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Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Commercial vehicle accidents and bus tourism in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents enjoy the proximity to a tourist attraction that draws eight million tourists annually to the Commonwealth. It is estimated that the old world charm of the Amish found in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County generates $1.9 billion in tourist revenue each year.

Many of the people traveling to Pennsylvania's Amish Dutch country arrive in chartered buses and commercial motorcoaches. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency tasked with regulating commercial bus carriers, among other vehicles.

Aleppo, Pennsylvania, pedestrian killed in unusual car accident

On Jan. 3, a 49-year-old woman died after being struck by a car that had slid on a patch of ice. According to officials, the Aleppo, Pennsylvania, woman was walking her two dogs near her home around 8:00 a.m., when the accident occurred.

Officials say the collision between the vehicle and the pedestrian took place in the intersection of Rockledge and Lakeside drives. Authorities believe the victim had been walking with her two dogs, both Bernese Mountain Dogs, just prior to the accident. One of the dogs became pinned under the vehicle while the other dog is believed to have fled into a nearby wooded area. The injured dog is expected to survive after having been treated at a local veterinarian.

Can I be sued by trespassers hunting on my Pennsylvania property?

Here in Bucks County, we enjoy some of the longest deer hunting seasons throughout the Commonwealth. In fact, we are one of only six Pennsylvania counties that allow extended regular firearms season for antlerless deer for Dec. 26 through Jan. 24.

Trapping for furbearing animals such as bobcats, raccoons and foxes is also available throughout Pennsylvania. In fact, some animals such as coyotes, opossums and skunks can be taken at almost any time of the year.

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