Category: Workers’ Compensation

Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction happening throughout the state. Unfortunately, the winter months bring a new set of hazards to an already dangerous occupation. Even in the…

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What should I do if I don’t notice my accident injuries right away?

When you are involved in an auto accident, you at first are in shock. You try to process what just happened. Did that SUV really just run a red light and plow into your car? Are you hurt at all? You may count yourself lucky that you can walk away from the crash with only minor scrapes and bruises. However,…

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Is working safely with automated co-workers possible?

Introduced to many assembly lines in the 1970s, automated or “robotic” workers have quickly become a staple in countless production facilities. While advances in both technology and artificial intelligence continue to be made, no workplace will ever be 100% safe. An automated workforce can reduce employee risks by completing tasks in hazardous environments that might otherwise lead to toxic exposure…

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Brain injuries after a car accident can be devastating

Individuals can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after receiving a significant impact or jolt to the head. These types of injuries can affect the brain’s structure or function with symptoms that can last a lifetime. After a fall or a vehicle collision, a thorough medical examination is a critical step in understanding the extent of the damage. Numerous factors…

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How to get medical treatment after a workplace injury

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may not know where to turn next. Do you ignore the pain you’re feeling? Do you have concerns that your employer will fire you for reporting the accident? Are you worried that you’ll be unable to afford medical treatment? The workers’ compensation system should help to ease your anxiety. It doesn’t matter who…

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Is it safe to drive hungover?

You might think that choosing to sleep off a night of heavy drinking rather than getting behind the wheel is the responsible choice. But while you can pat yourself on the back for not driving while intoxicated, research shows that driving hungover may be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers had the 48 participants of the study perform two…

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What expenses does workers’ compensation cover?

After a workplace injury, you may be overwhelmed. Will time away from work leave your family without the support they need? How will you cover your medical expenses if you aren’t working? How long can you be away from work before you must return? Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can help relieve the burden of many of your most pressing questions…

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Commonwealth v. Chichkin – How Can a Past ARD Affect Future DUI Mandatory Minimum & Maximum Sentences?

Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing scheme, DUI offenders with “prior offenses” within ten years face heightened minimum and maximum penalties. In two recent court cases decided jointly by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Commonwealth v. Chichkin and Commonwealth v. Roche, two defendants challenged sentences they received for “second in ten” DUI cases. Both defendants were charged out of Philadelphia with their second…

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Warehouse automation may lead to illnesses and injuries

Warehouse workers may face a greater risk of job-related illnesses and injuries from the increased use of automation. Working alongside rapid-pace machines means employees need to keep up with preprogrammed robots in both speed and precision. As reported by Time Magazine, a major online company using automation monitors and times how quickly workers pack and ship customers’ orders. Advanced technology…

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Police now can check if those arrested have COVID-19 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have faced a greater likelihood of exposure to the virus. In fact, in April, two police unions representing Erie County law enforcement officers sued because officers didn’t have access to information about the COVID-19 status of those they interact with in 911 calls. On Friday, May 22, Erie County Judge John J. Mead ruled that police now can have access to the COVID-19 status of suspects they arrest.   The unions wanted ruling…

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Whose insurance covers medical costs after an accident?

Getting in a car accident can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience. There are so many challenges you may face: severe injuries and medical costs, loss of wages due to being unable to work, and damages to your car. On top of all of that, you’re concerned about how much of that you’ll have to pay. If the accident…

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Reasons to evoke your right to be silent

If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have…

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What to do if you witness a serious workplace injury

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Still, regardless of where you work or what you do, you may eventually witness an on-the-job injury. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that a workplace injury occurs roughly every 7 seconds somewhere in the United States. Injury scenes can be both chaotic and traumatizing. Nonetheless, what you do in the…

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Authorities accused him of leading a theft operation – the evidence showed otherwise

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office levied dramatic accusations against the 44-year-old northwest Pennsylvania man. They claimed he was a criminal mastermind, the ringleader in an ATV and motorcycle theft scheme. The evidence for those allegations, however, simply wasn’t there, and despite the flashy charges it never was. The recent sentencing is clear evidence of that. A sentence far below…

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The potentially catastrophic results of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you are a construction worker, an athlete or simply a Pennsylvania driver who becomes the victim of a traffic accident, a traumatic brain injury can radically change your life. These injuries happen when you receive a blow to your head that causes it to violently jerk forward and backward. As your head moves abruptly, so does your brain, rattling around inside…

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How to prove disability to the SSA

To qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to prove to the relevant authorities that you are in need of assistance. This is a crucial step, as it helps to fight potential fraud.  As a matter of fact, the Social Security Administration awards most SSDI applications upon appeal to an Administrative Law Judge. For this reason, you need to be…

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What are compassionate allowances?

There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard.  However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA…

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What exactly are your Miranda rights?

You’ve probably seen cop shows on television where the police catch a suspect, slap on the cuffs and start telling the person, “You have the right to remain silent.” But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in real life, should you expect the police to tell you your rights? What happens if they don’t? The truth is…

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3 things to remember if you are stopped for a DUI

Having law enforcement in Pennsylvania pull you over is never a fun thing, but there are actions you may take that could only make things worse. It is important that when you face a traffic stop to ensure you do everything possible to avoid making the situation more stressful than it already is. This is especially true when you face…

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Pennsylvania penalties for DUI

When an officer pulls you over in Pennsylvania for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will give a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. A DUI conviction carries more severe penalties for drivers who have a higher level of impairment. If you are facing a DUI charge, read on to learn more about the state’s…

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NHTSA releases preliminary 2018 road fatalities report

Road deaths in Pennsylvania and around the country fell slightly in 2018 according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the agency’s preliminary fatality report also reveals a worrying rise in the number of pedestrians and cyclist killed. Motor vehicle accident fatalities rose sharply in 2015 and 2016 after several decades of gradual decline, and…

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Preventing heat-related illness in the workplace

With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take. All employers should develop an injury and illness prevention program. If tailored to the size of the workforce, the…

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Tesla Autopilot faces new criticisms

Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company’s Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted…

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Social Security Disability denied: what is my next step?

According to studies, one in four workers will experience a disability that prevents them from working by the time they reach retirement. While disabilities may not be uncommon for workers, the process for applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. SSDI applications have a notoriously high rejection rate. Well over half of qualified…

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Truckers distrust safety tech, find ways to manipulate it

Truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the US are adding new safety tech to their vehicles, but this in itself is not enough. Many truckers are actually disabling or manipulating the devices, perhaps out of distrust for the technology or a desire to act recklessly without anyone knowing it. They have learned many methods through YouTube videos. Truckers can…

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Falls cause almost half of all traumatic brain injuries

The brain performs a variety of functions. It regulates life-sustaining activities, manages physical movements, remembers language skills, solves problems and allows creativity. Because our brains do so many things, it can be life-altering if someone’s brain becomes injured. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when someone receives a forceful blow to the head. It can also be caused when…

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Falls, overexertion common causes of workplace injuries

Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third…

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Nurses’ health can benefit from a fair workplace

For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer…

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Asphalt plant accident highlights workplace safety failures

When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and…

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Study links distracted driving fatality rates with cellphone laws

ValuePenguin has calculated the distracted driving fatality rates of all 50 states for the years 2015 to 2017, and its conclusions should be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. Analysts found that the states with higher fatality rates tended to have less far-reaching laws regarding cellphone use. Thirteen states were determined to have the most far-reaching laws, and these experienced nearly…

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Stopping carbon monoxide exposure at work

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use…

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The data on large truck accidents in the United States

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be interested in learning about how their state compares to others when it comes to fatal accidents involving large trucks. A recent report was released that shows that from 2009 to 2017 there was an increase in the United States in the number of big rig truck accidents that led to fatalities. During that time, 35,882…

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Commuters should avoid the three types of distracted driving

As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted…

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Privacy ruling could have effect on law enforcement

When it comes to a person’s home or car, law enforcement can’t search legally except under very limited circumstances. And while the issue hasn’t been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, a California judge recently ruled that those same protections prevent federal law enforcement from forcing someone to unlock their mobile phone using biometrics like a fingerprint. The case, decided in the…

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Pennsylvania ranked in the top 20 for disability services

Among the things that can have major impacts on people with disabilities here in Pennsylvania are what policies and practices are present in the state for helping those with disabilities. Recently, the states were ranked on such policies by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. How did Pennsylvania do in these rankings? It jumped up quite a bit from…

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Old Advice Is Still The Best

There’s an old adage – often attributed to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain – that rings true in the context of criminal defense:  “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” OR “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all…

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Why should you remain silent during police questioning?

If a police officer questions you about a crime, your first instinct may be to fully explain the details of the event. After all, you may think that you are helping by providing a complete report to the police. The only problem is, this rarely works. The more you speak, the greater chance you have of increasing police suspicion. Law…

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Why would my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Following a workplace illness or injury, Pennsylvania workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. However, there are a number of workers’ compensation claims that do get denied by employers on a regular basis. Denial of a claim results in decreased liability for the insurance company and lower insurance premiums for your employer. For this reason, adjusters and…

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What Happens When An Employer Modifies, Suspends, or Terminates Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Having your workers’ compensation benefits suspended can be incredibly frustrating. An employer may not need to file a petition for a worker’s benefits to become suspended. For instance, if an injured worker returns to work at no decrease in earnings, then his or her benefits can be suspended upon notification to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that the injured worker…

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Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation and Labor Market Survey (LMS)

What is Vocational Rehabilitation? Many injured workers will be asked to participate in vocational rehabilitation by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Insurance companies typically start vocational rehabilitation when they cannot prove that an injured worker is fully recovered from their work injury but, they can prove that the worker is recovered enough to be able to do some kind of…

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Understanding the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits. Lost Wage Payments Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to…

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Understanding Settlements in Pennsylvania for Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, there is no absolute right to a lump-sum settlement in a workers’ compensation case. All the insurance carrier is required to do under the law is pay 2/3rds of an injured worker’s lost wages and pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. They are not legally obligated to pay you a lump-sum.…

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

The district attorney’s office prosecuting your DUI case will attempt to use your field sobriety test performance against you. However, a skilled defense attorney may be able to use the same test results to show you were not impaired at all. The attorneys of McCormick and Vilushis will thoroughly review your test performance to determine whether the field sobriety test…

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Refusing Field Tests in Pennsylvania DUI Cases

Pennsylvania’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath if arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to provide a warning known as implied consent. There are two types of refusals. An expressed refusal occurs when police tell you that…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Now what?

If you filed a claim for benefits and have received a denial, there are still options available to you. Most importantly, know that you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits simply because your claim was denied. Talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether an appeal is the best course of…

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My workers’ compensation claim has been accepted. What are my next steps?

Once your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, the goal of your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to get you off of workers’ compensation as soon as possible. If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that…

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Is there a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim in PA?

Many people may put off notifying their employer of their injury or filing a claim for benefits because they do not know where to begin. However, delaying the filing of a claim can have a devastating effect on a worker’s ability to receive benefits. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis may result in forfeiture of your right…

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How DUI Audio and Video Recordings Can Be Used in Your Case

Every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. The district attorney will use any evidence that points to your guilt. Often times – particularly in cases involving the Pennsylvania State Police – that means audio and video recordings of the incident (assuming they exist). McCormick and Vilushis will always obtain and…

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Have you been hurt at work?

Hopefully you will never get injured at work, but if you are hurt at work, you need to follow these steps from a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you have a properly set-up workers’ compensation claim: REPORT YOUR WORK INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER If you have just been injured you must report your work injury or illness to your employer,…

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Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Pennsylvania?

Facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first offense. You likely have many questions and concerns about the potential consequences, including whether you will lose your driver’s license. In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent for adults 21 years and older. If a police […] Read More

Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win? Suing Doctors and Hospitals in Pennsylvania

When a doctor or other medical provider doesn’t provide the degree of care that another provider with the same credentials under the same circumstances would have, and a patient is harmed, that could be medical malpractice. According to the American Medical Association, one in three doctors will be sued at least once during their career, […] Read More

Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis Named to Super Lawyers 2024

At McCormick & Vilushis, we work hard every day to secure positive outcomes for our clients. So when our team is recognized on a national level, it’s something to celebrate. We’re happy to announce that both Douglas McCormick and Chad Vilushis have earned the prestigious Super Lawyer designation for 2024. What’s a Super Lawyer? Each […] Read More

How Can You Get a DUI Charge Dropped in PA?

Facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Erie County, Pennsylvania? Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be severe. While there are no guarantees, it is possible to get a DUI charge dropped in Pennsylvania. However, navigating the complexities of the Erie County court system alone could lead to legal, […] Read More

What Are the Tiers for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (DUI) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. A conviction can lead to steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The penalties an offender will face upon conviction depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level upon testing, as well as whether they have had […] Read More

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: No-Fault Insurance vs. Limited Tort Insurance

If you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand the state’s insurance rules so you know how and where to file your claim and the maximum insurance payout. As a licensed driver, you probably already know that you must have vehicle insurance. But if you didn’t cause the wreck, how do […] Read More

Your Rights and Options After a DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is serious and can affect your life in many ways. You might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even jail time. At McCormick & Vilushis LLC, we have extensive experience in handling DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights. While you may feel trapped and […] Read More

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know. Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties and Sentencing Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and […] Read More

Why people should speak up after a public slip-and-fall

When people fall, their immediate reaction is often one of embarrassment. They look around to see if anyone noticed and may try to pick themselves up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the constant use of dramatic falls as a punchline in visual entertainment has led to people instinctively engaging in emotional reactions when they fall […] Read More

How to handle false domestic violence allegations

False domestic violence allegations occur when someone insincerely accuses another individual of abusive behavior within a domestic setting, such as a spouse, partner or family member. These allegations can lead to serious consequences for the accused, ranging from restraining orders and loss of child custody to potential criminal charges. The accused may suffer emotional distress, damage to their reputation and…

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What does subrogation mean after a wreck?

When you’re involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, the immediate aftermath can have huge consequences for your life. You have to cope with medical bills – and you may need your car repaired or replaced so you can get back to your job and your life. You may know that the other party is responsible for…

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PBTs, SFSTs and DUIs: What to know about Field Sobriety Testing

PBTs? SFSTs? When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, you’re going to get a crash course in some important acronyms. You may be asked to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) or participate in one or more standardized field sobriety test (SFST) – and knowing your rights in this situation can be…

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What happens during an SSDI benefits appeal?

Workers make contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) from their income. The funds that they submit to the SSA help fund programs that provide both disability benefits and retirement support for older adults who have worked enough to qualify. They also allow individual workers to accrue credits for their contributions that allow them to claim benefits later when they…

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How doing the same work for years can affect someone’s body

There are tens of thousands of blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania helping to repair vehicles and manufacture products. It’s quite common for blue-collar workers to perform the same job functions repeatedly throughout the day, which can eventually lead to injury. Repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries are a common concern for professionals in many fields. A manufacturing employee might develop a…

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3 mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Suppose you believe you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. If so, it is important to act quickly and to avoid missteps. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’ compensation insurance should provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage helps employees recover from their injuries while protecting employers from…

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Two reasons people may not notice a crash-related brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash. A brain injury could leave someone dependent on life support or struggling with their motor function for the rest of their life. TBIs often force people to leave their jobs and might make them dependent on medical support and assistive technology. Despite how severe and…

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What many first-shift workers don’t know about their commute

Commuting to and from work every day is often a source of frustration for modern professionals. It can feel like time lost, especially if someone lives a significant distance each way. Their weekly commute could consume as much time as an extra shift on the job might. Not only is a commute frustrating and sometimes expensive, but it is also…

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2 ways someone’s blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges

Pennsylvania police officers will arrest anyone who violates the state’s impaired driving law. People involved in collisions or who show signs of diminished ability at the wheel can end up arrested if they fail chemical tests. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can have a major impact on driving under the influence (DUI) charges. These are the two main ways…

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When does an injured worker have to return to their job?

If a worker gets hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, they may need to take time away. In minor cases, an individual employee may need to leave before the end of a shift but will be able to return to work the next day. Other times, workers will have significant injuries to address that may require weeks if not months…

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Can Pennsylvania drivers fight checkpoint DUI charges?

Most arrests related to driving under the influence (DUI) charges occur during target traffic stops or after collisions occur. Some people may end up arrested not because of something they have done at the wheel but rather because of the route that they’ve taken. Drivers who encounter sobriety roadblocks, also called DUI checkpoints, are subject to screening and may end…

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How do people hurt in crashes recoup their lost wages?

After a motor vehicle collision, people in Pennsylvania may have property damage losses and also medical bills to cover. They will usually turn to car insurance for basic costs. Frequently, people with major medical expenses also have lost wages to consider. Those in manual professions may require weeks away from their jobs if they have a broken bone or a…

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Who decides when an injured worker returns to their job?

A work injury is a major inconvenience for the affected employees, the people on their team and the company that employs them. Often, a serious work injury means that someone will need a leave of absence from their job, as well as medical treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for a Pennsylvania employee’s healthcare necessitated by a work injury…

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Can you pick your own workers’ comp doctor in PA?

Nobody wants to put their health and well-being into the hands of someone they don’t know, but that’s exactly the situation you may find yourself in if you’re an injured worker in Pennsylvania – for a while. Since your medical provider actually has a great deal of influence over the trajectory of your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand…

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3 people who should always fight a DUI charge

You’ve never been in trouble with the law before, so a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) was a major wake-up call, right? In Pennsylvania, most first-time DUI offenders won’t face jail time. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (like someone was seriously injured or killed), you’ll probably pay a fine, be ordered to go through remedial traffic safety training…

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What happens if you get hurt at work and must change jobs?

Whether you break your arm or suffer a brain injury, getting hurt on the job might mean taking a leave of absence. The worse your injury is and the more demanding your profession, the longer you may need to remain home from work. Typically, if you file a workers’ compensation benefits claim, you can receive temporary disability benefits until you…

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What are the reasons for wrong-way crashes?

Seeing headlights coming toward you on the interstate is certainly unnerving, as you immediately know that someone is driving the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many people who get involved in these accidents do not even have the time to think about that. The crashes happen so quickly and unexpectedly that they only piece together the events after the fact. Certainly, if…

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Common workers’ comp myths: Fault matters

There are many myths about workers’ comp, and they unfortunately lead to mistakes that can compromise someone’s ability to get the compensation that they deserve. Because workplace injuries are so common and can have such a detrimental impact on your financial future, it’s important that you do not fall for any of these myths. For instance, some people will tell…

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What if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

The obligation to carry insurance is part of why vehicle ownership in Pennsylvania can be expensive for working-class adults and new drivers. People pay quite a bit to protect themselves against the liability that arises after a motor vehicle collision. When someone damages your vehicle or injures you because they make bad choices at the wheel, you naturally expect to…

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3 times you may challenge the results of a field sobriety test

The evidence most people think of when they consider drunk driving charges will be chemical test results. Many police officers have chemical breath test units in their vehicles that they can use to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a motor vehicle collision or during a traffic stop. However, police officers often obtain the right to request breath testing…

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3 happy hour mistakes that could lead to a DUI charge

The promise of half an hour of quiet time by yourself might be the only thing motivating you during the second part of your day at work. You have a habit of stopping off a happy hour to enjoy a drink or two after a long day at work. Generally, as long as you are responsible about your consumption and…

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Strategies to avoid a holiday assault charge

Families can be great – but they can also get under your skin like nobody else. Family dynamics, when they include some long-standing rivalries or unresolved issues, can make your celebratory dinner tense. Maybe your brother has always felt it necessary to verbally tear you down and belittle your occupation. Maybe your uncle has always attacked your religion, your politics,…

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Are holiday workers covered by workers’ compensation in PA?

Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help. That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they…

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Can the police arrest you for a DUI when your driving is fine?

Every year, thousands of drivers in Pennsylvania get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions. They drink or consume mind-altering drugs before driving and then face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver’s licenses as a result. Often, those arrested on DUI allegations displayed obvious impairment at the wheel. They were erratic, they drove suspiciously slowly when…

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Does your medical condition qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are like many working adults, you probably ignored your symptoms at first because you thought they would clear up in a few days. Eventually, you had to see a doctor, who diagnosed you with a very serious medical condition. Perhaps you have multiple sclerosis or some kind of cancer. The condition and the symptoms it creates are debilitating…

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How much will a brain injury from a car crash cost?

Some people realize that they hurt their heads in a car crash right away. They lose consciousness or have blurry vision and a headache at the scene of the collision that make them realize they need medical care. Others may go several days before their symptoms force them to see a doctor. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that…

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Things you give up when you plead guilty to DUI

You had a few drinks while you were out with your friends – and the misfortune of being stopped for a traffic violation on the way home. Now, you’re facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI). You don’t believe that you were in any way impaired at the time, but you really hate the idea of going through a…

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What’s a third-party injury claim after a workplace injury?

You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that…

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Should you make a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim?

If you were involved in a traffic accident in your company vehicle, one of your questions may be if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. What you do largely depends on what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you working on the clock? Were you on your way to or…

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How long does workers’ compensation last?

When you get hurt on the job, one of the options you should look into is getting workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover situations like yours, allowing you to get financial support for the injuries that you have suffered. Workers’ compensation provides you with benefits such as: Compensation for a portion of your lost wages Compensation for medical…

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Is there a good defense against domestic violence charges?

You never expected to find yourself in this situation. Your ex-partner, someone you recently broke up with, has gone to the police and accused you of domestic violence. You were arrested at your home, but you know that you never did anything to them to warrant this action against you. This kind of situation is more common than you may…

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Hit by lightning? Storms are a real hazard to workers in the summer

During the summer months, it’s common to see serious and severe storms come through Pennsylvania. You may work an outdoor job that requires you to be out in the elements, but being unaware of the potential for lighting strikes or other poor weather conditions could put you at risk of serious injuries. The interesting thing about lightning is that it…

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3 ways you could hurt your own workers’ compensation claim

Workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania offers no-fault protection. Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from hurt workers in most cases, and workers don’t have to worry about losing benefits through minor mistakes on the job. However, there are mistakes that could affect someone’s benefits. If you think you may need workers’ compensation because you just got hurt at work…

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Why spinal cord injuries often necessitate personal injury lawsuits

While motor vehicles make modern life more convenient, they create a lot of risks and costs as well. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of modern spinal cord injuries. Even those who are cautious and responsible at the wheel could suffer catastrophic injuries caused by someone else running a red light or texting while driving. Those with minor…

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Consider this before pleading guilty to a DUI charge

If your driving makes a nearby police officer suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will probably pull you over to check. A police officer will ask you a few questions and then ask you to step out of the vehicle if they think your answers or your speech patterns indicate alcohol consumption. Once you are out…

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How much will insurance cover after a major car crash?

You almost can’t turn on a radio or television without hearing an insurance commercial. Insurance companies are some of the biggest advertising spenders because every homeowner and vehicle owner needs to carry coverage. They have a massive consumer base and want to establish a brand that people trust. What insurance companies say in their commercials can lead to unrealistic expectations.…

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Tactics employers may use to avoid workers comp claims

Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers. However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work. Delaying a report of the injury When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager.…

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Recoverable damages in a Pennsylvania car accident case

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims typically turn to personal injury protection or tort insurance to cover the damages suffered. However, cases involving severe injuries allow them to sue the at-fault driver for compensatory damages, which divide further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages Economic damages are tangible losses with inherent monetary value. These include: The costs associated with medical…

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Good driving habits that help prevent car accidents

If you have ever experienced a car collision, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of having another accident in the future. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are many things you can do to take control of your driving habits and make sure you are maximizing your…

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3 circumstances that increase DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks. While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may…

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New implant is promising for those with spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be devastating for victims who may need lifelong care. However, researchers in Switzerland have produced an implant for the spine that enables a paralyzed patient to walk again. About SCI The job of the spinal cord is to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury arises…

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Are injured remote employees covered under workers’ compensation?

These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group. But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation? Policies for remote employees The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You…

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How does a DUI affect my insurance coverage?

Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change. Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you…

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An important high-court decision affecting warrantless searches

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling will likely change the steps law enforcement officers take in conducting warrantless searches when they pull over a vehicle and smell marijuana. While it can be considered as a factor, the odor itself cannot be the only reason to move forward with a search. The traffic stop The high court ruling came from a…

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What you need to know about Pennsylvania personal injury cases

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you may be able to receive compensation to help you recover. You can pursue a personal injury suit for many different types of injuries, including those caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice. Here are some facts you need to know about these kinds of cases. You have a limited…

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and filing for workers’ compensation

If your job involves working with your hands, you may develop a tingling feeling or pain in your wrist or hand but not know what it is until you see a doctor. The condition may be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Most cases are mild but if the condition goes untreated, CTS could become a permanent disability. What it is The…

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What not to say after a car accident

Saying the wrong thing after a car accident may cause blame to unfairly attach to you. Thoughtless words could also reduce the likelihood and amount of any compensation you might receive. Even if it seems unnatural at the time, avoid making these and similar statements after a car accident. I’m fine. With adrenaline surging through your system, you may in…

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Serious car accidents can leave you with a life-changing brain injury

Thankfully, out of the thousands of car accidents that occur nationwide every day, the majority of them are simple fender benders that result in little to no injuries. However, occasionally a motor vehicle accident is so serious that it results in severe brain trauma, and all of the adverse effects that come with it. Here are some of the ways…

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First-time DUI offenders may qualify to enter the ARD program

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the experience can be unnerving and worrisome, as will the prospect of a DUI mark on your record. However, the ARD program is available in Pennsylvania, and you may qualify. What is this and how will it help to resolve the DUI charge against you? About…

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DUIs and targeted stops

If you are like many people, you enjoy getting drinks with friends after a hard days’ work. Afterward, you may feel that you are sober enough to drive home. Even if you are extra careful around other drivers, a traffic stop could lead you to problems. Pennsylvania State Police recently launched Operation Nighthawk, which set up targeted stops around Erie…

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3 common slip-and-fall hazards at grocery stores

Even though you may love the convenience of delivery apps, there is no substitute for walking through the grocery store and picking out the perfect items. This may be especially true if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. The grocery store’s owner and its employees have a legal duty to provide you with a reasonably safe place for you…

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What kinds of drug charges are a felony in Pennsylvania?

With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either. As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may…

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Were you charged with a DUI during a targeted police operation?

If you face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to know what a conviction means for you. According to Erie News Now, in response to increased traffic flow, Pennsylvania state police are expanding efforts to pursue road violations. Recent actions included running a special operation for the purpose of targeting DUI offenders. Understanding Penalties for DUI…

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3 tips for a successful PA workers’ comp claim

If you have experienced a job-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits through your employer’s insurance provider. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, most businesses must provide this type of coverage. However, to receive benefits, it is important that you report your injury promptly, seek needed care…

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3 tips for avoiding blind spots around large commercial trucks

About 70 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons fully-loaded, large commercial trucks require much more time and space to stop, perform passing maneuvers and make turns. Semis also have four major blind spots. These “no-zones” extend about 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab, up to 200 feet behind the trailer and along both sides.…

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Can I still recover if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Maybe you didn’t see an oncoming car while you were backing out, or maybe you weren’t paying attention while walking. Whatever the reason, you’re at least partially to blame for the injury you sustained. However, that shouldn’t let the other party off the hook, especially if they acted recklessly or negligently, right? Can you still recover for your injuries and…

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Construction worker accidents: What to do next

There are many risks when you work on a construction site. Although you take the necessary precautions to prevent injury, sometimes accidents still happen. Following an on-the-job injury, the steps you take affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing what to do helps you get the results you need from your workers’ comp claim. Seek medical attention…

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You should know how to challenge a DUI case

If you received a DUI,  you very likely have a number of questions. Possibly, you also fear there is no way to challenge a DUI charge in Pennsylvania. To avoid any misinformation, it is important to get clear answers to all your questions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you may have options to avoid a conviction. Lack of…

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Compensation for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania car accidents

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year. If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if…

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Your promotion, a DUI charge and the next steps in your life

When you received a promotion at work, you celebrated with friends at the neighborhood bar, then began the drive home. On the way, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a first for you. How will a DUI conviction affect your future as well as that promotion? Facing penalties With a DUI…

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Are you jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim?

After an injury on the job, you may have the right to receive benefits that cover your lost wages and medical expenses. However, you could be making some mistakes that will impact your workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you receive the full amount you are eligible for, avoid these common mistakes that could put your reimbursement at risk. Neglecting to…

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What happens at an SSDI benefits hearing?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you receive compensation to help you support yourself when you cannot work. You should not expect to receive approval of your benefits application immediately, however. After all, the Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications. Once you receive a denial, you have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative…

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Is it ever wise to sign a blanket medical authorization

Like most major corporations, insurance companies have a seemingly endless number of forms for customers to complete. While some of these forms may be necessary for processing accident-related claims, others tend to do more harm than good. Blanket medical authorizations fall into this category.  A blanket medical authorization gives an insurance adjuster the legal authority to review all your medical…

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I was hurt at work—how do I pay my bills?

An injury occurring at the workplace can have lasting consequences on your physical and mental health, family life and ability to work in the future. As a Pennsylvania resident, you can claim compensation for work-related illnesses, diseases and injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation functions can prevent mismanagement of your benefits and lost wages. Prompt reporting After a workplace injury, your…

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Types of assault in Pennsylvania: Simple vs aggravated

In the state of Pennsylvania, the law takes harming another individual seriously. For this reason, there are two kinds of charges you may face if someone believes you have intentionally or recklessly caused bodily injury to them. According to the state legislature, an individual may commit a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on different factors. For example, intent,…

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Medical records are essential for disability benefits approval

In reviewing your claim for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration wants “objective medical evidence” that supports your claim. Among the medical records the SSA requires are some specific documents your doctor, therapist or counselor must sign. About medical records It would be difficult for you to obtain approval for Social Security Disability benefits if you do not provide recent…

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A car accident may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak

A traumatic brain injury involves an interruption of normal brain activity due to an external force. While it is possible to suffer a TBI in other ways, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of them. In fact, about 20% of TBI-related hospitalizations happen after car crashes. Some types of TBI are minor, while others may be life-threatening. A TBI-related…

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What is the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule?

If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule? How the rule applies If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your…

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What happens after a criminal charge?

When the police charge you with a crime, the courts follow a process when deciding to pursue criminal charges against you. In Pennsylvania, the process is the same no matter what criminal charges you face. Arraignment One of the first steps is your arraignment. This is also sometimes your first appearance in court. The judge states the formal charges and…

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Can you lose your Pennsylvania teaching license due to DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania has the potential to impact many areas of your life. Even as a first-time offender, you may face substantial fines and probation obligations, among other penalties. If you also work in Pennsylvania as a teacher, you may wonder whether your conviction could threaten your ability to continue to earn a living…

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Pennsylvania stiffens penalties for speeding in work zones

Work zones are an unavoidable part of life for most Americans. However, you would be wise to be careful when navigating Pennsylvania’s many work zones, because crashes, injuries and fatalities have become more common in these areas. Work zone car wrecks have become so common in recent years that the state has now stiffened sanctions against motorists who speed through…

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What happens after a Pennsylvania DUI?

Pennsylvania has three types of penalties for driving under the influence. If you face a DUI, the potential penalties for a conviction vary based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Review the Pennsylvania penalty tiers for DUI before your court date. General impairment This category applies to BAC from 0.08% to 0.099%. If convicted with no…

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Erie Times-News: DA wants magistrate to reconsider tossing of homicide charge in Erie house party shooting

The Erie Times-News recently published a story about a case in which attorney Chad Vilushis is representing a client. Mr. Vilushis is arguing for a dismissal of all counts on both charges. Learn more by reading the article here.

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Winter construction accident injuries

While the winter months slow down the number of construction projects you see around Pennsylvania, construction season never truly stops. From large-scale renovations to projects that simply ran long, there always seems to be some sort of construction ha