Posts by Russ

Offshore Dangers

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Injuries | 0 comments

The ocean is a dangerous place. Even in the Disney movie, “Moana,” her dad warns her not to go out past the reef, because of the dangers that the ocean presents. Not far off from reality, where those who work out in the ocean experience everyday perils and treacherous situations that can lead to accidents and even fatalities.

Because of the dangers that lie in the ocean, Jack Gierhart, the CEO of US Sailing, decided to write a letter to the sailing community regarding ocean safety. Written on Sept. 5 of 2017, just after a summer out on the ocean for the sailing community, Gierhart thought it was necessary to address the many injuries and accidents that took place this past summer out on the water. Gierhart begins his message with a tone of condolence for all the lost lives they experienced this year and sending his apologies to the families who lost loved ones.

Even though the sailing community experienced its fair share of tragedies, it is still one of the safest sports around. When looking at total boating accidents, sailing only accounts for a small percentage of accidents and fatalities. Gierhart believes these statistics to be true because of the respect sailors have for the great seas.

Reports from US Coast guards show that the main focus should be improving safety regulations for racing, communication between sailors and race organizers, and training for the race officials. Training and safety programming can go a long way when dealing with such unpredictable accidents that can happen offshore. It is understood that there should be a healthy balance between regulation and education when it comes to sailing. When the sailors are educated in their emergency resources and made aware of the possible dangers, along with safety regulations set in place, the ocean can be a safer place.

In 2016 alone, the US Sailing program certified over 2,000 instructors, showing that the people who sail are looking for instruction and education. Because of this need for more education, awareness, and regulations, US Sailing created the “National Faculty,” made up of department members from all over the country to bounce ideas off each other and create the best possible success for safety. The National Faculty created a follow-up training program for the instructor process, called Small Boat Level 2, which provides more hands-on experience and life-like stimulations. This second level of training deals with accident recovery and how to properly recover a capsizing, and prevent entrapments. On top of this additional training, an online course has become available for all sailors, called “Safety at Sea.” This program also includes local conditions for each sailing environment.

While the waters are unsafe for sailors, the perils for workers on the ocean are tremendously worse. Williams Kherkher lists all the possible reasons an offshore accident can take place, and as they are plentiful, it is important to remember that there are lawyers out there to help handle the legality behind accidents that are not your fault.

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Long-Term Disability Appeals

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Disability Insurance | 0 comments

Disabilities, injuries, and illnesses can affect your ability to work and provide for yourself and your family. Your disability can directly inhibit your ability to work a certain amount of hours, limit the tasks you can complete, and it may be the reason you cannot work at all. When your benefits are denied, your future can look bleak as your financial security is in jeopardy. Fortunately, there is a system in place to appeal this denial and thus give you another chance at receiving the benefits that will combat your inability to work due to disability. Appealing long-term disability denial is a lengthy, complex process, but it might be the only way to stay afloat financially.

Fields Law Firm states the four possible steps of your appealed denial to be, “reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the appeals council, and federal court review.” Before these steps can be taken, it is important to remember you should act quickly. There is typically a 180-day window in which you can appeal your denial. It is also important to be equipped and prepared. Obtaining a copy of your long-term disability policy, any relevant medical records, and testimonials of people in your workplace and personal life can benefit your case. It can also be beneficial to read carefully and fully comprehend your denial letter in order to be well informed on your case. Finally, it cannot hurt to be aware of similar appeal cases so you can use those decisions to your advantage when appealing a denial.

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company has been accused, on several accounts, of using bad faith tactics when it comes to approving or denying long-term disability claims. Reliance Standard can give you long-term and short-term benefits when your injury, illness, or disability affects your ability to work. Reliance Standard has the ability to define “disability” in their own words and subjective opinions. To receive long-term benefits that go beyond their initial 24-month period, the claimant must be unable to perform “any occupation” that fits their qualifications. However, under this long-term disability benefit description, Reliant Standard states that you cannot receive benefits that go beyond two years if the disability is related to mental illness. With these arbitrary policies in place, Reliant Standard has come across some issues of malpractice. You can read some of the “bad faith” tactics of Reliant Standard Life Insurance Company here. However, most of the lawsuits Reliant Standard faces are due to their inability to provide coverage for disabilities that are directly stated in their policy.

When your request for disability benefits is denied, it is not the end of the road. Though the appeals process is lengthy and complex, it is a vital course of action for you to receive the benefits you deserve. Most law firms will recommend that you research the outcomes of sample cases to help your appeal, and the bad faith tactics used by Reliance Standard Life Insurance serve as an excellent example of case outcomes you can use when fighting for the compensation you justly and fairly deserve.

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Nursing Home Abuse: Physical Abuse

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Injuries | 0 comments

A nursing home should be a place where the elderly can get the care they need, but sometimes, it becomes a place where they are abused and don’t get the medical attention they deserve. Nursing home abuse and negligence may come in many forms, but arguably the most alarming one is physical abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse happens when the patient receives incidental force from another party, which is usually another patient or a nursing home staff. The only good thing about physical abuse is the fact that it is very easy to detect.
This is because physical abuse often translates into bodily injury. So, if your loved one has an unexplained injury, it is wise to consider the possibility that he or she is abused.

Signs

But why is it so important to look out for abuse yourself? Your loved one may be physically or mentally limited to explain to you what is going on, or he or she is afraid to speak up. As the fully functioning adult, you should be the one who is assertive enough when it comes to these things. Here are some of the most common signs you should look out for:

  • Deterioration of health, including the worsening of current medical conditions or rising of new ones
  • Signs of abuse in clothing, such as blood stains and tearing
  • Sudden change in behavior in the presence of a particular person
  • Unexplained wounds, especially on typically restrained body parts, like wrists

Solutions

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, those who have been hurt in nursing homes or have loved ones who have been hurt in nursing homes may take legal action, such as trying to get compensation from the pain and suffering from nursing home abuse.
But avoiding nursing home abuse is the more attractive option. Before putting a loved one in a nursing home, you should observe first if the nursing home is competent, in terms of both staff and facilities.

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With Valid Reason, Even Government Agencies can be held Liable for Injuries due to Road Accidents

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Road Accidents | 0 comments

When a car crashes due to a purely unexpected reason such as a sudden-medical-emergency, like a heart attack or a syncopal episode, a condition wherein a person passes out due to a sudden drop in his/her blood pressure, or due to a naturally-occurring catastrophe, like an earthquake, a tornado, hail, lightning, hurricane or windstorm, blame is placed on act of nature, sometimes referred to as an “act of God.”

Courts do not usually hold drivers accountable for accidents due to acts of nature since these can neither be foreseen nor prevented; thus, they dismiss civil lawsuits filed by injured victims for the purpose of seeking compensation. The injured may, instead, recover damages from their respective insurance providers, if they are covered.

Of the more than five million auto vehicle accidents in the U.S. every year, only a small percentage is accounted to acts of nature, however. Based on study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is able to say that more than three-fourths of all motor vehicle accidents are due to drivers’ faults. These include drunk-driving, distracted driving, speeding (including driving too fast despite poor road conditions) and reckless driving. Thus, no matter how careful you may be on the road, if another driver acts negligently or carelessly, then an accident may just be imminent.

Drivers are the only ones guilty of negligence, though. So are vehicle manufacturers who produce defective vehicles and government agencies that fail to construct good roads or fail to keep roads in good condition and free of hazards, like uneven pavement, roadway debris, potholes, shoulder drop-off, water pooling, lack of signs, lack of and weakly constructed guardrails, traffic signs blocked by trees or other fixtures, poorly lighted streets, lack of railroad crossing lights and wrong road signs.

Dangerous roadways can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. It is, therefore, a serious concern that needs to be addressed quickly for failure to keep roads safe can result in destructive accidents. Along this line of thought, Toronto car accident lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC says, “When a car accident occurs, the result could be a grave injury, permanent disability or death for drivers and their passengers, bystanders, motorcyclists, and cyclists.”

Holding government agencies liable for accidents (due to dangerous roadways), however, may be near to impossible due to their immunity from any form of liability. Except if the basis of the lawsuit is gross negligence in maintaining a roadway, then the case may be worth pursuing.

Highway defects can cause even the most careful and conscientious drivers to get into serious, life-threatening accidents. When roads are improperly maintained and drivers are not warned about potentially dangerous areas, car accidents and debilitating injuries are not remote possibilities. This is why car accident lawyers and law firms believe that the government and the companies responsible for the maintenance of roadways should be held responsible for any injuries resulting from highway safety hazards.

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Spinal Cord Injuries in the Workplace

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Workers Compensation | 0 comments

Spinal cord injuries can cause pain and discomfort and prevent individuals from participating in activities. At worst, they can result in loss of sensations, paralysis or death. The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves that enables communication between the brain and the rest of the body. The backbone is designed to protect the spinal cord, but an accident can fracture the vertebrae that make up the backbone and damage the nerves inside.

Lawyers at Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC write that spinal cord injuries are temporary or permanent, and “complete” or “incomplete.” Complete injuries cause a permanent loss of motion below the site of the injury. There are five main ways spinal cord nerves can be damaged:

  • A concussion occurs when the spine is forcefully jolted, and usually results in temporary movement and sensation restriction
  • A contusion is a bruise inside the backbone that can put traumatic pressure on the nerves
  • Compression is when something presses into the nerves—either a foreign object or a herniated disc
  • A tear means the spinal cord is partially torn
  • A cut means the spinal cord has been severed

A pinch or tear in the spinal cord nerves means the victim may spend the rest of their life as a paraplegic or quadriplegic. Paraplegia refers to paralysis of the trunk and legs, and quadriplegia refers to paralysis of all four limbs and the trunk.

Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include lifting, repetitive motion, falls, faulty equipment, and vehicle collisions. Beyond injury to the spinal cord nerves, individuals can also damage the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments in the spine and experience painful sensations.

Workers experiencing a spinal cord injury on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to account for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and psychological trauma.

 

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