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When can you file a third-party personal injury claim?

You may be familiar with the concept of workers’ compensation claims. Yet when you suffer an injury at work, you may be unsure of how to go about recovering the benefits you need. Your injury may leave many things uncertain, including your ability to continue completing your regular job duties or providing for your family.

Fortunately, most Pennsylvania employers provide employees with access to workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury. Workers’ comp provide critical compensation, health care benefits and more while you recover. However, in some cases, you may be able to pursue both a workers’ comp claim and a third-party personal injury claim.

Woman injured in Hermitage hit and run accident

As the saying goes, accidents happen. While this is true in some situations, when it comes to automobile collisions in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, fault can often be applied to one or more motorists. Negligence or reckless is often to blame, stemming from a driver speeding, texting while driving or driving while intoxicated. These drivers are breaching their duty to travel safe, and those upholding this duty are put at risk of being involved in a collision despite the fact that they are following the rules of the road.

Other motorists are not the only ones at risk of being involved in an accident. Pedestrians are also at risk, especially if a motorist is speeding or driving distracted. This is what recently occurred in Hermitage. According to recent reports, a motorist struck a woman and did not stop following the collision.

Personal injury and death results from semi-truck crash

Drivers need to be cautious when on the road in Hermitage and the surrounding areas. The danger of an auto accident resulting in personal injury and death is a constant. This is especially true with large trucks on the road and in bad weather. This combination can lead to a collision. For those who have been impacted by these types of accidents, it is important to remember that there can be financial and personal ramifications as a result.

A crash between a car and two tractor-trailers led to the death of two teens. Three other people were also injured in the crash. The accident happened in the evening at about 7 p.m. The road conditions were said to be treacherous. The car had four teen girls inside. Two -- a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old -- died in the accident. Two others were taken to the hospital for treatment and then taken to a trauma center. They were said to be in critical condition. A 37-year-old male driver of one of the semis was hospitalized. The other driver, a 53-year-old man, was uninjured. The investigation is continuing.

What if my Social Security disability claim is denied?

For Pennsylvanians who apply for Social Security disability benefits, having their claim denied can be difficult. The idea behind SSD benefits is for the person to receive assistance to make ends meet so they can be treated for their medical issues without concern for their living arrangements, purchasing necessities and more. A denial can add more worries on top of what the person and his or her family is already dealing with. Fortunately, it is possible to appeal a denied claim. Understanding the appeals process can be key.

When a person requests an appeal, the Social Security Administration will examine the entire decision. The appeal must be made in writing and the SSA must get it within 60 days of the date on the letter informing the claimant of the denial. There are four levels of appeal: reconsideration; a hearing before an administrative law judge; a review by the Appeals Council; and a review in Federal Court.

Can I choose my health care provider with workers' compensation?

Pennsylvanians who suffer a workplace injury or become ill because of their work will need medical treatment. Some will want to see a medical professional of their choosing. Others are concerned that their workplace will have certain doctors and hospitals that it requires workers to use for their treatment if the worker is to receive workers' compensation benefits. Understanding what workers' compensation law says about choosing a health care provider is critical.

Workers have the right to select a health care professional of their own choosing except when the employer accepts the workers' compensation claim and there is a posting in the workplace that lists six or more health care providers or physicians for the workers to choose from. The worker must visit one of those listed when they are getting their initial treatment. The treatment must continue with that provider or another one on the list for 90 days after the initial visit. The employer is not allowed to steer the worker to a specific medical provider.

In workers comp claims, jurisdiction matters

When it comes to workers compensation claims, each state maintains the law within their borders. But which law applies when a company is located in one state but the worker is injured in another? Which law applies when a project is owned by two states?

Such was the case with Zachary Kreschollek, who was injured in 2014 while working on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which is jointly owned and located between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Pennsylvanians impacted by personal injury need legal help

In Hermitage and across Pennsylvania, accidents happen every day. These can be motor vehicle accidents, injuries after the use of a dangerous product, and an accident on another person's property. There can be a range of injuries in the aftermath and even death. For people who have been impacted by these accidents in any way, they rarely understand the full scope of what they will be confronted with until much later. That can include medical costs, lost wages, loss of companionship and other problems. A legal filing is frequently the only viable strategy to recover sufficient compensation.

An auto accident is one of the most common ways in which a person will be injured and lose their lives unexpectedly. With the number of drivers who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs, the roads are inherently dangerous. Other dangers include distracted drivers, drowsy drivers and reckless drivers. People can be in a crash as a driver, a bicyclist or a pedestrian. With a car crash, personal injury can range from brain trauma to spinal cord damage to broken bones and more.

Social Security disability and the five-step evaluation process

Residents of Hermitage who are injured, ill or have a condition that hinders of prevents their ability to hold a job should consider filing for Social Security disability benefits. Even those who do not believe they meet the criteria to be approved are often surprised when they go through the process. Before moving forward with the application, however, it is important to understand the basics. A significant part is the five-step evaluation process. The Social Security Administration will use these steps to decide on a case's viability. Knowing these is key for the applicant.

First, the SSA will ask if the claimant is working. For those who are working, their average earnings per month cannot surpass a certain amount. If it does, the person will not be classified as disabled. The amount - also called substantial gainful activity, or SGA, changes annually. For 2018, a person who is not blind can earn $1,180 monthly. If the person is blind, it is $1,970 per month. For those who are not working or the earnings are less than SGA, it moves onto step two, if the medical condition is severe.

Small construction companies seeing upped fatality rates

Small companies make up a significant portion of the construction industry. It is estimated that, in 2016, around nine out of every 10 construction companies in the U.S. had less than 20 employees. And a vast majority of these small firms had less than 10 workers. So, how small construction companies act regarding worker safety matters considerably.

Unfortunately, it appears that the likelihood of worker fatalities has been going up for small construction companies here in the U.S. in recent years. According to statistics from a Center for Construction Research and Training report, the worker fatality rate for construction firms with less than 20 workers rose 57 percent between 2008 and 2016.

Promoting Safety On Construction Sites

As a construction worker, you put your body on the line every time you go to work. You do your best to remain safe on the job. Every day you wear proper protection and stay diligent. After all, you have a family that depends on you.

While you try your best to be safe at work, accidents still happen. You wear your work boots, ear plugs and hard hat to prevent injury. You can still remain diligent in other ways to stay safe.


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850 South Hermitage Road
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Hermitage, PA 16148

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