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What are the top reasons workers become disabled?

A major workplace injury that leaves you with disabling injuries can change the course of your entire life. You may never work again. It can alter your day-to-day routine, your personal relationships, what hobbies you pursue, and much more. In short, that one fateful event on the job can have a lasting impact that you never fully overcome. To that end, it’s important to know what risks you face. New studies have come out looking at the top reasons for these injuries in 2018, as the stats get compiled, and the results are below: No. 10: Repetitive motion No. 9: Striking an object No. 8: Caught in equipment No. 7: Tripping or slipping without falling No. 6: Car accidents and vehicle incidents No. 5: Exertions and reactions No. 4: Getting hit by an object No. 3: Falling to a lower level No. 2: Falling on the same level No. 1: Overexertion Now, the dangers of falls typically get a lot of press, especially in industries like construction. As such, you may have been surprised that they did not take the No. 1 spot for 2018. Part of the reason for that, however, is simply that the category got split in two. Falls are so common that they had to differentiate between those on the same level and those to a lower level. All combined, these are still one of the biggest dangers you’ll ever face on the job. If you do get seriously injured at work in any of the ways noted above, make sure you know precisely what legal steps you need to take.

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An attractive nuisance: The risk of owning a pool

Swimming pools are a lot of fun, especially when the weather gets hot. It’s good exercise to go swimming, and you might love having pool parties at your home. With summer just around the corner, it’s a good idea to think about liability for your home swimming pool. Who is liable if a child falls in and drowns? What happens if a guest gets hurt? Pools are known as attractive nuisances. That means that you must take extra care to protect children who could enter your property. Since pools are fun, essentially, you need to make sure no child is around it without supervision. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your liability. First, make sure your pool has a non-climbable fence around it. For people who have a porch leading to a pool deck, it’s a good idea to have a latching gate and doors leading to the pool area, so children of younger ages are less likely to fall in or enter the pool without supervision. Another thing you can do is to buy a pool cover. These covers strap down over the water and around the pool’s edges. This creates a kind of platform, so if a child does enter the pool area, he or she falls onto the dry cover instead of into the water. Texas is hot almost all year, and now that it’s warm enough to want to swim, a pool is an even stronger lure. If your children are hurt in someone else pool, you have a right to pursue a claim. Source: FindLaw, “Is Your Swimming Pool an Attractive Nuisance?,” Andrew Lu, accessed March 29, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

What kind of dangers lurk at your local shopping center?

The holiday season has long passed but that doesn’t stop Waco residents from heading out to Texas shopping centers and malls to snag a good deal. Many people view shopping as a type of therapeutic experience — even though there are so many ways that someone can get hurt while out shopping. You don’t even have to leave your vehicle to get hurt while out shopping. Auto accidents in mall parking lots are quite common. This is one of the reasons that you’ll often see a security vehicle traveling in circles around this area. They’re in part looking to deter motorists from driving recklessly through parking lots. Other dangers lurk in shopping center parking lots once you get out of your car. There are runaway carts, moving automobiles and potential potholes. You can suffer serious injuries if you’re struck by either an automobile or even a fast-moving shopping cart. You can end up with lower extremity or back injuries if you fall into a pothole. One danger that you have to be on the lookout for when there’s a big sale going on is the crowds. Fellow shoppers may trample, elbow or kick you to make it to the deals first. Stores should be keen to quickly clean up spills and to only wax the floors when stores are closed. Many don’t do either one of these though. These are two factors that can result in a slip and fall. Products are supposed to be stowed securely on the shelves overhead. Customers are supposed to ask for help if they can’t reach them. Employees should monitor floors or shelving to make sure that everything is kept tidy. If they don’t do this, then something may fall from the shelf and injure a customer. There are a variety of hazards that exist in stores at shopping centers and malls. A premises liability attorney can review the details surrounding your Waco accident and advise you whether you may be eligible for compensation under Texas law.

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Seeking financial compensation after a shopping cart accident

Shopping carts are useful tools to push around the grocery store to carry your purchases, right? They are indeed useful when they’re used the right way and when they’re in good repair. However, when parents use them to carry their children, or when shopping carts are used in an inappropriate manner, they can be dangerous — especially if they are poorly designed or damaged in some way. Imagine that you’re shopping with your small child at a Texas supermarket. It’s tempting to put your child in the seat at the front of a shopping cart, but it’s dangerous. Numerous children throughout the nation are rushed to the emergency room every year with concussions, broken bones and other serious injuries because of shopping cart accidents. The worst of these accidents happen when a child is sitting in the seat and the shopping cart flips over. Shopping cart-related injuries can also happen when a cart’s wheels are out of balance or when too much merchandise is piled inside the cart. Countless accidents and injuries have happened when teenagers jump inside the carts and have a race around the grocery store parking lot. In some shopping cart accident scenarios, injuries are the fault of the users. In others, the grocery store in charge of maintaining the shopping carts If the store is at fault, injured parties can seek financial compensation in court via a premises liability claim. Compensation in a successfully navigated premises liability claim may include money to pay for medical care, money for time spent unable to work and other damages.

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When can I sue for dog bite injuries suffered in Texas?

It is no secret that American citizens have an ongoing love affair with dogs and puppies of all kinds. Whether they own a mixed breed or a purebred, most people never expect their furry friends to cause other people injury. Unfortunately, dog bites can and do occur in the state, usually on another person’s property. Under certain conditions, which will appear later in this post, it may be possible for bite victims to file a premises liability suit against the owner of a dangerous dog. Over the years, the laws surrounding dog attacks have become complicated in many states. Maybe this is because there are just so many pet dogs in the country, or perhaps it is because too many dog bites occur. In Texas, the law seems simple. There are just a few paragraphs devoted to dog bite law in the state. Breaking it down in an easily understood portion, the law says this about bites: Dog owners are liable for bites/attacks as long as victims can prove negligence. Examples of such negligence include the following: The owner knew that the dog could be dangerous The owner failed to secure the animal properly The owner’s unsecured dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person Because the victim must prove negligence, the state’s law is not as simple as it seems. In turn, this makes it challenging to pursue a premises liability suit over a dog bite. However, it is certainly not impossible, especially if you have legal assistance from an attorney experienced in premises liability as well as personal injury. By working together, you and your lawyer have an excellent chance of filing a successful claim and acquiring the financial compensation you need to make a full recovery.

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What can an employer do to protect workers around machines?

From a small carpenter’s shop to a plant owned by an international car company, the use of machines brings a certain level of risk. Workers can be injured or killed on the job by heavy machinery when it’s used improperly or when safety procedures are not in place. So, what should an employer do to keep workers safe and limit serious accidents? Below are a few tips that can help: Have a dress code or issue uniforms designed for safety. For instance, garments should never be loose, or they could get caught in moving parts. Long hair should be kept up. Issue the right safety gear. Workers often need to wear ear and eye protection at all times. Use safety tools and accessories, as well. For instance, when using a table saw, workers should be given push sticks to use so that they can keep their hands well away from the blade. Keep machine guards on whenever machines are running. Never remove them to work on machines that are on or even plugged in. Never leave them off after maintenance and upkeep have been performed. Follow the instruction manual. It gives instruction for safe usage of any machine. Employees should be provided with copies and told to follow them at all times. Provide proper training. Workers should never have to figure out how to use a machine on their own. They need training from professionals and other competent workers until they feel confident and able to move forward alone. If you do get injured on the job, you could be looking at high medical bills and days or weeks out of work. Make sure you know all of your legal options. Source: Texas Department of Insurance, “5 tips for machine guarding,” accessed March 02, 2018

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What safety signs does a business need?

A business owner has a responsibility to work to keep employees safe and out of harm’s way, and that can often be done with the use of safety signs. These can instruct employees, alert them to dangers and raise general awareness regarding the hazards of the workplace. All of that can cut down on accidents. So, what signs does the company need to have? A few examples include: PPE Signs: These tell workers that they must wear personal protective equipment whenever they go beyond a certain point. Exit Signs: These should contain battery backups so that they still work during a fire, a power failure or any other disaster in which workers will be attempting to find the exits quickly. Flammable Danger Signs: Any time there is a serious fire hazard, workers must be well-aware that it exists and they must know what precautions to take. Forklift and Machine Warning Signs: Workers must be aware that they are working around heavy machinery and vehicles so that they pay attention and avoid accidents. Biohazard Signs: This won’t apply to every company, naturally, but any company that deals with toxic materials must warn workers whenever they may be exposed to them. Slip and Fall Warning Signs: These should be used in areas with wet floors, places where spills are common and on stairways, balconies and catwalks. Falls are one of the main causes of workplace injuries every single year. If you are hurt on the job, and especially if no warning signs were put up, make sure you know all of your rights to workers’ compensation. Source: Emedco, “Top 10 Most Important Workplace Hazard Safety Signs for Any Facility,” Julianne Bass, accessed March 30, 2018

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How do building owners prevent fire-related injuries?

If you’ve ever talked to the fire department about safety precautions in your own home, they’ve probably told you to make sure that you have multiple working smoke detectors and to have an evacuation plan. Sit down with your family and talk about where you’ll go and what you’ll do if the alarm goes off. This way, in a chaotic situation, people can act on instinct and fall back on the evacuations they’ve practiced. But what about if you’re in a public building or a commercial building, like a hotel? What sort of environment can you expect and what should the owners do to prevent injuries if there is a fire? Loosely speaking, they need to “exercise reasonable care” to make sure no one is hurt. They cannot be negligent and show clear oversights. This goes beyond just having working smoke alarms in every room. In many cases, they should probably have escape routes that are clearly marked and posted in the halls or the rooms themselves. They may also be expected to have sprinkler systems to help combat the fire during the evacuation. These may not save the building, but they can buy time for people to get out while the fire department is on the way. Hotel owners have to account for the fact that they have a large number of people in a relatively small space and that those people are not familiar with the building. When they fail to do so, either by ignoring obvious issues — like missing fire escape signs over doors — or through simple negligence, those who are harmed may have a right to seek financial compensation. Source: FindLaw, “Premises Liability FAQ,” accessed Nov. 8, 2017

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Do men and women get the same workers’ comp?

Gender discrimination is illegal in the workplace. Women and men must get the same opportunities and the same treatment. This applies to all aspects of work, from hiring to promotions to raises and much more. Does it also apply to workers’ compensation? While it intuitively feels like it should, there have been some famous cases where women felt they were discriminated against. For instance, one woman spent 17 years working with a computer. This led to carpal tunnel syndrome, as she started to have both numbness and pain in her wrists and her hands. She decided to seek out workers’ comp, and it was noted that her job on the computer caused her physical issues. So far, so good. That’s when she found out that a man with the same exact symptoms as she had would get 20 percent more than her in permanent disability benefits. The reasoning was that she had “multiple risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome.” Two of the main risk factors were her age and the fact that she was a woman. Both things make the disorder more likely, so these risk factors allowed her payouts to be lowered. Essentially, on the grounds that she was a woman, she got paid less. This famous case started a class-action lawsuit, and it serves as a distinct warning to people all over the United States: When applying for workers’ compensation, be very careful to look into all aspects of the case so that you fully understand your rights. The above is just one example of many ways your rights could be violated. If you believe that they have been, make sure you know what legal options you have.

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Be careful not to get hurt while out shopping

When people are asked what comes to mind when they hear the word shopping, they often say making purchases. Very few individuals concern themselves with getting hurt while out at the store. Shopping injuries are quite common though. These types of incidents often occur because store owners fail to warn their workers or shoppers of certain hazards or to keep their premises safe. Shoppers and workers alike are particularly vulnerable to getting hurt if stores are overcrowded. It’s often around this time of the year when stores are offering Black Friday sales that customers line up hoping to take home items at a fraction of their regular retail price. There have been incidents in the past in which both store customers and workers have been attacked or trampled by others eager to gain access to a particular item. Slips and falls are also a common store injury. These types of incidents often happen because consumers or workers drop items on the floor and fail to notify store personnel to clean it up. Wet or slippery floors aren’t the only problem though. Raised tiles, torn carpets or poorly lit areas can also cause individuals to get hurt. Falls on malfunctioning escalators aren’t all that uncommon either. Many stores have shelving that reaches way beyond an average adult’s height. Some customers attempt to climb the shelves to reach what they came for. Others use objects to try to knock these items down to their level. Customers may find themselves struck by falling objects if items up on upper shelves aren’t properly secured. This can cause them to suffer serious head injuries. Shopping cart and parking lot injuries are two other real dangers that store customers have to be on the lookout for. Cracked pavement and icy surfaces are two of the leading causes of parking lot injuries. Tipped over carts can also cause someone to suffer serious bodily harm. Liability is not always clear in shopping injury cases. This is why you need to compile any evidence leading up to and immediately following your incident here in Waco. An attorney can take that information and determine if someone else’s negligence is to blame for your injuring accident. If your lawyer determines that is the case, then they’ll advise you of you right go about requesting compensation for injuries suffered on business premises here in Texas.

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