Personal Injury

Different Kinds of Road Defects

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many car accidents happen because of the driver’s fault. The cause may be understandable errors, such as failing to negotiate a turn, or completely unacceptable ones, such as intentionally driving while drunk. But there are also instances where car accidents occur because of third parties.
Some of these instances involve road defects, and the parties that can be at fault are construction companies who are responsible for the design and construction of the road or jurisdictions who are responsible for the maintenance of the roads in their areas. According to the website www.mazininjurylawyers.com, those who have been injured because of road defects may get compensation from the responsible parties.
Of course, preventing accidents is still the more attractive choice compared to getting compensation for the damages. To prevent accidents, the first step is to know the possible road defects that can cause them.

Design Defects

Design defects are design issues that make the road more dangerous than what it should be. Below are some of the most common road design defects:

  • Absence of road and warning signs
  • Absence of traffic lights
  • Dangerously sharp curves and turns, especially on elevated roads
  • Little to no road shoulder
  • Overly narrow lanes
  • Ungraded curves and turns

Construction Defects

Even if the road has good design, it may still be dangerous because of poor construction techniques, such as the use of inadequate materials.

  • Poor drainage system, resulting into water buildup
  • Poor pavement, resulting into roads that can easily sustain cracks and potholes
  • Structural problems on bridges, freeways, ramps, and other connectors

Maintenance Defects

Roads should be maintained so they are always in great condition. Failing to maintain roads may result into defects that may put motorists at risk.

  • Debris on the road
  • Defective traffic lights
  • Faded white and yellow lines
  • Foliage buildup
  • Poor lighting
  • Unreadable road and warning signs
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Identifying The Major Hazards In The Construction Site

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

The construction site is one of the most dangerous places for a worker to be in. While they account for only 6 percent of the American workforce, the industry accounts for more than 20 percent of all job-related fatalities. As the website of this Houston Personal Injury Lawyer reveals, it is important for construction sites to be excellently managed to keep dangerous conditions from arising. Here are the top four hazards in the construction site:

Fall Hazards

According to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Safety & Health Administration, fall hazards account for 36% of construction worker deaths in 2012. They include scaffoldings, ladders, and roofs. Employers should put in place fall protection policies and should have the necessary equipment that will keep workers from falling. The employees should also be trained on evaluating and identifying fall hazards.

Struck-by Hazards

Struck-by hazards account for 10% of construction worker deaths. Most of the fatalities involve heavy equipment and 1-in-4 struck-by vehicle deaths involve construction workers. To prevent fatalities, employers should set-up barricades and warning signs as well as assign spotters and flaggers when working in roadways and there is continuous traffic.

Electrical Hazards

The data compiled by BLS and OSHA revealed that 9% of construction worker deaths in 2012 were from electrocution. Power lines, live circuits, power cords, and power tools can expose workers to injuries and even death. Employers should put in place precautionary measures in order to prevent electrical hazards from injuring construction workers.

Caught-in Between Hazards

Two percent of fatalities in the construction site were due to being caught between objects. Caught-in between hazards may include excavations and trenches. These hazards can collapse and trap workers who are working in these sites. It is important for workers to comply with safety standards and use protective gear.

Known as the “Fatal Four,” these construction site hazards claim lives of workers on a yearly basis. By eliminating these hazards, 435 construction workers can be saved every year.

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Cruise Ship Excursions: Common Types of Excursion Accidents and Injuries

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many people find the idea of vacationing on a cruise ship as the most ideal way to travel. Going on a cruise promises luxurious accommodations and state of the art facilities while being transported from one amazing destination to the next. Who wouldn’t dream of such a convenient and relaxing way to travel? Many cruise lines also offer their passengers the option to take part in various activities once they reach their intended destinations. These cruise ship excursions allow passengers to immerse themselves in the locales in their itinerary through activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, as well as walking and eco-cultural tours. Other popular in-land activities also include ATV riding and dog sledding.

While enjoyable, many of these activities pose a certain amount of risk if the cruise line isn’t careful with their facilitation and operation. According to this website , accidents during cruise ship excursions are a common cause for concern. Many of these potential dangers can cause serious injuries, eclipsing the fact that passengers should be enjoying their time while on their dream vacation.

Dock accidents are among the most common accidents that passengers should be aware of. These incidents take place when a cruise ship fails to properly dock at the assigned port, causing sudden lurching movements and instability that can lead to passengers accidentally falling or slipping. Dock accidents can lead to physical injuries such as broken bones, knee injuries, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma.

Another type of accident common to cruise ship excursions are tender accidents. When passengers are transported from the ship to the shore, they will have to ride smaller vessels called tenders. Tenders can easily become unstable, especially if the vessel is being operated by a negligent operator. There’s also the danger of an accident during boarding and disembarkation.

Cruise ship passengers can also suffer from vehicular accidents as they are being transported from one venue to another while completing their in-land itinerary. Accidents are also sure to occur if there are defects in the equipment used by passengers during the excursion activities offered by the cruise line.

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Third-Party Texting Liability in Car Accidents

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

It may seem a stretch, but a New Jersey court found that a person who texts someone who is driving may be held liable for personal injury or property damage if doing so leads to an accident.

Vehicular accidents can be simple and straightforward to complex and convoluted. It depends on many factors, and any criminal defense lawyer will confirm this emphatically. It seems simple enough to find fault with a driver who acts recklessly and irresponsibly by texting while driving when it results in an accident, but not many people would lay blame on a person who is not even on the scene. Technically, however, it does make sense.

In the case of third-party texting liability, there are two things to consider in determining if it has merit: the driver was distracted by a text at the time of the accident, and the third-party texter knew or had reason to believe that the receiver would be driving when he or she receives a text.

According to the Public Health Law Research, engaging in any mobile-related activities while driving increases anyone’s risk of having a car accident by 28%. But the logic is, if you don’t receive calls or texts while driving, you won’t get distracted. If a third party continues to text a driver even while knowing that the receiver is currently operating a vehicle, this constitutes negligent behavior. Read more about this on an attorney’s website if you need to.

The legal ramifications of such liability are still unclear, but with the increasing number of incidents of mobile-related traffic accidents, it is the logical next step in accident prevention. Currently, most states penalize drivers who are observed using their hand-held device while driving, although it is not yet considered a criminal act. If you are involved in an accident result in injury to a third party, you and your text mate may be held criminally and civilly liable and may be sued, depending on the circumstances.

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Asbestos – The Major Cause of Mesothelioma

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Health, Personal Injury | 1 comment

One of the most dangerous types of cancer that an individual can develop is Mesothelioma due to the fact that it remains undetectable until it has developed to a certain stage wherein any form of treatment will no longer work. Mesothelioma forms in the mesothelium, which is a kind of coating that protects the different major internal organs of the body. Its symptoms usually appear 15-50 years after a person’s exposure to Asbestos, a “miracle” mineral, which is this chronic cancer’s major cause.

Asbestos is one of the most widely used chemicals around the world due to its remarkable efficacy, elasticity, sound absorption, tensile strength, resistance to chemical and electrical damage, resistance to heat and fire, abundance and availability, and affordability. Its use extends from the most common household items and appliances, such as fabrics, irons, toasters, dishwashers, refrigerators, and deep-fryers, to commercial and industrial equipment, like brakes and clutches, generators, steam pipes, turbines, hot water piping, insulators, boilers, cement, floor coverings, roofing, acoustic insulation, and so forth.

Inhalation of asbestos fibers (either regularly or in great quantity) is what poses the risk of developing mesothelioma. Individuals who are most prone to having this malignant lung cancer are workers in processing plants, shipyards, mines, auto manufacturing plants, construction sites, as well as plumbers, electricians, firefighters, etc.

The height of the use of asbestos happened in the mid 1900s, but it was only during the 1990s, when an alarming increase in the number of mesothelioma cases began to be reported around the world, that its manufacture and trade began to be banned in some parts of the world.

Some of the symptoms of Mesothelioma include shortness of breath, unexplainable weight loss, fatigue, frequent coughing and reduced respiratory function; these symptoms, however, can also be seen in many other types of (less serious) illnesses, thus, making it still harder to detect and identify the person’s real health condition. However, awareness of having been exposed to asbestos, even in the distant past, and then showing these symptoms would give some hint on the possibility of the presence of the cancer. Seeking the help of a Houston personal injury attorney can help the victim of asbestos and mesothelioma decide the best legal options available for the compensation that the law may entitle him/her to receive.

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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit: A Win-Win Solution for Employer and Employee

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Employees in the U.S. who sustain work-related injuries or develop an illness due to exposure to dangerous chemicals at work, are entitled to immediate financial assistance that will cover tier medical treatment and which will cushion them from the effect of a possible financial crises due to loss of capacity to earn and the inability to immediately go back to work.

Such right is stipulated in the Workers’ Compensation benefit, a law that was passed in 1908 for the very intention of providing the much financial assistance needed by injured workers. Before the passing of this law, workers needed to sue their employers just to avail of the needed compensation. Besides damaging employee and employer relationship, the lawsuits were often won by employers, who always resorted to any of the following arguments:

  • Assumption of Risk – which states that due to the danger associated with the job, possibility of injury should be accepted
  • The Fellow Worker Rule – this argument was used if the cause of the injury was a fellow worker, saving the employer from any responsibility
  • Contributory Negligence – an argument that holds the injured worker himself/herself as the cause of the accident due to his/her negligence or carelessness

If ever there were instances wherein the employee won the case, the compensation he/she was awarded with was either delayed or much less than what he/she actually expected and deserved.

Between 1911 and 1920, majority of the states implemented the workers’ compensation benefits law with certain changes to align it to the laws in their own states. Filing for injury benefits through workers’ compensation ensured employees of financial assistance as this insurance benefit was not dependent on the financial capability of any employer. One item the benefit stated, however, is the employer’s freedom from any and further financial and/or legal obligations once the benefit has been awarded.

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