As a follow up to my previous post on governmental statutory damages caps, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that such caps on awards against governmental entities are constitutional. This tragic case involved a 14 year old student who lost her leg from an injury caused by the negligence of a school bus driver. The student was standing on a side walk with other students when the school bus driver accidently pressed the gas pedal instead of the break. The bus jumped the curb striking the student, crushing her leg and pelvis. At trial she was awarded $14 million dollars by the jury for her injuries but the verdict was molded (or reduced) to $500,000 which is the statutory cap placed on damages against governmental entities in Pennsylvania.
Friday & Cox LLC Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury and SSD/SSI Blog
Many industries throughout Pennsylvania use a lot of industrial power tools for production. Forklifts are one of the most common tools used across Pennsylvania and the entire United States. Power tools can cause severe injuries. Many initiatives have been taken by the government to spread awareness about forklift injuries.
The Department of Labor, in association with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), have called for various initiatives to be taken by the employers to prevent such forklift injuries and other injuries caused by industrial power tools. Such initiatives aim to decrease injuries and fatalities that occur every year due to forklifts and other industrial power tool accidents. OSHA, along with the Department of Labor, have observed that approximately 100 industrial deaths occur every year due to forklift injuries and approximately 34,000 workers are injured annually.
The Pennsylvania construction workplace environment may be most vulnerable to work-related injuries. Many workers are injured on construction sites, and all workers have a legal right to claim injury benefits and compensation from their employer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has initiated an awareness campaign to help employers gain knowledge on how to make construction sites safer for employees.
Such initiatives become very important when considering the huge number of severe injuries and disabilities that occur due to construction accidents every year in Pennsylvania. OSHA advocates that employers use a three-pronged plan to improve and ensure construction job safety.
In representing our clients, we travel around Western Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh to Erie to Smethport to Bellefonte to Bedford and beyond on a daily basis. While driving around, I (Paul G. Mayer, Jr.) try to take a minute every once and awhile to appreciate the beautiful scenery and interesting people of our Commonwealth. In "Hittin' the Road with Friday & Cox", I'll give you the highlights. Hope you enjoy it.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two federally created programs that help provide individuals with the income they need to support themselves and their families. Sadly, a large percentage of the people that apply for benefits through these two programs are often denied benefits. Currently in Pennsylvania approximately 60% of initial claims for SSD or SSI are denied. It also takes quite a bit of time for the claims to be processed. In Pennsylvania the average case processing time (the time from the date a hearing is first reuqested to the date of the final decision) is approximatley 438 days! There are certain exceptions to the case processing time, certain dire needs situations and persons with certain disabilities will be automatically awarded benefits pending a formal decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Worker's compensation is a form of insurance benefit that is available for the employees of an organization in case they sustain an injury during the course of authorized work. Friday & Cox LLC has specialized in worker's compensation for over 75 years and has helped many employees obtain proper compensation.
Worker's compensation cases can sometimes be difficult to prove. First, one needs to prove that the worker has indeed suffered an injury. Second, the injury suffered must have been inflicted while the worker was at the worksite or while he or she was executing an authorized job. Many times, a worker may suffer an injury outside the workplace, but during regular work hours. These areas may get tricky to prove in a court of law. Friday & Cox LLC, have their own legal experts, with decades of experience. They know how to traverse the complicated legal areas in order to get an injured worker the compensation to which he or she is entitled.
Mines are often dangerous places to work. With Pennsylvania miners being vulnerable to accidents in its dark cavernous mines, many safety regulations have been prescribed by the state to reduce accidents. State government authorities also ask the public to send in suggestions for increasing mine safety to ensure that mines are safe for workers and to prevent industrial accidents.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration has initiated a program to reduce the number of mine accidents. The initiative is an inter-departmental program involving the Applied Engineering Division as well as technical support to carry out the program. Every district has the authority to initiate incident reduction assistance. The Engineering Division, along with mine operators and district authorities, then formulate a plan to carry out the initiative in the given district.
If an employee or worker sustains an injury during the course of employment, or at his or her place of employment, then he or she may be entitled to workers' compensation from that employer or company. The underlying principle of worker's compensation cases is equity. Under this principle, Pennsylvania law dictates that the workplace must be equally safe for the employees. Any worker who meets with injury due to employment responsibilities is entitled to workers' compensation, which can be equated to a type of insurance.
A claimant to workers' compensation needs to meet a three-pronged test to establish a claim. First, it must be proved that the victim was an employee of the company where the injury took place. Second, the victim must have sustained an injury. Last, the sustained injury must have been during the course of employment. Hence a worker must prove that the injury was sustained while on the job and during the course of authorized work.
The death of an employee in a workplace accident raises some serious questions about the employer's roles and responsibilities toward providing a safe environment for its workers. This is because a workplace accident can not only claim the life of an individual and cause his or her family emotional and financial distress, but it also highlights the risks that other workers who perform similar jobs face on a day-to-day basis. One such incident recently occurred at the Philadelphia Zoo.
According to reports, a 57-year-old mechanic was killed after a golf cart, which he was repairing, fell on top of him in the zoo's garage. The victim's body was discovered when he did not show up for a scheduled meeting and another zoo worker came looking for him. The victim was rushed to the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, but was pronounced dead on arrival. He is survived by his wife and three children.
When personal injury occurs the details of the accident are key in determining who might be potentially liable, or responsible, for the injury. The location of the accident is one huge detail that determines liablity. A business owner might be held liable for injuries sustained by patrons on the business's property, but what about a patron who is crossing the road to get to the business? A recent Philadelphia County case sheds light on this issue.