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Ocean County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Brain injuries can lead to long-term and costly impacts

Suffering a brain injury is a life-changing event for some individuals. The severity of the damage and the location have a big part in how much of an impact it will have on the person. For some, the future is filled with medical care, rehabilitation therapy and personal care assistance. All of this can be costly.

If the brain injury was caused by another person's negligence, you might opt to seek compensation for the damages that you're facing. There are many different types of damages that you might have to deal with. The medical bills are often a primary one because these are often exorbitant, and they can last the rest of your life if the injury was catastrophic.

How does a brain injury affect a person's quality of life?

Individuals who suffer moderate or severe brain injuries seldom return to being the person that they once were before they got hurt. They instead experience a wide variety of physical and mental impairments that can last a lifetime. These may reduce an individual's chances of becoming gainfully employed, make them unable to participate in recreational activities as they once did and even shorten their life.

A study previously published in the Disability and Rehabilitation journal chronicled how individuals with severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often struggle to return to work. The study's authors determined that only one-third of these individuals were still working full-time following their traumatic injury.

Chronic pain and a back injury: Truck drivers are at risk, too

You have enjoyed being a truck driver, but one thing you didn't expect to have happen was an injury. After all, short of a crash, you're relatively safe in your truck.

Unfortunately, driving a truck comes with its own risks. Truck drivers can face risks such as:

  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Lung cancer
  • Musculoskeletal injuries

How to work safely outdoors during the hot summer months

If your job responsibilities require you to work outdoors during the hot summer months, it's imperative to take steps to protect your health. Neglecting to do so can result in serious harm, including but not limited to dehydration and heat stroke.

Here are some tips to help you work safely in the heat:

  • Watch what you wear: Your clothing should allow your skin to breathe, as opposed to holding in the heat.
  • Protect your skin: For example, apply sunscreen throughout the day to protect your skin from sunburn and related damage.
  • Stay hydrated: It's not always easy to do when you're busy, but make sure you have water in close proximity to your work station throughout the day. Also, consider drinking as much water as you can to fight off dehydration.
  • Take breaks: No matter how badly you want to get the job done, you shouldn't push yourself too hard. In extreme heat, it's critical that you take regular breaks to rest your body and mind. Attempt to take your breaks in a cool place, such as indoors or under a shady tree. This is also a great time to rehydrate.

Answer these questions before you put your car in drive

Experienced drivers often take their safety for granted. If you've never been part of an accident in the past, you assume that you'll never find yourself in this position in the future. Unfortunately, if you let your guard down, there's an increased risk of trouble.

Here are some questions you should answer before you put your car in drive and hit the road:

  • Have you adjusted your mirrors?
  • Do you have your seatbelt on?
  • Have you placed your smartphone out of reach and/or turned it off?
  • Have you set your vehicle controls, such as the radio and climate, to the appropriate setting?
  • Have you thought about the route that you'll take to your destination?
  • Do you feel alert enough to drive?
  • When was the last time you consumed an alcoholic beverage?

Top dangers when working on a construction site

If you spend any time working on construction sites, it's critical that you understand the steps you can take to stay safe.

Even workers who have many years of experience could suffer a serious injury on a construction site. Fortunately, when you understand the top dangers, it's easier to avoid them. They include:

  • Working at height: For example, if you're working on a ladder or scaffolding, it's critical to take all available safety measures. This reduces the risk of falling to the ground below.
  • Moving vehicles: Vehicles are common on construction sites. From delivery trucks to bulldozers, you never know what you'll come across. Pay close attention to moving vehicles, while also making yourself visible at all times.
  • Slips and falls: It's hard to watch every step you take, but if you don't you could slip or trip and fall. For example, power cords are a major trip hazard on construction sites.
  • Heavy lifting: If your job requires you to lift heavy objects, do so with safety in mind. In addition to proper lifting technique, ask for help if necessary.

How to best avoid driver fatigue

When you get behind the wheel of your motor vehicle, it's critical that you're 100 percent alert. If you let your guard down for any reason, it increases the risk of an accident that could cause serious injury or even death.

Driver fatigue is a major concern, as it impairs your ability to make sound decisions. Furthermore, you could eventually fall asleep at the wheel, which all but guarantees an accident.

Even young adults need a comprehensive estate plan

Young adults sometimes feel like they are invincible, which is due in part to the low death rate in this group. It's important for them to remember that you never know when something is going to happen to you. For this reason, even young adults should ensure that they have an estate plan in place.

When you're in your 20s and getting ready to set up an estate plan, you might wonder how your're supposed to think about what might happen so far into the future.

You should sue for damages for your loved one's untimely death

When a loved one dies unexpectedly due to the alleged fault of another, a lawsuit is often the result. Surviving loved ones of a deceased individual often file suit as a way of holding those responsible accountable for their actions. They also do this to discourage others from repeating the same negligent behaviors. The type of monetary damages that a decedent's loved one may be entitled to may vary depending on the nature of the case.

Damages are intended to restore an individual, or a person acting on their behalf, to the place that they were before the incident occurred. If a person was involved in a car accident, for example, then the payout that they receive should cover the restoration of their vehicle to its previous condition and cover the accident victim's medical bills, lost wages and cover any permanent impairment costs.

How to protect against a scaffolding accident

Even if you've been working on scaffolding for many years, you know that it only takes one misstep to cause a serious accident. And that's why your safety should be your top priority.

Regardless of why you're using scaffolding, there are many steps you can take to protect against an accident. Consider the following:

  • Properly erect and inspect scaffolding before use: Before you do anything, inspect the scaffolding for damage, such as rust or missing parts. Along with this, never use scaffolding that is not properly erected.
  • Use safety rails: Even if they get in your way, it's better to be safe than sorry. Without safety rails, there's a much greater chance of falling to the ground below, which can result in a serious injury or even death.
  • Don't overload the scaffolding: It's critical that you know how much weight the scaffolding can handle so that you don't overload it at any time. Take into consideration everyone and everything on the scaffolding, including tools and supplies.
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