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Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Suing A Restaurant For A Food Allergy Situation

Living with a food allergy makes eating out somewhat more difficult, but if you’ve lived with this allergy for a while, you probably have a routine set up that helps you eat safely no matter where you go. Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put forth, you may still end up eating something that you are allergic to. The results of this can be devastating in some cases, but you may be able to recover damages by suing the restaurant.

Responsibilities of Restaurants

More restaurants are taking steps towards learning about this subject, and many restaurants already have certain procedures in place to help prevent this problem from happening. Some of these things include:

  • Offering a special menu or certain entrees for people with food allergies
  • Educating cooks about prevention of cross-contamination and cross-contact
  • Teaching servers about food allergies

While many restaurants have policies for this purpose, there are still some that do not, and there are still times when situations occur when guests are served food that contains an ingredient they cannot eat.

A restaurant is responsible for informing guests of ingredients in all items. They are also responsible for ensuring that they offer true and accurate information about ingredients. A restaurant should also take every necessary step to make sure that the guest is served the right plate of food.

One thing a restaurant can do to protect itself is to post warnings. For example, if a restaurant uses peanut oil to deep-fry foods, it may want to post this on the walls and in the menu. Anyone with a peanut allergy would see this, and this would alarm the person of the risks of eating any food at this restaurant.

What Happens When The System Fails

If you take every necessary precaution to find out what ingredients are in a particular dish and end up being rushed to the hospital because the dish had something you were allergic to, you might have the right to sue the restaurant for this.

There are many ingredients people are allergic to, but most food allergies fall into one of eight different foods. Some of these are fish, peanuts, and wheat. Health Central reports that approximately 150 people die each year from food allergies, but thousands of people are affected by food allergies every year.

Challenges of Lawsuits

While you have the right to file a personal injury case against the restaurant, the hardest part will be proving it. Proving that the restaurant caused your allergic reaction and that the restaurant is liable for this is the main challenge you will have. To prove this, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer, like those at Meltzer and Meksraitis, that has experience with this subject.

Your attorney will probably want to know what precautions you took to make sure that you did your part to avoid eating the wrong ingredient. Next, the attorney will look into the procedures the restaurant uses for ensuring that cross-contact of food is prevented.

The best way to win a case like this is to prove negligence. Negligence is one of the main elements of personal injury law. In a food allergy case, negligence can occur in many ways, including:

  • Customers being misinformed from employees
  • Cooks preparing the wrong food and serving it to a guest with food allergies
  • Cooks accidentally adding an ingredient they were supposed to omit
  • Restaurant providing inaccurate ingredient lists for entrees

These are just some of the ways negligence can be proved. If you are able to prove that the restaurant was negligent in any way, you might have a good chance of winning the case. If this happens to you, contact a lawyer for help. You can find out from your lawyer if you have enough evidence to win the case, and this will help you decide whether to sue or not.

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Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Four Hazards In Your Office That Can Kill Or Hurt You: How To Be Alert And Stay Safe

When you think about job safety and injury prevention, you probably picture someone driving a bulldozer, using a cutting torch or any number of other tasks that involve physical risk. However, if you work in an office, you may be surprised to know that there are a variety of things within your environment that can seriously harm or even kill you. Here are four specific hazards and how you can stay safe and healthy while working with and around them:

Photocopier

Photocopiers are among some of the most handled pieces of equipment in many offices, and many employees are accustomed to correcting paper jams, replacing toner cartridges and other simple maintenance tasks. However, copiers are complex machines, and they present hazards to workers such as:

  • Toner particulates: Photocopier toner is made from carbon black, an organic substance that can cause respiratory irritation if inhaled. Modern machines used sealed cartridges, but there are some older copiers that require filling toner bins from an open source. Take extra caution such as a wearing a disposable mask when filling these machines. Also, keep copiers in a well-ventilated area; the microscopic particles released during the copying process are believed to cause significant air quality issues in some offices, and you can help prevent a build-up of irritants by keeping the air moving.
  • Internal components: The various rollers, gears, levers, drums and other devices inside a copier can be hazardous if care isn’t exercised. Always follow jam clearing procedures exactly as provided by manufacturer manuals and on-screen instructions. Never open panels or doors that are not specified in documentation, and heed warning labels placed inside the machine. Some components become very hot and can burn you, and others can pinch or cut your fingers. Always see where you are placing your hands before doing so.

Stapler

Electrically-powered staplers can be a source of danger to your fingers and hands. Here are a couple of hazards to note:

  • Desktop electric staplers: These machines typically use a paper sensor that triggers the stapling mechanism; however, if you are careless, your fingers can punctured by a staple if you get them too far into the mechanism. Never reach into the stapling area to remove a jam or stuck staple unless you have unplugged the device. 
  • Staple guns: These staple guns are often used for mounting materials such as posters, bulletin board materials, etc. They pose a particular danger due to their lack of a backstop to catch staples. That means a staple can be easily driven far into your hands or fingers should you accidentally depress the trigger, and they can also potentially cause blindness should a staple be fired into your eye. Never dismantle any safety mechanisms that prevent accidental activation, and be sure that you unplug the stapler before performing maintenance or adding additional staples.

Kitchen

The break room may seem to be a safe place to get away from it all, but there are potential hazards lurking for the inattentive worker. Here are some specific concerns:

  • Coffee makers: Coffee makers are a source of burns from scalding water or coffee. Be careful when filling a hot coffeemaker so that you aren’t burned by steam or splashing water. Additionally, an empty coffee pot can shatter if left on a hot burner, so always keep it filled with water or coffee.
  • Refrigerator: Office refrigerators are frequently more neglected than home refrigerators, and that allows for the potential growth of harmful microorganisms that cause foodborne illness. If you use a shared refrigerator, always clearly label the contents of a bag or container. Place a date on the container so that you know when it was put inside the refrigerator, and never eat anything that is past a safe range for consumption. Completely seal open containers so that your food isn’t contaminated by any other food leakage.

Filing cabinets

The humble filing cabinet is fairly low-tech, but it can be a source of injury should you fail to take care. The main danger posed by filing cabinets is the creation of a weight imbalance when drawers are improperly opened. Most modern cabinets contain internal locks that prevent persons from opening more than one drawer at a time, but these locks can fail.

Only open one drawer at a time, and always be on the alert for a cabinet that seems to be leaning or shifting. If a cabinet you are using begins to fall, immediately back away; never attempt to catch it, or it could crush you or strain your back as you try to stop its descent.

If you are injured while working, be sure that you seek immediate medical care. Report the injury to your supervisor, and also contact a qualified attorney to protect your rights under the law. Your employer has an obligation to provide for your needs when you are injured on the job, even in an office. Continue here to read more.

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Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Injured In An Accident Involving A Semi Truck? Your Lawyer Can Help Prove That Driver Fatigue Played A Role

Have you been in an automobile accident involving a semi truck? Do you suspect that the driver of the truck was fatigued at the time of your accident? While there aren’t any tests than can be administered to determine a driver’s level of exhaustion, there are some things your lawyer can do to help solidify your claim. Read on to learn how your auto accident attorney can help prove that the semi truck driver who hit your vehicle was over-tired ( and therefor negligent) at the time of the collision.

The “Black Box”

You’ve heard of the black boxes on airplanes that record the moments before a collision, but you probably didn’t know that semi trucks have them too. The “black box” in a semi truck is an event data recorder (EDR) and it could hold crucial evidence concerning the state of alertness of the truck driver at the time of your collision.

The truck’s EDR will have recorded the speed of the truck at the time of the accident, as well as whether or not the brakes were slammed or the clutch was engaged. If the driver never slowed down before the collision, or even tried to brake, it’s a good indication that he or she was asleep at the wheel.

Log Books

In accordance with regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, semi truck drivers may not work more than 11 hours a day or more than 70 hours per week. They also must take a 30 minute break at some point within the first 8 hours of their workday. All drivers must keep an up-to-date log book in their truck to keep track of their work hours, and they must be ready to present this log book to officials upon request. 

If the log book of the truck driver you were involved in a collision with shows that they didn’t abide by these regulations, your lawyer could use it as evidence that he or she was fatigued at the time of the collision.

Cell Phone Records And Credit Card Receipts

Your lawyer can also obtain the truck driver’s credit card receipts to help determine the accuracy of the driver’s log book. Even the smallest discrepancy between a receipt and the log book could indicate that the driver has been negligent in keeping track of their time worked.

For example, if the driver claims in their log book that they were driving at 3 p.m., yet there’s a credit card receipt showing that they paid for a meal at that exact time, then this shows that it’s in the driver’s character to not obey the rules.

As more states enact laws against the use of cellphones while driving, cellphone records can also be used in this fashion.

Medical History

Even if the truck driver’s log book shows that they took their mandatory breaks and kept their driving hours within legal limits, this doesn’t mean that they weren’t fatigued at the time of your collision. Certain medical conditions can cause the effects of fatigue to be compounded. Sleep apnea, for example, is a condition in which a person’s sleep is repeatedly interrupted by their breathing patterns at night, leaving them unrested and tired during the day.

Remarkably, sleep apnea affects 28 – 30 percent of all truck drivers, so it very well could be what caused the driver who hit you to lose control of their truck.

Your auto accident lawyer can obtain the truck driver’s medical records to determine whether or not they may have a medical condition that resulted in them being fatigued at the time of the collision.

There aren’t any designated tests to determine whether or not a driver is fatigued, but there are ways to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the truck driver who hit your vehicle was over-exhausted at the time of the collision. Contact your lawyer for help securing the above information to prove that your injuries were the result of a tired, negligent semi truck driver.

Click here for info about local auto accident attorneys. 

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Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Things Not To Do While Waiting To Be Approved For Your Social Security Disability Claim

If you have been injured seriously enough that you have applied to receive social security disability benefits, the wait for a final decision can be difficult. While you are waiting, there are certain things that you may not want to do that could cause you to receive a denial.

Working Before Approval

It would be best if you do not work while you are waiting for an initial decision. And although the temptation may be strong to work part-time while waiting for your claim to go through, you may want to avoid doing so during this period. It could be argued that since you are able to work even a small amount, you do not really need the benefits.

Once you have been approved, however, you should be able to go back to work on a limited basis. During the first nine months, referred to as the Trial Work Period, you will be able to make a maximum of $770 per month. After that, you will be allowed make $1,070 per month during the Extended Period of Eligibility. Both of these can be done without losing any of your benefits.

Going To School

Just like working during the waiting period, going to school could count against you while you are trying to prove your disability. The committee could state that you are well enough to attend classes. Therefore, they could decide that you are not as disabled as you claim to be.

Once you have started receiving benefits, you may be able to start going to school again. If you do, you will want to limit your course load per semester in order to keep from losing your benefits.

Moving Without Letting The Government Know

If you need to move while your disability claim is being processed, it is important that you let the government know your new address. You can either inform them yourself or have your attorney do it for you, if you have one.

Not giving the Social Security Administration your new address could negatively impact your decision in two ways. First, it may show them that you are not fully disclosing all information to them. Full disclosure and cooperation is a major key in being approved for your benefits.

Second, you may miss an important letter from the SSA that requires you to contact them or attend a hearing. For example, if they need a copy of your latest medical records by a certain date they may send a letter. If they send it to your old address, you may miss that deadline because it was delivered to the old address or forwarded to you after it was too late.

This could be viewed as noncompliance in their eyes. If the records are not received, they may deny your claim by default.

Refusing To Go To Prescribed Treatments

Once a doctor has stated that you are disabled, they may prescribe treatments such as physical therapy. It is important that you attend as many sessions as possible, especially while waiting for your benefits decision.

If your records show that you are not going to therapy, the committee may feel that you are noncompliant with your treatment and are not trying to get better. They may also decide that you are not injured as much as you say because you are not following your doctor’s orders.

While the above may or may not give you a denial on your claim, they could jeopardize your chances. Before you do anything major while awaiting your decision, you may want to find out more information from your social security disability lawyer. They can best advise you on what to do.

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Begin Your Personal Injury Claim Immediately

After suffering a moderate or serious injury, you should visit the doctor to determine what further medical treatments you might need. You should also think about the series of events that lead to you being injured in the first place. Was the injury your own fault or was it the fault of someone else. If someone else caused your injury, they might be liable for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, court costs and various other expenses.

Even if you believe that your clumsiness lead to your injury, there may have been something wrong with the premises that lead to your injury. When property is used in the manner in which it was intended, the property owner is responsible for any damages that occur as a result and you should get in contact with a personal injury attorney of San Diego.

Write down the events that occurred during the accident. This narration should only be given to your personal injury attorney in San Diego because anything you say could potentially be used against you. Try to determine the grounds for the lawsuit with your personal injury attorney. Make sure to consider whether you would like to press charges because you forfeit your right to do so if you accept a settlement.

A personal injury claim will often require a lot of evidence. This includes witnesses that saw the accident, photographs of the injury or of the accident itself, medical bills, medical records, evidence of wages and testimony from the defendant.

Those who will have a lawsuit filed against them need to be notified. If you file your claim more quickly and let the defendant know that you have a claim, you will be able to resolve the case possibly under a shorter time frame. After giving notice that you intend to file a lawsuit, you are not required to file the lawsuit and can choose to drop the case. However, it is best to do this after consulting with a personal injury attorney.

There is a statute of limitations in every state regarding how long you can wait before you can file a lawsuit for an injury. After the statute of limitations has run out, you can no longer file a lawsuit. File the lawsuit within a year for private lawsuits and within 60 day if you are filing a lawsuit against a government employee. The time limit begins on the day that the injury occurred.

Even if you still have time to file a lawsuit, you should not wait too long because time has a way of making evidence disappear. Witnesses become more forgetful and physical evidence of the damages can fade with time. This can lead to the personal injury case not being very strong. When working with your personal injury attorney, be sure to be completely honest so that the attorney will be able to build an effective case.

Personal injury claim are primarily based on negligence theory. This is based on the ideal that the defendant owes a duty of care to a victim and that the duty of care was breached. As a result, the plaintiff suffers damages and the defendant is responsible for taking the steps necessary to make the plaintiff whole.

A second consideration is whether the plaintiff is experiencing pain and suffering. Even though the pain and suffering might not have cost the plaintiff money, most states would like to punish the defendant for causing damages by hurting the defendant in the pocketbook, with the hope that this approach will deter the defendant from making poor decisions in the future.

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