Personal Injury

The Three Major Hazards When Using Cranes

Whether lifting materials that weigh lots of tons, moving things inside a warehouse or workshop, salvaging sunken ships, building oilrigs, or constructing high buildings, one piece of heavy machinery that has become totally necessary is the crane.

Cranes make so many types of works, construction works especially, so much easier and faster. In fact, in construction sites, these have become the most essential and important pieces of machinery. To be truly useful and, at the same time, safe, cranes need to be maintained, regularly inspected and operated only by a person properly trained for the job. This is because though cranes are totally beneficial, these also have the potential to wreak the worst damage on any job.

According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (a division of the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), crane related accidents claimed an average of 22 lives each year from 1992 to 2006. Hundreds or others, however, are reported to have suffered serious injuries including broken bones, brain injury, spinal cord damage, or partial or complete paralysis.

The three major hazards identified with the use of cranes include:

  • Electrical hazards. About 50 percent of crane accidents are due to electrocution – when any metal part of a crane comes in contact with a high-voltage power line. The greater danger when this happens is that, besides the crane operator, workers nearby will most likely also suffer electrocution.
  • Overloading. Exceeding a the crane’s lifting capacity can result to tipping over, structural failure, or the crane itself, with its load, plunging down to workers and passersby, killing or seriously injuring them on the spot.
  • Falling materials. When using an overhead crane, it is very important that workers make sure that materials to be lifted are properly secured, otherwise, the load may slip and cause serious injuries and property damages on the ground.

An injury lawyer probably knows how severe injuries can be in accidents involving cranes, especially if the accident is one wherein a crane collapses. While no crane operator, work supervisor, contractor or subcontractor would want an accident to occur, if one does, occur, however, then they can be legally required to fully compensate victims of accidents for whatever damages they will suffer. Seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer for the purpose of pursuing compensation may be a big help for victims to get the financial help they will need for all the necessary medical treatment needed.

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Important Facts About Flammable Clothing Accidents

Just this month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued several recalls for clothing with flammability standards issues. A lot of these March 2015 recalls involve clothing intended for children. The latest, dated March 12, is for youth loungewear pants by M&M’s world Store. As noted by the Burn Survivor Resource Center, more than 4,300 cases of serious burn injuries associated with clothing have been reported in the U.S. every year during the last decade or so. Unfortunately, majority of these cases involved children aged 5-14 years.

Depending on materials used by manufacturers, certain clothes can pose a serious risk for burn injuries. Accidents can easily happen at home, especially when there are curious children involved. This is why government regulations impose certain flammability standards. The Federal Flammable Fabrics Act, for example, imposes policies that help regulate the use of flammable fabrics in clothing and household textiles. The Children’s Sleepwear Standard Act, on the other hand, aims to make sure that children’s clothes meant for nighttime should be fire-resistant and have extinguishing properties.

While helpful and integral to consumer safety, these regulations can only do so much. Sometimes, things can still slip through the cracks. What if a product is recalled only after an accident has already happened? As consumers, we can’t rest too easy. We still need to be vigilant about the products we buy for ourselves and our children. Even more, we need to make sure our homes are free of risks that can make clothing fire accidents possible.

Most flammable clothing accidents are caused by common ignition sources found around the home. Thankfully, practicing good safety measures can prevent these accidents from happening. Objects such as matches, lighters, candles, and flammable liquids such as paint or cleaning materials should always be safely kept from the reach of children. Clothing fires can also start from neglecting to turn off space heaters or extinguish fireplaces, especially at night. It’s important to check your environment for any fire hazards before heading to bed.

The website of Tennessee personal injury lawyers Pohl & Berk LLP says that burn injuries can lead to long-lasting effects such as severe physical pain, mobility issues, and scarring. They can also cause emotional and psychological trauma, especially when the victims are young children. Because of these devastating outcomes, we should all do our part in making sure our homes are safe from flammable clothing accidents.

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Coping with Bus Accident Injuries

Recently, a multiple-vehicle accident involving two buses, an 18-wheeler, and a car resulted in a massive traffic jam on Connecticut’s I-95 and injuries to at least 10 people. There were no fatalities, but the bus accident injuries could have been avoided if the driver of one bus was able to brake in time. The bus driver and the motorist were both cited for not maintaining safe following distances.

Bus accident injuries happen far less frequently than car accident injuries. However, bus accident injuries can all too easily turn serious if not deadly, especially on the highway because of its sheer size, the presence of passengers and high speeds. Most buses which travel on US highways travel long-distances, which is why the drivers are held to higher standards than normal motorists.

Bus drivers need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in their employment, and these have stringent requirements because these drivers literally hold the lives of others in the palm of their hands. When a bus driver violates regulations and is over-fatigued, driving under the influence, or simply incompetent, it renders the driver as well as the operator liable for bus accident injuries that may occur. In most cases, bus drivers receive safety training and know to follow the rules of the road to keep their passengers safe.

But there are always exceptions.

Some drivers follow other large vehicles too closely, as what recently occurred on I-95. In that instance, the 18-wheeler had been cut by another vehicle, forcing the big rig to suddenly brake. The bus behind the truck also braked on time. Unfortunately, the bus behind the first bus was following too closely and rammed the first bus, sending it forward to ram the truck. The car, which was following the second bus, was also unable to stop on time.

Both the second bus and the motorist may be considered liable for bus accident injuries that occurred in this instance, but that is something to be determined after investigation. If you are involved in a similar situation and been injured in a bus, truck, or any general car accident, consult with an Atlanta accident attorney to help you understand your options and to determine the steps you need to take to make a claim. A lawyer will be able to guide you through your case, letting you handle the emotional and physical pains appropriately.

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The Blame Game in Railroad Crossing Accidents

Railroad tracks and trains are privately owned and operated, so railroad companies are wholly responsible for the safety and maintenance of both tracks and their trains. According to the website of Detroit law firm Ravid and Associates, P.C., trains continue to provide reliable and safe transportation for many Michigan residents, and railroad crossing accidents are comparatively rare. However, when they do occur, the results can be devastating. A motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a train collision than in one with another car, even when the train is moving at 30 mph.

Railroad companies still tend to blame victims of railroad crossing accidents, but the fact is most of these incidents occur due to the lack of or defects in safety systems such as flashing lights, gates, and warning signals. The predictions are the precursors for pinpointing which intersections need improvement, including studying sight lines, vegetation growth and better signs.

In most cases, people respect and obey railroad crossing signs and victims could have avoided being involved in accidents if they had enough warning or if the safety systems worked properly. It is not unheard of for railroad companies to cover up their own negligence when railroad crossing accidents occur. A 2004 report from the New York Times reveals how some companies lose or mishandle evidence that is crucial to an accident investigation to avoid liability. Many of these victims live within 25 miles of the scene of the accident, and in the last 20 years in excess of 6,500 people have died as a result of railroad crossing accidents.

If you suffered an injury or someone close to you died as a result of the negligence or carelessness of others, you need to bring your case to a personal injury lawyer in your area. If possible, take your own steps to preserve evidence in railroad crossing accidents that may help you and your lawyer in proving your personal injury claim.

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Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Although dogs are the most popular pet in the United States, they can act aggressively in certain situations. Recognizing aggressive behavior in dogs can help to keep yourself and your loved ones safe around a potentially dangerous dog. Some people believe that certain breeds are the only dogs that will act aggressively, but in reality, any dog can react in an aggressive manner to something it views as threatening.

Recognizing Dangerous Dog Behavior

It is important for everyone to recognize possible signs of aggression. If a dog is displaying signs of aggression, a person should move away from the dog and avoid confronting it. Some of the most common signs of aggression include:

  • Repeatedly showing teeth to an owner, visitors, or other animals
  • Showing signs of protectiveness over food or toys
  • Growling or whining when stranger or strange dogs approach
  • Snapping or biting

These do not necessarily mean that a dog is going to harm you, but they are behaviors that should be taken seriously.

Types of Aggression

Dogs can act aggressively for many reasons. The following are some different types of aggressions:

  • Territorial Aggression—Dogs are instinctively protective of their home, yard, and anything they consider a “safe space.” When others get too near to their territory, they may act aggressively towards the intruder.
  • Possession Aggression—Protecting items that the dog views as theirs can lead to aggressive behavior. Often, dogs are overprotective of treats and food, but the behavior can be triggered by anything.
  • Dominant Aggression—When feeling threatened by another dog or person, some dogs will attempt to prove dominance in the pack.
  • Fear Aggression—When dogs are afraid, their instincts may tell them to fight the thing that is frightening them.
  • Punishment Aggression—Dogs that are being punished may be afraid for their well-being or unhappy that their toy was taken away. This can sometimes trigger aggressive actions.
  • Predatory Aggression—When a dog’s instincts to hunt are triggered, their aggression levels may increase. They can be triggered by joggers, squirrels, or anything else that is running away from them.
  • Maternal Aggression—Mother dogs may react aggressively towards people or animals that approach their litter. This behavior is instinctual and intended to protect their babies.

Whether you are visiting friends, hanging out at the park, or observing your own pup, understanding the possible causes of aggressive behavior may help you to avoid an unnecessary injury. Teaching your children and loved ones the importance of recognizing this type of behavior can also help them to stay safe around dogs they are unfamiliar with.

Victims of dog bites may have the right to file claims against the owner of the dog for failing to control their pet. Often, these cases are intended to provide the victim with financial compensation for the costs of their medical treatment and other expenses. By working with a dog bite lawyer, victims may be able to take the legal action needed to protect their rights.

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Avoiding Railway Accidents

Trains are one of the most powerful vehicles on land, especially when they are in motion. According to the website of Chris Mayo, they weigh more than a couple of tons, transporting anything from food, equipment, to people. Because of their size and speed they may take a long time to stop, therefore, when road intersections occur, most of the time other vehicles such as cars are the ones that stop to make way for the train to cross. This is the reason why safety gates are vital in these crossroads.

The risk of not having safety gates come in multitudes. They signal the arrival of the train, informing other drivers to stop and allow the train to pass. If the safety gates or signal lights are not functioning properly, they can cause confusion in the drivers, which could lead to fatal accidents. More often, drivers still try to outrun trains, adding to the statistics of 2,746 railroad collisions in 2007 alone. This stark reality, where thousands of people die each year in train accidents, could be changed if all railway intersections were properly maintained.

Not all signals and safety gates are electronically powered, therefore paying close attention when coming across can railroad intersection, and these simple pointers can literally save your life:

  • Always approach the railroad crossing with caution – don’t believe that it is always clear.Never try to beat the train across the tracks.
  • Make sure to always look both ways before crossing the intersection – a train can come in any direction.
  • Before crossing the tracks, make sure there is enough space for your vehicle to cross completely before having to stop again.
  • Always expect a train to come crossing in a railroad intersection.
  • Don’t get trapped in the train tracks – if you do get stuck, move away from the vehicle to a safe location then call for help.
  • Never underestimate the speed and distance of a train – they can act like an optical illusion and fool you.
  • Trains are not always audible, especially if you windows are up. If you can’t see any train coming, roll down your window and try to listen carefully.
  • Always follow warning signs, lights, and safety gates. Avoid playing, trespassing, or walking along or near train tracks.

Even at a slow speed, a train can still inflict serious damage to vehicles, property and people. To make sure you are safe when crossing a railroad intersection, follow the simple tips listed above, and also follow your common sense. Defensive driving is always the best option for protecting yourself from any accidents. However, if you are hurt as a result of malfunctions or defects on a railroad, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you secure compensation for your injuries.

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