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Pennsylvania Injury Law Blog

Apple announces new ‘do not disturb while driving’ mode

Our blog has written extensively about distracted driving and the dangers that smartphone usage poses to drivers and passengers on Pennsylvania highways and city streets here in Lancaster. The federal government and smartphone and car manufacturers have all faced criticism for failing to take more concrete action to curb smartphone usage while driving.

That changed earlier this month, when Apple announced that an upcoming version of its operating system for iPhones will feature a new “do not disturb while driving” mode. When engaged, the mode will stop all incoming notifications. For incoming texts, the phone will send an automatic reply to the sender letting them know that the recipient is currently driving.

How injured road crew workers can collect more compensation

Warmer weather is here, which means two things for our local roads and highways here in the Lancaster area: There will be more construction crews and drivers – locals and people just passing through Pennsylvania – out there.

If you work on a road construction crew – setting up cones, fixing potholes, shoveling pavement, directing traffic, etc. – you are no doubt on the lookout for oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, the drivers out there do not always do the same. There is little to protect road workers from negligent drivers, meaning when a collision happens, their injuries are often quite serious. What you may not know is that you may be able to recover additional compensation for your injuries beyond your workers’ compensation benefits.

Poll: Pennsylvanians worried about dangers of drugged driving

The rapid increase in drug overdoses here in Lancaster and across Pennsylvania over the last few years has ended lives and destroyed families. It is hard to put into words how tragic the situation is.

Now, a new poll released by AAA shows that Pennsylvanians are worried about how the easy availability of illegal drugs will affect their personal safety. In the poll, 92 percent of respondents said they consider someone driving after the use of illegal drugs to be a “serious threat” to their safety.

Distracted driving: more than just cellphones

Distracted driving is one of - if not the - leading causes of car accidents in Pennsylvania and across the country. If you've spent any time on the road at all, whether during your daily commute or while on a family vacation, you know that irresponsible drivers are everywhere.

News reports and public safety campaigns aimed at curbing the use of handheld cellphones have drawn nationwide attention to the dangers associated with both texting and talking on a handheld phone behind the wheel, but those are certainly not the only hazards drawing the focus of drivers away from the road.

Injured in a car accident? See a doctor!

You've just been in a car accident. Some jerk wasn't paying attention and rear-ended your car. When the shock wears off and you gather your wits, you think you are ok. You feel a little stiff or a little sore, but that's common right? There's nothing that wrong. Besides, seeing a doctor or riding in the ambulance is expensive. Why spend all that money to prove what you already know?

Fast forward two weeks, and you can't get out of bed. There is terrible pain in your back. It'll pass, you say. You can just tough it out. The pain continues to get worse, until you find out that you have herniated discs that will likely require surgery to fix.

Should the government do more to lock phones while driving?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving fatalities increased by 8.8 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. In total, more than 3,500 people died across the U.S. because of distracted driving in 2015.

Because of this alarming rise, DOT and other federal highway safety officials unveiled proposed voluntary regulations recently. The regulations call on smartphone manufacturers to add software that will disable video displays and text entry while the car is in motion.

Signs of a traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by many different types of accidents. Its effects can be extremely damaging, sometimes even requiring someone to care for you for the rest of your life. After an instance of physical damage, it may not be immediately apparent that you have sustained a TBI.

Here are signs to watch for if you know or suspect your head was damaged.

Recognize the signs of spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries are especially dangerous, because they may not reveal their severity until later. For example, if you were in a car accident, you may think you just suffered a minor case of whiplash. Fast forward three weeks later, and you cannot get out of bed.

What you think may be a minor back or neck injury could actually mean serious damage to your spinal cord. You could be at risk for a herniated disc, a fractured vertebrae or even paralysis. After your accident, be on the lookout for symptoms such as:

Reaching a settlement with your insurance provider

If you've been in a serious accident where your car was totaled or you suffered an injury, the accident is just the first in a series of challenges. Insurance companies are notorious for questioning claims and offering low settlements. What should you do if you don't like their offer?

Auto insurance providers work with claims all day every day and are familiar with the cost of a crash or injury, while you at home are not. It's an uneven playing field and they know this. An insurance company makes their offer in response to what a lawsuit will cost them, then fitting that number into your situation and your perceived skill at negotiation.

The High Costs Of Workplace Injuries

Every year, hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers suffer injuries on the job with strains and sprains, cuts and punctures, bruises, inflammation and fractures being among the most commonly reported. While these types of injuries may not be life-threatening, they are painful and, if not promptly diagnosed and treated, can become more serious and result in a worker suffering permanent damage.

Costs Involved With Common Workplace Injuries

For a worker, the personal and financial costs associated with a workplace injury can be significant. The financial costs of an injury may include medical bills and also the days, weeks or months that a worker must take off of work to seek treatment for and heal from his or her injuries. The financial costs of even seemingly minor types of work injuries can quickly add up as old injuries may later become aggravated and lead to even more serious injuries and financially burdens.

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