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Ocala Personal Injury Blog

Prioritizing retail worker safety during the holidays

In Florida and across the United States, the holiday shopping season puts many pressures on retail workers. At a time when the unemployment rate is at historic low levels, many retail employers respond to the increased business activity by offering workers overtime pay and bonuses in exchange for longer hours and increased productivity, two factors that result in greater stress.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is calling on retailers to be mindful of how working conditions can impact their workforce during the holidays. Unsafe working conditions and extended shifts, particularly at busy retail warehouses, can increase the potential of workplace injury accidents exponentially, and the added stress of meeting store quotas can result in a flurry of workers' compensation claims by the time January arrives.

Determining who is at fault in a slip-and-fall accident

Unfortunately, slip-and-fall accidents are all too common in Florida. A wet floor, ice or even inadequate lighting are all it might take for someone to fall. Seeking compensation for the injury begins with proving the property owner was at fault.

A person who has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident will generally need to be able to prove fault one of three ways. One way a property owner may be at fault is if he or she should have known about the dangerous conditions. This includes if an employee should have noticed the situation was unsafe. An example of this situation would be if it were raining and no one put out a wet floor sign. Another way a property owner could be at fault is if a worker did know that there was a dangerous situation and failed to fix it. The third way is if the property owner or an employee caused the situation in the first place. An example might be a spill caused by an employee or damaged flooring.

Workplace safety and robots

Florida employees in a number of different industries may increasingly find themselves working alongside robots. As the use of robots in the workplace grows, so does the likelihood that humans may be injured as a result of working with them. Robots have actually been in the workplace for longer than many people may realize. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration created its first safety guidelines for working with robotics in 1987.

However, safety experts say the agency needs to update its safety information. In 2017, OSHA, the Robotics Industry Association and the National Institute for Occupational Safety made an alliance to improve workplace safety involving robots. NIOSH created a Center for Occupational Robotics Research to investigate how robots can benefit humans in the workplace and work safely alongside them.

What should I say to the claims adjuster after an accident?

A motor vehicle accident can be a nightmare, especially if you or your passengers suffer injuries. If you follow the recommended steps after the accident, you will gather the necessary information from the other driver, document the scene and most importantly, seek medical attention.

Your next step is to contact your insurance company to begin the claims process. Here is where many Florida drivers feel uncertain. You want to have the best chances of maximizing your claim, but are you sure what to say when you speak to an adjuster?

Runners at risk for dog bites

Whether you are getting a head start on the holiday weight gain or you have always been physically active, running or jogging may be something you enjoy. There are thousands of running trails in Ocala, through forests, along rivers and in state parks. You may also live in a neighborhood that invites walks and jogs along the sidewalks.

Unfortunately, one of the most common dangers runners encounter during their quest for fitness is the threat of uncontained dogs. Even if you love dogs, you know that no dog is completely predictable, and the very act of running may be enough to trigger a primal response in an aggressive animal.

Study shows how less sleep leads to car crashes

Florida residents may be aware that a lack of sleep creates a dangerous situation for drivers. However, many motorists fail to change their sleeping habits. A U.S. Department of Transportation survey found that one in three adult drivers in the nation sleep fewer than seven hours (seven to nine hours is the ideal amount). This is crucial because an estimated 7 percent of motor vehicle crashes, or 330,000 crashes a year, are due to drowsy driving.

A study published in the SLEEP journal has come up with some statistics showing how car crash risk goes up with every lost hour of sleep. Researchers used a previous study from the U.S. DOT that analyzed 5,470 crashes. They found that drivers who reported sleeping six hours were 1.3 times more likely to crash. Those who slept five or four hours raised their chances 1.9 and 2.9 times, respectively.

Parkinson's disease is often misdiagnosed

When people in Florida notice that they have a tremor in their hands or that their gait has become unsteady, they may worry that they have Parkinson's disease. This is a progressive, chronic neurological disorder, and its symptoms are highly recognizable. However, there are an array of other disorders with symptoms that are similar to those of Parkinson's, and in order for patients to receive proper treatment that can minimize their symptoms, an accurate diagnosis is necessary.

In some cases, even family doctors may move toward a Parkinson's diagnosis based on symptoms alone. However, a neurologist should be better equipped to differentiate between various disorders. One disorder that can appear similar to Parkinson's is essential tremor, a movement disorder that leads to uncontrollable shaking for brief periods. It can affect the hands, head and neck, voice and sometimes other parts of the body. As a general principle, if shaking occurs when a person is resting, it is likely to be caused by Parkinson's, but if it happens while in action, it could be essential tremor.

Misdiagnoses of brain cancer in children

Cancer is unfortunately a common cause of death in Florida. A correct diagnosis is crucial for cancer patients to have a good chance to benefit from treatment. However, a recent study found that brain tumors in children are often misdiagnosed.

The study looked at traditional methods of diagnosing brain cancer in children. It found that these methods were lacking compared to the results of newer tests designed to look at molecular profiles called DNA methylation profiling. This type of testing may become standard practice in the future.

Teen driving statistics for Teen Driver Safety Week

Teen Driver Safety Week in Florida and across the country aims to spread information about safe driving habits for young drivers. The results of new research on teen driving have been released, and they show that the presence of at least one adult passenger in a vehicle driven by a teen could decrease accident risk.

The research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that when a teen driver has only teen passengers in the vehicle, the crash fatality rate increased 51 percent. That's not just an increased rate for the driver or the passengers but for everyone else involved in a crash.

Is fatigue leading to an increase in truck accidents?

Truck drivers have critical roles in the economy, and they often work under a significant amount of pressure to deliver loads as quickly as possible. As a result, many truck drivers are tired and driving while fatigued. No matter how experienced or knowledgeable a trucker may be, a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.

When operating a vehicle while fatigued, it can lead to an increased chance of an accident. In fact, fatigue may be one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Due to the serious nature of this issue and its widespread consequences, industry leaders and employers are searching for ways to reduce fatigue and make the roads safer.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Florida Justice Association
  • The Florida Bar 1950
  • Florida Workers' Advocates
  • Florida Trends Florida Legal Elite
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Musleh Law Firm
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Ocala, FL 34471

Phone: 352-484-0134
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