Practice Area Spotlight – Trench Collapses

Working in and around trenches and excavations is dangerous work. The primary hazard is a trench cave-in or collapse. Industry standards set out in OSHA and ANSI address excavation safety to reduce, and ideally, to eliminate these hazards. Despite these standards, preventable injuries and deaths continue to occur.

To effectively protect against these risks, workers must be trained on how and why cave-in and trench collapses occur. Workers must then be trained on how to minimize and/or eliminate the risks of these hazards.

Cave-ins and trench collapses often occur suddenly and without warning, but that does not mean they can’t be prevented. For starters, every dig must have a competent person overseeing the project. The person in charge must be able to determine and classify the type of soil being excavated. Determining the soil composition is an on-going process because the excavation process may change a soil’s classification. This is especially true in scenarios involving a “re-dig.” When an excavation is filled-in, the soil is unstable. If the area needs to be re-excavated, extra precaution must be taken to guard against potential cave-ins.

Additionally, excavations greater than five (5) feet deep must be supported by an adequate protective system. Common protective systems include 1) sloping or benching of soil; 2) shoring; and 3) shielding. Determining the type of protective system to be used is specific to the excavation and work being done inside the excavation.

For nearly twenty years, I have handled many cases involving trench and excavation injuries or deaths. These matter are complex and require an experienced litigator, and typically the assistance of a construction or OSHA expert. If you have a potential case involving a trench or excavation, please email or text us at 312-307-0119.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Do I Need an Attorney?

This is a question I am asked often, and the answer is always the same, maybe.
If I am in a car accident and injured, do I need an attorney? Is the attorney worth giving one-third of my settlement? Can’t I just handle the claim myself?

Before providing a more educated answer than “maybe”, let’s first consider with whom you are going to be negotiating your claim. The insurance claims adjuster assigned to your claims has one objective, that is, to resolve your claim for as little an amount of money as possible. Many of them are good at their jobs. The insurance company does not care if your medical bills are paid or in collection. The insurance company does not care if you are still dealing with pain from your injuries. In fact, the insurance company may try to drag the claim out long enough so time expires and they don’t have to pay at all. Simply put, their interests are not yours. The only person who shares your interest is the attorney you hire. So, should you hire one?

There are some cases where a person injured in a car accident may not need a personal injury attorney. Those are cases where the injury is small, the medical bills have been paid and the insurance company for the other driver has accepted responsibility. These cases are straightforward and may be resolved without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Even then, don’t expect the claims handler to do you any favors.

In the vast majority of cases, however, where there are multiple cars, serious injuries, unpaid medical bills, insufficient insurance coverage or a number of other complicated issues, the benefit of working with an experienced injury attorney will pay off. Similarly, in cases that are more complex, i.e., slip and falls, construction cases, products liability, medical malpractice, trucking cases, the lists goes on, the answer is always “yes.” You need an experienced, personal injury attorney working with you.

An experienced, personal injury attorney will maximize your recovery, will advise you as to how the settlement offers stack up against other offers in similar cases, will negotiate insurance reimbursements to put more money in your pocket, will be able to seek additional insurance proceeds where available, and, most importantly, will protect your interests. In short, a personal injury attorney has the same interest as you do.

The attorneys of Kupets & DeCaro, P.C. are experienced personal injury attorneys representing victims and their families. If you, a friend or family member would like to discuss your case with an attorney so you can better understand whether you have a good case, please text us a 312-307-0119 or email us by clicking here.