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

Auto accident risks associated with springtime

When it comes to seasonal risk factors that increase the chances of a car crash, many people may focus on hazards that are present during the winter (such as snow, ice, etc.). However, it is imperative to keep in mind that there are all sorts of dangers which may be lurking during the springtime. In this blog, we will examine some of the risks that drivers should watch out for if they get behind the wheel during the spring. Sadly, some drivers ignore these risks and place many lives in danger.

The spring can be a particularly dangerous time of year for various reasons. Not only does inclement weather (such as hail, rain and fog) lead to accidents, but road conditions may be poor as a result of potholes due to snow removal over the course of the winter. Moreover, there may be increased wildlife activity during this season, which can lead to a collision. Many people struggle with seasonal allergies, which can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle for various reasons. Aside from allergy symptoms such as issues with vision, headaches and sneezing, many people take allergy medication which could cause them to become drowsy and adversely affect their driving ability.

What happens during a title search?

Investing in a new home entails some level of risk. Even if you had an exhaustive inspection performed on the property, there might still be lurking issues that call into question ownership and end up costing you more than you anticipated down the line. That's why having a title search performed is so important. First American explains more on the title search process and why it's crucial for prospective homeowners. 

While you can look through public records regarding a property on your own, a title company has methods in place to determine whether there are any issues with a home. Consider that it may not be as easy as simply looking up the address of the property or the name of the previous owners. Issues could also be linked to other factors, and professional assistance is necessary to ensure all your bases are covered. 

It doesn't take an accident to grab OSHA's attention

Any construction worker in Pennsylvania should know what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is. While the agency has worked with nearly every industry when there are reports of workplace accidents and violations, few have matched the number of run-ins they’ve had with the construction industry. They have been instrumental in helping thousands of workers get compensation after they suffer on the job.

While their safety inspections and regulations have resulted in a dramatic drop in workplace accidents and deaths within the last few decades, they still have plenty of work to do every year. Recent announcements indicate that OSHA site inspections are likely to increase in the near future.

When can heuristics in healthcare become a problem?

The term "by the book" implies that there is one correct way to accomplish a task, whether that be replacing an air filter or preparing your taxes. You might think the same standard applies to healthcare, and in many situations, it does. There are generally accepted standards of care in each clinical field that help to guide the clinicians delivering care to you and other Carnegie residents. Unfortunately, your body is somewhat more complex than a car or a tax form, and thus healthcare providers are also relied upon to think on their feet when the situation calls for it. The question then becomes are they willing to do so? 

Heuristics is the term applied to established standards within a given industry. These are the unofficial "rules of thumb" that experience and expertise implies that service providers should follow. However, an unwavering acceptance of heuristics as the only way to work can be problematic (particularly in healthcare). The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has identified the following forms of cognitive bias that can arise when clinicians rely too heavily on heuristics: 

  • Premature closure: Basing opinion on initial impressions despite subsequent indicators suggesting the contrary
  • Framing effects: Allowing external information (such as a patient's demographic information) to influence opinions
  • Availability heuristic: Forming opinions based primarily on recent trends
  • Blind obedience: Adhering to expert opinion above all else

Future of pipeline uncertain due to Pennsylvania county lawsuit

Sunoco's construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline was already controversial when three commissioners brought a lawsuit on behalf of Chester County, Pennsylvania, requesting a permanent injunction against the company to halt construction of the pipeline on property owned by the county. 

At issue is the method used to construct the pipeline. In 2017, Sunoco and the county reportedly agreed to a supplemental permanent easement that would allow the company to construct part of the pipeline on Chester County Library property, but only if it did so using a method of bore drilling. Approximately a week and a half ago, the company allegedly informed the county that it intended to begin construction on the section of the pipeline that would cross county property and use an open trench, which is more traditional in pipeline construction. 

Impatience can lead to death on the railroads

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania hasn’t had the best history when it comes to railroads. Nearly every year, the state ranks high when it comes to vehicular accidents with trains. 2018 was no exception, as the Preliminary 2018 Federal Railroad Administration Statistics reveal that the Keystone State had 41 total pedestrian rail trespass casualties, which was the 6th highest in the nation.

Drivers are more often than not responsible for their own unfortunate outcomes on the railroad tracks. Train operators can only do so much to prevent themselves from crashing into a vehicle on their path. Despite the amount of warning signs present on hundreds of these crossings, many drivers don’t want to wait minutes for the train to pass before they can move on. This mentality recently led to a tragic incident that should serve as a warning to drivers that get too restless near these dangerous sites.

Should teens turn off the radio when driving?

It is something that you probably do all the time: listening to music when you drive on Pennsylvania roads. It is so natural and normal that every vehicle comes from the factory with a stereo built in. As you drive, you may not even give a second thought to the radio. Sometimes, you may flip through the channels or change the song. You may lower or raise the volume. In general, though, you do not give the radio much thought. However, have you considered how the radio may impact a new driver?

According to the Association for Psychological Science, music can be a distraction for new drivers. When a teen first gets his or her license, the skills and abilities are raw and new. They do not have the ability to tune out what is happening in the car around them, which includes the radio. They split their attention between the road and everything else inside the car. This is problem.

Why you should hire a real estate attorney

If you are buying or selling a home in Pennsylvania, you may think that you and your real estate agent can handle everything. For most people, however, a real estate attorney can be of great assistance and prevent big headaches down the road if something goes wrong. 

First off, it may be helpful to understand exactly what types of things a real estate attorney does, and SF Gate discusses some of the main duties. An attorney can help negotiate a good deal on your transaction, and he or she can also prepare certain documents that your agent cannot. Are you having trouble understanding your contract? An attorney is vital in making sure you do not sign something that will haunt you later on. If there is a lawsuit involved, an attorney looks out for your best interest and can even come to a good settlement. A real estate attorney also deals with foreclosures.

Common construction excavation injuries

While construction is never a clean job, some projects require the workers to get even more dirty. Plenty of contractors have had experience creating and operating in large trenches, but others don’t know what sort of dangers lie ahead.

It is critical that workers know the occupational hazards that come with working in trenches and how to prepare for these conditions. Recently, OSHA charged a Pennsylvania construction company over $200,000 for failing to install protective systems in an excavation area and not properly instructing employees on safety measures. Having awareness of these issues could prevent serious injuries on the job.

Dealing with a car crash as a professional gamer

Motor vehicle wrecks can be difficult for anyone, but some people have an especially hard time trying to deal with the consequences of a crash. For example, someone who is a professional gamer may find that their entire career has been derailed due to a motor vehicle collision. Not only can these accidents cause gamers to miss key events, but their gaming skills may be permanently shattered due to the accident. For example, they may lose mobility after a wreck, or they may sustain a brain injury that leaves them unable to ever participate at the professional level again.

These are just some of the challenges that pro gamers may face following a wreck, and our law firm believes that people struggling with this deserve justice. Many decide to move ahead with legal action in order to recover some of the compensation they should be entitled to. It is important to calculate exactly how much one has suffered and will continue to be set back as a result of a car accident, and reckless drivers should never be allowed to get away scot free.