Articles Tagged with compensation

Some Washington motorists may know that some days are safer than others when it comes to driving, but a few of the risky periods may be somewhat surprising. Statistics show many different days each year on which the hazards of the road are more prominent than usual. While holidays like Memorial Day weekend are obvious because of the number of vehicles on the road during the traditional kickoff to summer, others are more unusual.

Memorial Day weekend may already seem like an obvious time to avoid driving more than necessary due to the higher incidence of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities. Daylight saving time is a less obvious choice, but one study showed that the hour of lost sleep correlated with a 17 percent increase in traffic fatalities on the following Monday. Black Friday is another dangerous day to drive and park, as demonstrated by a Progressive Insurance report showing a massive 36 percent increase in parking lot claims and doubled overall claims.

Alcohol consumed by drivers increases the risks of being on the road on St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Day. For reasons yet to be explained, however, Friday the 13th also poses a higher risk of traffic accidents. A United Kingdom insurer has reported that collision claims rose approximately 13 percent on Friday the 13th, regardless of the time of year in which the day falls. Aggressive driving tendencies in general rise during major holidays, increasing the likelihood of an accident.

When people lawfully enter onto the property of another, the property owner may be liable if they are injured due to a hazard that the owner knew about or should have known about. Business owners owe a duty of care to people to keep their premises safe and hazard-free.

The responsibility exists whether the business owns or rents the property. Business owners should buy a commercial general liability insurance policy in order to be prepared in the event an accident occurs. Owners and employees should regularly inspect the premises and immediately correct any discovered hazard or unsafe condition. It is a good idea for employers to have clear policies and procedures in place, and employees should not ignore a hazard believing someone else will take care of it.

If a hazard is not immediately correctable, the business should prominently display warning signs around it to help people avoid injury. Examples of such warnings include wet floor signs. When it is snowy or icy outside, businesses should make certain they keep their exterior walkways clear.

After being in a car accident that was caused by another driver, it is important that it is reported to the authorities. In addition, it is a good idea to report the accident to the insurance company of the driver who was at fault. Although the driver who caused the accident is required to report it to his or her insurance provider, those who are responsible for a crash aren’t necessarily motivated to do so.

It is important for all parties to get as much information as possible to help bolster their claims in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. It is advisable to take pictures, collect insurance information from other drivers involved and get witness statements from anyone who saw the crash occur. The report that is made to the insurance company should only state the facts in the case.

The insurance company will typically conduct its own investigation and the police will make a determination as to whether either driver broke the law. In some cases, the insurance company may need to look into the case itself before authorizing any repairs or paying for any damage that may have resulted from the crash. In the event that the other driver’s insurance company refuses to honor a valid claim, drivers should file claims with their own insurance company and let their insurer take steps to obtain reimbursement.

Washington residents who take dietary supplements should be aware of a consumer warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration on April 13 about a product called Tri-Methyl Xtreme. Three injuries were reported by consumers in Utah, New Jersey and California, and there is concern that the product said to contain anabolic steroids could cause liver damage.

Tri-Methyl Xtreme is distributed by a Las Vegas company called Extreme Products Group, and the supplement is marketed as a way to help build muscle and sold in some gyms and retail stores as well as online. The company claims that anabolic steroids are found in the supplements, and an FDA scientist said that anabolic steroids can cause serious and irreversible damage to multiple organs in the body. In addition to liver damage, synthetic steroids could also cause increased risk for strokes and heart attacks. Consumers should watch for ill effects like discolored urine, back or abdominal pain or unexplained fatigue

Dietary supplements cannot possess steroids or any prescription drug ingredients, but manufacturers are in charge of regulating their own products and making sure they are safe because supplements are not required to go through FDA effectiveness and safety reviews. The FDA often issues warnings when supplements are found with drugs that can be used to aid body building, sexual enhancement or weight loss.

Sternum fracture results in death about 25 to 45 percent of the time and is often caused by trauma to the hard plate of bone in the center of the chest that protects the heart and lungs from injury. When the sternum is fractured, rib breakage occurs about 20 percent of the time, and spinal fractures occur in roughly 10 percent of cases. Washington motorcyclists may be at higher risk for such injuries in case of accidents because of the lack of air bags and protective restraints.

People over 50, especially women, seem to be more vulnerable to this type of fracture. When osteoporosis is present, sternum fractures become more common, especially in an automobile or motorcycle accident where trauma to the chest is present. Bruising, damage or punctures of the heart and lungs, injury to abdominal organs, spinal cord injuries and death are all possible outcomes of sternum fracture.

Chest pain, difficulty breathing, crunching or grinding sounds and extensive chest bruising are all possible indications of sternum fractures. The chest may also appear deformed or misshapen because of the buckling of the underlying bone and the cartilage connecting it to the ribcage. Prompt assessment and treatment is important in these cases to prevent other complications such as bone infections, pneumonia, bleeding into the thoracic cavity and in many situations death.

There are many different types of injuries a Washington driver may suffer should he or she become involved in a car wreck. One of the most serious injuries that could be suffered includes damage to the spinal cord, which could result in an injured person losing physical function below the point of injury.

The spinal cord is responsible for transporting messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Should that pathway become injured or damaged, the messages cannot reach their intended destination. The spinal cord does not necessarily need to be completely severed in order for the injured person to lose function. When this does occur, however, this is known as a complete injury. In general, the level of a spinal cord injury can determine what abilities are lost.

There are two stages of a spinal cord injury. The first is the initial injury that is caused by the accident. Following the injury, the spinal cord will swell, which could cause further damage. However, some people may regain certain functions as the swelling goes down. Very rarely, others may regain function years after they suffered the injury.

Most Washington motorcyclists know that there are certain dangers unique to motorcyclists when they travel the state’s highways and roadways. This is because motorcyclists face certain problems that motorists do not, including road hazards such as potholes, puddles and railroad tracks and instability at higher speeds. No matter who causes an accident, the fact remains that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in an incident than other motorists.

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 4,500 people died and approximately 88,000 were injured in motorcycle accidents. In total, motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of all crash fatalities for that year. More than half of those killed were over the age of 40. Approximately 37 percent of motorcycle fatalities were attributed to alcohol use, with 29 percent of deceased motorcyclists having a BAC of .08 percent or higher when they died and another 8 percent having a BAC between .01 and .07 percent at the time of their deaths.

If a motorcycle accident does occur, there is a chance that the injured cyclist may recover damages. However, in order to be eligible to seek compensation, there must be evidence that the other driver was responsible for causing the crash and that the accident occurred as a result of negligence or recklessness.

Washington residents likely know that the use of mobile electronic devices while behind the wheel can be dangerous, but they may not be aware of how serious the problem is. Accidents involving a distracted driver claimed the lives of over 3,000 people around the country in both 2011 and 2012,, and more than 400,000 people were injured in these collisions in 2012. While the increasing popularity of smartphones is a global phenomenon, a 2011 study found that drivers in the United States were far more likely to use these devices while driving than their European counterparts.

Young drivers are involved in distracted driving auto injury accidents at a higher rate than more experienced motorists, and they are more likely to send or receive a text message while behind the wheel. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost half of American high school students of driving age admit to texting while driving, and these students are also more likely to drink and drive.

While laws are being passed to curb the use of mobile electronic devices by drivers, it is not yet known how effective these measures will be. Other efforts to tackle the problem involve public awareness campaigns designed to drive home how dangerous distracted driving can be. The 171 billion text messages received or sent in the United States during December 2012 is an indication of how necessary these steps are.

Impaired driving is a serious problem in Washington and throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, nearly 30 Americans die each day in motor vehicle accidents involving a driver who is impaired by alcohol, which averages to one life lost every 51 minutes. Annually, impaired driving accidents cost more than $59 billion.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012 across the U.S., with 444 of those deaths occurring in Washington. That means that 31 percent of all traffic deaths were linked to alcohol. Other drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, were involved in 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths. These substances were often used in addition to alcohol.

Those most at risk for involvement in these accidents include young people, motorcyclists and drivers with prior DWI convictions. In 2012, people between the ages of 21 and 24 accounted for 32 percent of all drivers with blood alcohol content levels above .08 who were involved in fatal accidents, making them the largest offending group. In contrast, nearly half of all motorcyclists killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012 were over the age of 40. Additionally, drivers with a BAC of .08 percent or above who were in fatal accidents were seven times more likely to have had a prior DWI conviction than sober drivers.

Residents of Washington may not be completely familiar with what actually causes whiplash and what the side effects may be. An individual typically suffers whiplash whenever trauma to the neck is sustained. This most often occurs in vehicle accidents, especially in rear-end collisions. If the neck suddenly jolts back and forth, it is probable that the individual has whiplash and may experience dizziness, headaches, dull and aching pain in the neck, back pain or a number of other symptoms.

Whiplash may also include cervical sprains or strains and hyper-extension injuries. It does not necessarily occur in just high-speed traffic accidents; whiplash can happen in low-speed accidents as well because it is still possible for the neck to be jolted back and forth. An individual who has the condition may not recognize symptoms until two or three days afterward.

If a person has whiplash after being injured in a collision and has hired a personal injury attorney to assist in settling a claim, one of the first suggestions the attorney might make is to refer them to a medical specialist. This can include a chiropractor or neurologist who may execute a specific treatment plan in order to prevent further damage to the neck and correct the existing injury. The recovery time and treatment plans may vary because the extent of whiplash differs among individuals.

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