Truck Driver Error, a Major Cause of Large Truck Accidents

According to the non-profit research organization Highway Loss Data Institute, there were 3,500 fatal large truck accidents in 2013. In these accidents, 570 truck drivers lost their lives; other victims of these fatal accidents included passengers of smaller vehicles, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

A number of surveys say that accidents involving passenger cars and trucks are more blamable on car drivers; however, a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that trucking accidents are more due to errors committed by truck drivers rather than drivers of passenger cars.

These errors are usually results of many different factors which directly affect a truck driver’s capability to react properly and on time to danger. The top three factors that the FMCSA has identified include driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, and impairment due to alcohol, prescription drugs or over-the-counter-drugs. There are other causes of errors, of course, including speeding, unfamiliarity with the road or vehicle, driving distractions and inattention, improper attachment of trailer, failure to check blind spots, depowering of the front brakes (this is what truck operators commonly do in order to minimize wear and tear on tires and breaks and so save on operating costs), and failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition before starting a long drive.

Once on the road, truck drivers can practically do whatever they want, like drive continuously despite feeling fatigued, just to be able to cover as many road miles as possible, or drive over the speed limit or too fast for certain road conditions. Because of these, as well as the fact that driving a truck is just much more challenging than driving any passenger vehicle, both the federal and local authorities make sure that a driver, before being granted a commercial driver’s license, has been given the necessary training in the safe operation of large trucks, has passed the required tests, and is totally aware of how dangerous trucks can be on roads and highways.

According to the law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C,. “Commercial trucks are a common and accepted presence on U.S. highways. Driving amongst them can be intimidating, however, due to their massive size. Although truck drivers are especially trained to drive these vehicles, sometimes they may drive negligently or even make a careless mistake that results in a devastating accident. When this occurs, drivers must be held entirely accountable for any damages in order to cover the costs that victims may be burdened with.”
An Iowa personal injury lawyer, points out, though, how highly complex legal matters can be. Thus, if you are considering pursuing legal action, then it may be in your best interest to secure the services of a qualified truck accident or personal injury attorney.

NFL Players are Paying the Cost of Such Entertainment with Their Health and Long-Term Well-Being

Any type of sports comes with the risk of injury; however, football, being a high-impact sport, has the highest risk of injury. Obviously, football and injuries go hand-in-hand. With all the tackling, blocking and other physical interactions between players, post-game recaps would always include a list of casualties and injuries, including contusions and concussions or injuries that range from minor, but bothersome to severe and debilitating.

The most common football injuries include:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries – This knee injury, which is due to damage or tear to the anterior cruciate ligament occurs when a player is struck from the front or rear;

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries – This knee injury is a result of forceful impact to the side of the knee.

Torn meniscus – Another knee injury wherein the meniscus (a thin fibrous cartilage or the firm, whitish, flexible connective tissue between the surfaces of some joints) is torn. This occurs when a player rotates his body while his foot stays planted on the ground.

Ankle sprains and strains – This is probably the most common sports injury. The soft tissues of the ankles are susceptible to damage when players pivot, change direction, or put too much pressure on the ankle joint.

Muscle contusions – This is a large, deep bruise affecting large muscles, usually in the thigh. This injury can impair muscle function.

Torn hamstrings – Players who are not conditioned or properly warmed up are prone to this injury, especially after a burst of speed.

Shoulder tendinitis – This is due to the repetitive motion of throwing.

Shoulder separation or dislocation – This is separation of the acromioclavicular joint due to direct blow below the shoulder; a dislocation, on the other hand, occurs when the head of the humerus separates from the scapula.

Though most injuries sustained by professional football players are musculoskeletal injuries, there are two other injuries that are more serious because they affect the brain: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Concussion.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. It can lead to memory loss, dementia and depression. Concussion, meanwhile, is “a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact. Not all those who suffer a concussion will lose consciousness. Some signs that a concussion has been sustained are headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, drowsiness, numbness/tingling, difficulty concentrating, and blurry vision. The athlete should return to play only when clearance is granted by a health care professional.”

In its website, the law firm Ali Mokaram shares two incidences where two NFL players suffered head injuries: “Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman suffered a serious blow to the head during the 1993 NFC Championship Game, in which a knee to the head eventually landed him in the hospital that evening. In 1994, Chicago Bears fullback Merrill Hodge retired from football completely following a blow to the head that, according to reports, left him unable to recognize his close family members, including his wife.”

The firm further says, “In the opinion of an increasing number of scientists, NFL players are paying the cost of such entertainment with their health and long-term well-being. Once their playing careers have ended, many NFL players find that the physical toll that playing professional football has taken on their bodies makes them unable to live a productive, healthy life. Some of these injuries include physical pain from broken bones and joint injuries, but increasing evidence shows that many professional athletes also have suffered degenerative brain disease from repeated concussions as a result of playing in the league.”

Types of Physical Abuse In Nursing Homes Revealed

When an elderly member of the family is placed in a nursing home, they always assume that their elderly loved one will be in good hands. Sadly, this is not happening. There have been reports of physical abuse in these facilities. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, nursing home abuse can leave the elderly with severe injuries and trauma.

According to a study conducted by Cornell University and the New York Department of Aging, elder abuse incidence rate is almost 24 times higher than the number of cases referred to social services, law enforcement, or legal authorities. Psychological abuse is the most common form of elder abuse. Physical abuse in the nursing home is often caused by the following:

  • Nursing home caregivers
  • Physical abuse in nursing homes often comes from caregivers who mistreat or neglect patients. They are often committed intentionally out of frustration. Physical abuse may be due to the lack of staff in the facility and insufficient training.
  • Visiting Family Members
  • In some instances, it is the visiting family members who actually cause physical abuse. This may be due to the patient’s history of abusing his family.
  • Other Residents

Studies have revealed that 20% of nursing home residents are abused by their fellow residents. This happens when staff members or family members are not around. Physical abuse caused by other residents is one of the biggest problems in nursing homes.

Physical abuse may take different forms which may include any of the following: 1) Excessive force; 2) overuse of restraints; 3) battery; 4) withholding of prescribed medication; 5) administration of prohibited medication. When not reported, physical abuse in nursing homes can result to bodily harm, injury, pain, or impairment to the elderly. In severe cases, the physical abuse may cause the death of the elderly.

Scaffold Injuries And The Law

Scaffolds help construction workers work effectively in their assigned areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimate that 65% of construction workers use scaffolds. Instead of a ladder, scaffolds give the employee a more stable foundation for doing his work. Scaffold injuries are one of the most severe injuries in construction sites. The website of www.kff-law.com reveals that it is the job of the employer to make sure that their workplace is safe.

Scaffolds in construction sites are regulated by the OSHA. The design and construction of such structures must comply with OSHA requirements. Each scaffold and its components must be able to support its own weight and at least four times the maximum desired load without fail. The suspension ropes, on the other hand, must be able to support at least six times the maximum desired load.

Inspection of the scaffold must be done by a competent person for any visible defects. Scaffolds must be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered under the supervision of the said person. Inspection of all components of personal fall protection should also be done by a competent person prior to use. Visible damage or worn equipment should be removed from the site immediately.

The Scaffold Law or the New York Labor Law Section 240 provides protection to construction workers from the potential risks associated with working on and around scaffolds. Violators shall be subjected to absolute liability for failing to provide adequate safety regulations and devices. Under the law, an injured worker need not be an actual employee of the contractor and they are legally liable for any injuries.

The Scaffolds Law involves complicated issues concerning party liability and compliance with safety regulations. For this reason, you need the help of an experienced attorney to enlighten you on the matter. They can help you receive just compensation for the injuries you will incur.

Determining SSI Eligibility

There are four major types of benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA):

  • Retirement benefits;
  • Disability benefits;
  • Benefits for spouses and/or other survivors of a family member who has passed; and,
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The first three are actually benefits given to Social Security members – employees who have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and who have earned the number of credits required by the SSA (these credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes which are identified as “FICA,” that is, Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Payment is automatically deducted in employees’ monthly take home pay).

Disability benefits are paid to members (who have sustained total, permanent disability) through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. SSDI is one of the two largest programs of the U.S. Federal government which are designed to provide financial benefits to people with disabilities and to certain other groups of people. The other program is called Supplemental Security Income (SSI); it was created by the SSA in 1974.

SSA was designed to provide cash benefits to aged, the blind, and disabled Americans who are with little or without income; this cash benefit is also meant to help provide for its recipients’ basic needs, which include food, clothing, and shelter (under the SSI program, some legal aliens are also considered eligible to receive the cash benefits).

The Supplemental Security Income is specifically designed for:

  • Disabled adults with limited income and resources;
  • Disabled children who are below 18 years old and who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who may be without disabilities, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR).

The word “disabled,” as defined for SSI purposes, refers to physical or mental impairment, (including emotional or learning problem) that:

  • Has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months;
  • Results in severe functional limitations (in the case of children) or in the inability to perform
    any substantial gainful activity (in the case of adults); and,
  • Can be expected to result in the disabled person’s death.

The words “income” and “resources,” on the other hand refer to:

  • Income: money earned from work; money received from Social Security benefits, Workers Compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, unemployment benefits, friends or relatives; and free food or shelter.
  • Resources: things personally owned, like: cash; bank accounts, U.S. savings bonds; land; vehicles; personal property; life insurance; stocks, and whatever can be converted to cash and used for food or shelter.

Cash benefits provided under the SSI program offers millions of low-earning Americans the much-needed relief from difficult situations. The Hankey Law Office knows and believes that this financial benefits help improve the quality of life of many individuals, especially the disabled, but who lack the means to undergo treatment. Thus eligible individuals should rightfully receive this benefit which, under the law, is legally theirs. A highly-competent SSI lawyer may be able to provide help in determining whether a person is eligible and, if so, in the preparation and filing of all necessary forms and documents.

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