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Franklin County Personal Injury Law Blog

Will you recognize a drunk driver if you see one?

The evening news often includes sad reports of a pedestrian, a child or an entire Pennsylvania family losing their lives or suffering catastrophic injuries in car accidents in which law enforcement expect the cause to be impairment of another driver. Are you or a loved one a victim of such an incident? These tragedies are often the results of drivers who think they are sober enough to drive after hours of intoxicating fun.

Despite Pennsylvania authorities' enforcement of various campaigns, the drunk driving scourge remains a massive problem and the cause of many severe injuries and fatalities. One of the primary issues is the fact that many drivers do not know that their levels of impairment are not determined only by the number of drinks they consumed. Their body weight, the length of time they spent drinking alcohol, the types of drinks they had and their health and any medication taken are all variables in determining the level of impairment.

How to prevent and avoid the many dangers of working in trenches

How important is your safety to your employer? Do you receive training to teach you about the hazards of your job, how to recognize them and what precautions to take to avoid them? When it comes to trenches, some construction authorities say too many employers are ignorant of the applicable safety rules, and the pressures of deadlines along with the prioritizing of profit over safety cause the rise in the number of fatal trench collapses.

Furthermore, the inability of state and federal safety agencies to carry out sufficient inspections and enforce compliance may also play a role in the fact that trench-related fatalities almost doubled in 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reportedly said this after comparing the number of 2016 cave-in deaths nationwide with the averages of the previous five years.

Did you think dog bites only happened to others?

Millions of people have dogs that are as good as family members. The endless companionship that some dogs provide for the old and young is part of the lives of many Pennsylvania residents. Sadly, animal attacks have spoiled such special relationships for all those who endured the trauma of dog bites — many of them children.

Animals or their owners are not always the ones to blame for bites because dogs can react aggressively in some circumstances. If you antagonize or tease a dog, or threaten its owner or puppies, its reactions can be unpredictable.

Delayed symptoms after an accident? You have options.

A Pennsylvania car accident can change your life in many ways, leaving you with injuries that will impact your life for years to come. However, many car accident victims find that they do not really understand the extent of their injuries until days or weeks after the incident. If you experienced delayed pain after an accident, you still have the right to pursue compensation for your losses.

Delayed symptoms do not mean that you are free from serious injury. In fact, your injury can be quite significant, even if you do not understand the gravity of the situation right away. If you were hurt in a car accident but experienced delayed symptoms, you may find it helpful to seek guidance regarding your options for a possible personal injury claim.

You are your own protector in the workplace

Regardless of the industry in which you work, you have the right to be safe. Some Pennsylvania employers prioritize profits over employee safety, leaving workers to protect themselves from harm. If your safety is on the line, you might benefit from learning about your rights -- if you are not an independent contractor.

State and federal laws require employers to provide work environments that will not threaten the safety of employees. In fact, company owners must take certain steps to protect workers from harm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces safety regulations for all industries, and compliance is mandatory.

Wrongful death: Who can file and what damages can be claimed?

When a loved one dies unexpectedly due to fatal injuries suffered in an accident, there can be significant financial consequences along with the emotional impact this has. Such tragedies can follow pedestrian, motorcycle, car or truck accidents. However, dangerous premises or unsafe consumer products can also cause unanticipated deaths. Negligence in some form is often the cause of accidental deaths.

If your family is in the throes of such a tragedy, you might have questions about your rights to pursue financial relief. You may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim in a Pennsylvania civil court. If such action is successful, you could recover economic and non-economic damages you sustained as the result of the death.

Do you worry about exposure to infectious diseases at work?

Working in the health care industry puts you in one of the most dangerous industries in which to work anywhere in the nation. Generally, it doesn't matter whether you work as a doctor or in food service; you have at least some risk of exposure to infectious diseases. The type of facility you work in may reduce your risk of exposure, but not entirely.

How you are at risk may differ, depending on your job. The less contact you have with patients, the less your risk when it comes to two of the three primary methods of exposure.

Has your cold work environment caused cold stress injuries?

Is your health compromised? Then you might want to take special care if your job keeps you outdoors, in cold storage areas or unheated buildings. Safety authorities say the most vulnerable Pennsylvania workers are those who are older, have high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.

Exposure to wind and cold air will cause your body to lose heat rapidly, and cold stress can result. It might surprise you that cold stress can even occur at temperatures as high as 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Getting back to work after a work-related accident

If you suffered an injury in a work-related accident, you know how difficult it can be to pick up the pieces and secure the help and care you need. Injured Pennsylvania workers have the right to seek workers' compensation benefits after work-related accidents and sicknesses, but it can be beneficial to understand exactly what those benefits entail.

You may have grounds to file a workers' compensation claim, but it is smart to know what you are entitled to in order to better protect your interests. In addition to the financial support you could get to cover your lost wages and your medical bills, you could also be eligible for benefits that could help you prepare for your return to work. You may be entitled to vocational retraining, which can help you move forward after a workplace accident.

Know the rules about choosing a medical care provider

Employers with one or more employees in Pennsylvania must have workers' compensation insurance in place, even for part-time and seasonal workers. This will pay your medical expenses if you should suffer an on-the-job injury or contract a work-related illness. Furthermore, it will pay a portion of the wages you lost if you were unable to return to work immediately. You may also find comfort in knowing that your dependents will receive similar coverage if you do not survive a workplace accident.

However, you may be one of many employees who have questions about the regulations connected to the medical care and choice of care providers. Some occupational injuries require ongoing treatment, and confusion sometimes exists about the coverage of related medical expenses.