An elevator doesn’t have to fall far for people to sustain injuries. A man and a woman in Johnson City, Tennessee suffered possible leg fractures when a elevator they were in fell about eight feet, according to an article in the Johnson City Press.
The couple were in a freight-type elevator in a residence. They were rescued after the accident and taken to a local hospital.
We’re attached at the hip to our smartphones and we use them just about everywhere. A restaurant owner in Boston, disheartened that his diners were staring at their phones and not each other during dinner, is now offering a free lunch to customers who’ll agree to turn in their phone at the door.
At the dinner table, staring at your phone is rude, but it doesn’t endanger anything but feelings. Refusing to ignore your phone when you’re driving can be deadly for you, your passengers and the other drivers on the road.
The leading cause of death for teen drivers isn’t drinking; it’s texting. But don’t forget that teens aren’t the only ones texting. Adults also send texts (and emails!) while driving. All the faculties you need to drive safely (visual, manual and cognitive attention) are required to send a text.
A fatal accident can happen in the blink of an eye. The average text takes five seconds to send. A driver going 55 miles an hour will travel the length of a football field in those five seconds. That’s ample time and space for an accident to occur.
Forty-four states have banned texting for all drivers. Laws and fines vary from state to state. In California, a first offense may cost you $20. In Alaska, you might pay $10,000 and face a year of jail time. Here in Georgia, texting and driving is banned for all drivers and carries a maximum fine of $150. To learn more about national texting and driving laws, check out this interactive map from Distraction.gov.
Unfortunately, the laws banning texting and driving are difficult to enforce. Officers must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person they pull over wasn’t dialing a number or just talking on the phone. Drivers can easily quit mid-text to hide their phone when they see a police car, then go back to texting as soon as the police are out of sight.
In the two years after the ban went into effect, only 1,281 Georgia drivers were convicted of texting and driving. That’s incredibly low, considering how often people text and drive. Twenty-five percent of teens respond to at least one text every time they get behind the wheel. Twenty percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit to having long, multi-text conversations while driving.
Of course, laws aren’t always the deterrent we hope they’ll be. A $150 fine may seem like a fair price for finishing your text. But the true cost of texting while driving lies in the lives of the people on the road. My partners and I represent people whose lives have changed irrevocably after a car accident. We know that the lives of people on the road are precious – a text can always, always wait.
My partners and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Please stay safe.
Last month, my family and I celebrated a bittersweet milestone. My wife and participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) One Walk with our two sons. Both my children have Type 1 diabetes and this year marked the 10th anniversary of our eldest son’s diagnosis. In honor of that, my family committed to our largest fundraising goal yet: $50,000. We were blown away by the generosity of our community and raised over $55,000, the leading family team in Georgia.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. There are around 3 million Americans living with Type 1 diabetes (T1D.) Every year, 15,000 children and 15,000 adults are diagnosed with T1D. That’s about 80 people a day who learn that their lives will never be the same.
T1D is not a death sentence, but it is chronic disease that is very difficult to manage. Diabetics are constantly testing blood sugars, calculating carbohydrates, administering insulin through shots or a pump and literally weighing every activity they participate in to keep themselves alive. How much insulin you need varies day by day and is affected by numerous things, including what you eat and drink, exercise, stress, anxiety and hormones, among other factors.
Our eldest son, Gavin, is now a teenager with T1D. That brings a host of new management challenges. Teens are growing, their hormones are changing and they face new stresses. All of those things complicate and affect blood sugar. Amidst the challenges, though, my sons are resilient, amazing individuals and I could not be prouder of them.
Because there are so many misconceptions about diabetes, here are a few I’d like to address:
● Type 1 diabetics can’t play sports. Exercise is especially important for diabetics – it helps them keep their blood sugar under control. Type 1 diabetics have even won Olympic medals. Famous T1D athletes include Jay Cutler, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears, Adam Morrison and Missy Foy (an Olympic Ultra Marathoner.)
● Type 1 diabetics can’t ever eat sweets. Diabetics can eat what they like, so long as they take the appropriate amount of insulin. When a diabetic has a low blood sugar, they need glucose, such as a sugary snack or drink, to raise their blood sugar back to a safe level.
● Type 1 diabetics, through strict attention to diet and exercise, can easily control their blood sugar. I wish it were this simple, but unfortunately a wide variety of factors influence blood sugar and this can change from day to day. No diabetic will have perfect control over their blood sugar at all times.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Children with no family history of diabetes can get T1D. (We’re still not sure what causes T1D.) Undiagnosed, diabetes is an incredibly dangerous health condition. Know the signs and contact a doctor immediately if you notice them!
● Sudden weight loss
● Extreme thirst
● Increased hunger
● Frequent urination
● Drowsiness or lethargy
You can learn more at the JDRF website. Please visit today!
I was honored to be interviewed for CBS This Morning for its piece on the dangers of in-home elevators. The segment focused on the Nelson family and their son Jordan, and mentioned Jacob Helvey. The families of both boys continue to inspire my partners and me with their advocacy. They are determined to prevent future elevator accidents, as are we.
To that end, Cash, Krugler & Fredericks, along with The Safety Institute, filed a petition with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission this month. We hope the CPSC will initiate mandatory rulemaking to set safety standards for residential elevators.
If you saw the CBS story, you know that Anne Northup, the former head of the CPSC, says the organization is likely to push the industry to change on its own. We understand that new regulations are expensive. But the physical and emotional damage wrought by elevator injury cannot be ignored.
Until changes are made, we must be extra vigilant about safety, especially with children. The CPSC’s own data shows that around 1,600 people sustained an elevator injury in a residence from 2011 to 2012. We’d like that number to be zero.
Here are few tips to improve elevator safety for children.
- If an elevator gets stuck, children (and adults) should know this mantra: ring, relax and wait. Make sure kids know that trying to get out by themselves is dangerous. Help will come soon, so use the call button and wait.
- In homes with residential elevators and young children, put a handle lock on the exterior door of the elevator. These locks are cheap and effective.
- Model good behavior – don’t use a hand or foot to stop an elevator door from sliding closed. Little hands and feet are much more prone to injury when they try this trick.
- Teach kids to stand back from the doors.
– Andy Cash
We are saddened to report yet another elevator accident. An elevator in a school in Turkey fell from the third floor. Seven students were on board and were rushed to the hospital. No cause for the crash is known at this time.
Last week, nine people were also injured in an elevator crash at a hospital in Turkey. That elevator fell from the second floor.
We are continuing our efforts in the United States to ensure that elevators are safe to ride — for everyone.
Hundreds of thousands of home fires happen every year in the United States. Although the number of fatalities and injuries is on the decline, thousands die or are injured in fires annually, with fires occurring more often during the winter months, peaking in December and January.
As we retreat indoors to celebrate (and stay warm!) together, we bring out candles, space heaters and use our fireplaces. Flammable holiday decorations, like Christmas trees and garlands are set out. Cooks are in the kitchen, but often get distracted by holiday hubbub.
The conveniences and advances of the modern age can lure us into a sense of false security. Preventative measures like ceiling sprinklers and smoke alarms help keep us safe, but they’re not foolproof. Most burn injuries and home fires are preventable, but only when you take the necessary measures.
This is the season of celebration and it should stay that way! Take some simple steps today to prevent a home fire.
● Test all smoke alarms once a month using the test button. More than one-third of all home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms. If your alarm isn’t working, it’s not doing any good.
● Take a count of the smoke alarms in your home. One won’t cut it. Every floor of your home, including the basement, should have a smoke alarm. If possible, place the alarms near bedrooms.
● Watch where you place space heaters. Space heaters are efficient but used improperly they’re dangerous. Make sure your heater is at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire, like the bed or curtains. Small children can burn themselves, so keep space heaters away from little hands.
● Be careful in the kitchen. Don’t leave cooking food unattended. Watch the stove and keep dishtowels, potholders and oven mitts away from the cooking area. Turn pot handles to the side. Burns are serious injuries and an overturned dish can lead to a trip to the emergency room. Finally, try not to cook in tops with loose-fitting sleeves that can catch on fire.
● Send smokers outside. Smoking is the leading cause of residential fire death. Do not smoke inside your home. Set up an ashtray outside, away from the house. Be careful not to empty hot ash into a trashcan. Never leave a burning cigarette unattended.
Most Americans drive everyday as a necessity. Perhaps that’s why we forget just how dangerous driving is. But thousands of people are killed every year in traffic fatalities and many more are wounded in car crashes.
Public awareness campaigns and laws educate the public about the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. PSAs advertise the “Click It or Ticket” laws and encourage everyone to buckle up for safety. Now, we need to apply our advocacy to fighting the newest threat to safe roads: distracted driving.
Distracted driving describes any activity that pulls a driver’s attention away from the task at hand: safely driving their car. Distracted driving includes reading maps, grooming, talking on the phone or to other passengers, using a navigation system and eating or drinking. Any and all of these activities can cause a driver to make a mistake, but none are considered the number 1 form of distracted driving.
The most dangerous form of distracted driving is texting. Texting demands our eyes, our hands and our cognitive skills. Sending a text while driving is reckless. It’s also incredibly common, especially in teens.
A recent study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health found that among teens, 25 percent reported responding to a text message at least once every time they drive, and 20 percent admitted to holding multi-message conversations.
While texting, you typically avert your eyes from the road for at least five seconds. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, in five seconds you’ve gone the length of a football field. While texting, you triple your risk of being in an accident.
In 2012, 3,328 people died in distracted driving crashes. More than 420,000 people were injured that same year in distracted driving crashes. Teens (and their parents) need to be aware of the dangers of texting and driving. Texting endangers not just our safety but the safety of others.
The US Department of Transportation created the website Distraction.gov to educate and combat distracted driving, including texting. The site is full of tragic, sobering statistics. It’s also a resource for parents and educators. Talk to your teen drivers – they need to know that texting and driving is never okay. The website encourages families to take the pledge not to text and drive together. Texting while driving isn’t just a teenage habit – parents are guilty of it, too.
Many of us would never, ever drive drunk. Texting can be just as dangerous. It’s time we all start fighting distracted driving, including texting, with the same zeal we apply to drunk driving. A text is never worth a life.
In partnership with The Safety Institute, Cash, Krugler & Fredericks has filed a petition to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to initiate mandatory rulemaking to set safety standards for residential elevators. Learn more about the petition here.
We are pleased to announce that in partnership with The Safety Institute, Cash, Krugler & Fredericks petitioned the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to initiate mandatory rulemaking to set safety standards for residential elevators.
The petition also requests a recall to repair current residential elevators with a hazard that has been responsible for numerous child deaths and injuries.
“This petition dovetails perfectly with the mission of The Safety Institute – to address hazards and defects that are under-served,” said Sean Kane, founder and president of the board of directors of The Safety Institute. “We are hoping that the CPSC will initiate rulemaking to close this longstanding safety gap.”
Many home elevators and similar versions in older apartment and commercial buildings have a dangerous gap between the elevator and hoistway door allowing children as old as 12 to fit between them. When the elevator is called to another floor, the hoistway door automatically locks, and the child’s body is carried along with the elevator car often crushing the child leading to death or catastrophic injuries.
Industry has been aware of these dangers for more than 80 years, but has failed to adopt an appropriate, safe voluntary standard to address this design flaw. At least 55 child deaths have occurred since 1967; the most recent known death occurred in 2003.
Please see the full text of the petition below.
Andy Cash appeared on CBS This Morning on November 10, 2014 to discuss the lack of oversight for in-home elevators. The feature focused on the Nelson family, a firm client, whose son Jordan was seriously injured in a rental home last fall.
Watch the video here:
Cash, Krugler & Fredericks partner Andy Cash appeared on CBS This Morning on November 10, 2014 to discuss the lack of oversight for in-home elevators. The feature focused on the Nelson family, a firm client, whose son Jordan was seriously injured in a rental home last fall. View the segment here.
When you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to acquire legal counsel as soon as possible. Evidence needs to be protected and collected and witnesses need to be interviewed. Hiring capable legal counsel removes some of the burden from your shoulders at a trying time.
Actions taken in the immediate aftermath of an accident sometimes have far reaching legal ramifications. You need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
A good personal injury lawyer will provide necessary advice and guidance and can protect you and your case.
A trustworthy, experienced attorney is invaluable. The legal system is complex and can be overwhelming. So here are six questions you should ask before hiring an attorney.
- Do you have time for my case? Some personal injury law firms operate based on volume. High volume firms care more about the number of cases (and clients they can charge) than the quality of their work. At high volume firms, personal injury lawyers are expected to handle 100 cases or more at one time. High volume firms rely on teams of paralegals to carry the heavy load. When you hire a lawyer with that many cases, you and your case won’t get the attention you deserve.
- Have you tried a case like mine before? Lawyers may be eager to take your case, but that doesn’t mean that they’re qualified. Ask about their experience and then ask for proof. A good lawyer will discuss their experience and their results. They should also provide references when you ask for them. Contact their former clients and get their honest opinion about how they were treated. Are they satisfied with their result and with the work their lawyer did for them?
- What’s the timeline? The legal system is complex. Personal injury cases can take months or years to settle. Your lawyer should be able to tell you when, specifically, a lawsuit will be filed. Typically, the sooner, the better. If your lawyer suggests waiting more than two weeks to file a lawsuit, make sure they explain why to your satisfaction. Ask about a trial date as well. This is hard to predict, but your lawyer should be able to give you a general idea. They should also be able to explain the timeline to you in layman’s terms. Remember, though you’re new to the legal system, you have a right to be informed. If your lawyer can’t or won’t help you understand the legal process, they’re not worth hiring.
- What role will I play? You and your lawyer will have to work as a team throughout the legal process. Your role will vary depending on your case. Find out what’s expected of you. How involved do you want to be? If you’re very passionate about your case, will your lawyer let you be heavily involved? Talk to potential lawyers about how they work and communicate with clients.
- Ask about the cost. Ask them what their contingency fee is (how much of the monetary damages your lawyer will take as their payment). Contingency fees are negotiable and usually range from 25 to 40 percent. Ask about advanced case costs in the event that you lose your case. (You should not be responsible for advanced case costs if you lose your case.) Make sure you have it in writing that you’re not responsible for out-of-pocket costs if you lose.
- Ask about the monetary reward. This can be uncomfortable, but it’s vital. Your lawyer should give you an idea of what they think your case is worth. They should also be able to explain why they’re the best attorney for you. How are they going to get you the best settlement? Why are they the personal injury lawyer for you? You should be comfortable and convinced by their answer when you hire them.
“Don’t hire a lawyer until you’ve asked the tough questions.”
Cash, Krugler & Fredericks partner Andy Cash is scheduled to appear on “CBS This Morning” Monday morning, November 10. Andy flew to New York to be interviewed on elevator safety and what needs to be done to make elevators safe for everyone.
Jacob’s father, Mike, had two goals: to take care of his young son and give him to best possible life he could; and to make sure this never happens again.
Sadly, it did happen again, and we are now representing the Nelson family in a similar case. A young boy became entrapped in an elevator and suffered devastating injuries.
We are continuing our efforts to make all elevators safe. Andy’s appearance is another step to make sure that happens.
We are saddened to report another death in an elevator accident. Michael “Dewayne” Atkins was a maintenance worker at Decatur Morgan Hospital in Decatur, Alabama. He was kneeling in the elevator shaft, working on a sump pump, when the elevator crashed and fell on top of him, crushing him to death.
The 41-year-old husband and father of three children and grandfather of two is believed to have died instantly of injuries to his chest and back.
There is no cable, as it is a hydraulic elevator, so the accident was not the result of cable failure. Local authorities have launched an investigation into the accident. According to the state inspections office, the elevator was current on inspections and had no reported serious issues.
We will continue to share these stories with you in our ongoing campaign about elevators and their potential hazards.
Andrew Cash was interviewed by CBS This Morning as part of their coverage of the dangers of residential elevators. This news story featured a couple of CKF’s catastrophic injury cases involving residential elevators and also highlighted CKF’s work at the national level to make all residential elevators safe.
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