Personal Injury

The Potential Beauty in Scars

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Personal Injury

Scars tend to be seen in an almost uniformly negative light. They are associated with blemishes and disfigurement, and are consequently treated as something to be hidden, corrected, or removed. For someone with major scarring from a traumatic accident or another case of more serious scarring, scars may be a source of lasting pain stemming from their connection to the trauma or the severity of the physical scarring, and plastic surgery or other procedures may be required to correct scarring in such cases to prevent more emotional and psychological damage for the patient. Such cases are extreme, however, and as Tucson personal injury lawyers may tell you, such surgeries can be financially traumatic as well.

On the other hand, there are less extreme degrees of scarring that come along with daily living and which usually do not require a doctor’s assessment. These scars are physically harmless besides the initial discomfort of the injury, but still hold the potential of inflicting emotional damage on the person who bears them, mainly owing to the predominantly negative connotation attached to scars. These scars, however, those that are not attached to trauma and have no medical need to be corrected, should and need not cause shame or embarrassment, though they so often do. There is a recent movement to reclaim our imperfections as indications that we’ve lived. As New Yorker writer David Owen notes, our bodies become “historical document[s]” where our “moments are memorialized in scar tissue.” Scars are unique to our experiences, unique to each individual. We change with each of these experiences and so do our bodies, signaling something potentially emotional or deep from the very surface of our skin. Dealing with scars is not always a matter of their physical correction, but a correction in our thinking that has conditioned us to hate any malformations in our body, anything outside of an unblemished ideal. Life is messy, though, and our bodies reflect this beautiful sort of chaos, providing us with lasting reminders of our lives and how we lived them.

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The Risk of Injury Faced by Bicycle Riders

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Bicycle Accidents, Personal Injury

For thousands of Americans, riding a bike to work or for exercise is a way of life. Like a motorcycle rider, however, a bicyclist must know that absence or lack of bodily protection puts him/her at high risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.

In 2013, 900 bicyclists died, and about 494,000 were rushed to emergency departments due to injuries sustained in accidents. In 2014, the Educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety program, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced, was said to be a very big factor in reducing the number of fatal bicycle accidents, making it go down to 720, a 20% reduction.

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal that:

  • The most common victims in fatal bicycle accident are adolescents and young adults, aged from 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older
  • Victims in non-fatal bicycle-related injuries are usually children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old
  • The two top contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are alcohol-impairment and failure to wear a helmet
  • The states of California and Florida are the top states where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year

Thousands of bike accidents lead to fatalities or serious injuries every year. Thus, in an effort to keep bicyclists safe, many states have implemented the bicycle helmet law for children and adults due to the added safety that a helmet can provide. The U.S. Department of Transportation has also made known its Safer People, Safer Streets initiative this 2015 in an effort to improve non-motorized safety.

According to the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., the trauma suffered by bicycle riders can never be undone, however, the parties responsible for causing the accident, which resulted to a victim’s injuries or death, need to be held responsible for their actions or inaction. Thus, bicyclists, who are injured because of the negligence of some drivers or someone who never did a good job, such as in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries they suffer. Being represented by a highly-competent personal injury or bicycle accident lawyer may be necessary for the victim’s better chances of getting the compensation that he/she is legally allowed to claim and receive.

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Burn Injuries: Common Causes, Types, and First Aid Steps

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Health, Personal Injury

Burn injuries can be extremely traumatic for victims, causing many lifelong consequences and effects. People who suffer from a serious burn injury face a long road of treatment and recovery that is often painful and difficult. These serious injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. Devastating car accidents that involve explosions, house fires, electrocutions and chemical exposure are just among the different types of accidents identified by the website of the Jeff Sampson Law Firm that can result in such painful and traumatizing injuries. Regardless of the cause, however, the effects of a burn injury can be mitigated if proper first aid is received by the victim.

The type of first aid assistance needed for a burn injury will vary depending on its severity. A first degree burn, which is superficial and common when the victim is scalded by a hot liquid, can be remedied by running the injured area under cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. A cold compress can also be used, but be sure that the temperature isn’t too cool as that can cause further damage to the skin. Once that’s done, burn ointment or aloe vera cream can be applied on the injured area before it is bandaged up using a clean piece of cloth or gauze.

First aid measures are different for the more severe second or third degree burns. Second degree burns cause victims an intense amount of pain, leaving blisters that look raw and wet. Meanwhile, third degree burns leave the injured skin looking charred, leathery, dry, or waxy. Sometimes, the skin might also look white or brown. A third degree burn affects the deepest layers of the skin, sometimes causing nerve damage. As a first aid response for these types of injuries, first remove any pieces of clothing or jewelry surrounding the area of the burn. (However, take note not to forcefully pry off any pieces that might have melted into the victim’s skin.) Afterwards, run the injured area under cool water for 3 to 5 minutes and then wrap it in clean cloth or gauze to keep the area sterilized and avoid infection.

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Equipment Malfunction

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Law, Personal Injury

The greatest challenge that is probably facing construction firms today is accomplishing more in much lesser time. Construction is progress, and progress requires fast action. But, as buildings, which need to be constructed, are becoming bigger, taller and more intricate in materials and design, many workers are forced to render longer work periods, resulting to fatigue which, in turn, often compromises safety in the workplace.

One very common site in construction areas is heavy equipment. These include cranes (which are a must in construction works), road rollers, crawlers, excavators, caterpillar, loaders, forklifts, concrete mixer, and bulldozers. Heavy equipment, undoubtedly, help the construction industry accomplish more at a much faster rate. But due to their huge sizes, any of these can cause a disabling or fatal injury if operated wrongly or by an untrained and careless worker.

Recognizing the risks of accidents and injuries that employees, but most especially construction workers, are exposed to everyday the US Congress established in 1970 the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSH Act) which, in turn, gave rise to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA’s task is to ensure the safety of all working men and women through the creation and maintenance of a safe and healthy working environment; it is charged to set and enforce standards that will keep the workplace, as much as possible, free from accident-causing injuries.

It is clear, however, that having an accident-free working environment is quite impossible for, despite OSHA’s work, state laws and employers’ efforts, the US Department of Labor still received reports of as many as 4,585 fatal work-related accidents for the year 2013.

Records from the Department of Labor also shows that being struck by an object and getting caught in or between objects are among the top causes of deaths in construction sites (falls is number one), and that more than half of all construction site accidents involve employees who are in their first year of employment.

Workers still lacking in experience cannot be an acceptable reason for an accident, especially since OSHA also mandates that all employees should receive training about their job. Though workers, who sustain a job-related injury or illness, may claim financial benefits through their employer-sponsored Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit, this is never an excuse for any employer or anyone in the construction workplace to be negligent of his/her responsibility in helping keep the work area safe for everyone.

The website of The Law Offices of Crowe & Mulvey, LLC, acknowledges the dangers that construction workers (as well as those passing by construction areas) face daily, these do not take away the fact that those who are liable for the accident may face a civil lawsuit through which the accident victim may seek, and be allowed to receive, compensation from them.

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Dock Accidents

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Law, Personal Injury

Accidents involving cruise ships are getting more noticed than before, especially after the tragedy on January 13, 2012, which involved one of the largest ships in the world, the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, which carried more than 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members, when it sank after hitting a rock underwater off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany.

There are many causes of cruise ship accidents – some are natural, while others are products of human negligence or recklessness. But contrary to what many believe that the worst accidents happen to a ship only while it is in the middle of the ocean, well, think again, because there are fatal accidents that have occurred right in the pier, while the ship is docked.

Sometimes an accident that involves a docked cruise ship can turn out really bad because it can cause severe (even fatal) injuries not only to passengers and crew members, but to dock workers and/or pedestrians as well. And with the large number of freight carriers, cruise liners, and other equipment around, it would be hard to predict the severity of injuries and the degree of physical damage a dock accident can wreak.

Some of the accidents that can occur while a ship is in the pier include: a slip and fall that can cause mild to serious back injuries; falling cargo or cargo container, which can easily crush a person to death; workers accidentally getting hit by a cargo container (while it is being loaded on a container ship); fire breaking out is a ship’s cargo storage; docks workers being thrown off of their boats while working on a ship’s mooring lines (this usually happens when a ship pulls out from the port too soon, before workers actually clear the area).

Accidents occurring in docks can be very burdensome to whoever gets injured. Besides the pain and the suffering a victim has to experience, the maritime law is confusing enough for him/her to comprehend, plus the fact that filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident (after the tedious process of proving liability) can be done in a specific court only.

According to the website of The Vucci Law Group, P.A., two important things that a victim of a cruise ship accident ought to do are, first, seek legal help immediately and, second, make sure that the lawyer hired is truly competent – with extensive knowledge (about the maritime law) and experience (in maritime law litigations).

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Truck Accidents

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Compared to a simple car accident, being involved in a truck accident can prove to be more complicated. There are many factors that need to be cleared, such as who may be responsible for the accident and what could be the reason that caused it. It is also tricky to prove who may be the at-fault is because the blame gets thrown around. Getting compensation for injuries and damages that you have suffered after a truck accident requires knowing what the common causes of truck accidents are, as well as who are the key players that could be blamed for causing the accident.

According to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., the most common causes of truck accidents are driver error, improper or unsecured cargo, defective products or truck parts, and negligence on the part of the trucking company. Because truck companies have avoided liability in the past by distancing themselves from the truck driver, equipments and the vehicle themselves, the federal laws and regulations have addressed issues of responsibility by mandating that any accident caused by a truck will be under the responsibility of the trucking company that has given their placard and permit to the vehicle. This is regardless of whether the driver is an employee of the company or an independent driver, or if the lease was either with the operator or owner.

In order to draft a strong case and guarantee compensation, evidence should be gathered and presented. This may seem hard, but with technological advances has actually made it very easy. There are many tech devices present in commercial trucks that help preserve vital data, from the speed of the truck to the time the brakes were used. On-board computers are also being utilized, as well as global positioning systems (GPS) and truck specific equipment. These can be used to help gather information that can prove negligence or fault, aside from police reports and witness testimonies.

Truck accidents have been on the rise in the past years, and this poses serious alarm because truck accidents generally cause severe injuries and damages to those involved. Based on latest statistics, truck accidents account to 3 percent of road accidents, yet these accidents are a significant cause of devastating property damage and life-threatening injuries, even a significant number of fatalities. Being a victim of a truck accident requires industry aptitude, therefore it would help to have legal representation and aid.

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