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Pennsylvania and Ohio Injury Law Blog

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. 

Help us help the Union Police Department add a canine officer

We are proud to partner with the Union Township Police Department to raise funds for the addition of a dual purpose canine to the department. The initial cost of the program exceeds $50,000. We have agreed to match all donations up to a total of $2,500 in order to help the department add the canine officer. The police department proudly serves the residents of Union Township. The addition of a canine would enhance public safety during missing person's investigations, narcotics detection, fugitive apprehension and crowd control. Canine officers can also aid in the relationship between police and youth in the community. The canine will take part in community functions and local school activities. In addition to the many community benefits, a canine can increase officer safety by providing a timely response during criminal apprehension, high risk areas and structure searches.
Please click here to make a donation today. 

Is Obesity A Disability?

Not unless the condition results from an underlying physical disorder, according to a recent ruling from the Court of Appeals in the Eighth Circuit. 

In the case in question, a man had been offered a machinist job, contingent on a post-hire medical review. The man, who had claimed on his application to suffer no medical impairments, later lost the job when the medical review revealed that his BMI was greater than 40, which would disqualify him for the position based on the health and safety risks inherent in the position. The man sued, citing discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, because he had cited no medical impairments during the interview process, and his doctor had confirmed that he had no medical conditions that would limit his activities, the case was dismissed. The man appealed, arguing that he should, in fact, qualify as disabled. 

The word "accident" may be going out of style

Some advocates are pushing journalists and policymakers to stop using the word 'accident' when describing a car crash, believing that the word minimizes the responsibility of the person who caused the crash. With many car crashes being the result of drunken or distracted driving, these advocates may have a point, although the practical implications of switching from 'accident' to 'crash' remain to be seen.  

Those who don't like the word 'accident' believe that the word implies that motor vehicle crashes are beyond anyone's control, when in fact, drinking and driving is a choice, as is texting while driving. Some advocates believe that by substituting the word 'crash,' people will take the dangers of driving more seriously, instead of chalking up each injury as the logical conclusion of a series of actions that couldn't have been prevented. 

Does your motorcycle helmet meet safety standards?

While not all state laws require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, doing so can provide riders an essential layer of protection in the event of a crash. Not all helmets provide adequate protection, however. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).

But some riders wear helmets that don't meet the standard set by the DOT. These helmets function more as costume than cushion against traumatic injury. People who wear these helmets, mistakenly thinking they are adequately protected from the force of a collision, could be courting a very unwelcome surprise. 

Technological advancements may protect construction workers (P.2)

In our last post, we started a discussion about new technologies that are paving the way for increased construction zone safety. These technologies take a new and exciting approach to keeping our construction workers safe.

If we were to think about the typical safety measures we see at a construction zone, we might think about safety cones, signs, and barricades. The way a construction company keeps their road workers safe is regulated by the Federal Highway Administration. They require that companies comply with the regulations outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Each state may also have additional rules. Having a federal standard means that construction zones across the country will have similar safety measures which will be familiar to all in-state and out-of-state drivers.

Technological advancements may protect construction workers (P.1)

Working in the construction industry can be very rewarding. It can be a lifelong career leading to many advancement opportunities. At the same time, construction work can be extremely dangerous. These workers often put their faith in the company they work for as they embark on dangerous projects. They have faith that the company is following all safety procedures and has their workers’ safety as a top priority.

Construction workers deserve the best when it comes to their safety. Fortunately, there are many technological advancements that happen every year in terms of construction zone safety. People who do not work in the field may be unaware of the amazing technologies available to companies to keep their employees safe.

Why is scaffolding so deadly?

Scaffolding accidents continue to be a major contributor to construction site injuries. According to OSHA, ensuring scaffold safety on construction sites would prevent approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths per year. What is it about scaffolding that makes it so dangerous for workers? 

In short, there are many things that can go wrong on scaffolding that can lead to falls and serious injuries. Scaffolding instability can lead to collapse, or workers can slip and fall from scaffolding that remains intact. Scaffolding instability can come from many sources, including:

  • An uneven or otherwise unstable footing
  • Loosely planked platforms
  • Unsecured objects being used to shore up scaffolding or planks
  • Weakened or damaged screws, brackets or other accessories
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