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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sep 27, 2015 - Motorcycle Accidents

FAULT CAN GO BOTH WAYS IN LEFT-TURN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Thursday, September 17, 2015. A lot of people assume that motorcyclists are not at fault when they are driving straight and drivers turn left, cutting them off and causing accidents. While it’s true that this is one of the leading causes of motorcycle wrecks in Pennsylvania, and that motorcyclists are often not at fault, it’s important to know that they sometimes can be blamed. This is why establishing fault, officially, is so important. The thing to keep in mind is that the biker also has some obligation to try to avoid the crash if possible. In many cases, it all happens so fast that the biker can’t get out of the way, but this is not always the case. If a car turned left 50 feet in front of a bike, for instance, and the biker made no attempt to slow down or stop, he or she could also be blamed. It’s been said that most bikers can stop in about 40 feet in an emergency, and they should definitely try to do so. Additionally, bikers can be blamed if they are speeding. Someone driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone may not have hit a left-turning car if he or she was going at the proper speed. In fact, some drivers say that they thought it was safe to turn because they assumed the bike was going slower than it actually was. All […]

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Sep 25, 2015 - Wrongful Death

WHO MAY BENEFIT FROM A PENNSYLVANIA WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Wrongful Death on Thursday, September 25, 2014. To first understand who can benefit from filing a wrongful death claim, it is important to know what actually constitutes a wrongful death. The legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania considers a wrongful death as the premature death of an individual caused by the wrongful or neglectful act of another. Perhaps a good example of this would be a drunk driver causing an accident which results in the death of another motorist. Another example could be a charter fishing boat captain who failed to properly maintain lifesaving equipment which later resulted in the drowning of a boat passenger. As a general rule, the right to bring an action for a wrongful death in Pennsylvania is extended only for the benefit of the decedent’s spouse, children or their parents. This right of action is preserved by any of the above-mentioned surviving family members regardless of whether they reside in Pennsylvania. Additionally, any damages recovered in a wrongful death suit brought by the decedent’s family members must be distributed amongst them just as if the decedent had died without forming a will. Those damages are also untouchable by creditors to whom the decedent owed money while still alive. This particular right of action for wrongful death also entitles the decedent’s family to recover special damages for costs and expenses they would not have incurred but for the wrongful death event. These special […]

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Sep 24, 2015 - Premises Liability

IS THE GYM LIABLE IF YOU GET HURT?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, September 24, 2015. With any type of athletic activity in Pennsylvania, there is the chance that you could be hurt, and this also goes for a trip to the gym. So, if you’re injured, can you sue the gym to cover your medical costs and other such things? The answer can be a bit complex. The first thing to consider is whether or not you signed a waiver. If you did, you may have given up some of your rights when you joined the gym. For example, these waivers often protect the gym if you get hurt doing a high-risk activity, like power lifting. Even if you do it correctly, the odds of getting hurt are just higher than they are with more low-key exercises. The waiver also could state that you can’t sue if you do something dangerous. If you don’t use the equipment the right way, for instance, and your deliberate action causes the injury, then you may not be able to sue. However, you do still have the same rights to safety and health that you have in other businesses, and the gym’s owner does have an obligation to provide these things. Negligence is often one of the biggest factors here, as it is in many liability cases, because negligence on the owner’s part could cause you to be hurt. For instance, if the treadmill is in poor repair and the […]

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Sep 11, 2015 - Pedestrian Accidents

BIKE WRECK RESULTS IN CRIMINAL CHARGES, SERIOUS INJURIES

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Friday, September 11, 2015. A bicycle accident that occurred last month resulted in criminal charges for a woman driving on a suspended license after she ran into the back of a bicycle a man was riding on River Road in Upper Makefield. The cyclist, who was headed northbound past Mt. Eyre Road, was, according to Upper Makefield police, “very lucky to be alive.” However, he suffered very serious injuries in the accident. He was not at fault in the collision. The driver stopped after the wreck and summoned police and EMS by calling 911. A photo of the mangled bicycle is posted on the Facebook page for the police department. The text accompanying it reads, in part: “We post these photos . . . to hopefully give both the motorists and the cyclists pause to think about how sharing the road is of utmost importance. Please drive and ride carefully.” Although this case will wind up with a criminal component, that is sometimes not the case in bicycle and pedestrian accidents. When no criminal charges are filed against the driver responsible for injuries or deaths to innocent citizens, in order for them to pursue any type of justice whatsoever in the matter, they must turn to the Pennsylvania civil court system for relief. Injuries are usually extensive and often life-threatening. Hospital stays and subsequent rehabilitative efforts can last for months and run up medical bills […]

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Sep 3, 2015 - Car Accidents

FATHER SENTENCED FOR 15-YEAR-OLD’S FATAL PENNSYLVANIA CRASH

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, September 3, 2015. We all make mistakes as parents, but one Scarsdale, New York, man made a particularly egregious error in judgment that cost three Pennsylvania teens their lives and left his daughter in a “really dark and nasty place,” according to her attorney. It all happened at the end of August 2014 when the man let his 15-year-old daughter, who didn’t yet have a driver’s license, drive his SUV. She took along a group of five friends to get breakfast. As they were driving through Paupack Township in the Poconos, the girl lost control of the vehicle. It crashed and rolled over. Three of the passengers, all 15-year-old boys from the same high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia, were killed. The others in the SUV were injured. To make matters even worse, the 54-year-old father initially lied to investigators and let his daughter take responsibility for the accident. In July, however, he pleaded guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter as well as to reckless endangerment. The judge did not go easy on him. Calling the man’s actions “preventable, irresponsible, reckless, stupid and selfish,” he sentenced him to serve six to 16 years in prison. That’s far more than the 12 to 23 months that his attorney, who says they plan to appeal, was seeking. Family members of the three boys who were killed also had strong words for the man at […]

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