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Montgomery County Personal Injury Law Blog

Congenital cerebral palsy risk factors, preventative measures

With cerebral palsy, children lose control of their muscles. The condition is the result of damage to or an abnormal development in the brain, and several factors may be causes. Congenital CP is the result of damage to the brain before or during birth, and Maryland parents-to-be might be surprised that 85 to 90 percent of CP cases are congenital.

Some factors increase the chances of children developing CP. Premature birth and low birth weight are two of them. Children born before week 37 of a pregnancy are at a higher risk, and this risk increases when they are born before week 32. The risks are high for babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds as well, and this increases more for babies weighing less than 3 pounds.

Tips for assessing workplace safety

Workplace safety may be a concern to Maryland human resources professionals and business owners, but they can take steps to improve it by asking several questions. One is what types of physical hazards exist in the workplace.

Once these hazards have been identified, workers should consider what cultural risks may be present in their workplace. These may include the potential for employees to offend one another or someone from outside the company, a lack of confidentiality or a stressful environment that has a negative impact on employee health. Business owners and HR staff should then consider whether employees are working within their job descriptions. When employees are performing tasks they are not trained for, that lack of training can be dangerous. It is important for tasks to be delegated appropriately.

Automated systems becoming more common in cars

Older drivers in Maryland might be safer on the road in the years ahead as safety technology becomes increasingly mandatory in those vehicles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, more than 54 million people will be 70 or older, and at least 80 percent are expected to have driver's licenses. However, older adults might run into a number of problems. In addition to a greater susceptibility to injury in an accident, they may lack the range of motion needed to safely look all around their vehicle and might become confused at busy intersections.

Automated emergency brakes are likely to be in wide use before 2022, the year the auto industry has said they will make them a standard feature. Some cars already have blind-spot warning systems and cameras on the dashboard so drivers can view what is behind their cars. Adaptive headlights that move with the steering wheel and adjust their brightness as well as automated parking are other additions that drivers can look forward to.

What you need to know about workers' compensation eligibility

Getting hurt at work presents a host of problems that are not only frustrating, but also potentially life changing. Your ability to work is compromised - perhaps forever - and so is your ability to pay your bills. It isn't long before the doctor bills start rolling in, making matters even worse. The good news is, because you were hurt on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits to recoup your lost wages and doctors' bills.

What is workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation is a type of insurance most employers must carry by law to cover themselves and their employees if injury happens on the job. Each state's requirements for who must carry the insurance may differ. However, in Maryland, companies with more than one employee must have workers' comp insurance, with few exceptions. Furthermore, each state has different eligibility requirements for injured workers as well, but some basic eligibility requirements do exist countrywide.

Identifying workplace floor safety risks

In numerous workplaces in Maryland and across the country, hazardous interior and exterior walking surfaces can cause serious injuries to employees. In fact, more than 50 percent of all trip, slip and fall injuries are caused by problematic walking surfaces.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revised its regulations regarding floor safety risks with the purpose of lessening the likelihood of these incidents at work facilities. Some of the risks involve snowy or icy outdoor walking conditions in parking lots and entrances, loose rugs, large deep cracks or potholes, and uneven walking surfaces.

Investment in safety program shows bus safety is a priority

Parents in Montgomery County and throughout the country have sent their kids back to school. For many families, that means entrusting their kids into the hands of school bus drivers.

As if bestowing that trust weren't enough, parents also must rely on the faith that other motorists will respect traffic laws surrounding school buses. Sadly, many drivers fail to drive safely and according to the law when a school bus is present.

Thirty-minute break to remain a trucking safety requirement

For those who don't work within the commercial trucking industry, the idea of a 30-minute break might not sound like a big deal. But to commercial truckers and trucking companies, a required 30-minute break is a source of much debate. 

In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began the enforcement of a commercial trucking law that basically requires professional truckers to stop and take a 30-minute rest within their first eight hours of driving. The law has been challenged -- unsuccessfully.

Work safety reminders during U.S. Labor Rights Week

If you are like most, you probably are at work today. You were probably there yesterday, and will be there through Friday. Maryland residents and U.S. workers overall work hard. Every day someone is at work, he or she should feel as though they are safe.

Still, there is a need for an awareness campaign. And this week is it. This week marks the country's Labor Rights Week. It is a good opportunity to share some work safety reminders and statistics in order to raise awareness. 

School sports and concussions: What you need to know

Back to school means new clothes, backpacks and school supplies. But with the return to school comes the return of school sports and with that, school-sports injuries. From twisted ankles to broken bones to concussions, it's important to be aware of the risks involved in any sporting activity.

Sports build teamwork, discipline and provide much needed exercise. Balancing those benefits with proactive prudence is always a good idea: wear your helmet, kneepads and any other safety equipment. Also, knowing what to do in the event of injury can make the difference between a speedy recovery and long-term health issues.

Concussions can have lifelong effects: What you need to know

Concussions can result from sports injuries, car accidents, and work injuries such as slipping and falling. In times past, concussions were treated as a fairly minor injury-you were often told to rest for a short period of time and then return to normal activities.

But recent research has shown, more and more clearly, that a concussion is not just a very serious injury, but that even one concussion can leave you with permanent damage, affecting your future relationships, physical activities, and ability to work.

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