Could a slip and fall accident result in serious injury?

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common ways to incur an injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million Americans are injured by a slip and fall every year. Of these one million, 17,000 result in death. Slip and falls also account for up to 15% of all workplace compensation expenses. But how does a simple trip result in injuries for so many? Read through for an overview of the major factors at play.

Slip and Falls from Elevated Positions

The potential for injury from a slip and fall is increased exponentially when you are working or standing on an elevated platform. A simple slip can have you falling several feet to the ground. This can lead to serious back and feet injuries and in the most extreme circumstances, death. Some workers in factories and construction zones are exposed to these work conditions on a daily basis.

Slip and Fall in the Workplace

When slip and falls happen in workplace environments such as warehouses, factories, and construction zones, there is great risk for a resulting injury. Slip and falls may cause workers to knock over large equipment which then injuries them or even other employees. After tripping, workers may get themselves tangled or caught in machines. This can cause severe, life-altering injuries that result in a lost limb. Construction workers may find themselves working around or nearby exposed rebar and electric wiring that causes injury upon contact.

Slip and Fall Accidents and Older Individuals

As we age, we are more susceptible to injury from slip and falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that up to 30% of slip and falls result in injuries such as hip fractures, bruising and head injuries. All of these injuries make it difficult for the elderly to live independently. These accidents account for almost half of the traumatic brain injuries sustained by elderly individuals. Of the 17,000 fatalities caused by slip and falls every year, 1,800 of them occur in nursing homes. The CDC also reports that one third of the population over 65 will be injured during a slip and fall every year.

Can I Hire a Lawyer For Slip and Fall Injuries?

If you incur a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property, whether that be at work or otherwise, you may be able to sue for compensation. When companies do not take proper precautions to prevent patrons from slipping and falling, they can be held liable for their negligence. Apart from trauma alone, injuries incurred from tripping may result in medical expenses. It seems unfair that you should have to pay these out of pocket when a company’s negligence caused the injury. While researching for this blog, I gathered some helpful information from the Law Offices of William J. Luse. Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, The Law Offices of William J. Luse handle cases in both employment law and personal injury. This includes slip and falls that happen inside and outside the workplace.

 

What is Celiac Disease?

Many grocery stores and restaurants have begun offering gluten-free choices in recent years, and it has been due to many studies coming out on the matter. With so many reviews coming out, what’s real and what’s not becomes a little confusing. What’s without a doubt, however, is that gluten (a protein) can cause allergic reactions in many people, and that’s why there’s an increasing demand for gluten-free food.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder which causes an adverse reaction to ingesting gluten. Symptoms are primarily felt in the gastrointestinal area and may include cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. Symptoms are not limited to just the stomach area, however. Over 200 symptoms have been reported, including bone and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, rashes, and behavioral changes. Some reports are far more severe, with reactions that include stunted growth and infertility in rare cases.

Seeing as celiac disease is genetically inherited, family members and relatives are very likely to have it. Although it is rare, and only about 1% of the population is prone to having it, just a mere 17% of those who are likely to get celiac disease have been diagnosed. There is no real treatment or cure for celiac disease; the only solution is to maintain a gluten-free diet. Although research is continually being conducted in search of a cure, treatment, or medication, there is still no better solution in the present day than avoiding gluten in one’s diet.

Gluten sensitive or non-celiac wheat sensitivity is a very similar issue which is a little more confusing. It is not an autoimmune reaction like celiac disease, and there are no real tests or tell-tale signs that can help identify it. The only real way to figure out if one is gluten sensitive is the same as with celiac disease; cut out gluten and see the results. If there is an improvement by stopping ingestion of all gluten, then you can safely assume you have a gluten sensitivity. Cutting gluten is the only treatment for someone with celiac disease.

It’s not easy to tell if one has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The symptoms can be very unnoticeable to one who is unaware of gluten’s possible effects. In some cases where it’s more severe, the disease might be more apparent, otherwise, it can go undetected. It can often be chalked up to indigestion, overeating, or one of many other issues. The best way to find out if you have celiac disease is to speak to a healthcare professional. Your doctor is the best person to help you get a diagnosis and find out whether or not you have celiac disease. For those with celiac disease, there are many cookbooks and recipes available that can help with your symptom flare-ups. Wheat substitutes can be just as enjoyable as the “real thing,” and most find they can enjoy the same flavors as those who are allowed wheat in their diet. 

 

How the Military Makes a Divorce More Difficult

Whether civilian or military, divorce is a difficult decision. But how does military divorce differ from civilian divorce? According to Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., “Military divorces are subject to greater scrutiny and regulation than their civilian counterparts,” since both the state and federal courts look at military divorce. Because of this, it is important to know your legal rights in cases of military divorce.

Supreme Court Ruling

Ameriforce explains how a recent Supreme Court ruling clarified property rights in military divorce settlements. The case involved John and Sandra Howell, an airforce couple, who divorced in 1991. In 1991, John was just one year away from retirement, and the divorce decree stated that Sandra would receive 50 percent of his military retirement pay.

John decided to give up $250 of his $1,500 retirement pay to receive that amount in tax-free disability benefits. In 2005, Sandra went to court, and an Arizona family court decided that Sandra should receive half of the $1,500 before the disability benefits. After appealing the decision, John took his case to the Arizona Supreme Court, which sided with Sandra on the basis that federal law “did not pre-empt the family court’s order.” However, the US Supreme Court overturned the Arizona Supreme Court decision this May.

Pros and Cons

What does this decision mean for the ex-spouses in military divorce? The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) lauded the Supreme Court for “‘providing some much needed consistency’ in how the 1982 Uniformed Service Member’s Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is applied to divorce settlements nationwide.” Arizona was not the only state that required military retirees to pay for a former spouse’s lost retirement income based on a VA waiver.

Other organizations that support military spouses foresee ex-spouses receiving a smaller portion of military pensions since retirees are incentivized to waive military retirement pay for tax-free disability benefits. Lisa Colella, president and CEO of Healing Household 6, fears financial repercussions for ex-spouses, stating, “You will have all these specialty cases now where there is no way to determine them case by case…I think that is an unfair assessment for those families. Those families weren’t thought of when this ruling was made.’”

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) agrees with Colella that the ruling “clearly illustrates the unfairness” of reducing ex-spouse payout for VA disability compensation. Ising the Supreme Court ruling, MOAA is lobbying for a more fair solution for all parties involved.

While divorce is already difficult, this recent Supreme Court ruling makes it even more trying for the ex-spouses of military personnel. Although greater consistency is a positive, the overgeneralized ruling of the Supreme Court has serious consequences. As Mark Sullivan, a lawyer and retired Army Reserve JAG colonel, states, the ruling represents the “‘the death of indemnification,’ which is the ability of a court to increase a former spouse’s share of military retirement pay to make up for a loss in benefits if the service member elects to receive offsetting VA disability pay.”    

Equal Pay Act Addresses Sex-based Discrimination

Learn moreMoney isn’t everything, but when it comes to compensation for work it matters a great deal. When sex-based discrimination rears its ugly head in the workplace, the hardest hit are the pocketbooks of its victims. This issue of inequality was the basis for the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

Women and other groups who have historically experienced inequality in pay are the primary beneficiaries of theEPA. The law mandates that all employees in the same company, regardless of gender, should be given the same compensation if they are doing essentially the same job. The job titles may differ, but the basis for comparison is the job description. For example, if employee A is called a sales coordinator and employee B is called a customer liaison, but they both solicit orders from prospective clients, then they essentially do the same work and should be given the same compensation.

The EPA covers not only salary but other types of monetary compensation as well. These include bonuses, stock options, life insurance, overtime pay, representation allowances, profit sharing, vacation and holiday pay, and other benefits. If there is a substantial discrepancy between two employees doing the same work, the employer may increase the pay of one to match the other, but may not reduce compensation of either employee in any way.

Sex-based discrimination may manifest itself in the workplace in a number of ways, but compensation is something that is clearly documented and can be checked. If there is any sex-based discrimination when it comes to pay, it is typically easy to prove.

Any violation of the EPA may be directly filed with the court by the concerned party; there is no need to first file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In general, workplace discrimination claims must first go through either the EEOC or the state commission (which in New York is the New York City Commission on Human Rights) before a claim can be made in court.

A case under the EPA, as well as for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which also protects people against sex-based discrimination, must be filed in civil court within two years from the time of the alleged violation. A claimant under the EPA may also file a case under Title VII at the same time. An experienced sex-based discrimination lawyer can determine the pros and cons of this.

If you have experienced discrimination because of your sex, make sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You shouldn’t have to suffer through the complexities of the law alone.

Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death

Trucking accidents are a serious concern for motorists. Every day, drivers across the country share the road with large commercial trucks. The problem is that the size and power that these vehicles can have make the risk of an accident occurring a serious concern. Unlike other types of automobile accidents, those involving large trucks frequently have the potential to cause permanent injury or death.

The impact that a loved one’s death from a truck accident can have on a family can be devastating, particularly if the deceased played an important role in helping to financially support his or her loved ones. The costs of any medical treatment which may have been sought, as well as funeral expenses and the loss of income which the individual may have provided, can all take a serious toll on the well-being, both emotional and otherwise, of the survivors.

It is for this reason that many families take legal action in an attempt to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. A case from Texas, for example, in which a driver was struck and killed by a truck attempting to make a dangerous return to the road after having been forced off by another vehicle, illustrates how families can seek justice for this type of tragic loss.

Daniel Rhodes was killed in 2011 following a collision with a truck carrying dangerous explosive materials. His family was represented by the lawyer Jim Hart, working for the law firm Williams Kherkher, who argued that with proper training, the driver never would have attempted such a dangerous maneuver. As a result, the family was awarded $11 million in damages by the jury overseeing the case, illustrating the degree to which families may be able to recover compensation for the costs that their loss can have.