Posts made in February, 2017

Industrial Explosion Accidents

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Industrial Explosion Accidents | 0 comments

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.

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Different Ways of Driving Recklessly

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

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:

  • Driving at reckless speed, which may mean driving 20 mph above the speed limit or driving over 80 mph.
  • Driving too fast for traffic conditions. One example of this is driving at the allowed maximum speed, but on a stretch of road covered in snow.
  • Driving on a any public road in such a way that can endanger another person’s “life, limb, or property.” This rule is a catch-all for all types of unsafe driving practices, like driving the wrong way on a one-way street, parking on a highway, or driving while asleep.
  • Having too many passengers. Drivers, who carry more passengers than the number of available seat belts or who allow more than one passenger in the front seat so that their ability to drive properly is compromised, could be charged with reckless driving.
  • Intersections and Crossings. Drivers passing or overtaking another vehicle at a railroad crossing or at an intersection, especially if there are pedestrians crossing or about to cross, are guilty of reckless driving.
  • Passing a School bus. Drivers who fail to stop while a school bus is taking on or discharging passengers or who fail to remain stopped until the bus has started to move again, are guilty of reckless driving. Exception to this rule includes situations wherein the school is on a section of the road that is separated from the lane of travel by an unpaved area or a physical barrier, or if the bus is immediately adjacent to a school and the driver has been directed to pass it.
  • Tailgating, distracted driving, failure to yield right of way, failure to use turn signals, drunk driving, and, running stop signs / red lights.

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.

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How to Avoid Reckless Driving Accidents

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Auto Accidents, Car Accidents | 0 comments

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.

Avoid distractions
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.

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Distracted Driving, Particularly Cell Phone Use is Top Cause of Fatal Car Accidents in Many States

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

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.

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