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Oakland Legal Issues Blog

Herniated disks can be career-ending injuries

As some Californians can attest, nothing can be as debilitating as a back injury. Some back injuries just put a person out of commission and on the couch for a few days, but the person is otherwise able to return to work as normal. However, other back injuries can disable a person entirely, forcing them to exit the workforce. One of these potentially career-ending injuries is a herniated disk.

The bones in our spine (vertebrae) stack one on top of the other like a series of blocks to form the spine. In-between each vertebra is a spinal disk. These disks have a strong exterior, but a soft jelly-like interior. They provide a cushion between each vertebra. However, an injury known as a "herniated disk" takes place when the exterior of the disk tears, causing the soft material in the center to come out of the disk.

Do you feel lucky?

I recently saw this sign in an ice skating rink. Everyone in my group was wearing a helmet, and it proved to be a good thing as one person fell and hit her head. Apart from a headache, there was no lasting damage. Had she not been wearing a helmet things would have been much much worse.

As I walk around the streets of Oakland and see all of the Lime and Bird scooters flitting about, I have no doubt that we will start to hear about scooter related accidents with greater frequency very soon. This conclusion stems from the fact that scooter drivers predominantly operate the scooters on city sidewalks, and the scooters are capable of achieving speeds that are clearly unsafe for sidewalks. Collisions will occur as people step out of doorways and get clobbered by a passing scooter, deviate from a straight line when a scooter is approaching from behind or other scenarios.

Sadly, of the hundreds of riders I have seen since these programs started, I have yet to see a single rider wear a helmet. While you "probably won't need a helmet today," why not wear one anyway?

Teens in California and other states admit to texting and driving

Teenagers in California who obtain their driver's license may enjoy their newfound freedom. However, their inexperience behind the wheel as well as a general sense of invincibility can lead them to engage in risky behaviors while driving. One dangerous behavior teen drivers could engage in that could ultimately cause a car accident is texting and driving.

A recent study was conducted that examined whether teen drivers were likely to engage in texting and driving. The study reports that almost 40 percent of respondents age 14 and above had engaged in texting and driving one time or more over the past month. Teens in states with a lower minimum age at which they could obtain their learner's permit and teens in states where many students drove were more likely to engage in texting and driving. The prevalence of texting and driving increased twofold between ages 15 and 16 and there was a substantial uptick at age 17 and older.

Can I get workers’ compensation for a toxic exposure injury?

Toxic fumes and harmful chemicals can put industrial workers at risk of chemical burns, skin rashes, eye irritation, respiratory ailments and neurological damage. Employees working in heavy industrial settings like factories and construction sites are particularly vulnerable to occupational exposure to these toxins.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict standards and regulations to prevent toxic exposure in many different employment environments. OSHA requires employers to educate and warn employees of the risks of known toxic substances. They unfortunately report many violations of these regulations and if you are victim to this, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

What dangers to expect for a California logger

Sometimes you’ll find that the most hazardous jobs on the market may not be in the city. Thanks to the recent documentation about 2016 work fatalities by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Insider could identify the most dangerous jobs in America. The logging workers ultimately won the top spot, as they had a fatality rate of 135.9 and a non-fatal injury rate of 2,449 out of 100,000 workers.

With its vast amount of forests and dying trees, California is one of the top places for a lumberjack to work. However, if you know a loved one who is involved in the industry, it is crucial that you are aware of the potential risks they face when they head out to chop down trees.

Nearly 3 million were injured on the job in 2016

People in Oakland take pride in a job well done. They are hard workers, who make it a priority to succeed in the workplace. However, any worker can be struck by an injury or illness while on the job that could prevent them from working.

In 2016, nearly three million people in the private industry in the United States were injured or made ill on the job according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Specifically, nonfatal injuries and illnesses occurred at a rate of 2.9 incidents per 100 full-time employees. Almost one-third of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses led to days away from work. Specifically, 892,270 workplace injuries and illnesses that took place in 2016 that led to an average of nine days away from work. This rate remained more or less the same as the number reported in 2015.

California permits wrongful death lawsuits in certain situations

Losing a loved one is never easy. However, when a loved one's death is due to the reckless or negligent act of another person, one's grief could be amplified due to the fact that their loved one died unnecessarily. While this is an emotional time, one will also have to take a step back and look at the big picture, particularly financially. If a person in California suffers damages due to a loved one's wrongful death, he or she may want to pursue legal action in order to be compensated for the financial harms suffered.

In order to prevail in a wrongful death suit, the following elements must be met. First, a human being must have died. Second, the death must have been due to another person's negligent act or intent to injure the deceased. Third, the deceased's survivors must have incurred financial damages due to their loved one's death. Finally, a personal representative who will bring the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased's survivors must be appointed to the deceased's estate.

Common mistakes workers make after a job injury

When injured on the job, you want to avoid the mistakes that can cost you when filing a workers’ compensation claim. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can protect your legal rights and get the benefits you need and deserve.

When you have suffered an injury at work, you’ll want to know what to do and what not to do

What are the "Fatal Four" causes of construction worker deaths?

When a person in California thinks of the type of job that poses a risk to one's life, they may naturally think of jobs in the construction industry, and they would be right. Of the over 4,600 fatal workplace accidents in 2016, approximately 21 percent were in the construction industry. There were four major causes of death that were responsible for over 63 percent of fatal workplace accidents in the construction industry in 2016. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has coined the term the "Fatal Four" to describe these causes of death.

According to OSHA statistics, the primary cause of death in the construction industry in 2016 was falls, which accounted for 38.7 percent of construction worker deaths. Being struck by an object accounted for 9.4 percent of construction worker deaths. Electrocutions accounted for 8.3 percent of construction worker deaths. Finally caught-in/between accounted for 7.3 percent of construction worker deaths in 2016.

Career-ending injuries can be financially devastating

When a person is injured in an accident, whether it be a workplace accident, car crash or slip-and-fall case, the injuries they suffered could impact their entire life. Not only will they have to deal with extensive medical expenses, but sometimes their injuries are so severe that they are permanently unable to work. For example, an amputation, severe burn or soft tissue damage can result in a career-ending injury.

A career-ending injury can be emotionally devastating. Many people identify with their chosen occupation, and when an injury ends their career this can be emotionally difficult. Moreover, career-ending injuries are financially devastating. A person who must leave the workforce will have difficulties making ends meet financially, a situation that is very stressful and very serious.

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