Jump to Navigation

Huntsville Personal Injury Law Blog

What is the most common type of workplace injury?

Oftentimes, the only associations that most Madison residents may have with a workers’ compensation case are the stories that they hear about in the news. However, a majority of the work-place injuries that generate workers’ compensation claims are typically much less newsworthy. Yet if you happen to suffer from one, then you know that small-scale injuries can be just as debilitating as traumatic ones.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that musculoskeletal injuries are the most common type of work-related injury, accounting for 33 percent of all reported workplace injury cases in 2012. These conditions cause continuous pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Over time, such injuries can result in your developing chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, trigger finger, and lower back instability.

Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries due to infection

Many in Madison may not realize that trauma is not the only thing that can cause a spinal cord injury. Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries are those that arise as the result of disease, deterioration, or infection. Of the infections that affect the spinal canal, Medscape lists the meningitis as being among the most common. Meningitis refers to an inflammation of meninges, or the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. A severe case could lead to irreparable damage of these areas, potentially leading to paralysis.

The most common form of this disease is viral meningitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-polio enteroviruses are the common vehicles of transmission for this infection. It may be transmitted much the same way other viruses are: through close contact with an infected person. Although considered to be less serious than bacterial meningitis, the viral form can also present a risk due to its increased prevalence.

The special considerations given for the wrongful death of minors

The sudden death of any child in Madison may be viewed as a tragedy. For many of those who seek assistance from us here at the Law Firm of Johnston, Moore, and Thompson, that tragedy may be further compounded by the fact that their children’s deaths were due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has lost a child in such a way, then you may be seriously considering a wrongful death lawsuit to help deal with the expenses associated with his or her loss as well as your own pain and suffering. However, before progressing with such an action, you should know that there are special considerations regarding these types of cases.

In cases involving adults, only the personal representative of the deceased can initiate a wrongful death claim. With a case involving the death of your child, however, Alabama law allows that right to first be extended to you. That does, however, preclude any other action from being taken under state’s standard Wrongful Death statute. Yet if you or your spouse are not your child’s personal representative and choose not to file a lawsuit with six months of his or her death, whoever holds that role then may initiate such action.

Highlighting the need to report car accidents

Many in Madison may have encountered a scenario where they were involved in a car accident, yet the other drivers tried to convince them that the damage was minor enough that the collisions didn’t need to be reported. They may even offer to cover the accident expenses out of their own pockets. Should those who are offered such a promise take these drivers up on it?

While many may think that unreported accidents are few and far between, research suggests otherwise. Data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 60 percent of car accidents involving property damage only go unreported, while 24 percent of those involving injuries are also never reported. Those who agree to not report car accidents may be placing themselves in a tenuous position. Without the intervention of law enforcement to determine the cause of an accident, any subsequent action between the parties involved becomes a proverbial case of “word against word”.

Detailing the dangers of falls from heights

Falls on job sites may not seem to be a serious issue to Madison residents. Yet as many of those that we here at Johnston, Moore, and Thompson, Attorneys at Law have worked with can attest to, falls often produce serious and even fatal injuries. If your job involves working in high areas, it may beneficial for you to know the dangers that a fall can present, as well as some of the more common reasons why they happen.

If you are like most, then you may assume that only a fall from an extreme height has the potential to cause injuries. Research, however, suggests otherwise. A study shared by the U.S. National Library of Medicine detailed fall cases and the injuries witnessed with falls from different heights. The results below lists the heights fallen from and the correlating injuries observed:

  •          3 feet: Skull and cervical spine fractures
  •          6 feet: Upper limb fractures
  •          7 feet: Rib and clavicle fractures, liver lacerations
  •          15 feet: Lower limb fractures
  •          20 feet: Spleen and kidney damage

Determining if one may be disabled

Most people in Madison likely believe that they will continue to be able to work for the rest of their lives. However, in many cases, that assumption ultimately proves to be false. According to information shared by Vector Financial, 30 percent of those entering the workforce today will end up becoming disabled before retirement age. While chronic illness or a traumatic accident can certainly end a career, oftentimes workplace injuries or the deterioration of one’s health caused by the repetitive stresses his or her job requires result in disability.

For many, the first question they have after suffering an injury is when can they return to work. The physical, mental, and psychological demands of one’s career may, however, make the chances of actually doing so remote. This may leave them facing the very real possibility that their injuries have left them disabled. Determining whether one actually is may greatly impact the extent of the workers’ compensation claim he or she may file after being forced to leave his or her work behind.

Man claims Snapchat is partly to blame for his brain damage

In most accidents involving negligence in Madison, the assumption may be the total responsibility lies with the parties that caused them. However, in certain cases, an argument may be made that a person deemed to be at fault for an accident may have been influenced by external sources. If this is believed to be the case, then accident victims may also try and pursue compensation from any third parties thought to have also had a hand in their misfortune.

In the case of a Georgia man left with permanent brain damage following a car accident, that third party is the developers behind the popular Snapchat app. In a recent lawsuit filed against both Snapchat and the teenage driver that struck him, the man alleges that apps the speed filter is partly to blame for him spending over a month an in ICU and now having to deal with subsequent impairments. Snapchat’s speed filter records the speed at which drivers are traveling when they take a picture with their cell phones. In this case, the teen driver was attempting to take a picture of herself traveling at almost 107 mph when she struck the man’s vehicle. The extent of her injuries was not reported, yet she apparently was alert enough to post a photo of herself on her Snapchat expressing her gratitude for having survived the collision.

Arguing against assumption of risk in boating accidents

Given its proximity to the Tennessee River and Wheeler Lake, as well as Alabama’s direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, it may come as little surprise to learn that many Madison residents enjoy recreational boating. Yet with participation in boating activities comes the risk of death out on the water. Data shared by the American Boating Association shows that there were 4064 recreational boating accidents in the U.S. in 2014, which produced 610 casualties. When one dies in a boating accident due to the potential negligence of another, his or her family may wonder if they have any legal recourse to hold the at-fault party responsible.

When people are sued for their part in activities that present a potential danger, they often argue that those who were killed as a result those activities knew the risks that they were assuming. In legal terms, this philosophy is referred to as “assumption of risk.” Alabama allows for such a defense to be applied in wrongful death cases where the following criteria are met:

  •          The deceased person knew of the danger inherent with the activity.
  •          The deceased person appreciated the reality of that danger.
  •          Despite that knowledge and appreciation, the deceased person willingly chose to participate in the activity anyway.

High-speed chase ends in fatal car accident in Opelika

Oftentimes, negligent actions may warrant some in Madison to seek legal action are serious enough to also justify criminal charges. When law enforcement officials step in to conduct their portions of an accident investigation, other parties involved will often defer to them the opportunity to get most access to the different evidentiary elements of the event. In many cases, criminal charges will result from their investigations. If this happens, some may be hesitant to bring their actions for negligence against the defendant, fearing that their proceedings may interpret the course of his or her criminal trial. Yet the truth is that it is well within one’s rights to initiate civil action against a defendant that is concurrently facing related criminal charges.

Such a scenario could potentially present itself in the wake of a fatal car accident in Opelika. According to reports from officials, a man attempted to elude police who were attempting to conduct a routine traffic stop. The chase that ensued resulted in the man running a stop sign and colliding with another vehicle. Two of the four occupants in the other car were killed, while the other two were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect fleeing from the police was also taken to local medical facility to receive treatment.

What are the general rules regarding the use of scaffolding?

Drive past any construction site in Madison, and you are likely to see multiple levels of scaffolding running up the sides of structures. While scaffolding does offer several advantages when working at heights over other alternatives, it can present a safety hazard if you are required to work on or around it. Typically, the higher that scaffolding goes, the more dangerous it becomes. Thus, regulations regarding the use of scaffolding also tend to get stricter as heights increase. If you happen to be injured while working around scaffolding, it may be beneficial to you to know exactly what those regulations are.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific guidelines in place for each unique type of scaffolding. There are, however, general rules regarding its use that all must adhere to. These include:

  •          Only using scaffolding that is anchored to both the structure against which it sits with either anchor or reveal bolts, and to the ground using sound footing capable of enduring maximum loads.
  •          Scaffolding needing to support a minimum of four times its intended load, and to not ever be purposefully loaded past that weight.
  •          Planks extended a minimum of 6 inches and a maximum of 18 past their end supports.
  •          Scaffolding needing to have a wire-mesh screen between the toeboard and the guardrail.
  •          Employees not being able to work atop scaffolding during periods of high wind, or when the scaffolding is covered with ice or snow.
  •          All levels of scaffolding requiring a ladder or other means of safe access.