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Dallas Hartman provides funds to create Lawrence County Mentoring Program

In January of 2016, Attorney Dallas W. Hartman approached Westminster College with a large donation and the idea of starting a mentoring program to support New Castle High School Students. Last evening, a dinner was held at Westminster College to kick off the program with the New Castle students and their parents.

Enjoying a late summer drive? Get your feet off the dashboard.

The last days of summer are a golden time. Going for a drive to the beach or down a long country road can inspire a certain looseness and relaxation. Passengers may be tempted to rest their feet on the dashboard, or even open a window and prop their feet out in the open air. While this posture would seem to be the picture of summer nonchalance, in fact it's a highly dangerous posture that could lead to severe injuries or even death. 

The problem here is airbags. Airbags are designed to protect drivers and passengers who are sitting upright with their feet on the floor. An airbag will not slow down and wait for you to move your legs in the event of an accident. It will deploy with all the speed and force with which it was designed. If your legs are in the way, what follows isn't pretty. 

Can you file a workers' comp clam for a food allergy?

Workers injured on the job can file claims after being injured in various ways: falls, explosions, amputations and caught-in-between accidents being some of the more common, at least on construction sites. But what if you work in an office where the dangers are not so readily apparent, but you're allergic to peanuts, or dairy? But can you file a claim after suffering from an allergic reaction to food?

A minor allergic reaction might not be enough to inspire a workers' compensation claim. But some people have allergies so severe as to limit their ability to work; some reactions can even be potentially fatal. These types of reactions could lead to a workers' compensation claim.

Insurers look to exclude sports-related concussions

Athletes considering suing over a brain injury sustained in a contact sport may want to do so sooner rather than later. That's because insurers, spooked by the increase in litigation over sports-related head injuries, may be moving to make exclusions for professional athletes who sustain head injuries during play. The insurance company AIG, for example, has already excluded head injuries from its policies covering NFL players, and has entirely stopped insuring Pop Warner, a youth football league.

It's not just big sports leagues like the National Football League (NFL) or the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) who have found themselves in the crosshairs of such lawsuits. Helmet makers, schools and other sports groups could become targets, too, as injured athletes witness other players win big settlements. 

Are you a road rager?

If so, you're not alone. According to a recent report on aggressive driving put out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, taken from a survey of 2,705 licensed drivers in 2014, 78% of drivers had engaged in some sort of aggressive driving behavior in the previous year. 

Not sure if you're an aggressive driver? You can take this test online. According to the report, the most common aggressive driving behaviors included: 

  • Tailgating
  • Yelling 
  • Honking
  • Gesturing

Tired truckers find relief in parking app

Willie Nelson couldn't wait to get back on the road again. But for truckers who just logged a long day behind the wheel, sometimes all they want is a parking spot. Increasingly a good parking spot is hard to find for truckers. When they can find one, they must either continue to drive while fatigued until they find one, or else park on an off ramp, along the side of a highway or even in a ditch, putting themselves and other drivers at risk and opening themselves up to fines. 

But a two-year-old app called Trucker Path may be providing hope of finding a space. Trucker Path is an app that helps truckers find parking, fuel stops and weigh stations. The app depends on truckers reporting on the availability of parking at various stops. The information is then available in real time to other truckers who can avoid filled-up parking lots and head for alternatives where more space is available. 

Unsecured boats atop cars can cause crashes

As we move into mid-to-late summer, many people are trying to get out on the water as much as they can before the weather turns cold. But when their haste means that kayaks or canoes don't get properly secured, tragic accidents can result. 

Boats are great on water. In the middle of a busy highway, they're much less fun. Last week in Michigan, two kayaks tumbled from the top of a moving SUV. In trying to avoid the kayaks, another driver collided with a third driver, whose car went off the road and rolled over. Also last week, in Ontario, Canada, a canoe that was not properly tied down fell off a car and onto the roadway where it collided with another car. 

Pennsylvania teen injured in Pokémon-related accident

The Pokémon Go app continues to enthrall gamers who can't wait to catch all the characters wandering around their neighborhoods or nearby areas. But the game has been contributing to a growing number of injuries, as gamers have driven into trees, walked off a cliff, and in the case of a Pennsylvania teen, been hit by a car after the app deposited enticing monsters ripe for catching in the vicinity of a busy street at rush hour. 

While Autumn Dieseroth hadn't been actively playing the game or looking down at her phone at the time of the accident, playing the game led her to the congested highway where she was hit by a car, ultimately landing her in the hospital. Luckily, her injuries were not fatal. She has since deleted the Pokémon app from her phone. 

Retaliation claims a growing trend in workers' comp law

Filing for and securing workers' compensation after an on-the-job injury can be a complicated process in itself. But life becomes even more complicated if you lose your job after filing a claim. Fortunately, it is becoming increasingly common for workers to win cases based on workers' compensation retaliation.  

Most states have legal provisions that prohibit employers from retaliating against workers' who file for workers' compensation benefits. But proving retaliation can sometimes be tricky; particularly if your employer has an HR department that knows how to dodge such charges. If you are thinking of bringing a workers' compensation retaliation claim, here are some things you should know or do to increase your chances of success: 

Truck accident fatalities increased in 2015

According to data collected in a report by the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatalities resulting from truck crashes increased by 4 percent between 2014 and 2015. Overall traffic deaths increased over the same time period by 7.7 percent.

While the reasons for the increase in fatalities are still unclear,  the report also cited data from the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) showing that drivers traveled 3.5 percent more miles in 2015 than they did in 2014. Presumably, as drivers spend more time on the road, the likelihood increases that they will be involved in a crash. 

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