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Memphis personal injury law blog

Construction site injuries: Trench Safety Stand Down

The annual Trench Safety Stand Down is scheduled for the week starting June 17. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration uses this time to remind employers and workers nationwide, including Tennessee. Compliance with safety standards is the only way to prevent trench collapses and their tragic consequences. The agency explains that a cave-in can bury a worker under a cubic yard of soil that could weigh as much as 3,000 pounds -- or the weight of a small car. Workers who are fortunate to survive often suffer severe construction site injuries that could lead to permanent disability.

Safety authorities relate the story of three construction workers who worked in an eight-foot deep trench to emphasize the danger. The walls were not shored, sloped or benched, nor did the employer install a trench box to protect the workers. When one of the trench walls collapsed unexpectedly, only one worker was able to escape. Of the other two, one was partially buried and rescued, but the third worker was entirely buried under the soil. He suffocated before rescue workers could get to him.

Volunteer worker suffers fatal construction site injuries

The safety and health of workers in Tennessee are the employers' responsibility, regardless of whether they are permanent, temporary or volunteer workers. Workplaces must be free of known hazards, and employees must be informed of remaining hazards to which they will be exposed. This is particularly crucial with volunteering workers who do not necessarily have adequate training or experience for the job to be done, increasing their chances of suffering construction site injuries.

In a recent incident, a 69-year-old man was killed while he was working as a volunteer at a construction project at a church in White House. Reportedly, the incident occurred shortly before 9:30 on a recent Thursday. According to a spokesperson for the fire department, a wheel loader that was operated by a parishioner toppled over, landing on top of the volunteer worker.

Medical negligence claim follows incorrectly placed spinal screws

Most people in Tennessee and elsewhere experience anxiety in the time leading up to scheduled surgical procedures. When the planned surgery involves the patient's spine, nervous anticipation is often exacerbated because the slightest error or medical negligence by the surgeon could have devastating consequences. One such case in another state led to a lawsuit against a doctor at a facility that deals mostly with spinal disorders.

According to court documents, the plaintiff underwent spinal surgery in April 2017, and when she came to afterward, she experienced severe pain, weakness and numbness. An x-ray after the procedure allegedly showed six screws placed in the spine, four of which were misplaced directly into her spinal nerves. An expert witness who looked at the placement of the screws says the imaging clearly shows them to be incorrectly placed.

Medical errors the nation’s third-most common cause of death

Americans place a good deal of trust in their physicians, and with good reason. The decisions these medical professionals make often have serious repercussions, and in some cases, they even have the capacity to mean the difference between life and death.

Statistics show, however, per CNBC, that today’s medical professionals are making critical mistakes at alarming rates. In fact, medical mistakes have become so prevalent across the nation that they are now the third-most common cause of death among Americans, with only heart disease and cancer currently claiming more lives.

Failure to yield for bike causes fatal motorcycle accident

Tennessee roadways can be dangerous places for occupants of any type of vehicles. However, those on motorcycles have none of the protective devices that automobile drivers have such as airbags, seat belts and more. It is therefore not surprising that bikers are typically at higher risks of suffering severe or even fatal injuries in collisions. The vulnerability of bikers is underscored by a recent fatal motorcycle accident on Highway 70.

According to a police report, the accident occurred shortly after 4:30 p.m. on a recent Wednesday. Reportedly a 69-year-old was eastbound on Highway 70 on his Harley-Davidson when a pickup truck driver failed to yield for the motorcyclist. A 76-year-old man operated the pickup truck.

Research links inexperience and construction site injuries

UT's Construction Industry Research and Policy Center studied workers' compensation claims filed by construction workers in Tennessee. The results indicated that inexperienced workers who are new to the industry are at a higher risk of suffering construction site injuries. The CIRPC executive director says the research confirmed previous observations that new workers filed a significant percentage of benefits claims.

The director says the information that was obtained from the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system was studied along with data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The knowledge gained showed that the experience of job types of injured workers in the jobs they did when they were injured was not linked to the causes of the injuries. Regardless of their tasks at the time of injury, most claims by inexperienced workers involved muscle injuries.

Amputations are common catastrophic occupational injuries

Soldiers are often the victims of amputation injuries suffered in combat, but workers can also be victims. Along with car accidents, industrial and agricultural accidents in Tennessee and nationwide are frequent causes of amputations. These are regarded as catastrophic occupational injuries with exceptionally traumatic and emotionally disturbing consequences.

Although occupational amputations sometimes result from motor vehicle accidents, industrial and agricultural accidents often cause workers to lose fingers or even their hands when they come into contact with moving or rotating parts of machines. Losing an entire or part of an arm is also common. Injuries that leave a body part partially attached by bits of muscle, tissue or bone are known as partial amputations, and complete amputation injuries involve body parts that are severed.

State trooper loses parents in crash caused by drugged driver

Operation Daydreamer is a statewide program in Tennessee that endeavors to stop drugged driving. One state trooper has made it his mission to share his story to create awareness of this problem. When he heard the dispatcher's voice calling troopers to a fatal crash, he had no idea that his parents were among the deceased.

He says his parents died in the crash that was caused by a driver who was under the influence of Xanax. According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesperson, the program's name comes from the dazed look on the faces of drivers who are impaired by drugs. Since it was initiated last October, 71 impaired drivers had been arrested.

4 apps for new moms to identify signs of birth injuries

Pregnancy, birth of children and motherhood are all extraordinary milestones in your life. But the transformations do not stop there. Your baby will experience a variety of turning points, from giggling for the first time to learning how to speak. It is helpful to ensure your baby is growing and developing in a healthy manner.

If your child misses developmental milestones or appears to have health issues, it may be an indication of birth injuries or complications. Thankfully, as a mom, you have many tools at your disposal to keep track of everything. Apart from seeing your doctor regularly to receive medical advice, you can read up on some helpful information with these innovative mobile apps

Fatal tugboat accident a potential wrongful death claim

The family of a Tennessee man who was one of two workers who died when the tugboat on which they worked sank, questions the seaworthiness of the vessel. This follows a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. The family might file a wrongful death lawsuit, pending a coast guard report.

The NTSB says unsecured or open hatches that allowed water to flow into the voids likely caused the tugboat's sinking. The agency confirms the claims of the surviving family members that the negligence of the company that owns the boat contributed to the tragedy that claimed two lives. Reportedly, the body of one of the two deceased workers was never recovered.

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