Will Your Shoes Hurt Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

brown-leather-shoes-1429125-mThis may seem like an odd supposition, but the truth is that shoes are, far too frequently, responsible for the injuries suffered by Americans. When a person has been seriously injured on someone else’s premises, he or she has the right to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. If it is ruled that the individual or organization ignored a potential hazard, placing the visitor in harm’s way, the victim may be able to collect compensation to cover any related financial losses.

This is the case, unless the defendant can prove that the victim played some role in the accident. For instance, a person who is busy texting while walking would have to accept some level of blame for tripping over a misplaced item. Shoes can also play a part.

While a commercial building does have to abide by certain rules when it comes to keeping visitors safe, a person must also take certain precautions to ensure that he or she does not increase his or her own risk. On an extremely rainy day, for instance, certain shoes are just poorly prepared to provide any sort of traction. Given that, it can be assumed that certain floor surfaces are going to be slick when the wet shoe bottom hits them.

The defendant has the right to ask to see the shoes that were worn at the time of the accident. If they are damaged in any way or worn out, it could, ultimately, reduce the worth of your court case. A personal injury attorney will generally recommend that a victim stop using the shoes in question, but save them as evidence.

If a shoe fails and that is the cause of your accident, then speak to your attorney about that key component of the case. It could be that you are seeking damages from the wrong defendant.

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Typical Job Site Hazards To Watch Out For

staging-536650-mThe below is a short list of hazards to be aware of when working on job sites. There are many different instances and individual situations particular to each job site, of course. Wherever you are working, it is always wise to review your surrounding environment for potential hazards.

Ladders. It hardly has to be stated, but ladders lead the way when it comes to worksite injuries. Working from heights naturally places a person in potential danger, but ladders are infamous for kicking out, slipping, sliding, or buckling at the wrong time. Nearly half of all the fatal falls annually involve a ladder. Yet, workers still commonly take unnecessary risks with ladders. In a hurry to get the job done, or to cut down on inconveniences throughout the day, construction workers will regularly forego the safety harnesses, will poorly prop ladders, or will lean in precarious manners while atop them. Worse yet, all too often, ladders are left in place at the end of the day inviting curious children to take a peek at the world from several feet off the ground. This is a great way to ensure that a personal injury attorney is involved.

Chemicals. Just this month, a story was released about two workers who were killed as a result of a toxic combination of chemicals on a job site. These are not to be messed with. The human body can only take so much. Precautions must be taken to ensure that chemicals cannot burn the skin, harm the eyes, or damage a person internally. Anyone working with dangerous chemicals should have proper training.

Spills and Other Obstacles. Slippery liquids, holes, and poorly placed construction materials can cause serious injuries every year on job sites. When a person is busy with the task at hand, he or she can easily overlook such an obstacle.

Electrical Hazards. Many job sites involve serious electrical components. Whenever electricity is at play, people are at risk. Electricians are generally well-educated, trained, and licensed to be working with such matters, but when a wire is accidentally hit with a drill or screw, when electricity is not cut to an area before work commences, or when a hand is simply placed in the wrong place, the shock can kill.

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Backyard Trampoline Hazard

midair-splits-607532-mThis past spring, national news stations were highlighting the dangers of trampolines in the backyard. In May, USA Today ran an article on the topic, citing the one million emergency room visits annually as reason to play it safe with these backyard toys. It is a valid point and as much of the country starts to think about closing pools for the winter, kids are prone to showing an increased interest in other forms of at-home fun. Fall is a big season for bouncing.

It is important to understand that these contraptions, commonly given as gifts to kids for birthdays and holidays, are a serious concern. Many doctors and health professionals sincerely advise against them. Yet, backyards throughout the country are equipped with the bouncing surfaces. The safety nets that are now built to surround the trampoline and keep jumpers from falling over the sides do help to an extent, but they cannot prevent all injuries.

When more than one child jumps at the same time, it is easy for them to collide, land on each other, or get bouncing out of control. Injuries do not occur only as a result of falling over the edge. Those previously mentioned collisions have resulted in numerous bloody noses, black eyes, broken bones, and even concussions.

There are safety guidelines of which to be aware, if you are going to encourage your kids to use trampolines. It is important to abide by these, for the protection of your own kids, and also for the safety of your guests. If a child is harmed on your property – especially as a result of a risk device, like a backyard trampoline – you could face off against a personal injury attorney in court. Hopefully, your homeowner’s policy will cover such costs, but you shouldn’t count on it. Let’s face it, at that point, it won’t be purely financial concern, but also the moral hurt of realizing that your purchase led to someone else being seriously harmed.

Post a sign with safety rules by your backyard trampoline:
– Use of the trampoline is done at one’s own risk
– Only one person should jump at a time
– Children should be supervised while on the trampoline
– A trampoline is not safe while pregnant, ill, injured, or using certain medications

It is also wise to have your trampoline within a fenced area or otherwise defended against uninvited guests. Neighborhood children might be tempted to jump while no one is looking.

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Personal Injury Law: Can You Sue A School District?

doodled-desks-2-1193228-mUnfortunately, this is a question that has been on the minds of some parents in recent years, as stories of shootings, bullying, discrimination, excessive punishment, and potentially fatal athletic injuries make headlines. What is the school’s responsibility to your children? What sort of guarantee should a district offer to parents and what does happen when the line of morality and decency is surpassed?

These are sad, but very genuine questions asked by today’s society. The truth is that you do have the right to hire a personal injury attorney and file a claim against a school district if you believe that they have put your child in harm’s way. In the past, there have been several reasons for schools to be brought to court. Among those are discrimination, at-school injuries, improper suspension, excessive punishment, inadequate supervision, and sexual misconduct.

If you feel that a teacher, or other representative of your school district, has acted in some way that has left your child the victim of physical or mental abuse, if a person hired by the school does not step up to aid a child who has been hurt or mistreated, or if there is evidence of sexual advances made on a minor within the school, then you should speak to a personal injury attorney.

These are offenses that should not be repeated. Your stepping up to take action can help to ensure that other students do not face the same sort of neglect, mistreatment, or risk to their persons. A well-trained and experienced personal injury attorney can help look through the details of your case, help collect evidence, and provide a thorough estimate of the worthiness of your case. In the event that there is a clear-cut case against a school district, personal injury lawyers have the knowledge necessary to file the claims with the court, assemble a case, and help you collect compensation for the suffering your child has endured.

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Should You Witness a Personal Injury Court Case Before Filing One?

courtroom-1-1207444-mAs you consider how you might recoup some of the financial losses that occurred as the result of a Tampa auto accident, a slip and fall, or a mechanical failure, you likely have a lot of questions. You might even consider visiting a local courtroom to get a better feel for what happens during a personal injury case.

While that may not be a bad idea, it is a good idea to understand that many personal injury cases never make it to trial. So you may be researching something that will never come to fruition in your case.

First, there is the claims process, which is to say that you first need to file the lawsuit against the individual or entity accused of negligence. This generally involves meetings with the attorney to determine whether or not the case is worth pursuing. If so, the claim is filed with the court and the defendant is served papers.

In the pre-trial phase, both parties – defendant and plaintiff – work to collect facts, figures, and evidence that will help their respective cases. This will often include interviewing witnesses, doctors, or other such parties.

At this point, there is also the option to settle. The settlement phase is often where cases end. In many situations, there is no need to go before a judge and jury because the two parties can reach an agreement beforehand. If a settlement cannot be reached, it is likely that the case will go to court. Your personal injury attorney should be able to prepare you for this experience without the need of sitting in on another, unrelated case. However, if you would like to see what happens when a case does make it to trial, go to one of the proceedings. In order to get a list of upcoming trials, visit your local courthouse or speak to your personal injury attorney for further advice.

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Cracking Down on DWI, Police Arrest 80 People in 15 Days

moralization---1-125242-mIn a 15-day crackdown on drinking and driving, officers in Poughkeepsie, New York, arrested and charged more than 80 drunk drivers, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. The Labor Day holiday sees a major influx in partying and that generally translates to more people taking to the road while inebriated. The dangers are obvious and police throughout the country are always looking to cut down the risk for other, sober drivers. Eighty might sound like a large number in such a short period of time, but according to statistics, that should not be a surprising figure.

In Florida, the number of people arrested annually for the same offense can hover around 53,000, according to MADD.org. Even more depressing is the fact that many of these individuals pulled over and charged are third, fourth, or even fifth time offenders. More than 11,000 individuals were accused of DUI for a fifth time in 2012.

In the past, I have written about the drastic impacts that alcohol can have on the brain and how this can alter a person’s ability to think clearly and drive safely. However, this doesn’t really need an explanation for anyone who has ever been drunk before. Consider the silly, crazy, or embarrassing things that you (or friends) have done as a result of alcohol’s influence. Would you have done those things if sober? Likely not.

It is clear that alcohol influences judgment, slows reaction times, and kills. Do not drink and drive. It is simply not worth the risk. A Tampa auto accident could claim your life, the lives of those you love, or the lives of those unknown to you. If you are lucky enough to survive such a crash, you will face harsh consequences for your actions, including the likely visit with a personal injury attorney aiming to assist the victims of your bad decision.

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Police Brutality Under Attack By United Nations

5-0-6168-mPolice brutality has been in the news a great deal recently and it is important to understand that you have certain rights, even when you are suspected of a crime. According to Google, “police brutality” is defined as:

“the wanton use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer.”

We’ve all seen videos of police getting extraordinarily violent in certain situations. However, in the vast majority of cases, this doesn’t occur. So, is it fair that the UN is now condemning the United States for their policing of our fellow citizens?

In a recent news report in Huffington Post, it was stated that the United Nations have taken formal action, issuing a request that the United States police force halt excessive use of force. This comes, of course, after the fatal shooting of a Missouri youth. The UN reported that an examination of US records suggests that black Americans are truly, and frequently, victims of harsh and disproportionate treatment when accused of crimes. There were Americans in attendance during the proceedings with the UN. Among them were the parents and family members of other citizens who were treated harshly by police officers in this country. Racial bias was the most closely examined topic during these talks. In the same articled link above, it was reported that a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) spoke out against the United States, “When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad.”

Whether or not you agree with the stance taken by the United Nations, it is important to understand that policemen are just people and people can make serious mistakes. If you are mistreated by the police or treated with harshness not fitting the situation, contact a personal injury attorney for advice. You do have rights; all Americans do.

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Sentence Overturned When New Evidence Found 30 Years Later

chain-863724-mIt is not a personal injury case that I choose to write about today, but it could certainly turn into one, as two men face release from jail despite death sentences. Why? Well, the courts in North Carolina are reviewing evidence in a case that was decided more than 30 years ago. Two men were impacted by the accusations that placed blame for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl on their shoulders.

The child was found dead in a soybean field, according to WRAL.COM. Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown were young at the time, but considered the leading suspects in the case. They soon found themselves sentenced to jail. Their attorneys were quick to remark that the only evidence presented that labeled them as guilty were confessions made prior to the trial. It was, however, admitted that these confessions came only after hours of relentless pressure and questioning. In 1983, at the time of the girl’s death, Leon Brown was just 15 years old. His counterpart received even harsher sentencing due to his being of legal adult age – 19.

Initially, both men were sentenced to death by lethal injection. However, a secondary trial reduced the sentence faced by Brown. McCollum was sent right back to death row, whereas Brown would only spend the rest of his years behind bars.

Though this is certainly an extreme example, mistakes made by law enforcement and by the courts can seriously alter people’s lives. If you were unfairly convicted of a crime, which was later overturned, you may have the right to compensation. It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney about your options. It is not yet clear what action these men will take against the North Carolina Courts. For now, they are very likely focusing on what life on the outside might be like. Both have been behind bars for more than half their lives.

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On-The-Job Accidents: Aluminum Press Crushes Man To Death

alarm-679462-mFor the third time in two weeks, I am reporting on a devastating work-related accident. This time it was a Tuesday night and a man was standing at his station at an aluminum press.  It was his job to produce parts for other companies with the use of custom dies.  At approximately 8:30 p.m., things took a turn for the worse.  His arm was somehow caught in the press as it came down with 1,600 tons of pressure.

Though it took just minutes for the ambulance to arrive, it was not fast enough.  The crushing pressure was too much.  The injury claimed the life of the 49-year-old employee. As the family deals with the blow that they were dealt as their loved one was pronounced dead, investigators will be hard at work.  Details have not been released yet regarding the circumstances of the accident, but plant operators and operations will be under close watch for some time until it is determined whether or not the company could have done anything differently, which might have prevented the loss of life.  Citations will be doled out by OSHA if it is determined that the company was negligent in any way.  It will also be the right of the family to consult a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit if it is suspected that the business is responsible.

This is not a first offense for the aluminum press company.  They have received two serious citations in less than ten years’ time.  Both offenses had to do with failing to guard employees from potentially fatal hazards.

As mentioned in a previous post, shift work might be a part of the problem as well.  Long work hours and unusual schedules have a proven correlation with health and safety issues.  Injuries on the job are more than 15 percent more likely on a second shift, and nearly 30 percent higher on third shifts, as compared to normal working day hours.  This risk increases with each consecutive night worked.

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Ladder Buckling Injures Two Men, Serves As Reminder

ladder-and-sky-1057445-mAnother work-related accident is making headlines and reminding us all to be very careful on the job.  It should come as no real surprise that ladders are among the biggest offenders when it comes to workplace injury.

It was the middle of the afternoon, on a nice, sunny day when two men climbed a ladder to work on a building in the center of town.  The worker climbing up first tied on his harness, while the second quickly scaled up behind him, without thought of the safety device.

When the ladder buckled from the span and weight, the man with the harness was thrown from his perch.  The harness caught his weight and he spun round into the hard surface of the building.  Though he certainly took a beating and reported rib pain after the fact, he walked away, denying medical attention.

His co-worker was not so fortunate.  The second man survived his 20-foot fall, but not without injury.  In addition to the many abrasions and superficial injuries that he received, the ambulance crew had to rush him to the local medical center for reports of serious chest pain.  It was not clear whether or not the man had suffered internal injuries.

Each year more than 8,000 workers fall from free-standing ladders.  Step ladders have not proven any safer.  In fact, they rack up even more falls, nearly topping the 9,000 mark.  It probably comes as no surprise that those at most risk of a serious fall are men of working age – 15 to 64 years old.  Arms and legs sustain the most injuries in these incidents, but there are more than 8,500 head injuries annually.

The most frequently sighted cause of a fall is that the ladder was not on stable ground.  Be sure that the ladder is properly stabilized before doing any job and wear a harness whenever climbing to heights greater than one story.  For more OSHA guidelines, visit their Portable Ladder Safety Site.  Speak to a personal injury attorney if you have incurred injuries from a fall.

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