Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Altoona Personal Injury Blog

Distracted drivers could pose threat to kids in school zones

As you and most other Pennsylvania drivers know, distracted driving is a serious issue that puts everyone on the road in danger. Unfortunately, distracted driving accidents can easily have pedestrians as victims, and some of those victims may be children getting on or off the school bus.

Though state laws require drivers to stop their vehicles when a bus has its lights flashing and stop sign out, distracted drivers may not realize that a bus has stopped or otherwise disregard this part of the law. If your child is getting on or off the bus at the bus stop near your home or in a school zone, he or she could be in danger of suffering injuries due to a distracted driver.

Study shows higher speeds claim more lives

According to a report by a think tank which researches issues related to traffic safety, while higher speed limits might be a nice convenience for Pennsylvania drivers, they come at a price. The group's report suggested that, over the last 25 years 37,000 people lost their lives because lawmakers have been increasing speed limits on roads and highways. For instance, in Pennsylvania, while the highway speed limit was 55 miles per hour in bygone years, the state is opening more stretches of the highways to speed limits of 70 miles per hour.

The study suggested that, in just 2017 alone, over 1,900 people died because of this trend toward permitting higher speeds on the roads. On the whole, the study concluded that for every five miles per hour by which officials raise a speed limit, the rate of highway deaths increases by 8 percent and the rate of deaths on streets increases by 3 percent.

What are non-economic damages?

Previous posts on this blog have talked about the different forms of compensation that injured construction workers can recover after being involved in a construction accident.

Oftentimes, it is necessary for Altoona workers, as well as those who live and work in other parts of Central Pennsylvania, to get as much compensation for their injuries as possible. Construction accidents after all, all too commonly lead to serious injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations and the like.

Fatal four: Issues that often cause Pennsylvania workers injury

You may be one of many Altoona residents who earns a living in the construction industry. In this town and many other Pennsylvania regions, hardly a day goes by when construction crews aren't hard at work, often in high-risk situations, such as carrying out duties on highways or other high-traffic areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says there are four issues most frequently associated with worker injuries.

Your employer has many obligations to fulfill regarding your safety on the job. First, it is the employer's responsibility to provide necessary information, proper training and any and all available equipment to help reduce your risk for injury in the workplace. It is also your employer's responsibility to report workplace accidents to the proper officials. Finally, most employers must purchase workers' compensation insurance, which would provide you benefits to pay medical expenses and replace lost wages if you suffer injury on company time.

St. Patrick's Day a dangerous time to be on the road

In the Altoona area, many people may choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by having an Irish meal and sharing a few drinks with friends and family.

While there is nothing legally wrong with this per se, it is imperative that if Pennsylvanians do choose to drink on March 17, they do so responsibly. They must not get behind the wheel if they are too drunk to operate a vehicle safely, as doing so can lead to serious or even deadly car accidents.

Did a drunk driving accident cause you injury?

If you are age 21 or older and want to have a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage while dining out with friends, you're not necessarily breaking the law if you then get behind the wheel of a car to drive. However, because drunk driving causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, Pennsylvania law allows severe penalties under conviction for illegally operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

All motorists are obligated to adhere to drunk driving laws. If your blood alcohol content level is .08 percent or higher and you cause a collision that injures another person, you may face criminal charges and, possibly, jail time if a judge hands down a conviction. On the other hand, what if you are the victim? If a drunk driver causes you to suffer injury, you may have legal options.

Pedestrian deaths continue to be a problem in Pennsylvania

According to a recent preliminary analysis that was reported by a Pennsylvania media outlet, the number of pedestrian deaths in this state went up by about 30 to 40 percent in 2018. In 2018, Pennsylvania had 90 pedestrian fatalities related to car accidents, whereas the number in 2017 was 64.

A person speaking for Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation indicated that the Department prefers to look at data over the course of 3 to 5 years rather than a one-year spike in fatalities. As such, she indicated that the Department will continue to promote pedestrian safety through a program that has been described as extensive.

Man will spend at least 6 years in jail after fatal crash

A man who caused a fatal accident in a Pennsylvania town about 45 miles from Altoona will spend at least 6 years and up to 15 years in prison for his role in the crash. After the accident, police determined that the man was high on methamphetamine and a prescription medicine at the time of the collision.

According to reports, the man was operating a Jeep and had his young daughter in the vehicle with him. The man, without warning, or apparent explanation, drove his car in to oncoming traffic while on a state road. He struck two classic cars, both of which were occupied by two people. The group had recently attended a car show together.

Do you know all the workplace hazards that threaten your safety?

How many safety hazards do you face at your workplace every day? Regardless of the industry in which you earn your income in Pennsylvania, some injury risks are sure to exist. While some hazards are unique to specific sectors, others pose risks in all environments, from offices to construction sites.

An occupational hazard is anything in your workplace that could cause you or your co-workers mental or bodily harm, not excluding occupational illnesses. If you learn more about the potential dangers in your workplace, you might be better able to take precautions. Safety authorities divide potential occupational hazards into four general categories.

What are the most dangerous jobs?

While every Altoona, Pennsylvania, worker faces some risk at her job, there are no doubt some professions that are more dangerous than others.

However, the answer to the question which jobs are most dangerous might not be the one Pennsylvania residents would expect.

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