Many Employers Compromise the Safety of Workers

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Workers' Safety | 0 comments

Employers who have at least 3 workers are federally required to qualify as self-insured or obtain workers’ compensation insurance for the purpose of providing workers’ compensation benefits to their worker. Workers’ compensation, which was introduced during the early part of the twentieth century, was designed to provide financial assistance to workers who get injured on the job or who develop work-related illnesses, regardless of who was at fault for the injury or illness. This insurance benefit covers lost wages, medical costs, rehabilitation, disability and death. It is also meant to be provided without having to go through any litigation processes, but stipulates the exemption of employers from further legal responsibility concerning damages. An employee may have the right to pursue a civil case of negligence against his or her employer if he or she waives the right to claim Workers’ Comp. Benefits.

Many employers, however, compromise workers’ health and safety on the job by regularly exposing them to hazardous or toxic substances which develop in them severe cases of lung disorder. The possible illnesses that workers may suffer from (depending on the substance that they have been exposed to), include:

  • Silicosis, which is due to inhalation of dust-containing silica;
  • Pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, that is a result of inhaling coal dust over a long period of time;
  • Chronic beryllium disease or (CBD), which is caused by the metallic element Beryllium;
  • Byssinosis, a lung disease resulting from the prolonged inhalation of textile fiber dust;
  • Bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), constrictive bronchiolitis (CB) or obliterative bronchiolitis (OB), which is a rare, yet life-threatening and non-reversible type of obstructive lung disease due to the inflammation or scarring of the bronchioles (small airway branches). This lung disease can be due to different factors, including exposure to poisonous fumes, like sulfur dioxide, diacetyl, chlorine, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, thionyl chloride, and so forth.

According to the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC law firm, employees are always at risk of suffering a serious workplace injury even in seemingly safe workplaces, such as offices. Some injuries have left many employees seriously injured and unable to continue working, either for a period of time or in some instances, permanently. It is during this time that these employees need the best legal help they can get for a strong court representation which would help them claim the compensation they may deserve.

Read More

Cancers caused by Power Morcellators

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

Power morcellators created by Johnson & Johnson were once used to break up noncancerous tissues and fibroids during a hysterectomy or a myomectomy.  Although it was originally praised for being able to perform these procedures in a minimally invasive way, it was soon shown that there was a correlation between use of the morcellators and cancer growth.  In particular, morcellators were shown to cause the cancers metastatic leiomyosarcoma, uterine cancer, uterine sarcoma, and endometrial stromal sarcoma.

Metastatic leiomyosarcoma is an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma that usually develops around the uterus area.  This type of cancer is particularly dangerous as it is highly resistant to typical treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. Uterine cancer develops in the uterus tissues of a women and can be particularly dangerous if it not treated early, allowing it to spread to other areas of the body.  Symptoms of uterine cancer include pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding from the uterus. According to the National Cancer Institute, uterine sarcoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the muscles of the uterus or other tissues that support the uterus. Uterine sarcoma is a form of uterus cancer that is more serious, but also more rare.  It differs from uterus cancer in that in develops in the uterus and the muscles that support the uterus.  Endometrial stromal sarcoma is a rare malignant tumor which, like leiomyosarcoma, is particularly resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Unfortunately, many women were diagnosed with these cancers after having surgery using a power morcellator before the FDA released a black box warning against the use of these devices. According to Williams Kherkher, 1 in 370 surgeries using a power morcellator caused cancer development in women by spreading malignant tissue to other areas of the body.  While a ban on these devices may come in the future, it may be too late for women who were already diagnosed with cancer as a result.

Read More

Is This Nursing Home Abusive? How Can I Tell?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Nursing Home Abuse | 0 comments

Looking into nursing homes for a loved one can be difficult to admit. But sometimes, our loved ones need constant care that we just can’t provide for them with our lifestyles that only seem to get busier and busier ever year. These are the times that nursing homes are then sought because it is the option that is the best one for every party involved.

However, the possibility of a home being abusive is not something that is impossible. Over the years, there have been several claims and complaints’ regarding nursing homes all over the country and it is only right to be wary of whichever one you may be considering to admit your elderly loved one into. Fortunately, there are ways in order to detect if a nursing home is abusive for not.

First of all, do your research about the staff and the facilities. Is the nursing home in question sufficiently staffed with enough people who are both learned in their own fields but also perform in accordance to the duty of care that is expected of them? Are the facilities in place prepared to handle different emergency situations on the dot? Are there places within the home that are blocked from access due to unexplained or unjustifiable reasons? If you do not immediately know the answer to these questions, it is then only right for you to wonder if the home you’re considering is abusive.

After all, neglect of individual personalized care (according to the website of the lawyers with Pohl and Berk) is a breach of the expected standard of care within nursing homes and is considered as nursing home abuse. Another way to tell is to observe the people in their care. Do they flinch upon external contact or is there anything about their behavior that seems out of place somehow? These are some signs that there is nursing home abuse afoot.

If you have any suspicions that have some evidence, it is then recommended that experienced, professional legal help is contacted in order to further the investigation and then take appropriate legal action.

Read More

Accidents in a Parking Lot

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Motor Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Car collisions don’t always happen in roads and highways, as they can also happen in private places. Parking lots have their fair share of car collisions, since there are always vehicles moving in and out of the parking lot and drivers giving more attention on parking their vehicles than to other matters around them. Fortunately, are generally at low speeds, and the injuries that are sustained are typically not serious.

Parking lot collisions are fairly common accidents, and despite the minimal damages, it is still important to take the matter seriously. The website of Ravid and Assoc states that even with minimal damages to the vehicle or injuries, they should still be reported in order to see who will be liable for the accident and would be compensated for their damages. You should protect yourself and your assets from any potential lawsuits, even after a minor parking lot accident.

Just as with any type of accidents that involved motorized vehicles, there are steps that you need to do in order to protect yourself. Make sure that you pull the vehicle to a safer location, but if it is not possible, ensure that the emergency flashers and warnings are on before exiting the vehicle. If there is anyone injured, immediately call for medical assistance and then call the police. This is very important, especially in cases of a four-wheeled vehicle hitting a motorcycle with a rider who has limited physical protection. Get photographic evidence of the scene and damages, and ensure that both parties exchange information (names, address, plate numbers, phone numbers and insurance information). Take note of the date, time, location, weather, and the conditions in the parking lot as well as witnesses when the accident occurred.

Even when it is not specified in state laws, it is still important to report the incident to the police since they can provide a report to help with the insurance or injury claim, or determine whether an involved party was recklessly driving or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the incident occurred. According to Madison car accident attorneys, motorcycle riders have to make sure that they contact their insurance company because they will be the one who will investigate the incident and assess the damage to the vehicles. Not all states require motorcycles to be under insurance, but with the probability of accidents and little body protection, it is highly advised to get a policy.

Read More

Effects of Divorce on Children

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Divorce and Children | 0 comments

Divorce is a sensitive topic, especially when there are children involved. It is therefore important for parents to make sure that the whole divorce process will not cause serious damage or trauma to their children. Most children don’t want their parents to get divorced and the process can be very stressful for them, which is one reason why many couples stay married despite being unhappy in the relationship just for the sake of their children’s welfare. However, when divorce is inevitable, there are ways that parents can lower the potential harmful effects of divorce.

Parents should understand that the psychological needs of children are at the highest during a divorce. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, parents should consider the hostility they have between each other and its effect on their child’s perceptions. Fighting makes it more difficult for children to as adjust to the divorce. These factors will affect how the children will eventually cope with the divorce and would help establish how the child custody, child support and visitations will go about. Likewise, the website of the BB Law Group PLLC states that parents who have little to no animosity after the divorce can make the transition go smoothly and lessen the negative impacts that the divorce can cause in the long run.

If both parents have agreed to stay diplomatic about the situation, any changes in the custody visitation or support can be settled faster and without putting stress to your children. If there are changes or modifications to the visitation agreements or problems with enforcing them, it would be best if you talk with a lawyer. State laws differ, so a Manhattan Beach child custody lawyer, for example, may have a different option that those of other states. Finding the right lawyer is key in having the best agreement that would best benefit the welfare of the children during and after the divorce.

Read More

Options after Being Hurt on a Construction Job

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Construction Danger | 0 comments

Dangers of construction work are very real and are taken seriously by those who work in the industry. Because workers face occupational hazards every day, there are federal and state laws that help protect and promote safety on the construction site. In cases of accidents or illnesses caused during or by the job, workers will have legal help that would provide compensation – either from the company or from a third party. According to the website of Hack and Rose, workers generally have three legal options when they get injured in the workplace.

  1. Worker’s Compensation – this is often a part of the insurance coverage that the mandatory to employers to help cover for most of the losses brought about by the injuries. This is a no-fault benefit, which means the worker is covered regardless of who caused the accident. Worker’s compensation is almost an exclusive remedy, and often provides less than what a personal injury claims. This benefit relies solely in the relationship between the employer and the worker.
  2. Personal Injury Lawsuit – when the injured worker believes that worker’s compensation is not enough to pay for the damages from the accident, or if the accident occurred due to negligence of another person or party who is not the direct employer. Personal injury claims should contain three essential basis: (1) a duty of providing worker safety was established between the defendant and claimant, (2) the defendant did not meet the duty, and (3) the defendant’s action (or inaction) led to the workers’ injuries. As Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® states on its website, any type of violation from the OSHA safety regulation can be grounds for breach of duty of care.
  3. Product Liability Lawsuit – there are times where a defective product or equipment caused injuries to the worker, and if that happens the manufacturer, designer, and seller of the defective product can be sued for damages. Just as with personal injury claims, product liability claim require three factors (1) the product was unreasonably defective when it left the defendant’s supervision, (2) the product was used in its expected purpose, and (3) the defect was the direct cause of the worker’s injuries.

Worker’s should know that if they file a personal injury claim against their employer would prevent them from getting worker’s compensation benefits. However, employers have no legal right to discriminate a worker who has filed a lawsuit against them.

Read More

Facing Accusations of a Hit & Run Accident

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

The penalties for a hit-and-run incident can range from administrative penalties to criminal penalties, all depending on the severity of the accident and the damages it caused. Many states disregard the fact of whether the accidents were caused by you or another factor, if you have fled the scene of the accident is enough for the act to be committed. Generally, state traffic laws have guidelines that motorists should follow in case they get involved in an accident, such as stopping as soon as safe to do so, and exchange contact information and identification with any motorists involved in the accident.

Felony hit and run is an accident involving serious injuries or death. The criminal penalties for such charges can differ from each state, but often the penalties are severe and long-lasting. States generally enforce fines around $5,000 to $20,000 with high chances of jail time. Depending on the gravity of the accident, states can impose a 15-year incarceration for those charged with hit-and-run.

The state of Texas can either classify a hit-and-run incident as misdemeanor or felony. Class C and B misdemeanors are charged to those who caused $200 worth or damages or less (without injuries), while those that involved injuries can lead to a $5,000 fine and no less than a year of jail time. Just as with other states, the penalty for hit and run accidents depends on the severity of injuries and damages. In order to lower the chances of having hefty penalties, it is important to find a lawyer who knows the state laws and how to effectively protect your rights.

Most states allow hit-and-run claims regardless of whether the accident occurred on a highway, public, or private road. Likewise, states may consider it not a hit-and-run incident if the driver left the vicinity in order to get or access immediate emergency assistance and returned shortly to the scene of the accident. Contact a criminal defense lawyer for more information.

Read More

Considerations to Make Considering Long-Term Disability Benefits

Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in Disability Coverage | 0 comments

Employers today are urged to offer long-term disability (LTD) coverage to their employees to ensure their employee are covered in an event of an accident that could prevent them from going back to work for a significant amount of time. It acts as a cushion that would provide the employee around 45-60 percent of their salary while they recover and be able to go back to work. Many recipients of LTD benefits have reported it being a vital part that secures their financial and emotional lives when sickness or disability strikes. In order to get the best from LTD benefits, here are some things that every employer and employee should think about:

  1. Most people believe that worker’s compensation is enough to cover for the expenses, but this is not true. Worker’s compensation benefits are only given when the injury or disability occurred while on the job, and about 90 percent of LTD claims are given for illnesses and not accidents.
  2. Age is not a factor in LTD benefits. According to Unum, 41 percent of LTD recipients between 2009 and 2012 were under 50 years old, with a third of them being under 40.
  3. More or less half of the beneficiaries of LTD in 2009-2012 were women, so the benefit is aimed for both genders.
  4. Although available, individual disability insurance provided by financial advisors are often expensive compared to employer-provided ones. Consider asking your employer if they do offer to employer-sponsored LTD coverage before getting private disability insurance.
  5. Accidents can happen to anyone, and the SSA estimates that one in every four 20-year-olds is at high risk of disability and unable to get employment before the age of 67. Everyone who is employed, especially in high-risk and physically-exerting jobs, to have LTD coverage.

Every LTD policy has its own conditions for any disease, preexisting conditions, and payouts that could be excluded and policies that could relatively be useful for the employee. According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, LTD coverage is as important as life insurance, and employees have the responsibility of checking whether their company policy meets their needs, and to purchase their own expanded coverage if they prefer to have them.

Read More

Dangerous Side Effects of Zofran

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

Zofran is an off-the-label prescription medication recommended for pregnant women who experience nausea and vomiting, also known as morning sickness. It is manufactured by the GlaxoSmithKline, and it works by blocking the serotonin in areas of the brain that bring about the symptoms of morning sickness. It was considered the first of its class and was approved by the FDA and sold on the market in 1991.

The FDA has labeled Zofran as under the Category B on Pregnancy Risk, which means it does not have any evidence of being a risk. This prompted expectant mothers to believe that the drug was safe to use, however, despite being an effective drug to combat nausea and vomiting Zofran has been linked to a number of congenital birth defects. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the manufacturer did not do enough to warn consumers of the risks involved and continued to market the drug towards expectant mothers although the FDA have never issued an approval for the drug to be used by pregnant women.

Mothers who were unaware of the risks they were putting their babies later filed lawsuits after claiming Zofran caused a number of injuries to their newborn. Among the most common are heart defects, mental problems, physical deformities, abnormal blood pressure, cleft palate and cleft lip, stomach problems, and others. There have been various studies conducted to determine the direct relationship between ondansetron (Zofran) and health complications. One study, published by Dr. Gideon Koren in 2014, presented an increased risk of 30% for major congenital malformations, while an earlier study in 2011 by the Slone Epidemiology Center showed a two-fold increase in risks of developing cleft palate defects when Zofran was taken during the first trimester of the pregnancy.

Because of the dangers that Zofran, the FDA has issued a recall in 2012 for the intravenous 32mg dose due to its “potential for cardiac risks.” Oral versions, however, are still being sold in the market. Victims of Zofran can file injury lawsuits on the grounds of negligence because the manufacturer did not share information and warnings about the risks of taking the drug.

Read More