Personal Injury

The Risks of Seaside Walkways

Posted By on Nov 11, 2017

For those living near the coast, life is in many ways much more relaxing and pleasant than for those living inland. The ocean has been proven to relieve stress. There’s the sun, the sand, the summer swimming, the fresh seafood: so many delights to take advantage of. There are also extra stresses and responsibilities, though. And that is especially true with the increased number of hurricanes hitting the coasts now.

One risk that rarely gets covered is the deterioration of piers, boats, and boardwalks.

While many people are aware that ships and harbors must be maintained, and that there are risks for sailors and longshoremen when they are not, these risks are rarely extended to those who do not approach the ocean as professionals. Yes, those professions do have greater risks of injury due not just to the heavy, labor-intensive work they do but to the amount of time they spend on the coast and on the water in all types of weather (which can be, even in the 21st century, quite dangerous), but that does not mean the average citizen is not also at risk to some extent.

It is a surprise to no one that the infrastructure in America is declining and the issue is not being properly addressed. Anyone driving over enough of the American highway is sure to see the decrease in quality. However, far less thought of is the decreasing strength and reliability of piers and boardwalks. After being battered by storm after storm, these can become quite dangerous locations, especially for the types of carefree play that take place on them. When made of wood, these areas can rot. When made of more sturdy elements, they can become uneven, be subject to cracks, and of course, be quite wet. Rails can rust and lose their sturdiness even when they look to be in sound condition.

The danger in these areas should not be underestimated, for two reasons. One, they are located in a dangerous area. Falling into the water, though it can sound amusing, can often lead to serious injury. After all, someone could hit their head on a rock under the surface. Drowning is always a risk, even when the level of the water is low. And yes, that is true even when the person falling in is an adult and a good swimmer.

Two, those who are most likely to be injured are children. Children are, of course, less aware of their surroundings and less responsible. A day at the beach other further unleashes these tendencies. When parents are not keeping a careful eye, assuming children are safe because the location looks safe, that can actually increase the risk to children.

Children are also usually not strong swimmers. They are less steady on their feet, more likely to be running, and more likely to be climbing on objects they shouldn’t be.

This can all lead to tragic consequences.

It’s important for everyone to be aware of this risk, and for something to be done to rebuild as much of the oceanside infrastructure as possible with an eye to withstanding storms.

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When you think about reckless driving behaviors, one of the first things that come into your mind is driving under the influence of alcohol, also known as DUI. DUI is illegal anywhere in the United States. A convicted drunk driver may face fines, license suspension, probation, and even jail time. Also, according to the website of Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., those who have been victims of drunk driving accidents may take the responsible party – you – to court. In other words, you also have to compensate for the damages.

From all these, you should realize by now that drunk driving is a big no. But for some reason, a lot of motorists still do it, as if they do not fully know the dangers of alcohol while on the wheel.

Tips for Drivers

Alcohol can screw your body coordination, comprehension of things happening on the road, and your emotional and psychological state. These can lead to poor vehicle control, traffic judgment, and vision, slow reaction time, and an added tendency to do other reckless driving acts, like speeding. These can, ultimately, lead to car accidents, injuries, and even deaths.

Avoiding DUI is quite simple. You can avoid drinking or driving. The former is easier to avoid, because you just have to control yourself, learn how to say no, and not give in to peer pressure. The latter can be trickier, but the basic idea is to get a sober person that can drive for you.

This sober person can be a friend who doesn’t drink, a public transport driver like a bus driver or train operator, or a ridesharing service driver like those from Uber.

Tips for Local Governments

If drivers drive drunk because they don’t know the dangers, then it is the local government’s responsibility to make these dangers known. They can create anti-drunk driving campaigns and drunk driving seminars.

But there are also drivers who drive drunk even though they know the dangers. They do so because they are confident that they are not going to be arrested anyway. The local government can increase the possibility of arrest by using tactics like increasing police visibility and creating check points on strategic parts of the city.

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The Maritime Jones Act Explained

Posted By on Oct 23, 2016

The Maritime Jones Act Explained

America’s waters have served as an important tool in the growth of its economy. Over the years, the vast network of rivers, lakes, and canals of the United States has proven to be an important channel for transporting natural resources, food, and finished goods from various states and into the market. But while one cannot discount the importance of the seas and oceans in advancing commerce, it is also undeniable that these bodies of water also pose a huge threat to those working in the maritime industry.

While the maritime sector have taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its workers aboard sea vessels, workers still find themselves at risk of getting injured in their workplace. Worse, a Jones Act lawsuit attorney will tell you that injured seafarers do not have access to the emergency medical care they need until they return to the shore or are rescued. To provide maritime workers with the protection they need while working, the US Congress passed the Jones Act as part of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 sponsored by Senator Wesley Jones.

Seamen and other maritime workers can use The Jones Act as grounds for suing their employers for negligence which caused them to get injured or worse die. The Act requires ship owners to ensure the safety of their crew by providing them with a reasonably safe place to work. In addition, the Jones Act also requires employers to use ordinary care under the circumstances to maintain and keep their vessel safe.

For maritime workers to recover damages from maritime injuries, they should prove that the owner, captain, or crew of the vessel showed negligence and it was that negligent behavior that caused their injury. Unlike standard negligence cases, however, maritime injuries have a lower burden of proof. The Jones Act calls for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause for their injury. Under the Jones Act, the plaintiff might be able to recover lost wages, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and mental anguish.

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What Are The Risks of Defective Construction Equipment?

Construction equipment are designed to make work in the construction site easier. With work on the construction site already inherently dangerous, the machines used to perform the various jobs makes it even more dangerous. It is the job of the employer to make sure that the machines being used in the construction site are properly maintained. According to the website of Abel Law Firm, defective or malfunctioning construction equipment increases the likelihood of injuries.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), over 1,000 construction site workers die every year. Defective construction equipment contributes to these statistics. These fatalities could have been prevented if only the manufacturer ensure the safety of the equipment they are selling. Some construction equipment that may cause serious injuries includes ladders, forklifts, cranes, extractors, and others. In forklift accidents alone, Federal regulators estimate around 100 worker deaths and 20,000 serious injuries happen in the construction site.

Madison personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. reveal that defective equipment mishaps is just one of the many possible accidents that can happen in the construction site. Some common accidents in the construction site may include collapsing cranes, defective electrical equipment, to name just a few. The effect of defective equipment is usually devastating which include injuries and financial burden.

Defective construction equipment fall under product liability claims and hence you can make manufacturers and distributors of the malfunctioning machine liable for any injuries you may incur. To be able to claim damages, you need to prove that the product was the cause of your injury and that the equipment was unreasonably dangerous.

In cases of machine operation, the employer has the job to ensure that the employee who will handle the equipment was properly trained and knowledgeable about the machine they will operate. Any defects in the machines can be prevented through proper maintenance.

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