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Asbestos Exposure Continues, Despite Cancer Warnings

August 22nd, 2011

Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer most often associated with exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a heat-resistant, fibrous material used in the construction of homes and other industrial applications. Since being positively linked to mesothelioma, its use has been greatly restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Have I Been Exposed?

In the home, asbestos is often used for roofing shingles and insulation – either in the walls or on pipes. While their mere presence isn’t generally life threatening, working with materials that contain asbestos can release microscopic fibers into the air. If you are a tradesman and involved in demolition and renovation work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations designed to help keep workers like yourself safe around asbestos.

Employer Fined $1.2 Million for Exposing Employees

Earlier this year, OSHA fined AMD Industries Inc. $1.2 million for having five untrained and unprotected employees remove materials containing asbestos from boilers, heating units and plumbing in their factory. The company did not warn their employees of the dangers associated with the task, and was part of OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program.  This program focuses on employers who willfully or repetitively violate OSHA regulations.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

One of the difficulties in dealing with asbestos cases is that signs of exposure typically don’t show up until at least 15 years later. Some studies suggest it can take 50 years to develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure. Also, symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to many other, less serious conditions. Symptoms include: Read the rest of this entry »

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Reckless Driving Charges for Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

August 19th, 2011

A motor vehicle crash, which occurred in the last week of July, has two people facing reckless driving charges in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

According to Aspen Newspapers, witnesses said that Aaron Poisson, 22 years old of Cumming, Georgia was driving his white Ford Taurus on the wrong side of the road.  As a result of his erratic driving, an oncoming car was forced to brake suddenly in order to avoid colliding into Poisson.  When the oncoming car did break, the vehicle behind it ran into it causing a domino effect for the vehicles following it. 

Poisson was not hit in the motor vehicle crash.  Poisson and another car turned into the nearby Old Station Place subdivision. A witness at the scene followed both cars and cornered them in the back of the subdivision.  The witness then urged both to return to the scene of the vehicle accident.  However, neither driver returned to the scene of the motor vehicle accident. 

Amber Davis, a 24 year old female from Hunters Oaks Drive  followed closely behind Poisson’s truck.  Witnesses recorded the license plates and descriptions of the drivers of both motor vehicles as Davis and Poisson fled.

Police later found Poisson and Davis on Alpharetta Highway (Georgia 9) on July 24th.  They were pulled over based on Poisson’s license place.  Poisson and Davis denied knowledge of the accident.  However, because of reliable witness statements, the police were able to obtain warrants for Poisson and Davis’ arrests and both turned themselves in on July 26th

Fleeing from the scene of a car accident is a crime. The drivers who were involved in the collision as a result of Poisson’s poor decisions may have recourse against Poisson.

Davis faces a charge of reckless driving while Poisson faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving on the wrong side of the road, and reckless driving.

Punitive damages are types of damages that are awarded to deter the defendant and others from engaging in the type of behavior that the defendant chose to follow.  These damages are not generally awarded to compensate the plaintiff but the injured party does take a portion of these damages as compensation.  Usually, punitive damages are sought where there is wanton and willful disregard for the safety of other drivers and/or pedestrians.  The most notable cases in Georgia relate to hit and run collisions and DUI accidents. 

If you have been injured in a car collision, you may want to contact our Georgia Accident Lawyers to see how we can help protect your legal interests. We will discuss the merits of your case with you at no charge to you.  All consultations are confidential and free.

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How to Avoid Nursing Home Abuse

August 18th, 2011

Just as a young adult takes great care in choosing a first home, so should those in their twilight years, as they consider a move into a nursing home, or a skilled nursing facilities. It is not a decision to take lightly; unlike a bad roommate or neighbor who lets the yard go to weeds, it can be much more challenging for the elderly to find a safe home.

How to Choose a Home

First impressions are important. Upon arrival, is the building and surrounding landscape well maintained or are plants overgrown and the parking lot cracked and worn? Inside, what is the condition of the lobby? Is it clean and inviting or shabby and in need of repair? If a business neglects its property, one can imagine how they may treat their residents.

You’ll likely be given a tour of the facilities and hopefully be allowed to speak with other residents and the workers who will be entrusted to care for you or your family member. If the person giving the tour does not permit you to speak with other residents or staff that should be a big red flag.

How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?

While most nursing homes are healthy, safe places that provide quality care, a recent Congressional study uncovered some alarming statistics. Nearly 1/3 of all nursing homes across the U.S. have had formal complaints filed against them for verbal, physical or sexual abuse. Neglect is also a form of physical abuse, especially when residents are dependent on staff for everything from vital medications to basic hygiene.

Signs of Abuse

Unfortunately, residents can’t always speak out against their abuser, or are afraid of retribution if they do. Abusive workers know they may be subject to civil and criminal penalties and will often scare their victims into silence. The only way to stop them is to speak up for yourself or a family member if they are unable or unwilling to do so themselves. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, some signs of abuse may include: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hit and Run Driver Kills Pedestrian Crossing the Street

August 16th, 2011

On July 21, 2011, 64 year old James Curry was hit by a truck as he crossed the street with a shopping cart to recycle cans. 

According to Channel 12 News, WRDW, Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for 29 year old Ricky Lavon Oliphant Jr. in connection with the fatal hit and run accident.  The crash occurred on Olive Road and Cooney Circle. 

Witnesses have said that the truck that struck Curry was an older model black Chevy S-10 with a faded blue door.  There were two white males in their 30s inside the truck and one did not have a shirt on.

Several days after the crash, Curry died at Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center as a result of the traumatic injuries he sustained in the accident.

Oliphant is now wanted for this hit and run accident

Ricky Lavon Oliphant Jr. was released on parole from prison on May 13, 2011.  Oliphant was at Jefferson County Correctional Institute since July 2008 for receiving stolen property.  The sentence he received was five years.

Please contact Richmond County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information on Oliphant.

 In the United States, around 5,000 pedestrian fatalities occur every year.  Every year, there are about 64,000 injuries to pedestrians that are related to motorist collisions.  Because thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed each year alone, pedestrians should exercise caution when walking places, like to work or to a friend’s house.  Always follow traffic control devices and look both ways before crossing any street or roadway.

And while  auto collisions are a scary possibility that all drivers, and pedestrians, must be aware of, in some situations punitive damages can be imposed on the responsible driver.  Punitive damages are types of damages that are awarded to deter the defendant and other similar positioned people from acting the same way as the defendant did against the injured party.  These damages are not generally awarded to compensate the plaintiff but the injured party does take a portion of these damages as compensation.  Usually, punitive damages are sought where there is wanton and willful disregard for the safety of other drivers and/or pedestrians.  The most notable cases in Georgia relate to hit and run collisions and DUI accidents.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, or a hit and run vehicle, you may want to contact our Georgia Accident Lawyers to see how we can help protect your legal interests. We work tirelessly for our clients to not only maximize their claim, but to also help them put their lives back together.

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Bicyclist In Critical Condition After Being Hit By Truck

August 15th, 2011

A truck hit a bicyclist near 1779 Tobacco Road this past Monday, August 8th leaving the bicyclist in critical condition. 

 According to the Augusta Chronicle, around 8:52, the bicyclist was rear-ended by a utility type truck when he was traveling west on Tobacco Road.  Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputy, Terry Skinner, said that charges are pending against the truck driver, Willie Ferrell.

 The name of the biker has not been released.  The biker was taken to the Medical College of Georgia hospital.  According to Sheriff’s Deputy Skinner, the biker suffered head trauma and is in critical condition.

 There were witnesses at the scene of the truck and bicycle accident who said that the truck did attempt to swerve in order to avoid hitting the bicyclist. 

 Trucking accidents can be very serious.  They have a higher chance of causing serious injuries or a fatality in comparison to car collisions. There are several reasons why truck accidents are more likely to cause serious injury or death: trucks are much heavier than cars (80,000 lbs. or more when fully loaded) which causes a greater impact in a collision; a truck is higher up than a car; materials, like metal, used to build a truck are stronger than most other materials like plastic used to build modern cars today; and because trucks carry chemicals or flammable liquids, they may cause burns or explosions.

Georgia Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the given time period during which a legal action can be made. If the time period ends, it is a complete bar to any recovery if your case is not completely settled or the lawsuit is not served on the appropriate parties prior to this date or properly filed. Georgia has a statute of limitations of two years with truck accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck accident, you may want to contact our Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers to see how they can help protect your legal rights. In addition to providing a free review of your claim, our Truck Accident Lawyers can also provide valuable insight into dealing with your injuries and precautions you should consider.

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Fort Gordon Soldier Dies in Car Crash

August 15th, 2011

A tragic vehicle crash left a Fort Gordon solider dead after he was ejected from a truck on Friday, July 29th. The vehicle crash occurred on Gordon Highway near Fort Gordon Gate 2 leaving the eastbound lane of Gordon Highway east of Gate 2 closed for several hours.

A special crash investigation team was sent immediately to the scene of the crash.  According to WJBF News Channel 6, ABC, Charles Shinn, a 29 year old male from Topeka, Kansas, was riding as a passenger in a 1984 Chevrolet K5 Blazer, when he was ejected from the Blazer.  The truck rolled over on top of him and burst into flames.  Shinn tragically died.

Scott Gay, Special Operations with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Offices, told News Channel 6 the truck was headed East on Gordon Highway when it had a mechanical problem—the front passenger side tire fell of the truck.  Andrew Naranjo, 24 years old, was the driver and was taken to Georgia Health Science’s University Medical Center. 

Naranjo is now being charged with vehicular homicide in the second degree, operating an unsafe motor vehicle, and failure to maintain a lane. 

Car Crash Facts

Car crashes and tragic deaths resulting from those crashes happen every day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximately 5,811,000 traffic crashes were reported to the police in 2008.  In those crashes, 37,261 people were killed and 2,346,000 people were injured.  A primary cause of car accidents is driver distraction. The statute of limitations within which you can file a suit is 2 years.

Legal Help

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  There are several types of damages that are recoverable from car collisions including, but not limited to, the reimbursement for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.  Contact our Georgia Accident Lawyers to see how we can help.

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Tire Manufacturing Defects Continue to Claim Lives

August 12th, 2011

Reports about tire malfunctions causing serious and sometimes fatal accidents pepper Internet news sites and nightly news channels. It wasn’t that long ago when hundreds of people were killed or injured due to a defect in Firestone tires used on Ford Explorers. Although a massive recall effort attempted to mitigate that problem, accidents caused by defective tires continue to plague our highways.

Earlier this year, in our home state of Georgia, a 15-passenger van overturned injuring 13 and killing two people on their way to work. A tour bus operating in New York on its way to Niagara Falls crashed, killing two people and injuring 15. In both cases, tire failures are the suspected cause.

Tire Safety And Warning Signs

While it is too early in the investigation to know if these accidents were the result of manufacturing defects, as drivers it is important to check the overall condition of your tires regularly. A manufacturing defect may be undetectable to the average driver, however steps can be taken to reduce the chances of a blowout and subsequent accidents. Proper inflation will ensure even wear on the tires and good traction on wet roads. The vehicle’s user manual or the side of the tire itself will specify proper inflation levels. Cracks in the rubber or chunks missing from the tread should be cause for alarm, and the tire should be replaced. Also, remember that tires are affected by the weight of the vehicle; a full 15-passenger van could be carrying an extra several thousand pounds of passenger weight, changing vehicle handling and tire inflation requirements.

Manufacturing Defects – More Than Meets The Eye

Proper tire maintenance is important because tire defects are not always obvious until it is too late. Read the rest of this entry »

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OSHA Discusses Heat Stroke With Construction Crews

August 10th, 2011

The Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing laws related to workplace safety and health. In Georgia, OSHA representatives recently met with construction workers on job sites to discuss the dangers of heat stroke.

As summer drags on and temperatures linger near all-time highs, the danger of heat related workplace injuries grow exponentially. The risk is especially high for workers in the trades or those whose jobs are primarily located outdoors or near intense sources of heat and require intense physical effort.

What Is Heat Stroke?

Early stages of heat stroke are identified as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rashes. When these have progressed to heat stroke, the victim’s body is unable to maintain a healthy internal temperature. Body temperatures can rise to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within minutes. As the body can no longer keep cool, vital organs begin to sustain permanent damage. If treatment is not given immediately, death can result.

Signs of Heat Stroke Read the rest of this entry »

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Accutane Blamed for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

August 3rd, 2011

Last year Roche Holding AG, the manufacturer of the acne drug Accutane (generic: isotretinoin), was ordered to pay $25.16 million in damages to a patient who developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because of the dangerous drug.

Drug Maker Found Liable

Andrew McCarrell began taking Accutane in 1995. After taking the drug, he developed IBD and required five surgeries, including one to remove his colon. The jury deliberated for a brief 3.5 hours before delivering its unanimous verdict: Andrew deserves $159,000 for his previous medical expenses and another $25 million in compensatory damages.

What is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a not the same as a similarly named condition called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which causes discomfort and relatively mild digestive problems. IBD is much more damaging and includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, among other conditions. Generally, the various diseases under the IBD umbrella present with the same symptoms: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tired Truckers Still a Hazard, Despite Regulations

July 19th, 2011

Despite an increase in regulations on the trucking industry designed to make our highways safer, accidents involving semi-trucks occur regularly and can be extremely devastating. Simply by virtue of their size and weight, collisions with semi-trucks are more catastrophic than other motor vehicle accidents.

Disaster in the Desert

Two semi-trucks were involved in related but separate fatal wrecks along a heavily traveled stretch of Interstate 10 between Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona. The first accident occurred when a westbound semi-truck crossed the median and flipped over in the eastbound lane. A car driven by 44-year-old Hussian Ziagulmirza crashed into the overturned semi. Ziagulmirza died when his car burst into flames. Four family members were able to escape the car, sustaining minor injuries, which were treated at a nearby hospital.

As traffic slowed to a crawl while emergency workers put out the fire and cleared the highway, a van towing a car slammed into another semi-truck that had been stopped by the traffic jam. The van’s driver and an 11-year-old were killed, while a third passenger was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

Alcohol was not believed to be related in either accident, although police suggested the driver of the overturned truck that caused the first accident may have been too tired to be behind the wheel.

Drowsy Drivers

Driver fatigue is one of the least studied and most insidious causes of highway accidents. Read the rest of this entry »

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