BWG Consumer Alert: December 2012 / January 2013

Checklist for a Safe New Year
2013Resolve to start 2013 prepared. By taking a few simple steps now, you can make a big difference in protecting your family from financial hardship and injury.

Check Your Car Insurance Policy. You may be exposing yourself to financial losses if you have no insurance coverage for accidents with underinsured and uninsured drivers. Ask your insurance agent if you have this coverage. You can purchase up to $500,000 per person per auto accident.

Prepare for Winter Driving. Winter is the most challenging season on the road. Check your car's tires, tire pressure, anti-freeze and oil. When driving, use caution and take it slow.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy. Have your agent explain what your policy covers and your deductible - the amount you have to pay if property damage occurs.

Inventory Your Property. Filing a homeowners insurance claim is easier if you have a written list and photos of your belongings. Now is a good time to start an inventory or expand an existing one with photos of recent purchases.

Check Your Smoke Alarm Batteries. Test to make sure batteries are working in both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should have smoke alarms on each floor of your home inside and outside bedrooms and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor. Older homes may not have been required to have smoke alarms in bedrooms when built, but taking a few minutes to install them now protects your family.

Clean Your Furnace. Furnaces and other heating devices should be professionally cleaned once a year.

Properly Use Your Heating Device. Fires are more prevalent in the winter than any other season. Misuse of home heating devices such as electric space heaters and fireplaces is often the cause. Make sure your device is a recent model and in good condition, read the manufacturer's instructions and keep belongings and people at least three feet away during use.

Shovel Snow Promptly. Under the law, you are responsible for clearing all snow and ice from your driveway, walkways and areas accessible to the public. If someone is injured, you could be held financially liable. Remember to also shovel paths to fire hydrants.

Remember Vents and Roofs. Keep the area around home heating vents clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Remove heavy snow from your roof to reduce water damage and risk of collapse.

Change Online Passwords. You should periodically change passwords for bank and other online accounts to protect against identity theft and financial fraud. Make your passwords hard to guess by using symbols (#!!*&%), numbers, and random capital letters. Identity theft and financial fraud are growing consumer problems.

FDA Reports Top Consumer Updates of 2012
Disposal of unused drugs, dangerous diet supplements and contaminated tattoo ink were among the health and safety topics which most interested consumers in 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports. Here is the full list of the most read FDA Consumer Updates last year:

1) How to Dispose of Unused Medicines

2) Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products

3) HCG Diet Products Are Illegal

4) Warning on Hydroxycut Products

5) Examining Arsenic in Rice: A Work in Progress

6) Tattoo Inks Pose Health Risks

7) Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know

8) FDA Expands Caution About SimplyThick

9) FDA Expands Advice on Statin Risks

10) Treating Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Massachusetts law firm specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice and car accident cases. We are located in Government Center in Boston and serve the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville as well as Framingham and the MetroWest region out to Worcester.
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Client Reviews
David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case. Peter
Ron got the insurance company to settle for the maximum on the policy. And so as a result of that, my son went back to school. Jeff
Marc just guided us through the whole process. He told us exactly what would happen and how we needed to go about doing everything. Jesenia
I would recommend David…The outcome of my case, I was very pleased with it. I hope I don't have another accident, but if I do we'll be back to see David. Paul
Ron was excellent. He was on top of everything. He answered every question. John
Marc was extremely professional. I felt very confident that he knew exactly what he was doing. This is his area of practice and I had total confidence in him and I actually have recommended him to other people who have been in accidents. Josh