Living in Northeastern Pennsylvania we are no strangers to winter storms. Winter driving conditions like snow and ice dramatically affect one’s driving behaviors. For example, a driver’s ability to stop smoothly and safely can be severely limited because of reduced tire traction.
All of us have walked in a parking lot before. So you likely know how easy it can be to slip and fall, especially with the winter weather we have been experiencing recently. Some causes of slip and falls in parking lots include: slippery, wet surfaces, pavement dangers, wheel stops, poor lighting, and distracted drivers.
A criminal record can be permanent. It can prevent a person from securing employment, from being accepted into college or graduate programs, or from being approved for a lease or mortgage. Even if a criminal arrest does not result in a conviction, the record of arrest can remain public. Under certain specific circumstances, it may be possible for a person’s arrest or criminal record to be “expunged”, or removed from the public record.
What do you think of when you hear the term “elder abuse”? Maybe you picture an older woman developing bed sores from neglect in a nursing home or a phone scammer taking advantage of a man with dementia. Maybe you imagine the people who harm the elderly are actually their caregivers.
At some point in each day, we all walk somewhere outside — parking lots, sidewalks, or even busy streets. Would it scare you to know that on average 13 people per day are killed while walking in their local area? This is oftentimes because pedestrians aren’t always seen or given the right-of-way.
Being involved in a car crash is stressful enough without having to worry about sticking to a to-do list afterwards. But, there are a number of things you can do in the immediate aftermath of a crash that will go a long way toward protecting your legal rights.
Car crashes happen regularly in Pennsylvania. If it happens to you, it’s important to contact a car crash attorney from Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. to represent you. We have years of experience getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their damages and injuries after a car wreck. Our car crash attorney team is always ready to help those who have been injured by negligent drivers. These cases can be complex, and hiring an attorney will only help the process.
When people are in intense pain, doctors are likely to prescribe opioid painkillers. These painkillers can lessen pain and make someone feel “better” despite an injury, but the use of these painkillers comes with a risk: the development of painkiller addiction. Studies suggest nearly 8-12% of patients who receive opioid painkiller prescriptions develop opioid-use disorders.
Because of COVID-19, many of us are turning to online shopping for our groceries and other essentials more than ever before. Adobe Analytics predicts that online sales for the months of November and December 2020, in the United States alone, will reach a total of $189 billion. This represents a 33% year-over-year increase and sets a new record.
Car crashes can happen at any time and anywhere. However, when bad weather is involved, the chances of a crash increase exponentially. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 22% of auto crashes each year occur in bad weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, heavy winds, or ice.
Many of us know someone who lives or has spent time in a nursing home. There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States that house approximately 2 million residents. While we expect nursing homes to provide a safe environment and skilled-care for our loved ones, many fail to meet this expectation. This is called nursing home neglect. What are the warning signs you should be looking for?
Northeastern Pennsylvania is no stranger to the rain, especially this time of year. In short, rain reduces our visibility, response time, and ability to control our vehicle, which increases the risk of car accidents. Let’s take a look at some safety tips to minimize the risks of an accident and injuries while driving in the rain.
Summer means new, outdoor activities and with it comes lots of fun. But what we don’t want this season is a trip to the emergency room. NEPA offers beautiful lakes and pools but water accidents, injuries, and deaths are a daily occurrence. The most common water accidents are: Boating/Jet Ski Accident: Boating and jet ski accidents are usually caused by one of three factors: an inexperienced boater, a boat manufacturing malfunction, or an intoxicated operator. In particular, alcohol use, combined with frequent distractions on the water, can be an accident waiting to happen. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities. Remember to always wear a life jacket and never hop in a boat with an intoxicated driver. Swimming Pool Accident: While many people think of poor swimming skills as a chief precursor to drowning, pool-based injuries often result from poor supervision or pool design flaws. Some common accidents are:
Children dying from heatstroke in cars has significantly increased over the past few years. In April, the first vehicular heatstroke death of 2020 tragically occurred when a toddler in Texas left his home unsupervised and climbed into an unlocked, parked vehicle. His death follows 52 hot car deaths in 2019 and a record 53 in 2018. While some parents knowingly leave a child in the car and some children gain access to an unattended vehicle, a shocking 54% of hot car deaths are the result of a parent (or caregiver) forgetting that a child is in the car.So how can hot car deaths be prevented?
According to the League of American Bicyclists the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62% in the past 10 years. As bicycle transportation becomes more and more common, we should all be aware and considerate of bikers all year in order to keep our roads both active and safe. In an effort to reduce accidents, a number of states have adopted the “Share the Road” sign, a campaign started in 1997 to alert motorists that they should expect bicyclists on that road. But even with a cautionary sign, what exactly should you do, as a driver, to effectively share the road?Here are some tips…
It goes without saying that when you schedule a ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft, you expect a normal, smooth ride to your destination. But what if it’s not? What if your driver gets in an accident and you’re injured? Uber and Lyft both have safety policies on their websites in case of an accident, but they’re pretty vague and geared toward the driver. Both instruct their drivers to always call 911, make sure their passengers are okay, and get medical attention if needed. Lyft even has a “Trust and Safety Team,” which reaches out to passengers in the event of an accident with insurance information and attempts to take control over the situation. But there are still a number of things you can do to make sure you are in charge of your own safety. If you were in an accident while in an Uber or Lyft, always take note of:
Hit and run accidents are extremely common and have been on the rise, occurring way more often than any of us would like to believe. In 2015, there were over 2,000 reported hit-and-run accidents every single day. So, what is a Hit and Run?A hit and run accident occurs when a person involved in a car accident leaves the scene without stopping to exchange information or wait for the police to arrive. A hit and run accident may create injuries or death to people, but it can also damage property, even if other people are not involved. For example, hitting a mailbox or a parked car, running over a sign, or crashing into just about anything that is someone else’s property. Of course, damage to a person is most often the result, and also the main cause of panic to the driver who flees. Why do drivers flee?Any type of car accident can spur basic human instincts: if we feel we’ve done something wrong, our first impulse could be to flee the scene out of fear. In some cases, a driver leaves a crash scene because they have an outstanding warrant for another crime. Other times, the driver is under the influence and does not want to be charged with a DUI. There are also cases where drivers do not have a valid driver’s license or they are an illegal immigrant who fears deportation. In addition, some drivers flee accident scenes because they are uninsured and don’t have the financial means to cover any damages.What to do after a hit and run accident…
Elevators are considered one of the safest forms of indoor transportation, we even tend to assume that the ones we use every day are working properly. Unfortunately malfunctions happen, often causing serious accidents that can result in terrible injuries. In the United States, approximately 30 people die and 17,000 injuries occur in elevator accidents every year. Those who are injured in elevator accidents are often mechanics and other elevator repair personnel, but elevator accidents happen to the general public, too. These types of accidents are often due to installation errors, inadequate maintenance, or even flaws in manufacturing. Some common types of elevator malfunction/errors are:
When drug products are removed from shelves and taken off the market by the manufacturers, it is done so in accordance with a recall – either a voluntary or involuntary medicine recall. But what’s the difference?InvoluntaryWhen the FDA finds a flaw, potential hazard, or serious side effect in a medicine, they have the power to request a recall. A recall is a government issued request to retract a batch or entirely stop production of a defective product, specifically medication. Here’s how it works: the FDA ensures that over-the-counter medicine, prescription drugs, and vaccines are safe and effective. New drugs are evaluated by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to ensure that health benefits outweigh any potential side effects. It is important to note that this branch of the FDA does not test drugs itself, the manufacturers run tests and send in their results, which are then reviewed by the FDA. It is at this point that the FDA decides if a drug is effective, high-quality, and safe. VoluntaryHowever in some cases, a company may recall a medication voluntarily—meaning they did not receive a request from FDA. For example: a company may discover potentially harmful effects or suspect a batch of medication has been contaminated during manufacturing. The company will then recall the product voluntarily before the FDA gets involved. Additionally, a retailer, such as CVS Pharmacy, can make the decision to remove a product from their shelves based on safety or other concerns for their customers—without a recall request from the manufacturer or the FDA. Product recalls, either voluntary or involuntary, can be costly to a company and its reputation but are overall helpful in limiting liability for corporate negligence.Do you have questions about the differences between voluntary and involuntary medicine recalls? Our experienced team at Scartelli Olszewski can help. Source: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/postmarket-requirements-devices/recalls-corrections-and-removals-deviceshttps://www.fda.gov/drugs
While thinking about car accidents our minds typically jump to negligent drivers: speeding, distracted driving, running a red light or stop sign, any careless act that would cause a crash with another vehicle. But what happens when you’re driving and there’s unavoidable road debris that causes an accident? In many cases, the foreign object on the road has been left there by another driver. Common examples of debris that often land on the road include:
Workers’ compensation laws are meant to help employees and employers deal with workplace injuries. It's a “no-fault” system where injured workers receive compensation for lost wages and medical expenses after a workplace accident, and employers get protection from costly lawsuits. But this win-win situation does not always play out fairly in practice, such as when the employer’s insurance carrier denies a legitimate claim. The workers’ compensation system is complex, and your claim could be turned down for a number of reasons. But why? Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons your worker’s compensation claim may have been denied:
It’s that time of year again — detours, traffic, crazy construction on highways, bridges, and even backroads. Although summer is drawing to a close, road construction season is still in full swing. While road construction can cause delays and headaches for motorists, it’s necessary to keep the workers safe while doing their job. Approximately 20,000 highway and street construction workers are injured on the job annually, the majority involving a moving vehicle. Let’s take a look at some road construction zone safety tips, according to PennDot: DO…
Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action when a health care provider, like a doctor or a nurse, deviates from the accepted standard of care and causes harm to the patient. If you feel like when you go to the doctor, you’re not getting the attention you need, or that the doctor was rushed and barely gave you the time of day, or you suspect that you may have been misdiagnosed – you’re not alone. These things happen more often than you think. Just behind heart disease and cancer, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, as researched by Johns Hopkins Medicine.According to the Journal of Patient Safety, the leading types of medical malpractice in the United States are:
Did you know that September is National Pain Awareness Month? Established in 2001 by the American Chronic Pain Association, the entire month is meant to bring attention to the issues of pain and healthy pain management. According to the National Institutes for Health, chronic pain is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain; that’s more than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. And 80% of people suffering from chronic pain are between the ages of 24 and 64.
Although almost every state has a minimum insurance requirement you must meet before driving behind the wheel of a car, there are still many people who drive without it—illegally. According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 1 in 8 drivers doesn’t have auto insurance. Even if you have insurance and follow the rules of the road, you’re still vulnerable to accidents with an uninsured driver.If this happened to you, stay calm and follow these tips:
Have you ever considered calling a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft instead of an ambulance to the hospital? If so, you are certainly not alone. It seems more and more people are using ridesharing as a means of transportation to medical care. There are an overwhelming amount of reasons why people are doing this when they need medical attention. Ambulances can be extremely costly and sometimes not covered by insurance. But why are they so expensive? You are paying for the advanced equipment and technology in an ambulance that you may not actually need or use. Coupled with the fact that Uber and Lyft offer rides within minutes of scheduling, you have a less expensive option for getting to the hospital fairly quickly, especially if it isn’t an emergency.However choosing a rideshare over an ambulance can come with its own risks. Ambulance drivers can run stop signs and red lights and have the sirens to help them do so while staying safe maneuvering traffic in the event of an emergency, while ridesharing cars don’t have this ability. In addition, if you schedule an Uber or Lyft instead of an ambulance, you are likely to be driven by an untrained, “self-employed” person who is driving their own car on behalf of the rideshare company. You are not being driven by EMTs who can help you in the event of any medical emergency or mishap on the way.If you choose to take a rideshare service when you need to go to the emergency room, you are also putting your driver in an uncomfortable position. They are forced to choose between assuming potential liability if something goes wrong. Understandably so, a driver may want to call an ambulance instead of allowing someone who has been bleeding to ride in his or her car. Rideshare companies will clearly want to avoid the legal liability of transporting someone to the hospital when they can.What are some conditions where you should call an ambulance? If you’re having trouble breathing, if you’re in serious pain, if you think you might be bleeding internally, if you’re pregnant, or if you think you might be having a heart attack or stroke (chest pain, numbness, problems speaking), or any other serious complication, it might be best to call an ambulance. Source: https://slate.com/technology/2018/02/when-should-you-uber-to-the-hospital-and-when-should-you-call-an-ambulance.htmlhttps://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/carolineodonovan/taking-uber-lyft-emergency-room-legal-liabilitieshttps://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/upshot/uber-lyft-and-the-urgency-of-saving-money-on-ambulances.html
Winter is right around the corner and with it means snow and ice, causing auto accidents left and right. According to NHTSA, Pennsylvania was ranked as the second most dangerous state for winter driving. Coupled with the fact that PA highways are major trucking routes, it can be a scary season for many drivers.
It’s almost that time of year again when men and women prep their firearms, put on their camo, and head into the woods for hunting season. Deer hunting especially is a tradition and opportunity to bond with friends and family while enjoying the sport. However, hunters should be aware that Pennsylvania has important private property laws and regulations that, if not properly followed, can result in civil or criminal consequences, including fines or loss of hunting privileges. Private PropertyHunting on private property without permission is trespassing – even if the property is unoccupied, and not posted or fenced. In Pennsylvania, you may not hunt private property without the permission of the landowner. Written permission is not required, but you may have a hard time proving your agreement without written permission. It would be a good idea to have proof that you are allowed to hunt on that land in case you are questioned by the game commission or authorities. If you are granted permission, you are in the clear and are not breaking any private property laws. If you hunt on private property without any knowledge as to whether hunting is permitted there, you may not have committed a crime, but the landowner could still sue you for trespassing. They may also call the game commission or the police and have you removed. Further, the landowner will not be responsible if a trespasser is injured by dangerous conditions on the land. However, if the owner of a property does not permit hunting on his/her land, and you still hunt despite being aware of this (by posting, fencing, or other warning from the owner), you may also be charged or sued. Bottom line is that private property is, well, private. You should always ask permission before hunting on someone’s property.Source: https://www.envirothonpa.org/documents/7_generalhuntingregulations.pdfhttps://www.pgc.pa.gov/HuntTrap/Law/Pages/HuntingandTrappingDigest.aspx
Although truckers play an essential role in our economy, there are thousands of accidents, leading to injuries and fatalities, expensive insurance claims, and lengthy traffic jams as a result of truck driver negligence. According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) more than 500,000 accidents involving big trucks (tractor trailers) occur each year on average. It’s impossible to make the operator of another vehicle drive more safely, but you can take steps to help keep you and your passengers safer while sharing the road with tractor trailers. These six tips come from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
With the average U.S. driver spending about an hour behind the wheel each day, companies are coming up with new technology and gadgets to make our time spent in the car safer and more pleasant. In fact, dash camera sales have skyrocketed over the past few years. What started out in police cars in the late 1980s has evolved over the years to include taxis, ride sharing drivers, commercial vehicles and trucks, and most recently, the general public. Mounted to your car’s dashboard or windshield, most dash cameras will record what happens in front of the vehicle and can record audio inside as well. So, should you invest in one? Are they worth it?
The National Highway Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts a driver’s attention while operating a vehicle: talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, applying makeup, reaching for your bag, holding a pet, and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system. However texting while driving is the most alarming and serious distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for, on average, 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed, which leaves plenty of time to miss changing road conditions, pedestrians or bikers, sudden stops, cars changing lanes, etc.
Many of us know someone who lives or spent time in a nursing home. There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States, housing approximately two million residents. While we expect nursing homes to provide a safe environment and skilled care for our loved ones, many fail to meet this expectation. This is called nursing home neglect.Nursing homes are required by state and federal laws to provide their patients with a specific level of care. That care includes basic necessities like food and water, among other basic living conditions. Sadly, we’ve seen too many cases of dehydration and malnutrition in the United States.Dehydration in nursing homes should be taken seriously. Staff members may forget to monitor patient water intake or outright refuse patients their water. A clear majority of these patients cannot get water themselves; therefore they rely on their caretakers in a nursing home to keep them hydrated.Let’s take a look at some warning signs of dehydration:
Car accidents, by nature, are unpredictable. There is no exact science to forecast or prevent them from happening. However, there are clear patterns and data that show when and where crashes occur most frequently – and knowing these patterns can help reduce the risk of a car incident.
Picture this: You just visited mom or dad at the nursing home, and while you’re there you notice a few bruises on their arm as they flinch away from the nurse who was checking her vitals. When you ask the nurse about this, you’re told, “Bruises happen all the time since old people bruise easily.” You don’t know if this is true or not but after seeing these things multiple times, you suspect nursing home negligence by the staff.Some bruising is common for elderly people due to certain medications, naturally thinning skin, or small accidents like bumping into furniture, but it can also be a warning sign that your loved one is being abused by their caregiver in the nursing home.Unexplained injuries or accidents in the nursing home are simply unacceptable. Legally, the nursing home must supervise residents adequately and provide a safe environment at all times. If an injury does occur, they must notify a family member of the resident and the resident’s physician regarding the injury or accident, but this does not happen if it is an abusive or negligent situation. Because nursing home caretakers are often the perpetrators of this abuse and negligence, the responsibility of recognizing and reporting typically falls to family members or friends. Being aware of the types of abuse and warning signs will only help you be an advocate. Be on the lookout for...
For some families, few nights are better than Halloween. The decorating, the costumes, and the trick-or-treating (aka candy!) all make the evening fun and festive for children and adults alike. Unfortunately, Halloween also presents many unique dangers and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the holiday may be a bit different this year. The good news is that with proper planning and preparation you can enjoy Halloween safely with your family and friends! Let's talk about some Halloween safety tips...
The opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on communities across the country. Over the course of the past two decades, more than 60 billion opioid pills have been delivered to providers across the country. The rippling effect of the opioid epidemic continues to ravage the nation, despite massive pressure on providers to be extremely cautious in prescribing these dangerous drugs.Opioid prescriptions can be a slippery slope, and it’s very easy to think that all drug addicts are the same. The urgency of patients’ needs, the demonstrated effectiveness of opioids for pain management, and the limited alternative treatments for chronic pain have all led to an overreliance on opioid medications in the United States, with alarming increases in overdose and addiction.When it comes to the opioid crisis, there are many misconceptions clouding the problem. While we help those who have been affected by opioids, we also want to help decrease the amount of overdoses and addiction.
This Sunday, November 1st, we will all join in turning our clocks back for the winter months. While some dislike the seasonal shifts of Daylight Saving Time (DST) for the inconvenience to their sleep cycles and busy schedules, there’s a more serious side: the loss of an hour of afternoon sunlight when it ends—as it does this weekend—may increase the likelihood of traffic accidents.This disruption to the body’s internal clock, as well as lighting changes while driving to and from work, can make operating a vehicle in the weeks following “fall back” more dangerous than usual. In fact, studies have found a correlation between increased fatal car accidents and DST.How does daylight savings time impact driving and the number of accidents?
Medical negligence or a medication error is made when it is administered differently than the doctor’s order or the manufacturer’s instructions, or when it falls below accepted professional standards for the medication.This can have devastating consequences for already-vulnerable victims. Failing to provide care for medical conditions, treatments, or otherwise provide adequate medical care can leave nursing home residents ill and suffering – and their caregivers liable.
When a person files a personal injury claim, the goal is to receive the compensation that they need after sustaining injuries because of another person. The type of damages that can be received in negligence claims are called “compensatory damages.” Negligence claims seeking compensatory damages can arise in almost any setting, from car accidents to medical malpractice. In other words, if someone has been injured by another person in a preventable accident or event, chances are they may be able to seek compensatory damages if there has been negligence. On the other hand, where the conduct that caused the harm was reckless or intentional, a person may receive “punitive damages” from the wrongdoer. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter him or her and others from future like conduct. Thus, there are two kinds of damages that can be awarded to a victim depending on the circumstances, “compensatory damages” and “punitive damages.”
When birth control proves to be defective or poorly designed, the results can be catastrophic. Defective birth control medications and devices have resulted in victims suffering from intense pain, losing the ability to have children, or even losing their own lives.According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 62% of women ages 15-49, which is considered the reproductive ages, are using some form of contraception. The most common contraceptive is birth control pills. The CDC study found that 28% of women use birth control pills, 10.3% of women use long-acting reversible contraception (IUD), and 24.5% of women elect sterilization.
The coronavirus pandemic is making yet another serious problem even worse: the opioid epidemic. Fatal drug overdose deaths are up in 35 states and are continuing to rise as the weeks go on. The severity of this situation was noted by the CDC’s recent release of overdose data revealing that drug overdose deaths set record highs in 2019 — rising by 4.8% to a total of 70,980 deaths. A jaw-dropping 50,042 of those deaths were due to opioids.The takeaway here is that despite all of our collective efforts, the opioid epidemic has been getting worse. And now during COVID-19 it’s not just growing – it’s surging - taking thousands of lives away. Why is this happening?