Resources

Jan 16, 2017 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

The Impact of Winter Conditions on Commercial Truck Drivers

If you have been injured by a commercial truck driver contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 to discuss your rights and options under the law.  An experienced Easton truck accident attorney can help you through the entire legal process and work to get you the compensation you deserve. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a report, Weather and Climate Impacts on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety, on commercial truck driving in winter conditions. According to the report: Heavy snow causes delays, road closures, loss of traction, loss of visibility and other truck driver control problems. Surface temperatures on bridges and ramps cool more rapidly than the surrounding roadbeds, producing hazardous local icing conditions that can result in crashes, fatalities, and property damage. Black ice and light frozen precipitation glazes roads as temperatures fall over a short period, which causes vehicles to lose traction. Winter conditions also place additional stress on commercial truck components, such as the cooling system, defrosting and heating equipment, wipers and washers, tires and chains, windows and mirrors, handholds and deck plates, radiator shutters and exhaust systems. Many states have imposed special laws on tucker drivers to help deal with winter conditions, such as requiring commercial trucks to carry and use tire chains as snow conditions warrant.  Midwestern and northeastern states are particularly susceptible to sever winter conditions and truckers using roads in these states must act responsibly to protect themselves and other drivers. Safety Steps for Commercial Truck […]

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Jan 13, 2017 - Personal Injury

Snow, Ice and Customer Safety

Slips and falls can lead to serious and sometimes permanent injuries and even death.  Contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 if you have been hurt in a slip and fall.  We have the experience to help you get a medical evaluation you can trust and identify the party responsible for your injuries. We will work with you through the entire legal process. Slip and Fall Facts The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has complied the following facts about slips and falls: Slip and falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits and slip and falls are the leading cause of visits (21.3% of all visits are attributed to slip and falls). Fractures are the most likely serious consequence of slip and falls (they occur in 5% of all people who experience a fall). Such falls are the primary cause of days not worked. Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall (1.8 million people over the age of 65 were treated annually in an emergency room because of a fall). The cost of all these falls is staggering.  The NFSI reports that compensation and medical costs associated with slip and fall accidents is approximately $70 billion annually.  These costs include medical expenses, lost wages and reduced productivity. If you have been injured in a slip and fall while visiting a business, contact us so we can help you get the […]

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Jan 11, 2017 - Personal Injury

A Look at Food Product Recalls

Contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 to discuss any injuries you or a loved one may have suffered from consuming an unsafe food product.  An experienced Stroudsburg personal injury attorney can help identify the responsible party and work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Recent Food Recalls Foodsafety.gov notes that last year, the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), and other public health officials to investigate a serious outbreak of Listeria infections.  Evidence indicates that frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods is one likely source of the outbreak. Another investigation by public health and regulatory officials found that raw milk produced by Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania was the likely source of another outbreak.  According to the CDC, at least one person in Florida died as a result of this outbreak. These outbreaks are considered serious and you should investigate whether any frozen foods or dairy products that you may have in your home are from these producers or any other producer going through a recall. To view recent recalls you should visit the CDC Current Outbreak List and Foodsafety.gov regularly.  Stay informed of all ongoing food recalls and if you ever have a concern about food you have purchased or eaten, contact health officials immediately – then contact our office to discuss your legal options if you have sustained injuries from such problematic food. […]

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Jan 9, 2017 - Car Accidents

Winter Driving in Pennsylvania

If you have been injured by someone’s reckless driving, an Allentown car accident attorney can be your guide throughout the legal process.  We can manage your claim so you can manage your recovery.  Call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 for help. How Do Winter Conditions Impact Driving? According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) there are “nearly 40,000 miles of roads and 25,000 bridges statewide — which translates into nearly 96,000 snow-lane miles, or enough to circle the globe nearly four times” – PennDOT Winter Driving.  Operating your vehicle safely on these roadways in ideal conditions can be challenging, but even experienced drivers will want to exercise extra caution when confronted by snow, sleet and other dangerous Pennsylvania weather conditions. During the 2014-2015 winter, PennDOT recorded 552 crashes, 279 injuries, and 4 deaths resulting from winter driving conditions where aggressive driving behaviors were crash factors.  Winter weather conditions negatively impact the operation of vehicles and you should never drive aggressively during the winter months. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration reports that winter weather conditions such as snow or sleet, icy pavements and slush were responsible for a large percentage of weather-related accidents.  Winter weather conditions leading to accidents can be broken down as follows: 17% of accidents occurred during snow or sleet, 13% of accidents occurred on icy pavement, and 14% of weather-related crashes took place on snowy or slushy pavement. These winter conditions slow vehicle response times, cause drivers to lose vehicle control […]

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Jan 6, 2017 - Dog Bite Injuries

Property Owners and Vicious Animals

Owners of vicious animals that harm innocent people should be held responsible for those injuries.  If you have been attacked by a vicious animal contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 to discuss your rights and options under the law. Dog Bite Statistics According to public education website DogBite.org, 34 dog bite-related fatalities occurred in the U.S. in 2015. Most of the attacks came from breeds that have historically been bred for protection, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers.  DogBite.org also reports that in 2015, a large percentage of the fatality victims were children 9 years of age and younger. A much smaller percentage were adults under the age of 60.  However, the percentage of fatal attacks by dogs jumped up again for those 60 years old and older. These statistics show that those who are generally least able to protect themselves, but also least likely to be trespassers or criminals, are those most likely to be attacked and killed by dogs. Dog attacks can occur almost anywhere and with any type of dog.  However, dog ownership information for 2015 showed that non-family dogs inflicted the most dog bite fatalities and over two-thirds of all deaths occurred on the dog owner’s property. Dogs tend to be products of their environments and they are often misused and abused to become vicious.  When a property owner trains an animal to attack strangers, he or she must take steps to ensure that other innocent people do not get […]

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Jan 4, 2017 - Personal Injury

The Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards Violations

While on the job, your safety and the safety of your co-workers should be placed before company profits.  If you have been injured while working, contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 for help. A Look at the Most Frequently Cited Safety Violations In 2016, the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a report containing the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violations for 2015: Fall protections (preventing employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls). Hazard communication standards (information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers). Scaffolding (proper support for employees working at elevations). Respiratory protections (protecting workers against insufficient oxygen, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays). Control of hazardous energy (protecting workers from electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment that can be hazardous). Powered industrial trucks (safe operation of vehicles designed to assist). Ladders (secure and proper use of ladders assisting workers in reaching elevated places). Electrical (preventing workers from contacting unsafe or open electrical currents). Machinery and Machine Guarding (safeguarding workers from any machine part, function or process that could cause harm). Electrical systems design (proper design of electrical systems to prevent unnecessary risk of harm to employees). Companies must take steps to inspect their property for dangers to their workers.  They must also act reasonably when attempting […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - FAQ

WHY YOU DON’T WANT LIMITED TORT?

By: Peter M. Hileman, Esq. We represented a client we will call Ramon Martinez. One day, as Ramon was driving home from his job in the stockroom at K-Mart, he was hit head-on by a car that turned left directly into his path. His car was totaled and had to be towed away. The police issued a citation to the other driver, who was 100 percent at fault for the accident. Ramon was taken by ambulance to the emergency room and treated for injuries to his back and left knee. After he left the emergency room, Ramon was treated by an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon who diagnosed him with a severely herniated disk in his back and a fractured knee-cap, which could not be surgically treated. He was out of work for seven weeks and could not perform his duties when he returned. He lost his job and then his health insurance. No doctor would treat him. He then found another job, which he also lost due to limitations related to his injuries. He couldn’t make the payments on his new car and it was repossessed. Ramon called many lawyers who would not take his personal injury case. Why? Because he had elected limited tort on his auto insurance policy. Limited tort made Mr. Martinez a victim twice. He was first victimized by the other driver, who caused the car accident. He was then victimized again by the travesty of limited tort, which prevented him from receiving just compensation […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - FAQ

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

By: Peter M. Hileman, Esq. It is likely that you will be involved in a car accident some day. You need to be prepared before that happens, so that you will say and do the right things. If you are in an accident, and later bring a claim for injuries you sustained, you may have to make a statement under oath. You will be asked to describe everything you said and did immediately after the accident. So will the driver who hit you. Some accident victims say or do things at the scene that harm their case. Some become belligerent with the other party or the police officer. They may say they feel fine, even if they are badly shaken or in a state of shock. Some have been known to jump out of their car and direct traffic! They may refuse medical assistance or an ambulance (even when they really need such help). Many accident victims realize they are hurt but act as if they are not. The problem is, such behavior at the scene of the accident may seriously jeopardize any later recovery. Insurance companies and jurors expect people who claim that they were seriously injured in an accident, to have reported their injuries at the scene and to have sought immediate trauma care. Here are our nine rules for what to do if you are in a car accident: Stay at the scene. By law all parties to an accident must stay at the scene and exchange […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - FAQ

WHAT IS LIMITED TORT?

By: Peter M. Hileman, Esq. We strongly recommend that all Pennsylvania drivers elect full tortcoverage on their automobile insurance policy, and not the alternative — limited tort. What is limited tort coverage? If you elect limited tort, and are then hurt in a car accident that is the other driver’s fault, you will not be able to recover damages for bodily injury unless you sustain a serious injury. Unfortunately, based on our 19 years of experience trying limited tort cases since Pennsylvania passed its limited tort law, we know that most insurance companies and juries are very reluctant to consider almost any injury to be serious. Judges and juries in Pennsylvania have found injuries such as a fractured skull, multiple fractures of the foot and herniated disks not to be serious. The bottom line is, if you are injured in a car accident, but don’t have serious injuries, you will be told that you don’t have a case, even if the other driver was solely at fault. Many lawyers won’t even take limited tort cases. But at Drake, Hileman & Davis, we do take limited tort cases. If another lawyer has told you that you don’t have case because you have limited tort, give us a call for a second opinion. Many of our largest recoveries have been for limited tort clients. How do we do it? First, we look for exceptions to the limited tort rule. Limited tort does not apply if any of the following apply to the […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - FAQ

WHAT IS A GOOD PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT OFFER?

By: Jonathan J. Russell, Esq. In a prior article, we discussed whether you should settle your personal injury case without going to trial. If you have decided to settle your case, it is critical that both you and your attorney understand the concept of Best Alternative to a Negotiated Settlement, or BATNA. (The term BATNA was coined by authors Roger Fisher and William Ury in their groundbreaking book,Getting to Yes, and is now part of the lexicon of negotiation practice.) To successfully negotiate your personal injury claim, you need to understand both your and your adversary’s BATNA. For example, suppose you were seriously injured in a slip-and-fall case in Pennsylvania. Suppose you sustained substantial damages, but the other party disputes liability. Your BATNA equation might look something like this: Percent of liability attributable to the defendant: 80 percent; multiplied by the projected jury verdict: $100,000; minus the one-third attorney fee: $26,666; minus the costs of suit: $10,000; equals your BATNA net recovery of $43,333. Accordingly, if you could settle your case for a net of $43,333 (your BATNA), or greater, you should do so. The difficulty in determining your BATNA is that no one (including your attorney) has a crystal ball and knows for certain how a jury would decide a particular case. Unfortunately, sometimes juries reach verdicts that seem to have little basis in fact or law. Thus, you must also consider your adversary’s BATNA in order to fully appreciate the value of a settlement offer. In the example […]

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