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Erie Pennsylvania Legal Blog

There are time limits for filing a workers' compensation claim

Injured on the job? If so, it is best to file for workers' compensation benefits as soon as possible. If one does not, one runs the risk of having benefits denied and having to pay for care and recovery completely out of pocket. As work injuries can be rather expensive to treat, especially if one becomes disabled in some way, losing out on any available relief is not something that Pennsylvania residents would want to have happen.

When one suffers a work-related injury, the first thoughts are on seeking treatment, not necessarily filing a report. Getting care is actually the first thing that should be done. However, one must keep in mind that the state has set a statute of limitations on filing workers' compensation claims.

8 key facts about drinking, driving and the holidays

When the holidays roll around, children come home from college. They're off for the entire summer and holidays like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day, or they're off for a few weeks in the winter for Christmas and New Year's Day.

As a parent, you're wondering about the odds of a DUI. Is your child at risk? Unfortunately, you should know that the risk does climb around the holidays. Below are eight key facts that you should know.

What to do if stopped by police

There may be occasions when you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation. This can occur if you are stopped in your car. It can occur as the result of an accusation being made by another. If you believe that you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation, there are certain steps that you should take to protect yourself.

What to do if you get hurt at work

Unfortunately, many people get hurt while working. This can happen whether you work in the trades, industry or an office environment. Teachers can get hurt. Nurses can get hurt. So, the information about what to do in the event of a work injury can be helpful to anyone. If you sustain a work-related injury, the first thing to do is to report the injury to your superior. You should be as detailed as possible in explaining how the injury happened. Your explanation about how the injury took place should be accurate and specific. Your employer should complete a form which formally notifies the Bureau of Workers Compensation that a work-related injury has occurred. The form used by your employer is called a first report of injury. You should get a copy of this form and make sure that the description of your injury and how it occurred is accurate. If you require medical attention, you will likely be required to seek that medical attention from a list of physicians created by your employer. These so called "panel physicians" will provide medical attention to you relating to your injury. You are required under the workers compensation laws to treat with panel physicians for the first 90 days following the date of an injury. After 90 days, you may treat with a physician of your choosing. When asked to explain how the injury occurred by physicians, be as accurate and detailed as possible. It is helpful if your medical records are consistent with your explanation as reflected by your employer's records. Therefore, you want your explanation of the circumstances surrounding your injury to be consistent from the time that it occurred throughout the time you receive medical care.

The dangers and criminal consequences of drunk driving

Pretty much everyone knows that driving while under the influence of alcohol is not the best thing to do. It puts one's own life in danger and places other lives at risk. However, simply knowing this has done little to deter drunk driving incidents in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.

Why is impaired driving treated like such a serious criminal offense? According to the Nation Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 28 people die daily in the United State in alcohol-related auto collisions. While this number is smaller than it used to be, that is still adds up to one death every 53 minutes caused by a drunk driver.

Pennsylvania car accidents: When rideshare passengers are injured

Pennsylvania, like most other states, has seen an increase in rideshare services over the last few years. While it can be a stress-free way to enjoy a night out or simply get from point A to point B, car accidents that involve rideshare vehicles are on the rise. If one is injured while a passenger in a rideshare car, can one seek compensation?

The short answer to this question is, yes. Before pursuing compensation, however, one will need to know who appears to be at fault for the accident. If one's driver caused the crash, the driver and his or her employer may be legally responsible for any damages one sustains. This should be covered under the company's insurance, but sometimes insurance fails to provide adequate relief.

Pennsylvania car accidents: Arrest made in hit-and-run collision

Law enforcement authorities in Pennsylvania arrested the individual they believe is responsible for a school bus crash that left 14 people injured. This accident happened May 17, in Lancaster County. When hit-and-run car accidents occur, victims may be left feeling that they are without legal recourse. However, in this case, as the individual thought responsible was found, they may now pursue claims for monetary damages.

According to a news report, the driver of a sedan attempted to pass a couple of tractor-trailers and struck one of the escort vehicles in the process. That automobile then hit the side of an oncoming bus, pushing it in the way of a tractor-trailer. After being struck by the truck, the bus flipped onto it side and came to a stop. The driver of the sedan supposedly continued on his way. A total of 14 people on the bus required medical treatment.

Pennsylvania criminal defense: Impaired by vanilla extract

A Pennsylvania woman was recently arrested and charged with DUI after ingesting a common baking ingredient. Her arrest came about after a resident in Adams Township complained to police that bottles of vanilla extract kept being thrown out near his property. This whole case is a bit unusual, to say the least, and it has put the accused in a situation that would likely best be helped through the services offered by a criminal defense attorney.

According to reports, police received a complaint of empty vanilla extract bottles frequently being thrown out near a residential property. Investigators set up a camera in order to see what was going on, and a woman was apparently captured dumping trash from her SUV. A description of the woman and her vehicle were promptly released, and she was eventually pulled over to be questioned. Authorities claim that this case goes beyond littering, however. The accused, a 61-year-old recovering alcoholic, was supposedly drinking the extract for its alcohol content.

Protecting your college student from marijuana possession charges

Given the cultural shift about marijuana in the last decade, more people seem less concerned about the legal implications of getting charged with a marijuana crime. Although some states have legalized the plant for adult use, Pennsylvania is not one of them.

It is still a criminal offense to get caught in possession of marijuana, even if it is for personal use. Although first time offenders may be eligible for probation instead of jail, the criminal record associated with a conviction or guilty plea could completely change the course of a young person's life. College could become a distant dream.

How does sleep apnea contribute to car accidents?

Numerous Americans, including many residing in Pennsylvania, stop or struggle to breath while they sleep. This is a medical condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, when left untreated, can make it difficult for a person to function during the day and cause a host of other health issues. Because of the effects that this condition can have on an individual, it also known to contribute to car accidents.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted a study a while back about the correlation between sleep apnea and car accidents. They found that individuals with sleep apnea are 2.5 times more likely to cause motor vehicle collisions. Why?

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