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Encinitas Legal Blog

What is the cost of treating a spinal cord injury?

Suffering any type of injury can affect your life in more ways than one. Yet, there is a spectrum of severity on which these injuries fall. Some car accident victims, for example, are fortunate enough to escape with nothing more than a minor cut or some bruising. On the other end of the spectrum, though, are victims who are left with serious injuries such as brain trauma and spinal cord injuries. For these individuals, their life post-injury can be defined by physical pain and limitations, emotional hardship, and financial loss.

To see just how damaging one of these injuries can be, the financial costs of spinal cord injuries can be used as an example. The exact financial damage is dependent upon the specific facts of one's situation, but estimates show that treating for these injuries can be financially devastating. Those who suffer from a spinal cord injury that leaves them with any type of incomplete motor function, for example, may wind up paying nearly $350,000 for their first year's medical expenses, with an additional $40,000 per year in costs after that. This can account for lifetime expenses in excess of $1 million.

A delay in symptoms doesn't mean a decrease in pain and suffering

A car accident can occur at any moment, and preparing for such a potentially traumatic even can be difficult at best. Perhaps you consider your safety paramount and strictly adhere to California state traffic laws and safe driving procedures; unfortunately, your well-being may also be in the hands of others while on the road.

Even the safest of drivers can suffer the wrath of a collision, especially if negligence is a contributing factor. If you suffer serious injuries in the accident, you may wish to pursue restitution. However, holding off until you are aware of all your injuries could be in your best interests.

Increased stopping distances can lead to truck accidents

If you've ever been surrounded by semi-trucks while driving on the highway, then you know just how daunting they can be. Many motorists find this experience nerve-wracking, and for good reason. These massive vehicles, when driven improperly, can cause a truck accident that leaves victims with serious injuries. Recovering from these injuries can take a lot of time and money, and, in some instances, permanent disabilities.

Of course, there are many ways that truck accidents can occur. Oftentimes, they happen when truckers are unable to safely bring their rigs to a stop. This is because semi-trucks need additional time and space to stop their vehicle when compared to a regular passenger vehicle. To illustrate, an average car may be up to 18 feet in length and weigh up to 4,000 pounds, whereas a semi-truck may be 53 feet in length and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This means that an average motor vehicle traveling at 65 miles per hour will need 316 feet to come to a stop, whereas an average semi-truck will need 525 feet. That's nearly the length of a football field.

Older workers make up large number of workplace deaths

Work shouldn't be something to fear. Yet, if current statistics are any indication, far too many workers are injured and even killed on the job. According to recently released statistics from the federal government, this may be especially true for older workers, defined as those who are age 55 and older. Those statistics indicate that, in 2015, more than one-third of all fatal workplace accidents involved an older worker. That accounts for nearly 1,700 of the almost 5,000 workplace deaths that occurred across the nation that year. This study did not include deaths caused by natural causes.

There may be many reasons for the increased death rate amongst older workers. Some attribute the rising share to the fact that the Baby Boomer generation continues to work, causing the workforce to age considerably. In fact, between 2005 and 2015, the number of older workers in the workplace increased by 37 percent. Others claim that these aging workers are more susceptible to workplace accidents because their physical abilities, including sight and hearing, are decreased. Some, though, claim that despite their age and their lessened abilities, employers are failing to provide their workers with adequate protection.

California medical malpractice damages: Economic vs. non-economic

You've probably heard the term "medical malpractice," but even if you have experienced it, you might be uncertain just what it entails. There are many different types of medical errors, ranging from dangerous to fatal. "Mistakes happen" is almost never acceptable when your life or the life of a loved one is at stake, especially not when these mistakes were avoidable had the medical staff followed the precautions and procedures established to prevent just such dangerous or even potentially fatal errors.

Like every individual is unique, so is every instance of malpractice. If you are unsure whether you are a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, an experienced California medical malpractice attorney can help investigate your case, discuss whether going to court and pursuing compensation is in your best interests, and determine your chances for receiving damages from a successfully litigated case.

The workers' compensation appeals process

Most Californians go to work every day without much thought about their safety. They simply want to go in, put in their time, make their wages, and, hopefully, make some sort of difference in the world. Some jobs are inherently dangerous, though, like those of police officers, firefighters, and construction workers. Yet, even those who work in jobs that seem completely safe can be subjected to a workplace injury. When a worker suffers an on-the-job injury, he or she may struggle to make ends meet since they may not be able to earn a wage while they recover, and medical expenses can accumulate. Fortunately, the workers' compensation system may provide relief.

However, before workers' compensation benefits will be granted, an injured worker must prove that he or she qualifies. This isn't always an easy task, and, in fact, many individuals see their initial claim denied. There can be many reasons for a denial, including lack of convincing medical evidence as well as failing to satisfactorily show that the injury in question was work-related. When this happens, an injured worker should consider appealing the decision.

Competently handling workers' compensation claims

Recently on the blog we discussed an incident where police officers were injured during a training exercise. Although police officers, firefighters, and other workers often put their well-being on the line to perform their job duties, others go to work without a thought about their safety. Yet, workplace accidents happen all the time, leaving unsuspecting workers injured. Although these workers may be able to recover workers' compensation for their injuries, the process can be challenging, with many workers seeing their claim denied. Even those who are able to recover workers' compensation benefits may find themselves still lacking the money they need to recoup their lost wages and pay their medical expenses.

This financial uncertainty following an on-the-job accident can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. The possibility of having your workers' compensation claim denied, or receiving benefits that are inadequate, can only exacerbate the matter. This is why you need to carefully think about your legal approach to the situation before moving forward. To ensure you have a legally sound, compelling case, you might want to discuss your circumstances with a qualified legal professional.

Did excessive speeding play a role in your car accident?

Many drivers speed. It is an extremely common, seemingly benign behavior, yet it is one of the leading causes of car accidents in California and across the country. If you suffered injuries in a car accident, there is a good chance that excessive speeds were a factor in what happened to you.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that speeding played a role in as many as one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities over the last two decades. Thousands of people lose their lives every year because of this reckless behavior, and even more are injured. You do not have to suffer in silence because a speeding driver left you hurt or caused the death of a family member; instead, you can seek to hold all liable parties accountable.

Workers' compensation and the utilization review

Being injured on the job can take its toll on an individual. An injured worker may, of course, be subjected to physical pain, but he or she may also have extensive financial losses in the form of lost wages and medical expenses. When a workplace injury leaves an individual unable to work and, therefore, unable to earn a wage, it can be difficult to make ends meet. Although workers' compensation benefits may be available to help such an individual recoup his or her losses and provide time for him or her to recover from the injury, maintaining those benefits and securing the medical care one needs isn't always easy.

One reason is because recipients of workers' compensation benefits are subjected to utilization review. Utilization review is the process by which workers' compensation claims administrators determine whether to approve a course of treatment that is recommended by an injured worker's doctor. This program is mandatory, so every individual who received workers' compensation benefits will have to go through it.

Workplace accident leaves two police officers injured

Believe it or not, every day you go to work you are at risk of suffering an injury on the job. In some professions, such as law enforcement, firefighting, and construction, this reality is readily apparent. In others, though, like office jobs, dangers may not be readily observable. Repetitive movements can cause stress injuries, one's workplace environment can leave one exposed to dangerous toxins, and negligent drivers can cause a devastating car accident. On top of this, sometimes wholly unexpected things occur that can leave a worker seriously injured.

To see an example of this one need only look at a recent incident during a training exercise that left two police officers wounded. The accident, which has been described as an industrial accident, occurred during a K-9 exercise. According to reports, an electrical fire at the empty warehouse sparked, leaving the two officers with serious burns to their face and upper body. The officers were taken to the hospital for treatment. They are expected to survive their injuries.

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