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Mesothelioma Patient Awarded $6 Million in Damages

by Keith Adkins

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that’s used in many construction materials because of its insulating and fire-resistant properties. However, exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

This risk of developing cancer has led to millions of sickened workers filing lawsuits against the companies who failed to warn them about the risks involved with handling materials tainted with asbestos. One such case recently resulted in a Moore, Oklahoma, man being awarded a total of $6 million in compensation.

According to an article from Tulsa World, the 51-year-old victim claims he was exposed to asbestos throughout the 1970s and 1980s through dust on his father’s clothes, who was a homebuilder and remodeler at the time. The exposure continued when the victim worked as a construction laborer and auto mechanic after that.

The man was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012 and filed suit soon thereafter, claiming three companies were responsible for his exposure to asbestos and his development of cancer. A jury agreed and awarded the man compensatory damages to cover medical and hospital expenses, as well as pain, mental anguish, and physical disability. No punitive damages were awarded in this case.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the difficulties that can accompany a diagnosis of mesothelioma. That’s why our Oklahoma defective product lawyers are hopeful the decision that was reached will bring the victim a sense of peace and closure.

New Laws Regulate Asbestos Removal

by Keith Adkins

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is used during the manufacturing of many items, such as construction materials. Unfortunately, exposure to Asbestos can result in an individual developing a deadly form of cancer, known as mesothelioma.

Despite this risk, it’s estimated that roughly 30 million structures in the United States, including homes and businesses, contain asbestos. To help prevent the citizens of Oklahoma from being exposed to the deadly substance, Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 658 into law.

According to an article from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, the bill outlines policies that will create more stringent regulations regarding liability and removal of asbestos from buildings. The bill will remove regulatory burdens from the shoulders of contractors and will instead depend on the Department of Labor and the Department of Environmental Quality to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from buildings in Oklahoma.

The bill, which took effect in April, will reduce the number of inspections and the number of agencies conducting inspections during asbestos removal projects in Oklahoma.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we’ve seen the devastating results asbestos exposure can have on victims and their families. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are hopeful that this new set of regulations will help the state and its agencies significantly reduce the chances of Oklahoma’s workers being exposed to this deadly, cancer-causing substance.

Lawmakers and Community Members Host Motorcycle Safety Day in Oklahoma City

by Keith Adkins

Over the past several years, the number of motorcycles that are registered in the state of Oklahoma has risen. Unfortunately, this increase in the number of bikers on the road has correlated with a larger number of serious motorcycle accidents.

Data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office shows there was a 2 percent gain in the number of motorcycle endorsements issued between 2012 – 2013. During that same time frame, Oklahoma motorcycle accident fatalities increased by almost 11 percent.

In order to help address the risks of riding a motorcycle in Oklahoma, officials have declared the month of May to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The campaign kicks off today with the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Safety Day being held in Oklahoma City.

As part of the event, speakers—including LT. Governor Todd Lamb, Directors of ODOT and OHSO, the Commissioner of the DPS, the Chief of the Patrol, and Senator Paddack—will each discuss topics concerning motorcycle safety. These include the use of proper safety gear, getting licensed to ride a motorcycle, sharing the road with other vehicles, and seeking training before taking a motorcycle out on the road.

According to an article from 1600 KUSH AM, the event kicks off at 11 a.m. and will continue until around 2 p.m. at the South Plaza of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we are aware of the important role educational events can play in motorcycle safety. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to attend if you or a loved one ride motorcycles. Doing so could save a life.

 

Victims of Sexual Assault Struggling to Get the Veterans Disability Benefits They Deserve

by Keith Adkins

Hundreds of thousands of United States military veterans are unable to work due to injuries and trauma they suffered during their service to our country. Yet some of these individuals are struggling to receive the care and veterans disability benefits they need—especially soldiers who were harmed at the hands of their fellow service members.

A story from the Tampa Bay Times explains that roughly 1 in 4 female soldiers will become victims of sexual harassment and assault during their time in the military. While many of the victims apply for veterans disability benefits due to the physical and mental trauma they suffered, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been slow to offer assistance to these victims.

After years of struggling for the compensation they deserve, the federal government is just now taking action to get these individuals care. The Pentagon is promoting a campaign to prevent sexual assaults while the VA is working to provide soldiers with more facilities that are able to treat victims of sexual trauma. Furthermore, the agency is expanding the mental health services for which these victims may qualify.

It’s important for soldiers to remember that applying for and receiving these benefits can be a tedious process, and that having legal representation by your side will help ensure your case is handled as efficiently as possible.

The Oklahoma personal injury attorneys with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys are well versed in assisting veterans with getting the benefits they need and we can do the same for you. Our legal staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have, just call (877) 579-6800 to learn more about how we can help.

Steps to Avoid Oklahoma Motorcycle Accidents This Winter

by Keith Adkins

While the short days and long nights of winter are upon us, many will continue to rely on motorcycles for transportation. But in December 2013, there were a total of 35 Oklahoma motorcycle accidents that occurred.

One Oklahoma motorcycle accident earlier this month highlights the dangers motorcyclists face—even when they are doing everything right. Reports indicate the crash happened on Dec. 13, on Highway 78, just south of Whitewright, Texas.

According to KTEN 10 News, the victim was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle along the highway to deliver toys to children for the holidays. However, a vehicle crossed the center lines of the road and struck an SUV. The motorcyclist didn’t have time to avoid the wreckage from the accident, struck the damaged vehicle, and crashed.

Motorcyclists who knew the victim say they are putting on another toy ride in the deceased rider’s memory.

The crash leaves many drivers and motorcycle riders wondering what can be done to prevent accidents. Most experts agree the answer is a combination of efforts from both sides.

Motorcyclists should:

  • Always Wear A Helmet and Other Protective Gear
  • Always Utilize A Headlight
  • Always Obey Traffic Laws

Drivers need to remember to:

  • Give Motorcyclists Space On the Road
  • Look Twice In All Directions Before Entering Traffic
  • Avoid Distractions

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are hopeful these tips will help you to avoid an Oklahoma motorcycle accident during the winter months.

 

What Are the Most Common Oil Field Injuries?

by Keith Adkins

A large number of Oklahomans are employed in the oil and natural gas industries. While these jobs can be lucrative, they also come with on-the-job hazards that can be deadly.

Considering Oklahoma’s rank as second in the nation for the number of fatalities in oil and gas industries, it’s important for workers to be aware of the most common oil field injuries. These include:

  • Burn Injury- Oil and natural gas are both extremely flammable and can cause massive explosions when put under the pressure drilling can impose.
  • Fractures- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that workers injured in the oil and gas industries miss more work due to injuries in other industries, and concluded this is because an estimated 25 percent of oil field workplace accidents are fractures that often have long healing times.
  • Toxic Exposure- Chemicals are often used to pull oil and natural gas from the earth, many of which can cause serious harm to anyone who is exposed to them for long periods of time. Workers are often on the jobsite more than 40 hours per week, which may qualify as heavy exposure.
  • Contact With Objects and Equipment- Heavy machinery is used on drilling sites and any contact with a tool or piece of equipment can be dangerous and potentially deadly.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the risks those working in the oil and gas industries face and we’re here to help if you’ve been injured on the job. If you have questions, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers have answers. To learn more about how we can assist you, call us anytime at (877) 579-6800.

Oklahoma Awarded Grant to Reduce Asbestos and Associated Mesothelioma Cases

by Keith Adkins

While many of the products that have been created as a result of the industrial revolution have benefited society, some have come with particularly high human costs as well. Take asbestos, for instance. This chemical product was created as a fireproof insulator and has successfully been used in many factories, buildings, and ships; however, exposure to the product is also the only known cause for a deadly cancer known as Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma can affect the membrane linings of the lungs and abdominal cavity. There is currently no cure to the disease, although treatments have been found that can prolong a patient’s life.

These dangers have been known for decades, yet the product is still found in many of the construction products and materials that we use today. In fact, Oklahoma recently received a grant to reduce the amount of asbestos that is found in schools across the state.

An article from The Joplin Globe explains the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave Oklahoma $204,000 to monitor and assist compliance regarding asbestos regulations. The money will also go towards inspections, community outreach, employee training, and enforcement.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know the serious risks that can be posed by exposure to asbestos. That’s why our team of Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are excited the state has been awarded this grant. We are hopeful it will be used to better protect and serve the people of Oklahoma.

Help With Disability Benefits Is Available To Oklahoma Veterans

by Keith Adkins

The hoops a veteran must jump through in order to utilize their health and disability benefits can be overwhelming. This is highlighted by the recent scandal that has uncovered a mound of cases where some veterans have waited years—even decades—to receive benefits they are rightfully entitled to.

To help reduce the number of veterans who are struggling to receive Oklahoma veterans’ disability benefits, one organization is working to help soldiers and veterans who are struggling to navigate through the benefits system. They are doing this by providing the forms that are needed to apply for benefits and helping individuals complete them.

The organization, known as the Veterans Corner, was started in 2009 as a way to support those who have sacrificed so much for our nation. They now operate out of the community center in the town of Goldsby, Oklahoma, and meet from 7 a.m. to noon each Thursday. During this time, volunteers are able to help as many as 200 former service members complete the necessary documentation to receive the assistance they need and deserve each week.

News OK explains the program has helped a large number of veterans who have come through the doors for help, many of whom return to help others who are in a similar situation to the one they found themselves in.

The Oklahoma personal injury attorneys with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys would like to applaud the efforts being made to help the veterans of Oklahoma. The firm would also encourage those who need more assistance to get in touch with us to discuss your situation further.

Former Soldiers In Oklahoma Struggling To Get Veterans’ Disability Benefits

by Keith Adkins

When a military service member is injured in the line of duty, they are supposed to be entitled to veterans’ disability benefits. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of veterans who are struggling to get the assistance they deserve.

Take the case of a former Marine who is now living in Clayton, Oklahoma. He signed up to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps following a car accident that resulted in a back injury. He was medically cleared to join the ranks of the Marines, but re-injured his back during training.

According to KTEN News, it was later determined that the veteran was unfit for duty and was honorably discharged from service. When he went to seek medical benefits for his disabling injury from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, he was approved. The VA later sent a letter saying that the disabled veteran’s benefits were being cut off and that his injury needed to be re-evaluated. The VA now says they have no record of the man ever serving in the U.S. Marine Corps at all.

Since that time, the veteran has struggled to get the assistance he desperately needs from the VA and adds that he sees no signs of an approval for his claim in the future.

Situations like these reverberate across the nation, which is why our team of Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at J. Colbert Injury Lawyers are here to help. If you are a veteran who has been denied disability benefits from the VA, call us today to discuss your needs.

Oklahoma Boy Helping Other Children Through Balloon Animals

by Staff

Giving to children in need is a cause the Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers strongly believe in. That’s why the firm gives to the Toys for Tots campaign each December, so that needy children in the region can have a wonderful Christmas. The firm has learned of a local boy that is working year-round to help others in the area in a very creative way.

An article from KOCO 5 News tells how a 7-year-old boy transforms into a clown, named “Meeraminute,” to make balloon animals for children and parties. The boy became interested in making balloon animals several years ago and quickly became obsessed with making larger, more intricate creations. Today, he purchases balloons by the thousands and has his own side business making balloon animals at events.

While the boy gets paid to display his skills on occasion, he does not keep the money for himself. Instead, he donates it to the Shriners Children’s Hospitals because he says, “people were sick in the hospital” and needed it more than he did.

John Colbert and his team of attorneys applaud this young man for his efforts to help others, and encourage other citizens to find ways to help others. You can learn of upcoming events where assistance is needed by regularly checking the Community News page of the firm’s website.