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Erie Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Whiplash often occurs as a result of rear-end car accidents

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, it is common to see rear-end auto collisions pretty much every day. While quite of few of these car accidents have relatively minor outcomes, injuries are still possible. Whiplash is believed one of the most common injuries following a rear-end auto wreck, and it can result in physical, financial and emotional damages that can last for years.

Whiplash, also called a neck sprain, happens when a person's neck is swiftly forced backward and then forward. When this occurs, the tissues in the neck can become overstretched and tear which can cause pain and a variety of other issues. Some include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Back, neck, shoulder pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nerve damage

A Pennsylvania DUI conviction can change your life

Many people think that a DUI (driving under the influence) without a crash or injury to another person is a minor charge. Those individuals would quickly discover how mistaken they are if they ever face arrest for a DUI charge in the state of Pennsylvania.

Charges can end up sending you to prison, costing hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, getting your license taken away and even making problems for your professional life. Many employers take disciplinary action against employees who have DUI offenses incurred during their employment. Worse still, it can be difficult to secure a new position later.

Do not wait too long to file a personal injury claim

Pennsylvania residents who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others have the legal right to seek compensation for their losses. When going through treatment and recovery, though, filing a civil claim may be one of the last things on one's mind. It is okay to wait until one is ready, but don't wait too long to file a personal injury claim.

Every state has set limits on the amount of time one has to file civil lawsuits following a personal injury. Statutes of limitation are in place for two main reasons. The first is that they prevent people from being able to threaten legal action for an indefinite period of time. The second is to ensure evidence integrity is protected.

How do workers' compensation benefits work?

Pennsylvania residents who have suffered injuries or illnesses while on the job, depending on their fields of employ, may be able to have their treatment costs and financial losses covered. This is made possible through workers' compensation benefits, something for which most employers are required to supply coverage. How does one gain access to these benefits and what do they cover?

After suffering an injury or illness that can be directly linked to one's job, he or she may file a workers' compensation claim through his or her employer. It is a matter of filling out and submitting the appropriate forms. Work comp claims must be made within a certain time frame, usually 30 days following an injury. Those whose illnesses are linked to their jobs may have longer to file for benefits.

Let a criminal defense attorney help you fight repeat DUI charges

Have you been arrested and charged with driving while impaired more than once? Individuals accused of repeat DUI offenses in the state of Pennsylvania can face significant penalties if convictions are achieved by prosecuting attorneys. These punishments can affect your home and professional life. As you have a lot to lose if you are convicted, let a criminal defense team help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Drunk driving, in general, is considered a serious offense. However, first-time offenders may not be required to spend time in jail. They will, however, likely have to pay fines and deal with license suspension if convicted.

Mental distractions can contribute to car accidents

Distracted drivers are seen on Pennsylvania roads every day. Most times they are pretty easy to spot. They are the ones putting on makeup, fixing their hair, eating, reading or playing with their cell phones or other electronics. Their lack of attention to what is going on around them is obvious, as they struggle to remain in their lane, fail to follow traffic signals or signs or even cause accidents. When car accidents happen as a result of drivers being distracted, they may be held responsible for any losses suffered by their victims or -- in the event of fatality -- their victims' loved ones.

The distractions previously mentioned are the ones that are mostly commonly discussed. There is another form of distraction that can be just as dangerous, though. This is known as cognitive distractions.

My workers' comp. petition was denied. Now what?

You were injured at work. There is no doubt about your injuries, where they happened and how severe they are. However, a workers' compensation judge still denied your claim for the benefits that you need while you are unable to work. It is easy to be frustrated about Pennsylvania's complex, bureaucratic workers' comp. system. However, it is important that you don't lose hope. You have options, including filing an appeal.

In Pennsylvania, you can appeal a claim denial to the commonwealth's Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. This board reviews the judge's ruling and determines if the workers' comp. judge violated your rights or misapplied the law. Knowing how to navigate the appeals process is essential.

Pennsylvania workers' compensation: Firefighter dies in crash

A Pennsylvania firefighter lost his life following a tragic accident while en route to a house fire. This incident occurred just recently in Harrisburg. As he was on the job when this event occurred, his family may pursue workers' compensation death benefits to help cover their losses. They may also seek further compensation and closure by filing a civil claim against the driver believed responsible for the car crash.

According to reports, the firefighter was at a funeral when he received the call that a house was on fire. While driving to the scene, his vehicle was struck by a car driven by a 19-year-old female. The force of impact sent the victim's car through a fence before finally coming to a stop. He was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries. Sadly, he later succumbed to those injuries.

Car accidents related to winter weather still an issue

While there have been days of gorgeous weather, bringing hopes of an early Spring, it is still the winter season, which brings along with it various road hazards. Winter driving is not easy, even for the most skilled drivers. There are certain precautions that must be taken in order to prevent car accidents. Unfortunately, as seen after one of the most recent snow storms, weather-related collisions are very much an issue in Pennsylvania.

According to a recent report, following a heavy snow storm in early March, a 32-car pileup on Interstate 81 resulted in several injuries and even a fatality. It has been said that 26 people suffered injuries in the incident. All of them required transportation to area hospitals for treatment. Their current conditions are unknown. A 55-year-old male is said to have died at the scene.

Drunk driving conviction can be costly

Pennsylvania law enforcement officers are charged with protecting the public. One way in which they do this is by enforcing traffic laws. Another method they use is constantly being on the lookout for those they suspect of drunk driving.

Each time that an officer makes a traffic stop, he or she assess the situation to determine if there are any other factors that need to be considered. Typically, an officer begins by questioning the driver. Based upon the circumstances and probable cause, a decision may be made to search the vehicle and/or conduct field sobriety tests. The officer then takes all of this information in making a determination of whether the individual should be charged with more than just a traffic violation.

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