Believe it or not, you can get injured at work, whatever kind of place you work in. You may work in a construction site, which is obviously hazardous in itself, or you may work in an office building, which can be considered relatively safer, and you can still get hurt either way.
You might be asking, what are the hazards in office buildings anyway? There are a lot, such as defective escalators and elevators, malfunctioning appliances and office equipment, slip and fall hazards such as piles of documents, opened cabinets, loose wires, and carpets, and fire hazards, like overheating electronics, overused wiring systems, and combustible materials that can be near these things.
But if you do get hurt in a workplace accident and has sustained an injury, what do you do? You have two options.
Getting injured while working is devastating, both for your personal and working life. The injury can limit you temporarily or permanently. This injury can also affect the way you work, and possibly even your future employment opportunities, especially if the injury is permanent. There is also the financial burden of medical costs.
Because of these damages, you may have legal options. This is especially true if your employer, supervisor, or any other responsible party, has been negligent or reckless, resulting into the accident and injury.
According to the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, those who have been hurt on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation. But what is workers’ compensation exactly? It is some form of financial security, like an insurance, wherein an employee who has been hurt can get money, usually calculated in relation to his salary.
Most of the time, those who choose to go for workers’ compensation are required to give up their right to sue their employers. This can be a good thing for either party. The employee can get financial assurance, while the employer can prevent unnecessary expenses in the form of legal matters. It also boosts employer-employee relationships.
Car accidents may happen because of honest mistakes and reckless behaviors, but there are times where they happen because of something between the two, such as driver fatigue. It can be considered an honest mistake because the driver has failed to estimate his capabilities, and it can be a reckless behavior because the driver has been unwilling to stop to get adequate rest.
According to the website of the Houston car accident lawyers of Williams Kherkher, negligent parties who have caused accidents may be held liable, and one of the eligible parties include fatigued drivers. This just proves that the law is not tolerant towards driver fatigue, because it fully knows how it can pose as a hazard not just for the fatigued driver, but for the other people around him.
Signs of driver fatigue
Since drivers have the tendency to overestimate their capabilities, they may rely on the following signs to determine that they are not fully suited for driving because they have reached their limit:
- Difficulty in keeping the eyes open
- Head nodding
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor comprehension
- Poor judgment
- Slow reaction time
Reasons for fatigue
Drivers can experience fatigue because of many reasons, and those reasons may directly or indirectly involve driving. The following are just some of the most common reasons for driver fatigue:
- Being under the influence of medication and other products
- that may cause drowsiness
- Driving during sleeping hours
- Driving too much to reach a deadline or quota
- Emotional and psychological stress
- Inexperience to endurance driving
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Too much work
How fatigue can affect driving
Driving is a skill that requires physical and mental capabilities. In the physical department, the driver needs body coordination, particularly between the eyes, hands, and feet. If this body coordination is compromised, like when the drowsiness puts your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel, you may be in danger of crashing or colliding with others around you.
In the mental department, the driver needs adequate comprehension and judgment to read road signs, understand traffic lights, determine the distance between him and the others around him, and react to unexpected events, such as vehicles suddenly making a turn and pedestrians suddenly crossing the street.
In all U.S. states, employees benefit from many different laws aimed at promoting their legal rights and protection, such as the Anti-discrimination law and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which stipulates the required number of hours of work per day/week, the national minimum wage and computation of overtime pay.
Though there may be workers who are not covered by these laws, all employees are generally assured of minimum wage plus additional or overtime pay for any extra number of hours of work that they render beyond the 40-hour work per week that is mandated by the law.
The federal law, which specifically gives directives and sets the standard for recordkeeping, child labor regulations, minimum wage and overtime pay, is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), also known as the Wages and Hours Bill, which the US Congress created in 1938 and which is presently controlled by WHD or Wage and Hour Division.
The FLSA is intended to benefit all employees, whether part-time or full-time, in both private and public businesses. This Fair Labor Standards Act has components leading to civil or criminal offenses in the event of violation of any of its stipulations. Besides the criminal penalty and the huge fine for violation of any of the Act’s stipulations, compensation for damages suffered by an employee, which includes lawyer’s fees, will also have to be paid by erring employers.
Despite the law and the harsh penalties, many employers find ways to continue carrying out unfair labor practices, denying their employees the minimum and/or overtime pay that they deserve. Every minute worked deserves to be compensated, thus, any employer violation can lead to an offense which will merit for the employee all unpaid compensation.
One sector where workers continue to suffer wage and hour violations is the medical (sector); this sector is made up of nurses and other hospital personnel.
Due to the type of work that nurses and hospital personnel perform, they often get required to render additional hours of service right after their regular shift. Though hospital work naturally requires extended duty and OT work, pay agreements are legally and clearly reached by both employees and their employers. Legal agreements, however, often remain on paper, leaving many medical workers unable to receive the compensation and overtime pay that they rightfully deserve.
In its website, the Leichter Law Firm clearly states that employees who work more than 40 hours in a week should receive overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate. Some employers, however, classify nurses as “Independent Contractors” and so label them as contractors or 1099 employees if they are working through medical staffing companies. Due to this, they are given the same hourly rate for all hours worked, even those over 40 in a workweek. Nurses who are subjected to this kind of treatment should work together to bring this employment violation into the open.
No amount of money can pay for a life that is lost. But filing a lawsuit can provide the survivors of the deceased an opportunity to get back on their feet and recover losses from the person liable for the unexpected death of their loved one. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, it will be to the best interest of the family of the deceased if they file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death case is a civil action filed by the surviving family members or the estate of the deceased whose death was due to a negligent act of another person. Depending on the state where the death happened, the awarding of the damages will be dependent on existing rules as well as the time limit.
Categories of Damages
Damages in a wrongful death case are usually classified into two broad categories. The first one covers damages from the time the negligent act happened until the time of death. This might include medical expenses, mental and physical pain and suffering, lost wages, funeral and burial expenses.
The second category of damages shoulders losses experienced by the relatives or surviving family members of the deceased. This category is designed to compensate for financial losses. Damages in this category aim to replace the value of money the deceased could have earned if they were still alive. This includes lost wages and money earned by the deceased until their retirement.
When To Claim
The time period for filing a wrongful death claim is covered by the statute of limitations. The case must be filed by the kins of the dead person within a couple of years after the death. Depending on the nature of claim, the statute of limitation can be extended. Wrongful death claims usually arise from negligence cases. It can be the result of intentional behavior such as homicide or strict liability situations such as defective products or unsafe pharmaceuticals.
Wrongful death is both a civil and criminal case. As the former, it is filed by the family of the victims to recover damages. The burden of proof is on the family through a preponderance of evidence. As a criminal case, it is a public prosecutor who files the case on behalf of the state. The defendant could be charged with first degree or second degree murder, manslaughter, and others. If the defendant is acquitted from criminal charges, they could still be charged with a civil case.
The way that sickness is perceived has drastically changed as medicine has developed and societal norms have prioritized a successful career over basic necessities. However, one’s health is extremely important and should be attended to if at risk, with the complete encouragement of an employer.
As seen on the website of Cary Kane LLP, New York labor laws state that an employee that works more than 80 hours is required to be granted 40 hours (5 days) of sick leave at their disposal for that year. Withholding that privilege, which is essential to the improvement of their sickly condition, can not only worsen the health of the employee, but also violate labor laws. Even if a worker is not ill, s/he is still entitled to using sick leave to attend to other issues, such as the care of a family member. These laws protect the rights of employees, and if broken, an employer will face the consequences of overstepping their boundaries. A few ways in which an employer can go against labor laws are by refusing to provide payment to an employee on leave, as well as firing an employee for utilizing this guaranteed privilege. In the event of a wrong dismissal, an ex-employee should go to either the city or court, depending on the practices of the state involved.
A sickness or emergency is never foreseen, and it should be understandable for a workplace’s employees to take care of personal matters when a crises spontaneously occurs. Violating these rights only causes complications for both parties and prevents an ill employee from focusing on their health, which should be ranked higher than the number of hours spent in the office.
A driver operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is an obvious threat to others on the road. Not only is it reckless and irresponsible, but the choice to drink and drive can also result in the loss of lives, including the negligent driver’s. Because of the severity and prevalence of DWI, law enforcement has increased in an effort to manage the problem. This newly adopted heightened sense of caution has caused police to actually falsely arrest some who are not legally intoxicated. Therefore, the repercussions are high when considering the event of a DWI.
The legal limit for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08%, and breaching this limit will result in an arrest that can potentially ruin aspects of an individual’s life. Financial opportunities and future jobs can be difficult to attain after being charged with a DWI. To learn more about how a DWI affects your life, click here. Personal or professional relationships can be permanently damaged with a criminal record. However, seeking a legal team can help to build a strong defense, as well as ultimately lessen or eliminate charges. According to the website of Brent Horst, Attorney at Law, penalties include probation, jail time for 3-180 days, a $2,000 fine, or a loss of license for up to 2 years.
While these penalties cost the accused a clean slate and a difficulty securing future possibilities, it also costs a substantial amount of money that can sometimes not be afforded.
The future is unpredictable and always susceptible to change. Thus the future can be daunting for any companies that are beginning to question their ability to pay off an overwhelming debt within a few years while running a successful business. Deciding what is best for a company that owes a substantial amount to creditors is a tough decision, and it is often unclear whether any decision made will still be benefiting the company a year later. While some business owners continue to carry the burden of debt, there are other options that can provide debt relief, such as bankruptcy.
Because the circumstances in which bankruptcy is considered can vary, there are several types that can prove beneficial to a business’s unique situation and aspirations for the unpredictable future. According to the website of Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, the first and most commonly preferred option is chapter 7 bankruptcy, which applies to either an individual or a whole business. Essentially, chapter 7, or “liquidation”, allows a company to sell some of its assets and then pay creditors. However, eligibility may make it difficult to proceed with that strategy. An alternative to chapter 7 is chapter 11 bankruptcy, which involves the reorganization of a company, sometimes with the help of a corporation or partnership, and the preparation of a debt repayment schedule. This way the business can continue to successfully move forward while paying off what they owe. Chapter 11 is similar to chapter 13, with the exception being that this tactic applies to individuals. Someone with regular income and crippling debt can develop a 3-5 year payment plan that enables them to continue living their lives without the suffocation of financial obligations that are out of their control.
For those companies and individuals that are unable to manage their debt, legal assistance can provide relief to those who suffer. There are many other options to consider, but among the few listed, it is clear that there is a good variety of choices that can appeal to most financial situations. By accurately assessing the situation and acting based on that observation, individuals may be able to recover some control over their futures.
There are debates about whether self storage is beneficial or redundant, though there is no definite conclusion to draw from either argument. While points can be made in opposition to storage, concerning the high expenses, lack of adequate security, and the claim that anything stored away for an extensive amount of time should just be thrown out, these statements are slightly subjective, specifically in favor of the long-term storage use. Of course no one shares the same circumstances with another, so the reasons to choose self storage are diverse and unique to each person. The value of a storage unit also depends on the intuition of the individual when considering all of the aspects of buying a storage unit and whether this purchase is the right solution for item placement.
In regard to the claim that self storage facilities do not provide reliable security, the quality of security really depends on the specific working conditions of individual locations. Price also depends on the business of a particular facility, though most prices are fairly reasonable. If expenses were to become problematic, it would most likely be due to the use of storage for an extensive period of time, in which bills could pile up. Some also believe that storage is a costly substitution for throwing out old junk, but there are many instances in which one would need to keep belongings out of the house, such as making space to rent out a room or renovate the home. In the event of moving or selling one’s belongings, it is beneficial to keep certain obstructive possessions out of the way while someone is undergoing significant change. According to the website of Pond Springs Self Storage, the greatest unit size available is 20 x 20, which provides plenty of space for someone requiring temporary relief from the presence of unnecessary items.
Though self storage is sometimes frowned upon, there are actually many advantages to its service. Aside from being convenient in times of clutter and stress, the storage conditions are ample and secure with acceptable prices, and the choice to purchase a storage unit may prove more beneficial than one initially assumes. With careful research and consideration, a potential buyer can discover whether self storage is right for them.
For those individuals receiving medical attention for serious conditions, there shouldn’t have to be any uncertainty towards the doctors that supposedly work for the health of the public. However, many patients are suffering severe trauma due to the intake of a drug that was wrongly approved under false assumptions of physicians. People struggling with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or autism use Risperdal, but this same medication has been prescribed to treat other conditions. This medical malpractice has led to serious, even life-threatening, side effects.
According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there is an extensive list of side effects Risperdal can cause, such as galactorrhea, pituitary tumors, diabetes, bone loss (demineralization), and heart attacks. Because the active ingredient in Risperdal, risperidone, is an anti-psychotic medicine, inappropriate usage can also lead to suicidal thoughts. Another side effect is gynecomastia, or the swelling of breast tissue in boys or men. This condition isn’t too severe, but the abnormal development can cause breast pain and obviously damage a young boy’s self esteem.
The negligence of pharmaceutical companies can clearly result in devastation, so it is of the utmost importance to prevent such institutions from wrongly prescribing Risperdal. Patients can take it upon themselves to check whether their recommended medication is safe, just in case a doctor’s lapse in judgment made a mistake as significant as giving out the wrong medicine for their condition. The public has direct access to information regarding the dangers of certain medications, as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has issued warnings about drugs, including Risperdal. Regardless of this open information, it is still the responsibility of the doctor to provide professional advice about a medicine in question. Violating this trust between a physician and a patient threatens the health of an individual and the reputation of the medical center, not to mention the manufacturer of the harmful medication.
It requires a lot of willpower of a parent to entrust their child in the hands of another individual, let alone a facility. Because the guarantee of a child’s safety is so crucial for the reputation and business of a daycare, serious consequences can follow the violation of that promise. Any danger a child is subjected to on the center’s property promises the threat of injury, unless caretakers are conscientious and can prevent an accident from occurring. However safe daycare centers are made out to be, there are still instances of faculty negligence that can lead to an injured child, distressed parents, and a personal injury lawsuit.
Children are very fragile, thus implying that any injuries they sustain are often more serious than that of an adult’s. In addition, as seen on the website of Ravid and Associates, medical treatment for a child’s long-term injuries will cost more. Despite how easy it is to get in harm’s way, children simply don’t have the reasoning to stay away from high-risk situations; plus, their reckless behavior cannot be helped. Therefore, the presence of an authority figure is essential if a child is to avoid injury while playing.
The most common causes of trauma at a daycare center are dangerous toys, rough housing with other children, and playground accidents. For instance, falling off of a swing or slide can seriously wound a child’s brain and even impair development. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, some severe injuries include concussions, seizures, brain damage, or memory loss.
A child on daycare property that suffers such unnecessary and substantial injuries, especially ones that could affect their cognitive or physical growth, can entitle a parent or guardian to claim a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, daycares have guardians fill out a liability waiver, but a family can still be represented if they feel victimized by the facility. The wrongdoings of an assigned caretaker can and should be exposed, in order for the child’s parents to receive compensation for their suffering.