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ARCHIVES: November 2018

Occupational Diseases

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss occupational diseases. Occupational diseases and disorders are generally caused by prolonged exposure to toxins or repetitive activity in the workplace. These factors can cause disease or worsen a pre-existing condition. For example, a person who suffered from asthma as a child may experience a heightening of symptoms due to workplace exposure.

Examples of some common occupational disorders and some of their causes include:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders: caused by repetitive motions, extreme force, and vibrations
  • Asthma: caused or aggravated by chlorine, dust, and smoke
  • Mesothelioma: a form lung cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos particles
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: caused by skin exposure to chemicals such as solvents and cutting fluids
  • Occupational Hearing Loss: Can be caused by exposure to a one-time loud explosion or occur over time through prolonged exposure to loud noises

The above is not a comprehensive list but merely a glance at some of the most common occupational illnesses. Occupational disease differs from acute injuries, which are usually caused by a one-time accident or mishap. Occupational diseases are just as serious as workplace injuries and can lead to long-term disability and even death.

Occupational Disease Prevention

The first step to prevent an occupational disease from occurring in the workplace is to identify the hazards present in the environment. Common hazards that can lead to an occupational disease are grouped into four categories:

  • Physical: temperature, noise, radiation
  • Chemical: liquids, gasses, air particles
  • Biological: bacteria, fungi, viruses
  • Ergonomic incompatibility: between the workers, tools, and environment

Once occupational hazards have been identified, the number one way to prevent disease is to eliminate the hazard from the environment. If the hazard cannot be completely eliminated, hazardous materials or tools can be substituted with non-hazardous items.

If further methods are needed to keep employees safe, engineering controls should be employed. For example, engineering controls can help to reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous debris and particles by maintaining a good ventilation system, isolating hazardous equipment, and spraying down dust in the air with water.

Do I Qualify for South Carolina Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation does include coverage for occupational diseases, and workers could receive reimbursement for medical treatment, recovery costs, disability, and lost wages. However, a disease may not qualify for coverage if one of the following applies:

  • Disease did not result directly from exposure to the hazards present in the workplace
  • Disease resulted from exposure to outside climatic conditions
  • Disease resulted from exposure to fellow employees
  • Disease resulted from a hazard to which the individual would have been equally exposed outside of employment
  • Disease is a chronic disease of the skeletal joints

Workers who suffer disease or injury from exposure to hazards in the workplace will need a medical diagnosis to determine the cause of their injury. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help to discover evidence that a disease was caused by exposure or activity in the workplace.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers Exposed to Toxins in the Workplace

Whether you or a loved one has been injured in a devastating workplace accident or suffer from an occupational disease, an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can examine the details of your case to determine the type of compensation to which you may be entitled. Schedule a free, initial consultation today by calling at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or submit an online inquiry form.

We have offices across South Carolina to assist clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

NSC to Include Work Injury Facts

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss new work injury information made available by the NSC. Employers and employees visiting the National Safety Council (NSC) online Injury Facts database may have noticed a new wealth of information posted on the site. For the first time, visitors will have access to the latest trends and information about workplace injuries throughout the country under a new “Workplace” tab on the NSC Injury Facts database site. The NSC revealed its new website content at the National Safety Congress & Expo in Houston this past October.

Rise in On-the-Job Fatalities

The continuing rise in workplace fatalities is highlighted by the information presented on the NSC website. With a 7.3 percent increase in workplace deaths occurring in 2016, the NSC’s focus on work injuries hopes to shed light on this important safety issue. By bringing an increased public awareness of the prevalence of work injuries, the NSC strives to help employers identify the biggest safety risks to their employees and to reduce the rising costs associated with work-related injuries, which are listed at approximately $115 billion annually.

Focus on Workplace Safety Trends

By focusing on current workplace safety trends in areas including transportation, falls, and violence, the Workplace section of the NSC website provides important information about the types and frequency of work-related injuries. Some of the work injury facts relate to incidences of workplace violence, the identity of those industries that are the most dangerous for workers, and the costs of work-related injuries. The Workplace section most recently set forth figures highlighting the disproportionate impact of workplace violence on female employees and identified construction as the leading industry for work-related accidents and deaths with 959 fatalities in 2016.

The NSC Injury Facts website provides detailed information including the number of workplace injuries and deaths. Other pertinent materials shared in the database includes costs associated with workplace injuries in the categories of wage and productivity loss, property damage, motor vehicle damage, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and employer-related costs.

National Comparisons

One useful feature of the new NSC Workplace section is a tool that helps employers calculate their workplace incident rates for purposes of comparing their safety numbers with national averages. This allows safety experts to compare work injury rates across the country and gives employer access to nationwide averages even if employers do not know their North American Industry Calculator System (NAICS) number. The NSC uses data obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census, including the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) for its analysis.

In its analysis of national data, the NSC found the largest number of preventable workplace deaths occur in the industries of construction, transportation, and warehousing. Other industries with high workplace fatality rates included agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting.

Goal to Reduce Preventable Workplace Deaths

The NSC’s Injury Facts website is the result of a 98-year compilation of safety data. By making these materials accessible to the public through its redesigned interactive online portal, the NSC continues its work in promoting safer working environments to reduce the number of preventable work-related injuries and deaths. According to the NSC, over 4,300 preventable workplace fatalities occurred in 2016.

The new Workplace section can be found on the NSC website.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Protect the Rights of Injured Workers

The experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. represent injured workers in Workers’ Compensation matters throughout South Carolina. To schedule a free confidential appointment with a Columbia work injury lawyer today, call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

We represent clients across South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Honda Smart Intersection Technology

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss Honda Smart Intersection Technology. Driving is a convenient and often enjoyable mode of transportation, but it can also be dangerous. There are unpredictable events like a driver going through a red light or a child running into the street. Weather adds another element of danger and risk of accidents. Combine that with drivers who are distracted, driving while impaired, or violating traffic laws and you have a problem waiting to be solved.

Advances have been made in providing safer driving options. Autonomous vehicles that can handle some functions of driving independent of the driver have been developed. Some of these, such as assisted braking, are already commercially available. However, this technology has a shortcoming. It is limited to what a sensor on the vehicle can detect. Such systems cannot detect, for example, what is around a corner with a building on it. This limit of detection mean autonomous vehicles are not able to reduce many of the accidents that occur at intersections, where roughly 40 percent of all car wrecks happen.

Improving Safety at Intersections

Auto manufacturer Honda is developing a system called “Smart Intersection” technology that it hopes will fill the gap. The idea is to warn drivers in advance of hazards they cannot see. It involves a two part system. Wide-angle cameras are mounted on stoplights at intersections that provide a 360-degree image of action on the street up to 300 feet away. A Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (also referred to as V2X) detector and display is mounted to car’s dashboard. The cameras communicate with the detectors in the car.

A pilot study is already underway. A fleet of 20 Honda Pilot test vehicles has already been built. At a traffic intersection in Marysville, Ohio, the V2X system is being tested. Honda employees drive the cars through the intersection while proprietary object recognition software transmits the 360-degree image from the cameras to the detectors. The Smart Intersection can see 100 feet in all four directions at the intersection – allowing it to essentially see through buildings.

The fledgling V2X system is designed to detect an emergency vehicle, a pedestrian, and a red-light running car. It provides a warning sound and display based on the hazard that is detected. This gives the driver advanced warning of what he or she cannot yet see, allowing time to brake and hopefully avoid an accident. The concept can be refined in the future to become active rather than passive by linking it to automated braking systems.

The concept is new in another way. It requires public-private partnerships. A Honda spokesperson indicated that development of the system will need a high level of collaboration among the various stakeholders. The private sector, government, and academia all have a role to play in making transportation safer and more efficient.

Today car accidents remain an unfortunate reality. Victims of car accidents have many challenges. Don’t let finding a dedicated car accident lawyer be one of them.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Assist Those Injured in Wrecks Caused by Negligence

At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers pride ourselves on providing our clients with the legal services they need to recover from their accident and get on with life. Contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 to arrange a free no obligation initial consultation.

From our six offices in South Carolina, we represent injured accident victims in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Staying Safe in the Event of a Breakdown or Accident

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers offer advice to keep yourself safe in the event of a breakdown or an accident. Driving a car that unexpectedly breaks down on a highway or being involved in an accident are some of the most stressful situations a driver could experience. When an accident or breakdown occurs, the safety of the driver, car occupants and pedestrians should remain a priority. The following tips can help drivers avoid feelings of panic should an accident or breakdown take place.

Determine the Accident Location

Whether you need a tow truck to move a damaged vehicle or medical assistance at an accident scene, it is crucial to determine the exact location of the accident or breakdown. To provide clear directions for emergency help or tow truck operators, drivers should be able to describe accurately where they are situated. Using smartphone apps like Google Map can help drivers identify their location.

Notify Authorities Immediately

Calling for emergency help is often the first step in staying safe in the event you are involved in a wreck or breakdown. All emergencies should be reported by calling 911 as soon as possible to ensure the proper authorities and medical personnel arrive on the scene quickly. Whenever a breakdown or accident leaves you in any type of danger (such as a flat tire in the middle of an intersection), 911 is the first call to make. For less serious situations, drivers may wish to call a roadside assistance agency like AAA, their insurance company or a preferred garage, tow service or wrecker company. Keep these numbers in an easy to find spot such as your wallet or glove compartment in case of an emergency. Many drivers also preprogram these numbers into their smart phones for emergency situations.

Wait for Help to Arrive

Many accidents and breakdowns will result in the need for a tow truck or wrecker truck to come to move and transport the disabled vehicle. Trying to remove a broken down or wrecked car from a ditch or off a busy roadway can be extremely dangerous. Placing flares around a disabled car can help other drivers identify a problem on the road. Allow more experienced tow truck drivers and wrecker operators to do their job and safely move and/or transport the vehicle.

Keep Emergency Supplies on Hand

Remaining in your vehicle until help arrives may mean waiting out less than favorable weather conditions including cold and rainy weather. Keeping an emergency kit in your car with items such as a blanket, hat and gloves, emergency cell phone chargers and flares can help you stay safe. When cold weather dictates the need to keep your car’s heat on while waiting for help to arrive, be sure to monitor the car’s gas levels to allow enough gas to get to an emergency location if needed. When snow becomes a factor, also remember to periodically check to make sure the car’s tailpipe is not blocked by snowdrift. A blocked exhaust pipe can result in potentially lethal carbon monoxide poisoning.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Car Accident Victims Obtain Compensation for their Injuries

If you or your loved one has been injured as a result of a breakdown or car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced personal injury lawyers work with families dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. To schedule a confidential appointment with a Columbia car accident lawyer today, call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

From our six offices in South Carolina, we represent injured accident victims in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Injured at the Company Holiday Party

South Carolina Workers Comp Law Firm shares information on injuries sustained at an office holiday party. Sharing a timely blog from our friends at the Nomberg Law Firm in Birmingham about whether an employee injured at a company holiday party can pursue a Workers’ Compensation claim.  This article discusses Alabama law but South Carolina law is very similar. If you have questions about whether your accident is covered by Workers’ Compensation, please give us a call today at 803-929-3600 to discuss your benefits.

View the blog here.

 

Can Minors Receive Workers’ Compensation?

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss injured minor workers and the benefits they deserve. Even children as young as 14 can be legally hired to work at part-time and low-risk jobs. While state and federal child labor laws such as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act protect children entering the workforce, accidents can and will occur. Some of the most dangerous jobs for minors include: making door to door sales calls, driving-related jobs that require long distance traveling; operating heavy machinery such as forklifts or tractors, using chemicals, working at grain storage facilities and any workplace activity involving high heights with the potential for falls.

Employees who are hurt on the job are generally entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits to help with the costs of medical treatment, loss wages and rehabilitation. Minors also are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits if their injuries result from a workplace accident. Under South Carolina law, a minor can receive temporary partial disability benefits if they are still able to work but will earn less than usual as a result of the injury. Temporary benefits can last up to 340 weeks and are capped at a maximum benefit of approximately $800 a week.

When severe injuries occur such as a loss of a limb or an eye, the minor worker may qualify for total disability benefits. In the case of extreme injuries such as paralysis or permanent brain damage, Workers’ Compensation benefits could last for life. Filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits as a minor can raise some complicated legal issues.

Determination of Future Earning Potential

If a work-related injury results in a permanent partial or total disability, a worker often receives compensation for lost wages including the loss of future earning capacity. This compensation amount is determined by calculating the earning potential of the injured worker. In the case of a minor who is anticipated to work for an additional 40 to 50 years until they reach retirement age, the future earnings amount can be significant.

Special Compensation for Minors

In some cases, Workers’ Compensation judges will award an additional amount of compensation to minors who are injured performing higher risk tasks that are assigned to them on the basis of their age. If an employer is assigning dangerous jobs to young employees rather than seasoned employees, they may be exposing themselves to an award of special compensation should there be a workplace accident.

Legal Status of Minor Employees

Minor employees must obtain a valid working permit (sometimes referred to as “working papers”) prior to working. If an employer hires a minor without a valid work permit, many states view the employment as illegal. Employers who illegally employ minors, who are then injured at the workplace may owe double the amount of partial or total disability compensation or death benefits. Employers also must follow state and federal laws related to required safety training and work hour restrictions for minors.

Avoiding Workplace Accidents involving Minors

Preventing workplace accidents, especially accidents involving minors, should remain a top priority for employers. The U.S. Department of Labor provides guidance as to the types of work permitted to be performed by minors on their website. Parents can ensure their child is working in an appropriate environment by monitoring their child’s workplace.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Minors Injured at Work

If you are a parent of a minor who has been injured in a workplace accident, the experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are here to help. Call us today to schedule a confidential initial consultation at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

We represent injured workers across South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Heightened Silica Exposure Standards

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on new and improved silica exposure standards. Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) put new rules regarding silica exposure into effect. The rules are intended to protect workers who interact with silica. Workers in certain industries, including construction, regularly face exposure to dangerous materials. It is up to employers to adhere to OSHA standards to protect workers’ safety.

There are numerous industries that utilize products containing crystalline silica. Natural construction supplies such as sand, concrete, stone, and mortar all contain silica, as do synthetic products such as bricks, artificial stone, asphalt, industrial sand, glass, and ceramics. Exposure to silica impacts workers in dental laboratories, hydraulic fracturing, landscaping, stone cutting, jewelry production, railroads, painting, and pottery.

When OSHA first announced the updated standards in 2016, the agency estimated that 2.3 million workers faced potentially dangerous silica exposure. Silica exposure can cause a number of serious occupational illnesses, including silicosis, kidney disease, lung cancer, and other respiratory conditions. OSHA expects the improved standards to prevent 600 deaths and 900 cases of silicosis per year.

New Rules Lower Acceptable Rate of Exposure

The updated silica standards lower the permissible exposure limit for workers to 50 milligrams of respirable crystalline per cubic meter of air, measured over an eight-hour day. Workers who exceed this limit for 30 or more days per year must be offered a medical surveillance examination by their employer, which can be conducted by a predetermined healthcare provider. The standard also provides some safety recommendations, such as respiratory protective equipment, that are not mandatory. If an employer chooses not to follow the recommended safety protocols, they must provide an alternative plan to control exposure and conduct an exposure assessment.

Though the rule was approved by OSHA in 2016, it took until 2018 for it to be fully implemented. Employer groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, challenged the new rule, but the challenge was overturned in appeals court in December 2017. A limited version of the rule was rolled out to the construction industry in October of 2017; in the first six months, OSHA identified 117 violations, 80 percent of which were classified as serious.

The OSHA standard gives employers some flexibility as to how they implement protections for workers, but all of them are required to conduct an exposure assessment and take steps to protect workers. Failing to do so can cause serious and potentially deadly health conditions. Workers who have been harmed by exposure to silica in the workplace may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Workers Exposed to Hazardous Materials

The Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. provide comprehensive representation for workers who have suffered injury or illness in the workplace. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers are dedicated to getting you the maximum benefits to which you are entitled to cover lost wages and costly medical bills. Call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online for a free consultation with a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer.

We assist injured workers across South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

NTSB Report Offers Recommendations Aimed at Improving Pedestrian Safety

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss safety recommendations to reduce pedestrian accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an investigative report about pedestrian safety and identified specific changes and improvements that can help reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in this country. When a pedestrian is involved in a traffic accident, he or she is much more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries than the occupants in the motor vehicle. Whereas the people inside the car are protected by the exterior of the vehicle, as well as seatbelts and airbags, there is nothing protecting the pedestrian from the force of the impact. The report provides recommendations that can help improve the safety of pedestrians.

In addition to vehicle improvements, the NTSB also recommended infrastructure improvements, adaptive headlight standards, increased support for state and local safety projects, and a more effective plan for state and local governments to collect and utilize pedestrian safety and highway accident data. The recommendations were addressed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the three organizations that have the power to implement these changes.

Recommendations from NTSB Report

The NTSB report examined 15 pedestrian deaths, the average number of pedestrians killed each day from when the project began. The report focuses on a range of issues that impact pedestrian safety. Researchers made the following safety recommendations:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard should include performance-based standards for headlight systems in order to ensure proper headlight height and lighting performance. The Standard should also allow for adaptive headlight systems.
  • Develop performance test criteria for vehicle designs, including front bumpers and vehicle hoods, and for manufacturers that will help prevent accident injuries.
  • New Car Assessment Programs should include pedestrian collisions avoidance systems, as part of their pedestrian safety systems.
  • Come up with comprehensive pedestrian crash data that reflect the different types of accidents, and that can be used to simulate pedestrian collision avoidance systems.
  • Collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce a national database of pedestrian injuries and fatalities using highway crash data from all states.
  • Study earlier Crash Outcome Data Evaluation Systems and create updated methods that state and city planning organizations that use to collect data on pedestrian accidents. Create a framework that will allow the data to be combined.

Federal Highway Administration

  • Increase the level of support given to state and local safety projects in order to promote pedestrian safety and create a network of safety improvements.
  • Create streamlines definitions and methods that states and local planning groups that use to collect data on pedestrian safety issues.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Collaborate with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to come up with an effective way for states to combines their crash data and injury data, in an effort to establish a national database of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims of Pedestrian Accidents

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident, contact a seasoned Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell & Smith & Arden, P.A. We will obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

From our six offices in South Carolina, we represent injured accident victims in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

What is Blackout Wednesday?

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on Blackout Wednesday and drunk driving. The day after Thanksgiving has long been dubbed Black Friday; now, the night before has earned the dubious moniker, Blackout Wednesday. Partygoers and others, especially college students, like to get a head start on the festivities by drinking the night before Thanksgiving. This night has also been referred to as “Friendsgiving,” or “Drinksgiving.”

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), this concerning tradition has led to an increase in wrecks involving those driving under the influence (DUI). In a study of drunk driving accidents between 2012 and 2016, over 800 people were fatally injured. Data was collected during time frames that started at 6 p.m. on the night before Thanksgiving and ending early the following Monday morning.

Thanksgiving Travel Dangers in Greenville

AAA predicts an estimated 54 million Americans will be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Fatal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was also studied on a local level. It showed that Greenville was among the most dangerous areas in the country to drive in over Thanksgiving. Approximately 500 South Carolina families are affected by drunk driving accidents every year.

Tie One On for Safety®

MADD and the NHTSA have partnered in their Tie One On for Safety® campaign, which targets drunk driving on Blackout Wednesday. They are distributing safety ribbons and decals to promote the cause, and they encourage partygoers to drive safely.

The MADD National President drives the point home that there are many ways to avoid drunk driving, so it simply does not make sense to drive drunk. Designating a driver, or contacting a taxi, Lyft, or Uber are all smart choices to prevent wrecks. Some towns even sponsor free transportation to partygoers who are too intoxicated to get behind the wheel. These options are all worth looking into before taking that first drink.

Most people look forward to the Thanksgiving weekend with thoughts of turkey dinners, family time, and parties. Those who do not make time to consider safety precautions are doing themselves and others a tremendous disservice. This holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year and can be the deadliest. Enjoying the festivities without taking unnecessary risks on the road will make the celebrations safer for everyone.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents

If you or someone you care for was involved in a drunk driving accident or any other type of car accident, we can help. Contact a knowledgeable Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. We offer professional legal representation and can obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or complete an online form for a free consultation.

We represent injured accident victims and their families in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Road Worker Accidents and Injuries

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss road work accidents and the injuries to workers. Most drivers take for granted that roads are substantially safe and in a state of good repair. Maintaining the roads in this condition is no easy feat. Transportation agencies across the country are working every day to build, maintain, and repair the transportation network.

Doing this work is dangerous and protecting road workers is of paramount importance. There is a skill and art to setting up work zones to protect workers on roadway construction sites. The work zone needs to protect both workers and drivers from accidents. A typical setup includes four or five distinct areas:

  • Advance warning area – as traffic approaches, signs warn motorists that a construction project is ahead
  • Transition area – a variety of devices, including signs, cones, and barriers serve to channel traffic away from the usual path so that it moves safely around the work zone
  • Buffer area – a space between road traffic and the work zone that may be used to add further separation between traffic and construction workers
  • Work area – a protected space where the construction work happens and where workers, equipment, and storage are cordoned off from the rest of the road
  • Termination area – after the work area, where cones and barriers ease traffic back to the normal path of traffic

Despite work zone precautions, serious accidents and fatalities occur every day. In a recent year, there were 607 work zone fatal crashes resulting in 669 fatalities. That year there were 12 work zone crashes resulting in at least one fatality every week and 70 work zone crashes resulting in at least one injury every day.

Causes of Work Zone Accidents

Motorists who engage in speeding, distracted driving, driving while impaired, and reckless driving have all caused work zone accidents. Other reasons for these crashes have to do with conditions that cannot be controlled, such as road terrain that limits the line of sight of a driver and bad weather that can limit visibility and increase stopping distances.

Injuries From Inside the Work Zone

Many injuries to road workers involve workers being struck by heavy equipment, which typically has large blind spots. Other injuries occur from exposure to hazards typical of all construction sites, including overhead power lines, tripping hazards, gas lines, and falling objects.

Road construction workers who are injured on the job are generally covered by Workers’ Compensation – a no fault insurance program that is required in South Carolina and all other states except for Texas. State laws vary, but generally require a worker timely report a workplace injury to their employer and comply with other mandates having to do with verifying the nature and extent of the injury and the ability to return to work on a part time or limited capacity.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Recover Compensation for Injured Road Workers

If you are a road worker and have been injured on the job, you are likely entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to other compensation as well. For example, you may be entitled to recover from a driver whose negligence caused you to be hit by their vehicle. Contact an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. to discuss your case and evaluate options. Contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 today to schedule a free consultation.

We assist injured accident victims and their families across South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

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