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Jasper Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety and the nation's riskiest jobs

The average American understands what it means to put in a hard day's work. However, not all lines of work present the same levels of risks. Some Alabama workers face considerable safety hazards upon each shift, and others even put their lives on the line when clocking in. What are some of the nation's most dangerous industries, and are they getting safer? 

Because of its inherent risks, Forbes names fishing as the most hazardous job in the nation. Volatile weather conditions and heavy equipment naturally make this field of work a risky one. Aircraft pilots and loggers also face considerable safety hazards on the job. Aside from the obvious risk of crashing, those in any airline field face threats when testing equipment and when carrying out emergency responses. Much like the fishing industry, loggers work with bulky equipment and nature's unforgiving elements. A line of work that largely goes unrecognized involves recyclable materials collecting: Forbes explains that these workers face dangers such as heavy traffic and harmful materials on a daily basis. 

Spotting drowsy drivers

Many in Jasper may fail to realize how easily their actions can pose a risk to others on the road. Most may understand that any type of distraction (e.g. talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, putting on makeup) elevates the chances of an accident. Yet few may realize that what they do while not behind the wheel (or better yet, what they do not do) can also impair their driving abilities. 

Drowsy drivers are fast becoming one of the most dangerous groups of motorists on the road today. Data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that such drivers caused over 396,000 accidents in America between 2011-2015. This high number of collisions certainly suggest that many of those on the road may not be getting enough sleep. 

Who is responsible when a truck's load falls?

The semi-trucks and big rigs that you see driving through Walker carry a good number of the products that allow you to enjoy daily living. In your home or on the store shelf, these singular items may pose no threat whatsoever. However, stacked alongside thousands of duplicate and companion items, these can become dangerous (even deadly) projectiles in the event of an accident. Sometimes, they may even be the cause of a truck accident themselves. The question then becomes who is responsible for the security of such a load: the trucker transporting it or the motor carrier contracted to deliver it? 

Some may say neither. In many cases, a semi-truck's load is packed, secured and sealed by a separate shipping company. Knowing this, you might assume that the shipper is held liable if the load comes undone during delivery. However, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, only in rare cases would a shipping company share liability for a load failure. Primary responsibility for its safety is shared between the motor carrier and the driver. 

Learn about the hazards you will face as a coal miner

Coal mining is big business in the United States that became a major industry in many states during the nineteenth century. Today, it affects the lives of thousands of Alabama residents. However, underground mining claims the lives of many mineworkers nationwide each year, and if this is how you earn your living, you are likely aware of the hazards of your job.

Mining safety has improved over the years, which might provide some level of comfort. Early in the 20th Century, there were an average of over 1,000 on-the-job fatalities a year. Now, better safety cultures in the mining industry have brought the rate down to between 60 and 70 per year. Even if you are familiar with the safety regulations, and know how to react to emergencies, understanding the threats may help you to stay safe.

Understanding hand signals for motorcyclists

All too often, it seems as though it is you versus the rest of the world when riding on your motorcycle in Jasper. As many of those that we here at The Sapp Law Firm, LLC have worked with can attest to, many motorists seem to struggle with the thought of having to share the road the with motorcyclists. Thus, when collisions with motorcyclists do occur, motorists often try to shift the blame to them, saying that they had no way of knowing what the motorcyclists' intentions were. 

Knowing this, it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate to everyone on the road what you intend to do on your bike. One way to do this by learning the universal hand signals used to indicate intent on the road (while your bike does have blinkers, some drivers may claim that they are difficult to see). Among the most common are extending your left arm straight outward to indicate a left turn, or upward, with your elbow bent to a 90 degree angle and your palm facing forward, to show you plan on turning right. Extending the left arm downward in the exact opposite position indicating a right turn signals your intent to stop. 

What damages are recoverable in a nursing home neglect case?

If your elderly loved one suffered an injury in an Alabama nursing home, (s)he can file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility and/or its personnel. Whether the injury resulted from neglect or abuse, the money damages your loved one recovers compensates him or her for the medical expenses occasioned by the injuries, his or her pain and suffering while recovering from them and the reasonably foreseeable lingering effects they will have on his or her life.

As FindLaw explains, there are numerous types of recoverable damages that fall into the following six categories:

  1. Actual damages
  2. Future damages
  3. Pain and suffering
  4. Mental anguish and suffering
  5. Loss of enjoyment of life
  6. Shortened life expectancy

Beware of falls

Ask a sampling of random people in Walker what careers they consider to be dangerous, and you will likely hear responses such as law enforcement, public safety and construction. Any job in which you work in controlled indoor environment is probably not viewed as being risky. Several of the past clients that have sought our services here at The Sapp Law Firm, LLC have shared this same opinion, only to discover that the most common type of workplace injury can easily strike any member of any profession. 

According to The National Floor Safety Institute, the most common cause of workers' compensation claims in the country is falls. In this context, falls is not limited to falls from heights, but instead refers primarily to simple ground-level falls. Like many, you may have difficulty comprehending how a simple slip and fall can be so damaged. In the case of workplace falls, it often is not the extent of such injuries that makes them so troublesome, but rather the type. 

What Should I Know About Distracted Driving?

Whether you’re driving in Alabama or elsewhere in the country, safety is of the utmost importance. That’s why distracted driving is so dangerous. When motorists fail to keep their full attention on the road, disaster can occur in an instant. EndDistractedDriving.com lists some pertinent facts about the hazards of driving while distracted, which is crucial for all drivers to know.

While many people believe that distracted driving only involves mobile device usage while behind the wheel, there are actually three types of distracted driving. Cognitive distractions occur when the driver takes his or her mind off the task at hand. Something as seemingly innocuous as day-dreaming behind the wheel can result in a serious, and potentially life-threatening, accident. There are also manual distractions, which entail removing your hands from the wheel (such as while eating or to change the radio station). The last type of distraction is visual. Visual distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road, which will prevent you from reacting appropriately to hazards.

Sleepy drivers are a significant health threat on Alabama roads

It is normal to drive while a little sleepy. Everyone has likely gotten behind the wheel of a car while tired, but there is a difference between driving while tired and driving while dangerously exhausted. Exhausted Alabama drivers are dangerous drivers, and research indicates that it is actually a significant health threat to every person on the road.

Driving while excessively exhausted can lead to a higher chance of a car accident. Like drunk drivers or distracted drivers, people who choose to drive while too tired to be safe are responsible for the choices they make. If you were hurt in an accident that resulted in injury and financial loss because of a drowsy driver, you have the right to explore your option to seek financial compensation.

What is respondeat superior?

A collision with a semi-truck in Walker can leave you facing seemingly insurmountable expenses for both your care and recovery as well as the repair of your vehicle. These costs may make it necessary for you to seek compensation beyond auto insurance coverage limits. The question then becomes whether the truck driver that struck you is solely liable, or should the company that employs him or her be held responsible as well? 

Per the Cornell University Law School, the legal principle of respondeat superior states that employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees. There is, however, a limitation to this form of vicarious liability: The actions that caused your accident must have been committed within the scope of the trucker's job responsibilities. 

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