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Franklin County Personal Injury Law Blog

What is salmonella, and what are your legal rights?

Every year, authorities recall millions of food products that threaten the health of consumers in Pennsylvania and other states. If you are a victim of food poisoning caused by salmonella, you will likely have questions about your legal rights. In recent months, salmonella-related recalls included raw turkey, eggs, pre-packed salads, melon and Swiss roles, and right now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns consumers to dispose of any Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal they own.

Salmonella causes a bacterial infection in anyone who consumes a contaminated food product. The effects of the resulting food poisoning typically include abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea that might last for up to seven days. Salmonella is not generally life-threatening, but if any of your loved ones have weakened immune systems, or if they are elderly or infants, they could become severely ill if they ingest contaminated foods.

Was the Pennsylvania driver who hit you distracted at the wheel?

When you navigate Pennsylvania roadways as a motorist or pedestrian, it may prove wiser to ask "where" a distracted driver might be rather than "if" one is nearby. In fact, approximately one out of every four motor vehicle collisions is distracted driving related.  

You may be a safe and cautious driver. When walking in crossroads or near traffic-laden roads, you can adhere to traffic safety regulations; however, if someone else is negligent, you may be the victim of a distracted driving accident. If that happens, your life will change, perhaps permanently. Understanding the three main types of driving distraction can help lower your injury risk. Knowing where to seek support if an accident occurs can help you achieve as full a recovery as possible if you suffer injury because of a distracted driver. 

Occupational hearing loss can be life-threatening

If you have become aware of a problem with your hearing, you might be a victim of occupational hearing loss. If you think only older people experience hearing loss, you are mistaken. Excessive noise in workplaces causes hearing loss in millions of people of all ages nationwide, including in Pennsylvania. Frequent exposure to damaging noise levels of 85 decibels or higher can adversely affect your ability to hear.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide earplugs or earmuffs to protect workers in environments where noise levels reach or exceed 85 dB. Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act makes it mandatory for employers to accommodate employees with hearing loss.

Are you more of an aggressive driver than you think?

No matter how many years you have been driving, you have undoubtedly come across another driver who seems a bit aggressive. Whether he or she has yelled at you or other travelers, made inappropriate gestures or carried out other similar acts, you likely felt a bit uncomfortable and believed that the behavior was unnecessary.

That feeling of unease you experienced is understandable. When individuals commit acts of road rage or otherwise drive aggressively, they increase the chances of a serious car accident taking place. While intense road rage incidents are less common, drivers often carrying out aggressive behaviors while behind the wheel, and you may do so yourself without fully realizing it.

Do not overlook the risk of skin cancer if you work outdoors

Summer is here, and while most people in Pennsylvania likely cannot wait to get out and enjoy the sun, those whose occupations have them working all day outdoors might not realize the danger posed by the UV rays of the sun. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration started warning employers about the dangers of heat illnesses during spring, and urged them to provide fresh water and shady rest areas for outdoor workers. However, safety authorities make little mention of the risks of skin cancer.

If you work as a landscaper, construction worker, postal worker or any other occupation that exposes you to the sun, you may be at risk of developing skin cancer. Even truckers or other employees whose jobs require them to spend many hours driving might not realize that their exposure to the sun also puts them at risk. While auto manufacturers typically install laminated windscreens to block hazardous rays, the side windows usually provide little protection against UV radiation.

How safe will your child be at the amusement park?

Summer is the time for many exciting activities, and for some thrill seekers and families in Pennsylvania, trips to their favorite amusement parks are highlights of the season. While your children might anticipate excitement and nothing else, it would be only natural for you as a parent to struggle not to think of the many theme park tragedies in the past. These parks are often not as safe as people would like to believe.

With every report of an accident at an amusement park, you might wonder how safe your local theme park really is. What is the level of oversight, and who is responsible for the safety of patrons?

A severe bone fracture may need an invasive procedure to repair

While broken bones are relatively common injuries that can occur from a variety of activities, they can prove immensely serious in some cases. Depending on how the injury comes about, you could suffer a minor hairline fracture, or you could suffer a more unfortunate injury, like a compound fracture.

You may already know that doctors often utilize splints or casts to help bone injuries heal, but that is not always the only step necessary. For instance, if you have suffered one of the more severe types of bone fractures, you may even need surgery. Now, the idea of surgery for a broken bone may not be one with which you are familiar, but bone fracture repair may help a bone heal properly.

Are your post-accident symptoms a sign of traumatic brain injury?

If you're used to navigating busy roadways in Chambersburg or other nearby Pennsylvania towns, you already understand how traffic-laden such areas can be. Nearby interstates are known for being high-risk areas for collisions. In fact, on a busy Friday afternoon when all you want to do is get home safely from work and start your weekend with a nice dinner and some rest and relaxation, you might wind up spending your evening in an entirely different way if another motorist hits your car.  

A motor vehicle crash can change your life forever. If you suffer injuries, you might be in the hospital for several days or weeks. Spending a nice weekend at home may seem like a distant dream. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, however. Perhaps you were released after ER doctors checked you over following the collision, but as time went on, you realized you weren't feeling so well. Traumatic brain injury is an injury many people suffer due to blunt force impact in car accidents whose symptoms may not be readily apparent. 

Typical injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents

If you are a motorcyclist in Pennsylvania, you likely could not wait to get out on the roads after the long winter. However, you should take care not to have so much fun that you lose sight of the dangers you face. You could be vulnerable even with protective gear, such as proper clothing, boots, gloves, eye protection and a helmet.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says as the operator of a motorcycle, you need to be more skillful than vehicle operators need to be. You must drive defensively and be alert to your surroundings at all times to protect yourself from trucks and cars with whom you share the road.

New innovations in workplace safety and personal protective gear

Rapidly advancing technology has brought about many changes in traditional workplaces. While many of them aim to improve production and profits, more and more industries now focus on employee safety. These are the business owners who recognize the fact that fewer workplace injuries can benefit their bottom lines.

Are you one of the employees in Pennsylvania who has become used to interactions with robotic coworkers who now do the boring, repetitive jobs, or those tasks that involve handling toxic chemicals? There are more changes to come, and you will likely have to get used to all kinds of technological changes aimed at improved employee safety.