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Harrisburg Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Avoiding work injury requires knowing potential hazards

Harrisburg's top employers are the state and federal governments. But from a historical perspective, the region is known as a major logistics hub. As products ship from east to west, north to south, they often make stops here. Warehousing and storage facilities abound.

Those with experience in workers' compensation filings know that workplace injuries can happen in any setting. It doesn't matter if your ensconced in an office or on the front lines of industry, risks exist. Injuries may vary in severity depending on the job, but none should be taken lightly.

Motorcycle fatalities spike during summer holidays

Summertime is the perfect time to be cruising down the highway or back roads on your motorcycle. It can also be a deadly time, especially over those three beloved summer holidays – Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of combined motorcyclist fatalities for the three summer holidays in 2016 totaled 269. That same combined number for three winter holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve/Day – totaled only 43.

Why eyes on the road is not enough

When most people consider distracted driving, they think of someone not watching the road. This form of distracted driving is quite common. If you drive for long enough, you'll see people reading, looking at passengers, grooming themselves in the rear-view mirror and doing other activities that take their eyes off the road.

Some people might consider distraction as something that takes one or both hands off the wheel. Things like holding a cell phone, sipping from their morning coffee, fiddling with the radio or other actions are certainly a form of distraction. A driver needs to have at least one hand on the wheel to have safe control of the vehicle.

Autonomous Uber accident also a story of distracted driving

The deadly crash involving a pedestrian and a self-driving Uber vehicle from last March has an additional wrinkle: distraction. Uber's program required that autonomous vehicles in its fleet have safety drivers in case the technology fails. Safety drivers are forbidden from using their cell phones while the cars are operating. A report from local police show that the safety driver in question was using her cell phone to access Hulu at the time of the crash. In fact, the device had already been streaming from her Hulu account for 42 minutes when the vehicle struck and killed a woman crossing the street with her bike. The car was going 39 mph when the collision occurred.

An overwhelming temptation

Cycling safely with kids: 5 tips to reduce your risk of accidents

For many families, biking is more than just an enjoyable pastime. It’s a great form of exercise as well as a social and recreational activity. Family bike rides teach kids the value of an active, healthy lifestyle. Biking also gives children a deeper appreciation for the outdoors.

Every summer, however, tragic bicycle accidents make headlines across the country. Some even involve kids. Many such accidents can be prevented by taking safety seriously.

When doctors get it wrong (Part 3): Brain-eating amoebas

Living in America, we take it for granted that dreadful parasites like bot flies or malaria inhabit our lands. However, one particularly gruesome parasite does live here. And it’s quite common in freshwater streams, lakes and even tap water.

A few weeks ago, in part 2 of this series, we looked at horrifying flesh-eating bacteria that causes deadly infections. This, perhaps, is worse.

When doctors get it wrong (Part 2): Flesh-eating bacteria

It sounds like a nightmare: After vacationing in Florida, a 50-year-old Indiana woman develops a small pimple-like bump. It continues to grow and becomes more and more painful. Left untreated, it eventually develops into a full-blown skin infection, claiming the woman’s life. The cause? Necrotizing fasciitis – a flesh-eating bacterial infection that often gets overlooked.

While rare, the infection is deadly, with a mortality rate upwards of 30 percent. It’s also incredibly aggressive. In many cases, what starts as a minor wound leaves the patient at death’s door in a matter of hours. As a result, every second counts.

When doctors get it wrong (Part 1): Brain-fluid leak misdiagnosed as allergies

In a story that made national headlines, a healthy 52-year-old Nebraska woman had suffered from a runny nose for years. Her symptoms began after a car accident slammed her face into the dashboard. Doctors initially diagnosed her with allergies, but typical anti-allergy treatments never seemed to help. She finally saw a specialist who tested the fluid and took X-rays. The result? The patient was leaking cerebrospinal fluid from her brain – about a half-liter per day – through a tiny hole in her skull.

Such a condition is rare, with fewer than 1,000 annual cases reported nationwide. Yet it can cause significant – even life-threatening – complications. And it’s one of many rare yet serious medical problems that can be easily overlooked.

The most distracted states: Where does Pennsylvania rank?

Distracted driving is an epidemic that affects nearly every American. When drivers are distracted – by talking on their phones, sending text messages, checking email while driving – all other drivers and passengers are affected.

ZenDrive, a San Francisco-based technology company, recently analyzed more than 100 billion miles of driving behavior. Drivers around the United States participated in the study, which analyzed driver behavior using cell phone technology.

Car hits bicycle...and driver ends up suing cyclist

For cyclists, getting hit by a car is a nightmare. Yet in many cases, the accident itself only the beginning of the nightmare, as the legal troubles that follow can be incredibly distressing.

When there's an auto accident, local cops respond to the scene. While these officers may know how to handle a car collision, they often don't know what to do when a cyclist is hit by a driver. In some municipalities, officers may not file a police report. A police report becomes an important piece of evidence in lawsuits as it provides independent verification of the facts by a law enforcement officer.

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