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Personal Injury Law Blog

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:

Pedestrian rights and auto accidents in Pennsylvania

Chances are that if you own a motor vehicle, then you are aware of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. This is the state statute that compels you to maintain either limited tort or full tort car insurance.

The word "tort" is just a fancy way of saying an action that would give rise to a lawsuit. In other words, when you are purchasing car insurance, you are essentially making a decision on the types of claims you will be allowed to sue for against a party responsible for your accident. Under the limited tort insurance, you will basically be limited to recovering compensation for serious medical injuries. Whereas, under the full tort policies, you can also sue for additional funds that are often called noneconomic damages. Things like pain and suffering.

Are there exemptions to Pennsylvania’s limited tort insurance?

Pennsylvania is considered a "limited tort" state when it comes to car insurance coverage. In a nutshell, this means that motorists can choose between insurance coverage which will limit their ability to claim damages for pain and suffering and bodily injury, and one which will not. Generally, car insurance companies offer motorists the limited tort insurance at cheaper rates than the full tort insurance.

As a general rule, insurance companies make more money when they have to pay out fewer claims. This is why insurers would rather consumers take the limited tort insurance which will prevent them from making expensive claims following a car accident.

Pennsylvania’s dram shop laws and your drunk driving accident

Any vehicle accident is regrettable. However, it is particularly sad when an innocent motorist is injured or killed at the hands of a drunk driver. Unfortunately, many people who drink and drive become impaired after visiting restaurants or bars and consuming alcohol to the point of inebriation.

In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful for establishments to serve alcohol to individuals who are under the age of 21 or visibly intoxicated. Currently, Pennsylvania laws presume that a person is legally impaired if their blood alcohol concentration level exceeds 0.08 percent. Many people outwardly exhibit signs of drunkenness when beyond that level. According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Bureau of Licensing, bar and restaurant owners can be held criminally and civilly liable for violations of so-called "dram shop" laws.

Acting quickly is vital in Pennsylvania wrongful death lawsuits

The unexpected death of a family member often leaves survivors scrambling to take care of the decedent's estate. There are burial and funeral services to prepare as well as a myriad of other financial loose ends to attend. Sometimes during that grief-filled process, many overwhelmed survivors overlook the fact that the death of their loved one might have been caused as a result of someone else's negligent actions.

In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death is considered to have occurred when someone is accidentally killed through the negligent, wrongful or unlawfully violent actions of another. Family members of the victim are allowed to sue individuals or businesses in civil court for damages they have suffered as a result of a preventable accident.

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