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Personal Injury Law Blog

Understanding how city planning can reduce pedestrian accidents

It's easy to understand why vehicle accidents that involve pedestrians are so dangerous. That's because even a minor collision with a car, truck or SUV can leave those victims with serious injuries. With little or no protection, pedestrians are especially prone to injuries caused by distracted, drugged or drunk motorists.

This is especially true when individuals on foot attempt to cross roadways at intersections. In many vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents, the drivers of the vehicles involved simply fail to see pedestrians in the crosswalks. One of the main causes of that is due to a lack of driver visibility. Other vehicles parked alongside the roadway and close to intersections make it harder for motorists to see pedestrians. This is particularly true when those pedestrians are entering crosswalks at the same time that drivers are stopped at the intersection and preparing to make a right turn.

Just how dangerous is riding a motorcycle?

Most people have a good understanding that riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than traveling in other motor vehicles. Per each mile traveled, federal safety experts say that 2011 statistics show that motorcycle fatalities were 30 times higher than the number of those killed in cars.

One of the most obvious reasons for that is motorcycles simply don't offer the same amount of protection as enclosed vehicles. Another important factor is the motorcycles relatively small size. When compared to other vehicles, it's easier to see why the motorcycles smaller profile makes it easier for other motorists to overlook. A sad testament to the reduced overall safety of motorcycles compared to cars is that in 2013, at least 4,381 motorcyclists perished in collisions.

Going after all responsible parties in your wrongful death claim

According to Pennsylvania statutes, a wrongful death is one in which a victim died as the result of someone else's wrongful, negligent or criminal actions. State law recognizes the fact that an accidental death often deprives a family of many things. First and foremost, the victim's family is deprived of the emotional support and guidance the victim previously provided. This is often referred to as a loss of society or consortium. These types of losses can be especially hard for a victim's young children to overcome.

There is also the matter of lost income. In many American families, it's necessary for both parents to work full-time in order to cover their day-to-day costs. The wrongful death of a primary wage earner often leaves the family of the victim scrambling to make payments on mortgages, cars, insurance deductibles, tuition and more.

What does friction have to do with my slip and fall accident?

Most of us are familiar with the term "slippery when wet". Yet few of us know the scientific role that friction plays when liquids interact with certain surfaces. For example, a normally slip resistant marble floor can instantly become a slip hazard with the addition of just a few ounces of water. The answer is friction, or more specifically, the coefficient of friction or COF.

The coefficient of friction is the metric that safety experts use to gauge the slipperiness of flooring. Put simply, the COF of a particular surface represents the amount of resistance a human foot might encounter as it moves across that floor. Safety experts today use sophisticated devices to measure a floor's horizontal resistance to vertical downward force. To get some context on this, let's compare the COF of ice to a swept concrete sidewalk. For ice, the typical COF is 0.3, whereas swept concrete has a COF of 0.8.

Proposal to close drunk driving loophole announced

According to statistics taken from 2013, alcohol-related crashes across Pennsylvania accounted for 32 percent of all traffic deaths. A new proposal offered by Pennsylvania State lawmakers is now aiming to change this by increasing the civil liabilities for drunk driving accidents.

The proposal would amend the current limitations placed on drunk driving accident victims. The bill's sponsor, Democratic Representative Gerald Mullery, wants to lift a crucial restriction for victims of drunk driving accidents under Pennsylvania's current car insurance laws.

Understanding the role of tires in your truck accident lawsuit

We've all heard the phrase "where the rubber meets the road" used to describe a crucial aspect of an endeavor. That phrase holds special significance when you consider that most commercial tractor-trailers operate with 18 tires as they travel along Pennsylvania roadways.

Just like your personal vehicle, trucking company fleet managers and maintenance officials have to keep their vehicle's tires rotated every so often in order to maintain proper alignment. Improperly aligned vehicles can produce uneven tread wear that can sometimes lead to potentially hazardous situations to other motorists.

Report reveals increase in Pennsylvania pedestrian accidents

Earlier this month the Governors Highway Safety Association disclosed that Pennsylvania pedestrian fatalities increased sharply in the first half of 2014. According to the national report, the number of pedestrian deaths nationwide remained steady for most other states except Pennsylvania during one crucial period.

The Washington D.C.-based nonprofit found that between January through June of 2014 Pennsylvania experienced 74 traffic fatalities involving pedestrians. That number represents a substantial increase from the same timeframe in the previous year in which pedestrian accidents accounted for 53 deaths. That's a 40 percent increase overall.

Nursing home understaffing may give rise to wrongful death claims

Pennsylvania recognizes that patients have a right to expect their health care providers to provide them with necessary and appropriate medical care. As patients, we rely on our health care providers to improve our overall health. We certainly do not expect them to make our conditions worse.

When some people think of medical malpractice, they often imagine some horrible mistake that a surgeon makes during surgery. However, many malpractice cases are much more subtle. In fact, some instances of medical malpractice occur slowly over time in nursing homes or assisted living facilities rather than happening abruptly on operating room tables.

Slip and fall accident leads to premises liability lawsuit

On Feb. 18, a news agency reported that a couple has filed a lawsuit against a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, newspaper and a cultural center for injuries related to a slip and fall accident last summer. According to the report, a West Moreland County, Pennsylvania, couple claims that the wife fell down and suffered injuries after slipping on the floor during an event sponsored by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to the complaint, the couple were in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 21, 2013, when the accident occurred. The couple says that they were in attendance at function sponsored by the newspaper and held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. In the complaint, the wife claims that she slipped and fell while on her way to the restroom from the auditorium.

Does a taxicab crash qualify as a commercial vehicle accident?

When most of us hail a cab, we seldom give much thought to a taxicab driver's training or qualifications. The majority of us are satisfied when we see the cab driver's hack license presented prominently in the front of the vehicle. That's because as riding customers, we have grown to expect that Pennsylvania authorities have demanded a thorough vetting of taxicab drivers before issuing those licenses.

But what exactly does it take to get a taxicab driver license in Pennsylvania? In order to answer that, it's first important to explain that Pennsylvania considers taxi drivers as for-hire, commercial vehicle drivers. As such, taxi drivers must undergo a strict protocol of background checks and training requirements that are designed to ensure public safety. The following are some of the more important aspects of those requirements:

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