Work-Related Injuries under the Workers’ Compensation Laws can Include Aggravations of Prior Injuries and Conditions

May 26, 2017 by

For the years 2013 and 2014, the numbers of fatal work-related accidents reported to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) were 4,585 and 4,679, respectively. Though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has worked hard to significantly reduce the number of workplace injuries and deaths since its establishment in 1971 (from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2014), fatal accidents in work environments continue to happen.

Every workplace has its own type of dangers; however, of all types of workplaces, construction sites remain to be among the most dangerous due to all the possible sources of injuries workers are exposed to every day, like falling objects, the presence of heavy machinery, risk of electrocution, and risk of falls, especially among those working on roofs and scaffolds and those who always use ladders. Aside from these, many workers are also regularly exposed to toxic chemicals which can cause deadly and chronic illnesses.

The effects of accidents can never be undone; however, there are ways to prevent these (through strict observance of OSHA safety rules) and ways to make sure that workers who get injured on the job are never left to carry by themselves the financial burden resulting from the injury. This is because injuries will definitely render a worker unable to work, which will mean no pay during the whole duration of treatment and recuperation – just at the time when the financial needs increase, the very source of earning is cut.

To remedy this dilemma suffered by injured workers, the government passed into law the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program. This state- mandated and administered program provides immediate financial help to workers who sustain injuries while performing their job or who develop an illness due to exposure to toxic chemicals at work. Workers’ Compensation or Workers’ Comp covers lost wages, cost of medical treatment, disability, rehabilitation, retraining, and death (this may include payment of benefits to survivors of workers killed on the job).

Workers’ Comp pays benefits to injured workers regardless of who was at fault in the accident (there is no need for an injured worker to file a case in court just to avail of the benefits); however, if the injury was self-inflicted, was sustained because the worker was drunk, or was a result of actions in violation of OSHA law or company safety policy, then a worker’s application for a claim will be denied.

Work-related injuries under the workers’ compensation laws can include aggravations of prior injuries and conditions as well.

In the state of Pennsylvania, specifically, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides legal guidelines for payment of workers’ compensation benefits. State law governs WC coverage, though some employees may be covered by other federal compensation laws. All companies must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have employees in Pennsylvania. However, unfortunately some employers do not have workers’ compensation insurance despite what the law says. In Pennsylvania, an employee injured at work while working for an uninsured employer may pursue benefits from the Pennsylvania Uninsured Employer’s Guaranty Fund. However, there are several deadlines applicable under the law creating the Uninsured Fund, so it is important that you contact an attorney immediately if you have been injured at work.”

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The Dangers of Defective Seat Belts

Feb 19, 2017 by

Seat belts are some of the most vital safety equipment in vehicles, along with airbags. They prevent drivers and passengers from sustaining traumatic injuries in collisions and ejections. But sometimes, the drivers and passengers sustain unnecessary injuries because of defective seat belts. According to a defective seat belt article from the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, careless manufacturers may be held liable.

Common Seat Belt Defects
Defective seat belts can manifest in many ways, but there are defects that are much common than the others. Below are the most common defects involving seat belts.

  • Improper latching: Seat belts that do not buckle or latch properly are extremely dangerous when an accident occurs, because they may lack the power to restrain the occupant and cause him or her to be thrown or ejected.
  • Loose constriction: Like improperly latched seat belts, loosely constricting seat belts do not have restraining power to hold on to an occupant in case of a crash, possibly causing a traumatic injury.
  • Excessive restriction: Seat belts that are too tight can also be considered defective. They should be loose enough to allow movement and restrictive enough to prevent occupants from getting ejected.
  • Weak materials: The use of weak materials and products to create seat belts also poses a danger. Seat belts that are composed of substandard materials may not have optimal functionality and may even be the reasons for injury.

Injuries from Defective Seat Belts
Most injuries sustained from defective seat belts are from the force of the collision itself and the seat belts’ inability to protect their occupants. The worst injuries are fatal or lifelong, such as severe traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, neck fractures, and internal bleeding. Other injuries may not be as bad, but they still pose serious threats to your health, such as spinal cord injuries, whiplash, chest and back issues, and shoulder and arm problems.

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Dirty Tactics of Auto Liability Insurance Providers during Accidents

Sep 27, 2016 by

About 16.1 million cars and trucks were purchased in the U.S. in 2015. These add to the 253 million motor vehicles on roads and highways all across the U.S.

The continuous increase in the number of cars and truck on U.S. roads is a signification of a growing economy. This increase , however, also hints on the possibility that the number of automobile crashes remain to exceed five million every year – crashes that injure two million drivers, passengers and pedestrians, and kill more than 30,000.

Whenever a car accident occurs, cost of medical treatment, days off from work which result to loss of wages, and property damage are a victim’s immediate concerns. Good thing carrying auto liability insurance is a basic driving requirement in all U.S. states (with the exception of New Hampshire, where drivers can show financial responsibility through other ways).

The type of auto liability insurance a driver is supposed to carry depends on the liability system recognized in the state where he/she resides. In Florida, Michigan, New York, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah, drivers are required to carry a no-fault liability car insurance policy (the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Kentucky allow drivers to choose between no-fault insurance and fault or tort insurance coverage).

Under the no-fault system, compensation (to the driver and his/her passenger/s), which includes medical expenses, lost wages due to the injury, and funeral expenses (in the event of death) is paid by his/her own insurance provider rather than the at-fault driver’s (insurance provider). This takes away the need to file a claims lawsuit against the at-fault driver (which is the case under the fault or tort system), except in cases wherein damages exceed the insurance limit. The driver’s own insurance provider pays the compensation regardless of whose fault the accident was.

According to the Hankey Law Office, however, insurance companies are not always willing to pay out the benefits to which their policyholders are entitled. At other times, insurance firms make a lowball offer – something that a policy holder should never accept.

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What Types of Injuries Are Office Workers Susceptible To?

Jun 29, 2016 by

Just like employees injured performing physically demanding work in hazardous environments, employees injured in the office are entitled to fair compensation. Workers in office environments should not assume they are protected or immune to a possible injury.

The hazards in office environments are not as obvious as those encountered by workers who use machinery or heavy equipment. However, hazards do exist in the office. Some of the most common office injuries include repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration writes that work-related musculoskeletal disorders account for $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs.

Office workers are also highly susceptible to slip and fall accidents, lifting injuries, back injuries, and head and neck injuries. According to the Center for Disease Control, an office employee is 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer an injury from a fall than workers in other environments. Some of the main causes of falls include: using a chair instead of a step ladder to reach something, tripping over an object in a walkway, slipping on a wet floor, or poor lighting/visibility.

A majority of office injuries can be avoided through preventative measures. For example, slip and fall accidents can be avoided by reporting loose carpeting or flooring, keeping areas clear of electrical cords, and cleaning up spills immediately. Heavy lifting can cause neck, shoulder, and back injuries. To avoid such an injury, workers should lift by squatting and lifting the load with their legs, rather than their back, and hold the load close to their body. Workers can avoid repetitive strain injuries by adjusting chair, keyboard, and monitor positions and avoiding using excessive force when making repetitive motions such as typing. It is also important to stand and stretch every half hour to release tensions related to strain.

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Personal Injury

Feb 13, 2016 by

Improper safety training in construction sites have accounted to a significant number of workplace injuries. In order to protect the workers from any unnecessary incidents or accidents, proper safety precautions, training and safety equipment should be provided by the company; failing to do so may make the company liable for any damages that the worker suffered due to workplace accidents. Many state laws require the construction companies to follow safety procedures and to provide training to their workers regarding safety plans and policies, and failing to do so may put them at risk of facing lawsuits from their workers.

There are generally three elements that each injured worker should provide in order to win a personal injury claim against their employer or company: (1) the duty to keep competent safety training, (2) the defendant disregarding their duty, and (3) the disregard of duty lead to harm on the worker. These three factors should all be present in every personal injury claim. Injuries tend to overwhelm many victims, so an experienced injury lawyer will be a valuable asset to a claim. It is crucial that you get a lawyer that you trust and rely on, because they will be the one who will gather information and evidence to present a strong case in court. Furthermore, a strong injury claim may help in getting the case settled out of court, which can cost less than going to court.

Because of different laws in each state, it can be difficult to determine whether there was a breach of duty of care from the side of the employer or company, but generally, the law states that the employer or company has the legal duty to assure that the worker is knowledgeable and able of performing the work safely. www.crowemulvey.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/ states that companies have the obligation of training and informing their workers of proper safety procedures before letting them begin their work in order to avoid accident. The company’s negligence that caused harm to the worker will make them liable for all damages that the injured worker suffered and may experience in the future.

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