Working Through Emotional Trauma
About Me
Working Through Emotional Trauma

I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.

Working Through Emotional Trauma

Avoid Injuries (and Lawsuits) during Backyard Barbeques This Summer

Debra Hawkins

When the sun starts shining and the weather gets warmer, it's always a good time to cook outdoors and invite over some friends. But fire pits and grills increase the risk of injuries as well—sending nearly 17,000 people a year to the hospital. They're also a source of personal injury lawsuits. Here's what you should know.

Pay Attention to Your Fire Source

Whether you cook on a grill or have an open fire pit, keep an eye on your fire source—and on your guests, especially if alcohol is served. Under the rules of premises liability, a guest on your property has a reasonable expectation that you've taken necessary precautions to keep them from getting hurt.

In the case of a backyard barbeque, that means that you should always

  • Make sure that your fire pit or grill is in a clear area where there isn't anything that can be knocked over or caught on fire.
  • Limit access to your fire pit or grill—only you or someone you designate should handle the grill or add wood to the fire.
  • Keep children in a restricted area away from anything flammable.
  • Make sure that the ground near the grill or fire pit is clear and free of any debris so that no one trips and falls into the fire.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand at all times.

If there are any areas of your property that are dangerous—like a broken step or a hole in the ground where the dog was digging—warn your guests in advance of the danger.

Keep Alcohol under Control

If you have liquor or beer on hand for your get-together, keep a sharp eye on the amount that your guests are drinking. While you aren't solely responsible for the behavior of your guests, you are looking at an increased chance of a lawsuit if you let Uncle Fred or your buddy Bob drink to the point of obvious drunkenness when there's an open flame around.

Most states recognize some form of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence allows the court to split the liability for an accident between the parties involved—assigning your guest a certain percentage of the blame for getting so drunk and assigning you the remainder of the blame for serving the alcohol.

If somebody does get injured at your house during a cookout, don't hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney like Stapleton Law Offices to discuss the situation.