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Month: August 2016

4 Mistakes to Avoid After an Auto Accident

4 Mistakes to Avoid After an Auto Accident

Fortunately, an auto accident is not an everyday occurrence for the average driver. However, if you are involved in an accident, you need to be aware of these mistakes you need to avoid.

Not Notifying the Police About the Auto Accident:

Even if the auto accident appears to be minor, it could still result in thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repair. In some cases, the symptoms of injuries may not appear for hours or even days. Unfortunately, even an apologetic driver may deny fault once they are aware of how much the accident will cost them.
Police officers will make an objective assessment of the auto accident. The police report can be a vital piece of evidence should you need to take the case to court.

Trusting Your Insurer Acts in Your Best Interests:

Despite their friendly marketing materials and any sympathetic responses, you may get when you call them, remember that your insurer is in the business of making money, not being your friend. When they can pay less in accident compensation, they will earn more profits. Unfortunately, some insurers employ dubious yet legal tactics to reduce their payouts. These can include interviewing you when you are still in the hospital, and your mind may feel muddled, asking you leading questions or offering you a lowball settlement figure.

Not Seeking Medical Attention Promptly:

Even when you don’t feel hurt, you should still consult a medical professional. Even if you are not injured worse than you thought, your medical records are necessary to prove any injury claims. A delay in seeking medical attention could create the opportunity for the opposing insurance company to claim your injuries were unrelated to your auto accident.

Not Retaining an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney:

A good attorney will improve the chances of you recovering the maximum possible amount of compensation. They will also advise you if there is a cause of action against another party and uphold all of your rights under personal injury and insurance laws.

OSHA and the Construction Industry: On Safety Hazards and Injuries

OSHA and the Construction Industry: On Safety Hazards and Injuries

The workplace can be a place where accidents and injuries occur, sometimes even death, because management or the workers were negligent, ignorant or willfully disregarding the safety rules and policies. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government’s safety watchdog, says that on average, 12 workers die every day from injuries sustained in the workplace. The construction industry has one of the highest incidences of work-related accidents. Yet these can be prevented if employers and employees understand OSHA’s rules on safety, enforce compliance and make sure training is given to everyone.

Know OSHA

OSHA was created in 1971, after the Occupational Safety and Health Act became a law on Dec. 29, 1970. The act applies to all 50 states and territories that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal authority.

The agency’s goal is to provide for safe and healthy workplace for all employees by enforcement of the standards it has established. It also extends education, training, outreach and assistance. The agency’s standards fall into four main classifications: agriculture, general industry, construction and maritime. Guidelines are added to the existing ones where relevant and appropriate. Compliance to them is monitored by regular on-site inspections and companies are penalized and cited for violations or if hazards are present.

According to Danny Montelepre, a construction company executive, inspectors from the agency can enter a site at random, such as if there is a complaint or simply by passing by and noticing the ongoing work. He has witnessed inspectors taking pictures or videos of conspicuous violations before going in. Another contractor adds that OSHA fines for violations usually start at $1,000 for each violation and can rise if it is considered a severe transgression. A general contractor who subcontracts works is also held responsible for the violations of the subcontractor.

Reporting and recording of serious injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace is strictly enforced for companies having more than 10 workers. These records must be kept for at least five years.

Attorneys at the GWC law firm have handled work-related injury cases and can help you if you have been injured at work due to hazardous conditions and lack of safety precautions.

Be Alert for Workplace Violence by Recognizing Warning Behaviors

Be Alert for Workplace Violence by Recognizing Warning Behaviors

Violent behavior in the workplace is a growing concern of employers and employees. But training people to recognize behavior that may lead to potential violence will help prevent such an incident. Jim Satterfield, founder of crisis coaching company Firestorm, says that more than 90 percent of employees think violence in the workplace is a serious issue. He also adds that usually, there are imminent signs of a forthcoming violent action.

Satterfield shared his expertise during a webinar with University of Alabama and his company. He stressed the need for everyone in the company to learn how to identify the danger signs of a violent act through a person’s behavior. Here are his important points:

Behavior is an important determining factor for predicting probable acts of workplace violence. A person will exhibit disturbing signs and actions prior to committing a destructive act. These behaviors include:

  • Expresses suicidal thoughts
  • Buys or owns weapons
  • Makes statements about hurting someone
  • Has episodes of explosive rage
  • Files grievances or complaints
  • Is dealing with depression and/or paranoia
  • Shows signs of substance abuse
  • Destroys things and properties
  • Is obsessed with the police, military or criminals

Satterfield recommends a central data storage whereby co-employees and management can document unusual behaviors in actions or verbal statements. What may seem to be disconnected acts are actually behavioral signs leading to a potentially violent incident. Without a central data storage, what may seem insignificant will be brushed aside.

An individual with plans to commit violence will usually tell one person, or even two or more. Such statements should be taken seriously. Changes in personal lives and career, like a divorce or not getting an expected promotion, can trigger such acts of violence. Voiced threats and bringing a weapon to work are dangerous signs.

Satterfield suggests that companies use assessment programs to determine an employee’s predilection for violence. These are:

  • Awareness – everyone should be mindful and report behavioral changes that may predict a violent act
  • Intelligence – employee background checks and online monitoring, especially through their social media posts
  • Central data storage – one place for documenting behavior and a threat monitoring team of three persons, one each from Human Resources, Security and Operations
  • Threat Assessment – for screening and monitoring

Potential acts of violence should not be taken lightly, as the aftermath can involve fatalities or severe injuries. The Fort Worth personal injury attorneys at the Stephens, Anderson & Cummings law firm hope that this article will help companies and workers recognize possible dangers in the workplace brought about by a troubled person.