Going Back to Work after the Pandemic

Going Back to Work after the Pandemic

Many states are beginning to reopen, and people are starting to come back to work. Being this is a very usual situation right now there can be uncertainty and sometimes fear that accompanies the thought of going back to the way it was before the pandemic. When workers are afraid to return to the worksite during the pandemic, an important question is why they are afraid: a generalized fear versus a specific, protected reason. Despite an employer’s best efforts to create a safe work environment, some of the employees might refuse to return to the workplace based on a basic fear of rejoining public life while the pandemic is still in full force. Because Covid-19 cases and death are still on the rise in many of our states and there is a steady trend that is allowing more and more opportunity to go out and practice social distancing. This is a matter of choice such as where we choose to go and where we do not feel comfortable going. To go to the grocery store is a far cry from sitting in a crowded movie theater. To some, the thought of sitting in an office building for extended periods of the day followed by another day and then another is enough to cause serious stress and fear in many of us.

According to the division vice president of human resources at ADP in Florham Park, N.J, Tara Wolckenhauer “Keeping all associate safe is paramount and should be the guidepost for decisions surrounding returning to work{places}.” “Employers should prepare for heightened levels of general anxiety as workers return to the worksites and adjust to a new normal.” After the final decision is made by the employer on who can continue to work remotely and who can not a decision is to be made by the employee if they choose to return to the workplace. Employers are not usually required to allow employees to make their own decision on if they return or if they do not. With that being said there are laws to protect the employee if the choice is made to not to return to their job at this time and to continue to work from home.

The employee’s legal rights are usually pretty cut and dry when they violate the attendance policy. However, during this time it might be a better choice to put hesitant employees on leave instead of firing them. On the other side of the coin allowing many people to take vacation time or PTO (paid time off) will most certainly have a ripple effect when it comes to an effective workforce sufficient to maintain operations.

According to the Occupational Safety Health (OSH) Act, it will allow employees to refuse to go to work if they reasonably believe they are in imminent danger. In order to be protected under this act the employee must have a reasonable belief that there is a treat of death or serious physical harm likely to occur immediately or within a short period of time to qualify for this type of protection. In this situation it can not be because there is a fear of contracting COVID-19; it is more for people who have an underlying condition and as a result, contracting COVID-19 could cause more injury to them than people who have no underlying conditions. This becomes very tricky when speaking with the employee because an employer may not legally address the preexisting underlying illness that would qualify them for the OSH Act it would be a violation of their medical rights.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects employees that are nonunionized and unionized in that they are able to band together and can not be disciplined or discriminated against based on protected concerted activity, which can include refusing to come to work for safety reasons. This will not protect a single employee but if two or more employees join and speak out in regard to the unsafe situation they are protected. A good example would be that the employer refused to allow their employees to wear a mask at work.

Another Act that is similar to the OSH Act is the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). When an employee has an underlying medical condition that puts them at a greater risk from COVID-19 the employer must accommodate their request to an altered worksite, remote work, or time off. Providing previsions for the employee such as Plexiglass separators or other types of barriers might suffice for the employee.
Thanks to COVID-19 there is a Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which states the employee may be eligible for paid sick leave if a healthcare provider advises the employee to self-quarantine because the employee is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. A letter of documentation must be provided to the employer from the medical personnel.

Call a firm that is committed to obtaining full compensation on your behalf. Call Perry & Young, P.A., at 850-215-7777 to schedule your free consultation.

What Not to do After an Accident

What Not to do After an Accident

The choices you make after an accident can affect you far into the future. Directly after the wreck happens you might be confused on what to do next and this could be a new experience for you so are uneducated on what not to do afterward. Perry & Young pray that you are never in an accident, however, if you are it would behoove you to take a little time and read this article to know exactly what to do if you ever encounter this stressful situation.

There are a lot of “what if’s” that happen after an accident; people go into panic mode with worry.

What if the police report is not written accurately according to your point of view, what if the accident is not handled correctly, what if my insurance refuses to pay, and what about my medical bills?

Perry & Young are here to answer all your questions and concerns and by representing you we will make sure that you do not have to worry about the “what if’s”.

Here is the top list of things that you should never do after falling victim to someone else’s negligence.

  1. Not Calling the Police

If you are involved with another driver and are involved in an accident always call the police especially if there are any damages to your property. Injuries do not always show their face until later and a police report will assist you in obtaining medical care at a later date. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The police are there to assist you in collecting important evidence and determine the cause of the accident. This will be immensely helpful when it comes time to file your insurance claim.

  1. Not Taking Pictures

It is very advantageous that the majority of us have cell phones with us at all times because of the camera feature. It is a particularly good idea to take as many pictures as possible providing you are not seriously injured.  Take pictures of the accident, injuries, location, negligent parties license plate, any cameras that are on a building near the crash site, and skid marks. The pictures may come in handy for gathering information for the insurance company and possibly an attorney.

  1. Not Getting Witness Statements and Information

Many people fall short on obtaining witness names, phone numbers, and possibly a written statement. A witness statement might be the determining factor when a negligent party attempts to deny being at fault to avoid insurance and legal ramifications. It is not uncommon that a witness doesn’t have the time at the scene to write out exactly what they saw so it is perfectly fine to just get their name and number and contact them at a later date. It is best to try and obtain a written statement in a reasonable amount of time because the incident is fresh in their mind.

  1. Admitting Fault

Regardless of how you feel about “what happened” never admit fault after a car accident, even if you feel like you might have been a contributing factor. For example, you were changing the radio station while going through a green light and were hit by someone who ran the red light. Although it was not a good idea to be distracted by the radio ultimately the accident was not your fault. There are a vast range of emotions that flow after an accident and some people’s first reaction is to apologize- Do not do it for admits fault.

  1. Not Filing an Insurance Claim

Many people are concerned that their insurance will go up after an accident and do not file the claim. If you end up being responsible for the accident and there are expensive damages or injuries involved; filing with your insurance company can keep you safe from bankruptcy at a later date.

  1. Not Seeing Your Doctor

If you do not seek medical attention within 14 days, you could lose your PIP benefits that you pay for as part of your insurance premium. It is incredibly common for someone to “feel fine” after an accident and as time goes on, they notice spasms or strains in the body as a direct result of being in an accident.

Perry & Young can help you get the most from your insurance claim and assist you in obtaining the compensation that is due to you. Call us for a free consultation 850-215-7777 and also visit us on our Facebook Page.

A Typical Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

A Typical Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

Have you suffered an injury through the actions of another person or entity? You might consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to hold them accountable. Many of those that have been injured don’t realize you have only so much time file a lawsuit from the date of injury. But how long will it take to see results if you do decide to file a personal injury lawsuit?

Keep reading for a quick breakdown of the typical personal injury lawsuit timeline so you know.

A Breakdown of the Typical Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

Are you interested in the personal injury lawsuit process? Here are the four main steps.

1. Hire a Lawyer to Negotiate Before Filing a Lawsuit
The first step in a personal injury lawsuit is to hire a lawyer to review your claim. They may try to settle your case with the accused party before filing the lawsuit. Most lawyers will not take on a case unless you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), or when you’ve recovered as much as you can.

2. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit and Discovery
If your lawyer cannot negotiate a settlement, they will file the lawsuit and begin the discovery process. It is the process of collecting evidence to defend or refute a lawsuit.

Discovery involves the sending and answering of interrogatories as well as depositions. This can take between 6 months and 1 year.

3. Mediation and Negotiation
Once the discovery process ends, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement again. Your lawyer may try doing it lawyer-to-lawyer or through a court-appointed mediator.

4. Trial and Settlement
If you cannot come to an agreement during mediation, then your personal injury case will go to trial. The trial itself can last anywhere from a day up to a few weeks. It depends on how soon you can get your case before a judge and how many times it gets rescheduled.

After you reach a settlement agreement, you will receive your settlement funds in a lump sum or as a part of structured settlements. Talk with your attorney to figure out what’s your best option.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
Once you understand the personal injury lawsuit process, you can estimate how long it will take for the suit to finish. Most personal injury lawsuits take anywhere from a few months up to a couple of years to resolve. That’s if no other problems prolong the process.

The three most common reasons a personal injury claim will take longer than expected are:

  • Difficulty proving liability and damages
  • Cases that involve a large amount of money
  • The plaintiff has not reached the point of MMI

If you know your case will involve any of these issues, expect it to take a least 6 months longer than a standard personal injury suit. Dealing with a lawsuit is never easy, especially when you’re hurt. Hire an attorney that is well equipped with the experience and reputation you need to get the results you deserve.

Perry & Young is a nationally recognized personal injury, car accident, & commercial trucking accident law firm that has cultivated a reputation for our ability to successfully resolve even the most challenging cases. Over 35 years of experience, our award-winning team has secured multi-millions in numerous verdicts and settlements for clients across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and all over the country. Learn more about our services, your potential case and rights, and how we can help by calling (850) 215-7777 for a FREE consultation.

Original Source

Self Driving Uber Cars Involved in 37 Crashes Before Killing Pedestrian

Self Driving Uber Cars Involved in 37 Crashes Before Killing Pedestrian

An Uber self-driving test vehicle that struck and killed an Arizona woman in 2018 was found to have software flaws, according to what the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday as it disclosed the company’s autonomous test vehicles were involved in 37 crashes over the prior 18 months.

NTSB may use the findings from the first fatal self-driving car accident to make recommendations that could impact how the entire industry addresses self-driving software issues or to regulators about how to oversee the developing industry.

The board meets Nov. 19 to determine the probable cause of the March 2018 accident in Tempe, Arizona that killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she was walking a bicycle across a street at night.

In a report released ahead of the meeting, the NTSB said the Uber Technologies Inc vehicle had failed to properly identify her as a pedestrian crossing a street. The accident prompted significant safety concerns about the nascent self-driving car industry, which is working to get vehicles into commercial use. In the aftermath of the crash, Uber suspended all testing and did not resume until December in Pennsylvania with revised software and significant new restrictions and safeguards.

A spokeswoman for Uber’s self-driving car effort, Sarah Abboud, said the company regretted the crash that killed Herzberg and noted it has “adopted critical program improvements to further prioritize safety. We deeply value the thoroughness of the NTSB’s investigation into the crash and look forward to reviewing their recommendations. The NTSB reported at least two prior crashes in which Uber test vehicles may not have identified roadway hazards. The NTSB said between September 2016 and March 2018, there were 37 crashes of Uber vehicles in autonomous mode, including 33 that involved another vehicle striking test vehicles.

In one incident, the test vehicle struck a bent bicycle lane post that partially occupied the test vehicle’s lane of travel. In another incident, the operator took control to avoid a rapidly approaching vehicle that entered its lane of travel. The vehicle operator steered away and struck a parked car.

NTSB said Uber conducted simulation of sensor data from the Arizona crash with the revised software and told the agency the new software would have been able to detect the pedestrian 88 meters (289 feet) or 4.5 seconds before impact. The car’s system would have started to brake 4 seconds before impact. In the actual accident, the test vehicle did not correctly identify the bicycle as an imminent collision until 1.2 seconds before the impact. It was too late for the Uber car to avoid the crash.

“The system design did not include consideration for jaywalking pedestrians,” NTSB said.

The Uber car also initiated a one-second delay of planned braking while the vehicle calculated an alternative path or the safety driver could take over. Uber has since discontinued that function as part of its software update. NTSB during its investigation it “communicated several safety-relevant issue areas (to Uber) that were uncovered during the course of the investigation.”

In March, prosecutors in Arizona said Uber was not criminally liable in the self-driving crash. Police have investigated whether the safety driver who was behind the wheel and supposed to respond in the event of an emergency should face criminal charges. Police have said the crash was “entirely avoidable” and that the backup driver was watching “The Voice” TV program at the time of the crash.

Perry & Young is a nationally recognized personal injury, car accident, & commercial trucking accident law firm that has cultivated a reputation for our ability to successfully resolve even the most challenging cases. Over 35 years of experience, our award-winning team has secured multi-millions in numerous verdicts and settlements for clients across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and all over the country.  Learn more about our services, your potential case and rights, and how we can help by calling (850) 215-7777 for a FREE consultation.

Original Source

What To Do After A Car Accident

Key Things You Need to Know If You Have Been Involved In a Car Accident

  1. Always stop if you are involved in an accident, this is your legal obligation. Even if you do not think there was any damage, any time you collide with something, you need to stop your car and check damages to property and/or people.
  2. Never admit responsibility for the accident no matter what. Your insurance policy is a contract, and your contract for your insurance with your car insurance company states that you must not assume responsibility or liability under these circumstances. If you expect the insurance company to take care of your claim, let them do the talking.
  3. Determine the Extent of Damage or Injuries. Check to see if anyone needs urgent medical care. If you can, try not to move the vehicles unless they are causing a major problem with traffic. If possible, wait for the police before moving anything.
  4. Contact the Police. Even in a minor accident, it is important to make sure there is a legal accident report. Read more about how to file a police report when you have a car accident in the article “Your Accident and the Police”.
  5. Limit Your Conversation about the Accident with the Other Party. It is important to limit your discussion of the accident and not to admit any fault or liability. You should only talk about the accident with the police, medical professionals and your insurance representative.
  6. Get the Facts of Your Car Accident. This is the part most people know to do but often forget due to the stress of the accident. It is important to get names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. A description of the car and license plate number can also be helpful, but make sure you also get their insurance company and the vehicle identification number of their car. Don’t just assume the license plate number will do because most insurance companies only record the type of car and the vehicle identification number, not just the license plate number.
  7. Use Your Mobile Phone to Take Photos at a Car Accident. With most people having access to mobile phones, and cameras on the mobile phone, as well as insurance companies allowing you to submit claims information using apps or email, you may consider taking photos. This is especially useful for property damage images, images of the positioning of the cars, where they were on the street, etc.
  8. Contact Your Lawyer then your Insurance Company. Call your attorney before calling your agent or insurance company’s emergency claims number. If you can call them from the scene, it may be even more useful. Sometimes a police officer can give your attorney information that may be helpful.  When contacting your insurance company make sure your attorney knows.  Do not sign anything with your insurance company before talking with an attorney.  The insurance company may ask you questions that can be used against you at a later date.  If you tell them today you are not injured they may deny any future medical claim.  You have 14 days to seek medical assistance after a car accident. It is always best for those in the accident to be checked out ASAP and at the very least within that time period.  Your attorney will be your voice with the insurance company.  Let them do the talking for you.

Perry & Young is a nationally recognized personal injury, medical malpractice and property damage firm that has cultivated a reputation for our ability to successfully resolve even the most challenging cases. Over 35 years of experience, our award-winning team has secured multi-millions in numerous verdicts and settlements for clients across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the country.  Learn more about our services, your potential case and rights, and how we can help by calling (850) 215-7777 for a FREE consultation.

Toyota recalls 1.7 million cars over air bags

Toyota recalls 1.7 million cars over air bags

Toyota Motor Corp’s logo is pictured on a car in Tokyo, Japan, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Toyota recalls 1.7 million vehicles worldwide over air bag inflators

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said Wednesday it is recalling another 1.7 million vehicles worldwide for potentially faulty Takata air bag inflators as part of a multi-year industry recall campaign announced in 2016.

Automakers are adding about 10 million vehicle inflators in the United States to what was already the largest-ever recall campaign in history. Last week, Ford Motor Co said it was recalling 953,000 vehicles worldwide for Takata inflators. Previously, 37 million U.S. vehicles with 50 million inflators were recalled and 16.7 million inflators remain to be replaced.

At least 23 deaths worldwide have been linked to the rupturing of faulty Takata air bag inflators, including 15 in the United States.

Toyota’s new recall relates to vehicles from the 2010 through 2015 model years, and includes 1.3 million vehicles in the United States.

More than 290 injuries worldwide have been linked to Takata inflators that could explode, spraying metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. In total, 19 automakers are recalling more than 100 million potentially faulty inflators worldwide.

To date, 21 deaths have been reported in Honda Motor Co (7267.T) vehicles and two in Ford vehicles. Both automakers have urged some drivers of older vehicles not to drive them until the inflators are replaced.

The defect led Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June 2017. In April, auto components maker Key Safety Systems completed a $1.6 billion deal to acquire Takata. The merged company, known as Joyson Safety Systems, is a subsidiary of Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp (600699.SS).

Automakers in the United States repaired more than 7.2 million defective Takata air bag inflators in 2018 as companies ramped up efforts to track down parts in need of replacement, according to a report released last month.

Copyright and Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Bernadette Baum

Perry & Young is a nationally recognized personal injury, medical malpractice and property damage firm that has cultivated a reputation for our ability to successfully resolve even the most challenging cases. Over 35 years of experience, our award-winning team has secured multi-millions in numerous verdicts and settlements for clients across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the country.  Learn more about our services, your potential case and rights, and how we can help by calling (850) 215-7777 for a FREE consultation.

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