Construction boss? How to avoid hypothermia AND a workers’ compensation case

If you’re a great construction boss, you know your men. You do your best to protect them and your company from personal injury and the risk of a workers’ compensation case.

Your radar is on “high alert” if you have  a worker who regularly shows up with that suspicious whiff of alcohol on his breath.   However, you may not be aware that drinking alcohol puts your worker at greater risk for hypothermia.

It’s the slow season for those who work outside — roofers, home improvement contractors, and anyone in the construction industry. So, you take work when you can get it, right?  Working out in the elements is just something you do to make ends meet.  Plus, you need to keep your crew busy so they can feed their families.

Finding skilled reliable help is always a huge challenge for home improvement contractors and the construction industry. It’s easy to ignore that whiff of alcohol, however, when a crew member shows up dependably, works hard, and does good work. Your sharp eyes will always be watching to see if they are able to safely and reliably do their job.

Prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures is a game-changer.

That’s right. According to WebMD, alcohol increases this risk of hypothermia. Hypothermia threatens the safety of your crew and those around them in several ways.  To prevent a  serious accident on the job and  avoid a personal injury or workers’ compensation case due to hypothermia, you need to know the signs.

  • Shivering! This is actually a good thing. While there’s shivering, there’s hope! While we’ve all done our share of shivering due to winter weather, there’s a difference. In the early stages of hypothermia, shivering is uncontrollable. As hypothermia progresses, shivering stops. I experienced this years ago during a surfing lesson in the Pacific Ocean. The thickest wet suit available did not shut out the cold ocean temperatures. My teeth would not stop chattering!  Burying myself in the sun-warmed sand did the trick.  The key is WARM UP immediately!
  • Confusion. If your worker is not making sense, this is an elevated cause for alarm. Hypothermia is a medical emergency. It should not be ignored. It’s time to bring your crew in out of the cold for regular “warm-up” breaks. If you see a confused worker, you need to take swift action. While you wait  with the victim indoors for the ambulance to arrive, remove any wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and apply dry heat to the neck and middle portion of the body. Offer warm fluids. (NO alcohol, as that speeds up hypothermia.)
  • Clumsiness and lack of coordination. Cold weather numbs both the extremities and the brain. That roofing nail gun or circular saw becomes a deadly weapon in clumsy hands! Avoid a personal injury case and a workers’ compensation case by checking for hypothermia, offering warm drinks, and frequent breaks to your crew.
  • Shallow breathing, slurred speech, drowsiness and exhaustion — also watch for these signs of hypothermia.

The onset of flu symptoms combined with working in frigid temperatures is an added ingredient for a possible fatality.

It’s a rugged outdoor life as a construction worker. When tough guys try to power through  the weather, making that tough call may save lives and your business.

Injured on the job in Missouri or Illinois? You can find experienced, aggressive legal help today for your workers’ compensation case or personal injury case. Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC at (636)244-3737 for a free initial consultation.

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.

 

 

 

Sports-related injuries on ice are slippery…

Kids and sports-related injuries go hand-in-hand. This time of year the ice-rinks are bustling with skaters large and small. Maybe ice-skating lessons or ice-hockey practice is on your family’s weekly schedule.

Surprisingly, according to this National Safety Council report, out of about 20,000 ice skating injuries in 2014, 30% of those injuries occurred in adults aged 25-64.

I can relate. At age 40, I broke my first bone ever — my left “funny-bone” (not kidding) — taking a normal turn around the ice rink with my daughter.  Wasn’t even trying to be fancy! Suddenly my feet flew out from underneath me.  I hit my head. Feeling sick and dizzy, I half-crawled and limped off the ice.

The ice-rink manager was by my side in a quick minute.  He had to call for a family member to drive me home.  After a trip to an urgent care, my weekly, then monthly visits to an orthopaedic specialist began.

The x-ray technician informed me that neither he nor his wife ever go ice-skating.  He’s seen too many very bad breaks due to falls on the ice. I got off easy.

I received a call from the ice rink for a week — every single day. Next, the rink called me every single week for a month. Just making sure I was okay.

In hind-sight, I realized they were worried about a premises liability claim or a personal injury claim. No worries for them! EVERYONE who ice skates falls sooner or later. My major concern was making it through work every single day and fitting in all my doctor’s visits. Thankfully, my therapy exercises at home paid off — my elbow healed beautifully.

Does a sports-related injury on a public ice rink entitle you to a personal injury claim?

The short answer is not necessarily. It’s complicated.  Only a personal injury attorney can truly help you sort out the facts and help you decide if you have a valid personal injury case.

If you could prove negligent care of equipment or poor ice maintenance, maybe you have a case? Proving this could be quite a challenge!

Why? When you put two thin metal blades on your feet  and purposefully walk out onto slippery ice, you know you are risking a potential slip-and-fall accident. Staying in an upright position on ice requires at least some skills. I thought I was golden because I had learned to ice skate on a bumpy country pond. Wrong!

However, just like police officers are obligated to pay attention and stop aggressive, hazardous drivers —  the owners of sporting facilities need to protect their clients from aggressive behavior, such as human “bulldozers” at their ice rink.

I’ve seen the “ice-patrol” at work removing ice-skating privileges from an out-of-control skater who thinks it’s fun to plow into people repeatedly.

So, if you or a loved one are suffering from sports-related injuries due to obvious negligence, it’s worth your while to call an experienced personal injury attorney.  If you merely lost your balance, probably not.

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free initial consultation.  Attorney Steimel  is an experienced personal injury lawyer practicing in the greater St. Louis area. He offers a thorough knowledge of the local law and your personal rights. 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.

 

Proper car inspections and car maintenance — PREVENT a felony charge

Licensed mechanic facing a felony charge? Yes, it happens.

In 2015, the Vermont Attorney General charged a licensed mechanic with manslaughter and reckless endangerment. Unfortunately, a customer was killed in a 2014 auto accident partly due to brake failure. The guilty mechanic passed this vehicle through inspection just a few months prior.  After the accident, investigators discovered badly rusted brake lines as well as a badly rusted vehicle frame.

https://vtdigger.org/2015/08/15/mechanic-charged-with-manslaughter-for-approving-inspection-of-vehicle/

Sadly, the mechanic’s possible motive was to save an elderly couple in their 80’s some money. He warned them on a prior visit about the rusted brake lines, but the husband refused the repair. On a subsequent visit, he passed their vehicle through inspection.

Vehicle inspection laws in Vermont  changed in 2013.  Vermont car inspectors now MUST fail cars with rusted brake lines. Fellow Vermont mechanics say the judge used this case as a harsh example to warn them.

Now this mechanic is paying a heavy price. Loss of career. Ruined reputation in town. A felony on his record. Jail time. Just imagine if this happened to you in your early 30’s!

Other mechanics are rightly alarmed.  Brake lines rust quickly in Vermont.  Overzealous mechanics are often accused of price-gouging.  How often do you need your brake lines repaired, after all?

You may surprised, as I was.

Did you know that rusted brake lines are a common problem even if your car is only five years old?

Harsh winter weather attacks your brake lines. Washing the undercarriage of your car helps slow down the deterioration.  Obviously, the brake lines need regular inspection by a trained mechanic.

According to RepairPal (www.repairpal.com), you can expect to pay between $144 to $193 per brake line replacement. Dealers command the highest brake repair fees. If one brake line is going bad, it is likely the other three lines will fail shortly thereafter.

Forking out $600 or more dollars IS a small fortune if you are on a fixed income.  However,  facing a felony charge is far costlier.

On the flip side of the coin, if you fail to maintain your own car, you also could face a felony charge.

What if you accidentally kill someone because your brakes failed? Did you fail to have your brake pads, rotors, and lines repaired or maintained in a timely manner?

The courts in Missouri could potentially charge you with second degree involuntary manslaughter.  Why? When you don’t keep up with safety repairs on your vehicle, you pose a dangerous risk to other drivers.  In the eyes of the law, this is considered criminal negligence, according to NOLO.  Truthfully, we all let things slip at times when our lives are overwhelmingly busy.

Sometimes, though, a deadly auto accident due to brake failure occurs because of a defective auto part.

Have you been in an auto accident due to brake failure? Maybe you knew your brakes were due for maintenance soon, but should have lasted longer than they did.  Your criminal defense lawyer will leave “no stone unturned” to discover the truth on your behalf.

NO one should face criminal charges alone. You need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney to help you get a fair trial and preserve your rights.

http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC offers a free initial consultation!   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 if you commit accidental shoplifting in Missouri?

Not too long ago I “overheard” a conversation on social media about an accidental shoplifting.

The story ran something like this: a busy momma with little ones had a cart overflowing with groceries and other items at a large retailer. She distractedly went through the checkout.

Unfortunately she started to leave this store with an unpaid item on the rack beneath her cart.  Security stopped her and checked her receipt. She profusely apologized and offered to pay for the item. Security still called the store manager who made her wait for the police.

She was treated like a criminal in front of her children for an honest mistake.

Her very irate husband published a letter to this retailer on social media.  I can’t fact check any of their story.  However, it’s a personal phobia of mine.  I often check receipts after shopping to make sure items were charged.

Accidental shoplifting is an easy crime to commit!

What about you?

Ever take a call on your cell while the cashier is ringing up your items? Or have your child asking you a whole list of questions during the process?  Rush hour (4-6pm) at the grocery store and long lines equal stress, too.

More than ever, we function on “overload” setting in daily life. Sometimes this results in an accidental felony!

Retailers undeniably face a genuine epidemic of shoplifting. According to a Time.com article, stores lost 48.9 billion dollars of inventory in 2016!

Of this amount, almost 37% of this loss was due to customer shoplifting.  Employee theft accounted for 30% of the lost inventory.  However, accidental shoplifting cannot be ruled out!

http://time.com/money/4829684/shoplifting-fraud-retail-survey/

If you shop at Walmart, be especially careful to avoid accidental shoplifting. They’ve adopted their own interesting twist in dealing with shoplifting in Joplin, Missouri.

If you accidentally walk out (never mind that the cashier should also be held partially responsible) with an unpaid package of water bottles under your cart, this could cost you $400 plus time.

Meet Walmart’s “Restorative Justice Program”!

According to The Joplin Globe, this program is designed to cut down on frequent calls to the police.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/wal-mart-takes-its-own-approach-to-shoplifting/article_454c256b-2268-5514-9473-2712d1cd26c8.html

However, it only applies to those with a clean record. Welcome, accidental shoplifter!

You have the choice of paying $400 and completing an online course.  Said course surely restores your brain cells from accidental shoplifting mode!

Fail to complete the course?  Fail to pay in full? Walmart reports you to the police!

Don’t care for this option?

Walmart calls the police and files a report.  You will need to show up in court.

In Missouri, shoplifting items under a $500 value is considered a Class A Misdemeanor —  punishable by possible jail time and fines.

Unfortunately, unless you fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed  in court, you will end up with a misdemeanor on your record.

True, you may qualify to get your record expunged.  Expungement for a misdemeanor now only requires a three year wait from the completion of your sentence, parole, or probation.  http://steimel-law.com/blog/get-your-legal-record-expunged/

Starting 2018 with any shoplifting charges? A misdemeanor or especially a felony charge (items over $500)  radically changes your life! You need experienced, aggressive legal help TODAY.

At the Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC, you can pursue your best options for your future!  Call 636-244-3737 to get your 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.

Is a slip-and-fall injury keeping you down?

Baby, it’s cold outside!   Businesses and property owners are pulling out the snow shovels and “ice melt” to protect others from slip-and-fall injuries.

Cracked, uneven sidewalks? Inadequate clearing of snow and ice? Combine these elements with THE elements.  You have a recipe for a personal injury disaster and a premises liability claim. 

A personal relation had her day in court and won a ten  year settlement that allowed her to retire.  Never mind that she was  wearing high heels to the office party when she tripped on the uneven pavement.

Even more telling, no one ever asked in court if she had a drink at the party.  What mattered was that she was a charming older lady who suffered a slip-and-fall injury at least partly due to an uneven sidewalk.

What mattered the most was that this lady suffered chronic back and neck pain for the rest of her life due to one slip-and-fall accident!

Slip-and-fall injuries are life-changing and costly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five falls causes a serious injury. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

Some of these serious injuries include:

  • traumatic brain injury
  • fractured hips
  • broken bones
  • concussion
  • soft tissue injuries to muscles, joints, and ligaments

If you are a senior citizen and experience a slip-and-fall accident, the stakes are even higher.

Once again, the CDC points out that each year 300,000 older folk end up in the hospital for hip fractures.

Recovering from a hip fracture can be a long, tough road. You will probably need to do rehab and physical therapy. If you do not have a family member nearby who has plenty of time to help, you likely will have to live in a rehab facility.

Depending on your financial situation,  such a long-term recovery may end up costing you your independence — your ability to drive or even to live alone.

Imagine being the bread-winner for your family and breaking a bone due to a slip-and-fall injury!

If you are not injured on the job, you will need paid time off to manage the bills while you heal. Workers’ compensation will not help.

The average minimum healing time for a broken bone is 6 to 12 weeks!

If you have NO complications, this time frame is your “best-case” scenario. Unfortunately, you may need to file for unemployment and even temporary disability.

There are also legal restrictions to applying for unemployment.

If your slip- and-fall injury happened due to the negligence of a home or business — say an icy sidewalk or puddle of water — you may be eligible for financial compensation due to:

  • Loss of work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent or temporary disability
  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Rehab bills
  • Physical therapy bills    
  • If you feel you are suffering due to someone’s carelessness, you need the help of an experienced slip-and-fall injury lawyer. Life’s hard. Don’t suffer alone!

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

Call 636-244-3737 today for a free, initial consultation for residents of Missouri and the Greater St. Louis area. The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a fair evaluation of your personal injury case.

 

 

Come clean in 2018 — get your legal record expunged

Celebrate an expunged criminal record in 2018

Do you have a few wild oats that always come back to haunt you when you fill out a new job application or apply to rent an apartment? Maybe a DWI or perhaps a MIP (minor in possession) charge? Due to  recent changes in Missouri law, you may now qualify to have your criminal charges expunged from your record.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve never heard of the term “expunge” before.  A quick peek at dictionary.com gives us a brief definition. “to strike or blot out: erase; obliterate”. 

What if this happened to your criminal record? Wouldn’t it feel good to start 2018 with a clean slate?

Imagine not having to tell a potential employer of your one and only DWI ! That may just make life a whole lot easier for you.

You could answer “no” to committing a felony or misdemeanors in many situations as long as you are a one-time offender. Your court and criminal records would be sealed. No snoops allowed.

( Applying for a job in law enforcement or banking, for example? You will still have to disclose your record to your potential employer.)

The good news is that the state of Missouri has recently greatly expanded the list of felonies and misdemeanors they will expunge.

The Columbia Tribune reports that about 1,900 different felonies or misdemeanors will now be eligible to be expunged.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20171130/law-making-it-easier-to-expunge-criminal-records-in-missouri-takes-effect-jan-1

While not everyone with a misdemeanor on their record will qualify to have their criminal record expunged, many more folks than were allowed before can apply and start the process in 2018.

Only one felony in a lifetime or two misdemeanors or ordinance violations can be expunged. 

You may need to be patient, especially for alcohol-related offenses.

If you have a DWI on your record, you will have to keep your record squeaky clean for ten years before getting it expunged in court.

To get a misdemeanor expunged, the wait is three years from the date of completion of your sentence, parole, or probation.  This is FAR better than the former ten year wait to get a misdemeanor off of your record.

Other felonies will normally require a seven year wait for your clean slate.

What are some types of felonies or misdemeanors NOT eligible to be expunged?

  • Violent crimes
  • Repeat offenders (more than one DWI, for example)
  • Class A felonies
  • Sex offenses
  • Traffic misdemeanors while driving a commercial vehicle

For someone who made a foolish mistake and learned from it,  having your criminal record expunged is a wonderful second chance for a better life.

But you do have to take action. You have to fill out paperwork.  You have to show up in court. Most importantly, you do need to avoid any repeat offenses.

You don’t want to mess up this second chance.

You need the legal advice and step-by-step help of an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free evaluation of your case.  http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html

You don’t have to face your day in court alone.  Call 636-244-3737 today to get a great start to 2018!

 

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.

 

Medicated driving and sleep deprivation –a holiday recipe for a car crash or traffic ticket

Drinking and medicated driving
Over-the-counter meds and drinks — don’t mix!

Recently a woman caused a head-on collision  by turning and driving the wrong way on a major roadway through the center of town at 9:30 pm.

The news reported that drugs and alcohol were definite factors in this crazy accident.  What else could have caused such a preventable car crash?

The comment section went crazy over this driver’s irresponsibility.  Public anger and backlash are understandable, especially if you think of your loved one’s life  being endangered.

One person’s compassionate response stood out above the rest…. Hey, it’s cold and flu season. This lady could have just taken some Nyquil and without thinking had a drink at a holiday party. It could be a case of medicated driving. We don’t know the details…

Can a simple dose of Nyquil (or other similar cold and flu medications) actually contribute to  irrational thinking and a serious car accident?

Well, yes!  Especially if combined with illness, an alcoholic drink,  lack of sleep, and an over-the-counter cold and flu med can be powerful enough to really fog up your mind.

According to everydayhealth.com, “This medication may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.” https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/nyquil-cold-and-flu-alcohol-free

Sometimes we forget the facts about the effects of just this one med on the human body. It’s not the medication’s fault.

Add in other risk factors, most especially alcohol and sleep-deprivation.  Most of us are highly aware of the risk of taking pain medications with an alcoholic drink.  If we’re smart, we also warn our teens about this risk as they grow older.

However, when you’re not feeling well, but the party’s going to go on without you, you may not give that over-the-counter cough and cold medication a second thought.

Without thinking, you may accidentally dose yourself with the night-time version instead of the non-drowsy formula.

We’re human.  Accidents happen. So does accidental medicated driving.

John Hopkins, Harvard, and WebMD also all cite sleep-deprivation as a serious risk factor in car accidents. 

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#1

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/health-risks/the-effects-of-sleep-deprivation

Safe to say — the experts agree on this topic.  The sad truth is, you or a loved one  may not even realize that you fall into this category of sleep deprivation.

“Sleep deprivation can also affect your judgment so that you don’t notice its effects.” (see Hopkins link above).

It’s a road risk factor that plagues all ages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving accounted for 803 traffic fatalities in 2016.  There were no specific statistic for deaths caused by over-the-counter medicated driving.

We all tend to underestimate our level of tired.

However, younger drivers are more inclined to think of themselves as invincible. If you are under the age of 25, you are at the greatest risk for drowsy driving accidents, according to WebMD.

With lots of holiday travels for the New Year ahead  of us this week, and cold and flu season in full swing, please think twice before you medicate and drive. One at-fault car accident can change your life forever!

Already facing a ticket or charges due to medicated or drowsy driving? You need the aggressive, compassionate help of an experienced traffic lawyer in the greater St. Louis area. The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC  will provide a free initial consultation. http://steimel-law.com/dwi.html

Your traffic attorney can help you reduce points on your license and record to make your 2018 easier and brighter!  Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC to get help today. 636-244-3737

 

 

3 ways to stay safer during this busy holiday season

Moving traffic safety violations?

No one likes coming in last. But according to the 2017 report from the National Safety Council, Missouri ranked last in the nation for preventable accidents and deaths.  Safety issues should be a top 2018 goal for Missouri residents.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/missouri-ranks-last-in-new-national-safety-council-report-on/article_547cd9d5-8216-586b-9cd2-bc619567262a.html

A deadly late October 2017 rollover car crash in Saint Charles County illustrates this point. Neither the driver nor his passenger were wearing their seat belts. Both were ejected from the car and died as a result. Tragically, both young men were in their early twenties with their whole lives ahead of them.

We’d like to hold our children’s hands forever and keep them safe into adulthood.

But that’s not our job!

Often, the most powerful way we can influence them is by example. Fiercely-independent minded Missourians, here are some ways you can help improve the road safety statistics during this busy holiday season.

1.  We’ve said it before. Buckle up!
More than 50%  of traffic fatalities occur because of failure to wear a seat belt, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html

There’s no reason we cannot set the example in this area, whether you are a parent or not. Insist that your passengers wear seat belts.

Recently I pulled over when I realized a young passenger of mine was still struggling to put on his seat belt.  We stopped until the problem was resolved. End of story. No one rides in my vehicle without buckling up.

2. Put down the phone, especially in work zones.

These zones can sneak up on you quickly. It’s so easy to blink and miss a sign for upcoming road construction, especially if you’re chatting on the phone.

In many states it is illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving.

Just last week, we witnessed a driver illegally cut over a lane in front of a police officer because he was distractedly talking on his cell.  Bad move!  We saw him get busted. Kinda cheered. Just saying.

Cell phones and driving — it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Hands-free chatting is cheap, easy, and much safer. Just do it already!

3. Use your manners when you drive.

Let’s take a quick quiz! How mannerly are you on the road?

Do you always, sometimes, or never do the following?

a. Use your blinker when turning.

b. Yield when merging into traffic.

c. Keep at least a car-length between you and the car in front of you while driving.

d. Allow for a car-length distance when changing lanes in front of a slower vehicle.

If you answered ALWAYS to this short list, your momma would be proud of you!  You’re probably a model Missouri driver. Keep up the good work.

If you fall into the “sometimes” or “never” category, chances are you may have a few moving violation tickets under your belt. The state of Missouri is unhappy with you — they have a reputation to improve.

Are you at risk for losing your license?  Even failure to use your signal properly can mean two points on your license in Missouri.  Those small moving violations, like credit card debt, add up quickly!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC offers experienced, aggressive legal help for folks with moving traffic violations — even if you had a bad day and forgot your traffic manners.

Call 636-244-3737 for a free case evaluation today from an experienced Missouri traffic attorney.  

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

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 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.

 

 

 

 

Social media sharing, privacy rights, and assisted living facilities — what you and your loved one need to know

Planning a holiday visit to a loved one or friend living in a nursing or assisted living home?

You certainly want to walk in and find your loved one happy, safe, clean, and being well-cared for.   Your visit should not raise any red flags.

What you don’t want to see is the staff loitering in the halls on their cell phones.

Worse yet, you don’t want to discover your loved one’s care was neglected because the staff was busy posting to Facebook or Instagram when they should have been providing care.

Privacy and safety in a hospital or nursing home is a basic human right.

Yet these issues continue to be an ongoing battle for patients and their loved ones.

Imagine how you would feel if you found out that your loved one‘s photo had been shared on Snapchat or another social media network by a nursing home worker? Even worse — what  if the worker was mocking your loved one with the photo?

Seem unbelievable? In a December 2015 article, ProPublica cited at least 35 instances of unauthorized social media photo and video postings of residents at nursing homes. Many of these posts were vulgar and dehumanizing.

Since Snapchat photos are deleted after a few seconds,  it is highly likely that there are many more undocumented illegal photos being shared.

https://www.propublica.org/article/nursing-home-workers-share-explicit-photos-of-residents-on-snapchat

Dignity and respect for human life at all stages is a fundamental of civilized society.

Let’s get real.  Take a look back in history at an uncivilized society. REAL photos exist of the abuses of people in the Nazi concentration camps. The pictures aren’t pretty!  

Do we want to allow ourselves to get so callous? Do we want to pay nursing home facilities and hospitals to shred the dignity (even secretly) of those we love?

We also cherish our rights to freedom of speech and press. But these freedoms were never meant to be used to trample on the rights of others.

Social media is not going away.  However, there already are laws in place to help protect against social media nursing home abuse.  Let’s just talk about one.

Around 2003 the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act went into effect, also known as the HIPAA law.

Sometimes HIPAA does pose a challenge for loved ones trying to care for their relative.  You need to have carefully worded paperwork in place to get medical information released to you about your loved one. The biggest burden of record-keeping privacy, however, falls on medical facilities and medical professionals.

HIPAA  includes a Privacy Rule that provides privacy and protection for your loved one in a nursing home.

In short, posting nursing home photos of your loved one on ANY type of social media without a strictly followed procedure for permission (especially explicit or demeaning photos)  is a breach of the Privacy Rule under HIPAA laws. It’s a crime!  If you suspect this is going on, call your assisted living abuse attorney right away.

Are you concerned that a loved one might be experiencing nursing home abuse of any type?  You need an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to help you understand your rights and to help protect your loved one from harm.  http://steimel-law.com/nursing-home.html

Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC  TODAY for a free initial consultation. 636-244-3737

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