend leaving some lights on if you’re not home and installing motion-activated lights outside the home to dissuade prowlers. If your Halloween plans do take you away from home, don’t announce your absence on social media.
If you are staying home, make sure you’re prepared to receive trick-or-treaters. Walkways should be well-lit and free of obstacles. Pets should be out of the way. If you have elaborate decorations, make sure they’re not so overwhelming that people could trip on them or that they block your view of who’s at your door.
SAFETY TIPS FOR TRICK-OR-TREATING
If you are accompanying a younger set of trick-or-treaters (age 12 or under), remember that visibility is a major concern. Plan a safe route, stay on sidewalks, hand out flashlights and keep the group together. Unaccompanied older children should have an established curfew, a cell phone, and ground rules about not going into strangers’ homes. The National Safety Council has these costume safety tips:
- Bright colors and flame-retardant materials are best
- Face paint is preferable to heavy masks that make it hard to see
- Use reflective tape on costumes to make them easier to see after dark
- Avoid sharp or cumbersome accessories, such as swords, wands, or high heels
- Be sure your child is addressed appropriately for the weather under the costume
Also, be sure to set rules about not snacking on the candy haul before the rounds are finished. That way you can sift through the candy at home, weeding out suspicious or spoiled items, choking hazards, or allergens.
DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
Statistically, children are twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween as any other day of the year. With so many young people on the streets from twilight until well into the evening, it’s a good idea to turn your headlights on early, proceed cautiously on residential streets, and be on the lookout for kids who may bolt from between parked cars or not see you coming because of costumes that impair peripheral vision.
If you’re headed for a party where alcohol will be served, make sure that you’ve established a designated driver in advance — and watch out for those on the road who didn’t. If you encounter someone you suspect is driving drunk, don’t hesitate to report them to law enforcement, by calling 911, *DUI or *CSP, and do your part to make the roads a little less scary this Halloween.
AZAR FIRM HONORED FOR ETHICS, ATTORNEY ACHIEVEMENTS
A 600-year-old English proverb suggests that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. But at Franklin D. Azar & Associates, the accolades and awards keep pouring in, and they only seem to encourage our team in their quest for excellence.
Among the latest honors coming our way is the news that the Azar firm has been named a finalist for the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards, which are presented to businesses that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to integrity and ethical practices. Out of hundreds of applicants across the country, the Azar firm is one of only a handful to make it to the finals —and the only law firm in the competition’s “Great West+Pacific” eight-state region to be so recognized. “The Torch Awards for Ethics embodies BBB’s mission of advancing trust in the marketplace and celebrating business role models,” declares the BBB announcement of the finalists.
On another front, Expertise.com recently recognized the Azar firm as among the Best Workers Compensation Attorneys in Denver for 2022. This is no random pick; the Expertise website, which connects users with local practitioners outstanding in their field, determines its recommendations by applying 25 variables across five categories of selection criteria, including availability, qualifications, experience, reputation, and professionalism. We are pleased to have scored well across the board, a tribute to our hard-working team of experienced worker comp attorneys.
Other outstanding lawyers at Franklin D. Azar & Associates continue to attract awards, too. We’re delighted to announce that DezaRae LaCrue and Natalie Brown have been named 2023 Best Lawyers, a process that relies entirely on confidential peer evaluations. Both LaCrue and Brown are senior attorneys who have collected a heap of distinctions over the years for their spectacular work in and out of the courtroom, including recognition from Super Lawyers and 5280 Magazine’s annual list of Denver’s Top Lawyers. This latest achievement is just one more example of how our attorneys strive to provide skilled, dedicated representation for our clients as well as inspiration for their colleagues.
WHAT IS “PAIN AND SUFFERING” IN AN ACCIDENT CASE?
It’s not difficult to put a price tag on some of the more obvious losses that a person experiences as the result of a car wreck. There are hard numbers to be found in the hospital bills, the trips to the doctor or the physical therapist, the car repair bills, and so on.
But not all of the damages from a collision are so easy to calculate. Depending on the severity of the injuries, accident victims may be facing a series of long-term challenges on the road to recovery that aren’t easy to quantify. Such damages are considered pain and suffering damages – which, under Colorado law, can be included as part of your claim in a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible for the crash.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A PAIN AND SUFFERING CLAIM?
The more readily calculated damages from a personal injury case, such as medical costs, repair bills and lost wages, are known as economic damages. Pain and suffering claims are considered a form of non-economic damages because they involve trying to put a value on the more intangible, deeply personal kinds of loss stemming from an accident. Those damages may encompass everything from chronic physical pain or disfigurement to shock, emotional suffering, insomnia, psychological illness, the inconvenience and pain associated with time-consuming rehabilitation, and what is known as loss of consortium (loss of the companionship and affection of a spouse) and “loss of enjoyment of life” (which is exactly what it sounds like).
HOW DO YOU PROVE A PAIN AND SUFFERING CLAIM?
Just as with economic damages, plaintiffs are expected to support a pain and suffering claim with documents, testimony, and other evidence. It is important to establish that the accident is the cause of the pain and suffering; typically, the claim might involve various medical records as well as statements from treatment providers, pain management specialists, therapists, counselors, or family members. If the case goes to trial, a jury will consider how the crash has impacted the victim’s quality of life in deciding what damages to award for pain and suffering.
WHY PURSUE A PAIN AND SUFFERING CLAIM?
Some of the fallout of a bad car wreck can’t be measured in simplistic terms. How can you put a price on days or weeks lost to pain and frustration, estrangement from loved ones, the diminishment of your own sense of self-worth? Yet that is what our experienced personal injury attorneys try to do to help make our clients whole again. Seeking damages for pain and suffering can be an important step in the entire recovery process.
The Car Accident Lawyers At FDAZAR
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or financial loss as a result of a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Over the past 30 years, Franklin D. Azar & Associates has represented victims in a wide array of complicated and serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Greeley, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, call the attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-9032, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.
Join Frank Azar's Monthly Newsletter!
"*" indicates required fields