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Personal Injury Law Blog

Man’s light sentence may trigger wrongful death claim

A man from Winchester, Virginia, recently made a plea bargain with prosecutors over a November 2011 car crash which resulted in the death of his female passenger. The 50-year-old defendant was looking at charges of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person and several other minor traffic infractions. However, under the terms of the new agreement, the man will only have to serve two years of probation, complete 120 hours of community service, and abstain from alcohol and controlled substances. He must also pay fines totaling $1,724.54.

According to online court documents, the accident occurred in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, near Pa. 16 and Pa. 995. The defendant's vehicle left the road after he unlawfully attempted to pass another vehicle. The vehicle then struck a house which resulted in the man's passenger sustaining life-ending injuries as a result of the impact.

Family of jockey killed at Pennsylvania track awarded millions

A Philadelphia jury agreed with the family of a jockey killed at a Bensalem, Pennsylvania, racetrack that the facility failed to take action to prevent his death. It was almost four years ago when a Bucks County jockey was exercising a horse when it became frightened by chickens and threw the man from its back. The attorney for the jockey's family says that the horse then dragged and kicked the man who sustained 11 broken ribs and bleeding on his brain.

The family says that the facility knew of the presence of the chickens at the racetrack and allowed them to remain. Apparently, the chickens were brought there years ago by horse owners and trainers and were never removed. The jockey's family says that there had been another incident just five months prior wherein another jockey was injured after a chicken spooked his horse. The victim's family says that the racetrack had ample prior warning of the hazards posed by the chickens being in proximity to the horses.

Pennsylvania’s no helmet requirement a reason for extra caution

Spring has finally arrived to Pennsylvania roads, and that means a lot of motorcycle and scooter enthusiasts will soon start taking to the streets. If you're like most riders, you can't wait to get on your two-wheeled escape pod and break out of your normal routine. Motorcycle riding is a good way to see the sights around the Keystone state, and you've probably been planning a visit to one or more scenic destinations even before the last snow began to melt. But first, there are a few things you should know before you strap on your leather and get out there.

Most riders are aware that Pennsylvania voters repealed the 2003 law, which required all riders to wear helmets, yet few know what the statistical data reveals about what has been happening to motorcycle riders in the decade since. Some of the stats throughout the Keystone state from 2012 are pretty grim. There were 3,985 people involved in motorcycle accidents in that year; 210 of them perished as a result of those accidents. Just under half of those who died, 49 percent, were not wearing helmets.

Avoid car accidents during Distracted Driver Awareness Month

It's springtime in Pennsylvania, and the April weather allows us to finally escape the difficult driving conditions of the past winter. Authorities are quick to caution drivers not to become complacent, however. Car accidents can happen in any weather, and they can occur for any number of reasons.

Distracted driving is a significant cause of car accidents in Pennsylvania and across the country. The dangers are such that April has been declared Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Study: drunk driving a matter of monkey see, monkey do for teens

The common saying “monkey see, monkey do” describes the act of learning or copying a behavior without thought, without education or acknowledgment of the consequences. If you are a parent, you know that young children often mimic the behaviors that they see around them, and in some cases they are behaviors that aren’t so good.

What about our teenage children? In some instances, it seems as though the instinct to mimic the behavior of others hasn’t gone away by this stage in life. A recent study says that when it comes to drunk driving, teenagers that ride in a vehicle with another impaired driver are more likely to drive drunk themselves.

Pets require responsibility, lawsuit says Petco failed theirs

The national pet supplies retailer Petco was recently named in what could be described as a classic slip-and-fall lawsuit. In this case, The Pennsylvania Record reported that a patron slipped on an “accumulation of liquid” in one of the Philadelphia locations. There weren’t a lot of details included in the report, and this isn’t necessarily a big surprise.

The report did state that when the woman fell, she landed on her backside and struck her head against the floor. This caused her to suffer injuries to her hip, back and head. She is seeking damages in an amount that was not disclosed, but the award is sought to compensate the victim for both the “physical pain and the monetary loss” she suffered as a result of the incident.

Bucks County pedestrian safety project delayed 8 months

There are some roads that are simply more dangerous than others. Maybe it is a sharp curve, busy traffic during rush hour, a high volume of pedestrians, potholes, poor lighting or a combination of a few factors that decrease the safety level for those that travel on the road.

In lower Bucks County, Route 13 is one of these dangerous roadways. It may even be considered one of the most dangerous in all of Pennsylvania for pedestrians, with a high number of fatalities. Twelve auto-pedestrian fatalities have been reported on Route 13 over the past decade and a half.

PennDOT even conceded in 2003 that it was one of the most fatal stretches of road for pedestrians to attempt to cross.

Pennsylvania students get a safe look at drunk driving

Teenage drivers are often considered to be more likely to cause an accident than drivers of other age ranges. Alcohol consumption by minors is also considered to be very dangerous, which is why laws are in place prohibiting underage drinking. What makes these two things especially dangerous for teens is the inexperience of age.

When the two behaviors are mixed and a teenager drinks and drives, the consequences can be even more deadly. To help give students in Pennsylvania real-life experience with the dangerous behavior without the risk of serious injury, simulators are used in educational initiatives -- like at the Waynesboro Hospital’s Health Fair this weekend.

Triage tags determined injury severity on Pennsylvania Turnpike

It has been a couple of weeks since Feb. 14 came to a close. It was a day filled with flowers, chocolates and candlelight for many couples. For some Bucks County romantics, their plans may have been halted when they got stuck in traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It wasn’t just a bit of a backup caused by rush-hour travel. For some drivers, this traffic jam lasted from morning to night.

What caused this lengthy delay? The delay was caused by just a few chain-reaction collisions, but those collisions involved enough vehicles that they caught national attention. There were up to 100 vehicles involved in these collisions, including several tractor-trailers that had jack-knifed across the lanes.

Trampoline park plays dangerous game with patrons' safety

A large number of premises liability lawsuits in Pennsylvania center on the failure to maintain the property, to keep it reasonably safe for invitees. This may include failing to repair a broken step, failing to remove a sharp piece of metal or failing to clean up some spilled milk. It isn't always the absence of an action that could lead to injury on the property owned by another person or company.

In a recent case filed in a different jurisdiction, a mother claimed that allowing certain actions contributed to the injuries suffered by her minor son. It was during a game of trampoline dodgeball that she claims another patron of the establishment "double bounced" her son, causing him to break his leg and tear a tendon in his knee.

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