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West Georgia Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Blog

When cut-throat consumerism leads to shopper injury

Every year at about this time--after the tryptophan-induced turkey coma has worn off, when there's no more football to watch and the holiday shopping sprees are over--comes the news reports from the holiday weekend. You read the all-too-familiar stories about tragic accidents at Black Friday events.

Black Friday originally got its name in the 1950s, referring to the day of the year when retailers "go in the black"--or, operate profitably. However, in recent years this term has taken on a second meaning--referring to the surge in accidents and violence that coincides with Black Friday sales.

This Thanksgiving weekend, beware of these three injury risks

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, to share a meal together and be grateful for all you have. However, the risk of injury during this time of year surges--which can quickly turn a light-hearted occasion into a sobering trip to the emergency room.

In our last post, we discussed the risk of kitchen fires during Thanksgiving feast preparations. This week, we examine a few other injuries that are particularly common over the holiday weekend.

Risk of injury from household fires skyrockets at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to get away from work obligations and get together with family and friends. In addition to camaraderie and interesting, if repeated, family stories, the celebration often centers around a large, elaborate meal. For some families, this means roasting a turkey for hours on end throughout the day. For others, it means dropping the bird into a deep fryer.

Whatever the means of celebration chosen, one thing is certain: the risk of a household fire jumps 250 percent compared to the daily average throughout the country.

The dangers of being a garbage collector

Working in the garbage industry is more dangerous than you might think. In any physically demanding job, there's a chance of injury. But a refuse worker's chance of injury--and even death--on the job is surprisingly high.

In today's post, we examine some of the key risks garbage collectors faces on the job--and the laws in place to protect them.

Proving fault in a car accident with a pedestrian

Car accidents involving pedestrians can be devastating. Injuries are often severe and life-altering. In such cases, pedestrians will often take legal action seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

While such lawsuits can frequently be successful, a driver's guilt in such cases is not a foregone conclusion. It's important to understand the different traffic laws affecting drivers and pedestrians, which can play a major role in determining fault in such accidents.

A scoot commute could lead to a personal injury dispute

The e-scooter, the latest in urban commuting, is diminutive but potentially powerful. According to proponents, it could well be the big solution for what is a decades old problem – covering the so-called "last mile" – that distance in every city, including Atlanta, that is too far to walk to and too near to drive.

Others, however, caution about the personal safety threat the devices represent. Riders who use the vehicles can tool through downtown areas at speeds of up to 15 mph. While some cities ban riders from city sidewalks, such is not the case in Atlanta. Meanwhile, increasing reports of mild to serious and even deadly accidents are sparking more negative reactions.

Two of the deadliest days to be on the road are approaching

When you think of times of the year when driving is particularly dangerous, your mind might jump to holidays typically associated with heaving drinking--and consequently, drunk driving--such as St. Patrick's Day or New Year's. Or you may think of times of the year when inclement weather makes for treacherous driving--such as the winter or hurricane season.

In actuality, the deadliest days of the year to be on the road don't coincide with any of these events. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently completed a five-year study of car wreck fatalities across the U.S. and analyzed their statistics by date. Five days emerged as regularly yielding the highest death rates on the road. The results may not be what you'd expect.

If you wouldn't drive drunk, you shouldn't drive drowsy.

Our lives our getting increasingly busy. Multi-tasking is the new norm. We're juggling a seemingly endless list of responsibilities, leaving little time for rest or relaxation. All too often, a solid night's sleep gets prioritized last, and we become accustomed to going through our days in a sleep-deprived state. Some of us even consider our excessive busyness and insufficient sleep to be points of pride.

However, sleep deprivation is actually a serious problem--and it poses many risks to personal and public safety. In a previous article, we made a case for employers in the transportation industry to implement anti-drowsy driving policies for their drivers. This is equally important at the individual level. Every driver should impose such limitations on themselves, because the consequences of drowsy driving can be disastrous.

Car seat confusion: what's the safest practice?

If you're new to the parenting game, you probably have questions. How do you get your baby onto a regular sleep schedule? How does formula compare with mother's milk? How do you know which car seat to pick--and how should you use it?

Safety guidelines for car seats have recently changed. In today's post, we examine the do's and don'ts of the two main types of car seats:

What makes someone an independent contractor in a work injury?

As we discussed in a previous post, independent contractors are typically exempt from workers' compensation. However, sometimes employers try to misclassify their employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying for their workers' compensation premiums.

A company may create a written agreement with a worker labeling them as an "independent contractor," but this designation alone is insufficient to classify them as such. The distinction really comes down to the terms of an individual's work. In today's post, we outline some core qualifying traits of an independent contractor:

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