Types of Maritime and Boating Accidents

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Three of the types of maritime accidents reported each year are those involving unseaworthiness, commercial fishing accidents, and tug and barge accidents.

Accidents Involving Unseaworthiness

Federal maritime laws require that ship owners and employers provide a “seaworthy” vessel for its crew at all times. If a vessel is determined to be unseaworthy, and it is linked to a seaman’s injury (or wrongful death), that worker or his/her loved ones can receive compensation for factors such as lost income, pain and suffering, medical costs and more.

  • For a ship to be deemed seaworthy, it must provide:
  • A safe environment for all aspects of the ship’s voyage and cargo
  • Adequate safety equipment and gear
  • A sufficiently staffed, competent and adequately trained crew
  • Equipment that is maintained, regularly inspected and functioning appropriately

Fishing Accidents

The commercial fishing industry is known for the danger it can present for workers. Serious personal injury cases are not uncommon, and the yearly rate of worker fatality is more than 30 times higher than the average U.S. employee, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From serious brain injury to neck and back injuries, commercial fishermen can be faced with life-altering consequences from an at-work accident. Just a few of the causes of injury to workers in this field include:

  • Falls overboard
  • On-deck injuries
  • Getting caught in equipment
  • Fires/explosions on board

Fortunately, injured commercial fishermen are covered under U.S. maritime law, so they can seek damages from their employers in many cases. Negligence is often a cause of these types of accidents.

Tug and Barge Accidents

The navigation of today’s tug and barges takes awesome skill. Otherwise, grave accidents can occur.

Accidents on tug boats often happen because of factors such as: improper operation of the tug in relation to the barge it is towing, faulty tow wires or lines, problems with winch equipment, tripping and falling hazards on deck, getting on and off a towed barge, crew or captain error, understaffing, and the nature of the stiff stability of a tug boat in rough seas.

Likewise, barge accidents can happen because of a faulty vessel design, an unplanned separation of a tug and barge, crew error, and hazards that push crew members overboard and into the path of the barge.

Tug and barge accidents are also covered by federal maritime laws, like the Jones Act.

Learn more about maritime personal injury law by visiting the website of renowned Washington, D.C. maritime accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel P.C.

Source by Jennifer Kimberley

The Personal Injury Law Suit: What is a Settlement Conference?

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If you have a personal injury law suit in Ottawa, Ontario or certain other jurisdictions in this province, you will have a settlement conference before there is a trial date set.

The purpose of a settlement conference is to settle the case or narrow the contentious issues in the case. In a personal injury case, the issues are usually: who was responsible for the accident and what are injuries worth?

A case management judge or another court official called a case management master facilitates a discussion of the issues and reviews the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case.

The lawyers for the injured person and the injured person attends. The lawyer for the defence, usually hired by the insurance company, as well as a representative of the defence, usually a claims examiner or adjuster, will also be present.

Before the settlement conference is held, parties are required to complete all examinations for discovery, produce all of the required documents and complete any related motions.

Your lawyer will prepare a brief with a detailed outline of the evidence you will be leading at trial. This will include key passages from the transcripts from the examination for discovery, important medical records and expert reports. The brief will also identify the witnesses you intend to call at trial and what they will say at trial.

You will likely meet with your lawyer before the settlement conference to discuss your settlement position and any developments in the case that arise from the defence lawyer’s settlement conference brief.

Different judges run settlement conferences in different ways. Sometimes all the parties, lawyers and the judge will meet in a court room. The lawyers will make submissions and the judge will comment and then give an evaluation of the case.

In other cases, the judge will meet privately with the lawyers and go through the case and then come back into the courtroom to speak to the parties about his or her views.

A settlement conference may last one hour or it may last several, particularly if the parties are actively negotiating.

If a settlement is reached, the case will not proceed beyond the settlement conference.

If a settlement is not reached, the judge will discuss the expected length of the trial with the lawyers and a trial date will be set.

Although the parties will often be disappointed if the case does not settle, having a fixed trial date motivates the parties to continue to work toward settlement. It also provides a deadline for the resolution of the casethe trial date.

Source by anonymous

Auto Accidents – When to Get a Lawyer for Personal Injury

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When it comes to auto accidents, people often wonder if they should contact a injury lawyer right away. It depends on the situation.

When to run to an attorney and when to walk. Contacting an attorney who deals with personal injury (especially relating to auto accidents) can provide you with the peace of mind that no stone gets left unturned. Here are some tips for when you should run to an attorney and when you can just walk:
-Run to an attorney when:
-An injury has occurred where there has been serious injury (broken bones / hospitalization) or where injuries are likely to be -permanent (paralysis);
-A death has resulted from the accident;
-Fault is clearly an issue;
-Other parties were involved such as pedestrians or other autos;
-The accident occurred in a construction area;
-A police report does not accurately describe the accident and puts you at fault;
-Important technical, legal or medical issues are involved;
-The limits of your liability insurance are low,
-You have no insurance,, or your insurance company suggests that you did not pay your premium.
-Your insurer starts “acting funny.”
-Your insurer involves its own attorney (in this case, sprint!).
Walk to an attorney when:
-Seeking advice on the settlement value of a claim (while not an exact science, attorneys may be able to provide best and worse -case scenarios);
-Unsure if other insurance (homeowners, travel, etc.) may be available;
-Fault may be an issue;
-Determining whether your insurer may be acting in bad faith (not looking out for your best interests);
-Seeking information on how to handle negotiations with an insurer;
-You don’t know your rights;
-Confused over the terms of your policy;
-Needing an expert to review confusing paperwork or forms.
(Source: http://accident-law.freeadvice.com/auto/attorney-and-car-accidents.htm, 2007)

Auto accidents can also be categorized by whether or not alcohol is involved. The gravity of the situation can also be determined by what injuries were incurred.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyer

Source by Luke Sabucco

Costco Escalator Accident – Expert Advice from a Florida Premises Liability Lawyer

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The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question: I was shopping in Costco and while I was going up the escalator, my cart that was full (over 100 pounds) started to roll on me. I fell and hurt my hip and lower back. I was breast feeding my daughter of 2 month and the milk immediately was gone that same day, so in other words lost my milk (the most healthiest thing for a baby). The cart that I had was broken therefore the magnet that was supposed to hold it didn’t and it slid right on me and really hurt me! I ended up going to the hospital and am still to go for other exams. Is this a legitimate case ???

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the law of the state in which you live.  Your email does not indicate what state you are from.  I am a Florida accident lawyer specializing in car accident, Florida personal injury accidents such as slip and fall claims, and workers compensation claims.  Laws vary from state to state, so you should always check with an experienced accident attorney in your area to get more information. You may have a claim against Costco, or possibly the manufacturer or distributor of the grocery cart system, depending on who is responsible for maintaining the system.  Your email doesn’t give full details of how the accident occurred, however, if the cart escalator is supposed to hold the cart in place, and it didn’t, resulting in your injuries, you probably have a claim.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an experienced injury accident lawyer in your area that specializes in premises liability claims. He or she can advise you what the law is in you area regarding an accident such as yours since they may be different than those for Florida personal injury accidents.

In Florida personal injury accidents, a store owner such as Costco owes two duties to its customers – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn its customers of dangerous conditions that the customers cannot appreciate themselves. Your email says the cart you had was broken.  Your attorney is going to need more information regarding why you think it was broken.  Other than it starting to roll, what about the cart or magnet was broken?

You should contact an accident injury lawyer soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now to preserve your claim and maximize its value. The lawyer should notify Costco to find out what types of insurance coverage are available, and more importantly, advise Costco to preserve the cart without alteration so that is can be inspected later to determine what happened during your accident. You should try to obtain photographs of the escalator system, the cart, magnet, and any visible injuries that you may have.

Keep in mind that Costco is a very large company that most likely uses this cart system at many of their stores.  An experienced injury accident lawyer can seek documents from Costco to find out whether other accidents similar to yours have occurred at other stores.

Most accident attorneys specializing in claims such as yours handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.  So, you have nothing to lose by meeting with an accident lawyer to discuss the claim.  If you went to the hospital and you’re still having problems, I would not hesitate to speak with an accident attorney to at least see whether you have a claim to pursue.  You should do it soon so any attorney you hire has a chance to put Costco on notice of preserving the cart.

If I can help any further with your personal injury question, please do not hesitate to contact me. Good Luck.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

Source by Joseph M. Maus

The Falvello Law Firm Announces New Website

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Personal injury is a broad umbrella term for a multitude of legal cases. Any injury, either psychological or physical, resulting from an accident falls under personal injury litigation. In those cases, the person who is responsible for the accident, usually due to neglect, can have action taken against them and may be liable for compensation to the victim. If you are a victim of personal injury, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal process.

The website, http://www.falvellolaw.com, is full of information to help you along the way. You can learn about the different types of personal injury law, including auto accidents, premises liability, defective products, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and brain injuries. Each of these pages has a detailed description of the types of cases which fall into those categories, as well as who may be liable for the accidents. The case results page has a list of recent victories and their amounts. Their blog allows you to stay updated on the newest laws concerning personal injury. When you are ready to discuss your case, you can set up a consultation using their contact page.

Conrad A. Falvello is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1974 from Dickinson School of Law. He has been on the Dickinson School of Law Board of Counselors since November of 2005. Alexis Falvello is the fourth-generation Falvello family member to graduate from the Dickinson School of Law. She joined the Falvello Law Firm in 2006, and now serves as counsel to the law firm since becoming a full-time Assistant District Attorney in 2008.

Source by Patricia Woloch

Denver, Colorado Police Use of Excessive Force & Brutality

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Can the citizens of Denver, Colorado rely on the City’s police force to protect and serve them?  Or, should the City’s citizens fear its police officers?  Recently, a lot of public attention has been brought to Denver, Colorado police’s use of excessive force and, in some instances, outright brutality.  It is important that victims of police use of excessive force or brutality retain a personal injury attorney who has experience handling such cases.  Bringing legal action against Denver police officers who victimize the very public that they are sworn to protect is very often the only means of holding these bad cops accountable.  The Denver personal injury attorneys at Frankfurt & Trani, P.C. have successfully assisted numerous clients hold such officers accountable. 

Most recently, it has been the light discipline that the City of Denver has imposed upon police officers who have engaged in excessive force and brutality that has caught the public’s attention.  The Denver Post reports today that in the wake of public criticism over the manner in which he has handled two Denver police excessive force complaints, Denver Manager of Safety, Ron Perea has resigned. 

Denver police officer Eric Sellers was suspended by Perea for 45 days for “inappropriate force” and “commission of a deceptive act.”  This incident of Denver police brutality occurred after Officer Sellers used excessive force and beat Commerce City volunteer firefighter, Jared Lunn, after Lunn criticized the officer for failing to press charges against someone who had punched Lunn and knocked a pizza out of his hands.  Denver officer Sellers attacked Lunn, putting him in a choke hold and in handcuffs.  All of this because Lunn wished to press charges against a person who had just assaulted him!  Lunn states that he communicated his wish to press charges to the Denver officers when they arrived, but was told to “just go home”.  In response, Lunn made the comment “way to protect and serve”.  That is when officer Sellers attacked.  Lunn was so severely injured by the officer’s brutality that he could not use his thumbs for a week.  No charges were brought by the Denver City Attorney against Lunn.

The second incident of excessive force by Denver police for which Perea had been criticized concerned an attack by Denver police officers Devon Sparks and Randy Murr.  The video of this incident clearly shows the victim, Michael DeHerrera, on his cell phone and doing nothing to provoke the officers at the time of the attack.  DeHerrera is the son of Pueblo, Colorado deputy sheriff Anthony DeHerrera.  It was his father who DeHerrera was on his cell phone with at the time of the attack.  Perea disciplined the officers by merely docking them 3 days pay.  Charges against DeHerrera were later dropped by the Denver City Attorney.

A third incident of police use of excessive force hasn’t yet made it to the Denver Manager of Safety’s office.  This incident occurred when Mark Ashford, who was walking his dogs at the time, offered to testify on behalf of a motorist who was being cited for failing to stop at a stop sign.  Ashford offered to testify that the driver did stop.  The Denver police officers who had made the stop clearly did not like that Ashford was going to contradict their supposed observations prior to the traffic stop.  The officers told Ashford to leave.  When he didn’t, they demanded to see his identification and then detained him.  The video of this incident clearly shows the Denver police officers attacked Ashford without any provocation. Ashford ended up in the hospital as a result of the officers’ brutality.  The Denver City Attorneys’ Office dropped the charge of “interference” because officers had violated his 4th Amendment rights in that they had no reason to contact him or detain him. 

While Denver Mayor Hickenlooper has made some efforts to reform the manner in which the City’s police officers are policed themselves when they use excessive force, it obviously has not been enough.  Police officers who engage in such acts should be terminated and should definately not be entrusted to patrol the city streets.  Unfortunately, when the City refuses to adequately protect its citizens from these police officers, the only way to hold them accountable is through a personal injury action.  The attorneys at Frankfurt & Trani, P.C. have successfully represented numerous clients who have been the victims of police use of excessive force and brutality.  If you have found yourself a victim of such conduct by our City’s police force, please call us for a FREE Consultation.  (303) 830-0090.

Source by Seth Jamison

A California Personal Injury Lawyer’s View of Slip & Fall Accidents in Victorville, Palmdale and Hesperia and Why It’s so Dangerous Out There

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If you’ve been seriously or catastrophically injured in a slip and fall accident in Southern California from La Quinta to Laguna Beach, CA, from Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, or Anaheim in Orange County, to Carlsbad, Mission Valley, La Jolla, Del Mar, or Escondido in San Diego, from Fontana, San Bernardino or Riverside in the Inland Empire or Palm Springs or Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, to Victorville, Hesperia and Palmdale, you’re probably asking yourself, what did I do to deserve this?

Until you search the news for “Slip and Fall Accidents” you don’t realize just how dangerous those two words are, even as a personal injury lawyer.

These are just a few of the headlines that shout out at you which have one or more of those two words:

Padres fall into tie for NL last place.

Ireland is the first to slip into recession.

Asian stocks fall for the eighteenth day.

Pig drowns in bizarre slip and fall accident.

America could slip into a financial panic.

European stocks slip as banks fall.

Palin makes another slip of the tongue.

Biden makes another slip of the tongue.

The fall of the British Monarchy.

Homes threatened by slip evacuated before they fall.

Fall brings big slip in temperatures.

Home prices continue to fall.

McCain hoping to avoid slip-up.

Of course you can also useful warnings of how to avoid slip and falls. Don’t walk in puddles. Don’t run at the swimming pool. But what about the warnings of how hard it is to pursue a claim when you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a grocery or other large discount store.

What most attorneys will tell you is that grocery and discount stores have made it absolutely frustrating for both injured clients and attorneys to get these self-insured companies to even consider a claim prior to your filing suit.

They ignore your letters. They raise bogus defenses. Recordings of the accident go missing. And they make the injured client feel like they are the one at fault for the failures of these stores to have safe premises.

As an example, take the common circumstance of a woman falling in water caused by a grocery store’s employees who either fail to mop up the water they have left on the floor or fail to put cones around the water. If you are fortunate enough to have the grocery store risk management department respond to either your first, second or third letter, you will probably learn from their response, that the grocery store is disputing liability because either they deny it was their fault, they feel the injured victim was wearing shoes that the grocery store considers unsafe, or they deny any injury occurred despite the fall.

The method for dealing with this type of case by other large retailers is to force everyone to trial. Few clients have the stomach for this and an attorney looking at only soft tissue injuries must also determine if the reward is worth the risk and expense of trial. Fewer attorneys today are taking these cases as a result.

The next time you go into any of these stores, consider this slip and fall warning. Think of these stores as dead zones where accidents occur and no one will ever admit responsibility.

However, if you have serious injuries from a slip and fall and the negligence of the other party is clear and substantial, we invite you to call our office. Remember it’s not enough generally simply that you fell and that people saw you fall. Ask yourself this – what did the city, or the store owner or the home owner etc. actively do, or fail to do, to make your accident site a dangerous condition. 

If you’ve been injured in a homeowner accident in Orange County, San Diego, in the Inland Empire, Palm Springs or anywhere in Southern California, we have the knowledge and resources to be your Palmdale Personal Injury Lawyer and your Victorville and Hesperia Personal Injury Attorney on your case. Be sure to hire a California law firm with personal injury lawyers who can serve areas such as Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, Anaheim, Oceanside, Santa Ana, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Fontana, Del Mar, San Diego and Indio so you are properly represented and get the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident or personal injury accident of any kind, call the Law Offices of R. Sebastian Gibson, or visit our website at http://www.sebastiangibsonlaw.com and learn how we can assist you. You can also call us to speak directly to Sebastian Gibson on the phone about your legal matter.

Source by R. Sebastian Gibson

Benefits of Vocational Rehabilitation

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Vocational rehabilitation refers to programs that seek to return disabled or injured individuals to their optimal physical, mental, social, vocational, and economic ability. In a legal sense, vocational rehabilitation is a workers’ compensation benefit, which involves programs designed to help workers who have become physically or mentally disabled and who can no longer hold the same jobs they had prior to their disabilities.

There are many cases in which Gerard Malouf and Partners have dealt with assisting the individual worker to retain their current role with reduced/restricted duties and allow for return to work plans so that they may return back to the role that they were involved with prior to the injury.

The purpose of vocational rehabilitation programs is to aid the disabled in receiving training for new occupations, locating jobs, retaining jobs, and building permanent careers.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (NSW) requires that employers comply with all occupational health, safety, workers’ compensation, injury management and rehabilitation obligations. The Act enforces a general duty of care on employers to:

– provide and maintain safe systems of work
– make arrangements for ensuring the safe use, handling, storage of equipment and substances, and
– provide necessary information, instruction, training and supervision.

The Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act (NSW) established a system for the management of work-related injuries of employees in NSW. The Act requires amongst other things that every employer to:

– take out and maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy covering all of their workers
– notify the insurer of significant injuries within 48 hours
– send injured workers’ compensation claims to the insurer within seven days
– comply with the injury management plan developed by the insurer, and assist injured workers to return to work safely at the earliest time following a workplace injury.

The Act requires employees to:

– take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons at their place of work, and those who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
– cooperate with any requirement imposed in the interests of health, safety and welfare by the employer or any other person who is authorised to do so under the Act(s)
– tell their employer of any injury as soon as possible
– attend medical and rehabilitation assessments
– provide accurate information about any aspect of their workers’ compensation claim, and
– be actively involved in their return to work plan.

The role of service providers

Service providers are responsible for the management of vocational rehabilitation services to companies who’s role it is to provide a planned and systematic approach to OHS Management and understand the needs of the organisation and the employee.

It is important that an OHS management system or plan is fully documented and clearly communicated to people in the organisation. It should cover the way everyone is expected to work safely, the way that the enterprise will ensure its workers and service providers work safely and the way they intend to improve their practices over time. This will also entail defining roles, duties and responsibilities so that everyone knows what they have to do, when and in what circumstances.

Benefits of Rehabilitation

There are many reason and benefits for the application of vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation has existed as a tool for both cost reduction and empowerment. By re-training employees to fit into the organisation can be a benefit for the employee and for the employer.

There are social advantages of vocationally rehabilitating employees who have physical or mental impairments as this promotes a good-will within the company and no feelings of angst and dislike.

The cost of hiring a new employee is far greater than just a salary, there are other costs of ensuring that processes are understood and there a large gap in the time where the position may remain unfilled as well as opportunity costs of not having the work completed in a timely manner.

Vocational rehabilitation can help solve other workplace dilemmas as well. Rehabilitation can be a solution to problems of high employee turnover and a dwindling labour market. By tapping into the largely neglected supply of workers with disabilities there are many benefits to the employer.

Technological innovations have further promoted placement of rehabilitated employees. There are many devices and tools that can ease the transition to work, including voice synthesizers, adapters for people with impaired mobility, and voice-activated computers.

Disabled workers are not typically expensive or difficult to accommodate and due to the awesome number of potential candidates it is quite easy to find suitable candidates.

In addition to the potential bottom-line benefits of vocational rehabilitation, such programs can promote positive employee relations. Communicating the benefits of the program, keeping in contact with workers on disability leave, and establishing light- and alternate-duty occupations can help show all employees that they are valued contributors to a business.

By keeping employees in light duties working at their place of employment also affects the workers compensation premium and allows the worker to feel safe and when they are prepared can return to full duties.

By providing an individualised written rehabilitation program, counselling and guidance, physical and mental restoration, training, job placement, and postemployment services can allow employees to return to similar or new pre-injury duties.

Counselling and guidance are ongoing aspects of vocational rehabilitation. Physical and mental restoration works to alleviate the physical or mental conditions that impede a client’s fullest potential functioning. This step may include medical, physical, therapeutic treatment, occupational or communication therapy; and psychiatry.

Service providers are required to have a planned and systematic approach to OHS&R management.

Vocational training relates to the development of specific job skills, usually at TAFE or community colleges and universities, rehabilitation facilities, sheltered workshops, and apprenticeship programs, or on the job.

Job placement often entails cooperation between the vocational rehabilitation agency and the potential employer, including modification of a job and/or the work environment.

Placement is not the end of the vocational rehabilitation road. Some clients require post-employment services such as continued counselling, supplementary training, health services, assistance with transportation, or other rehabilitation services.

Vocational Rehabilitation is in itself a practical and positive process with benefits to all users of the system. To ensure that employers comply with the law and the rights of the individual are upheld. Gerard Malouf and Partners ensure these rights are enforced and the employer does not try and undercut the rights of the injured worker.

In conclusion there are many benefits both to the employer and to the employee for Vocational Programs or as primarily known return to work programs. In NSW there is legislation in place for companies of various sizes require a return to work coordinator who responsibility to provide services to employees who have been injured at work. Often rehabilitation programs are run by the Human Resources department of a company who are familiar with the employees and their needs.

Benefits to employees include a consistent plan of returning to work, developing a sense of worth and purpose and value to the organisation which builds a company reputation. This is made possible through the use of treatment providers and counsellors who remain in contact with the injured employee to help them return to work.

There are financial benefits to employers to retain staff and return them back to work in an appropriate period of time dependant on their injuries.

Sometimes it is not possible to return to pre-injury duties and through proper communications and effort it is possible to re-train or re-organise a role so that an employee can return to work on light duties or different role within the organisation. If it is not possible to return to the same organisation, steps can be made to place the employee in vocational training programs through university or technical colleges as to develop a new skill or ability.

By assisting the employee into future employment can reduce insurance payments as well as make full use of the available resources to the company especially in times of tight labour markets.

Gerard Malouf and Partners are a leading specialist in the personal injury and have constant contact with various service providers including rehabilitation specialists, pain management clinics and various agencies that assist employees finding alternative employment as well as developing new careers within existing frameworks.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners we strive to exceed your expectations by developing strong ties with employers and treatment providers to assist in the rehabilitation process.

Source by Gerard Malouf Solicitor

Maritime Lawyers Discuss Asbestos Exposure on Oil Rigs, Oil Platforms and Other Vessels

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It has become well-known worldwide that asbestos was used to make many products including insulation, roofing materials and other products used in residential and commercial construction. However, it is less commonly known that asbestos was used in the petroleum industry, including on offshore oil rigs and platforms.  Maritime asbestos exposure usually occurs with regard to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore oil rigs that operated from 1960 to mid 1980.  Many offshore employees who worked on oil platforms or oil rigs have been exposed to asbestos.  Of those maritime workers who have been exposed, most will not even realize that their health problems are related to asbestos, because many asbestos-related health problems are unobvious.  If you worked in the oil industry on land or at sea, it is possible that you have been exposed to asbestos and may not even know it.

Asbestos is an all-inclusive term used to describe many natural minerals.  These minerals have different geological names, but together they are commonly called “asbestos-like minerals.”  A common feature is that these asbestos-like minerals can produce very tiny fibers which break easily and are inhaled into the lungs by oil platform workers and other who come into contact with them.  The human body cannot expel the asbestos fibers breathed in through the lungs and therefore they remain in the body of an individual forever.

Oil field workers are at an elevated risk for asbestos-related diseases.  For oil field work, asbestos was used for its heat-resistant properties and because of its superiority as a coupling agent or bonding agent.  The bonding quality of asbestos was very useful when mixing it with drilling mud.  Much of the asbestos used in oil field work was pure asbestos fibers mixed directly into the drilling mud.

Those who work on oil-drilling sites run a high risk of asbestos exposure because of the ACM (“asbestos containing materials”) often used to insulate their work equipment.  Because of the fire dangers present in oil fields, asbestos was frequently utilized for its fire and heat resistance.  As asbestos insulation ages, it becomes weak, and asbestos fibers are able to flake off and float around as dust in the air.  Furthermore, oil worker protective clothing was at one time itself made from material that contained asbestos fibers.  These outdated asbestos fire suits could expose the wearer to fibers if worn or torn.

There are a wide variety of health problems that can be linked to asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma.  This is a very specific asbestos-related cancer that usually occurs in the lungs, abdomen, near the heart or testicles.  Asbestosis develops from asbestos fibers inhaled into the lungs, causing scarring.  Lung Cancer can even develop as the result of indirect asbestos exposure.  It has been clinically proven that asbestos in the lungs of a person greatly increases their risk of becoming a lung cancer patient. This is especially true with smokers exposed to asbestos.  While cigarette smokers may think their lung cancer is only related to past smoking history, occupational exposure to asbestos possibly contributed to their lung cancer as well.

Once you have developed lung cancer as the result of your exposure to asbestos, there is often little good news.  However, workers who have been exposed to asbestos while working with gas and/or oil in a maritime setting, oil field, oil rig, oil platform, or other maritime structure may qualify for compensation under maritime law which can provide a greater financial recovery for the injured worker and their family.  A federal law known as the Jones Act can bring relief to these workers if they were exposed to asbestos while working at sea or on a barge drilling, or even on a boat with added asbestos insulation not involved in oil drilling.  Under the Jones Act and maritime law, claims can be filed directly against former employers for asbestos and other toxic exposure suffered during your employment.  

Asbestos exposure has been a major focus of litigation since the 1970s.  It important for every worker who was exposed to asbestos and believes he may have suffered an asbestos-related injury such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer to make sure they speak with qualified lawyers who understand the ins and outs of all possible applicable laws.  Most lawyers will not even know that if you worked on a semi-submersible drilling rig, jack-up oil rig, offshore oil platform or other maritime vessel, you can recover under the Jones Act and maritime law.  This can be a forceful remedy, since most asbestos producers are now in bankruptcy protection.  Claims under the Jones Act and maritime law may be filed directly against former employers, as opposed to the bankrupt asbestos manufacturers.  The maritime employers are largely still very available defendants.  If you need advice about offshore asbestos exposure, you should contact a maritime lawyer today.

Source by Stacey E. Burke

What Is the Difference Between Med Pay and PIP?

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If you are a responsible vehicle owner, then it is likely your car is insured. But how much do you really know about car insurance? Car insurance policies are protection plans that are intended to cover damages incurred to your vehicle. But they does not cover people. Nor do they cover others drivers and passengers involved in a car accident.

So how do you protect yourself from a lawsuit on the chance that you might cause a car accident that injures others? The answer is a third party protection plan, either in the form of Med Pay or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Continue reading to learn more about each plan, the differences between them, and who to call for accurate industry advice.

Med Pay

Med Pay is a colloquial term for “Medical Payments Plan”, which is a separate insurance policy available to vehicle owners. It is a policy that covers the medical payments of all the passengers inside your vehicle if they are injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at-fault. It is NOT health insurance. It only covers medical payments incurred as a result of car accidents. The difference is MP covers your passenger’s medical payments as well. It is a awesome match for those who car pool regularly.

Common limits to these plans often average around $25,000. But it is important to know that Med Pay is based per vehicle. So if you have two vehicles, you will need two different policies to be covered. It is also important to understand that this does not include any other economic or non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of limb, permanent disfigurement, prolonged physical therapy, and more. If you wish to have these covered as well, you’ll need to look into Personal Injury Protection, or more commonly known as “PIP.”

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

If you are concerned about coverage for additional losses and damages, like the ones mentioned above, then you would need to consider a different type of coverage instead of a medical payments plan. One option is Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. This coverage is more comprehensive compared to Med Pay. Not only does it cover injuries and losses incurred as a result of a car accident, it goes above and beyond, covering more specific economic or non-economic losses. For instance, PIP will help with hospital bills, medical expenses, loss wages, mortgage payments, and more. It is more expensive than Med Pay, but not by much. And you do not need to have both PIP and Med Pay insurance. Choose one or the other if you are interested in extending your coverage.