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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Construction workers' accidents: The summer heat

Hot days are ahead for Pennsylvania. For those who work on outdoor construction projects (or even hot indoor ones), the summer heat can lead to construction workers' accidents. If a worker suffers from a heat-related illness while on a scaffold, roof or anywhere actually, it could easily cause a fall or other mishap that leads to serious or fatal injuries.

Taking certain precautions in the heat could eliminate at least one factor that could lead to an accident from the many hazards of working construction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to take certain steps to prevent heat-related illnesses. Why is this so important?

Get the facts to report nursing home neglect or abuse

Finding the appropriate place for an elderly loved one to receive care in his or her twilight years can be a daunting task. Pennsylvania residents may discover the disturbing truth that neglect and/or abuse is reported in one out of every three nursing homes. This makes many families vigilant in looking for signs of nursing home neglect or abuse.

When Pennsylvania residents discover that their loved one may be neglected or abused, they will likely wonder what to do next. Providing the right information is important, but it is also crucial to provide enough information to help investigators determine what needs to be done and when. The need to get the ball rolling immediately may need to be stifled in lieu of gathering more information -- unless the victim's life and safety are in immediate danger.

The disconcerting existence of nursing home neglect

No matter how careful you may be in choosing a place here in Pennsylvania where your elderly loved one can receive much needed care, no guarantee exists that appropriate care will be given. Sadly, nursing home neglect is not new. Far too many families discover that the loved ones they entrusted to a nursing home ended up harmed.

When visiting a loved one, you may already know to search for bed sores, signs of dehydration or malnutrition and signs of being over-medicated. Your loved one's behavior could also hold clues, along with any unexplained injuries such as abrasions or bruises. If you find out that falling happens way too often, that could be a sign that staff members are not checking on or assisting your loved one as they should.

Facing a product liability-workers' comp crossroad

Workers' compensation is supposed to be straightforward. If a Pittsburgh-area worker gets injured on the job, workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of immediate medical treatment, physical or occupational therapy that might be needed, and wage losses. The objective is to ensure a smooth delivery of help and service by removing the threat of legal action over who might be to blame.

This concept of "exclusive remedy" is not always the end of the story, however. While a worker might not be able to sue his or her employer for compensation, it may be possible to pursue recovery from a third party. For example, if defective parts in work machinery caused the injury, a products liability claim against the manufacturer may be possible.

Dangerous auto defects affect up to 1M Hyundai vehicles

The national "click it or ticket" campaign reminds drivers to buckle up. Research shows that seat belts save thousands of lives each year, and many Pennsylvania drivers diligently use them just like many others around the country. What happens when you cannot count on your seat belt to work even when you use it? The scary thing is that earlier this year, almost one million Hyundai owners were experiencing this fear due to a recall for failing seat belts. Auto defects in vehicles' basic safety features pose a threat to the safety and lives of drivers and should be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Hyundai issued the recall after an investigation by the company revealed the potential for the seat belts in 2011 through 2014 Hyundai Sonatas and the 2011 through 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids to have been installed incorrectly. The seat belt manufacturer is also involved in the ongoing investigation into this defect. Reports indicate that notices will be sent to owners of the affected vehicles during the months of April and May. The recall affects approximately 997,778 of these vehicles.

Arbitration clauses are bad news for nursing home neglect victims

Nursing homes serve an important role in the love and care of the elderly community in Pennsylvania. Most families are poorly equipped to care for aging loved ones, making nursing homes and other long-term residential facilities a necessity. Unfortunately, these necessary facilities are often plagued by nursing home neglect and abuse, and victims sometimes face an uphill battle when seeking justice.

By now most people are already familiar with the Wells Fargo scandal, in which millions of fake accounts were created using the credentials of real customers who were then charged related fees. The affected customers were unable to sue the company because of the arbitration clause placed in the contracts related to the accounts they had opened. The clause required that victims enter arbitration with the company rather than pursuing justice through the legal system, with mediators chosen by Wells Fargo.

Nursing home abuse alleged

It began as a normal day, with a man going to a nursing home to bring his mother breakfast. What he was told there was anything but normal, however.

The man called his sister that morning to tell her that he had been informed by the nursing home that it was believed their mother had been abused. Law enforcement officials were called to investigate the alleged nursing home abuse and an investigation was launched.

Finding medical care after construction workers' accidents

After an on-the-job illness or injury, workers may need more than one physician in order to receive the appropriate treatment. Workers' compensation benefits are designed to provide medical care to be paid for by their employers and insurance. As part of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, employers are also required to inform workers what doctors they can receive treatment from after construction workers' accidents.

Employers may choose the medical professionals they wish to send their employees to after an illness or injury. Within 90 days from the initial visit regarding a work-related health issue, an employee must visit one of the chosen providers. Employers must post the list of designated medical professionals and provide the information to employees, along with workers' rights and responsibilities, when hired, when the list changes or when an injury is suffered.

Catastrophic injuries: When fireworks backfire

As the Fourth of July approaches, you may be looking forward to using fireworks at home or going to see a fireworks display. What you may not be aware of is the risk that display is to you and your family. Fireworks, when set off correctly, should not be a danger to anyone, but the truth is that things can go wrong.

If things do go wrong, fireworks can explode too early, hurting everyone within range. After firework injuries occur, what was once a dazzling display may now be a horrible reminder of the pain and suffering you went through. Fortunately, it's possible to hold someone liable for the injuries you've suffered.

Contracting listeria could lead to a products liability claim

Do Pennsylvania residents know what Listeria monocytogenes is? Many people may see the words attached to numerous food recalls, but may not really understand what it is and what harm it could cause. To put it simply, Listeria could become a serious enough health issue that an individual harmed by it could seek financial restitution through the filing of a products liability claim.

Listeriosis is a food-borne illness caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. In pregnant women (and newborns), older adults and others whose immune systems are compromised, the infection can become serious and even life-threatening. Periodically, someone that does not fall into one of these categories suffers a serious infection as well.

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