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In April of 2013, a warehouse where around 40 to 60 tons of ammonium nitrate was stored exploded immediately after it caught fire. The explosion, which registered a 2.1 magnitude on seismographs, took the lives of 14 individuals and leveled a whole neighborhood.
An explosion releases scorching heat and the balls of flame; its thick, black smoke can suffocate and kill, and the ear-piercing loud noise it produces and powerful shock waves can knock down doors and walls, and smash glass doors and glass windows. The injuries it can cause include severe burns, fractured bones, lacerations, lung injury, loss of limb/s, traumatic brain injury (TBI), trauma or shock, or death. Explosions are extremely damaging and damages can even be much more severe , with more lives placed in danger if it occurs in oil rigs, manufacturing facilities or industrial factories.
Ammonium nitrate is one type of substance that is very much prone to explode if handled incorrectly. Despite the regulatory oversight the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has over fertilizer warehouses, many of these warehouses, which do not have a sprinkler system, continue to store ammonium nitrate in wooden bins. This poor storage system, the huge gap between federal and state regulations on the rules on how to prevent explosions, the lack of clarity in OSHA’s standards on the operation of ammonium nitrate storage facilities as well as the laxity in the enforcement of whatever standards have been set, and volunteer firefighters’ lack of preparation for fires at chemical facilities, should have made authorities see that any of these warehouses could soon be consumed by a deadly fire and explosion.
However, since many of these fertilizer plants and warehouses in rural America have been in existence for decades, they often get overlooked by government authorities, making the storing of large amounts of a potentially combustible substance a continuing threat to the lives of workers and nearby residents. Despite its threats, government regulation for fertilizer-storage facilities, compared to power plants, refineries and other larger polluters, remain to be lax.
According to Williams Kherkher, despite being relatively rare, industrial explosions are very dangerous occupational hazards faced by workers. Besides the serious physical injuries these can cause, these also leave majority of victims struggling with substantial medical bills that they may not be able to pay. Due to this, it becomes necessary for victims to pursue legal action – to file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties or firm for the compensation that they and their families will definitely need for their future.
Often, in industrial explosions, the liable party, as explained by Milwaukee personal injury attorneys, are employers, whose act of negligence often results to poorly designed plants and/or warehouses that lack safeguards against potentially dangerous accidents and acts of nature. These safeguards include a sprinkler system and proper ventilation within the warehouse. Workers injured in a warehouse fire may see the necessity of contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately in order to learn more about their legal options.Read More
Reckless driving is a major traffic violation in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and traffic authorities consider reckless driving as a totally irresponsible behavior since this is more than just a mistake or a negligent act; what it is, is actually a driver’s willful and active disregard for his/her own safety, but more so, for the safety of all others.
This traffic violation can be committed through any of the following ways:
Though many drivers are diligent about operating their vehicles safely, others choose to drive without regard for others, and unfortunately when this happens, innocent drivers and passengers are at risk of sustaining debilitating injuries in what should have been completely preventable accidents. Along this same line of thought, Racine car accident attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® say that, besides serious injuries, car crash victims are also at risk of death.
Car accident injuries can profoundly impact a person’s life and can include costly medical treatment, lengthy rehabilitation periods, lost income, and short- or long-term disabilities. This is why, in cases where accidents are caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, it may be possible for the victims to secure financial compensation to help mitigate some of these damages they are made to suffer.Read More
Car accidents can be caused by driver errors, mechanical malfunctions, and dangerous road conditions. But the most inexcusable cause of car accidents is driver recklessness. It is inexcusable because it can easily be avoided. By driving diligently, you are already reducing the risk of crashing significantly.
But what if the other motorists around you are the ones being reckless? According to the website of the Milwaukee car accidents lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, there are legal options you can pursue if you have been hurt by a reckless driver.
Be aware of your surroundings
To avoid reckless driving accidents, you should be conscious of your surroundings, particularly of vehicles that do reckless behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, weaving, and suddenly stopping. The key is to keep your distance from these vehicles by driving a little slower, or better, by changing lanes so you can be far away from them as possible.
Keep a safe distance
You will never know when diligent drivers will suddenly do careless and negligent behaviors. For this reason, you should keep a considerable distance not just between you and reckless drivers, but also between you and diligent drivers.
Follow traffic rules
Traffic rules are there to ensure that everybody on the road is safe. To avoid accidents, don’t push your luck on breaking the rules. Diligently follow traffic lights and road signs. Stay in your lane. Use your signals when doing turning maneuvers. And most of all, avoid reckless behaviors yourself.
Distracted driving is a form of reckless driving, as being distracted can put your hands off the steering wheel, your eyes off the road, and your attention off the act of driving. The most common distractions include mobile devices, food and drinks, and passengers who engage in small talk. By being distracted, you are limiting your control of your vehicle and your reaction time.
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous forms of driver error which, according to the law firm Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, consistently causes accidents that result in the injury of innocent residents. Distracted driving happens when a driver’s attention is taken away from the primary task of driving, making him/her fail to operate his/her vehicle properly and so commit traffic infractions that result in an accident. Driver error is often unintentional, but it can be extremely damaging when it occurs.
A driver can be distracted in many different ways. Some of the most common forms of distraction while behind the wheel include eating and/or drinking, adjusting the radio, smoking, applying make-up, grooming, conversing with a passenger, driving while angry or while lost in thoughts, looking at a road map, adjusting GPS coordinates, and texting or using a hand-held phone, which is now the most dangerous form of distracted driving.
The expansion of smartphone functions and wider use of social media platforms, however, have only worsened cell phone use as these have only introduced new forms of distractions which also lead to more harmful results. Besides texting and conversing, new smartphone functions now allow drivers to send emails, take photos, shoot videos, conduct video chats, and use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat.
In some states, distracted driving, particularly cell phone use, has been the top cause of fatal car crashes. These crashes, according to Houston car accident lawyers at Williams Kherkher, are terrifying and often overwhelming ordeals which, in many instances, leave victims with extensive medical bills and other expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability, and major lifestyle and family-life changes.
In 2013, distraction-related crashes took the lives of 3,154 individuals and injured 424,000 others. In 2014, data from distraction.gov, the Official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, show increases in both counts: 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in crashes that involved distracted drivers.
With regard to car accidents, all personal injury lawyers have the same conviction: victims should pursue legal action against the party responsible for their losses, while at-fault drivers should be legally required to compensate their victim.Read More
In residential areas and water utilities, leaks from plumbing fixtures, pipes and fittings are a major source of water waste. Studies have shown that a regular residential unit loses 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water every year. But while leaks from water heaters and faucets are plainly obvious, many other sources of leaks are undetected (and can go undetected for months or even years) simply because the leak cannot be seen, such as in the case of a cracked water supply line or a broken toilet flapper valve; these cause water to continue getting wasted without detection, except through surprisingly high water bills.
Water leak is a serious matter as this can eventually lead to the development of mold which, in turn, can cause immense damage to a residential structure. Thus, to help ensure that leaks can be avoided, it would help to know its common causes or sources. These include:
There are usually four types of faucets used in residential homes: ceramic discs, cartridge types, ball types (also called “delta), and compression valves. Though each type has a unique method of repair, repair is usually simple and easy. A dripping faucet should be repaired immediately, though, not just because it can be annoying (especially during the dead silence of the night), but also because it can really result to lots of clean water wasted.
Besides faucets, another most common source of leaks is the toilet. Toilet leaks often go unnoticed because these are usually silent and hidden or out of view. As explained by Fort Worth residential leak detection experts with American Leak Detection, however, a water bill that suddenly skyrockets can only be explained by an undetected leak, which can easily be electronically located by a trained technician. Thus, rather than resorting to the traditional search-and-destroy method, where you tear up your property to search for that annoying leak, you can instead call in an expert who will find and repair the leak with minimal disruption to your property and which will also save you time and money.Read More
Thousands of people are killed each year due to a drunk driver, and many more are severely injured. According to the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, falling victim to an accident caused by a drunk driver can leave you with serious injuries or the loss of a loved one. While convicted drunk drivers face fines and jail time, they are often found liable for the injury or death of those involved in the accident as well. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a drunk driver, you may deserve compensation for your losses.
Such losses are incurred by things such as medical bills and lost wages, which are needed during the recovery period.
In California, there are two major types of drunk driving accidents in which a party may be found liable, but victims have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Liable parties may be found in the following two cases:
Proceeding with a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver in addition to the criminal charges they are already likely facing, or a wrongful death lawsuit in the case that a loved one was killed due to a drunk driver can help you recover from the catastrophic consequences of being the victim of a drunk driving accident.
Drinking and driving is illegal for good reason. Many believe that quick fixes such as taking a cold shower or consuming caffeine will eliminate the effects of alcohol, but this is simply untrue. Drinking causes the following problems that prevent safe driving:
The above circumstances caused by alcohol consumption make driving unsafe, and significantly increase the risk of an accident.Read More
Humans have been racing everything and everyone ever since we became capable to walk, whether it is dogs, horses, or automobiles; people love to race. It is not surprising that automobile racing has become the worlds largest motor sport with its loud engines, fast speeds, and adrenaline pumping maneuvers. However, due to the accessibility of cars, many young adults and teenagers have taken racing to the streets. These races are not your “Fast and Furious” style racing, where they seem to expertly close down intersections for their races and execute precise technical passes with Vin Diesel swagger. These races take place on regular neighborhood roads, interstates, and just about every where a police officer is not parked, and are driven by kids who just got their licenses or by people with a substantial driving record. I would know, I used to be both.
Street racing is wildly dangerous even for professional drivers, there is simply no way predict what might happen next on a public road. Recently in Boston, a car drag racing on a small road jumped the curb and hit a pedestrian and proceeded to run from the scene. Police have been unable to catch the driver who escaped in another vehicle. A Boston car accident lawyer would regard this case as a reckless driving accident due to its speeding, and the drivers failure to yield and could face jail time. Similarly in Rhode Island, seven young adults with a median age of 21 were charged with reckless driving in association with road racing that resulted in a death of one of the passengers that were racing. A Rhode Island car accident lawyer would be well aware that these types of fatal accidents happen all the time, and it is a wonder that it doesn’t happen more often with the frequency of street racing. The latter racers are facing serious charges. So for safety of everybody on the road, please keep it on the track.Read More
When spending money to buy any product, it is well expected that the product be both functional to its duty and be safe. Unfortunately, that is not the case for a lot of products that we see on the market today. From statistics recently released by a independent study, over the past 30 years Volkswagen, a world dominating manufacturer, has had a recall rate of approximately 1.06. This implies that of the 9.7 million cars that they have sold since 1980, 10.2 million vehicles have been recalled at some point. Even world leading auto manufacturers create and build unsafe products all the time, despite the auto industry being one of the most heavily regulated and restricted industries in the world today. According to Massachusetts personal injury attorney’s, a defective vehicle will undoubtedly increase the likelihood of fatal crashes, create unnecessary financial burdens, and often times lead to long personal injury lawsuits.
It is very likely that you will spend some time in or at least interact with a motor vehicle everyday, and many of those vehicles have been subject to one or many recalls. Furthermore, most car owners never even realize their vehicle may have been recalled. Currently, the established procedure for notifying car owners of a defect by NHTSA regulation is via first class mail. With today’s advancing technological culture, first class mail is a rather dated delivery method especially for a notice as important as an unsafe product. Houston based law firm Williams Kherker, classifies automobile defects as a product liability case and recommends immediate action if harm is presented. Product liability cases falls under civil tort law and and both compensatory and punitive damages can be rewarded for vehicle defects. In major recalls from manufacturers such as the recent Volkswagen diesel scandal, it is very likely for a consumer to receive some form of compensation for the harm inflicted by a defected product. Car buyers need to stay informed on whether their vehicle has been recalled to prevent the dangers of a unsafe product.Read More
Since the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it has been “unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise to discriminate against any individual”. Despite having antidiscrimination laws for over 52 years now, racial discrimination in the workplace is still seen disappointingly frequently. The EEOC states that nearly 100,000 discrimination cases were brought up in the United States in 2014, of which 35% is constituted by racial allegations.
There exists two types of discrimination as cited from Civil Rights Act of 1964, disparate treatment and disparate impact. The former is defined when an individual of a protected group is specifically targeted to be treated unfairly. Disparate treatment includes any direct racial slurs, offensive racial acts, or anything with derogative racial intent. According to New York racial discrimination lawyers of Cary Kane LLP, disparate impact includes all nonessential practices or policies that discriminate against protected groups. Disparate impact proves to be more difficult for employers to navigate as it does not focus on discriminatory intent, because of this racially discriminating policies can be enacted inadvertently or be misapplied by management that could create a fully justifiable discrimination case.
All complaints and allegations of racial or any discrimination in the workplace should be sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where they will notify the employer that a complaint has been received and a full investigation will commence. If the EEOC deems there is a viable case for discrimination they will grant the right to sue in federal court. The consequences of a racial discrimination case for a company can be detrimental as fines and penalties can be applied as well as immense litigation costs and creation of a bad public image. Racial discrimination is still a very real thing in our society and with the moral and financial implications of it; companies should take an active step to prevent it.Read More
Workplace injuries are bound to occur, they happen every day, everywhere, at every job. Whether it is a simple papercut or a traumatic fall while lifting a heavy box, workplace injuries happen all the time and with frivolous lawsuits becoming increasingly common in our society, employers must take preventive action to reduce these costly accidents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million injuries and illnesses were seen in 2014 which continues a declining trend since 2012. This decline is a step in the right direction but there are still many ways to prevent workplace injuries that can be adopted by organizations, such as more workplace safety training, higher safety standards for employees, and even pre-employment testing. New tactics like these are continually reducing workplace injuries and some companies are going even further by introducing new ways of functional employment testing that can determine the probability of potential hires to be able to complete job specific tasks. One such company, WorkSTEPS, will send professional job analysists to conduct an on-site job analysis so that they can determine physical benchmarks that each employee should possess in order to perform the job efficiently. Innovations like these unceasingly continue to reduce the likelihood for workplace injuries, creating a much safer environment for people to not only work but live in.
It is not uncommon for a typical person to spend more time at work then with their family in a given day, because of this workplace safety is ever more important and should be held in a higher regard than it is now. However, it is not solely the employer’s responsibility for promoting workplace safety; employees themselves clearly hold a large stake in their own well-being and must be able to identify any hazardous work conditions and find ways to avoid them. Remember a safe workplace is a happy workplace, well at least happier.Read More