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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jan 27, 2015 - Drunk Driving Accidents

PENNSYLVANIA’S DRAM SHOP LAWS AND YOUR DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. 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. Dram shop laws generally refer to the concept of attaching legal liability to individuals who serve alcohol that later results in some harm. In other words, a bartender can be held responsible for continuing to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron or someone under the legal drinking age of 21 that results in death or injury. Pennsylvania’s dram shop laws also extend liabilities to the owner of an establishment that serves alcohol. This means that an owner can potentially face imprisonment, fines, license revocation even if he or she did not actually serve the liquor to a drunk or underage patron. There […]

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Jan 22, 2015 - Wrongful Death

ACTING QUICKLY IS VITAL IN PENNSYLVANIA WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Wrongful Death on Thursday, January 22, 2015. 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. What many grieving families do not realize is that Pennsylvania lawplaces a statute of limitations on when survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most circumstances, those claims must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. Any lawsuit filed after that is considered time-barred under Pennsylvania law. This time limit is critical because sometimes, establishing that a person was killed through a negligent or wrongful action can be more difficult than expected. For example, wrongful death accident lawsuits involving aircraft or boats may require the use of specialized experts who may take time to sort through mountains of evidence in order to reconstruct an accident. Additionally, potential […]

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Jan 15, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS AND BUS TOURISM IN PENNSYLVANIA

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Thursday, January 15, 2015. 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. There are specific federal requirements regarding the operation of motorcoaches that are designed to ensure passenger safety. If you are responsible for organizing a tour group using a motorcoach, here are some things you should know: — Any bus company that operates a vehicle capable of carrying 16 or more passengers must also maintain at least $5 million worth of accident insurance coverage. — Commercial interstate carriers are required to obtain authority to operate from the FMCSA — Interested parties can go online to the FMCSA website to review any commercially licensed bus company’s safety performance results. — Commercial motorcoach operators are subject to drug and alcohol testing. CDL licensed drivers are also limited on the number of hours they are allowed to drive. — According to FMCSA regulations, commercial buses must be routinely maintained and repaired in order to keep them operating properly and in safe conditions. If you are a Pennsylvania […]

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Jan 7, 2015 - Pedestrian Accidents

ALEPPO, PENNSYLVANIA, PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN UNUSUAL CAR ACCIDENT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. 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. Neighbors say that the victim and her husband did not have kids and the two dogs are treated as the couple’s surrogate children. The victim worked as a groomer at a local dog grooming business. That establishment closed temporarily after the accident to allow the victim’s coworkers to conduct a search for the still missing dog. The dog that ran into the woods was described as a female with a red leash. Local residents are being asked to notify the Sewickley Heights Police if they happen to see the dog. Any accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian can be fatal or result in catastrophic injuries. Pedestrians injured by cars […]

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Jan 1, 2015 - Premises Liability

CAN I BE SUED BY TRESPASSERS HUNTING ON MY PENNSYLVANIA PROPERTY?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, January 1, 2015. 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. This can sometimes pose premises liability problems for some Pennsylvania landowners. Currently, landowners are required to exercise ordinary care to ensure that their property does not cause unnecessary harm to people who are authorized to come onto their property. However, that same standard of care is not required of the landowner for individuals who trespass onto their property without consent. Basically, a landowner needs only to refrain from engaging in willful, wanton or reckless conduct that might cause some injury to a trespasser. Premises liability problems can arise for Pennsylvania landowners who tolerate trespassers to some extent. In other words, landowners might incur increased liability if they discover that trespassers have been coming onto their properties, yet they fail to remove certain hazards. This is especially if the landowner is aware that this has been happening for quite some time. This can be particularly tricky for trespassers who are children. Pennsylvania recognizes the concept of […]

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