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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Feb 25, 2015 - Premises Liability

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT LEADS TO PREMISES LIABILITY LAWSUIT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. 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. The couple is claiming that the newspaper and the cultural center are both responsible for the allegedly unsafe and hazardous conditions at the event. According to the complaint, the couple maintains that both defendants should have realized that the walkway may have had a freshly waxed surface and that the polish of that surface might have posed a danger to patrons. The couple is claiming damages over $35,000 in the lawsuit. The wife reportedly suffered fractures to her right elbow, right patella and left foot. The lawsuit also indicated some damage to one of the wife’s teeth. Pennsylvania residents have a […]

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Feb 19, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

DOES A TAXICAB CRASH QUALIFY AS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Thursday, February 19, 2015. 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: — Each applicant for a taxi driver certificate must first have a valid driver’s license and an alternate photo ID. — Each applicant must also obtain a criminal background report from the Pennsylvania State Police that is not older than 60 days prior to the application filing. Prior felonies are sufficient grounds for denial. — Applicants must also obtain a training certificate issued by the Commission and pass a thorough driver’s examination. This training is extensive and includes elements of defensive driver training, emergency aid, map reading and giving assistance to elderly or disabled customers. –The […]

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Feb 11, 2015 - Pedestrian Accidents

PEDESTRIAN RIGHTS AND AUTO ACCIDENTS IN PENNSYLVANIA

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Wednesday, February 11, 2015. 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. In its infinite wisdom, the Pennsylvania legislature left out language in the PMVFRL regarding pedestrians with limited tort insurance who are struck by motorists. Fortunately, a May 2005 case solved that issue. In that case, a little girl was struck and injured by car while exiting a school bus. A dispute soon arose as to whether the victim’s mother should be able to sue, on behalf of her daughter, for full tort damages. This was despite the fact that the victim’s mother carried limited tort car insurance at the time of the accident. In a nutshell, the court […]

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Feb 5, 2015 - Car Accidents

ARE THERE EXEMPTIONS TO PENNSYLVANIA’S LIMITED TORT INSURANCE?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, February 5, 2015. 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. What is important to remember is that under Pennsylvania law there are a few exceptions which allow individuals with only limited tort coverage to pursue those larger claims. For example, a pedestrian or a bicyclist who is hit and injured by a car is not bound by the limited tort option. The reason for this is because a person walking or biking is not operating a motor vehicle and therefore those victims should not be bound by the type of car insurance they happen to carry for their cars. That same logic also applies to individuals who are an occupant of a non-private passenger vehicle. That scenario would typically mean that you are either driving or riding in a commercial vehicle being used for some business […]

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