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Saint Joseph Missouri Personal Injury Legal Blog

Study looks at drowsy driving and car accidents

Missouri motorists who drive when they are drowsy may be a bigger danger than some statistics have reported according to a study released on Feb. 8. The study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety between October 2010 and December 2013, found that out of 701 crashes examined, around 9 percent of them were due at least in part to drowsy driving. This is considerably higher than the 1 to 2 percent that is the government estimate. Of crashes that resulted in injury, significant property damage or airbag deployment, drowsy driving was a factor in more than 10 percent.

According to the study, despite the danger of drowsy driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving are even more dangerous. The Nonprofit Safety Council found that in 2013, cell phones were a factor in one-fifth of all motor vehicle accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost one-third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2015 involved alcohol.

The types of cold stress and how to prevent them

Cold stress is a condition that outdoor workers are at risk for developing in wintertime. It occurs when the skin temperature and, eventually, internal temperature reach such a low level that the body can no longer warm itself. In Missouri and across the U.S., cold and wet conditions can lead to three main types of cold stress: trench foot, hypothermia, and frostbite.

Hypothermia is the most common and deadly of the three conditions. When the body temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and below, the body can no longer produce heat fast enough to counteract the heat loss. Symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, poor coordination, and memory loss.

It's not the flu, it's flesh-eating bacteria

It sounds like a Missouri patient's worst nightmare -- being diagnosed with the flu while actually suffering devastating, life-threatening infection by so-called "flesh-eating" bacteria. However, this has been a reality for some patients who have sought medical help, according to some reports. One woman who went to a health care professional complaining of flu-like symptoms was diagnosed with the flu in January 2018. As the pain beneath her arm worsened, however, she was returned to the hospital two days later in an emergency condition.

The woman underwent surgery to treat necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that can destroy the tissue of skin and muscle. Over 30 percent of the woman's soft tissue was infected with the bacteria, and doctors are uncertain where the patient developed the infection. There are a number of common types of bacteria that can cause the condition. People most frequently develop the disease when a break in the skin becomes an entry point for bacteria.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an accident or injury?

If you were injured or one of your loved ones has died because of the negligent actions of another person, you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for any damages. In court, you will need to prove that the person was negligent and the damages were a result of the negligence. You may also need to demonstrate some other facts depending on the type of case.

One limiting factor for a civil claim is the length of time between the incident and the court case. In most circumstances, a person must file the lawsuit within a certain length of time. This fact may become important to you, especially if you have lost a loved one to an accident. You will likely be grieving, but not wasting any time could prove imperative to your case.

Backover incidents and how to prevent them

One of the more common types of construction accidents in Missouri are backover incidents, where workers are struck by vehicles in reverse. According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatality rates due to backover incidents have been steady from 2012 to 2015, with an average over 60 fatalities per year. The numbers are still high, yet OSHA has been unable to address the problem due to certain constraints.

For example, the July 2016 agenda from the Department of Labor stated that OSHA's "Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities Standard" regulatory action was turned down by the Trump administration. Current standards are limited because of OSHA's stated desire to not put undue burdens on interstate commerce.

You were in an accident. What should you do?

When a car accident happens, there is a brief moment in the wake of the chaos where the drivers involved have to make an important decision. They must stay at the scene. But those fleeting moments can be filled with fear, anxiety and panic, and in such a state, some drivers choose to flee the scene of the accident. We aren't making excuses for these people. Hit and run accidents are unacceptable. But, there is a tense moment following a car accident that everyone needs to know how to properly handle.

After you crash, take a deep breath and prepare yourself for what you need to do. Stay at the scene and get out of your car (if you are able to). Then, you should check on the other people involved in the crash. Make sure they are okay. If they aren't, call 911 and provide any help they instruct you to provide.

Ladders, scaffolding present fall risks on construction sites

Many individuals face serious work-related hazards every day. Some individuals may not even consider the possible hazards simply due to the commonplace nature of the tools they use and duties they carry out while on the job. However, allowing this mindset to take hold could be dangerous because if you do not remain aware of injury risks, you could find yourself involved in a serious accident.

Falls are a common incident that could result in your suffering serious injuries. In particular, if you have to work high off the ground as part of a construction crew, you may face this risk more than individuals in other occupations may. Because of this hazard, you may wish to pay close attention to the tools you use to reach those heights.

Consider the risks before joining the ranks of the loggers

Are you one of the many young people planning to enter the logging industry in Missouri? You may not realize that it is the most deadly occupation if you look at the number of deaths per 100,000 workers. Authorities are concerned about the fact that all the safety regulations that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration put in place years ago seem to make little difference.

Safety advocates say improved safety regulations for both manual logging and equipment use may save some lives. They also want to create a culture in which young workers can become future leaders and set examples for others when it comes to on-the-job employee safety for loggers.

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