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Pennsylvania Injury Law Blog

Can a drunk driver’s passenger recover damages after an accident?

If a drunk driver causes an accident in which the passenger riding in the car is injured, is the passenger entitled to recovery for damages, or should the passenger have known not to even get in the car in the first place? Here in Pennsylvania as in many other states, this concept of “comparative negligence” may affect a lawsuit and how much compensation an injured passenger can recover.

Comparative negligence explained

OSHA: Finger injuries among most common in Pennsylvania

Workplace injuries can happen in any occupation, even serious ones. According to recent data made available by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), when it comes to “severe” injuries, Pennsylvania workers are most at risk of serious finger injuries.

For the purposes of this data, OSHA, the federal workplace safety agency, defines a “severe injury” as an amputation, loss of an eye or an injury requiring hospitalization. In 2015 and 2016, employers across Pennsylvania reported a total of 1,595 severe injuries. Of those, 28 percent involved injuries to or the loss of fingers and fingernails.

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:

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