Bicycle Safety

Bicycle Safety

Does anyone else have a serious case of spring fever this year? After the polar vortex record-setting frigid temperatures and the piles of snow and ice, it is no wonder we are all ready to shake off the winter and run straight into spring. As you start your spring cleaning and summer travel plans, don’t forget to dust off your safety knowledge about a popular activity for the season: bicycling.

Tune It Up

Before anyone in your family jumps on their bike, take the time to tune it up. Head to your local bike shop for a quick review of the brakes, chains, wheel pressure, and handlebars. It’s well worth the investment to assure your bike is solid and prepared for another season of driving.

Get the Gear

As you tune up your bike, be sure you do a quick review of your gear as well. Adults and kids should wear helmets while riding, no matter what. Helmets can significantly reduce the chance for traumatic brain injury due to a crash or accident and should be non-negotiable in your household. New riders in your home, like your kids, may also benefit from the confidence a few elbow pads bring.

You can also assure safety by buying reflective stickers to put on your bike and on your riding clothing or shoes. A blinking headlight is also a wonderful option if you bike at dusk, the early morning, or in the evening hours. This can increase the chances of a fast moving car seeing you and slowing down. While you are double checking your gear, don’t forget a bike lock to reduce the chances of someone taking off with your newly tuned up bike.

Watch for Cars

Remember, car drivers are not always vigilant for bicycles, especially in the spring months. Be extra careful to make eye contact with drivers before you enter into an intersection and err on the side of extra caution while on the road.

Watch for Bikes

Finally, bicycle safety isn’t just for you while you are biking. If you are a driver, it is your responsibility to look out for cyclists. Springtime can be especially hazardous for cyclists on the road, as most drivers are not in the habit of sharing the road. Double check blind spots and always look before you back out of your driveway.

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, you could be struggling with insurance paperwork. Don’t go at it alone. Call the team at MacCloskey Kesler & Associates to tell us more about the accident. We can help you during this confusing and frustrating time, helping you to get a favorable outcome.

Travel Safety Tips

Travel Safety Tips

Do you have a serious case of cabin fever this season? It’s no wonder – our winter has been especially rough, full of polar vortex windchills and piles of snow. Fortunately, we are marching toward spring and travel opportunities to break your winter doldrums. If you are planning a spring break or summer vacation road trip, or if you are just looking forward to a weekend away, be sure you brush up on your driving safety tips. Here are a few to consider while you are planning your next big trip.

Limit Distractions

Distracted drivers are dangerous. While you already know to put your phone down while driving, when you are driving around new places, you can become distracted more easily. If you are using your phone for GPS and directions, keep it at the dashboard level in a secured case. Turn on the voice notifications so that you can listen for upcoming turns instead of staring at the map on your phone as well. If possible, recruit the person sitting in your passenger seat to help you through especially busy cities or tricky interstate changes.

Slow Down

Travelers are often in a hurry to get to their destination. However, more accidents can happen when you drive too fast or follow too closely. Plan for buffer time to destination, leaving a bit early to allow you the freedom to slow down and drive more safely.

Update Emergency Contacts

If you are in an accident far away from home, it can feel even scarier or worrisome. Before you hit the road for your trip, take time to update your emergency contacts in your phone. Then, double check your updated insurance cards are easily accessible, as well as your license. Keep your insurance agent’s phone number handy to report an accident, and don’t forget to include contact information for the team at MacCloskey Kesler and Associates.

Our team is readily available to talk more about your vehicle accident and even assist in getting you the compensation you deserve. Trying to fight with an insurance company can be overwhelming – don’t do it alone. Let us advocate for you.

Choosing a Local Law Office Benefits You

Choosing a Local Law Office Benefits You

The phrase “buy local” is commonplace these days, and for good reason. For the past few decades, thanks to technology and major national retailers, we have all gotten away from buying what we need from our neighbors. Now, a quick keyword search and a click on a smartphone can allow you to have almost anything delivered right to your front door in a matter of days. However, when we choose to purchase from people who live in our area, we can give back to our community and the people who make it better.

Buying local goes well beyond purchasing locally grown produce or spending money at a local Main Street boutique. You can choose to buy services from people in your community as well. The team at MacCloskey Kesler and Associates has been serving people throughout the Rockford and northern Illinois area for decades. When you need legal advice and guidance, “buying local” from us will get you better service, better connections, and better results.

Better Service
National law firms, offering advice to customers from thousands of miles away, are a relatively new invention. However, we have already started to see the major downfalls of this type of model. If you work with a law firm in a different state or region, you are missing out on working with an attorney who knows your state’s laws inside and out. At MacCloskey Kesler and Associates, we pride ourselves on keeping up with law and regulation changes. We know the major changes and the small nuances, and we adapt our client strategies accordingly.

Better Connections’
When you work and live in a community for as long as we have, making connections happens easily. We have worked with judges and attorneys throughout the area for years, and they know what we are about and who we represent. We are much more likely to communicate effectively with these colleagues, which only benefits our clients in the short and long term. Also, our strong relationships in the northern Illinois community give us the ability to connect clients with other professionals, like doctors and physical therapists, (Note to Andrew: or any other medical provider you want to use instead. But surgeons and doctors are the same, so maybe use a different provider)who can help them through their injury recovery process.

Better Results
Our results speak for themselves, demonstrating our clients get what they deserve when it comes to financial outcomes. Our team of attorneys is well respected and our guidance is revered in the community.

Are you ready to buy local and choose to work with MacCloskey Kesler and Associates? Give us a call to set up your consultation today.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Injuries can happen to anyone, even those who are relatively careful and prepared. A slip, trip, or fall can have devastating consequences. One major injury that can happen in an accident, collision, or even while playing a sport, is a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. Traumatic Brain Injuries are more common than you may think, with the Centers for Disease Controlreporting nearly 2.8 million emergency room visits due to TBIs annually. Traumatic Brain Injuries can vary in severity, which can make some injuries more difficult to treat.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury is a term that describes an injury due to a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are more commonly known as concussions. Even though concussions can be mild, the injury should still be monitored and followed closely.

How Can You Get a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBIs can happen in a variety of ways. For example, getting hit with a baseball while fielding during a game could cause a TBI, as well as hitting the steering wheel with your head during a vehicle accident. Traumatic Brain Injuries can happen at work as well as at play, and can be deadly.

How Can I Stay Safe?
While some Traumatic Brain Injuries are completely accidental, you can take proactive steps to protect your head. For example, wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter. Wear all safety gear required for the task you are performing at work, and don’t skip safety steps.

What if I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you, or a loved one, have had a blow to the head, early treatment is key. While more serious injuries will certainly lead you to the emergency room right away, other more mild injuries can be more sneaky, creeping on slowly which can lead to delayed treatment. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially if the injured person seems confused, extra tired, or complains of changes to vision.

If you have been injured at work, follow your workplace’s policy for paperwork and follow up treatments. However, it is still wise to consult with an experienced attorney at MacCloskey Kesler and Associatesto assure you won’t have to worry about the ins and outs of insurance compensation while trying to actively recover from your trauma.

We are committed to working with anyone who has been injured, and forming a relationship with them while advocating for their best interests. Give us a call to get started today.

What to Pack in Your Car’s Winter Safety Kit

What to Pack in Your Car’s Winter Safety Kit

Like it or not, winter is here in northern Illinois. Winter means snow, and while it can be magical watching the snow fall while you’re cozy inside, it is quite another story when driving in the midst of a snow or sleet storm. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17% of all car accidents happen in the winter months, thanks to treacherous road conditions caused by snow and ice.

If you are in a car accident, or if your vehicle breaks down during the winter months, it can feel especially stressful. Empower yourself and keep yourself safe by keeping a winter emergency kit tucked in your trunk. Here’s what to include.

Emergency Blankets
If your car loses the ability to push out heat, you and your passengers will feel the chill quickly. Keep warm while waiting for help by pulling out emergency blankets from your car’s winter kit.

Cell Phone Charger
Your cell phone is your key to getting the help you need, especially if you are in the middle of nowhere. Keep a charger handy in your emergency kit to assure you will not run out of battery when you desperately need it.

Flashlight and Batteries
Daylight quickly fades in the winter months and trying to navigate your situation in the dark can be dangerous. Keep a flashlight and extra batteries in your emergency kit to combat the darkness.

Snacks
While bottles of water will likely freeze in your trunk during the winter months, you should toss a few snacks into your emergency kit. Protein bars can be a welcome relief while stranded alone or with passengers.

First Aid Kit
If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, a first aid kit can give you the tools you need to remedy minor problems while waiting for medical assistance.

Phone Numbers and Notebook
In case your cell phone is damaged or unusable, keep a list of emergency contacts in your kit. Include your physician and family members, as well as your personal injury lawyer. You can also use the notebook to record license plates, insurance information, or other accident details about the other parties involved. This information can be valuable as you seek to receive compensation for your ordeal.

Stay safe out there this season!

Handling Your First Holiday Without  WIthout a Loved One

Handling Your First Holiday Without WIthout a Loved One

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is devastating. The holidays can be especially tough, especially when celebrating the first holiday without your loved one. Grief can rise up at any time, even after someone has been gone for many years, but there is something especially tender about those first major celebrations without an important part of the family.

At MacCloskey Kesler and Associates, we have worked hand-in-handwith grieving families for decades. Our compassion for our clients, and our dedication to serving them well, has given us first-handexperience helping people who are going through their first winter holidays while actively grieving a loved one. While nothing will compare to having your loved one with you this season, there are a few ways you can cope and survive during this tough time.

Say No
Your holiday this year is going to look different, and that is okay. Take care of yourself, and those in your family, by knowing it is perfectly acceptable to say “no thank you” to invitations to celebrations, events, dinners, coffee, or other opportunities. Even better, you don’t need to offer a reason for declining; just say no. You also have the right to cancel if you just aren’t feeling up to it.

Surround Yourself With People You Love
Grief can feel isolating, but research has shown that support from others is crucial during the process. Resist the urge to keep your grief a solo sport, instead choosing to invite people you love and trust into it with you.

Honor Your Loved One
People grieving the loss of a loved one are often shocked and saddened when others are too nervous to mention the person who has passed away. This season, honor your loved one in a tangible way. Add a special ornament to your tree, light a candle for them all season long, share good stories about the person around the table during dinner.

Focus On Yourself and Your Health
Grief can make it extremely difficult to put yourself, and your needs, first. However, without a focus on proper sleep, nutrition, and activity, you can feel like you are drowning (and you will likely get sick). Do what you need to do to get the sleep you need, the food you need, and the activity you need to feel well and cope with stress. Ask for help from those around you, who will happily rally to support you.

We are thinking of you this holiday season, and hope you find moments of peace.

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