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West Georgia Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Blog

'Buyer beware' more important for car shoppers after disasters

The market for buying and selling used cars is hot. It has been for a number of years. Indeed, major U.S. car dealers responding to a recent survey by Automotive News said used-car sales the last three years have been strong and holding steady. One resulting issue, as we noted in a post back in May, is that if you are a consumer looking to buy used, you face a challenge to make sure the vehicle you are buying is all it's cracked up to be. A new car comes from the factory. How can you be sure where your used car came from?

This is particularly important for safety reasons. Vehicles today are equipped with air bag protection. But as our May post observed, and as Bloomberg recently reported, there are salvage vehicles reaching the market carrying unrepaired Takata air bags subject to recall. And safety advocates say too many sellers are being deceptive in how they market those vehicles.

Could a change of attitude help Georgia employers recruit?

Any Jimmy Buffett fans on the other side of the screen? We're guessing yes. Some may recall his 1977 hit, "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes." It's Buffett's ode about life ever changing and that, "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."

You may be wondering what that song could possibly have to do with workers' compensation. The reference to changes in attitudes is what sparks this entry -- that and a recent survey of small business employees. The poll reveals that when individuals are looking for work, a business's commitment to providing a safe work environment is a key factor in their deciding whether to take an offer.

Holistic care requires attention to mental injuries, too

Imagine this. You are on your daily commute home from work or school in Carrollton and your vehicle is struck by another car or truck. Injuries from such a wreck could be limited to cuts or bruises, but they could be more serious - broken bones or even serious internal injuries. Recovery could take anywhere from weeks to years, but physical healing is likely.

When it comes to traumatic situations such as this, however, it is hard to tell what effect there might be on your mental condition. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real thing, and while we typically have associated PTSD with service in combat, symptoms can be triggered by any injury-causing event. Sadly, that does not always mean that the resources necessary for both physical and mental recovery are going to be forthcoming from those responsible.

Five things that can cost you your workers' comp in Georgia

Most workers in Georgia know that if they suffer an on-the-job injury, then the costs of treatment and lost wages will be covered by their employer's workers compensation insurance. Unfortunately, far too many workers don't understand that there are things they might be doing that could jeopardize this coverage.

Here is a list of just five things that could affect or cost you workers' compensation benefits:

Addressing the Georgia opioid epidemic

Prescription narcotics are one of those medicines that represent a double-edged sword. Doctors who specialize in pain management know these drugs, also called opioids, are effective tools for treating pain. What's equally clear from data over the past decade is that opioids can be very addictive - to a point where they become deadly.

The issue is so bad here in Georgia that the state's Department of Public Health says we are in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic. Late last month, doctors gathered in Atlanta to lay out some plans for how to address the crisis.

How do I know if my eclipse glasses failed?

The great solar eclipse of 2017 is history. It came and went in a matter of minutes. If you happened to be in Georgia, the transition wasn't total but was pretty darn close.

Ahead of the event, there was a lot of hype. Some of it even proved true. Flowers shut their petals as the moon passed between the Earth and sun. In the northwest, eclipse-created tides tore apart nets on a fish farm. Hundreds of thousands of salmon died. The big question for human eclipse watchers has to be whether they took it in without suffering damage. Here's how you can tell if you were hurt and what recourse you may have.

I'm afraid to return to work after suffering a work injury

There is physical health and there is mental health. In the eyes of many, the two are separate and rather distinct, but in recent years, the line has become less bright. Several mental health parity acts have been enacted at the federal level. In each instance, the law requires that insurance plans provide equal coverage for conditions whether they are physical or psychological in nature. Workers' compensation is included under this umbrella.

Readers of this blog may recall that we wrote about the challenges of pressing a claim for invisible work-related injuries not long ago. Sometimes those injuries are physical - resulting from repetitive stress or work conditions that lead to muscle strains or debilitating joint injuries. Just because they aren't seen doesn't make them any less real.

Gauging the value of a human life

How do you put a price on a human life? Just asking the question is hard for many. However, in the aftermath of a tragic death, especially if that loss was preventable, the question is bound to come up. And if you happen to be among those who suffered the loss, putting things in the context of money is about the only way to seek and obtain compensation.

What sparks this post is a spate of recent deadly disasters involving high-rise buildings. In London, the 24-story Grenfell Tower went up in flames killing at least 80 residents. That happened in June. As of earlier this month, reports say many victims remain unidentified. Meanwhile, last month in Hawaii, three people died in a blaze in a high-rise apartment building built in 1971. Fire officials say a sprinkler system would have saved lives, but like many older structures, it lacks such measures.

Is your employer one of the 'Dirty Dozen?'

In 1970, the Occupational Health and Safety Act was signed, promising safer working environments for employees all across the nation. Since its passage, "the number of annual workplace deaths has dropped by 65 percent," states a recent article for Oye! Times. Unfortunately, despite the passage of the OHS Act, workplace accidents are still happening resulting in injuries, occupational illnesses and fatalities.

To make matters worse, on-the-job worker fatalities in some U.S. workplaces are happening with such frequency, that they have grabbed the attention of the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH), who recently released its list of the most dangerous employers in the U.S. called the "Dirty Dozen."

Dairy manure ponds just one deadly hazard in agricultural work

The Idaho Statesman recently published a major story on the dangers of agricultural work, and especially the hazards associated with manure ponds. While the focus was on Idaho, there's no reason the accidents described in the story couldn't have occurred here in Georgia.

Manure ponds are a common way for dairies to store manure for later use as fertilizer and to keep it from preventing waterways. The trouble is that some dairies fail to post warning signs or encircle the ponds with barriers. When conditions change, such as when flooding occurs, the pond can literally disappear into the landscape.

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