Whenever there are truck accidents, the blame often goes to the driver for their negligence. While it may be clear that the collision may be their fault, this may not be the case all the time. There are other factors that may have contributed to the accident and one of them is employer negligence. In this article, we will discuss company liability in a truck accident.
According to the website of Spiros Champaign Law Firm, employers have the duty to ensure that their trucks should be regularly maintained and properly operated to reach their destinations safely. The liability of an employer is governed by the “respondeat superior” rule. Under this principle, the employer is responsible for the negligent acts of a truck driver if such were unintentional and were committed within the scope of their employment. For example, if the driver decided to stop by to watch a movie while on his way to their destination and gets into an accident, they will be liable for the accident. He still had a duty to perform.
The liability of an employer will also depend on whether or not the truck driver is their employee or an independent contractor. So how will the court determine which is which? If the truck company controls the working hours, route, and provides benefits to the driver, then the driver is their employee. On the other hand, if the driver uses their own truck, pays for their own gas and oil, and shoulders their own liability insurance, then the driver is an independent contractor.
There is an exception to every rule and the same way to employer liability. If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company and commit an intentional act, then the employer will not have any liability whatsoever. For example, if the driver intentionally slams their truck into another vehicle because the other driver is having an affair with their spouse, the company is then free from any liability.
While the law requires truck drivers and trucking companies to ensure that trucks are well maintained and properly operated (through disciplined driving), the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that many drivers are allowed to drive despite having bad driving records and warnings from their safety officers. Many truck drivers have also been found to be intoxicated with alcohol, which is one of the major causes of fatal truck accidents.
Worse than these is the means employed by many carriers. These re-register under a new name with the Department of Transportation, in order to evade penalties and liability for repeated violation of federal safety rules.
Studies by the Department of Transportation have revealed the existence of so-called “chameleon carriers,” which simply change their names and corporate structure to be able to continue their operations. However, while avoiding legal responsibilities for their traffic violations, these “chameleon carriers” also continue and even become more dangerous on the road.
More than two million semi-trucks or big rigs operate on US roads and highways and, for years now, the NHTSA has continued to record about half a million accidents involving a number of these truck, which cause more than 100,00 injuries and at least 4,000 deaths.
Truck drivers who drive while intoxicated should never be excused from facing legal responsibility, but so are their employers, who allow them to continue driving despite their bad record. Removal of bad drivers from the road is strictly mandated by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and violation of this Act should make employers much more responsible before the law than their drivers since this would be a case of obvious negligence and reckless behavior of choosing profit over public safety.
According to the Abel Law Firm website, no amount of money can ever undo the pains and suffering experienced by a victim of a truck accident. Severe injuries, much more the death of a loved one, simply because of someone’s act of negligence, merit the victim and/or his/her family the justice that he/she deserves and the full amount of compensation that the law may permit.
Accidents could happen anywhere: on your way to work, in the grocery store, or even in the comforts of your home. These accidents oftentimes result in unanticipated emergency department visits, hefty medical bills, and a day or two off work. In some even more serious instances, accidents may result in irreversible physical disabilities, sometimes even death.
According to the website of Mokaram & Associates, P.C., one of the most common causes of accidents is unsafe premise, and one accident that could occur in a poorly managed property is chemical burn. Depending on the substance’s strength and concentration, a chemical burn can cause pain and redness that may occur immediately after the exposure. Among the most common causes of chemical burns are cleaning agents, thinners, gasoline, bleach, metal cleaners, swimming pool chlorinators, and concrete mix.
If your skin has just been exposed to a burn-causing chemical, here’s what you need to do.
- Remove yourself from the area of exposure.
- Remove any contaminated clothing
- Flush the exposed area with running water for not less than 10 minutes
- For larger exposure, you may consider taking a shower, however, you do not want to cause any further damage to the skin by scrubbing the affected area
- To prevent infection, you may consider covering the affected area with a clean gauze or bandage. However, do not apply it tightly, as it may further damage your skin
- Rush to the emergency department immediately. If you can, bring the chemical container with you to help medical staff assess the substances that have caused your burn
Although rare, there have been recoded deaths associated with chemical burns. Fatal symptoms of chemical burns include seizures, irregular heart rate, extremely low blood pressure, difficulty breathing and cardiac arrest. As such, it is extremely important to seek medical help immediately during chemical burn accidents.
For most employees, a work day involves having to sit in a desk and use a computer for a huge chunk of their 8-hour schedule. While such a job doesn’t seem physically taxing, research shows that people with desk jobs are one of the most leading causes of back pain in America. In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health point out that four out five cases of debilitating back pain is caused by sitting at desks and hunching over computers for long periods of time. Thankfully, you can take some active steps and preventive measures to keep comfortable and perform your tasks without a hitch.
The best way to prevent back pain caused by too much computer use is by practicing good posture. While you’re sitting down, make sure you keep your back straight, with your head and neck aligned with your shoulders. It’s also important that you keep your feet flat and relaxed on the floor. Another important thing to remember is making sure you’re not too close or too far away from the computer monitor. Ideally, your chair should be positioned to make sure that you’re about an arm’s length away from the screen. You can also re-arrange your mouse and move it near your keyboard to avoid having to strain too much when you have to move from typing to using the mouse. On top of these tips, it’s also crucial that you take periodic breaks away from your desk. Step up and do some stretching exercise to relieve any tension that might have built up in your muscles from sitting down and using the computer for too long.
In the same way, employers can also contribute in making sure that desk jobs don’t cause too much discomfort and pain for their employees. Providing employees with ergonomic seating can help reduce the occurrence of work-related back pain. WorkSTEPs also suggest that employers can implement functional capacity testing for candidates they are looking to hire or employees returning for work after an injury. This way, they can be sure that everyone on the job can meet the physical demands of their tasks and accomplish their work comfortably.
Ideally, as the website of Crowe & Mulvey LLP indicates, toys and products intended for children are designed and manufactured with care and consideration to avoid any health risk and other potential danger. However, certain situations and reported cases show that such an ideal scenario isn’t always true in real life. Just this past year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled around 17 million products for marketed towards the use of children. These items include toys, clothing, cribs, car seats, and play sets. All of them had defects or issues that failed to meet the safety standards and regulations mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act resulted from the valiant efforts of the parents of a boy named Daniel Keysar. In 1998, a 16 month old Daniel died in a tragic accident caused by a defective crib collapsing on him. He was strangled and was suffocated by the Playskool Tavel-Lite crib he had been using. Upon learning that the product had been recalled by the CPSC five years prior to their baby’s death, Daniel’s parents rallied for stringent implementation of stricter safety policies. Their hard work paid off after about a decade since their son’s death. In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that imposed better regulations regarding product safety.
Despite better regulations, there are still times when certain issues slip through the cracks. When this happens, defective or unsafe products find themselves in the market. Faulty products can cause serious problems and injuries for children. For example, a child can have lead poisoning from a toy that made use of paint that fails to meet product safety standards. Without proper labels, a young child can also choke on a toy that was given to him or her by adults unknowingly. Another danger is the possibility of burns or electrical shock caused by electronic toys that are defective.
While parents can take extra care by checking product labels and fine print, it’s up to government regulators to ensure that all children’s products that are sold in the market are safe for use. In the same way, manufacturers also have the responsibility to adhere to policies imposed on them by law. If your child has suffered from an injury caused by a defective toy or product, don’t hesitate to seek out legal counsel in your area. Residents in Wisconsin, for example, can speak to a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer for more information.