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Hermitage Pennsylvania Legal Blog

What is a personal representative responsible for?

If a loved one asks you to become his or her personal representative, it is important to understand the duties of a personal representative before you accept. In general, if you are named a personal representative, you will be responsible for making sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out after he or she passes away.

This may sound simple, but there are actually many steps you may need to take to legally fulfill this responsibility. If you do not correctly complete all of the required tasks, you could be held personally liable.

Accident fatalities in Pennsylvania

If you are like a lot of people in Pennsylvania, you may be concerned about the recklessness some drivers exhibit on area roads and highways. Despite strict laws, it seems that some people are simply not willing to make safety a priority. This does make it important for you to be extra vigilant and drive defensively but also to be aware that there may be times you need additional help if even your safe actions are not enough to avoid being hit by a dangerous driver.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving and speeding continue to claim many lives in Pennsylvania. In Mercer County alone, 21 people were killed at the hands of drunk drivers between 2013 and 2017. In that same five-year period, 33 lives were lost in accidents involving excessive speed. A total of 73 vehicular fatalities were recorded in the county over those five years.

What is assuming the risk?

If you or someone you know in Hermitage is seeking damages from being hurt on another person’s property, be aware that the property owner might make an assumption of risk argument. To counter a claim of negligence, some property owners claim that the injured party actually knew all along that the property was dangerous, or that the activity the victim participated in was potentially hazardous. This is called “assuming the risk.” However, you should not let a property owner make you think are at fault for your own injury if you were not adequately warned.

According to FindLaw, a proper case of assuming the risk is when someone understands that an activity or property poses the possibility of injury. This knowledge can be gained by observing an activity in motion, like an amusement park ride. It can also be acquired through reading nearby signage or a discussion with an authoritative official on the property. The process of assuming the risk is complete when a person decides to enter a property or perform an activity without any form of coercion.

Vehicular homicide charges filed in fatal accident

Some Pennsylvania car accidents are just the result of the perfect storm of events that ends in tragedy. Others can be more sinister and are often the result of the poor decision making on the part of a driver or passenger. This was the case in a recent accident that resulted in the death of a 45-year-old woman and vehicular homicide charges leveled against the driver who caused the accident.

According to ABC Action News, law enforcement officials say the accident occurred when a black vehicle traveling east struck another vehicle traveling southbound. The crash occurred early in the morning in Coatesville and the driver of one vehicle was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Government rule addresses fatigue among truckers

Driving any vehicle while tired can be dangerous. This is something people in Pennsylvania are well aware of yet this is something that commercial truckers, especially those who operate long-haul routes, may do on a regular basis. Fatigue can negatively impact a person's judgment and reaction times, thereby increasing the chance of making an incorrect action and getting into an accident. 

The federal government agency that oversees commercial trucking appears to have become aware that fatigued driving among truckers was a problem as it instituted new rules designed to address this issue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calls these regulations the Hours of Service rule. In essence, the HoS dictates when a trucker may or may not drive with the intent being to prevent operation while tired.

Sharing the road with big trucks in winter weather

Driving when poor visibility and treacherous conditions exist is challenging in passenger vehicles and even more so for 18-wheelers. Big rig drivers require exceptional skill and experience navigating in sleet, snow and freezing rain. The team at Douglas, Joseph & Olson Attorneys at Law have experience protecting the rights of clients injured in a crash with negligent trucking companies with inadequately trained or unqualified drivers.

According to Smart Trucking, winter conditions call for the implementation of preventative safety techniques by professional tractor trailer drivers. Icy or snow-covered roads demand advanced skid control and maneuvering skills. When loaded, commercial trucks may weigh more than 30 times that of your passenger vehicle.

Workers' compensation can be a valuable tool for you

If you have been injured in an accident at your workplace in Pennsylvania, you may be reeling with concerns about how you will take care of your personal needs and that of your dependents if you are not able to work while you recover. At Douglas, Joseph & Olson Attorneys at Law, we understand the challenges of having been involved in a workplace accident. 

Workers' compensation is an excellent resource that boasts many benefits for both you and your employer if it is utilized correctly. Your employer can have the confidence and peace of mind that results from having a policy in place that can provide support for you while protecting them from outlandish costs or repercussions. It is imperative that you file your claim in a timely manner if you wish to begin receiving benefits, otherwise, your claim may become void and you will no longer be eligible to receive assistance. 

Maximum medical improvement and return to work

When a worker sustains an injury in his or her Pennsylvania workplace, he or she may be unable to work. He or she may also require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, which can be expensive. Fortunately, the law requires Pennsylvania employers to compensate injured parties via workers' compensation, a no-fault program. Unless the injured party was doing something excessively risky and outside the scope of his or her work duties, the employer nor the insurer can deny the workers' claim. The worker should continue to receive benefits until he or she reaches the point of maximum medical improvement and is able to return to work.

According to the Los Angeles Community College District, the point of maximum medical improvement is the point at which one's medical condition has reached a treatment plateau. It is at this point which the assigned doctor determines a condition will not worsen or change. If a person has work restrictions because of his or her injury or disability, the medical provider does not anticipate those work restrictions to disappear. If an injury renders a person disabled and the doctor claims MMI, it means he or she does not believe the patient will regain full function.

Working with metal means constant risks for workers

Sitting second in the top industries for Pennsylvania is fabricated metal products, with over 11 percent of state residents working with metal fabrication companies. It plays a crucial role in the state’s economy and puts Pennsylvania in the top six states for potential job growth.

However, with any prevalent industry comes the risk of injuries for its employees. It is especially true for those who interact with metal or industrial materials on a daily basis.

Staying safe when traveling with pets

People in Pennsylvania who own pets often consider their animals to be a part of their family. Many people will go to extensive lengths to make sure that their pet is well taken care of and knows that he or she is loved. However, a majority of people overlook the safety of their pets when traveling in a moving vehicle. While this hazard could pose a threat to the animal's danger, it can also be a danger for the driver if his or her pet creates a distraction. 

According to Consumer Reports, people who do not fasten their pets in their vehicle are potentially endangering themselves and their pets if they end up involved in a car accident. Their pet could end up being becoming a projectile that can be thrown with deadly force. Additionally, their sudden movements can be distracting and divert a driver's attention away from the road. As such, people with pets who travel a lot should consider investing in a high-quality safety harness that can be used for their pet. Experts recommend that people conduct adequate research, however, to avoid buying a product that is shoddy and poorly designed.

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409 N. Hermitage Road
Hermitage, PA 16148

Toll Free: 800-242-5242
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203 Depot Street
Jamestown, PA 16134

Toll Free: 800-242-5242
Phone: 724-932-3302
Fax: 724-932-5839
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