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Currently Browsing: Personal Injury

Work-related Injuries or Illness and the Benefit of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

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Before employers in the US were mandated by the government to carry a workers’ compensation program in behalf of their employees, the latter had to resort to legal proceedings whenever they sustain work-related injuries. Suing their employers was for the sole purpose of recovering lost wages and future earnings, as well as getting the compensation that will enable them to pay for medical expenses. Majority of the employees, however, did not only lose the case, but the case also damaged their relationship with their employer. To win cases, employers always resorted to the following arguments:

  • Assumption of risk – it stated that the injury was an accepted danger normally connected with the job;
  • The fellow worker rule – that it was a fellow worker’s negligence that caused the injury;
  • Contributory negligence – the injury was due to the negligence of the worker himself/herself

If ever there were occasions when an employee won the case, the compensation would either be delayed or it would be much lesser than the amount stipulated by the law. Thus, the establishment of the workers’ compensation law in 1908 (which initially covered federal employees) started an insurance program that would greatly benefit both employer and employee. Majority of the states began adopting their own version of the program between 1911 and 1920; this insurance program, the oldest in the US, was then mandated on most managers or business owners.

The workers’ compensation insurance benefit is aimed at providing financial assistance to employees who sustain work-related illnesses or injuries. The benefits will cover lost wages, medical, disability [temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD), healing period, permanent partial disability (PPD), permanent total disability (PTD)], vocational rehabilitation and death.

Though the same benefits may be enjoyed by employees regardless of the state they’re in, there are also differences such as coverage and statute of limitation. In Iowa, for instance, an employee whose work is principally based in Iowa or who is hired in Iowa is entitled to all the benefits even if the injury was sustained somewhere else; this is one relevant information mentioned on one of the web pages of LaMarca & Landry, P.C., a law office based in the same state. The page also mentions that the employee ought to inform his / her employer of the injury within 90 days after it was sustained.

Though the workers’ compensation program provides workers with guaranteed benefits (the amount of compensation employees ought to receive cannot be lower even if the injury is due to their own fault) and removes the burden of time- consuming and costly proceedings, there are times when an application gets denied due either to the worker’s failure to fill out the forms correctly and completely or file the application on time. If denied of the compensation benefit or if the amount you receive is lesser than what you believe it ought to be, it would be good if you will seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney, as this will make the processing of application much clearer and faster for you.

Risks of Eagle Ford Shale Injury

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South Texas is home to the Eagle Ford Shale, a high-yield hydrocarbon formation that plays an important part in oil and natural gas production in the US. As such, it is a significant source of jobs and income for thousands of people, as well as for the growth of industry and economy in the area. But because the industries that grow out of it are inherently dangerous, the risks of incurring Eagle Ford Shale injury are high.

Thousands of oil and gas wells are currently in operation in the area, and for each of these leases there are hundreds of workers who extract the raw materials from the earth. Aside from the potential for physical injury such as slips and falls, malfunctioning equipment, and worker incompetence, there is always the danger of explosions and fires.

Aside from the workers who are down in the ground, so to speak, it is possible that some of the potential for Eagle Ford Shale injury could affect those who live in the surrounding areas. One of the potential sources of injury is damage to the roads and highways, which can lead to vehicular accidents. Air pollution from the drilling and mining activities can also mean that residents are breathing in contaminants, which may later bring on health problems. The same goes for the pollution of surface and ground water.

The Eagle Ford Shale provides massive benefits, not only for oil and natural gas companies, but also for the general population employment- and energy-wise. But it is also undeniable that unless safety measures and proper extraction procedures are observed to minimize the damage to surrounding areas, these benefits may not be so great in the long run. When workers and residents alike have health problems or sustain an Eagle Ford Shale injury in unacceptable numbers, it is time to remind those who operate the leases that safety for all is the first priority.

Cloudy with a Chance of a Motorcycle Wreck

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A motorcycle wreck is not a pretty sight, but it is certainly worse if you or someone close to you is involved in one. Motorcycles are a convenient and economical way of getting around, and the cool factor is also a good reason for riding around in one. The likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle wreck, however, is quite high because of the inherent instability of the vehicle and the lack of any substantial protection for the rider.

Among the most common causes of single vehicle motorcycle accidents is road defect. A single uneven or slick patch of road can cause a motorcycle travelling at even moderate speeds to skid, spilling its rider with quite violent force. The top cause of death for motorcycle riders is head injuries, and even those wearing a helmet have a 1 in 3 chance of making it out alive.

Even for those who do manage to survive a motorcycle wreck, injuries can be quite serious. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, loss of limbs and road rash are just some of the types of damages that a motorcycle rider can sustain on any given day, although Saturday appear to have the highest incidence of single vehicle motorcycle accidents on rural roads. Inebriation is also a very good indication that a motorcycle wreck is looming in the near future for anyone foolish enough to ride.

Injuries sustained in a motorcycle wreck can mean a long hospital stay, extensive physical rehabilitation, loss of income, and life-long disability that could have been prevented. If you or someone close to you sustained injuries in a motorcycle wreck through the negligence or recklessness of others, a personal injury claim may be in the offing. Consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer with a good reputation in the field would be able to give an accurate assessment of the case.

Disability Benefits

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With the Fourth of July just around the corner, fireworks stands are gearing up for the 10-day window in which they are legally allowed to sell their products. Although the spirit of the holiday is fun and relaxation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a notice for “increased safety awareness” in the fireworks industry in preparation for the 4th.

Fireworks are, by nature, volatile and explosive, with the potential to cause extreme property damage and personal injury. The OHSA announcement restates important guidelines for sale of any fireworks in the United States, from obtaining all necessary state and local permits, strictly prohibiting smoking within 50 feet of sales areas, and keeping fire extinguishers operational and accessible. The OHSA also requires all employees involved in the sale of fireworks to participate in safety training. Employees should also be aware of their ability to gain disability benefits if they are injured on the job.

The increased watchfulness comes after a tragic March 2012 incident, in which three workers at Missouri-based Global Pyrotechnic Solutions Inc. suffered severe burns after several pyrotechnics exploded. OHSA fined the company more than $117,000 for violating important explosive safety guidelines. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels reiterated the need for safety of pyrotechnics employees.

“Employers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the job and taking appropriate measures to protect workers from serious injuries or death,” Michaels said.

Last year in San Diego, the Big Bay Boom 4th of July show quickly went south after a computer malfunction launched all the show’s fireworks at once. Fortunately, no one was harmed in the incident, which produced a miraculous fireball above the San Diego Bay.

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