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News And Reflections On Legal Issues In Western Pennsylvania And West Virginia

How does the FDA check the safety of medications?

When you are prescribed a medication by a doctor in Pennsylvania, you probably trust that the medication will help you and not cause you further harm. It is in the nature of our government that drugs are carefully screened before you can get your hands on them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for this drug screening and approval process.

The FDA is the watchdog for medications. This includes prescription and over-the-counter options. The FDA ensures a few things about a medication before it is released to the public. These include that the medication offers health benefits that outweigh the risks of taking it. It is common knowledge that some medications produce side effects, but the FDA is looking to ensure that these side effects are less harmful to you than it would be to not take the medication at all.

How are leaves on the roadway dangerous?

As summer ends and fall begins, there come new issues to be aware of on Pennsylvania roadways. The changing colors of leaves are sure pretty to look at, but once those leaves start falling they can become a hazard. Leaves on a road can cause many issues, especially if it rains and they are wet.

According to ABC27, one of the biggest dangers when it comes to leaves is that they make the roadway slippery. It can be compared to ice in how slick a road becomes when covered with wet leaves. Tires cannot grip the road and therefore you lose traction. It makes it more difficult to stop and control your vehicle.

What is a subcontractor?

On Pennsylvania construction sites, it is very common for some of the workers to be subcontractors. These workers are hired by the main contractor to handle specific jobs. In some cases, all workers are subcontractors. It just depends on the job being done. However, to classify a worker as a subcontractor, there are specific rules that must be followed according to the IRS. This is because subcontractors are treated differently than employees for tax purposes.

A subcontractor is a worker who is essentially self-employed. You are not paying taxes for that person as an employee. However, you cannot classify everyone as a subcontractor and bypass paying employment taxes. You must ensure that the relationship with the worker fits certain criteria.

Using strategy to negotiate a killer deal on your property

You have recently decided to list your property so you can take the equity and invest into other real estate opportunities. Your goal is to get the highest price you can, but this will require some negotiation on your part. At Gesk Moritz LLC Attorneys at Law, we have helped many people in Pennsylvania to work through the process of transferring a title without giving up too much. 

Negotiation is critical to being able to get what you are hoping to out of your property. If you do not negotiate, you risk losing money and your buyer may be able to get away with a great deal while you have unknowingly suffered a significant loss. According to Inc., you should always start with a price floor. This term references the amount of money you refuse to go below. This base cost should account for all of the extra expenses you will accrue for selling the property. Examples include fees for a realtor, home inspection and any type of renovation that you complete beforehand. 

Negligent ambulance drivers can hurt more than heal

Pennsylvania ambulance drivers have a duty to transport victims to a local hospital so they can receive the necessary treatment to recover from their injuries. Drivers try to go as fast as they can so the patient can recover sooner, but their actions can put themselves, the victim and others in danger if they are not careful.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates there to be around 4,500 vehicle crashes involving an ambulance per year, with around 34 percent resulting in serious injuries. It puts far more people at risk than a regular car crash given the ambulance’s structure and who is inside it.

How can I babyproof my home for guests?

If you are having visitors to your home in Pennsylvania, it is always a good idea to make sure there are not any issues that could lead to an accident for which you would be liable. For example, you want to fix broken steps on the porch and make sure the rug in the hall isn't rolling up or slipping. However, when your guests will be bringing a baby or toddler, you may want to go an extra step and babyproof your home to prevent accidents.

Dignity Health explains that babyproofing is just the process of looking at things from a child's point of view and removing anything that could pose a risk of injury. For example, cabinets, dressers and stands should be secured so that if a child pulls him or herself up using that item, it does not fall on top of the child. Secure things such as television stands and bookshelves.

What should you know about choosing a lender?

The anticipation and excitement of purchasing your first home in Pennsylvania has you feeling all sorts of emotions. This accomplishment is something to be celebrated, and the enjoyment of your buying experience has a lot to do with the people you choose to work with. A lender will play an important role in facilitating the financial component of getting you into your home. Here are some helpful things to know about choosing your lender. 

While you may be tempted to go with the first lender you hear of, it is important to take your time comparing and analyzing different lenders. You may even consider negotiating in your efforts to arrange an agreement that plays perfectly to your needs. According to Zillow, another helpful tool to use when choosing a lender is to read reviews from previous customers. These can usually be found online and will give you a general idea of how effective each professional is at doing their job. 

Construction workers at high risk for struck-by accidents

Due to the dangerous equipment that Pennsylvania construction workers have to use for their projects, they have a much higher injury rate than other industries in a number of areas. For example, construction sites have an excessive amount of struck-by incidents in comparison to other job fields.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a report last year which states that there were 804 construction worker fatalities from struck-by accidents from 2011 to 2015, which is the highest of any industry. While vehicle accidents on streets and highways made up most of the deaths, there were many that were the result of faulty equipment or operator negligence when it came to the construction of new buildings. It is crucial for workers and contractors to be aware of these hazards so they have a better understanding of how to prepare the site.

Pennsylvania leads country in deer-related accidents

As the sun continues to go down earlier with each coming day, the chances of a Pennsylvanian driver running into a deer on the road are increasing. These collisions can lead to personal injuries, property damage and even distracted driving accidents.

Since over half of Pennsylvania’s lands are forests, the state has a considerable amount of deer. Specifically, it has around 1.5 million deer, which is about 30 deer per square mile. Unfortunately, this extensive amount of wildlife has led the state to have one of the highest deer-related accident rates in the country.

What do I have to do to get a license at 16?

Turning 16 is a milestone because it means you are now allowed to begin the process of obtaining a driver's license in Pennsylvania. PennDOT explains that the first step to securing your driver's license is to get a permit, which you cannot get until you are 16. Getting your permit require the completion of the Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application. This application must include a physical examination and a form completed by your legal guardian. You should also get a copy of the state's driver's manual to study for your upcoming tests.

When you go to get your permit, you must provide documents that show your legal citizenship, proof of birth and your social security card. You will have to pass a vision test and a written test to finally secure your permit.