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History of Asbestos

Asbestos has been used since ancient times, praised for its fire resistant properties. It is a naturally occurring fiber found in large deposits in every continent. However, it has been found to be a harmful material causing the cancer Mesothelioma.

Even as far back as the Roman Empire and ancient Greece, asbestos was used in building materials. Ancient societies also used it in embalming, clay pots, and clothing, to just name some. Even in the ancient times, people reported a lung problems in those who were regularly exposed to asbestos. Despite these reports, use of asbestos continued into the Middle Ages and even the Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution saw a particularly high increase in the use of asbestos as it was not only used in factories, but in oil refineries, chemical plants, railroad cars, and in shipyards. It was resistant to chemicals, water, and electricity making it useful to use in piping, steam engines, and boilers. The continued use of asbestos made asbestos mining a common practice by the beginning of the 1900’s. The beginning of the twentieth century saw a rise in this fire-resistant material being used in a wide variety of products, with the US becoming the number one asbestos manufacturer in the world.

However, people continued to document serious health problems they blamed on the inhaling of asbestos fibers. The number of asbestos workers who were dying unnaturally young increased and people began taking notice of the potential risks of asbestos fibers. Still, use continued and was used in building materials. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, many workers in the industrial industry, such as construction workers and shipyard workers, were at a higher risk for asbestos exposure. Even military and naval veterans were at risk as asbestos was used in building materials they were around.

However, the risks of asbestos were impossible to ignore. Although asbestos was eventually banned in the United States after being linked to asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer, many people still risk being exposed to it as it was so widely used in the past.

Addressing Issues with Personal Injury Protection Claims in Florida

Anyone registering a vehicle in Florida is required by state law to purchase an insurance packaged called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Drivers will need to carry a minimum coverage package of $10,000 to maintain their driving privileges. This will help ensure that anyone who is injured in the accident can receive compensation for medical treatment costs and other financial obligations caused by the accident. With PIP insurance, car accident victims can receive financial protection regardless of who may be at fault.

Carrying Personal Injury Protection is obviously beneficial for all Florida drivers. However, the lawyers at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, and Overbeck P.A. also point out on their website that the law requiring the protection can sometimes make it easy for insurance companies to dodge claimants and deny paying appropriate compensation. According to The Heartland Institute, a non-profit research organization, this is because auto insurance fraud is rampant in Florida. Because of lenient policies, PIP makes it easy for individuals to stage accidents and make fraudulent claims to insurance companies. This leads insurance providers to be more stringent with their process.

This leaves plenty of innocent people in a pretty tight spot. In particular, these scenarios can leave medical professionals with very little option to recover the cost of treatments they’ve performed to help car accident victims. Often times, hospitals and doctors can face a lengthy process and plenty of red tape that aggravate their attempts to find reimbursement.

Even though Personal Injury Protection helps ensure the safety of drivers in Florida, the policy requiring it can also lead to several potential problems. In particular, it can be hard for medical professionals to claim rightful compensation after giving treatment to victims of no-fault accidents. Hospitals dealing with this problem should not hesitate to consult an experienced PIP lawyer to settle complications involved in making rightful insurance claims.

Spinal Cord Injuries

In 2005, the estimated number of new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the US was 11,000. Estimation eventually rose, reaching up to 12,500 new cases each year until 2014. Today, in the US, about 276,000 persons are believed to be spinal cord injured; 82% of the patients are male, while the ages of 56% of those with the injury are 16 and 30.

The spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerve tissues and support cells, is one of the most delicate and sensitive parts of the human body; it forms the central nervous system together with the brain. While the brain may be identified as the body’s command center, the spinal cord acts as a pathway where all messages, from and to the brain, pass to the different parts of the body.

Due to the very important function that it plays in the human body, any serious injury to the spinal cord can result to a devastating effect, namely, paralysis. Depending on the severity of the damage to the spinal cord, paralysis may either be Paraplegia, which is partial paralysis, or Quadriplegia, which means total paralysis. Quadriplegia refers to total loss of bodily functions and control from the area of the injury down to the rest of the body (thus, the higher the area of the injury, the greater the extent of paralysis). In Paraplegia, however, loss of function and control is on one side of the body only; there are cases, though, wherein, despite loss of control, the paralyzed body part remains to have sensation.

Until 1995, vehicular (car and motorcycle) accidents were identified as the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. This was overtaken by violence (knife wounds and gunshot) during the early 2000. In 2014, however, a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Center for Surgical Trials and Outcomes Research showed that falls have become the new leading causes of the injury, especially in older adults. Though no clear picture explains how falls could have overtaken vehicular accidents in causing SCI, researchers can only assume the strict implementation of the seatbelt law in many states as a major contributory factor plus the more active life of the aging American population.

Other identified causes of SCI, include injuries due to sports and recreational activities, work-related accidents, use of alcohol, and diseases, such as inflammation of the spinal cord, osteoporosis, cancer and arthritis.

On its website, the law firm Pohl & Berk, LLP, points out the life-altering consequences of a spinal cord injury. While this injury can definitely make the life of the victim and his/her family filled with burden (physical, emotional and, especially, financial), it can also evoke the feeling of anger, especially due to the thought that the accident leading to the injury may very well have been prevented had the liable individual only acted with proper care. The firm continues to explain that, though the victim’s life may no longer return to normal, he/she can pursue legal actions, which can help him/her receive the financial compensation that will cover expensive medical treatment and loss of wages or loss of capability to earn wages.

Explosions at Work and at Play

When you work for the oil and gas industries, you expect that there could be explosions at work that can injure or kill you. The inherent risks of these occupations is why wages are higher than in other industries, and why oil and gas companies are under constant scrutiny from occupational safety watchdogs. Accidents will happen and this is why workers’ compensation is in place.

Take for instance a gas pipeline explosion that occurred recently that destroyed 3 houses, injured residents, and caused a massive fire to break out. Any worker in the area at the time of the unexpected event would have been almost certainly killed. According to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to aid in a  wrongful death lawsuit as well because investigations indicate negligence on the part of the gas transmission company. In fact, 7 lawsuits have already been filed by the families who lost their homes and sustained injuries in the explosion. Fortunately, no one was killed this time.

But explosions at work can happen anywhere, such as in the fertilizer plant near Waco that killed 15 and injured at least 160, many of whom were not even employees of the plant. If investigations reveal negligence on the part of the plant owners or managers as the proximate cause of the explosion, those affected may have recourse to a Texas explosion lawyer.

There are also numerous instances when a day of celebration was turned into a day of consternation because of explosions. The Fourth of July celebrations, for example, is when emergency rooms in hospitals gear up for the influx of people injured by fireworks gone wrong, resulting in severe burns and missing fingers. Studies show that malfunctioning fireworks are a major cause of these accidents, so children should not be allowed to handle or even go anywhere near them.

Types of Burn Injuries

According to the American Burn Association, 72% of burn injuries in 2010 occurred in the home, such as a scalding from a hot pot or contact with an open fire or flame. About 9% are occupational, as what 5 workers of a steel plant in Tennessee experienced. Tennessee personal injury lawyers are looking into whether the accident was due to negligence.

There were 450,000 burn injuries that were medically treated in 2010, but only 40,000 were severe enough to require hospitalization. Most burn injuries are minor, but there were 2,550 deaths associated with residential fires, 300 from car accidents, 150 from non-residential fires, and 400 from a combination of scalding liquids, electricity, and hot objects such as debris from the fertilizer plant that exploded in Waco that injured nearby residents. Oceanside personal injury lawyers are investigating options as well.

Minor burn injuries may leave a mark that fades with time, but more severe ones often result in scarring and disfigurement that may require surgery. Really bad ones can affect more than skin, resulting in limited mobility. Below are the types of burn injuries based on severity.

First degree burns – affects the epidermis, or first layer of skin. It is productive of some pain and redness, but it is essentially minor. People who are exposed to the sun without protection or to harsh chemicals can suffer from this

Second degree burns – affects the epidermis and dermis, the second layer of skin which also contains connective tissue. People with second degree burns will form blisters that can be extremely painful and vulnerable to infection, requiring antibiotics and anti-tetanus shots

Third degree burns – this type of burn may go all the way to the hypodermis and should be brought in immediately for professional medical treatment to prevent shock. The skin is destroyed and requires grafting to replace the lost skin. There is little pain in the burned area because the nerves are dead, but the surrounding intact skin may be extremely painful

Fourth degree burns – extends beyond the skin to the tissue, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and bone. Victims require emergency medical treatment and extensive hospitalization. Damage to tendons and muscles can affect the mobility of the affected area, requiring surgery to correct or minimize the condition. Scarring is often permanent and irreversible.

If you suffered burn injuries because of the negligence of others, you should get compensation for your medical bills, pain, suffering, and long-term effects. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area to assess your case.