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Harrisburg Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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Volvo to include a max speed in new cars

While the speed limit in Pennsylvania may be as fast as 70 mph on the freeways, it’s no secret that many people drive much faster. Whether they have a lead foot, are late for an appointment or simply lost track of their speed, many drivers do not obey the posted speed limit.

Most people think of speeding as a harmless act. You get a ticket, you pay a fine, you move on. Maybe your insurance rates go up too. The reason for the law, though, and for the higher insurance premium, is because the data doesn’t lie. Speeding increases both the risk of accident and the risk of injury.

Pennsylvania worker killed by falling shed

A Pennsylvania woman was killed when a temporary shed fell on top of her. According to U.S. News & World Report, a woman and her male coworker were smoking in the temporary structure, when the wind caught the hut and toppled it over on top of them on Feb. 8.

Tammy Hockenberry died from her injuries, and her coworker remains hospitalized. He is in stable condition with injuries to his legs and ankles.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules in favor of injured motorcyclist

By Tim Shollenberger and Adam Wolfe

Because of a decision authored by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week, a biker who gets seriously injured by a careless driver will have a much better chance of getting full and fair compensation for all of his or her injuries, including uncovered medical bills and lost wages. Why? Because a biker who gets his or her cycle insurance from the same insurance company can look to BOTH his cycle coverage AND his car or truck insurance policies for additional coverage if the following conditions exist:

Driving while tired is riskier than you might expect

Falling asleep at the wheel presents obvious dangers to a driver and others on the road, but drowsy driving presents an abundance of other risks as well. Drowsy driving can slow your reaction time, make it harder for you to focus on the road and impact your ability to make decisions. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation compares drowsy driving to drunk driving, noting that the effects of staying awake for 21 hours are like having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of .08. Yet, many people drive while sleepy each day.

Drowsy driving crashes typically happen between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the late afternoon, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which adds that people tend to experience dips in their circadian rhythm during both those times. Drowsy driving crashes often involve a driver who is alone in the vehicle and drives off the road at a high speed. These accidents are most common on rural roads and highways. Other behaviors of drowsy drivers may include tailgating and drifting from one lane into another, which can cause collisions with other drivers.

An employee applied for workers' compensation in two states

A bridge worker went beyond the standards of traditional process and applied for workers' benefits in two states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, after they injured their hand while working on the bridge that crosses the states' borders.

The case is unique because the worker injured their hand during the improvement project on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in 2014. The bridge is owned by the Delaware River Port Authority, created through a joint-effort of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It made the worker eligible to seek benefits in either state after the work injury.

Shocking survey: 75% of Philadelphia drivers are glued to phones

It’s no secret that cellphones are the biggest distraction confronting drivers these days. But just how many drivers are taking their eyes off the road to check a text or scan social media? More than you’d think, it turns out.

A recent survey of Philadelphia drivers found that a staggering 75 percent of them use cellphones while driving – and not just for navigating or talking on the phone. The survey focused on the behaviors that are most distracting, like reading texts, browsing emails and checking social media.

What can you do if an insurance company denies an accident claim?

After an auto accident, your recovery should be your priority. However, if an insurance company denies your claim, this can slow down the process. You have mounting medical bills, and your car needs to be repaired. But without money from the insurance company, you have no idea how to pay for it all.

Here are three reasons an insurance company may deny a claim and how to respond to it.

Dorney Park construction worker receives $2.75 million settlement

Anthony De Santos was operating a forklift at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom on April 23, 2014 to move a steel column. He used a tagline to control the forklift while he walked beside it. De Santos was pulled in front of the forklift’s wheel after a sudden stop, and the wheel crushed his foot. He underwent surgery, but ultimately, De Santos lost his leg from the knee down. He has now settled his case for $2.75 million.

 

Why refrain from social media after an accident

Social media has become such an everyday part of life that even after a serious car accident, you still may be active on various platforms. However, if you are pursuing damages for your injuries, you may want to think twice about using social media.

Defendants in injury lawsuits, such as insurance companies, are known to peruse social media accounts of those injured. While recent stories show how this has worked successfully for insurance companies in some cases, those with serious, debilitating injuries should take note of some social media tips.

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