Staggering Number of Construction Accidents

Construction workers go through immense training and have a copious amount of safety regulations to follow. However, the state of New York has begun to cut back on some their safety regulations, specifically in the category of safety inspections. Since New York began to decrease the number of safety inspections done on construction sites, the number of construction worker injuries and deaths has noticeably spiked.

New York, like most cities, is always growing, renovating, and improving, and these things all call for construction. In New York City alone, there were 17 construction-related deaths in 2011, which jumped to 25 deaths in 2015. In the state as a whole, the death toll rose from 33 in 2011, to 55 in 2015. Including injuries along with fatalities, the state of New York saw 128 accidents in 2011, which exponentially grew to 435 in 2015. The correlation between these accidents and the safety regulations is demonstrated in the statistic that in 2011, there were 2,722 inspections from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and then in 2015, that number fell to 1,966. This 27% decline could be related to the drop in inspection workers from 82 to 66.

The impact a decrease in inspections has on the death and injury toll in the state of New York is eye-opening. This line of work is dangerous, and every precaution needs to be taken in order to ensure the safest environment for these construction workers. There are already so many accidents that can be attributed to bad timing, bad luck, and sheer accident, thus we have to make it in our best interest to eliminate all other risks by overdoing the safety regulations.

On top of increasing safety regulations, the increase in legal action is bound to get attention when it is this frequent. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, there are a plethora of things you can get compensation for. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of working capacity, and long-term care are just some of things a lawyer can get you.

The statistics for construction-related accidents are not to be taken lightly. There are so many things that can go wrong on a construction site, so it is important to understand your power to take legal action. You should not have to suffer financially as well as physically after an accident. If the accident resulted in death for your loved one, worrying about paying bills should be the least of your worries. Grieving is a difficult process that takes time and attention, so hiring a lawyer to take care of the legal side of the accident, and get you the compensation you need to survive can really help you. Big construction companies are prepared for lawsuits due to the common nature of these accidents, so you cannot go at them alone, and lawyers are there to help you.

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The Dangerous Effects of Alcohol

Drivers of smaller vehicles sharing roads with 18-wheelers would never think that the driver of the truck beside or in front of them is sleepy or alcohol-impaired, unless there are obvious signs that would show these. Hundreds of data, however, show that many drivers were indeed either falling asleep or alcohol-impaired prior to accidents. As a matter of fact, with regard to use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says that it actually is the second major reason behind truck accidents.

Drivers operating a commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) exceeding 33000 lb, like 18-wheelers, big-rigs or semi-trailers, observe a higher standard where alcohol intoxication limit is the issue. Compared to the 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit imposed on drivers of smaller vehicles, such as cars, SUVs, and pick-ups, the BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%. This means that anyone who will be caught driving with this BAC level can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

Big-rig drivers, however, has more to worry about than just having a 0.04% BAC level because those who will be found with a 0.02% BAC level can also be suspended from driving for about 24 hours, while those who will register a 0.08%, even when off-duty, may still be charged with a DUI.

The need and desire to stay awake and alert in order to cover more road miles are what make drivers drink and continue to drive even while feeling the effects of alcohol. This is one of the saddest effects of getting paid by the mile (about .40 cents per mile). However, rather than making them awake and alert, alcohol will only make them sleepier and more impaired.

It is the duty and responsibility of drivers to always stay sober when operating their truck. Alcohol, though, will lessen their ability to safely operate the huge and dangerous vehicles they are driving, putting the lives of so many in danger because alcohol can result to:

  • Slowed and impaired motor control
  • Inability to remain focused on the roadway
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Heightened risk of falling asleep
  • Compromised judgment and decision making abilities

Any act in violation of the laws against drunk-driving can make truck drivers face serious criminal chargers, harsh penalties, and civil liabilities for whatever injuries and damages their drunkenness might cause.

Boston injury lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP know all too well how much innocent motorists can suffer because of accidents involving large trucks. Frequently, victims of these accidents are left suffering from ongoing pain and suffering, significant medical bills resulting from their treatment, and enduring emotional trauma. Fortunately, however, legal action can be taken against those responsible for causing these accidents, which may be able to help victims secure the financial compensation and closure they need.

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Manufacturers are Ultimately Liable for Injuries Resulting from their Defective Medications

In 2005, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 202,300 injuries and 20 deaths involving children 15 years old and below. These injuries and death are all toy-related.

Defects are not only found in toys. There are as many harmful defects as the number of the kinds of products available in the market, including vehicles, food and pharmaceutical products. With regard to food, an instance of food poisoning occurred in 2011; this was the listeriosis outbreak. Its effect was immediate, causing infection in 146 people, 30 deaths and 1 miscarriage – all those affected were from 28 different states.

Another type of harmful product is defective drugs, especially prescription drugs, which are formulated to serve as safe and effective treatment to serious health conditions. However, instead of delivering the cure they are intended to provide, many of them cause adverse effects that cause harm in patients and/or further worsen patients’ original health complaints.

Before being introduced into the market, a drug needs to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first. Before approval by the FDA, however, the drug’s manufacturer first needs to show proofs that the drug has been tested and proven safe and effective for patient use.

Despite the extensive research and tests conducted by pharmaceutical experts, many drugs still get reported to the FDA as increasing the risk of the development of more serious illnesses or causing death in some of those who use them; hundreds of prescription drugs have been linked to either of the two or both. This may be due to either of these two reasons: first, since the drug companies are the ones sponsoring the tests conducted on their medical products, some keep the negative results detected from the medicine and submit only the positive outcome of the tests to the FDA. Second, despite the real effectiveness and safeness of the medicine, the patient’s immune system may not be strong enough to fight possible drug side-effects, or the patient may have a medical health condition or is taking another medication, causing the drug from working safely and effective in him/her. This is why it is important that doctors explain to their patients everything concerning the drug that they prescribe; about the drug’s possible effects and what health condition and which medication will not work well with it.

The Amerio Law says, “Hundreds of new drugs and medical products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States every year. In turn, they are utilized by thousands of patients suffering from a variety of ailments or medical issues. Sometimes, a drug or medical product is released to the public, and it is later found to be dangerous or defective, thus causing serious injuries… even death in some cases.

While many drugs have dangerous side effects, others have the potential to cause much more serious, long-term personal injury. Although the FDA plays a regulatory role in approving and monitoring their safety after approval of a drug, the manufacturer is ultimately liable for any injuries resulting from their medications… and they MUST be held accountable!”

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Bait-and-Switch as Business Fraud in Retail

Business fraud is a serious case, but individuals and businesses alike have been defrauded continuously in Houston. The guilty parties tend to overlook the possible consequences because of the economic gains in engaging in such an act. But at the end of the day, they are most likely causing damages to the other party. So they should be afraid that the other party will act immediately against them.

Bait-and-switch is one of the common forms of business fraud in retail. It happens when the merchant “baits” customers for products or services. When the customer finally goes to the store, he finds the product or service disappointing because 1: it is not available, or 2: it does not live up to what has been advertised. The merchant then introduces a similar product or service to force the customer to “switch” into it.

The merchant can gain significant revenue because of this tactic, but it does not change the fact that the merchant has committed false advertising and could be held liable for it. If you are a customer who has become a victim of the bait-and-switch scam, you can file a lawsuit against the merchant.

If you are a business, the lawsuit could even be more serious. If your product or service has been used as a “bait” for customers, you can file a case of trademark infringement. The loss of possible revenue and other damages to your property are also legitimate reasons to make your case even stronger.

According to an informative article in the website of Houston deceptive trade practices lawyers, there is a good chance to hold the merchant accountable, especially if there is proof that the merchant has intentionally and disingenuously represented itself as a means to deceive you or deprive you of your property.

The fact that business fraud continues to exist is proof that businesses are not afraid enough of the consequences. As a victim of fraud, you should be assertive and fight against the guilty parties. If all of the victims continue to fight for what is right, we are moving one step closer into a world free of business fraud such as bait-and-switch operations.

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Employment Law 101: Wrongful Termination and “Employment-at-Will” Contracts

In some ways, the U.S. marketplace has yet to fully recover from the instability it experienced in the past decade. This is evident in the fact that there are still a good number of people that are having a difficult time with finding employment opportunities. As of September 2016, the U.S. unemployment rate is at 5 percent. While this is certainly an improvement compared to the last five years, there’s still plenty of room for improvements to be made. As such, it’s completely understandable why many workers jump at the chance to secure a job—even if it comes with certain costs.

In most states across America, workers are employed under what is called an “employment-at-will” contract. According to the Leichter Employment Law Firm, being an at-will employee means that employers are to issue a termination without giving prior notice as long as the reasons are legitimate and lawful. Unfortunately, many employers tend to abuse the leeway provided by such a contract. In some cases, employees do not receive appropriate notice for their termination. This is when wrongful termination happens. When an employee is suddenly let go of their jobs without any discernable explanation, it can typically be due to violations in fair labor practices. Wrongful termination includes the firing of employees based on discriminatory acts against their race, gender, religion, or health status. It can also be done as retaliation against employees who might have, for example, gone ahead to lodge a complaint against a supervisor’s continued harassment.

Employment-at-will contracts also go both ways. While employers are allowed to terminate a working relationship with an employee at any given time with appropriate reason, the same thing can also be done by the other party. Still, for many employees, it seems that at-will contracts only benefit employers as it allows them to work around specific fair labor practices regulations. With this in mind, employees in these situations shouldn’t hesitate to consult with a legal professional to learn more about how they can lodge official complaints against their wrongful termination.

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