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Personal Injury Law Blog

Can substandard housing give rise to premises liability claims?

Premises liability is a field of legal practice that encompasses the duties that landowners have to whomever sets foot on their properties. Basically, landowners must exercise reasonable care to ensure that their properties are free of potential hazards to visitors, customers, tenants, people soliciting goods and services, vendors and even trespassers. It is generally understood that the relationships between landowners and the people coming onto their properties directly affects the amount of care they should be liable for in situations involving injury accidents.

For example, the owner of a car dealership would likely owe a higher level of duty to prevent customers from slipping and falling on an oil puddle than they would owe to trespassers attempting to steal vehicles. The three basic tenants that every property owner should remember about premises liability are: inspect, correct and warn. Put simply, landowners should actively seek out potential hazards and either remove them from their properties or warn visitors about those potential dangers.

How boating laws can affect your wrongful death lawsuit

Getting out on the water is a popular pastime throughout Pennsylvania. There's just something enjoyable about being outdoors and near the water on a sunny day. This is true regardless of whether you like to fish, dive, jet-ski, wakeboard or participate in any other water-related activities.

Unfortunately, some of the people who share the waterways throughout the Commonwealth do not exercise reasonable care with regard to boating safety and how their vehicles might affect others. The following are some of the more important regulations regarding boating safety in Pennsylvania:

Hit and run defendant charged with DUI homicide

On June 12, Harveys Lake police arrested a man suspected of being under the influence of alcohol during a fatal collision. The accident at the center of this arrest involves the vehicular killing of a 31-year-old woman from Factoryville, Pennsylvania.

According to Luzerne County detectives, the victim was jogging along Lakeside Drive in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania, on June 7, when the 50-year-old defendant struck her with his vehicle before fleeing the scene.

Holding drivers accountable for pedestrian accidents

The fact is that everyone is a pedestrian at some point each day. This is true whether you like to go for a jog in the morning or you simply have to walk through a parking lot after parking your car. One might think that this commonality between motorists and pedestrians would make drivers extra vigilant when operating near marked crosswalks and other pedestrian crossings at intersections.

This is not always the case. This is even despite the fact that here in Pennsylvania drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are attempting to cross a roadway while they are within any marked crosswalk. The same rules also apply for pedestrians crossing at intersections with unmarked crosswalks. Sadly, researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Association say that motor vehicles killed 4,743 pedestrians and injured 76,000 others in 2012. Even worse, NHTSA says that the average number of fatalities has remained fairly steady and hovered around 4,500 per year between the years of 2003 and 2012.

Why driver logbooks are important in your truck accident lawsuit

Like any other industry, the commercial tractor-trailer freight hauling business can often be very competitive. Many truck companies, both here in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, struggle to keep their costs down while also turning a profits. Unfortunately, time equals money in the freight hauling business. This is especially true for tractor-trailers that haul perishable goods over long distances. It's not uncommon for many of these drivers to feel pressured to work long hours and drive fast in order to make speedy deliveries.

The federal watchdog tasked with promulgating safety within the trucking industry is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA has long known about the dangers of drivers becoming overly fatigued due to long hours. For that reason, federal regulations now exist that attempt to limit driver fatigue in several ways. Here are some of the more important aspects of those rules:

Any form of distracted driving can cause accidents

Ask any group of random people about distracted driving and the chances are that at least a few of them will mention cellphones. While it's true that the use of cellphones to talk or text while driving is dangerous, it's also important to remember that distracted driving comes in many other forms. Basically, anything that draws a driver's attention away from operating one's vehicle could potentially become a source of distraction.

This is important because according to a 2011 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, distracted driving played a role in over 387,000 vehicle accidents involving injury. Even worse, that agency claims that distracted driving was a factor in the deaths of over 3,000 motorists that same year.

Why is pain and suffering important to my wrongful death case?

In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death occurs when someone causes the death of another person through negligent, wrongful or criminal actions. Obviously, in cases involving criminal actions prosecutors will attempt to convict the responsible party and put them behind bars. However, civil courts typically handle cases where a responsible party causes the death of another person through some manner of negligence. An airbag manufacturer whose product unintentionally kills victims after becoming damaged from excessive humidity might be a good example of this type of wrongful death.

In such an example, it may be rather straightforward to assess proper compensation for the victim's family when it comes to the economic loss they will suffer from losing their family member. For example, an award for economic damages would likely include calculations regarding the victim's annual income and likely potential for lifetime earnings. These are gifts and services that victim would probably contribute to his or her spouse and children.

Some potential hazards of commercial floor mats

Floor mats used in commercial settings often receive little notice until something goes wrong. This is because most of us encounter commercial floor mats almost every day. They are used in convenience stores near entrances as well as underneath soda dispensers. Many restaurants also employ the use of mats in their kitchens and preparation areas. These mats help to provide no-slip traction in areas where frequent spills of liquids and other slippery substances frequently occur.

Despite their obvious advantages, improper placement and care of these commercial mats can create slip and fall hazards of their own. This is important because accidents involving slips, trips and falls represent the number one cause of insurance claims made by customers throughout the retail industry. These types of accidents are also one of several leading causes of employee accidents. Here are some tips that can make the use of commercial mats safer for everyone:

Bucks County woman pleads guilty to fatal DUI crash

Authorities say that it was not alcohol, but amphetamines that played a significant role in an accident last fall that claimed the life of an elderly woman in a tragic two-vehicle accident. Investigators say that a 36-year-old woman from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, was under the influence of drugs when her car smashed into a car driven by the victim around 7:00 p.m. on the night of Nov. 21, 2014.

The fatal accident occurred in Horsham, Pennsylvania, near the intersection of Easton Road and County Line Road. News reports say that the 71-year-old victim, formally of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was near that intersection along with four other passengers in her Nissan Rogue just prior to the accident. Investigators believe that the traffic signal had been red for seven seconds when the defendant's car ran that light in her Jeep Wrangler and impacted the victim's vehicle.

Some commercial vehicle cases can create complicated litigation

When most people think of a commercial vehicle accident the first thing that comes to mind is a semi-truck or a tractor-trailer. However, it's important to remember that just like their 18- wheel counterparts, the drivers of any "for hire" vehicle also require commercial driving licenses. These include taxi drivers and operators of commercial motor coaches, limousines and parcel delivery vans.

The reason this is important is that many types of these commercial operations often have overlapping insurance arrangements. For example, the owner of a parcel service may have an insurance policy specifically for the driver. Simultaneously, that driver might have a separate policy for his or her vehicle. There may even be an insurance policy that covers the value of the parcels contained within the vehicle.

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