August 2018

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Delivery Drivers are at a High Risk for Work Injuries

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The consumer demand for convenience of home deliveries continues to escalate.   With this boom in delivery services links a job force demand for delivery drivers.   While delivery drivers are an important part of this workforce, they are at a higher risk for injury than many other professions.  

Delivery drivers often spend long hours in their delivery vehicle.  Any professional that logs significant time in a vehicle has inherent risks of accidents.  Approximately 13 percent of injuries to delivery drivers occur due to vehicle accidents. Head, back, and neck injuries during a vehicle accident can have long-term and serious consequences.  Head injuries can range from a mild concussion to bleeding within the brain or traumatic brain injury. Back and neck injuries may include whiplash, herniated disks, or damage to the spinal column and nerve damage.   A lawyer, like a Philadelphia work injury lawyer, understands the direct and indirect costs associated with vehicle injuries.  For example, costs associated with hospitalization, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, and related medications can quickly skyrocket and also extend over a long period of time.  Additionally, the recovery time frame for extensive injuries may be significant, leaving the individual unable to work. Unfortunately, many companies will pressure injured delivery drivers and attempt to limit the amount of medical care in order to avoid expenses.  A work injury lawyer allows you to focus on recovery knowing that they will seek fair compensation for the complete extent of your injuries.

Overexertion or body movement injuries are the most common injury among delivery drivers, accounting for over 40% of delivery driver injuries.   Delivery drivers who frequently lift or move heavy materials, such as furniture or large and bulky packages, may experience back, knee, or shoulder pain and injury.  Herniated disks, sprains and strains are all common injuries related to these repetitive motion injuries. Slips, trips and falls are another common cause of injury for delivery drivers.  While weather conditions, such as rain or snow, contribute to some of these injuries, the majority of injuries are caused by the conditions of the ground or floor. In either case, the delivery driver has rights to file a workers compensation claim.

If you have been hurt while working as a delivery driver, there are several important steps to take to protect yourself.

1)     Immediately notify your supervisor of your injury, even if you are uncertain whether you will seek medical treatment.  Most employers will ask you to complete an incident report to document your injury. If there was an unsafe condition – such as a broken step or malfunctioning equipment – that contributed to your injury, be sure to include it on the incident report.  This will be important information for your situation, and it may also help prevent additional injury to a coworker.

2)     Seek appropriate medical consultation.  This may vary based on the extent of your injuries.  An emergent injury from a car crash may necessitate a 911 call with immediate treatment.  A lesser injury might be able to be handled in an outpatient setting, such as a primary care physician office or urgent care facility.   Ask your employer for the list of physicians that are in network for your workers compensation injury. If you are not satisfied, or do not want to use their in-network physicians, be sure to keep track of any receipts for medical care.

3)     Contact a qualified workplace injury attorney. If you have been hurt at work, it’s important that you take the first step and hire a injury lawyer to pursue fair compensation for your physical injuries, pain, and suffering.  

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm for their insight into car accident cases.

Disclaimer:  This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

 

What is Admissible Evidence?

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In both criminal and civil court cases, evidence may be admitted or dismissed in a court procedure. Evidence can make or break a case which is why it is important to choose a good lawyer who is ready to defend their client as best as possible.

What is Admissible Evidence?

 

Admissible evidence is considered to be any type of tangible, testimony, or document used in a court of law. In general evidence is introduced by a lawyer to a jury or judge with the objective of proving a point or factor in a case. Evidence can be used in criminal and civil law.

 

Criminal Law: Evidence is typically used to prove or disprove a defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

 

Civil Law: An element or factor of a case may be weighed by the superiority or strength of evidence in a case. It does not have to be evidence that is “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

 

Prior to evidence being used in a criminal legal case, it must be deemed admissible. Whether or not this holds true will depend on various factors that must be assessed by the court.

How Evidence is Assessed Before Being Considered Admissible

In general, an evidence that is not relevant or reliable to a case is inadmissible. Whereas, relevant and reliable evidence is admissible.

 

Relevant – In order for evidence to be relevant, it must be able to prove or disprove a fact in the case. If it doesn’t relate to a fact, it may be inadmissible.

 

Reliable –  The source of the evidence must be credible or reliable. This especially pertains to any witness testimony.

 

Types of Evidence

 

There are four primary types of evidence in legal cases. These are:

 

  • Real – Dried blood, fingerprints, DNA, a murder weapon, casts of a footprint, etc.
  • Demonstrative – Photos, sound recordings, videos, graphs, x rays, simulations, etc.
  • Testimonial – The spoken evidence given by a witness who is under oath
  • Documentary – Proof that can be presented in written form (i.e. wills, contract, printed email, etc.)

 

The aforementioned is not exhaustive. A lawyer can further explain other types of evidence that may be particularly relevant to your legal matter.

 

When Evidence is Inadmissible

 

Determining what is inadmissible evidence can be a rather complex and nuanced area of law. In general, the rules of evidence are backed by public policy; however, there are a number of exceptions which can have their own exceptions. Consider it an exception within an exception of a rule. Typically evidence will be deemed inadmissible when it:

 

  • Is unfairly prejudicial
  • Wastes time
  • Is misleading
  • Is hearsay
  • Is testimony from a lay witness
  • Came from a privileged source of information (i.e. a lawyer)

 

If any evidence is inadmissible, it will not be able to be used in court. Thus it is important to ensure a qualified lawyer reviews and assess any evidence prior to going to court. If you need help with any evidence issues, or with a criminal or civil legal matter, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into admissible evidence.

 

Family Files Wrongful Death Claim Over CA Attorney’s Race Collapse

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A family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the race-related collapse of an attorney in California, reports Bakersfield Now.

Ben Greene, who was a father of nine children and married at the time of his death, was one of close to 200 participants in a 5K race at Hart Park last year, on a day with temperatures of 110 degrees. He collapsed during the event and later died at an area hospital. The claim has been brought by Greene’s family against the Bakersfield Track Club, who held the event.

According to the complaint from the family, the organizers of the race ignored the heat warnings for that day and did not have medical safety precautions in place for those taking part in the race.

The coroner’s report for Greene lists his death as accidental due to heart disease, with contributing factors of phentermine – a controlled substance used for weight loss – and methamphetamine intoxication. However, the legal representation for the family strongly denies that he was using any sort of illegal drugs, noting that legitimate medications can mirror methamphetamine in toxicology tests.

Dawn Ratliff, the division chief of the coroner’s office, was asked by local news outlets if there could be another reason for the appearance of methamphetamine in the late attorney’s system. She stood by the officer’s initial conclusion, saying that this was the cause of death and the findings of the toxicology tests.

According to the Track Club, Greene was receiving treatment within two minutes of his collapse at the race. A firefighter EMT who was off-duty and volunteering his time there began CPR on Greene and continued doing so until more help arrived. The fire department arrived at the scene in around eight minutes and an ambulance was there within 12 minutes, but both sets of responders had trouble locating the exact site of the emergency inside the large and sprawling park.

In the legal complaint filed by Greene’s family, they fault the club for not having medical transportation at the race site in the first place and for the lack of a portable defibrillator. Runners involved in this event did have to sign waivers prior to taking part, and these waivers free the club from liability except in the event of their gross negligence. Legal opinions from observers, which were obtained by local news agencies, say convincing a jury that gross negligence occurred may be a challenge because of the race’s history of being conducted in intense heat.

The family, which is being represented by a local law firm, is seeking compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, funeral and burial costs, and other damages.

The actions or negligence of another person or entity can result in the devastating loss of a loved one. If you have lost someone you cared about because of the actions or inaction of another person or entity, speak to an attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer Denver, CO relies on, about your case. Since wrongful death claims usually can only be brought forward within a set number of years of a person’s death, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice.

 


 

 Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Office of Richard Banta, P.C. for their insight into wrongful death cases.

What Kinds of Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Suits?

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The aftermath of an accident can be undeniably stressful. In fact, many people who have been injured or have lost loved ones as a result of accidents ultimately choose not to file personal injury suits related to those accidents because they are just too overwhelmed by stress to take on the realities of filing a lawsuit. However, it is important to understand that the potential financial compensations associated with personal injury lawsuits can help families avoid unnecessary stresses in the future. When wages have been lost or medical bills are mounting, damages awarded in personal injury suits can aid families in avoiding potentially catastrophic financial hardships moving forward.

Economic Damages

The first kind of potential damages awarded in personal injury case are relatively objective economic damages. Economic damages are fairly straightforward, as they relate to either bills incurred or income lost as a result of the defendant’s harm. At their most basic, economic damages relate to financial loss resulting from the plaintiff’s injury or loss of life.

One of the most common kinds of economic damages awarded is compensation for medical bills. Past, current and future medical expenses resulting from the defendant’s harm may be awarded in these cases. As the majority of personal bankruptcy cases filed in the U.S. result from overwhelming medical expenses, this form of non-economic damages is particularly significant.

Another common economic award involves income lost as a result of the plaintiff’s situation. Past, current and future income lost may be awarded, depending on the nature of the case.

It is worth noting that both economic and non-economic damages may be sought in cases involving wrongful death. The spouse, children or estate of a person whose life has been lost due to another’s negligence may be eligible to file such a lawsuit.

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are relatively subjective and are not tied to specific financial loss. Instead, these damages help to reflect the losses suffered by the plaintiff and potentially by the plaintiff’s loved ones as a result of the defendant’s harm. Damages related to pain and suffering, loss of consortium and some kinds of emotional distress are examples of non-economic damages.

In addition, some states allow punitive damages to be awarded in personal injury cases. These damages are not tied to specific financial loss. Rather, they are intended to punish the defendant for negligent, reckless or intentional behavior and deter both that defendant and other entities from behaving in similar ways moving forward.

Next Steps

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another’s negligence, you may benefit from exploring a personal injury claim. Speaking with an attorney about your legal options does not obligate you to move forward with a suit. But explaining your situation to an experienced personal injury lawyer Deer Park, TX trusts will allow you to make an informed decision. Feeling overwhelmed in the wake of an accident is completely understandable. But please do not allow your current challenges to keep you from exploring options that may reduce your stress levels significantly in the future.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury and damages.

Are Most Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Error?

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When it comes to truck accidents, even the smallest collision can be deadly. If you’ve ever stood next to a semi-truck, you know just how big they are. Standing 13 feet high with an average weight of 80,000 lbs., the common sedan doesn’t stand a chance in a truck-auto accident. As a result, most collisions with semi-trucks result in fatalities.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, large truck accidents occur due to one of the following variables:

  1. Critical Event: an action or event makes a collision unavoidable
  2. Critical Reason: driver error, vehicle failure, or an environment condition caused the accident
  3. Associated Factors: the persons, vehicles, and environmental conditions present at the time of the crash (brake problems, traffic flow, road problems, speed, etc.)

Critical Reason Accidents

The FMCSA found that 87% of large truck accident critical reason accidents are caused by driver error. The types of errors are broken down into four categories:

  • Non-Performance: this error occurs when the driver becomes physically impaired due to seizure, heart attack, falling asleep, etc.
  • Recognition: similar to distracted driving, the driver was either inattentive, distracted, or failed to adequately observe a situation
  • Decision: the driver makes a poor decision, such as driving too fast, misjudging distance, etc.
  • Performance: the driver panics, overcompensates, or exercises poor directional control.

Many of the above errors can be attributed to driver experience and/or fatigue.

Commercial Truck Driver Education

Most states required drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license and undergo specific training, but it can still take some time to acquire the knowledge, experience, skills, and even physical ability to drive a commercial truck.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion and can severely impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. In an effort to combat driver fatigue, there are regulations on both the state and federal levels. Large truck drivers are permitted to drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours, provided they take the next 10 consecutive hours off. Truck drivers are required to log their time driving, their time on duty but not driving (loading or unloading the truck), and their time off duty. The trucking companies are also responsible for making sure their drivers are following these rules, but it can be difficult to know when a driver has omitted certain information from their logs, therefore making it difficult to know if a driver has violated the regulations.

HIRE AN ATTORNEY

If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you might be entitled to carry out legal action against the driver or truck company. Find a lawyer, like a truck accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts, with extensive experience securing the maximum fair compensation in auto accident cases.  Contact the law a skilled lawyer today.

 


 

Thank to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into truck accident cases.

Common Terms and Abbreviations To Know

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If you’ve never filed a workers compensation claim before — and especially if you’ve never been involved in any kind of lawsuit before — you might be confused by some of the terminology used. The following terms and abbreviations below are just some of the most common phrases used in workers compensation claims. If you have questions about any of the definitions below, or if you need more information about any related topics, be sure to contact a local workers compensation lawyer Milwaukee, WI trusts for legal counsel.

Average weekly income: When an insurance company provides workers compensation benefits for lost wages or for disability compensation, they usually determine the amount of money paid out by looking at the individual’s average weekly earnings. Insurers typically offer no more than 66.6% of the individual’s average weekly income.

First report of injury (FROI): After an employee is injured, they must report the incident to their employer, who then files a first report of injury with the state’s workers compensation board. This is often considered the “beginning” of the claims process.

Independent medical exam (IME): This examination is usually required by the insurance company after a worker files for workers comp benefits, and the purpose is to assess the individual’s injuries. It’s common for the insurer to choose which doctor or healthcare organization will perform the IME. The individual can seek care from another doctor of their choosing, but the insurer will likely provide or deny benefits based on the results of the IME.

Managed care organization: Many larger businesses are allowed to work with managed care organizations to coordinate medical care if/when an employee is injured on the job. An injured employee may be required to seek medical care through this organization in order to receive workers compensation benefits.

Permanent partial disability (PPD): PPD is when an individual is permanently injured but is still able to work in some way. If the individual suffers wage loss because they can only perform tasks in lower-paying jobs, workers comp may provide compensation.

Permanent total disability (PTD): With PTD, the individual is permanently injured and will likely never be able to work again.

Pre-existing condition: Workers comp isn’t just intended for individuals with brand new injuries. If an individual with a pre-existing condition is injured, and if this injury directly worsens the condition, they may be able to claim compensation.

Statute of limitations: This is a legal term that appears often in discussions about personal injuries. It refers to the amount of time that can pass between an accident (or the discovery date of the injury/illness) and when that person files a claim for compensation. In workers comp cases, there may also be a statute of limitations dictating how much time can pass if an individual’s claim is denied and they wish to file an appeal.

Temporary partial disability (TPD): TPD refers to an injury that will eventually heal, and while it is healing, the individual can perform some job duties.

Temporary total disability (TTD): With a temporary total disability, the individual cannot return to work for some time, but will eventually fully recover and be able to work again.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim for their insight into workers compensation terms.