The Law Office of John J. Garvey, III
Free consultation
If no recovery, no fee

San Jose Personal Injury Law Blog

Most dangerous civilian jobs for workers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released its annual list of the deadliest jobs in California and around the country. Compiled from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the list looked at the 4,679 fatal work injuries that were recorded in 2014. There were 4,585 fatal work injuries reported in 2013, which means there was a 2 percent increase in 2014.

Of the 4,679 work-related fatalities in 2014, 4,251 of the deaths were in the private sector. The civilian occupations that were the most deadly in 2014 included logging workers, fishers and aircraft pilots and flight engineers. There were 77 fatal work injuries for loggers, 22 for fishers and those doing related fishing work and 81 for the pilots and engineers.

The dangers of driving in foggy conditions

California drivers who find themselves in situations where visibility has dropped due to fog might be unaware of the dangers posed by these conditions. Because visibility can drop rapidly and because drivers often do not have enough time to react correctly, fog has been a factor in a number of serious crashes around the country over the years.

While research focusing on the role that foggy weather can play in a motor vehicle accident is limited, there have been studies that have addressed the issue. One found that drivers tend to approach foggy conditions in two ways. The study labeled drivers 'laggers" and 'non-laggers" and suggested that the majority of drivers fall into the non-lagger category, which posed its own set of dangers as non-laggers attempt to stay within view of lead cars ahead of them, which sometimes cause them to drive at unsafe speeds. Additionally, another study found that fog can make drivers underestimate just how closely they are following another vehicle, which means that in the event they have to brake to avoid a collision, they might not have enough time to do so.

Preventing falls at California workplaces

While OSHA says that workers must have fall safety equipment when working more than four feet in the air, employers don't always provide such protection. In fact, some employers consider it optional or don't buy equipment until after an accident happens. In some cases, employers aren't sure what type of equipment to buy, which is why they forgo it altogether even if they understand its value.

Therefore, it may be a good idea for employers to put together a safety team that can determine the best fall protection equipment for a given company. The team can do research and take other steps necessary to ensure that they balance worker safety with the cost of making such a purchase. Another option is to identify which application is most relevant for a given company and buy equipment for that application.

New evidence in old car accident cases thanks to GM recalls

California residents have probably heard about the General Motors recall of many vehicles that could have defective ignition switches, but some may be unaware of how these recalls might influence the legal system. Several past criminal cases are being looked at in light of the new knowledge of the problem.

In one case, a 25-year-old woman previously spent three months in jail for a one-to-two year sentence when losing control of her Chevrolet Cobalt in 2010, which resulted in the death of a 16-year-old male passenger. The authorities thought she was speeding, but the woman said that she was not and that the brakes and vehicle stopped working. The Chevrolet's ignition went into the accessory position, and there was no power for steering or braking. Additionally, the airbags did not deploy when a crash occurred. Instances like this sounded unbelievable before the news about faulty ignition switches, and the woman pleaded guilty to reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter.

Car accident injuries may have delayed onset

Every year, car accidents cause serious injuries to California residents. However, some injuries don't show up right away. Mental trauma and many physical ailments can surface hours or days after an accident. It is important to recognize the symptoms of delayed trauma to ensure that certain injuries are not left untreated.

Many car accident victims suffer from headaches after a crash. Though usually benign, some headaches may indicate serious issues like a blood clot on the brain, a concussion or a neck injury. Delayed neck and shoulder stiffness, commonly known as whiplash, may also occur. Serious cases may require x-rays, MRIs or CT scans. The delayed onset of abdominal pain or swelling could indicate undetected internal bleeding. Other symptoms of internal bleeding include deep bruising and dizziness.

The importance of properly maintaining truck brakes

Vehicles with defective braking systems pose a danger to all California road users, but the threat is particularly serious when the vehicle involved is a semi-tractor trailer. The air braking systems used on large commercial vehicles are more complex and require more maintenance than the systems found on passenger cars, and random roadside inspections often result in citations for poorly maintained or defective truck brakes. Trucking companies can avoid such issues by ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained, and truck drivers can help to improve road safety by pointing out vehicle behavior that could be caused by braking problems.

Commercial vehicle braking systems are designed to work evenly, and semi-truck accidents can occur when brakes on some wheels are not working as well as those on others. This kind of defect can sometimes go unnoticed during visual inspections, but truck drivers may be alerted to the problem by their vehicles pulling to one side or the other after the brakes are applied.

Safety types for motorcycle riders

Motorcyclists in California might wonder how they can ride more safely. It is important to anticipate specific dangers and consider what can be done to avoid or deal with them.

For example, avoiding excessive speed can help prevent the dangers of taking a corner too fast as well as going around a blind corner and hitting a patch of leaves, gravel or other debris that can cause an accident. Riders should also be observant so that they will notice cars changing lanes or making left turns.

Investigation of wrong-way accidents

As California motorists know, driving the wrong way on a highway is responsible for serious accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board completed a study detailing accidents caused by motorists accessing on ramps and off ramps incorrectly. The study did not include drivers who cross over the center or those driving on two-lane roads, since the recommendations for those types of accidents would be different.

Although wrong-way drivers account for only a small percentage of accidents every year, those types of accidents frequently result in serious injuries and fatalities. Because wrong-way drivers have been a problem since the introduction of the Interstate Highway System, research into ways to prevent it have been recommended since the 1960s.

Fatigue-related accidents may be reduced with new technology

California drivers may be interested to learn that newer technologies are making driving safer. Companies such as Volvo and BMW are introducing devices that help detect when a driver may be getting drowsy and alert the motorist to that possibility.

While it is difficult to measure fatigue as a factor in car accidents due in part to the fact that there is no test for drowsiness as there is for drunk driving, it is estimated that at least 7,500 fatal accidents each year have fatigue as a factor. It was considered one likely cause of the 2014 accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another passenger in his limousine. The truck driver who hit them had been awake for 28 hours.

Several workers hurt after job site gas explosion

California residents may be following the story of a gas explosion that injured three people at a Bronx high school. Workers were installing a new science lab when the accident took place at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 20. The accident occurred when a worker used a lit match to see if gas was going through the line as designed.

There were seven workers from a construction company at the school at the time of the accident. Three of the workers had serious burn injuries, and all seven were taken to area hospitals. The explosion caused damage to the 4th, 5th and 6th floor of the school with the 6th floor suffering the most damage.

Connect with us

John J. Garvey III

Attorney John J. Garvey, III

  • If we fail to recover compensation for you, no fee will be charged.
  • Flexible appointment times are available for your convenience. Home, hospital, and nursing home visits are possible in the event you are not able to travel to our office.

San Jose MagazineSelected One of Silicon Valley's Best Lawyers by San Jose Magazine

AV | Lexis Nexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability