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Workplace injuries can be devastating for anyone, regardless of gender. But a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while women have historically received fewer workplace injuries than men, the types of on-the-job injuries can be quite different for females.

stockfresh_4489991_work-accident_sizeS-300x208According to the recently released data, men accounted for 4,836 workplace fatalities in 2015. By contrast, 344 women died on the job during the same period. The leading cause of job-related deaths for both genders is the same – transportation accidents that occur by road, air, water or railway.

Then the numbers begin to diverge, where the second most common cause of workplace deaths death for women is by violence and other injuries by persons or animals. By contrast, the second leading cause for men are caused by slip, trip, and fall mishaps.

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For better or worse, social media has become so ingrained in our daily lives that it is almost impossible to avoid. Even people without active social accounts still see active feeds from social media accounts on the news, sports broadcasts, and other programs.

shutterstock_189811238-300x207Computer-mediated technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and the many other platforms give us a way to stay connected with family and friends across great distances. They let us share jokes, stories, and photos with those who are close to us and want to stay active in our lives.

Unfortunately, that very connectedness may be used as a weapon against you if you have been involved in a car accident. Insurance investigators and the other driver’s lawyers may look for any evidence that can be used to diminish your claim.

It may surprise you to find out that insurance companies now have established policies and procedures in place for investigating a person’s social media accounts for evidence that could allow them to restrict or reject your claim outright.

A few ways that social media could be used against you in a personal injury case include: Continue Reading

National Childhood Injury Prevention Week happens in September.  It’s a time when parents in North Carolina, South Carolina and across the U.S. help raise awareness about preventable accidents that result in injury and death to children each year.

shutterstock_547980853-300x200According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9.2 million people from ages 0-19 are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries, while another 12,000 die from “unintentional injuries” each year.

The leading causes of these “unintentional injuries” are pedestrian/traffic accidents, drowning, falls, and burns. For children under 1 year of age, suffocation was the leading cause of death, while drowning was the most likely cause for children 1 to 4 years of age. From 4 to 19, more children were killed as the result of being an occupant in a motor vehicle crash than any other cause of death.

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Following a major medical operation, you may have had an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) inserted into your chest. This filter is inserted in a patient’s inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart.

stockfresh_7306517_surgery_sizeS-300x150In theory, this medical device was designed to help reduce the risk of dangerous post-operative blood clots. Yet, tragically IVC filters have proven to be dangerous and defective medical devices. Indeed, more than two dozen deaths have been directly linked to IVC filters, as reported by NBC News.

The FDA Recommends the Removal of IVC Filters

First approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987, 3M’s Bair Hugger warming blankets are designed to keep surgical patients warm before, during and after major operations. By helping a patient maintain their core body temperature, the blanket is supposed to lead to better surgical outcomes. Unfortunately, recent evidence indicates that this product is unsafe.

stockfresh_308226_focus-on-a-life-monitor-for-a-cat-under-anesthesia_sizeS-300x200In 2010, one of the lead inventors of the product, Dr. Scott D. Augustine, began sounding the alarm, according to a report in the New York Times, publicly stating that the Bair Hugger blanket was too dangerous to use in many situations.

In 2015, the FDA put out a safety alert, notifying the public that a likely link between Bair Hugger warming blankets and certain infections had been discovered. Additionally, as has been reported in 3M’s hometown newspaper, the Star Tribune, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the company by patients who developed severe infections after they used the product.

I often say that lawyers are a lot like car mechanics. Some say they know what they are doing when they don’t, and then some really know what they are doing.  In either situation, you don’t want to have someone do your work when they are not experienced in the right field. You don’t want a Jeep mechanic working on your Mustang, and you don’t want a general practitioner working on your personal injury case.

stockfresh_6117069_lawyer-concept-letterpress-theme_sizeS-300x200When you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, I suggest you look at the firm’s website. Find out how long the lawyer has been practicing.   Practicing a long time is no guarantee of quality, but it is a component of quality.  See if the lawyer is a member of state and national trial lawyer groups.   These groups consist of lawyers involved and committed to the representation of injured people.  Here you will find your best attorneys.  The South Carolina Association for Justice and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice both consist of attorneys who represent injured people. Membership of this group is critical.

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stockfresh_86920_nurses-standing-outside-a-hospital_sizeS-300x200Nurse do extraordinary work in promoting patient safety. We often think about the important role that physicians and surgeons play in providing life-saving treatment to patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina and across the country, but nurses also play an extremely important role.

According to an article from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses are essential to improving patient safety in all aspects of American healthcare and to improving medical safety more generally.

More Nurse Leadership Could Mean Improved Patient Safety

According to the article posted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), if we want to improve American healthcare and to increase patient safety by preventing medical errors, then we need to give nurses bigger leadership roles in hospitals and physician’s offices. As the article explains, a recent RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing released a report with recommendations for improving medical safety. One of the most notable recommendations was that “nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.”

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Building a new home is a time-consuming, stressful process that can have a lot of payoffs for the new homeowner. For one, if you have been monitoring the construction to some extent, you may have reasonable confidence that the construction is being done right and that contractors and subcontractors are not cutting corners.

You can also stockfresh_1456672_home-inspector_sizeS-200x300generally expect to have fewer problems with a new home that you might with a pre-owned home — fewer pests, less risk of mold or structural problems, etc. Except that is not always the case.

What happens if you have moved into your new home and you are already noticing problems? Who is responsible? What can you do?

Because most injuries and illnesses change over time, the Veterans Administration allows Veterans to file for an increase in certain disability ratings.  It is important to note that the VA will not automatically adjust a Veteran’s compensation if his or her condition worsens – the Veteran has to actively file for an increase, even if it is clear to the VA that the conditioned has worsened.

stockfresh_7143766_military-fatigues-flag-dog-tags_sizeS-1-200x300Disabilities rarely stay the same.  They improve, worsen, or change altogether throughout their existence.  When an injury or illness worsens, such as an arthritic knee losing flexibility or a veteran with Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI experiences greater memory loss or increased seizures, a claim for a disability rating increase should be filed.  There are a couple of options on what to file.  VA Form 21-526b, Veteran’s Supplemental Claim for Compensation, may be submitted as a formal claim for an increased rating claim.  VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, can also be used for increasing a rating. VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation based on Unemployability, can be submitted as a formal claim for total disability rating based on individual unemployability (“TDIU”).  It is import to know that a claim for TDIU does not increase the actual rating of a specific claim, rather it potentially increases the rate of pay if a condition(s) leads to the inability of a Veteran to find and maintain gainful employment.  A veteran may also file a VA Form 21-0966, Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC (“Intent to File”).  Filing an Intent to File form will preserve a date to act as the effective date as long as one of the forms mentioned above is filed within one year of filing the Intent to File form.

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stockfresh_5975459_doctor-holding-brain-mri_sizeS-300x200Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions and other head injuries can have devastating long-term consequences. All employers must take proper precautions in order to protect workers from suffering a TBI. Construction workers, in particular, are at high risk.

Unfortunately, far too many construction companies are still falling short of their legal duty to protect the safety of their workers. If you have suffered a construction TBI in Western North Carolina or Upstate South Carolina, please contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP today to discuss your legal options.

Traumatic Brain Injuries on Construction Sites

TBIs on construction sites are a major problem. Recently, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report exploring the frequency of traumatic brain injuries in the construction field. The study was included in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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