What to do if your job is hurting you…

If you work retail or for any package delivery service, this may not be the “most wonderful time of the year” for you. Long hours and lots of heavy lifting?

Of all the delivery services, only FedEx won Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards making it into the top 50 companies to work for in 2017.

On the other hand, we’ve all heard the stories from friends in the USPS.

Tight, timed deadlines to deliver mail, daily exposure to extreme heat or cold, long holiday hours, and heavy lifting — but we’ve come a long ways from the days of the Pony Express, right?

According to the Postal Employee Network, working for the post office may be legitimately unhealthy for you.

http://postalemployeenetwork.com/news/2010/06/working-for-usps-may-be-dangerous-to-your-health/

Reading the comments section below the above article definitely brought out the cons of being a postal employee, especially the mail carrier positions.  Disgruntled employees came out of the woodwork with their own personal tales of woe.

Many spoke of injuries to their backs and joints due to rushing to haul loads of heavy mail in order to meet deadlines.

One particular comment rang true.  “It all depends on your Postmaster.”

Got a great boss?  Your life doing a hard job may not feel so bad.  You roll with the punches.

One punch you don’t need to ever “roll” with is pushing yourself to do your job while injured.  Not even your boss has the right to ask you to do this. Doing so will only further damage your body.

Such long-term damage could change your whole life and destroy your ability to work altogether.  You’re not a cheap asset just waiting to be used up and tossed away!

If you’re afraid to tell your boss about your pain, willing yourself right now to continue working while experiencing significant pain, there is hope!

In many situations, no matter who was at fault for a job-related injury,  you have the right to workers’ compensation.  A free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury/workers’ compensation lawyer will help you know if you have a case. http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

If you qualify, your lawyer will also instruct you about the specific steps you need to take to protect yourself.

Meanwhile, records, records, records!

Be sure to document in writing your injuries for yourself, your doctor, and your employer. In fact, handing your doctor in writing questions and specific facts about your injuries may inspire him to be meticulous about your case.

A three ring binder with pocket folders is very helpful for organizing. Keep records of everything!  (Your workers’ compensation lawyer will love you for this, too. )

What if your injuries are not job-related?

While your options are much more limited, talking to your boss or your HR department is a good first step.

According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, any company that has more than 50 employees is required to grant 12 weeks of unpaid leave if the employee has worked for them at least one year.  At least this keeps your job intact!

Smaller companies often will find a way to use you in a limited capacity while you heal.   You can check out this article to find other ideas to help navigate through this rough patch.  http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2014/01/21/injured-and-unable-to-work-what-to-do.html

Injured on the job in Missouri?  You need a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney. The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a fair evaluation of your case. Call 636-244-3737 today!

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

 

Drive to survive — tips to avoid frenzied or distracted driving

distracted driving, Missouri car accident attorney
#distracteddriving

Thanksgiving and holiday travels are just around the corner. Frenzied or distracted driving — a major factor in car crashes — could change your life forever!

For many women, the coming holidays make that “to-do list”  miles longer!  If you’re also a “taxi-mom”,  you’re likely to have a higher risk factor for distracted driving.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, distracted driving is a leading cause of deadly traffic accidents in the state of Missouri.

“Inattention is a leading cause of traffic crashes,” said Colonel Replogle. “If you’re focused on sending a text message, then you aren’t paying attention to your driving. Cell phone usage — particularly texting while driving can lead to tragic consequences. These consequences are easily preventable if drivers would simply put down their phones and focus on the road.” http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/Root/Anti-textingstickerrelease.html

Nationally, more than a quarter of a million people were injured in distracted driving traffic accidents in 2015.  Also in 2015  —  there were 3,477 motor vehicle fatalities due to distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

Even 5 seconds of texting at 55 mph can forever change your life!

These scary statistics sadly don’t seem to matter when our daily lives start rolling along at high speed.  So many places to go and people to see!

Nothing will ruin your holiday season quicker than to be responsible for the death or even serious injury of a friend or loved one!

Intentional safe driving takes planning and education, too.

Include these tips on your “to-do list”:

  • Turn your cell sound off or on vibrate before starting to drive.  Unless you are in the middle of a family emergency, almost any phone call can wait until you are able to pull over.
  • Plan B:  if possible, use your children or other fellow passengers as a cell-phone answering service. I love it when I see texts from my mom friends that are obviously written by their kids.  Misspellings? No punctuation? That’s okay!  These make me smile because I know my friend is practicing safe driving techniques!
  • Long drive ahead? Plan for cell phone pit stops.  Consider it a reward for good cell behavior! That’s right. Just go ahead and schedule time to pull over and check your phone for a few seconds. If you have a worried loved one, they will be happy to know you will be checking your phone every so often!
  • Hands-free options?  Many modern cars are equipped with bluetooth or other hands-free cell phone technology.
  • Resist temptation to check all social media updates while driving, too.  Turn off notifications if the urge is too strong. Your friend’s latest Instagram post of tantalizing holiday baking is just not worth that possibly fatal second of distraction.  Sadly, our social media addiction sometimes kills.
  • Keep your eyes wide open for other distracted drivers!  Especially watch for merge areas such as exit and on-ramps.  Living in the urban sprawl, we regularly encounter the  driver that merges wildly and dangerously into traffic. We do the cell phone check! More often than not, the dangerous driver is on their cell at that moment.

Busy, amazing, multi-tasking ladies — you’ve got this!  You can drive to survive and enjoy this holiday season.

Know someone who needs legal help due to being injured in a distracted driver car accident?  The  experienced car crash attorneys at The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC offer a free initial consultation.

http://steimel-law.com/traffic-matters.html

Don’t try to settle without expert legal help from an experienced car accident attorney!   Call 636-244-3737 today!

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

 

Firefighters and heart disease — why you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer

Firefighter or first responder injured in the line of duty? You put yourself in harm’s way for us. Are you being fairly compensated?

Your job is tough — rough on the back, muscles, ligaments, nerves, joints, lungs, and even your heart!

It’s more than fair that your workers’ compensation should cover all of the damages you suffer due to your job.  However, some of your body’s wear and tear might be hard to see and possibly harder to prove.

Take your heart, for instance. While it’s busy pumping about 90 gallons of blood a minute, you may be giving it the shock of its life, inhaling burning chemicals from a burning vehicle or a building on fire.  These toxins take their toll.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration,  in 2015 there were 94 firefighter fatalities in the line of duty.  Sixty of those deaths were stress-induced — fifty-four of those fatalities due to a heart attack.

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/ff_fatalities_2015.pdf

In simple terms, heart attacks were responsible for at least half of the “line-of-duty” fatalities among firefighters in 2015! 

So, if you’re a firefighter,   you need your good doctor to be keeping a close eye on your heart health.   The unique combination of stress and toxins you  may be exposed to certainly make you a canidate for heart disease!

How can you make sure your workers’ compensation will cover you for any heart-related issues? 

Good question!  Heart disease is often not considered a workers’ compensation issue.  Unfortunately, it’s a leading cause of death among firefighters!

While there are no guarantees in life,  there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of getting compensated for job-related heart issues or occupational disease.

  • Ask your doctor to run baseline tests for heart disease.  If you have evidence of a healthy heart to begin with, then changes in heart functions may be easier to trace to work-related hazards.
  • Don’t ignore the many different possible signs of heart disease.  Take time to go the doctor!  WebMD lists more than a dozen symptoms,  chest pains, squeezing, and tightness being only a couple of the many possible signs.  https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-symptoms#1
  • Get an accountability partner for diet and exercise!  If you have a certain amount of “proof” that you’ve been good,  you have a better chance of being  on the “nice” list, not the naughty.  However, if you’re known to de-stress by always partying hard during your time off, this may not sit well those reviewing your workers’ compensation case!

If you know you’ve been exposed to carcinogens or experienced smoke inhalation in the line of duty,  you need the help of a legal expert with your workers’ compensation case!

Heart disease or a heart attack could change the rest of your life. To survive, you will absolutely need time off of work to heal!  Worrying about the future of your job only adds to the stress.

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will fight for you, firefighter or first responder !  They are licensed  to handle workers’ compensation cases in both Missouri and  Illinois.   You will get a free and fair evaluation of your case when you call 636-244-3737.

http://steimel-law.com/workers-comp.html

Do you want the best possible outcome for your future and your family? Don’t let heart disease defeat you.  Call 636-244-3737 today!

 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

What to do about whiplash, the “invisible” car crash injury

neck pain, personal injury lawyer

It was all my fault — my first car accident. No police reports were filed. No ticket was given.

I swerved and overcompensated my steering on a narrow, shoulderless road, and ended up hitting the embankment on the opposite side of the road.

The officer looked my brother over carefully,  my only passenger and fellow accident victim, and said, “What’s that white stuff dripping off your face? First time I’ve seen that.” ( The white stuff was his yogurt-to-go.)

We both looked fine.  We escaped injury better than my sadly damaged car.  Or so I thought…

A few hours later, my brother was lying in bed alternating ice and heat on his  very sore neck and shoulders.  His whiplash was apparently much worse than mine.  I felt terrible!

Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, even for a low-impact car accident.

It is an unwelcome guest that often shows up after the initial car accident.  Very commonly, rear-end collisions are to blame.  However, side-impact and head-on collisions are definitely also culprits.

Sports accidents, getting hit in the head, slip-and-fall accidents — all of these  can result in a rapid whipping motion of our super flexible cervical spine!

Neck and shoulder pain after a car accident are sometimes the first signs of a whiplash injury.  However the list of possible symptoms is quite long.

https://www.webmd.boots.com/pain-management/guide/pain-management-whiplash

Potentially serious whiplash symptoms according to WebMD include:

  • Severe, ongoing pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Problems breathing

Since whiplash injuries are so common, many insurance companies will investigate any claims for fraud.  You need to have your ducks in a row when making a car accident whiplash claim!

 Seek medical attention promptly when you feel the onset of symptoms.  Don’t wait to see if you symptoms will just vanish.

Make a list of your symptoms before your doctor’s visits.
Sticky note, journal, list on the phone — use whatever works for you! The thing is, you don’t want to forget a symptom while discussing your needs with your doctor. Not only will this improve your medical treatment,  you will also need this documentation for your whiplash insurance claim.

Document your doctor’s visits. Ask for copies of the records of each visit.  More doctors’ offices are going completely digital, but they will still print out a report of your visit per your request.

If your neck is being a pain, and you can’t think clearly on the muscle relaxers you were prescribed, you’ll be glad you have a paper copy of the visit to help you with the next step you need to take.

Your next step is to call your car accident lawyer.  Again, don’t wait and hope your insurance company will resolve everything

You may think calling your insurance claims office is enough. However, if your whiplash turns out to be a  sign of a greater spinal injury, you need a lawyer who will be on your side.

You need unbiased legal help. After all,  any insurance company is naturally trying to minimize their own cost for your car crash.

Your car accident lawyer will speak directly with your insurance company, but your personal records will also be an important part of the process.

Stand up for yourself!  Get medical help and a caring, experienced personal injury lawyer.

Taking these positive steps will not only help you heal from your car accident whiplash injury, but also make sure you have the financial coverage you need to fully recover.  Your best possible recovery is the goal of The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC.  http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

Call 636-244-3737 for a free initial consultation today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

 

Job injury? Don’t become a statistic!

Back injuries can change your life forever!

Is a slip-and-fall accident at work making your life miserable?

Maybe you can relate to Jimmy, the  bus boy (names  and details changed to protect the innocent).  He worked in a ten bucks-an-entree upscale burger joint.  Jimmy was a big guy —  friendly and eager to please. Maybe that’s what got him into trouble in the first place.

So when someone called in sick, Jimmy waited and bussed tables and unloaded heavy boxes of supplies off the truck. All in a day’s hard work, right?

Jimmy didn’t see the greasy spot on the floor due to the supplies he was carrying that day.   He slipped. He ended up flat on his back groaning in pain!

However, the manager was desperate to keep the  doors open. So Jimmy continued to work the rest of the day. The back pain was so unbearable he called in sick the next day and the next.  In a few weeks he lost his job.

Insurance didn’t want to cover his medical bills.

He ended up needing disability pay to cover months out of work.  Getting disability pay was a nightmare.  Insurance tried to wiggle out paying saying that his size was to blame for the extent of his back pain. Really? What about doing everyone else’s job all by yourself? `

The chronic back pain continued, and his life felt like it was over even though Jimmy was only in his early twenties.

According to studies cited by WebMd, chronic back pain is responsible for over a third of all disability cases in North America.

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20140325/low-back-pain-leading-cause-of-disability-worldwide-study#2

It doesn’t matter where you’re at in life. Chronic back pain levels the playing field.  Losing your ability to function normally is bad enough.

When your job and income is at stake, you worry about living under a bridge somewhere.

Truth be told, people do live under bridges due to chronic pain ruining their lives. The homeless population in North America is full of disabled people.

For families and individuals struggling to pay the rent, a serious illness or disability can start a downward spiral into homelessness, beginning with a lost job, depletion of savings to pay for care, and eventual eviction. – National Coalition for the Homeless (www.nationalhomeless.org)

If you’ve been injured on the job, there is hope. 

There are important steps you can take to keep yourself from joining the homeless population.

First:  ASK for help. It’s okay to ask. No one gets through this life successfully without a helping hand.

Where do you find strength and energy to fight a court battle when you’re in continual pain and completely broke? You need help!

Did you know that an experienced personal injury lawyer or workers’ compensation lawyer will fight for your rights without compensation unless they WIN your case?

Next:  LIsten to your lawyer’s advice. He or she will guide you through each step you need to take.

An experienced personal injury/workers’ compensation lawyer will research all the details of your case and leave no stone unturned to help you!

Don’t give up.  Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.

Document everything. Get a dollar three-ring binder and fill it up with every medical report.  Ask for print-outs from your doctor’s office.  With the push to have all medical records accessible online, you have to ask if you want a printed copy.

If you live in the greater St. Louis area, The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free evaluation of your potential  personal injury.Their office is also licensed to try workers’ compensation cases in the neigboring state of Illinois.

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

Don’t wait to fight back against pain and financial strain! Call Attorney Steimel at 636-244-3737  today. 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

Ride to survive — bicycle safety and enjoyment tips

While the National Bike Challenge of 2017 ends on September 30th,  that won’t stop you from pedaling along if you are a bike enthusiast!  (Be sure to sign up next May for the next National Bike Challenge.)

You may love to cycle for many reasons.  The crisp, cool fall weather is the perfect time to get out and go cycling!

Commute to work, anyone?  We have a friend who regularly cycled twenty-plus miles each way to work for a few years. Only bad weather dampened his enthusiasm.  That’s a lot of leg power!

Small town or big city dweller, cycling to work has seen a 40% increase since 2000 according to this  Business Insider  article.

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-reasons-you-should-bike-to-work-2012-10

My favorite reason  for biking to work cited by the  author was the overall health benefits.  Places like Portland, Oregon have invested in a biking culture with the potential of saving millions of dollars in healthcare expenses over the years.

Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are probably the top reasons people enjoy biking. 

Cycling is great personal therapy!  You cycle to get away from the “rat race” and to feel the wind in your face.

For you, biking is a wonderfully healthy hobby.

Want to explore a new trail away from the traffic? If you live in the greater St. Louis area, there are  many trails options to enjoy.

You can check them out here:  https://www.traillink.com/cityactivity/st-charles-mo-bike-trails/

Riding bikes together can promote family unity and happiness. 

Skinned knees and scraped hands — who remembers the thrill of learning to ride your own bike?

I was reminded of this childhood rite of passage when visiting with a nephew and niece this summer.  Their young faces beamed with pride as they boasted of their new skills on wheels!

Commuting, therapy or hobby cycling, and family cycling — wherever you roll, you want to stay safe and avoid being an bicycle accident statistic.

The good news is that only 2% of traffic deaths in 2014 were bicyclists!  To help stay on the good side of those statistics,  a quick run-down of safety rules on a regular basis is helpful.  Read and share the love (and safety) with your family!

Basic Bicycle Safety Tips:

  • Protect your brain-power. Wear a proper-fitting safety helmet.
  • Follow all traffic laws. It’s the law!
  • Avoid cycling at dawn, dusk, and after dark. Even with safety reflectors, bike lights, and light-colored clothing, bicycles and pedestrians are still almost invisible at these times of day.
  • Make sure your bike is in tip-top shape — no faulty brakes or leaky tires.
  • Cut out distractions such as cell-phone usage or listening to music on headphones.
  • Wear protective and reflective clothing. Fellow flip-flop wearer?  Well, just give them up for the ride!
  • Avoid drinking and riding. Why? One in five fatal bike crashes involved a cyclist with a blood alcohol content of .08  according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists
  • Printable bike safety tips are available from AAA: http://exchange.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/AAA-Bike-Basics.pdf

Sadly, even the best bicycle safety practices cannot prevent all accidents due to a negligent driver. If you or a loved one are suffering with a personal injury from a bicycle accident due to a careless driver, you need expert legal help and advice!

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free consultation and a fair evaluation of your personal injury case with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Call 636-244-3737 to get help today!

 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 ways to avoid personal injury on an ATV or motorcycle

The invention of the wheel changed people’s lives forever.

Our obssession with wheels and travel keeps evolving.

We go further and faster than any previous generation. The flip side of the coin is that few of us get through life without some sort of personal injury due a car or motorcyle accident.

I’ll never forget the day my brother’s set of wheels failed him!

We’re talking two wheels here. In fact, it was a souped-up bicycle with an actual motor attached.  He didn’t have to waste good energy pedaling.  It saved him extra exhaustion from the summer’s heat while he commuted to do yard work for clients a few miles away. (When you’re competing with older siblings for a ride to work, having your own wheels is a real plus!)

Unfortunately, he experienced a mechanical failure that sent him face first into a gravel driveway.

No bones were broken, but a faceful of imbedded gravel is super painful! Thankfully, there were no serious lasting injuries. Just a few facial scars.

Mechanical failure is one cause of car and motorcycle accidents.

Unfortunately,  the most common motorcycle and ATV accidents happen due to human failure — mistakes in judgment or carelessness.

Kids, country living, room to roam — add wheels to the mix, and you have the recipe for personal injuries that could be life-changing!

A friend I know was a best man at a wedding years ago. The night before the wedding, to celebrate,  friends and the groom-to-be took a rip-roaring spin through the fields and woods. No alcohol was involved.  Just speed-lovin’ guys and their wheels…

The bride will never forget that her groom arrived at the wedding with his arm in a cast and his ribs taped.

Again, it could have been so much worse.  Thankfully, none of his groomsmen suffered permanent injuries, and the groom recovered!

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports  over 1,700 deaths in 2014 due to motorcycle crashes alone.  Close to 2,000 injuries were reported.  https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/SAC/crash_data_motorcycle_960grid.html

This does not include any statistics for ATVs or other offroad vehicles that young people love to use.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data reports show that nationwide fatal ATV accidents have reduced significantly since 2006. The average for adult deaths per year ranges around 564 adult ATV-related deaths and 123 children.

If your young person is going to enjoy some offroading fun on a motorcycle or ATV, here are some safety pointers to review:  ( see https://onsafety.cps.gov)

1.) Get training on how to use the ATV from an experienced instructor.

Like me, you may know very little about operating an ATV. You need a teacher who knows what they are talking about and can show you or your young person the ropes in a hands-on way!

2.) Like a motorcyclist or any cyclist, you should always wear your helmet!

Just do it.  Head injuries account for almost 30% of personal injuries due to ATV accidents.  Would you really choose a wheelchair to be your next set of wheels? Imagine a brain injury that takes away your child’s ability to work or take care of himself!

3.) Maybe you’re working on that farmer’s tan, but wear protective clothing, too!

Long sleeves, long pants, protective eyewear — these are all smart moves to help protect against personal injury.

4.) Don’t overload the motorcycle or ATV! 

Seriously, unless you’re in a third world country and this is your ride to work, no crowds allowed!

5.) Last but not least, don’t let your smaller young person drive an adult-sized ATV!

Kids die in these accidents. Trying to drive a 600lb +vehicle  is a far cry from riding a bicycle. These wheels are FAST and HEAVY.  Even your super-kid with common sense may find themselves overwhelmed and unprepared.

Your friends at The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC want to encourage you to avoid needing a personal injury lawyer.  However, if you or your child have suffered a personal injury in an ATV or motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal help!

You will receive meticulous attention and a free evaluation of your personal injury case at The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC.  They will aggressively pursue your rights to compensation.

To schedule your free consultation call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC at 636-244-3737.

http://steimel-law.com/personal-injury.html