Articles Posted in Injuries

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At about 7 a.m. on Monday, August 27, 32 people were injured, one of them seriously, in a crash involving a Metro Blue Line train and a Metro bus near downtown Los Angeles. The collision occurred at San Pedro Street and Washington Boulevard. Paramedics transported about 20 people to the hospital, one to receive treatment for serious injury. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

“After an accident resulting in trauma, the victims may seek compensation from the at-fault party for expenses associated with their recovery,” according to California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis.

Throughout Los Angeles County, traffic collisions claimed the lives of or caused injury to 72,010 people in 2010, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. The OTS ranked Los Angeles 15th out of 58 counties for traffic safety in a system in which 1st place is considered the worst.

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As head injuries due to combat sports make headlines across the United States thanks to numerous suits by NFL players, one recent California case brought home the point that it is not just professional football players who suffer from the consequences of head trauma. The California case involved Scott Eveland, a high school football player who suffered a debilitating injury during a football game that will result in a need for lifelong care.

“A serious head injury can result in mental and physical disability for an accident victim,” explained California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis, “which can be prohibitively expensive.”

During a football game for Mission Hills High School in San Marcos in 2007, then 17-year-old Eveland collapsed on the sideline during the first half. Bleeding profusely in the brain, surgery saved his life but left his body crippled. These days, he requires assistance to perform routine tasks, from standing up to lifting his arm to communicate via a computer.

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Spinal discs are essential to our ability to walk, run, jump, twist, and bend. Consisting of a hard, fibrous exterior and a gelatinous interior, these discs serve as shock absorbers for the spine, maintaining flexibility. While continuous use over many years gradually damages the discs, they can become immediately compromised in an accident, explains an Orange County injury lawyer.

The amount of pressure placed on a disc from the impact of an accident-be it an auto collision or slip and fall-often determines the severity of the injury. With a lighter impact and less compression to the disc, a bulge may develop and push on surrounding nerves, often causing extreme pain. In a higher-impact accident, the disc may be compressed to the point of rupturing and extruding the material within, often resulting in severe pain and physical limitation.

As multiple discs cushion the spinal column’s vertebrae, experiencing pain in the neck, back, or even legs may be an indication of a bulging or herniated spinal disc. The most effective means to recovery is to receive immediate medical care. Not only will the swift diagnosis of the injury and implementation of a treatment program promote the healing process, it will strengthen the correlation between the accident and injury-thereby, potentially improving the outcome of the claim or case.

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Recently, a judge ordered Home Depot to pay roughly $25 million dollars in punitive damages and legal fees to the Florida inventor of “Safe Hands,” a saw guard that saved the company millions of dollars in workers’ compensation claims, explains a California injury attorney.

For years, employees that worked in the lumber area were prone to accidents resulting in lost appendages and numerous workers’ compensation claims for the company. This problem was solved for the company when inventor Michael Powell pitched a device to the executives that would prevent accidents and expensive insurance claims. The invention was a simple saw guard that would attach to any radial saw and protect employees from the hazards of sawing lumber. It was called the “Safe Hands” gadget.

Home Depot decided to test the invention in 8 stores in both California and Florida. After the trial period the test was deemed a huge success, and there was a sharp decline in compensation claims. The inventor was thrilled and assumed the company would pay the $2,000 per device or around $4 million for all 2,000 stores to have them available to their employees. An ethical business would have signed a contract and compensated the inventor. Instead, the company copied the device, explains a California injury attorney.

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A California family is suing the manufacturers of the popular children’s plastic shoe called, “crocs” for their daughter’s escalator entrapment injury this summer. The serious injury occurred while the Geshke family was on vacation and their eight year old daughter’s plastic shoe got caught in an escalator. Her foot was severely lacerated to a point where her bones were protruding. The young girl was fortunate that they did not have to amputate part of her foot but she has been in rehab for months.

A recent investigation indicated that 76% of all escalator accidents occurred while the victim was wearing a croc-type plastic shoe, explains a California injury lawyer. Annually there are approximately 10,000 foot injuries resulting from such accidents, and most of them are associated with the type of footwear the victim wore: plastic, flip flops, or barefoot.

Due to the many recurring lawsuits, a couple of years ago the manufacturer, Croc, Inc, started placing labels on its shoes warning parents of possible serious escalator injuries. They advised parents to hold their children’s hands during escalator rides and to observe escalator-safe practices. The main problem with this warning label is that millions of families that bought these shoes before the caution was available are not aware of the potential danger.

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Maritime workers face some of the greatest challenges. They work in a volatile environment, where the weather can change at any moment and the ocean waters are unpredictable. The hazards don’t stop there, as crewmembers are sometimes negligent, the decks are slick, and the equipment doesn’t always operate correctly.

“There are laws that protect offshore workers, which allow them to obtain compensation for their injuries,” says Southern California injury lawyer Jim Ballidis. Unfortunately, many mistakes are often made along the way, impacting the amount of money recovered.

If you have been injured offshore, here are some mistakes that you need to avoid:

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High prices at the pump, warns an Orange County injury lawyer, are not the only thing California residents should be concerned about at Southland gas stations: in the past few months, defective spray nozzles have caused several injuries throughout the state, including one serious enough to require hospitalization.

The state fire marshal is warning all California residents to the possible spray hazard of the VST made nozzle and has issued a directive to thousands of service station operators to remove the 30,000 “open hold” latches that are in question. These latches are convenient due to the fact that you can go wash your windows at the same time the latch allows the pump to run without you holding it. This will affect approximately one-third of all California service stations.

Just last month there were accidents here in Orange County as well, in both Huntington Beach and Santa Ana, according to an Orange County injury lawyer. In fact half of all the incidences have been in Southland. The accidents are under investigation and the latches are being removed as a safety precaution until the results of an inquiry into the defective spray nozzles.

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Recently, the driver of a vehicle failed to see an elderly man crossing the street and struck him. The accident occurred on the hospital grounds where the elderly man had just visited his doctor. He sustained serious injuries from the pedestrian accident, including fracturing in both of his ankles-one of which was completely shattered and required metal screws to hold it together. He was treated at the hospital and underwent several days of rehabilitation. He was confined to a hospital bed, one leg in a cast, and the opposite foot in a boot. Toward the end of his stay, hospital attendants approached him with a large stack of papers, informing him that he could not leave until he signed them, recounts the Orange County injury attorney who ultimately helped the man.

“One of them was a document with a lot of legalese-it said something about third party liability,” recalls the accident victim. “I didn’t really understand. In order to get out of the hospital I went ahead and signed all the documents.”

What the elderly man did not understand was that he was signing away his right to any money that he would receive in the accident settlement. The hospital preferred his settlement money as compensation for its services to the amount Medicare would pay out-in effect forcing this preference on him.

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Recently, a Santa Ana woman drove her silver Honda off of Beach Boulevard onto an ice-plant-covered embankment. The accident occurred near the 22 Freeway at around noon. Police arrested the woman after conducting a preliminary alcohol screening at the scene, according to the Orange County Register. Fortunately, no other cars were involved nor was anyone injured, which as a California injury attorney, I can attest is seldom the case with alcohol-related accidents.

Someone dies every 45 minutes from an alcohol-related automobile accident in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. In California, of the 3,967 people to be killed in traffic accidents, 1,489 of the fatalities were the result of alcohol-impaired driving in 2007, according to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.

While impaired driving poses a serious threat to highway safety in California, many preventive measures exist to ameliorate the problem. One of the simplest is to report drunk drivers by calling 911. Weaving or zigzagging across the road, straddling the center of the road or lane marker, and driving slower than 10 miles per an hour are just a few indications that someone may be driving while intoxicated. For a longer list, visit the abc gov website.

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Have you or someone you know lost a child to a swimming pool drowning? Was it a case of negligence on the part of the pool owner? California swimming pool laws require certain fencing, gates, signage, and pool-rule postings. Unfortunately, the owners of swimming pools found in apartment complexes, public recreation facilities, and even private homes often fail to comply with such rules for financial reasons. Reporting such negligence to the proper Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino or Riverside Counties is crucial to child drowning prevention.

Children have the greatest risk of drowning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, in 2007, of all the children between the ages of 1 and 4 who died from an unintentional injury, almost 30% died from drowning. Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the ages of 1 and 14 years. More than one in five drowning victims are children 14 years old and younger.

If a child survives after drowning, the child’s injuries may have a life-long impact on his or her health. For every child who dies from drowning, another four received emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Nonfatal drowning can cause brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities, including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).

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