Baton Rouge Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Gravity is often not a worker's friend

 Many people watched with awe in the 1990s as shuttle astronauts floated in zero-gravity space. Back on earth, gravity is not always so amusing.

Gravity is one the chief factors in work injuries – when workers fall themselves and when workers are struck by falling objects from above.

Robots Are Supposed To Spare Us From Harm, Not Hurt Us

 In the science fiction classic "I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov, all robots are hardwired to obey orders, to never harm humans and to sacrifice themselves if necessary to keep humans safe. The plot twists are about humans coming to harm anyway despite those best intentions of the robots' creators.

In real life, robot-related injuries and fatalities are occurring more frequently as robotic technologies are deployed in more and more workplaces. Employers as well as the manufacturers and programmers may be liable for damages when robots "go rogue" or break down and cause workplace injuries to their human counterparts.

Workers and Employers Have Misconceptions About Machinery Safety

Thousands of injuries could be prevented. Employees who operate and maintain workplace machinery are at high risk for injury or death. According to industry statistics, machinery accidents cause about 800 deaths a year and 18,000 injuries, ranging from lacerations and abrasions to amputations and crush injuries.

ClaimsJournal.com has highlighted three common myths about machines and safety rules that contribute to the ongoing dangers.

Certain minority groups face risk of injury on the job

According to a recent study, racial inequalities may also be reflected in the frequency of workplace injuries and disability. This is particularly true for Hispanic immigrants and African American males, who tend to work jobs that carry the highest injury risk. In many cases, minority workers in Louisiana and nationwide have no choice but to take these high-risk jobs.

Economic disparities and more high-risk jobs are partly to blame

Workers' Memorial Day is Friday

Ceremony and safety reminder Apr. 28 in Baton Rouge

More than 4,000 American workers die on the job each year - about 10 work-related deaths every day - and another 4 million employees are injured or become sick at work. In Louisiana alone there are about 25 work-related fatalities each year.

Workers' Memorial Day is held on Friday, April 28 to honor those fallen workers and refocus workplace safety efforts to spare other families from similar tragedy. A remembrance ceremony will be held 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. 

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Do "gig" workers qualify for workers' comp?

Temp workers and part-timers are covered, but independent contractors are not

Nearly all Louisiana employers must provide workers' compensation insurance. But a growing number of jobs do not fit the traditional employer-employee paradigm. Freelancers and people who piece together a living from "gigs" such as dog sitting or driving an Uber car are generally not covered by workers' comp.

What happens when gig workers are injured while working? Do temp agencies provide workers' compensation? You may need a lawyer to answer those questions and assert your rights.

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New medical guidelines on back pain say stay active

This could be bad news for workers' comp back injury claims

The epidemic of opioid addiction has caused the medical community to re-think how lower back pain is treated. Rather than prescribing narcotics and bed rest, a growing number of physicians now advise patients to stay active and forego painkillers.

This "grin and bear it" approach represents a major change in the treatment of back ailments. It could also lead to serious conflicts in workers' compensation claims. Employees with disabling back injuries may be denied medical treatment or forced back to work.

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Can "illegal aliens" get workers' comp?

State law protects anyone injured on the job.

There is much talk these days of building walls and deporting people. Much resentment of immigrants and "foreigners." Especially those living in the U.S. without government permission.

This is a scary time for undocumented workers. Especially for an "illegal" worker who is injured on the job. Reporting an accident to the employer, asserting legal rights or even going to the hospital risks calling attention to the worker's immigration status.

The law is clear in Louisiana. Undocumented employees are covered by workers' compensation. You have the right to medical care and lost wages. Whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, it is wise to talk to a workers' compensation lawyer.

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Drunk drivers contributed to heavy 2016 death toll

Who pays damages when an intoxicated person causes a crash?

From police shootings and terrorist attacks to opioid overdoses and beloved celebrities, the headlines of 2016 have been a steady roll call of untimely and tragic deaths. Lost in that mix is an alarming increase in drunk driving deaths across the U.S.

After years of decline, drunk driving fatalities rose in 2015. The trend is projected to be even worse in the final tally for 2016. Experts aren't sure why this epidemic is occurring. The more important question is who can be held responsible.

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Many taxi, Uber and Lyft cars have unfixed recall problems

Are you hiring a ride in a four-wheeled time bomb?

Millions of cars on American roads are subject to recall for various defects - serious safety issues that the owners have not had fixed.

An independent investigation found that drivers for hire have a much higher rate of unfixed recall notices. As many as 1 in 3 taxi cabs, Uber and Lyft cars are driving around with potentially dangerous defects. Air bags. Steering columns. Engine problems. By comparison, about 1 in 5 private vehicles have outstanding recalls.

Unrepaired defects may increase the chances of a crash or the severity of injuries. It also creates potential legal issues in the event of a car accident. The cab driver and employer could be negligent. Both drivers could be at fault, one for careless operation and one for driving an unfit vehicle. And what is the automaker's liability if the owner failed to have a recalled vehicle serviced?

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