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Category Archives: catastrophic injuries


How Can I Safely Enjoy Fireworks This Summer?

Fireworks and summertime tend to go hand-in-hand, and not just during Independence Day weekend. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, many public and private celebrations include fireworks, such as sparklers, noisemakers, and small-time displays.

People have loved fireworks for generations because they capture a spirit of excitement, provide outstanding sound and visual effects, and offer a sense of cultural nostalgia. Nevertheless, fireworks should never be underestimated. When used inappropriately, fireworks can be dangerous and cause catastrophic injuries.

What Makes Legal Fireworks Hazardous?

Fireworks are unsafe because they bring together a combination of fire and heat-causing chemicals. This combination allows the fireworks to combust and send off extremely hot sparks or send pieces of the firework flying.

People who are not well-versed in fireworks safety precautions may think that they can just set off firecrackers or ignite rockets without any problems. However, adding a flame to any type of firecracker turns it into a possibly dangerous object, even if the results look attractive.

Fireworks can be particularly hazardous when they are set off by minors. Children under 18 years old should never be in charge of lighting firecrackers or fireworks. Only adults should control fireworks at family gatherings or parties. Even then, the adults should make sure that they are sober and understand what types of fireworks they are using.

Unfortunately, some fireworks sold to consumers are ultimately meant for professionals. Typically, those kinds of fireworks are distributed in paper wrappings rather than in manufacturers’ boxes.

Essentially, any firework can cause injury to the person handling it. Even spectators can be wounded or killed by fireworks. Reports state that every year, thousands of people get hurt because of fireworks.

What Types of Injuries are Caused by Fireworks?

Fireworks burn hotter than many people expect. Therefore, the most commonly reported injuries tend to be first, second, and third-degree burns. The burns can occur anywhere on the body, including the feet, hands, arms, torso, legs, and face. Eye injuries from fireworks are frequently seen in emergency rooms, too.

In exceptional and rare cases, fireworks may contribute to mental trauma if someone witnesses a particularly tragic accident that was caused by a poorly arranged fireworks display.

How Can I Safely Use Fireworks at Home?

Just because fireworks can be unsafe, does not mean that individuals and families need to avoid them altogether. Proper planning and execution can help reduce the likelihood of injuries linked to fireworks. Therefore, every stage of setting off fireworks, from buying the fireworks to disposing them, should be mapped out.

Where Should I Buy Fireworks?

Fireworks can be legally sold in many places in Delaware and other states. However, illegal fireworks dealers may try to sell fireworks to unsuspecting buyers. Consumers should make sure that they only buy legal fireworks. They should also conduct research about each type of firework to understand what they are buying.

It is always better to be more conservative when it comes to fireworks. Individuals relatively new to working with fireworks should choose fireworks that they are familiar with, such as fireworks they have handled before.

How Can I Prepare to Light Fireworks?

Before any fireworks display, a homeowner should prepare the area where the fireworks will be used. The preparation may include picking a detonation spot away from a home, shed, structure, trees, cars, shrubs, or items that can easily catch fire. If a grassy area is very dry, a homeowner may want to wet the grass prior to setting off fireworks.

Prep time should involve filling a few buckets with water and putting them within reach of the fireworks handlers and spectators. The buckets can be used to quickly put out fires. The buckets can also be used to drench smoldering, used fireworks to ensure that they have stopped burning.

As a final precautionary measure, having a first aid kit on hand is always advisable.

How Can I Safely Use and Watch Fireworks?

Prior to igniting fireworks, handlers should thoroughly read any directions printed on the packages. If instructions have not been included, the fireworks may be meant for professionals with pyrotechnic experience. Homeowners should use great caution before agreeing to use any fireworks that seem to be unusual or uncommon.

When setting off fireworks, everyone who will be handling the fireworks should stay in a designated safety area. Fireworks handlers should wear safety goggles or protective eyewear. Any fireworks that do not ignite the first time around should be properly disposed of and not relit.

If children are going to be given lighted sparklers, they should always be accompanied by adults. Kids tend to drop sparklers, which can lead to burns.

People who are not actively involved in lighting the fireworks should stand off to the side to give enough room for the people who are. Fireworks can shoot in unexpected directions, hitting watchers who are too close to the action.

How Should I Dispose Fireworks?

After each firework has been lit or set off, it should be doused with water to cool it off immediately. People should not toss newly detonated fireworks into trash cans, as the fireworks may still be hot enough to start a fire with the rest of the garbage. Before going to bed, homeowners should clean up all fireworks debris and ensure it is not smoldering.

What are Alternatives to Setting Off Fireworks?

People worried about the risks associated with fireworks have alternatives when it comes to enjoying fireworks during the summer months. Many municipalities set off fireworks during major holidays, which allows residents and visitors to have a fun experience from a safe distance. Some national fireworks displays are televised, which may be an acceptable alternative to watching in person.

Can I Pursue Legal Action if I am Hurt?

Anyone who is seriously hurt by fireworks may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. It may be possible to recover damages from a private individual, the seller, or maker of the fireworks. Since every situation is unique, injured parties should always seek legal advice from knowledgeable professionals.

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Victims Injured by Fireworks

Fireworks can be fun, but they may cause serious injuries. If you were seriously hurt during a fireworks display, you may be able to collect compensation. Our Delaware personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow protect clients injured by negligent parties. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Advocate for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by Driving Safely

May is an exciting time of year for many reasons. The weather starts to get warm, school ends, and more time is spent doing outdoor activities. May is also known for being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a month dedicated to the safety and recognition of motorcyclists on the road.

To reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities, all road users need to understand the challenges that motorcyclists face while driving. Their size and visibility are limited as well as their weaving techniques. Driving a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous and lead to catastrophic injuries if proper precautions are not taken by all motorcyclists and drivers.

May brings sunny days and a more desirable climate. Many motorcyclists look forward to dusting off their vehicles and taking their open-air motorcycles out for a drive.

Despite the excitement involved, both motorcyclists and motorists need to be careful while driving, and always be aware of their surroundings. Motorcycles can sometimes be easy to miss due to blind spots, which causes many accidents. Always check your blind spots when merging, changing lanes, and turning to ensure that there is not a motorcyclist in your direct path.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Riding a motorcycle comes with its dangers separate from driving a common vehicle. Serious injuries or death can occur if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident. Some common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Head and brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Neck injuries

If an accident is serious enough, fatalities of all drivers involved could happen, especially if drivers are not wearing protective equipment or seat belts.

How Can Motorcyclists Stay Safe on the Road?

Accidents are not always the fault of a motorist, an accident can happen if a motorcyclist is not driving safely.

Some ways you can maintain motorcycle safety includes:

  • Wearing protective gear
  • Conducting proper maintenance on your bike
  • Taking a defensive driving course
  • Being aware of other drivers
  • Driving at the posted speed limit

All motorcyclists are legally required to be properly licensed before operating their vehicle. Unique skills and knowledge are needed to ride a motorcycle, and that is why it is important that drivers take rider education courses before obtaining their license. Rider-training courses are offered through your local motor vehicle agency.

Besides practicing safe driving techniques, avoid all distractions while riding, and make sure you are drug and alcohol free before operating the bike. Drugs and alcohol impairs your judgement and makes it difficult to focus on the road. To avoid accidents, ride safely and sober.

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Motorcyclists Injured in Accidents

If you have been injured while driving a motorcycle, our Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are prepared to handle your case. We will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserve and help you receive all benefits you are entitled to. For a free consultation, call us at 302-834-8484 or contact us online. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve car accident victims throughout Middletown, Dover, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Fire at Delaware City Refinery Critically Injures Two Workers

On March 11, 2020, a fire was reported at the Delaware City Refining Company at the Route 9 industrial complex. Two employees were critically injured in the 1:40 p.m. fire that sent flames and black smoke into the sky surrounding the facility. Both victims were first flown to Christiana Hospital in Stanton and then taken to the Crozer Burn Center in Upland, Pennsylvania. The fire was responded to immediately and the flames were controlled quickly. The fire is still under investigation and a cause of incident is currently unknown.

Injuries at work happen frequently and can cause physical, mental and emotional harm on the injured worker. Employers must provide Workers’ Compensation benefits to those who experienced an injury in the workplace. Burns resulting from a workplace fire is covered under Workers’ Compensation. Worker’s Compensation insurance will provide the appropriate benefits to the worker. Benefits include medical compensation, missed wages, disability benefits and more depending on the injury.

If you have been injured at work, contact the dedicated Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for a free consultation. We understand how difficult this time is for you and will work hard to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 302-407-0827 or fill out our online form. We represent clients across Delaware including Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.

Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents

Car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Some are horrendously graphic, involving broken bones and profuse bleeding. Others are less obvious but are often quite painful and distressing. Some of the most common car accident injuries are injuries to soft tissues. Soft tissues injuries include bruises, sprains, or strains. Because painful symptoms are less observable, soft tissue injuries seem to be less significant. However, for many who have experienced such an injury, the pain can be substantial, and recovery can be incredibly difficult.

How do Soft Tissues Become Damaged?

Soft tissues are muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In most car accidents, soft tissues are damaged. Damage to these areas occurs from the body being twisted or overextended from a significant, violent, or sudden force. These type of forces often occur in car accidents, making soft tissue injuries rather common.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

Whiplash is the most common type of soft tissue injury from a motor vehicle accident. This injury is caused by a sudden jolt that results in the neck and head being jerked and violently hyperextended. This type of injury is technically a sprain of the soft tissues in the neck. Other common soft tissue injuries include sprains and strains to other parts of the body, as well as bruises.

Signs of a Soft tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries are not easily recognizable, sometimes they can be overlooked. In the chaotic moments after a crash, an injured party may not immediately realize that they have been injured. Overexertion is identifiable, but the extent of the damage may not be immediately apparent.

Hyperextension injuries and sprains are more noticeable. Common symptoms associated with soft tissue injuries include soreness, swelling, and stiffness. Visible bruising is another observable result of soft tissue damage. Although, bruising can be internal and less evident, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately to determine the extent of your injuries.

Whiplash Symptoms

Soft tissue damage in the neck is especially significant. Unlike many other similar sprain injuries, the pain and damage involved in a whiplash injury may not appear immediately. The symptoms may take time to develop. Possible symptoms of whiplash include neck stiffness, sharp neck pain, back pain, and even difficulties with memory and concentration.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

If you were in an accident that involved a significant jolt or impact, you should be evaluated by a medical professional. If you experience delayed complications, you should report them to a doctor immediately to evaluate the extent of your injuries. It is important to protect your health and soft tissue injuries, especially whiplash injuries, can have long-term consequences if left untreated.

Also, seeking medical attention is a good way to maintain a record of your injuries that are directly linked to the car accident. This is vital information if you need to litigate a case against the responsibility party that caused your injuries.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Accident Victims with Soft Tissue Damage

If a car accident has left you with significant soft tissue damage, you may be eligible for compensation for your sufferings. Our dedicated Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you collect damages to pay for the costs of your mounting medical bills. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

Side-Impact Accidents

Side-impact car accidents happen when a car is hit perpendicularly, they can be extremely dangerous. In most cases, vehicles lack major structural reinforcements where side-impact collisions occur on the car. For this reason, side-impact accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. This includes serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine.

According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, around 8,000 people are killed in side-impact collisions every year in the United States. The data shows that these collisions are significant. It is important to understand why side-impact car accidents occur and what do to if you are involved in a side-impact collision.

A Closer Look at Side-Impact Car Accidents

Side-impact crashes often happen at stop signs or stoplights where oncoming vehicles fail to yield to another vehicle that is crossing the intersection. If the oncoming car is traveling at a high-speed, the force of the crash can push the other vehicle into traffic, causing a secondary crash or even a rollover event. There are several reasons why side-impact collisions occur. This can include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Distracted driving that includes cellphone use, eating, adjusting the radio, or being distracted by other passengers.
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving that causes slow reaction times.
  • Inexperienced drivers on the road.
  • Reckless driving and disregarding traffic signs or signals.

What to do After a Side-Impact Car Accident

Your health and safety should be priority after a car accident happens. Assess the situation and call emergency services immediately. Even if you do not have visible injuries, internal damage is a strong possibility. Be sure to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

The reasons why these collisions occur matter greatly, proving fault is essential when filing a personal injury claim. For that reason, if you are involved in this type of crash, thoroughly document details of the scene and contact law enforcement to complete an accident report.

If anyone witnessed the car accident happen, make sure they talk to the police. Be sure to obtain the witness’s contact information, this will help you if you have any questions in the future. Do not admit fault at the time of the accident, and contact your auto insurance company. Your attorney will review your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation for damages and injuries.

Milford Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent All Car Accident Victims

If you were suffered injuries from a side-impact collision, you may be eligible for compensation. All car accidents can be frightening, and treatment for injuries can be costly. It is crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to review your case. Our Milford accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will help you recover compensation for your injuries, damages, and mounting bills. Contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Milford, Bear, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.

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A Message to Our Clients: We Are Here to Help You.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.

We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.

We will continue to work to protect the rights of our clients. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online.

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.