Lewis, Marenstein,
Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, Llp

Woodland Hills California Legal Blog

Police work is linked to a host of health problems

If you are a police officer in California, you most likely chose this profession, knowing about the many safety hazards posed by careers in law enforcement. What you might not have known are the many ways in which your job can affect your overall health. Research has shown that a variety of ailments, diseases and illnesses correlates with police work.

A professor of epidemiology and environmental health at a university in another state shared his findings on the impact that factors like stress have on the health of police officers. His research shows that the life expectancy of a police officer is significantly lower than that of other members of the population. Along with stress, officers risk the dangers posed by exposure to blood-borne pathogens, radar, lead and methamphetamine during lab raids -- among others.

Workers' compensation delays in California having negative effect

Almost all workers are at risk of suffering injuries on the job. Unfortunately, work-related injuries can cause considerable setbacks for individuals, and in many cases, those setbacks can include financial hardships. Often, injured employees apply for workers' compensation to help offset those financial difficulties, but it is not always easy to obtain benefits.

It was recently reported that injured California workers are seeing significant delays in workers' comp benefits. Apparently, the program does not have enough physicians to act as experts regarding injuries workers have suffered. As a result, workers are waiting months and even years to have their medical evaluations completed in efforts to move forward with the workers' comp process. It was noted that an audit into the Division of Workers' Compensation found that the division did not address the shortage of medical experts and failed to address other issues.

Car crash claims life, leaves others in serious condition

Serious accidents happen on a daily basis. A severe car crash can take place at any time of the day or night, and the circumstances of the incident can vary widely. Unfortunately, injuries typically accompany serious accidents, and some individuals may find themselves hospitalized, in need of extensive medical attention or suffering other repercussions.

It was recently reported that multiple people were injured after a vehicle hit a home in California. Details on how the vehicle left the roadway or what factors may have contributed were not available at the time of the report. However, the vehicle did go airborne and came to a rest on its roof. It was noted that there were at least three people inside the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Workers' compensation: Holiday retail workers face injury risks

During the holiday season, many employees find themselves working overtime and trying to manage the holiday rush, especially those who work in retail. In some cases, individuals may not only feel the strain from the amount of work they are putting in, but they may also worry about their safety in some cases. Unfortunately, employees are still at risk of suffering injuries and needing workers' compensation during the holidays.

California retail employees likely understand how stressful this season can be. They may face large crowds coming in for holiday sales and have to contend with rude customers on a more frequent basis. Of course, safety should always be a top priority, so employers should plan for large crowds by having more staff members on hand and extra security if necessary, having someone in charge of making important decisions, and preparing workers for the risk of violent acts from customers, crowd crushing or otherwise being injured by a crowd.

Workers' compensation: Watching out for hazards may prevent harm

With the holiday season here, no one wants to end up in the hospital due to being hurt on the job. Unfortunately, workplace accidents do not abide by the calendar and can happen at any time. As a result, it is up to California workers to do their best to watch out for hazards. Of course, if an accident does occur, they may need workers' compensation benefits.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has four common hazards that could easily cause serious or fatal injuries to workers. First, nearly one-quarter of serious work injuries are caused by falls in the workplace, and falls are the number one cause of fatalities in the construction industry. A second serious hazard in the workplace is electricity. Even low voltage electricity can pose a risk to workers, and electric shock can have serious or fatal outcomes.

Police officers face more risks than just dangerous people

According to the FBI, 106 police officers nationwide lost their lives on the job in 2018, and in 2017, more than 60,000 officers were assault victims. If you are a police officer in California, you will know the stress that comes with not knowing who and what you will encounter on the next call. Will it be welcoming or threatening?

Each encounter with citizens comes with the risk of being assaulted or even killed. However, as a police officer, people are not the sole source of work-related hazards you must deal with daily. Accidents are the primary cause of death among police officers, many of which are misunderstood.

A truck accident could occur due to many contributing factors

Truck drivers have a job to do, which is why California residents often see so many tractor-trailers on the roads. Of course, knowing that they have a job to do does not necessarily make other drivers feel more comfortable traveling the roads with them. This feeling is understandable, as a truck accident could happen at any moment.

Hundreds of thousands of truck-related accidents happen in the United States every year. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can contribute to these accidents, such as distracted driving, drowsy driving, failing to change speed for road conditions and others. Though driver error does account for many of these incidents, issues with tractor-trailers can also cause problems, and brake failure is the main malfunction-related issue that leads to crashes. Tire blowouts are also a common contributing factor.

Detailing the attractive nuisance doctrine

One of the main benefits of living in California is being able to enjoy relatively good weather throughout the year. While you might certainly enjoy not having to deal with seasonal changes, you might experience stress over the fact that outdoor activities are available to your kids all year round. Your older children may have the understanding needed to discern which of these activities are safe, but what about your younger kids? Many have come to us here at Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP after their children have been injured from such activity wondering what sort of legal recourse is available to them.

Swimming pools, construction sites, junkyards, and abandoned buildings may all be enticing attractions to your kids. Yet each of these attractions also present dangers that your children might not appreciate. Because of this, the law places the responsibility on the owners of the properties on which these attractions are found to protect children from them. This legal principle is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine, and according to the Cornell Law School, it even applies to scenarios where your child might have been on a person’s property without their permission.

First responders gain PTSD benefits

All across the nation, including in California, it seems that the need for police officers and firefighters to address serious and disturbing events only keeps growing. Mass shootings were once a shocking experience but today are sadly all too common. In recent years, the wildfire season has become one of extreme destruction, and the loss of life. Police, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency responders are routinely put in situations that would logically leave anyone with symptoms of trauma.

Unfortunately, California's first responders have struggled to gain access to the level of care they needed to address these experiences and heal from them before enduring even more such events. Some attribute this to a rise in the number of suicide deaths among this cohort. In 2017 alone, 140 police officers in the state died by suicide. That was more than the 129 officers who died from work-related events or conditions. In the same year, line-of-duty deaths among firefighters numbered 93. A total of 103 firefighters took their own lives.

Has a fatigued driver hit you?

California residents share the road with plenty of other people. Unfortunately, with a higher number of drivers on the road, there is also a higher chance of you running into problematic drivers or drivers who are not engaging in safe behaviors. We at Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP, are here to discuss the dangers of driver fatigue and its potential impact on you.

Drowsy driving occurs when a driver gets behind the wheel even though they are exhausted. Fatigue is a condition that affects someone mentally, physically, and emotionally. Drivers who are fatigued are more prone to getting irritated and having fits of road rage. Their ability to react to surprise situations is dampened, making their reflexes slower. They might be too slow to avoid the possibility of a crash.

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Lewis, Marenstein,
Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, Llp

20750 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 400
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

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