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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.

What should you do if your tire blows?

When you are driving in Pennsylvania, you may encounter hazards on the road including animals or distracted drivers. If the weather is terrible, it could pose another challenge if your vision is obstructed or the road is slippery. Problems with your vehicle can also create a danger if malfunctions cause you to lose control. If your tire blows, for example, it is essential that you are educated about how to handle it so you can avoid a dangerous accident. 

Your tires see more wear and tear than most parts of your vehicle and can become worn out even faster if you do not properly maintain them. As such, it is critical that you monitor your tire pressure, have your tires rotated regularly and pay attention to the tread on your tires. These actions can help you guarantee that your tires are in optimal working condition to help your car work efficiently and get you safely between destinations. 

Alcohol, speed continued problems in Pennsylvania

If you are like most people in Pennsylvania, you take the responsibility of driving a motor vehicle seriously. You understand that this privilege comes with the expectation that you should operate your vehicle responsibly for yourself, anyone in your vehicle and anyone else on the road whether in a vehicle, on a bike or on foot. Sadly, it seems that not all residents in the state take this approach to driving.

Records from the National Traffic Safety Administration show that speeding and alcohol continue to be factors in many vehicular deaths every year in Pennsylvania. Both of these factors are completely within the ability of drivers to control as they can choose to not drive after drinking just like they can choose to obey speed limits. In the five years spanning from 2013 through 2017, 77 percent of all accident deaths in Mercer County occurred in crashes in which excessive speed or impairment by alcohol were noted factors. A total of 54 people died in crashes involving at least one of these factors.

Can you reopen your workers' comp claim in Pennsylvania?

If you sustained an injury at your Pennsylvania job, and if you now receive workers' compensation benefits, your employer may lead you to believe that the benefits you receive are all that you can get. That is not true. In certain circumstances, you can reopen your workers' comp claim and request more benefits.

According to FindLaw, you may reopen your workers' compensation case under limited circumstances. Such circumstances include a worsened medical condition, a mistake or an error that a medical professional made in your diagnosis or treatment, overpayment of benefits, fraud or mutual mistake of material fact.

Do I really need a will?

Most adults should have a will. However, roughly 70 percent of the population does not have one. It is understandable that you might not want to think about your own demise, but if you die without a will, Pennsylvania intestacy laws will determine how your assets are distributed. You would have forfeit control over who gets your property, who gets your money and who is appointed the guardian of your minor children.

If you have children under 18 years old, you should start the process of creating a will by determining who you want to be their guardian. You will also want to make a list of your assets, such as bank accounts, properties, vehicles and investments. Then you can determine who you want to inherit each of your assets. You will need to have at least the full names, addresses and birth dates for anyone you will include in your will. It can also be helpful to have a record of your debits like mortgages, loans and credit card accounts.

Neighbors shocked to learn drugs factor in Pa. utility pole crash

While the use of opioids, marijuana and other controlled substances is increasingly a factor in car crashes, it may not be readily apparent to others that a driver has been using drugs until an accident occurs. The neighbors of a 27-year-old man who recently crashed his vehicle into a utility pole in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania describe him as a good student, polite and a "really nice boy" and felt shocked upon learning that he had been under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident. 

Nevertheless, according to court records, the driver had had two previous arrests for drug possession and DUI. Authorities claim that he snorted heroin prior to the accident and claim that reviving him required three doses of Narcan, a medication administered via nasal spray to counteract the effects of narcotic use in emergency situations. 

Fog and the risk of an auto crash

Motor vehicle accidents have many causes, from human error to deer darting across the road at night. However, weather conditions have also caused many crashes and it is particularly important to be aware of the risks associated with driving while it is foggy. During this time of the year, many parts of the country experience dense fog and there are different ways that this can lead to an accident. In Pennsylvania and all across the region, fog can prevent a driver from being able to see the road well and this poor visibility can lead to a fatal accident.

Sadly, many lives have been lost due to these accidents and many more people have sustained serious injuries. When it is very foggy out, a driver may not be able to see oncoming traffic and they could even struggle to see the road, which could cause them to veer into another lane or drive off the road altogether. Moreover, even if one driver goes slow and is cautious during periods of heavy fog, they may be struck by someone else who is driving far too fast during the poor conditions.

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