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Saint Joseph Missouri Personal Injury Legal Blog

Truck accident settlements in Missouri

Truck accident victims have two options when seeking compensation. They can either file a personal injury lawsuit with the civil court and go through the litigation process or see if the trucking company is willing to settle out of court. In many cases, the defendant will prefer a settlement, and there are several benefits for victims as well.

One advantage to a settlement is that it will save victims both time and money. No matter what method of alternative dispute resolution victims use, they will be able to speak privately and frankly with the trucking company's representatives about the accident. The most common methods of ADR are mediation, negotiations and arbitration, and they can help both sides reach an amicable agreement without having to admit to any fault.

The potential hazards one might face while out on the open road

As you rolled out of bed this morning in Missouri, you may have gone over your list of necessary activities and formed a strategy on how to approach the day. Upon evaluating your priorities, chances are, getting involved in a collision probably didn't rank all that high on your "to-do" list.

Unfortunately, predicting when and where a car accident will occur is generally impossible. Even a minor fender bender can have a significant impact on the rest of your day, and if you suffer serious injuries in the accident, the extensive costs of medical care could wreak havoc on your finances.

Reducing burn risks in the oil and gas industry with clothing

Burn injuries are a serious risk for Missouri employers who are working in the oil and gas industry. While most employers do everything they can to keep workers safe, fires can and do occur, often resulting in serious and even fatal injuries.

Burn injuries can be both costly for the employee and for the company. Workers, for example, could spend 54 or more days in the hospital if they suffer burn injuries on 4 to 50 percent of the body. In addition to having workers at risk for suffering life-changing or even fatal injuries if a fire occurs, employers could face fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, legal costs, hospital costs and a reduction in productivity.

New study addresses misdiagnosis of mitochondrial disease

An estimated 75,000 people in Missouri and across the U.S. suffer from mitochondrial disease, which is a rare genetic disorder. The mitochondria generate over 90 percent of the body's energy, so when these intercellular compartments become diseased, they can cause symptoms that range from weakness and fatigue to impaired coordination. The rarity of the disease combined with the heterogeneity of the symptoms leads to frequent misdiagnoses.

A new survey conducted by researchers at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center has shed light on this trend. 210 patients diagnosed with mitochondrial disease were surveyed; 55 percent said that they were misdiagnosed before receiving the correct diagnosis with 32 percent claiming to have been misdiagnosed more than once. It was found that patients underwent everything from brain MRIs to blood tests to muscle biopsies.

Was your loved one's death wrongful in the legal sense?

The unexpected loss of a loved one is naturally a traumatizing experience, and it could bring about financial instability. End-of-life expenses do not typically form part of anybody's monthly budget, and if you lose the family's primary breadwinner, the sudden loss of income could be devastating. Fortunately, the civil justice system of Missouri allows surviving family members to pursue financial relief by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

When does the law regard a fatality as a wrongful death? Most such claims involve some type of accident, and when carelessness, recklessness or negligence occurs, it may prove to be a wrongful death.

The impact of noisy workplaces on the heart

Missouri workers are likely to have an increased risk of developing heart disease if they work in a noisy workplace. This is according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that shows loud noises in the workplace is linked to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

The study's results were obtained by analyzing data collected in a 2014 National Health Interview Survey that examined the occurrences of heart disease, exposure to workplace noise and hearing impairment in the workplace. The data was reviewed for trends and links between cardiovascular disease and occupational noise.

OSHA promotes trench safety awareness

Workplace safety numbers from fiscal year 2016 show that trench- excavation-related deaths have nearly doubled over the previous five years. Federal officials have responded by putting increased emphasis on trench safety awareness and enforcement of existing regulations during the current fiscal year. Missouri construction workers should know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires implementation of specific safety procedures whenever work requires excavation or working in trenches.

When a trench collapses or caves onto a worker, the consequences can be quick and deadly. Worksite regulations require adherence to safety procedures designed to prevent trench accidents. However, OSHA officials say that a combination of factors are causing the recent disregard for worker safety. Time and financial pressures placed on workers and supervisors often lead employers to disregard safety procedures. Other times, simple laziness results in taking deadly risks. Trenches are defined as any excavation deeper than its width and being less than 15 feet wide. Trenches 5 feet deep or more must have safety precautions implemented before workers can enter. Creating sloping and stepping trenches can take more time; however, these safer alternatives reduce the risk of collapses and save worker lives.

Mistaken diagnosis can be a major malpractice concern

For patients in Missouri, one of the most concerning aspects of going to the hospital could be the dangers posed by misdiagnosis and other kinds of medical errors. Across the United States, errors related to diagnosis are the most common source of medical malpractice claims, says a new study produced by a medical malpractice insurance company. When reviewing claims filed between 2013 and 2017, the report said that a full 33 percent related to errors made when diagnosing the patient, including misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a severe illness such as cancer.

Of these claims, the report said that around half involved bad decisions made by the doctors and other health professionals. Of course, misdiagnosis is not the only concern; the second most common source of malpractice complaints, amounting to 24 percent of the total, were surgical errors or other issues with medical procedures, while medical management complaints amounted for 14 percent. While other types of claims have declined over time, diagnostic error lawsuits have remained steady.

OSHA announces delay of beryllium standards enforcement

Missouri employers and employees should be aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has pushed back the enforcement date of beryllium standards to May 11. The agency's final rule on beryllium standards was published in January 2017, and enforcement was originally scheduled to begin on March 12.

In a memo released on March 2, an OSHA representative said that the postponement was needed to give the agency adequate time to settle lawsuits filed over general industry beryllium standards. The memo also said the agency will postpone enforcement of the new beryllium exposure limits for construction and shipyard companies until May. The reason for the delay is to give employers enough notice of the changes prior to enforcement by OSHA inspectors. In the meantime, employers found to be in violation of the new standards will be offered compliance assistance.

OOIDA appeals ruling to full Eighth Circuit

A motion filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit could have an impact on Missouri truckerss. The OOIDA claims that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration illegally altered sleep apnea testing rules. According to the OOIDA, a 2013 law required the FMCSA to use the formal rulemaking process to make changes to sleep apnea screening and testing regulations.

However, the group says that the FMCSA used guidance instead. Among the changes the OOIDA claims were made illegally include a charge that DOT physicals were required to be uploaded to the FMCSA within 24 hours. This was done by adding a provision into a broader rule that changed forms used by those performing DOT physicals. The rulemaking process involves a public notice and comment period before any changes can be made. According to the FMCSA, its actions did not substantively change the rule.

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