Snowstorm preparedness: Accidents happen, emergent needs arise; local professionals offer help

Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by Jeremy Crawford, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – In light of the extraordinary snow and ice conditions impacting the St. George area Saturday and the consequences that many may be experiencing, St. George News solicited suggestions and offers from local professionals whose trades or businesses address these kinds of situations.

If you are involved in a traffic accident

Jason Velez of 1Law is a lawyer is addressing considerations for anyone caught in an accident. In response to the past week of unprecedented snow and ice in relatively mild St. George, 1Law attorneys are making themselves available to the people of Southern Utah and have opened a special emergency phone line (435-319-0000) as of noon on Dec. 8 to answer questions on what to do following an accident.

Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

There are going to be many, possibly hundreds, of insurance claims made over the upcoming weeks, Velez said. Claims that are complete and accurate will receive the quickest attention, if not the first. Issues such as who was at fault and how the accident happened may delay payment of claims, he said.

In order to get you back in a vehicle, as soon as possible, 1Law is offering to help with the filing of your claim and sharing the firm’s experience with the best practices for an efficient claims process.

The firm is also offering help at no cost with vehicle damage issues to help with your property damage claims by evaluating your case and providing you with instruction on how to proceed with the insurance carrier or provide legal representation if the situation requires.

Things to consider if you have been in an auto accident

  • Make sure everyone is physically OK and attend to the injured. Call 911 in the event of physical injury.
  • Contact the appropriate authorities to report the accident. You would be surprised at how many claims go unresolved because there was no documentation of the incident.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words and video worth ten thousand. Once you have made sure that the injured are attended to take pictures from all aspects of the accident. Simply take several photos walking in a circle around the accident. This will help establish points of contact and location of the vehicles in an accident.
  • Get the officer’s name and card. If possible, find out if a citation was issued.
  • Once the situation is stabilized and the police have responded, contact your insurance to report the claim.
  • Consider using your AAA or other towing benefits. If your vehicle is being towed, get everything you are going to want or need out of the vehicle. Tow yards can be difficult, especially if they have an outstanding bill for towing and storage.
  • If you are injured seek medical attention, even if it is minor. A visit to the ER or your family physician or chiropractor is not only covered by your insurance it will help document and preserve your injury claim.
  • Contact an attorney. The attorneys at 1LAW are experienced with resolving accident claims and will not charge you to discuss your case.

Vehicle maintenance is important to avoid accidental property damage and personal injury. Things that many may not think about in sunny Southern Utah, like tire pressure, tire condition, wiper blades, brakes, etc., all factor into accidents when the weather gets bad. Slow down, always buckle up and put the cell phone down. Bad weather driving requires your full attention.

The 1LAW offices will be open at 8 a.m. Monday and will be giving away free glove-box kits, with many of the things you may need after an accident. You can call 1Law at 435 634-1LAW(529) or stop by 1173 South 250 West, No. 311, in St George to pick one up.

Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

The firm also offers assistance via its website where the chat feature is enabled to allow you to speak with someone directly; or you can email information to [email protected].

If you are unable to get to the pharmacy

Stapley Pharmacy is offering solutions for people that need medicine but are stuck and can’t get to the pharmacy. Stapley Pharmacy in St. George has offered to help by filling and providing free delivery of prescriptions right to your door.

You can transfer any of your prescriptions to them and they take most insurances including Medicare Part D. Stapley provides daily delivery to some areas and delivery on different days of the week for other areas of the county, call for details.

Stapley Pharmacy Downtown 435-673-3575 / Stapley Pharmacy Dino Crossing 435-627-2235

Top 10 reasons why you should be examined by a chiropractor after a car accident

Dr. Justin K. Poppe, a St. George area chiropractor, offered the following considerations for anyone caught in an accident:

  • You may be injured and not know it.
  • Injuries such as whiplash usually may not show any symptoms for hours, days or weeks later.
  • Medical professionals all agree that the first 72 hours after an accident are the most critical and a time treatment can be the most effective.
  • The majority of injuries from automobile accidents occur at speeds of 6-12 MPH. Your car might not show much damage, but your body might.
  • A soft-tissue injury is permanent, as scar tissue can form in your muscles leaving them less flexible and prone to re-injury in the future if you don’t receive treatment.
  • If you act quickly you preserve your legal rights. A St George attorney listed things to do after an accident and #1 on his list was: Get prompt medical treatment; otherwise you may get benefits denied or limited.
  • In most cases, treatment can cost you nothing out of pocket, even if it’s your fault or you don’t have any health insurance.
  • If you are not injured you can sleep better at night knowing you had an extensive exam and x-rays and found out everything was fine.
  • Statistics show the longer you wait for treatment after you are injured, the longer it takes to heal and requires more treatments.
  • If you are injured your injuries usually will not heal on their own.

Poppe offers free consultaion and is available to answer any of your questions or concerns.  Telephone 435-656-2888

Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Vehicle preparation and safety precautions for winter weather

Stay in your vehicle

  • Disorientation occurs quickly in wind-driven snow and cold.
  • Run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat.
  • Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers.
  • Turn on the dome light at night when running engine.
  • Tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna or door.
  • Raise the hood indicating trouble after snow stops falling.
  • Exercise from time to time, by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.
  • Wear a hat, half your body heat loss can be from the head.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
  • Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
  • Loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers is best, trapped air insulates and layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chills.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
  • Safely removing tires and upholstery from your vehicle and lighting them on fire in a cleared area will create smoke to facilitate your being located.

Supplies recommended to be kept in your vehicle in case of emergencies:

  • Cell phone; portable charger and extra batteries
  • Windshield scraper
  • Battery-powered radio, extra batteries
  • Flashlights, extra batteries
  • Snack food
  • Extra hats, coats, mittens, change of clothes
  • Blankets
  • Chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Spare gas
  • Canned compressed air with sealant (emergency tire repair)
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster / jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Bright colored flag; help signs
  • Lighter / Matches (waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water)
  • First Aid kit – (Basic First Aid courses are recommended)
  • Spare water
  • Hi-lift jack
  • Spare tire with keys for locking lug nuts
  • Spare keys
  • Shovel
  • Tow strap
  • Tool kit
  • Duct tape
  • Trash bags
  • Road maps
  • Compass
  • Towels, paper towels

These recommendations have been assimilated from the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue website, the Center for Disease Control’s emergency winter weather checklist, the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force’s website on blizzard preparedness. The list is suggestive, in no particular order of priority, and should not be presumed to be exhaustive.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by Jeremy Crawford, St. George News
Snowstorm in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by Jeremy Crawford, St. George News

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1 Comment

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