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ARCHIVES: January 2019

Robots in the Workplace

Columbia, SC Workers' Compensation Lawyers discuss robots and workplace injuries. In wake of an accident at an Amazon warehouse in 2018, workers’ rights groups are questioning the safety of having robots work alongside human employees. In December, 24 workers at an Amazon facility in Robbinsville, New Jersey were taken to the hospital due to a robot error. Amazon uses robots to pick items from the warehouse to fulfill orders, and one robot punctured a nine-ounce can of bear repellant spray. The spray contained capsaicin, a corrosive agent that is dangerous to humans.

A Media Firestorm

News of the accident went viral on social media, and it was revealed that a similar incident occurred years before. In 2015, an Amazon robot ran over the same type of can at one of their warehouses in Texas. Opponents of robotics in the workplace pointed out that relying too heavily on robots could lead to more accidents.

Amazon uses several types of robots for tasks such as unloading stock and moving inventory around their warehouses. According to Amazon, these robots handle repetitive work, which is beneficial for their employees. After the most recent accident, they released a statement stating that employee safety is their top priority. However, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health claimed that Amazon was one of the most dangerous companies to work for in the United States.

The Benefits of Using Robots

Amazon is not the first company to use industrial robots. The Robotic Industries Association stated that in 2017, more than 250,000 robots were being used in this country. As technology improves, there will be more robots entering the workforce. A senior scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said that he believes robots help avert injuries and health problems because they can work in dangerous or unhealthy conditions with less risk. He added that robots lessen the effects of human error.

Human-Robot Interaction

As these next-generation robots open new possibilities, their increasing interactivity and mobility may complicate the task of ensuring the safety of their human co-workers. A United Kingdom safety expert feels that the issue of robot safety is not clear-cut. On the positive side, he said that robots can perform dangerous jobs so humans will not have to. For the negative, he worries that employees will become too complacent around robots and will not be vigilant when working around them.

As robot technology advances, they will likely be interacting more with humans. This can include robots giving materials and parts to human employees, and other tasks. Newer robots work near employees, and some feel that this increases the risk for workplace injuries. Critics point out that just like humans, workplace robots can make mistakes. Robots seem to be evolving at a pace that requires new, appropriate safety protocols to protect workers.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Handle All Types of Workplace Injury Claims

If you or a loved one needs help with a workplace injury claim, contact a dedicated Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today. For a free consultation, call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780, or complete an online form.

We represent 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 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.

South Carolina Drivers Avoid Serious Charges in Fatal Crashes

Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on weak laws that have no serious charges for those responsible for fatal car accidents. In South Carolina, grief turns to anger for families who learn that the dangerous drivers responsible for the wrecks that fatally injured their loved ones escape serious charges for their negligence. With careless drivers receiving nothing more than a legal slap on the wrist, many South Carolina residents are calling for changes in what they perceive as weak legislation regarding negligence in fatal wrecks.

Some of the more notable fatal accidents resulting in minor consequences include:

  • A 23-year-old man was fatally injured riding his motorcycle after a motorist pulled out in front of him. The police said the motorcyclist’s headlight was off at the time of the crash, but this was never proven to be the case. No charges were brought against the driver, who eventually came to a six-figure settlement with the victim’s family.
  • Another South Carolina motorcyclist was fatally injured when his bike collided with a pickup truck at an intersection. While the state Highway Patrol initially charged the driver with failure to yield, the charges were later dropped after his attorney claimed he never received necessary evidence from the police. The pickup driver received a traffic ticket.
  • In a third incident, a South Carolina Highway Patrolman was fatally injured after a driver slammed his pickup truck into the officer’s stopped patrol car in the emergency lane. The pickup driver received a ticket for improper lane change and was ordered to pay fines and fees totaling less than $300.

These are just a few of the many fatal crashes in South Carolina resulting in little more than traffic citations and fines for the negligent drivers.

Gap in South Carolina Law

While advocates for change in South Carolina traffic law acknowledge these accidents occur often, they also believe changes are needed to address wrecks that involve some amount of driver negligence. Currently, law enforcement officials have limited options for enforcing these types of accidents and accommodating various degrees of negligence. Drivers can be charged with reckless vehicular homicide if they fatally injure another person after driving dangerously. When alcohol is a factor in a fatal crash, drivers can be charged with driving under the influence. However, there is no real option for driving behaviors that fall somewhere in between.

There seems to be a one-size-fits-all approach to penalizing drivers involved in fatal accidents and victims’ families do not think it is working. An advocate for the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network says that people are frustrated when a loved one is fatally injured and the other driver gets a $200 traffic ticket. She calls the issue a major problem in the state.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Driver Negligence

If your loved one was seriously injured in car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, we can help you obtain the justice you deserve. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. believe dangerous drivers should be held accountable for their actions. To learn about your legal options after an auto accident, schedule a free consultation by calling 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

We represent clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of 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.

Military Hearing Loss and Defective Earplugs

South Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm Discusses Military Hearing Loss and Defective Earplugs

Damaged hearing is a serious problem in the United States military. A 2007 study found that 51.8% of combat veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) have moderate or severe hearing loss.

Thousands of servicemembers in the United States Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force may have claims related to hearing loss, auditory processing disorder (APD), or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) caused by defective earplugs sold to the Department of Defense. The claims stem from a False Claims Act lawsuit brought in May of 2016 against 3M Company by its competitor, Moldex-Metric, Inc., in which the Plaintiff claimed that 3M sold “dangerously defective dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs … to the U.S. military for more than a decade.” 3M has denied the allegations, but settled the False Claims Act suit in July of 2018 for $9.1 million.

In a 2012 press release, 3M described the specific earplugs involved in these claims as designed with “hear-through capabilities, which enable military personnel to hear low-level sounds, such as footsteps or spoken commands, while protecting against damaging impulse noise from explosions or firearms.” The earplugs were marketed to the military from 2003 to 2015 and were used by tens of thousands of men and women serving in the military. South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Military Hearing Loss and Defective Earplugs by 3M

According to the federal lawsuit, 3M employees were aware of defects in the Combat Arms™ earplugs as early as 2000, but nevertheless allowed the devices to be marketed to the federal government. The complaint alleges that “these earplugs have dangerous design defects that can cause them to loosen in the wearer’s ear, imperceptibly to the wearer and even trained audiologists visually observing a wearer, thereby permitting damaging sounds to enter the ear canal by traveling around the outside of the earplug while the user and/or audiologist incorrectly believes that the earplug is working as intended.”

Hearing loss has long been a pervasive problem for military veterans. According to a 2008 article in the American Journal of Public Health, one-third of Union Civil War veterans were diagnosed with damaged hearing. Over the years, the military discovered this injury not only harmed the individual servicemember, but also damaged the effectiveness of combat units as soldiers’ ability to discern commands was reduced. Thus the Department of Defense proved an eager customer when 3M offered its product for sale and, by 2004, issued combat-specific earplugs to all soldiers deploying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it appears the Combat Arms™ earplugs failed to provide the hearing protection to our men and women in uniform that had been promised.

Military personnel who used the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs and suffered hearing loss, auditory processing disorder (APD), or tinnitus may have a valid legal claim for damages against 3M Company. However, even in the federal settlement agreement, “3M expressly denies the allegations” that its earplugs were defective or caused damage to any servicemember’s hearing.

If you would like to consult with an attorney about a potential claim involving combat-related hearing loss, you may contact Graham L. Newman by submitting an online inquiry or (803) 929-3600. All consultations are free and confidential.

Graham L. Newman practices complex civil litigation with Chappell, Smith & Arden, P.A. in Columbia, South Carolina. He has represented numerous servicemembers—both active duty and retired—in a wide variety of civil matters.  

 

Safest Cars for 2019

Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers provide information on the safest cars for 2019. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently published its 2019 list of the safest cars. The list this year contains 30 vehicles qualifying for the Top Safety Pick Plus award, compared to just 15 in 2018. Another 27 vehicles were designated as Top Safety Picks, which were also rated high, except for lower scores on a passenger-side small overlap test and headlight tests.

The IIHS president said that carmakers have sought to improve how well their vehicles protect their passengers from being injured in a wreck. The Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports (CR) stated that for car buyers, safety features are a priority. According to CR data, 86 percent of these buyers are concerned with crash protection, and 65 percent reported that crash avoidance capability was important.

Test Components

To receive a Top Safety Pick Plus designation, the cars must rate well in small and moderate overlap front crash testing, side crash testing, head restraint, and roof strength. Most of these are for drivers as well as passengers. Each of the 57 models tested did well in crash testing evaluations and automatic emergency braking. IIHS also evaluated the cars’ passenger-side protection capability and overall headlight performance. The Director of Operations at Consumer Report’s Auto Test Center explained that headlights are particularly important, since so many accidents happen when it is dark.

The Top-Rated Vehicles

Subaru received the most accolades, with seven vehicles making the list, including the Ascent, Crosstrek, two Impreza models, Legacy, Outback, and the WRX. Hyundai Motor Company came in second with models including the Hyundai Elantra, Santa Fe, Kona, and Sonata, the Kia Niro, Forte, Optima, and Sorento, and the Genesis G70, G80, and G90. The Mercedes-Benz E-class, GLC, and GLE-Class models placed in several luxury vehicle categories, as did the Acura RDX, Lexus ES, and the BMW X3 and 5 Series.

Other companies still needed to improve their vehicles’ safety levels, especially regarding improved safety guidelines, better headlights, and passenger crash protection. Auto brands that did not receive recognition are Ford and its Lincoln brand, Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands, Tesla, and General Motors’ Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC brands.

Safe and Affordable

Car buyers must be able to find automobiles that have good safety features. This should be available in all price ranges, from small, inexpensive cars to luxury vehicles. The group strengthens its testing criteria every year to help encourage auto manufacturers to improve overall vehicle safety. IIHS is planning to run an additional test next year, which will focus on emergency braking systems that can sense nearby pedestrians. Testing will be started on small SUVs.

Improved auto technology and testing makes the roads safer, but driver error and other conditions still cause traffic accidents. Buying a high safety-rated car is the right move but practicing cautious driving should always be a priority.

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

If you or someone you love needs legal assistance with any type of car accident, contact an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or complete an online form for a free case evaluation.

We represent clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of 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.

Radiation Exposure in the Workplace

Columbia, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss workplace radiation exposure. Radiation occurs whenever energy is transmitted in waves through space. It can take many forms, like rays of sunshine, laser beams, microwave heat, and x-rays.

The most common type of radiation, non-ionizing or electromagnetic radiation, includes these common forms:

  • Visible light
  • Ultraviolet (UV)
  • Infrared (IR)
  • Microwave (MW)
  • Radio frequency (RF)
  • Extremely low frequency (ELF)
  • Cosmic

Exposure to radiation can be a daily occurrence. Certain occupations have a higher risk for radiation exposure. Radiation exposure most frequently occurs at research institutions, hospitals or other health care facilities, nuclear reactor sites, nuclear weapon production factories, and other manufacturing sites.

Professions at an Increased Risk

The following professionals are at an increased risk for workplace radiation exposure:

  • X-ray technicians
  • Airline crews (including flight attendants and pilots)
  • Underground hard rock miners
  • Nuclear weapon test participants
  • Nuclear waste remediation workers
  • Radium chemists
  • Radium dial luminisers
  • Nuclear industry workers

Individuals who work near certain types of induction furnaces or high-voltage power lines face extensive exposure to ELF radiation. The use of certain radio transmitters can cause excessive exposure to both microwave and radio frequency radiation.

Other workers may use potentially dangerous heat lamps; black lights; welding arcs; or infrared lasers, including helium-neon lasers, CO2 IR lasers, ruby visible lasers, nitrogen UV lasers, and neodymium YAG.

Individuals who work around diesel exhaust systems also face radiation exposure. In certain fields, bright lights are necessary to increase work production. Exposure to excessive amounts of visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum also can cause significant exposure injuries.

Damage Caused by Radiation Exposure

When a worker is exposed to excessive radiation, they can suffer physical injuries ranging from mild complaints to permanent disabilities. Some of the most common radiation exposure injuries are tissue damage, heat sensitivity, sinus infection, intense pain, skin burns, eye injuries, leukemia, breast cancer, skin cancers, bone cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, and potentially death.

Radiation experts advise that even exposure to 10 rem of radiation over a long period of time could increase the likelihood of getting cancer. Exposure to 100 rem over a short period of time can cause observable health effects and increase cancer risks; while exposure to 1,000 rem will likely result in death.

Safety Protocols

Employers can follow safety protocols to reduce the potential for radiation exposure. Properly controlled radiation is a necessary part of many occupations. Uncontrolled radiation is hazardous to workers.

Providing information and training about the risks of radiation and following the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines can create safer working conditions for at-risk workers. Many industries encourage their workers to undergo appropriate medical screening tests when past radiation exposure is suspected.

When an employer fails to follow established safety protocols or otherwise fails to provide safe working conditions for its employees, the employer may be subject to significant fines and other penalties.

Employees may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits to cover the costs of medical treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, physical or occupational therapy, and lost wages resulting from injuries caused by exposure to radiation at the workplace.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Assist Individuals Exposed to Radiation at Work

If you or a loved one has been exposed to radiation at the workplace, compensation may be available. The experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. represent injured workers, including those suffering from the effects of radiation exposure. To arrange a free consultation today, call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or submit an online inquiry form.

From our six office locations in South Carolina we serve clients throughout the state, including 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.

Can I Vacation While Collecting Workers’ Compensation?

Columbia, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on vacationing with workplace injuries and collecting benefits. Individuals injured at work often are entitled to Workers’ Compensation for their injuries. Recovering from a workplace injury can take months or even years.  Many workers receiving Workers’ Compensation wonder if going on a vacation during this time will affect their ability to receive their benefits. Fortunately, workers may continue with their regular activities while home from work on Workers’ Compensation, although there are a few things injured workers should remember when planning a vacation during this time.

Continue to Follow Medical Restrictions

Although being away on a vacation may tempt a person to engage in restricted activities, such as water skiing, hiking, or other physically strenuous sports, workers collecting benefits should continue to follow medical restrictions while on vacation. Engaging in restricted activities could result in a loss of Workers’ Compensation benefits if an employer can use vacation activities to prove the injured worker is able to return to work and adequately perform their duties. Any activity that requires physical exertion, including standing in long lines at amusement parks or in airports, can be problematic for individuals receiving Worker’s Compensation.

Workers’ Compensation benefits are granted when injuries occur at the workplace. If a separate injury occurs on vacation, Workers’ Compensation benefits may be jeopardized if the insurance company can prove the injury taking place on vacation is the real reason the worker is unable to return to work. If vacation activities aggravate or worsen the existing injury, the individual may also lose their Workers’ Compensation benefits. Refraining from high risk activities is necessary while on vacation for workers still receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Plan Around Scheduled Doctor Appointments

Missing a scheduled doctor or rehabilitation appointment to take a vacation is never a good idea. Obtaining Workers’ Compensation benefits is often contingent upon following the medical advice of the Workers’ Compensation physician. Workers must always remain medically compliant to receive all recommended medical treatment. This is an important step in obtaining full Workers’ Compensation benefits. If possible, injured workers should arrange for a physical therapy program to do in their hotel room or vacation rental to continue with rehabilitation while on vacation.

Assume Surveillance

Many Workers’ Compensation insurance companies are wary of injured employees who go on vacation following an injury. This is one of the most common red flags for Workers’ Compensation fraud. Often, insurers will hire private investigators to perform video and photo surveillance on injured workers, including those on vacation, if they suspect exaggeration of a work injury. If the surveillance results in evidence that an injured individual can perform activities that they claimed they were incapable of doing because of their injury, the worker may lose their Workers’ Compensation benefits. In some cases, they may even be charged with fraud.

Avoid Social Media

A worker’s social media accounts can provide the best surveillance for insurance companies. Resist the urge to post vacation action shots, which can be used out of context to demonstrate a worker’s ability to return to work. Photographs and videos of injured workers engaging in physically challenging activities almost certainly will come back to haunt a worker collecting Workers’ Compensation.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Victims of Workplace Accidents

If you have been injured at your workplace, compensation may be available. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers assist injured workers throughout South Carolina. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or submit an online inquiry form.

We represent 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 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.

Toluene Safety

Columbia, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss toluene safety. In the summer of 2013, a manufacturing plant batch maker was overcome by toluene vapor after opening a large, above ground storage tank. He subsequently died of what was determined to be toluene intoxication.

Toluene is a clear liquid that turns to vapor when exposed to air. This can create serious health risks for workers who breath in the fumes of this chemical. Exposure to toluene can also occur from skin absorption or accidental ingestion.

Toluene can be found in:

  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Varnishes
  • Metal cleaners
  • Adhesives
  • Nail polish
  • Rubber
  • Gasoline

Health Effects of Toluene Exposure

Those who accidently splash toluene on their skin or in their eyes will have immediate side effects, such as headaches, confusion, anxiety, and dizziness.

However, long-term exposure is more serious, and can lead to:

  • Miscarriages and reproductive system damage
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Inability to sleep
  • Impaired vision and hearing

Another side effect of long-term toluene exposure is decreased reaction time. When this occurs, workers put themselves at additional risk for accidents and injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes this, and has set exposure limits to prevent the consequences of long-term toluene exposure. However, it should be noted that illness can still occur from exposure to lesser levels.

Workers who believe that they have been injured due to exposure to toluene should consult with a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can help to determine what compensation will be needed to move forward with treatment and recovery.

Reduce Exposure

Those who work with toluene, even in safe levels, can further decrease their risk of exposure by working with their employer to take the following precautions:

  • Substitute paint or glue product for one that is toluene free
  • Avoid spray application of products containing toluene
  • Make sure area is well ventilated
  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, when working with toluene
  • Reevaluate current operating procedures for exposure risks

Common industries where workers are at risk of toluene exposure include salons, maritime occupations, as well as construction.

However, workers are not the only people who may be at risk for high levels of exposure to toluene. Toluene can be released into the environment through air, water, or soil by places where it is produced, used, or stored. This can happen through spills or leaking underground storage tanks.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Workers Suffering from Toluene Exposure

If you have become ill from exposure to toluene in the workplace or you have suffered another injury on the job, a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. is ready to assist you with filing a claim, disputing a denied claim, or discovering other avenues of compensation. Call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or submit an online inquiry form today.

From our six office locations in South Carolina we serve clients throughout the state, 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 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.

Can a Standing Desk Be Harmful?

Columbia, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss the ways in which standing desks can be harmful to workers. A standing desk is designed for writing or reading in a standing position. The popularity of standing desks has grown rapidly under the idea that too much sitting is just as bad for the body as smoking. However, the benefits of standing at work all day have been hotly debated. One Harvard study found that employees who stood at their desk only burned eight more calories per hour than their sitting co-workers. While it is unlikely that a standing desk will help avoid weight gain or aid in weight loss, standing desks may have some benefits, including reduced risks of:

  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Colon and breast cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

Standing Desk Health Issues

Although standing may reduce risks of certain health issues, it is important to remember that standing improperly or for too long can cause other problems. Those who swap their seat for a standing desk may experience leg and foot pain, as well as lower back discomfort. Further, standing for long periods of time with bad posture can cause other issues, including:

  • Knee damage
  • Sway back
  • Weakened abdominal muscles
  • Increased risk of carpel tunnel

Additionally, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported a 12-year study that found an increased risk of heart disease for those that stood for most of the day. Studies have also found that sitting is best when performing fine motor skills, like typing.

Should I Sit or Stand?

With all the conflicting information floating around, workers may be left wondering whether it is best to sit or stand while working. However, just like most things in life, a little of each is the safest best. Although, some physiotherapy experts believe that the most efficient way for employees to maximize their health benefits at work is by taking more walks during the workday. In fact, the physical benefits of walking cannot be denied and are well documented. Some of which include:

  • Reduction of body fat
  • Maintenance of muscle tone
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Improved digestion
  • Combat varicose veins

Even employees that cannot get outside everyday can benefit by using an activity tracker to track their steps. The target goal is a total of at least 10,000 steps taken throughout the day.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Employees Suffering from Injuries Incurred at Work

If you suffer from carpel tunnel, back problems, an occupational disease, or another work-related injury, an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will determine what types of compensation you may be entitled to. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or submit an online inquiry form.

We represent 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 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.

Delayed Injuries from Auto Accidents

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss delayed injuries resulting from car accidents. Every year in the United States, there are an estimated six million car accidents. That is a lot of bumps, bruises, and breaks, and a lot of pain for injured passengers. Because of the initial shock and adrenaline rush that occurs after a collision, some victims often do not even realize they are hurt.

Many people involved in seemingly minor fender benders do not experience symptoms until hours, days, and even weeks after the initial crash. In fact, some may not even associate delayed pain or other symptoms with a prior car accident. It is important to know the signs of an injury with delayed symptoms. You should seek medical care as soon as possible if you experience these symptoms as your condition may be more serious than you imagine.

Symptoms that may be delayed after a car wreck include:

  • Abdominal bruising, pain, tenderness, or swelling: These should never be ignored as they can be signs of internal bleeding. This occurs when a front-row passenger makes contact with the steering wheel or dashboard.
  • Back pain: This may indicate damage to the nerves, muscles, or ligaments throughout the back. More than half of rear-impact crashes and three-quarter of side-impact crashes cause lower back pain in victims.
  • Impaired physical function or changes in personality: Both symptoms come on slowly and can often be subtle. Nevertheless, they are very serious and may represent a traumatic brain injury suffered at the time of the car accident. Crash victims noticing changes in vision or memory, or experience out-of-character emotional changes should see their doctor right away.
  • Neck and shoulder pain and stiffness: These commonly delayed symptoms may be associated with whiplash. A widespread misconception about whiplash is that cars must be traveling at high speeds to cause the condition. Yet, surprisingly, most cases of whiplash involve accidents where vehicles were traveling less than 14 miles per hour.
  • Numbness: This is a very common symptom after a motor vehicle accident, present in one in five victims of rear-end crashes. Damage to the neck or spinal column may cause delayed tingling, numbness, and loss of feeling in the extremities.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is an often overlooked, yet debilitating condition brought on by a frightening or painful experience. The condition can interfere with a person’s quality of life, ability to work and productivity.

What to Do if You Have Delayed Symptoms

The most important thing to remember after being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident is to wait before signing a release of liability with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Even if you feel okay immediately after an accident, completing this form essentially bars you from filing a claim at a later date should you experience delayed physical injuries as a result of the wreck.

If you have not signed a release of liability or settled your claim, you may still take legal steps to seek compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. The first step is to seek medical attention and get a complete evaluation of your condition, and obtain an estimate of what the cost will be to treat it.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Victims with Delayed Injuries

It is not uncommon to notice symptoms days or even weeks after a car accident. Certain conditions simply take time to develop and present aches and pains. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. have extensive experience representing car accident victims with whiplash, back pain, and traumatic brain injuries. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

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 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.

Winter Weather Driving in South Carolina

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers provide information on winter weather driving in South Carolina. Ask any meteorologist, and they will tell you that weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Changing climates around the world have brought intense hurricanes, wildfires, and winter weather to areas that have not experienced it in past years. Even though winter storms and icy roads are not common in South Carolina, coming winters could produce more snow and ice than ever seen before.

Drivers unfamiliar with driving in these conditions should be prepared for them. Not understanding how to drive in snow, slush, and other winter weather can result in serious and fatal accidents. Thinking “that could never happen on South Carolina roads” is a big mistake. A snowstorm in January 2018 in the Charleston area left five inches of snow in some areas. This led to over 650 traffic wrecks.

The safest option is to stay home, but this is not always possible. If there is news of an approaching storm, motorists should study the weather forecast and pay attention to traffic reports.

Driving on Snowy Roads

Slowing down by 10 miles per hour or more and maintaining extra distance from other vehicles is smart advice for anyone driving in snow. Motorists should hold steady speeds and take turns and lane changes slowly. Accelerating after traffic lights turn green or after other stops should also be done carefully. When braking, it is safer to decelerate or push the brake pedal slowly.

Skidding on a snowy road can be frightening, and the first instinct may be to brake. This can make the skid worse. Instead, the driver should take their foot off the gas, and the car should be steered into the direction of the skid. If the car starts spinning, the driver should gently turn the steering wheel into the skid. This should have a counter effect.

Driving on Icy Roads

The guidelines for driving on icy roads are similar to those for snowy roads; slow down, maintain safe distances, and stop and start slowly. Ice-covered roads can be even more slippery, causing vehicles to slide without control. They also tend to be unexpected and hard to see. If a patch of clear ice is on a black road, it can be invisible to drivers. Black ice forms more frequently at night, when temperatures drop. If a driver encounters black ice, they should ease up on the gas; oftentimes, the momentum will carry the vehicle over the ice.

Determining Fault for Winter Road Accidents

Weather-related road conditions contribute to accidents, but insurance companies consider all factors when determining claims. If two vehicles are involved, it could end up as a case of shared liability. The insurance company may make some concessions for the weather, but in many cases, one or both drivers are held liable. Drivers are responsible for controlling their vehicles in all types of weather, so learning how to drive during poor road conditions is extremely beneficial.

Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims Involved in Weather-Related Wrecks

Winter roads can be hazardous, but car accidents occur in all types of driving conditions. If you need help with your car accident claim, contact the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780, or fill out an online form today for a free consultation.

We proudly serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of 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.

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