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Raleigh Legal Blog

2 workers hurt when crane boom contacts high-voltage power line

Three contractors have been cited for serious and willful violations after they allowed work to continue around live power lines. The high-voltage lines were scheduled to be buried, but instead of waiting for that work to be complete, the companies continued to allow work near and around the lines. Tragically, a crane boom came into contact with the lines and some 14 kilovolts shot down the hoist line directly to two men working below. They suffered severe electrical injuries.

These events occurred last fall, but the state's Labor & Industries department has just released the results of its investigation. The general contractor was fined a total of $133,500 for serious and willful safety violations. A concrete subcontractor was fined $90,000 for serious and willful violations.

I have a workers' compensation claim. Can they force me to come back to work?

It's your body, and you are the only one who knows what it feels like.  Just because your employer, or even a doctor, says that you are ready to return to work, doesn't always mean that you are.  Sometimes, doctors can get it wrong just like the rest of us.

NHTSA: Majority of vehicles with faulty Takata airbags unrepaired

In the U.S. alone, 46.2 million defective air bag inflators manufactured by Takata have been recalled for a potentially deadly fault. The inflators can explode with excessive force, breaking the airbag housing and causing pieces of metal and plastic to shoot like shrapnel throughout the cabin of the vehicle. The defect has been tied to at least 180 injuries and 16 fatalities worldwide.

Unfortunately, of those 46.2 million recalled parts, only about 15.8 million have been repaired, according to recent information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At least one senator is urging automakers to increase the pace. According to NHTSA's Takata air bag recall website, vehicles by 34 manufacturers contain the defective parts.

Personal injury liens and subrogation interests

Securing compensation for your personal injury claim is vital to your recovery and future well-being.  Liens and subrogation interests represent a complicated aspect of personal injury claims that often affect the amount of the settlement or judgement recovered.  Your personal injury claim requires an attentive and diligent approach to determine whether there are any liens attached to your claim and how it could affect your recovery.

Workers' compensation claim denied - now what?

We get the question all the time - "If I was hurt at work, how can they deny my claim?"  The answer is that the insurance company can choose to deny your claim for any reason, or no reason at all.  Often, we see insurance companies quickly deny a claim in the hopes that an injured worker who is unfamiliar with the process won't know that a denial is not the end of the road for their claim.  For us, it's often where a case begins. 

When robots -- or 'cobots' -- attack in the workplace

Today, we see the rise of the "cobot," or collaborative robot. These much more sophisticated devices are working their way toward becoming cyborgs, but we're not quite there yet.

Consider the example of a cobotic security guard brought on by one shopping center. The idea wasn't to replace any workers but to augment their existing security capacity. The thing came with all the bells and whistles -- motion sensors, alarms, live video streaming -- all in the form of a 300-pound egg.

Study: Fatal car-pedestrian accidents up by 11 percent since 2015

"We prioritize the mobility and speed of motor vehicles over safety," says a senior researcher at the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in Chapel Hill.

Two studies over the last year have sounded the alarm for pedestrian safety. A Governor's Highway Safety Association report found that, for people walking near traffic, 2016 was the deadliest year in the past two decades. A January report by the nonprofit Smart Growth America found a disturbing trend: minorities are much more likely to die in pedestrian accidents than whites.

Traumatic brain injuries related to car accidents

 Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can present the greatest challenges of any personal injuries.  The consequences of traumatic brain injuries are significant and demand a focused approach for the best possible outcome. 

Should I accept a settlement offer from the workers' compensation insurance company?

If you have recently been injured in a workplace accident, you have probably been speaking with an employee of an insurance company called an adjuster.  In most cases, you will not be dealing directly with your employer.  Most companies purchase workers' compensation insurance just like you and I purchase our car insurance, and for the same reason: if something bad happens and money needs to be paid, it won't have to come directly out of our pockets -- the insurance company takes care of it.

 

So, while your employer may want to get you the medical treatment you need and get a valuable employee back to work as soon as possible, the insurance company might not be so eager.  To them, you're not a dedicated and effective employee -- you're a liability that will cost them money.  That is why an insurance company may offer you a cash settlement soon after you were injured.  The sooner they can get rid of your claim, the better.

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