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Huntsville Personal Injury Law Blog

Avoiding danger when working near or with forklifts

Forklifts are crucial pieces of equipment at many work sites, as these industrial trucks can move a large quantity of heavy materials at one time. However, many injuries and fatalities are caused by forklifts because employers and workers either are not aware of the risks when working with or near forklifts or do not follow the safety standards when working with forklifts. Workers in Alabama can avoid many accidents and deaths caused by forklifts.

Around 100 workers are killed every year because of forklift accidents in the United States, and about 20,000 are seriously injured. Most fatalities related to forklifts occur when the equipment overturns, and other deaths related to these machines might be caused by falls, being crushed or getting struck while on foot. Knowledge of the dangers of these vehicles and the proper training when working on or near them can help reduce the likelihood of a forklift accident.

Fractures of the back

Spinal fractures are among the most serious injuries that any resident of Alabama can undergo. The spine tends to break along the middle of the back, also known as the thoracic spine, and the lower back, known as the lumbar spine. These fractures most often occur because of high-velocity impacts, such those experienced in car accidents and falls from great heights. However, conditions such as osteoporosis are known to increase the chances of such a break occurring.

There are three general types of fractures of the middle and lower back. They are flexion, extension and rotation fractures. Flexion fractures occur when the spine is bent too far in a particular direction. Extension injuries happen when the spine is pulled too far in two directions. This can happen in an accident when someone is restrained by a lap belt that holds their lower body in place while their upper body is thrown forward. Rotation fractures take place when the spine is twisted.

Compensation for injured federal employees

Alabama employees who work for the federal government are covered by the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, a law that governs the conduct of their employer towards them in the case of a work-related injury. Injuries that occur at the workplace and occupational issues that arise over long-term exposure to harmful conditions at the place of employment are both eligible for compensation.

The law requires that the employee be paid for any and all harm that they suffer because of their work. They are also legally entitled to repayment for the cost of their travel to and from the place of treatment. The use of illegal drugs or intoxicants at the time of injury can prevent the payment of compensation, and the government is also not required to provide support if it can be shown that the employee injured themselves on purpose or they injured themselves in the attempt to injure someone else.

Causes, symptoms and treatment of whiplash

Whiplash is a term that applies to injuries of the neck caused by sudden, violent movement in one direction and then the other, much like a whip. While it may be caused by a fall from a height or some other traumatic event, in Alabama and across the U.S., whiplash is most commonly the result of a motor vehicle accident.

The symptoms of a whiplash injury may vary widely from case to case, but they commonly include stiffness and pain in the neck, which may or may not get worse when the person turns his or her head. Headaches at the base of the skull are also common. Some injured parties may experience difficulty swallowing, blurred vision, dizziness or nausea. Some people report ringing in the ears, vertigo, irritability or fatigue as results of a whiplash injury.

1 dead, 2 injured in Alabama vehicle accident

On Feb. 11 at approximately 11:42 a.m., a four-vehicle accident on Shug Jordan Parkway near Richland Road resulted in a fatality and multiple serious injuries, according to Alabama police. The collision took place when the driver of a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta crossed over into oncoming traffic, hitting a 1998 Ford Ranger head-on and starting a chain reaction.

After the collision with the Jetta, the Ranger was hit from the rear by a 2010 Buick SUV. Following this, a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe collided with the Buick. The Auburn Police Department is still investigating the auto accident, and it is unknown what caused the Jetta to cross over into oncoming traffic at this point in time.

Dangers of trench and excavation work in Alabama

Alabama residents who work in the excavation industry are at risk from death in trench wall cave-ins. These accidents are preventable if employers take appropriate preventative measures, however. An average of 35 workers were killed in sudden trench wall cave-ins in the United States each year between 2000 and 2009.

Those most at risk work in the telecommunications, power-line, sewer, water and pipeline construction industries. Cave-ins of trench walls normally give little warning, and even a cubic yard of dirt can weigh in excess of 3,000 pounds, quickly crushing and suffocating trapped workers.

Types of shoulder injuries from accidents

An Alabama resident who is involved in a car accident might deal with shoulder trauma as a result. This is one of the most common types of injuries, and there are various parts of the shoulder anatomy that could be affected. Impact against a door or dash could affect the shoulder. Being thrown from a vehicle could result in various types of injuries, including major shoulder trauma.

Bones, joints, and soft tissues work together to form the shoulder, and problems with any of these areas can lead to serious pain and a significant limitation of movement. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments hold the bones together so that the joints of the shoulder can operate properly. A fracture or dislocation can be caused by a blow. Car accidents are common incidents resulting in this type of injury. Falls and other types of collisions can also create such a problem. The scapula is less commonly injured unless there is an incident involving significant force. A collision at high levels of speed, for example, could lead to this more severe type of fracture.

Incidence and causes of large truck accidents

As many Alabama residents may know, the incidence of large truck accidents increased in 2012 over 2011. In addition, both the numbers of injuries and fatalities increased. Drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer debilitating injuries when such accidents occur.

Commercial truck drivers are obligated to adjust speed and the distance from other vehicles based on the weight of their vehicle and its load. Following too closely does not allow a driver to stop in time to avoid a collision. Speeding while driving a large truck is another cause of crashes, particularly at highway speeds.

Teenage couple dies in 1-car crash

Alabama State Troopers confirmed that a one-car crash on Jan. 24 resulted in the deaths of two teenagers. After the crash, a family friend of one of the teens said that the deceased victims were boyfriend and girlfriend. The occupants of the vehicle were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, according to reports.

The fatal motor vehicle accident happened while a 24-year-old man was driving a 2013 Nissan Maxima with three passengers inside. While traveling on U.S. 31 north of Bay Minette, the driver lost control and exited the roadway at mile marker 31.1. Afterwards, the vehicle hit a utility sign and a pole. There were no reports about what might have caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle.

The dangers of distracted driving

As Alabama residents know, diverting one's attention away from the road while driving may result in an accident. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates this might happen when a driver looks at a cellphone, reaches for an object in the glove compartment or thinks about what another passenger has just said. Such loss of visual, cognitive or manual involvement is referred to as distracted driving.

According to recent NHTSA statistics, more than nine people are killed and well over 1,000 people injured each day in the United States in auto accidents caused by a distracted driver. Nearly 20 percent of injury crashes in 2011 involved distracted driving, and 3,360 people were killed in such accidents. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention undertook a study comparing distracted driving in the United States with that of certain European countries, including France and Germany. It concluded that the use of devices while driving in the United States exceeded that of the other countries.