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3 Kinds of Common Occupational Accidents that Often Result in Work Injury Lawsuits

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Work injuries are a lot more common than many people think, and until you're the one being injured, you probably won't give much attention to occupational hazards, unless your job involves a particularly hazardous work environment or inherently dangerous processes. Many jobs are more dangerous than you'd expect, especially in positions that require frequent movement, heavy lifting, or the use of heavy machinery.

Work injury lawsuits typically occur when the injured employee believes their injury was caused by their employer's neglect or mismanagement. Any time an employee is injured at work they should investigate the opportunity to receive worker's compensation and/or compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the possible lack of proper management. In the following paragraphs we'll go over three of the more common kinds of work-related injuries that sometimes result in lawsuits against the employer.

1. Restaurant Kitchen Injuries

Working in a restaurant kitchen can be extremely dangerous if an employee is not careful or if management staff is not diligent about educating employees and maintaining a safe work environment through established company policies. Common kitchen injuries include slip and falls, burns, strains caused by transporting items, and cuts. In many cases the injury is caused by lack of caution on the part of the employee, but in other cases the injury is a direct result of a manager not taking the proper precautions or providing inadequate work orientation material. For example, if a manager does not tell an employee to wear non-slip shoes, or allows the employee to work in the kitchen knowing they are not wearing non-slip shoes, then any resulting slip and fall would be the fault of the manager. In addition to contacting a professional work injury lawyer, anyone who has been injured by falling or slipping in a restaurant kitchen should also become familiar with the slip and fall law.

2. Heavy Machinery Accidents

Heavy machinery accidents can happen in a wide variety of forms, from minor marks and bruises to severe, life-changing accidents. People that work in the building, agriculture, warehouse management, factory work, and road construction injuries are especially at risk for being injured during the use of heavy machinery at work. For example, oil mining equipment can be especially dangerous to operate if it hasn't been inspected for necessary repairs or maintenance. Faulty oil mining equipment can result in severe or even fatal injury, which is why the companies who employ oil miners are responsible for making sure their employees are using safe and well-maintained equipment. Anyone injured in the oil field should seek advice from experienced oilfield injury lawyers like Slack & Davis to determine whether they may be able to receive additional compensation for the pain and suffering endured due to the neglect or mismanagement of their supervisors.

3. Construction Injuries

Construction injuries are extremely common and can really include any kind of injury from minor to major, depending on the equipment and processes involved in the project. In some cases, construction workers are injured because their supervisor fails to take the necessary precautions or puts the crew in an unsafe situation. If the construction company provides poor quality equipment and the injury occurs because of this lack of oversight or unsafe building conditions, then an employee may also have a case for a work-related injury lawsuit. If a construction worker is injured doing something one of their supervisors instructed them to do, and the appropriate warnings or guidelines were not introduced first, then that employee has a good chance of suing their employer for neglect to provide the proper equipment, preparation, or precautions. Thus, construction supervisors should be adamant about conducting detailed safety checks to prevent liability in the event of a worker injury.

Always Contact a Work Injury Lawyer

Regardless of whether you feel the injury was the fault of your manager or yourself, you should always contact a work injury related lawyer if the injury is bad enough to make you miss work or endure pain and suffering while continuing work. In many cases people don't even realize that they may be able to receive a larger settlement of cash from their employer, so discussing your case with a professional during a free consultation can only help your cause.

Law Schools Have Not Yet Hit Bottom

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LSAC has announced a 6.6% increase in June LSAT takers, which could indicate more applicants for the next 1L class.

The National Law Journal has reported that "Legal educators are cautiously optimistic that the 2015-16 academic year will mark the low point for law school enrollment."

Al Brody at The Faculty Lounge has repeatedly speculated that the enrollment numbers have hit bottom.

Brian Leiter even made it "official," stating "It's official, the enrollment decline is over!"

 

To quote Jaime Lannister, "The war's not won."

Even if enrollment numbers reverse direction and increase next year, we still won't have hit bottom. The reason is quite simple: students (typically) stay in law school for 3 years. When that math enters the calculation, we can see how far from the bottom schools really are.

In 2013 there were 59,400 applicants, in 2014 there were 55,700, and for 2015 there's a predicted 54,130. If there should end up being a 6.6% increase in applicants for 2016, the numbers would only rise to 57,700. That's more than the 2015 number, but the appropriate number to compare it to is 2013. That is the cohort of students the new 1Ls are replacing, and in that comparison the numbers are still lower.

Looking at a few schools' enrollment stats illustrates how we're not yet at the bottom. Let's project a 2% decline in 2015, followed by a 6% increase in 2016.

At Golden Gate, the 2013-2014-2015 numbers are 150-137-134, total 421. The 2014-2015-2016 numbers would then be 137-134-142, total 413. Despite seeing the 1L class increase by 6%, the total enrollment would still decline by 2%.

At American university the 13-14-15 numbers would be 473-429-420, and 14-15-16 would be 429-420-445. Some quickie math confirms that 473 is larger than 445, indicating a total decline of 28 students despite a 1L class size increase of 25 students.

At Florida International we're looking at 158-144-141, total 443, and then 144-141-149, total 434.

It's certainly not every school that's going to be grinding along the bottom for at least an extra year before they can say "It's official, the enrollment decline is over." But, if the school saw its 2014 class decrease by 4% or more compared to 2013, then it should be predicting an even smaller total enrollment in the 2016-17 school year, not an increase.

Many schools will see this be their worst year. Indeed, some schools already have their worst years behind them. But that's not where the real action is. The schools most likely to see a decline next year are also the ones that have already slipped the furthest. We'll see some school's conditions go from Serious to Fair, or Fair to Good, but the schools we should be looking at are the ones in Critical condition. It's not yet safe to say they'll be upgraded to Serious, rather than downgraded to Deceased.

Something Mundane Happened On The Way Out Of Chipotle

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Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is barely into its infancy (after a very long gestation period, mind you) and she's already committing some pretty remarkable gaffs. According to a Chipotle manager, when Clinton visited the store recently with a $20 order, she didn't leave any money in the tip jar. [Bloomberg]

The question of Clinton tipping at Chipotle was first raised by Rush Limbaugh who said on his radio program:

I would like to know if she left anything in the tip jar, because that would be an indication that she understands the average, ordinary, everyman that she seeks to represent.

There's just one slighty, teensy, itty bitty problem with Limbaugh's criticism. You know who else doesn't tip at Chipotle? The average, ordinary, everyman. Clinton doesn't just understand the everyman, she embodies the everyman!

And you know why she embodies the everyman? Because she shares a psychic link to so many ordinary working folks. Clinton is adept at using the Dark Side, and is constantly in a battle meditation to enhance the skills of her campaign team. Why else does she, day after day, continue to more closely resemble Emperor Palpatine?

And it's that same Dark Side that makes bloomberg.com/politics get closer and closer to looking like reddit.com/politics. Folks, it's going to be a very long campaign season.

 

In other news, Chris Christie was spotted at Chipotle waiting until his meat had been added to his burrito before telling the staff he'd like double meat, using the classic fat guy trick to get the most meat possible at Chipotle.

When A Law School Shill Goes Full Derp

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Those of you who follow the debate over the value of JDs (especially post-Lehman) are likely familiar with Michael Simkovic's research which found a million dollar life time earnings premium. Criticism, quite rightly, abounded. One of the most glaring problems was the claim about how many hours per week lawyers work compared to the rest of the workforce (warning, your sides may split):

We find that, after applying controls, law degree holders typically work 3.9 hours more per week, or about 45 minutes per day.

While the rest of the world is working 9-5 jobs, lawyers are working 9-5:45. Tell that to your boss today and see how things go...

This problem illustrates one of the biggest flaws in looking at the JD premium, it treats the JD like a passive investment. Put in your $150,000 of tuition and 3 years and (maybe) pass the bar, then just go about the rest of your life as usual and you'll see a $20,000 per year increase to your pay check. Anyone who's ever worked a day as a lawyer (as Simkovic briefly did) should know that's not how it works. The JD will bring many people an increase in their hourly earnings, but most of the earning premium has to be worked for. You work longer, more stressful hours. The true earnings bonus comes from removing the 40 hour cap on most white collar jobs, and allowing you to work 60, 70 or 80 hours a week. Now, if you happen to enjoy legal work, that's going to be an awesome situation for you. If you don't like it, then the ability to work longer, harder hours isn't a bonus at all.

But that's all beside the point for what we want to discuss today. We can kinda see how maybe if you come across some not so reliable data and you've got a bunch of confirmation bias in your head, you won't question it too much and just land on the conclusion you already wanted to reach. That's just regular derp. In a recent post on Brian Lieter's blog, Simkovic went full derp.

Simkovic claimed that when schools report salary data it is not unethical to not disclose response rates. He defends this first by saying it's standard practice. That argument is a non-starter, because it's entirely possible that the standard is just to engage in unethical behavior. The "everyone else is doing it" argument doesn't fly.

His next line of reasoning is that prospective students are subject to information overload, so the data needs to be kept away from them:

Sometimes, too much information can be distracting. It’s often best to keep communication simple and focus only on the most important details.

Remember those lawsuits from a few years back when students claimed they were deceived by their schools about employment prospects? They lost because the courts found they were sophisticated consumers capable of seeing through the schools' puffery and other bologna. Simkovic is now arguing the opposite, that including a response rate would be too much and hurt their precious widdle bwains.

The issue here is the word "best." Yes, if your goal is to increase enrollments, especially among students paying full sticker price, it is "best" to keep your salary data as "simple" (read: favorable) as possible. If your goal is to help prospective students make a fully informed decision, then no. God fracking no, it's not "best" to exclude the friggin' response rate.

But wait, Simkovic hasn't gone full derp just yet.

 

His last defense of excluding response rates is that it doesn't matter because, well... we'll let you see it for yourself (emphasis added):

Nonresponse is not the same thing as nonresponse bias. Law school critics do not seem to understand this distinction. A problem only arises if the individuals who respond are systematically different from those who do not respond along the dimensions being measured. Weighting and imputation can often alleviate these problems. The critics’ claims about the existence, direction, and magnitude of biases in the survey data are unsubstantiated.

High non-response rates to questions about income are not a sign of something amiss, but rather are normal and expected. The U.S. Census Bureau routinely finds that questions about income have lower response rates (higher allocation rates) than other questions.

Law school critics claim that law school graduates who do not respond to questions about income are likely to have lower incomes than those who do respond. This claim is not consistent with the evidence. To the contrary, high-income individuals often value privacy and are reluctant to share details about their finances.

His claim is that people who don't answer salary data might not be any different than those who do, so the low response rate doesn't affect the numbers, but even if they were different, non-responders probably earn more, so the salary data schools claim is actually lower than the real earnings.

If you just stepped in something, it would be Simkovic's brains leaking out on to the floor.

He backs up this claim to a citation about how urban lawyers are less likely to respond than rural lawyers, and urban lawyers earn more, so blah blah blah. That's some evidence to back up his claim, but it's hardly compelling. It's even less compelling if you just sit down with a couple NALP reports and actually look at the salary data and response rates. We'll grab a few at semi-random (focusing on schools that have a lot of students in both large and small firms, so we can see if there's a difference in response rates):

 

#1. American University 2013:

53 students were employed in firms with 101+ lawyers, 47 (89%) provided salary data, which ranged from $135,000 to $160,000.

49 students were employed in firms with 2-10 lawyers, and only 27 (55%) provided salary data, which ranged from $50,000 to $65,000, the lowest range for any firm size band.

 

#2 Boston College 2013:

75 students in 101+ firms, 74 (99%) provided salary data, ranging from $145,000-160,000.

26 students in 2-10 firms, 15 (58%) provided salary data, ranging from $53,000-65,000.

 

#3 Fordham 2013:

164 students in 101+ firms, 163 (100%, yay rounding!) provided salary data, ranging from $132,500-160,000.

38 students in 2-10 firms, 23 (61%) provided salary data, ranging from $52,500-75,000.

 

#4 George Mason 2013:

23 students in 251+ firms*, 21 (91%) provided salary data, ranging from $135,000-160,000.

37 students in 2-10 firms, 19 (51%) provided salary data, ranging from $42,500-70,000.

*4 students were in 101-250 sized firms, but NALP does not report salary data when there are fewer than 5 people in the category.

 

#5 Pepperdine 2013:

16 students in 101-250 and 500+ firms*, 16 (100% without rounding!) provided salary data, ranging from $76,000-160,000.

50 students in 2-10 firms, 33 (66%) provided salary data, ranging from $52,000-75,000.

*Only 3 students in 251-500 firms

 

#6 Wayne State 2013:

14 students in 101-250 firms, 14 (100%) provided salary data, ranging from $100,000-100,000. (Maybe this is a good time to note the salary figures are the 25th to 75th percentiles.)

39 students in 2-10 firms, 11 (28%) provided salary data, ranging from $31,200-52,000.

 

Do you see a trend? We sure as hell do. People who do not respond are, in Simkovic's words, "systematically different" from those who do respond. Nearly everyone working in a large firm provides salary data. Only about half of those working in small firms do. That's a systematic difference. And now here comes the full derp:

Simkovic thinks that the people working in small firms not reporting are withholding the data because they're making bank.

At virtually every single school the lowest salaries are found in the 2-10 sized firms. But according to Simkovic, this is only because the high earners aren't reporting their salaries. But only at small firms! High earners at large firms aren't so shy about their salaries. The numbers are only off because there's a bunch of tiny firms paying $160,000 right out the gate, and no one is talking about them.

He's just one step away from claiming that the lack of news coverage about the Illuminati is proof that the Illuminati controls the media.

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