Personal Injury

What Does Professionalism Mean to You?

Every few years, there is a dramatic shift in professional norms. Take, for example, the issue of tattoos. While being inked up was common in the military and in a few industrial fields, the idea of having visible tattoos at work was simply outrageous just a few years ago. Now, it is more than commonplace!

The same could be said for earrings or other piercings, especially for male workers. I have no idea what the future holds for what is and is not considered professional. However, I can assume that the customs and concepts associated with professionalism will likely change with time.

Some fields of work, however, have still retained a stricter sense of what is considered appropriate to wear. It does not seem likely we will see shorts on the floor of Congress any time soon, after all.

Other industries that are still rather formal (at least in their dress) include:

  • Legal industry
  • Banking and finance
  • Government and politics 
  • Security and diplomacy

However, I recently found out about a team of lawyers that shove aside traditional conceptions of professionalism and instead produce an environment more familiar to their clients: Pete Leehey and his group of Biker Lawyers present themselves just like their clients: wearing biker leathers, helmets, and post with actual motorcycles.

You see, motorcycle riders are often the victims of accidents at the hands of negligent or careless drivers. Because cars are so much bigger than motorcycles, auto collisions can do real damage to motorcycle riders. 

There is a need for dedicated lawyers willing to fight for compensation and justice on the behalf of motorcyclists. The Biker Lawyers fulfill that need and look like their clients while doing so. 

Talking to a lawyer can be intimidating, even if you also wear a suit and tie to work every day. But the stress of meeting with a lawyer on top of feeling underdressed might be the final factor that could cause a person to skip out on finding legal representation.

And a person who is the victim of a negligent car accident injury missing out on proper legal counsel? Well, that is a situation in which no one wins! Obviously, lawyers need clients in order to maintain a law firm. 

But clients also need lawyers in order to properly negotiate with insurance companies, the other driver, and other parties that might prey upon them in the confusing legal mess after an accident. As a result, it is in the best interest of people like The Biker Lawyers to present themselves in an open and honest way that breeds familiarity, not anxiety.

If you have been the victim of a car accident or motorcycle accident, find yourself a lawyer. They are going to be able to fight for you in a way that you cannot do yourself, no matter what you wear to work every day.

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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.

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.

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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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