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Olympia Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How many workplace injuries take place annually?

It will likely come as a shock to most Olympia residents that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds across the country. This amounts to 4,600,000 worker injuries a year. What is even more staggering to know is that most of these injuries are preventable, had proper precautions been taken in the workplace and training and equipment been provided to workers.

Workers work hard to complete their tasks at work and make a name for themselves. In return, they expect their employers to be as invested in their well being as they are. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and hardworking workers are injured as a result. A worker's safety is ultimately his or her employer's responsibility, and this should not be shirked at any cost.

Accident sends two to the hospital

When on the road, it is the responsibility of all drivers to adhere to traffic rules. When a driver fails to do so, he or she puts the lives of everyone around in danger.

The repercussions of injuries or fatalities sustained in an auto accident do not end there though, as family members and loved ones also suffer when their loved ones are involved in a crash. If the injured party is the breadwinner, then the whole family's financial wellbeing is threatened because someone was not paying attention to the road.

How is negligence proven in a personal injury case?

When an Olympia resident suffers injuries caused by someone else's actions, many people are quick to say that one person or the other is at fault. However, the word fault has a different legal meaning than it does an ordinary meaning. While someone may have been at fault, proving that in a personal injury case in a court of law needs more than a simple statement allocating fault. It needs a showing of proof that one person acted negligently.

Negligence is a legal construct that revolves around a failure to behave with the standard of care that an ordinary person would have done in similar circumstances. When determining if someone's actions are lacking reasonable care, typically factors such as the likelihood that the actions or omissions will result in harm, the possible severity of the harm and the burden of taking steps to reduce or eliminate the harm.

Can I get workers' compensation benefits for my injury?

So you were injured at work, and now you need help dealing with the physical, emotional and financial fallout. However, the workers' compensation system in Washington can be confusing, and you are not sure if you qualify for benefits. This is understandable, especially since your employer's insurance company is not on your side.

Identifying which injuries workers' compensation covers can be fairly straightforward. Injuries and accidents are not always black and white, though. It could be possible that you very clearly qualify for workers' compensation benefits, or your injury might be less obvious.

Lawyers can help victims after injuries in a crash

Leaving the house in one's car in the morning, many Olympia residents do not realize that they are about to engage in a dangerous activity that could cost them their life. When one is driving, they typically follow traffic rules and expect others on the road are doing the same. Unfortunately, millions across the country get behind the wheel every day and hundreds die in tragic and fatal auto accidents daily, a majority of them caused by another's negligence.

Involvement and injury in a car accident can change the accident victim's life in an instant. While the victim can be disoriented after the incident took place, it is important to act quickly to ensure that one can protect their right to hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions. While pulling the car over to the side and contacting the police are the obvious first steps to take after a crash, there are also other steps victims should take to ensure they could get compensated for their injuries.

Are drivers distracted by hands free technology in the car?

In most vehicles, when a driver gets behind the wheel their phone connects automatically to their car. Using technology, drivers can switch channels on the radio, answer phones and even dictate text messages. Many motorists consider this safer than having the actual phone in their hand, as their eyes rarely have to leave the road while performing these functions. They figure they are less distracted while driving as a result.

However, Washington state residents may not be aware that distracted driving is not about keeping one's eyes on the road-it is also about keeping one's mind on the road. Even if someone is not looking away from the road, if they are not able to process and cognitively assess what is happening on the road, they are distracted. This is why drowsy driving or driving while daydreaming are equally dangerous forms of distracted driving.

Basic, repetitive acts can cause injuries in the workplace

While it may sound like working at a craft brewery is fun, the reality is that, like other workplaces, there are significant risks involved. One case of bottled beer can weigh a maximum of 42 pounds, an empty keg 30 pounds, whereas a full keg can weigh an astonishing 160 pounds. Brewery workers are constantly moving around the product. Lifting, pushing and pulling it can place significant stress on the body.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, stock and material movers incur musculoskeletal injuries more commonly than people in other occupations. Pulling and pushing heavy items and machinery significantly increases the risk of developing an MSD. Olympia residents may not know that back injuries, strains and sprains are all forms of MSDs. Employers should be focusing on training their employees to reduce workplace injuries.

Crash kills motorcyclist, injures another

It is an unfortunate reality that motorcyclists are often overlooked on the roads. Though drivers should expect to see more of them during the summer months, motorists do take turns or overtake while keeping an eye out for motorcyclists.

In a crash between a motorcycle and a car, the one riding the motorcycle is the one least protected and most likely to suffer life threatening if not life ending injuries. Often, drivers of cars or trucks fail to notice a motorcycle sharing the road with them and violate the motorcyclist's right of way, with disastrous results.

It's not unusual for first responders to suffer from PTSD

If you are a first responder, you have a difficult job. Each workday, you see people at their worst. You may be able to consciously shrug off some events, but others may haunt you. Nearly every first responder has at least one story of a call that they still remember and still affects them even if it was years ago.

You also put your life at risk every time you put on your uniform. The particular job hazards you face depend on whether you are a fire fighter, police officer, paramedic or some other first responder, but the end result is often the same. Once again, you find yourself battling with memories that you may not be able to shake.

Workers' compensation claim can ease hardship after injury

Many Olympia residents spend most of their waking hours in their workplaces, which is why it might seem more of a home to them than their own residences. Colleagues seem like family members and bosses may seem like elderly relatives, which is why their changed demeanor after a workplace accident may seem confounding to an injured worker. It might also explain why injured employees may hesitate filing a workers' compensation claim, as is their right.

When someone is injured while performing duties related to their employment, it could turn their whole life upside down. When a primary breadwinner is no longer able to work because of a workplace injury and medical bills are piling up, it could overwhelm an entire family. If injured workers do not exercise their right to file a workers' compensation claim, then they may not be able to make ends meet.

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