Birmingham Legal Blog

OSHA aims to reduce injury rate for landscape workers in Alabama

The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is calling attention to the many dangers present in landscape work. The federal agency is aiming these efforts specifically at Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. In these states alone, the agency reports 64 work related deaths between 2012 and 2016.

The issue is so concerning that OSHA is taking steps to "stem the tide." The main step is moving forward with a safety initiative called the Safety Stand-Down.

Tips for dog bite prevention and dog bite cases

In April, National Dog Bite Prevention Week aims to reduce the potential for dog bites by teaching people about dog bite statistics and dog behavior. This is an important effort since 4.5 million people suffer dog bites every year.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides sobering statistics about dog bites, including:

  • Of the 4.5 million people who are bitten, 20 percent of them need medical treatment for their wounds
  • 359,223 children ages 14 and under suffered dog bites between 2010 and 2012
  • People who suffer bites most often are postal workers, children and the elderly

Hyundai and Kia recalling vehicles for engine problems

Last week, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation announced that they are recalling millions of vehicles. The problem is with the engines, which were manufactured at an auto parts plant in Alabama.

In the U.S., the two companies are recalling 1.19 million vehicles. The vehicles with the engine defects are:

  • Hyundai: 2013-14 Sonatas and 2013-14 Santa Fe Sport SUVs
  • Kia: 2012-14 Sorentos, 2011-14 Optimas and 2011-13 Sportage SUVs

Is your doctor right about your diagnosis?

Whether you are a patient or the loved one of a sick family member, you put your trust in medical professionals to determine what's wrong - and fix it. Unfortunately, it's far too common for errors to occur during the diagnostic phase of designing a treatment plan. These errors could be caused by faulty equipment, miscommunication or negligence. Sadly, what might seem like a simple error might ultimately prove fatal.

A recent piece in the Washington Post highlights the proliferation of missed and incorrect diagnoses across the United States. In a study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, researchers examined the case files of 286 patients who sought second opinions from the Mayo Clinic's internal medicine department after first receiving a diagnosis from their primary care physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant.

Dangerous trend: Alabama ranks high on the list of cellphone use while driving

The dangers of distracted driving, including texting while driving, are well publicized. Unfortunately, too many people refuse to take the warnings seriously. In fact, a National Safety Council survey shows that 47 percent of drivers feel comfortable with their own texting and driving.

To highlight the problem of cellphone/smartphone use and driving, an app called Life360 used their data to determine how often people use their phones in the car. By looking at member data in February and March 2017, they determined that on average, drivers used cellphones 1.78 times each time they drove.

Alabama auto parts plants pose significant danger to workers

The auto parts industry in Alabama puts 26,000 people to work. While this benefits the economy, the cost to some workers has been cruel. Too often, safety violations in these plants result in devastating injuries. Workers have been crushed, burned and entrapped by machines, dismembered by machines and burned by falling into acid.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2010, the Alabama auto parts industry's rate of illness and injury was 50 percent higher than that of the U.S. auto parts industry. The state's rate of injury is no longer this high, but it remains above the national rate. As recently as 2015, an Alabama auto parts worker had double the risk of amputation of a finger or limb than for auto parts workers nationwide.

The surprising frequency of injury by defective children's products

Parents spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, even the most careful parent can't prevent all injuries. This is especially true when manufacturers create dangerous children's products.

A recent study published on the American Academy of Pediatrics website details the most dangerous nursery products and the injuries they cause. Using 20 years of data, researchers looked at the number of children ages three and younger treated in emergency rooms for nursery product injuries. They found that the most frequent reason for nursery product-related injuries is a fall. Children most often suffer injuries to the head and neck from these incidents.

What to know about drunk driving and St. Patrick's Day

Despite the increased warnings about drinking and driving that we see around St. Patrick's Day, far too many people will drive drunk that weekend. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there were 252 fatal drunk driving accidents over the St. Patrick's Day holiday from 2011 to 2015.

NHTSA considers the St. Patrick's Day holiday to include the days before and after March 17. They track traffic deaths from 6:00 p.m. on March 16 to 5:59 a.m. on March 18. Not surprisingly, the hours between midnight and 5:59 a.m. are typically the most dangerous.

Lower income, higher car insurance premiums?

Why would people who make less money have to pay more for car insurance? Income should not play a role in auto insurance rates. Unfortunately, a report by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) suggests it may be true.

While investigating car insurance rate increases after no-fault accidents, the CFA found that people with no accidents on their records and people with accidents saw similar rate increases. Regardless of their driving record, drivers with a lower income tended to have higher premiums than drivers with a higher income.

Many drivers do not practice safety as they preach it

Spotting a bad driver on the road is almost a daily occurrence. As you approach their vehicle, you might realize that they were texting or talking on their cellphone. This behavior is dangerous, and as users of the road, we don't want to fall victim to an accident caused by a distracted driver - but do we always practice what we preach?

A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that nearly 70 percent of drivers from every age group admit to engaging in risky behavior on the road. These habits include speeding, running red lights, and texting and driving. Drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 were the most likely to drive dangerously, with nearly nine out of 10 admitting to such behavior.

Birmingham Office
800 Shades Creek Parkway, Suite 600-D
Birmingham, AL 35209

Phone: 205-879-1981
Fax: 205-879-1986
Map & Directions

Montgomery Office
445 Dexter Ave., Suite 4050
Montgomery, AL 36104

Phone: 334-557-7114
Fax: 205-879-1986
Map & Directions

Free Consultation
Birmingham Office: 205-879-1981
Montgomery Office: 334-557-7114
Fax: 205-879-1986