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Personal Injury

Improving Business Efficiency

Posted by on Jun 17, 2019 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

As any business owner or top manager can confirm, Corporate America can be ruthlessly competitive. Even the slightest or random efficient characteristic that puts you ahead of your competitors may be the very thing that saves your business or makes you the top earner in your industry’s quarterly earnings report.

There is a plethora of information available online for how to improve business efficiency, however, many of them lack the full depth and breadth I was able to ascertain from my independent research. In the following piece, I will guide you on ways to improve the efficiency of your business and as a result, become a more competitive company:

Clear management

One of the easiest ways to suffer as a business is to have consistent breakdowns in communications, especially between management and lower-level staffers. There needs to be a clear set of expectations between all parties — especially if these members of the team work with one another often. Working to make expectations clear is necessary; working to make preferences known is an even more advanced step to take that will streamline the processes of your business or projects.

Another aspect to consider in regards to clear management is the articulation of hierarchy. Organization charts are especially great ways to explain the appropriate parties to include in different decisions or in specific projects. A confusing business cannot be an efficient business. And an inefficient business will struggle to be a profitable business.

From this, we must also consider how the rates of turnover can affect a company. If a company is constantly re-hiring and training new employees, it will cut into efficiency as well as the profitability of a business. Not only because so much time and so many resources will be used for the training process, but also because the turnover rate will affect company culture.

Safety first

Of course, another aspect to business management in the pursuit of profitability as well as efficiency is incentivizing a culture of safety in your business’ community. This is not only morally correct as employees deserve a safe working environment, but also in your business’ best interest; hiring new workers or re-assigning workers to other projects because a worker is injured or unable to come into work, is lengthy, expensive, and not in your best interest. Look into solutions like the medical management programs and services provided by WorkSTEPS, if you have a business in which people are regularly at risk.

Company culture

If people are not “bought in” to wanting the company to succeed, there will almost certainly be long-term negative effects. This can manifest itself in people viewing the company or business as a place to clock in and clock out of, but not truly caring about their coworkers, employers, or the product/service they bring into the world.

Of course, even with activities like holiday parties, bonuses, clear communication, or great leadership, a possibility still remains for a specific employee to act toxically and negatively influence other employees. The burden then falls on the shoulders of managers or higher-ups to identify these bad actors and prevent their toxicity from spreading to other parts of the company. Corporate training, mentorship, or simply firing these individuals are just some of the tools that can be used.

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The Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Longshoreman injury attorneys of Williams Kherkher explain how “most maritime accidents can be traced back to some form of negligence on the part of an employer or a vessel’s owner and, when an accident is caused by the negligence or recklessness of either party, accident victims can use the Jones Act to help hold whomever was responsible financially accountable for their pain and suffering.”

The Jones Act gives seamen them the right to sue their employer for personal injury or negligence damages. This federal maritime law, originally called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was designed to protect seamen who get injured on the job.

To determine who are qualified for the benefits offered under the Jones Act, some terminologies are assigned their appropriate definitions:

  • Seaman. This refers to any person who spends a significant amount of his/her time on a vessel or on a specific fleet of vessel (“in navigation”) as a member of the crew member or as captain.
  • A vessel in navigation. This is any type of boat that is afloat, in operation, capable of moving and on navigable waters (this definition excludes vessels in a dry-dock or those out of the water and up on blocks; floating casino barges; oil drilling platforms; and newly built vessels that are still undergoing sea trials). “Navigable waters” refer to rivers or lakes used for interstate or foreign commerce (may oceans and landlocked lakes, but only if these extend to another state or are connected to a river that flows into another state).
  • Significant Amount of Time. In order to qualify as a seaman, a person has to spend at least 30% of his/her employment time on a vessel. Thus, anyone who works 70% of the time in the office and 30% on a vessel can be considered a seaman.

According to ship worker injury lawyers of Williams Kherkher, “The Jones Act covers employees who work on ships, rigs, crewed recreational boats, floating cranes, tankers, barges, and just about any other kind of vessel that is capable of moving on the water. Though it will not cover every person on a seafaring vessel, this legislation will cover any person that meets the legally defined requirements for being a ‘seaman.’”

In order to provide protection for other maritime workers not covered by the Jones Act, another federal law had to be passed – the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which was enacted in 1927. The LHWCA, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, “provides for the payment of compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to employees disabled from on the job injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of a vessel; it also provides for payment of survivor benefits to dependents if the work injury causes, or contributes to, an employee’s death. These benefits are typically paid by the self-insured employer or by a private insurance company on the employer’s behalf. The term “injury” includes occupational diseases, hearing loss and illnesses arising out of employment.”
It was designed to cover employees, including longshore workers, shipbuilders or ship-breakers, ship-repairers, harbor construction workers, other maritime workers not covered by the Jones Act, and non-maritime employees who perform their work and get injured on navigable water.

The LHWCA, however, considers the following ineligible to receive benefits:

  • Those who get injured because they were intoxicated while working; and
  • Those who get injured due to their own willful intention to harm themselves or others.
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Causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that affects one of the limbs usually after an injury or trauma to that limb. It is believed that CRPS results from damage to, or malfunction of the peripheral and central nervous system. In CRPS, the damaged nerves are unable to properly control blood flow, feeling, and temperature to the affected area. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the condition can spread to other parts of the body.

There are two types of CRPS, which have similar symptoms and treatments. CRPS-I formerly reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome involves the absence of confirmed nerve injury. It is most common in the arms or legs after a minor injury. CRPS-II, on the other hand, involves confirmed nerve injuries. It is the result of an injury to the nerve.

Doctors are not sure about the causes of complex regional pain syndrome. In most instances, it results from trauma or injury. It is most commonly triggered by fractures, sprain, soft tissue injuries, limb immobilization, or surgical and medical procedures. Injuries in the small nerve fibers may bring about the different symptoms of CRPS. Abnormalities in the peripheral nerves cause neurological functions in the spinal cord to work abnormally.

CRPS can affect the immune system as well. High level of inflammatory chemicals is present in the tissues of people with the condition. Inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as asthma can also trigger CRPS. Complex regional pain syndrome does not have a single cause but results from several causes that produce similar symptoms. According to some theories, pain receptors in the affected part of the body responds to catecholamines, a group of nervous system messengers. It is believed that complex regional pain syndrome disrupts the healing process. Emotional stress may also trigger complex regional pain syndrome.

On certain occasions, CRPS develops without any injury. It may be caused by an infection, a blood vessel problem, or an entrapment of the nerves.

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Large Truck Accidents: Common Causes

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

The high number of road accidents remains a serious problem across America. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 32,719 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes during the year 2013. About 3,000 of these victims died in accidents involving large trucks. These numbers point to a rather disturbing trend involving the larger vehicles motorists are usually sharing the road with. As the IIHS puts it, about 1 in 10 highway fatalities occur because of large truck accidents. Considering the way that these trucks overpower all other types of vehicles, it’s easy to surmise why these incidents result in outcomes that are so tragic and devastating.

As one can imagine, any collision between a large truck and a smaller vehicle can easily turn to a catastrophic scenario. Large trucks like 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers can weigh around 20 to 30 times more than regular passenger cars. These vehicles are also much larger and have greater ground clearance. This makes large trucks much harder to control and maneuver. Due to its weight, a truck will require a longer distance before being able to come to a full stop. Its sheer size also gives a truck more blind spots or no-zones.

As a result, truck operators are not able to see the vehicles surrounding them easily. Experienced drivers are trained to keep a safe distance from other vehicles and keep an eye out on these no-zones. However, a slight mistake can easily have some deadly consequences. In some of the worst cases, cars can slide beneath a truck. The consequences can become even more severe when large trucks hit motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Aside from no-zones, the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm also points to other factors that commonly contribute to large truck accidents. According to their experience, accidents can also occur due to fatigue or distracted driving, as well as improper training. Trucks carrying improper or overweight load are also more susceptible to accidents. In some cases, truck accidents are also caused by vehicles that don’t receive proper maintenance and upkeep.

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The Severe Consequences of Truck Accidents

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Personal Injury | 2 comments

On May 29, 2013, near Syracuse, New York, a truck’s trailer came loose and crashed into an approaching minivan; of the minivan’s eight passengers, seven were killed – four children, with ages ranging from 4 – 7, and three adults.

A week earlier, on May 24, somewhere in Washington state, a truck rammed into a bridge’s support beams, causing one area of the bridge to collapse and sending cars, with their drivers inside, into the cold waters of the Skagit River.

In the accidents mentioned above, the truck drivers were perfectly safe; the victims, however, were either dead or severely injured. This is a usual result of motor vehicle accidents were trucks are involved. Due to the size of trucks, as well as the much heavier materials these are made of, losses (whether lives and/or properties) are always on the side of the much smaller, or slower, vehicle).

Every year, about 4,500 deaths in accidents that involve trucks are reported to the Department of Transportation. The US DOT, with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and each state’s department of transportation, which has its own set of laws that govern the trucking industry, work together to lessen truck accidents and make US roads and highways safe, especially for other motorists.

Besides laws that mandate trucking firms to ensure that trucks are always in good condition (requiring regular checking and maintenance of these huge vehicles), laws are also imposed regarding the hiring and training of truck drivers (including mandates to keep drivers, who lack the skills required in operating a truck safely, off the road). Laws also specify the maximum number of hours that drivers are allowed to drive continuously and the total number of hours of rest they should be given.

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for commercial drivers has also been set to 0.04%, while on January 3, 2012, a mandate on the total banning of cell phone use (which included reaching for, holding or dialing a cell phone) was passed. This was followed, a year after, by a law, which required the use of a Bluetooth headset, a safe way of taking and making calls without losing one’s focus on the road.

The laws were specifically intended to address the identified major factors that caused trucke accidents – driver fatigue and sleepiness, drunk-driving and distraction due to cell phone use. There are many other laws and standards imposed by the government to make roads safer from trucks, as truck accidents almost always lead to catastrophic results. If involved in a truck accident, victims should seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. The tort law, under which personal injury is classified, can be more than complicated to the victims and their families. Allowing a highly-qualified and competent lawyer to represent victims is, sometimes, the only means to enable these victims to merit the compensation that they legally deserve.

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Actos’ Adverse Effects are Obvious Acts of Negligence

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Defective Pharmaceuticals, Personal Injury | 1 comment

For a number of years after 1999, Type II diabetes patients benefitted from an oral drug that helped them manage their blood sugar level and reduced the quantity of glucose released by the liver. With no known cure to their illness and fully confident of their doctor’s capabilities, Type II diabetics accepted whatever drug was prescribed to them.

One oral drug that was recognized as very promising was Actos. Produced by Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and certified by the US Food and Drug Administration, Actos, or Pioglitazone, was released to the market in 1999. A year after its release, the drug was approved by the French Medicines Agency for distribution in France and then eight years later, it became one of the 10 most prescribed oral diabetes drugs in the US.

Since its release millions of people around the globe have been prescribed with the drug Actos. Thus, in 2010 many were taken aback by with the findings of a group of researches that studied Actos. The study brought into the open the many adverse effects caused by the drug, which Takeda maintained to be totally safe.

The effects ranged from mild to life-threatening; some patients have even suffered death due to Actos. Some of the mild effects caused by Actos include urinary tract infection, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, upper respiratory infection, fever, dizziness, muscle pain, chills, limb pain and diarrhea. The severe ones are bladder cancer, lactic acidosis, heart and liver failure and macular edema.

In 2011 France and Germany banned the distribution of Actos in their countries. During this same year too the estimated number of lawsuits that seemed would be filed against the drug’s manufacturer Takeda reached more than 10,000.

Many more are expected to come to the open and seek justice from Takeda’s great act of irresponsibility and negligence. Type II diabetes is serious and hard enough for anyone to suffer from; adding bladder cancer to one’s suffering would redound to a major unjust offense.

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