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HKQ Firm News


For all of its beauty, winter can be an unpredictable time. Attorney Brian Q. McDonnell and the team at HKQ Law want to help you and your family deal with this season’s pitfalls. In this article, we’ll explore some health-related issues that winter brings with it.


Frigid temperatures are winter’s calling card. Extreme cold can cause hypothermia, when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, resulting in a dangerously low body temperature. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and exhaustion. Infants and the elderly are most susceptible to exposure due to the cold.

Make sure children are properly dressed. Several layers of medium weight clothing keep the body warmer than one heavy garment. Make sure to cover ears and hands as they can be prone to frostbite. Although prolonged exposure to the cold while outdoors is a typical cause of hypothermia, the condition can occur indoors, especially with elderly people.

Winter blues

Winter brings with it more than a few grey, gloomy days. Between 10-20% of Americans may suffer from mild symptoms associated with the winter blues, while 5% of the population is afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A type of clinical depression that occurs during the winter months, SAD is triggered by a decrease in sunlight.

Here are some ways to battle the blues:

  • Let the sunshine in. Open your blinds and curtains. (If you’ve been diagnosed with SAD, you may want to invest in a special light that mimics sunshine.)
  • Head somewhere warm for a few days if you can.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Grow indoor plants.
  • Eat foods containing tryptophan. The best sources are turkey, sunflower seeds, lobster, asparagus, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas.

Shoveling dangers

Shoveling snow can be more than just a hassle. Between 1990 and 2006, 1,600 people died of heart attacks related to snow removal. A shovelful of wet snow can weigh as much as

25 pounds. So, you could be moving hundreds of pounds of snow.

There are ways to make shoveling safer:

  • Before you get started, make sure you’re healthy enough to shovel snow. (If you’re not, ask for help, or hire someone.)
  • Stretch before you start.
  • Stay ahead of the snow. Don’t wait until the snow stops to start shoveling. Clear the snow when it accumulates a few inches.
  • Dress in breathable layers. Stay warm, and beware of hypothermia.   
  • Use an ergonomically-designed shovel with a small plastic blade.
  • Push the snow to the side rather than trying to lift it.
  • If you must lift the snow, do it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it.
  • Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated by drinking water. Don’t drink alcohol before shoveling.
  • If you experience any pain while shoveling, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Keep your cell phone with you so you can make a call in the event of an emergency.

Take every step possible to ensure your warmth and safety. Should you find yourself requiring professional, medical attention due to wintery conditions, be proactive with your health. Ask questions and insist that your needs are being met. Additional ways to stay safe can be found on our website at

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



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