Archive for August, 2018

What Are Some Examples of Workers Compensation Cases?

Friday, August 31st, 2018

What Are Some Examples of Workers Compensation Cases?

Workers compensation cases are very important. Any time an employee exercises their right under workers compensation laws, it’s important to pay attention to what happens. Most people are aware of workers compensation, but many people aren’t really sure how it works and how important these cases are. How workers compensation cases are decided often sets president for how future cases will be handled. There are many types of workers compensation cases. Here are just a few examples.

Overexertion

Overexertion is one of the most common forms of workers compensation cases. These cases involve employer who forces their employee to work too much. This could be a truck driver who is forced to drive longer hours than is legally acceptable. It could also mean that a factory worker is forcing their employees to pull 16 hour days seven days a week. It could even be asking someone to lift an object that is far too heavy. Any time you are forced to overexert physically or mentally at a job and it causes you strain, pain, health issues, or injury, you have a workers compensation case for overexertion.

Sips and Falls

Slip-and-fall cases are also common. As the name indicates, these cases involve employees who slip and fall at work because of a dangerous situation. What are there was a spill that wasn’t cleaned up in a timely manner, a leak that wasn’t taken care of, or some other condition that the property owner should have known about and didn’t handle, a slip-and-fall case is likely possible.

Struck By an Object

Some workers compensation cases come about because an employee was struck by an object. This could be a beam that wasn’t securely fastened and fell and hit the employee on the head or it could just be a ceiling fan that wasn’t securely in place. Even if it’s something simple that might seem not to pose a big threat, like a ceiling tile, any time a worker struck by an object they typically have a right to file a workers compensation claim.

Machinery Accidents

Most machinery is inherently dangerous to a certain point. Machinery accidents happen more frequently than you might think, and those injuries are typically covered under workers compensation laws. If you’re working around machinery that wasn’t properly kept up, that hasn’t been serviced as it should be, or if you were forced to act around machinery in a way that puts you in danger and resulted in an injury, you probably have a workers compensation case. However, even routine machinery accidents can be grounds for workers compensation cases. Being asked to utilize machinery for which you haven’t received adequate training is also a workers compensation claim that would fall under machinery accidents.

Falling

Simple falls can also be considered under workers compensation laws. These falls could be the result of something like a loose beam, a step that wasn’t marked, a dangerous situation that wasn’t pointed out by adequate signage, or some other incident. Any time an employee is injured because they fall at work and they did not contribute to the accident or do something irresponsible to cause the fall, a workers compensation case is likely going to arise.

Workers compensation cases are very important, and it’s important for you to consult with legal professionals any time you feel that you might have a workers compensation case against your employer. Most employers will try to convince you to go through arbitration and leave the courts out of it. However, this can sometimes leave you with fewer benefits and a less satisfying outcome then you might have been able to get by having an experienced workers compensation attorney by your side. If you think you have a workers compensation case, get a consultation today and take the first step down the road of protecting your freedom and your future.

What is the Three Strikes Law and Does Every State Use It?

Monday, August 27th, 2018

What is the Three Strikes Law and Does Every State Use It?

The three strikes law employs the baseball adage “three strikes and you’re out”, but to legal matters. When applied to criminality, it basically means that harsher punishments are given to those who commit the same offense three times or more. Usually, these are state laws, so they vary, but many of them work in similar ways and have the same kinds of requirements and features. Not every state uses the three strikes law, but here are some general features of three strikes laws for those states that do use them.

Which States Use Them?

Not every state uses three strikes laws. As of this writing, there are only 28 states that use these laws. However, laws are always changing, so be sure to check with your state to see if they have added or altered their policies. That being said, here are the states who currently have three strikes laws.

●     Arizona

●     Arkansas

●     California

●     Colorado

●     Connecticut

●     Florida

●     Georgia

●     Indiana

●     Kansas

●     Louisiana

●     Maryland

●     Massachusetts

●     Missouri

●     Nevada

●     New Hampshire

●     New Jersey

●     New Mexico

●     North Carolina

●     North Dakota

●     Pennsylvania

●     South Carolina

●     Tennessee

●     Texas

●     Utah

●     Vermont

●     Virginia

●     Washington

●     Wisconsin

Varying Laws

As mentioned above, the Three Strikes Law varies from state to state. One way in which the law varies is how long between felonies you have. In other words, some states will say it’s a second strike if you committed the last felony within ten years while others will say within five years. Another variance is the order in which you committed the crimes. Similarly, some states consider certain acts as felonies while other states might see the same act as a misdemeanor.

Most Severe Three Strikes Laws

The most severe Three Strikes Law used to be in California. However, Proposition 36 passed in 2000 which loosened the laws. Now, you can only get a life sentence on your third felony. Also, the law used to be retroactive, but it’s not anymore. Georgia and Tennessee also have tough Three Strikes laws If you’re convicted of two serious or violent crimes, the third will land you a life sentence, even if they aren’t felonies. The least severe Three Strikes law exists in New Hampshire After your third offense you only get 30 years, not a life sentence.

Why Have Three Strikes Laws?

The reason for the various three strikes laws is to minimize the threat of repeat offenses. Additionally, lawmakers believe that giving people only three chances means that repeat offenders will be taken off the streets, thus making them a safer place. Most lawmakers also believe that three strikes laws lower the risk of re-offense. In theory, all of these things are true, but there are limitations.

Limitations of Three Strikes Laws

Sometimes, the punishments aren’t proportional to the crimes. There have been some cases in which the person convicted did commit the same felony three times, but it was a nonviolent felony such as a drug-related charge. Many lawmakers believe that three strikes laws should only apply to violent offenders, since they pose the greatest threat to society. Finally, there is ambiguity in the law. There are so-called “wobbler laws”, which can be seen as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on who’s looking at the case. This can lead to the unfortunate situation where committing a crime in one state will get you convicted of a misdemeanor, but if you commit that same crime in another state you will be a felon.

Never try to brave the legal system alone. If you’ve been convicted of any crime, it’s important to hire a defense attorney. Serious consequences exist if you’re facing down your third strike, but even if it’s your first, you don’t want that on your record. It’s critical that you hire an experienced defense attorney in your state. Get started today and fight for your rights.

What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer in Alabama?

Friday, August 17th, 2018

What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer in Alabama?

It can be tempting to refuse a breathalyzer test, especially if you’re not confident that you’ll pass. If you think you might fail, you might want to avoid taking it thinking it will limit the evidence against you. However, that’s usually not a good idea. Stiff penalties are in place for whose who refuse a breathalyzer in Alabama because of implied consent laws. Implied consent means that if you drive on the roads in Alabama, you consent to a breathalyzer test if asked to provide one.  Here are some of the possible outcomes of refusing a breathalyzer test.

License Suspension

Depending on circumstances, a license suspension of 90 days to one or more years could be waiting for those who refuse to take the test. First-time refusers usually have to serve a minimum of 90 days, or three months. If it’s your second refusal in five years, you’ll have to serve a minimum of a year. It might also be difficult to get a hardship license during that period of time if you refused the test. A hardship license is for those who would face undue hardship, such as the loss of a job, if they weren’t able to drive to certain places, like their place of work.  Usually, getting a hardship license is feasible for most people serving out license suspensions. However, that can be a different story if you refused the test.

It Can Be Used as Evidence Against You

Even if your DUI charge is dismissed, you can still have your refusal used against you in a court of law. Refusing a BAC can be entered as evidence in the state of Alabama. In other words, the prosecution can tell the jury that you refused and the judge can allow them to consider it as evidence against you. In Alabama, the jury is actually allowed to consider a refusal as evidence for or proof of guilt. The prosecutor will usually argue that if you didn’t have anything to hide and you honestly thought you weren’t guilty, you would have taken the test. That bias can make your attorney’s job a lot harder.

What to Do If You’re Pulled Over

In Alabama, it’s almost always best to take the test and hire an attorney. If you’ve already refused, you can get an attorney to help defend you anyway, but it’ll make their job a lot harder. Take the test, and if you fail, hire a lawyer who can defend you. The lawyer can look at aspects of the case you might not even be aware of and help you formulate a defense. The fact that you took the test can make you look better to a jury, even if you failed it, because it doesn’t look like you’re trying to hide something.

At Legal Info, we’ve worked for years with drivers just like you. We help pair you with a qualified attorney in your area who is vetted and capable of helping you with your specific case. By entering just a few pieces of information about your case, we can find and email you the information of an attorney near you who is best suited to help you with your case. The initial consultation is free, so what do you have to lose? Get started today, and exercise your right to fight.

Rollover Prevention: How to Keep Your Cargo Tank Truck Upright and Out of Trouble

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Rollover Prevention: How to Keep Your Cargo Tank Truck Upright and Out of Trouble

If you drive a cargo tank truck, you know how dangerous a rollover can be. From causing a fire to exposing yourself and others to hazardous materials, a rollover can have far-ranging consequences that can lead to absolute disaster. It’s crucial to know what you can do to avoid a rollover so that you and everyone around you stays safe while you’re out on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have found that 78 percent of rollover accidents happen due to driver error. That means that you’re the key ingredient in helping to prevent rollover accidents. Here’s what you should know.

What Causes a Rollover?

If you’ve been in the commercial driving industry long enough, you’ve probably heard that the main cause of a rollover is driving too fast given current road and weather conditions. Sometimes that’s the case, and driving too fast can certainly put you at a greater risk for a rollover situation, but that’s a rather simplistic explanation. Another common answer is that rollovers happen mostly on entrance and exit ramps due to a miscalculation on the driver’s part about how wide they should turn or how fast they can take the curve. However, you might be surprised to learn that, statistically, rollovers happen most often on straight roads.

You might think that’s odd, but if you consider that you’re far more focused on the road while navigating an onramp or off ramp than you are on a straight road, it starts to make sense. After all, focus is a large part of staying safe on the road. So if you’re more focused when the situation is clearly more dangerous, such as taking those turns, it’s understandable that accidents are less likely to happen there. On the straight roads, though, your perceived risk is lower, so you don’t pay as close of attention to the road.

There are four main factors at play in rollover accidents: vehicle design, load effects, highway factors, and driver-related factors.

Vehicle Design

Every object has a center of gravity, and your cargo tank truck is no exception. The reason that the design of your vehicle plays a contributing role in rollover incidents is because its center of gravity is high compared to its overall build. In other words, it’s far less stable and more susceptible to leaning when turning. The sharpness, bank, and speed at which you turn – even on subtle turns along seemingly straight roads – can contribute to a rollover. Having a high center of gravity means that your vehicle is vulnerable to a rollover on roads that you’d never consider dangerous in a sedan or jeep, both of which have a lower center of gravity.

When you turn, and the vehicle leans, the center of gravity shifts to the outside of the tank in the direction of the turn. That means any liquid load you’re carrying shifts, as well, which can literally push the tank over and cause a rollover incident.

Load Effects

When you’re carrying a liquid load, that liquid is shifting all the time. Most drivers who have been in a rollover situation will tell you that their load shifted. But your load is always shifting, no matter what, because it’s responding to your actions behind the wheel. What you really want to avoid is any sudden shift, as that can cause major problems. Slamming on your brakes, taking a curve too quickly, or otherwise shifting your load in a drastic fashion is what really causes the rollover, not the speed or angle of the turn itself.

If you think carrying a full load is challenging, you’re right. However, it’s more dangerous to carry a partial liquid load because there’s more room for it to move around inside the tank. In fact, over 94 percent of rollover accidents occur in vehicles carrying a partial load, so make sure you’re paying close attention on straight roads to upcoming curves, uphill or downhill navigation, and your speed.

Highway Factors

Road conditions can affect you as a cargo tank truck driver more than they might affect other drivers. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Look ahead of you and around you at all times to make sure you’re aware of any upcoming construction, vehicles on either side of you, changes in traffic speed, and other highway factors that you need to adjust for. Always remember that carrying a liquid load means you have to respond much more slowly to these situations, so you need to look ahead in order to give yourself time to safely navigate the situation.

Driver-Related Factors

Your behavior behind the wheel is perhaps one of the most influential factors relating to your safety, and the safety of those around you, when you’re out on the road. Engaging in unsafe behavior can be a recipe for a rollover, so make sure to stay vigilant and engage in safe behaviors while driving. Unsafe behaviors include driving while fatigued, driving at speeds that are unsafe for the current road conditions, talking on the cell phone, texting, becoming too complacent and not paying attention, and, of course, driving under the influence. Any time you’re distracted or operating with a diminished capacity, you’re putting yourself and everyone else around you in danger.

In summary, it’s important to be aware of the physics involved in driving a cargo tank truck. Rollovers can happen in an instant, and with a liquid load that moves all the time, it’s important to be aware at all times. Drive slowly, look ahead of you, manage your turning radius, avoid sudden braking, and never drive when you’re distracted. If you do get into a rollover accident, make sure to call a traffic attorney right away. They can help you obtain the best possible outcome given your specific situation and help you get back on the road as soon as possible.