Dawkins & Gowens Law Firm

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Oklahoma City Personal Injury Law Blog

Workers' compensation often helpful for families of victims

Many Oklahoma workers know what it is like to suffer injuries on the job. Even in situations where physical pain and disability are minor, an on-the-job accident can interfere a worker's ability to do his or her job. Basically, that is why the workers' compensation program exists, to help such workers cover medical expenses and make ends meet when they aren't able to be on-site, earning paychecks during recovery.

In worst case scenarios, workers may not survive their injuries. An incident like this recently occurred in another state, leaving family members of the fatally injured worker and his entire community devastated. The young man was a highly decorated U.S. Army veteran.

The risks truckers face are much more than road accident hazards

Commercial truck drivers are classified as those who transport freight between specified destinations in trucks with load capacities exceeding three tons. If you earn your living in the transporting or trucking industry, you are likely aware of the hazards you face whenever you are on duty. Along with the typical risks of navigating your way along the busy highways of Oklahoma and other states, truckers have to deal with loading, offloading, and keeping their trucks clean and in proper working order while away from the depot.

Statistics indicate that most of the fatalities in this industry result from road accidents. However, many injuries -- ranging from minor to severe -- follow falls, struck-by incidents and other non-crash related events. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates driving hours to limit accidents caused by sleep deprivation, you may need to take steps to protect your own safety.

Car accidents that involve speeding are typically more severe

Oklahoma residents are often vulnerable and exposed to the dangers caused by speeding drivers. Authorities say almost 10,000 people died on roads nationwide in 2015 in car accidents that involved speeding. Speed limits are posted for a reason, but even where no limits are posted, the weather and other adverse conditions may require a driver's common sense to tell him or her to slow down.

The fast pace of life may be the cause for many drivers to speed, and traffic congestion often contributes to the aggravation of drivers who then react by speeding. This becomes even more of a problem if a driver is running late for an appointment, to get to work, to school or a sports event. Some also suggest that the anonymity of drivers may cause them to behave differently to what they would do if they can be seen and recognized by others.

Seeking workers' compensation following repetitive stress injury

Not every on-the-job injury is the result of a sudden accident. While there are definitely many Oklahoma workers injured this way every year, there are also many employees who suffer other types of work-related injuries as well. The workers' compensation program exists to benefit employees who suffer serious injuries or illness on the job as well as those adversely affected by conditions such as repetitive stress injuries.

RSI is estimated to account for at least half (or more) of all occupational injuries and illnesses throughout the nation. Just because a worker spends a majority of time in an office does not mean he or she is guaranteed safe from injury in the workplace. In fact, those who spend a lot of time sitting or standing in awkward postures or repeating the same task over and over again (such as typing on a keyboard or working on an assembly line in a factory) are often at great risk for RSI.

How to prepare for a lawsuit after a trucking accident

Are you suffering the consequences of a truck accident that resulted from the negligence of a big rig driver? If you were in a passenger vehicle when the crash happened, you might be fortunate to be alive, and your injuries will likely cause long-term health problems. Semitrailers are massive when compared to sedans, and even the most attentive car drivers can fall victim to distracted or reckless truckers.

Are you one of those people who cannot avoid apologizing, even it was not your fault? In the case of a truck accident, you may want to avoid this natural response as it could count against you at a later stage.

Car accidents often caused by distracted drivers

An Oklahoma father of three who was overseeing a brush removal project in a construction zone lost his life when a motor vehicle ran him over. The vehicle had crashed into a Department of Corrections work van just moments earlier. Car accidents like this one are often caused by driver negligence.

In this particular situation, the man who was behind the wheel at the time of the incident allegedly told police he had been distracted by noises his cell phone was making as he drove. Police say the man said his phone sounded as though it was disconnecting from the charger, and he was trying to silence the noise. In doing so, he apparently took his eyes off the road. He also reportedly told authorities he had checked his speedometer and mirrors just before the collision occurred.

How can a workers' compensation attorney help you?

Working in any of the industries in Oklahoma City can be hazardous, regardless of whether you work in an office, a construction site or as a driver of a commercial vehicle. Do you find comfort in the knowledge that you are covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance? Will you be able to navigate a workers' compensation benefits claim if a workplace accident caused debilitating injuries?

Your injury may be severe and prevent you from returning to work for an extended period. You might spend months in the hospital and then have to go for rehabilitation. How will you cope if your injury prevents you from returning to your regular job, and you need vocational rehabilitation to learn a new skill? The effect that such circumstance can have on your financial stability and your ability to provide for your family may cause anxiety and despair.

Worker injured in fire may have workers' compensation questions

Many people in Oklahoma go to work every day in jobs that are considered dangerous. By the same token, there are workers who report to offices or other locations whose duties are rather benign with regard to potential hazards but who suffer injuries when freak accidents occur. Either way, a workers' compensation claim can be filed to request benefits when such injuries happen in the workplace.

A worker in another state may be gaining firsthand experience in navigating the system following an accident at the industrial facility where he is currently employed. Several employees were reportedly working together to cut a fuel tank when it unexpectedly exploded. The incident occurred close to noon on a recent Saturday.

Some jobs lead to more worker's compensation claims than others

When seeking gainful employment in Oklahoma, many people hesitate when it comes to certain types of jobs because their reputations for being dangerous. After all, suffering an on-the-job injury can have long-term consequences; severe injuries often impede the ability to return to work. Studies show there are several jobs in particular that place workers at highest risk for injuries. If someone is considering work in one of these fields, it may be prudent to seek information about the worker's compensation program ahead of time, just in case an accident occurs.

Many people in this state and beyond enjoy fishing as a pastime. Some earn their livings at sea. It is they who may be at greatest risk for injury on the job as potential inclement weather and dangerous equipment often leads to on-the-job accidents.

Seeking answers for the distraction dilemma

If you take the same long road to work every morning, you may be always on the lookout for anything to make the trip more interesting. Perhaps you enjoy a political talk show on the radio, a favorite music station or an audio book when you drive. Unfortunately, many others in your situation are also looking for something to distract themselves from the tedious morning or afternoon commute.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that the two seconds directed at a radio dial, cell phone or other distraction while driving result in 14 percent of the accidents on U.S. roads. Since distracted driving is a worldwide problem, not just limited to Oklahoma highways, safety advocates look to any research that may help them eliminate the problem.

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1601 NW Expressway, Suite 1420
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

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