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Westlake Village Personal Injury Blog

When You Need a California Bus Accident Attorney

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The past two decades have shown a 35 percent increase in bus ridership nationwide. The reasons for the increase include the improvements made to bus and other transit systems, especially in metropolitan areas; the affordability and ease compared to driving; and the increase in environmental awareness by reducing carbon emissions. With the increase in people riding buses, on California roads and highways, as well as students riding on school buses, the number of bus accidents and injuries has increased proportionately.

In California, commercial bus companies are considered common carriers, or buses carrying for "reward" and can be divided into three categories-commuter buses, long distance transportation buses and charter buses. School buses are classified separately.

Buses that are collecting money or other compensation for transporting passengers must use maximum provision and care to ensure their passengers safety at all times.

Preventing California Workplace Injuries

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April 28, 2018 marks the 47th annual Workers Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance for workers who were injured or lost their lives on the job. It is also the day OSHA was established in 1971. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for maintaining safe and healthful workplaces. It is the role of OSHA to ensure safe conditions by providing training, education and assistance as well as enforcing standards.

In California, agricultural and construction far outpace all other industries in the rate of injuries and fatalities. In a report released on Workers Memorial Day by Worksafe last year, there were 388 workers killed on the job, which is greater than one fatality each day. The report reflects the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics and the California Department of Industrial Relations, which highlights workplace conditions of significant concern.

The report revealed that the occupational fatality rate increased by 10 percent from the previous year, rising from 2.0 deaths to 2.2 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. Despite the rise, California is still well below the national average of 3.4 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. Nationwide, 13 people are killed on the job each day and worker fatalities are higher than they have been in nearly a decade.

"Although California has been a leader on health and safety nationally, the sad reality is that our workers continue to die from the same workplace hazards that have been killing them for years," said Doug Parker, Worksafe Executive Director.

California Tanker Truck Crashes - Hazards on Our Highways

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Over the past two years, serious California tanker trucks have claimed several lives and injured dozens in California. One such crash occurred in May of last year, on a Highway 99 off ramp in Atwater, causing an enormous gasoline explosion and forcing hundreds to evacuate. Sadly, the driver of the tanker truck perished in the crash.

With an improved economy, the number of tanker trucks on the road, delivering materials as hazardous as hydrochloric acid or as mundane as molasses, has increased significantly, putting the safety of other drivers at greater risk of harm.

Despite the relatively high number of California tanker truck crashes over the past two years, there were no hazardous material disasters causing widespread damage and mass casualties. Cataclysmic events are always a possibility, considering the large quantities of volatile or hazardous materials being trucked on heavily traveled roads and highways, often through densely populated areas.

Tanker trucks are a familiar sight on almost every major road or highway in California. They transport many types of liquids, including gasoline, jet fuel, oil, caustic chemicals, milk and even wine. Aside from railcars they are the nations largest overland transportation of these products. Because much of the cargo they carry is volatile or caustic they pose a constant risk to public safety. Some tankers are divided to carry more than one type of liquid at one time, while others are smaller and designed for carrying liquid gases such as propane and liquefied petroleum gas.

Why You Need an Attorney for an Auto Accident Spinal Cord Injury

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Your daily routine is going as expected. Your kids just boarded the school bus and you are on the short drive home to begin your own day. Your morning is abruptly interrupted when you get the call that every spouse dreads. Your husband was injured in a car accident on his way to work. You are told that you must get to the hospital as soon as possible.

At the hospital a doctor meets you and informs you that your husband has suffered a spinal cord injury and has lost all feeling from the waist down. More tests are needed to determine the severity of the injury. Your once-normal world has suddenly been spun into chaos. You fear the worst and then it is confirmed - your loved one has suffered a severe and permanent spinal cord injury. (SCI)

A spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating, permanent injuries that can occur. It is also the most costly over the lifetime of the injured person and his or her family. The leading cause of severe spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle (passenger vehicle and motorcycle) accidents. If you or someone you love suffers a spinal cord injury in motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you have the support of a skilled spinal cord injury lawyer.

The Insurance Pitfalls of California Car Rental

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The law requires drivers to carry liability insurance, but the rental car companies are not required to tell you.

In 2015, Auto Rental News Reported that there were over 2 million rental cars in service across the nation, with California ranking among the top states for annual car rentals. With all of these rental vehicles on the road the chances of accidents occurring are high. Unlike privately owned motor vehicles, a great number of rental cars in California are being driven by uninsured drivers, even though state laws forbid it.

Many rental car drivers in California are visitors and tourists from out of state and unfamiliar with the roads, and many are unfamiliar with the vehicles, distracted by searching for climate control, seat and mirror adjustments or entertainment features.

Despite a state law that requires all drivers of passenger vehicles to carry proof of personal liability insurance, the law does not require car rental companies to ask if a potential renter is insured. Many renters rely on the insurance provided by their credit card companies or purchase a damage waiver from the rental company. However, these policies do not cover damage or injury involving another driver. The rental company may offer personal liability insurance but there is no law requiring them to inform the renter about it, and no law requiring the renter to take it. It is the solely the renters responsibility to know the law and provide their own insurance.

FMCSA: Medical Examiner Certificates Revoked After 2000 Drivers Cleared Improperly

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According to the agency, affected truck drivers have 30 days to be medically re-certified

An estimated 2000+ commercial truck drivers are operating big rigs on the nations highways without proper medical certification. This is due to the failure of an Alabama chiropractor to properly perform tests prior to certification over the past two years.

On March 22. 2018 the federal government said it would revoke the medical certificates of Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards, who had been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to perform medical exams. Dr. Edwards was charged in late February by a federal grand jury with conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements, and falsification of federal records, according to the FMCSA. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) determined that Edwards "exhibited a pattern whereby examinations were incomplete, required tests were not performed and information on medical examinations were falsified," the FMCSA said in a statement.

Also indicted were two of his employees, Joann Bush and Andrea Daigle, who worked in the Phenix City, Ala. office. The indictment alleges that Edwards and his employees collaborated to submit false documents to the DOT. Each faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Although most of the affected truck drivers reside in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, they may be domiciled anywhere and operating in every state in the U.S., Duane DeBruyne, an FMCSA spokesperson said. FMCSA is working in conjunction with state licensing agencies to locate and contact all of the drivers, who will have 30 days from notification letters being mailed to obtain a certificate from a DOT certified medical examiner.

Independent truckers who spend most of their lives on the road will be difficult to contact and will have limited available time to schedule medical tests. The restrictive time frame they have for re-certification could prove to be burdensome for a great many of them.

Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders are required by law to be examined and cleared every two years or less to keep their licenses. Only trained and certified professionals listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners are permitted to conduct the federally sanctioned physical exams.

Study Shows Severe Burn Injury Patients Have a Greater Survival Rate

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Surviving a severe burn injury is a lot more likely today, thanks to major advances in treatments made over the past thirty years, according to a study published in the Journal of American College of Surgeons.

Since improvements in burn care transpired in the 1980s, the study was the first to have analyzed the progress made on the affects to burn injury patients.

"Mortality has decreased three to fivefold since the 1980s ostensibly from the substantial advances in burn care that occurred between 1980 and 1989," according to a statement in Medical News by the lead study author David N. Herndon, chief of staff and director of research at the Shriners Hospital for Children, Galveston, and director of burn services at the University of Texas Medical Branch. "Yet until now there has never been a definitive study showing the cumulative effect of these advances on survival."

The records of 10, 384 adult and youth severe burn injury patients admitted to Shriners Hospital for Children or the Blocker Burn Unit, both in Galveston Texas, were analyzed by researchers from 1989 to 2017. Burn Injury treatment and protocols developed between 1980 and 1989 were applied to the patients during that time period.

Statistical profiles were created for each burn patient, categorizing them by age, sex burn size and smoke inhalation, as well as a risk prediction model for the patient for the 355 deaths that occurred within the group. The data was compared against patient mortality data from the National Burn Repository and other medical records.

AAA Study: Drowsy Driving Accidents More Widespread Than Believed

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A new study shows that drowsy drivers are responsible for roughly 1 out of 10 motor vehicle crashes. The results indicate that drowsy driving may be a great deal more prevalent than originally estimated.

"Missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk," according to Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research at AAA.

The Drowsy Driving Study

AAA researchers arrived at their conclusion after monitoring the driving habits of over 3,500 drivers for several months. Employing dash cams and other equipment, the researchers tracked drivers around the U.S. between October 2010 and December 2013.

More than 700 crashes were recorded from those drivers. In up to 9.5 percent of those accidents, drowsiness was determined to be a factor. Additionally, tired drivers were involved in over 10 percent of the accidents that resulted in property damage, airbag deployment or injury.

Spinal Cord Injury Patients Regain Movement Through Stem Cell Therapy

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A new trial, employing stem cell therapy, has aided the recovery of two-thirds of six subjects suffering from spinal cord injury paralysis. Significant recovery was apparent in at least one side of the subject's paralysis with a rate of 67 percent, which is greater than twice the rate of recovery in past-published data.

A surgical injection of 10 million cells was given to each of the six subjects of the study, all of which had lost all motor functions below the point of the injury.

The results of this trial were beyond anything that Dr. Richard G. Fessler at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago had hoped for. Dr. Fessler holds the position of lead investigator of the study of nerve cells called oligodendocyte progenitor cells or AST-OPC1 cells, which aids neurological function. Rush is among nine U.S. medical centers exploring this new avenue.

Post Treatment Progress

Patients with spinal cord injuries in the neck were able to recover and perform normal functions including eating, writing and other daily manual tasks, with this therapy. Improvement was shown to continue 12 months after the receipt of the treatment, augmenting the quality of life.

New Research Questions Beliefs About Sports Concussions

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Will parent's decisions allowing children to play youth football be affected?

The recent belief that the serious brain damage found in professional football players is the result of hard blows to the head is being challenged by new research.

Researchers from Boston University examined the brains of eight teens and young adults. Four of the individuals had recent sports related closed head injuries, which were received 1 day to 4 months prior to death. The other four had no history of recent head trauma. Evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was discovered in the four teenagers that who experienced recent head injury. The study was published February 2018 in Brain, a Journal of Neurology.

"These results indicate that closed-head impact injuries, independent of concussive signs, can induce traumatic brain injury as well as early pathologies and functional sequelae associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy," the researchers reported. "This may be the best evidence yet that it is the routine head impacts that occur on virtually every play and not concussions per se, that cause CTE."

Questions come into play regarding the NFL's methods of dealing with concussions. It may also influence the decisions parents make about allowing their children to play youth football based on the advice of physicians.

"Important research advancements have been made over the last several years around traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic encephalopathy (CTE), which have aided awareness and understanding around this important issue," said Allen Sills, MD, NFL chief medical officer, past director of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center. "As highlighted in the most recent study, repetitive hits to the head have been consistently implicated as a cause of CTE by this research group. How and why exactly this manifests, who is at risk, and why - these are questions that we as researchers and clinicians are working to answer."

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