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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Oct 29, 2015 - Car Accidents

DASHCAMS CAN HELP AFTER AN ACCIDENT, BUT ARE SOMETIMES UNRELIABLE

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, October 29, 2015. If you ask a dashcam manufacturer, you’ll be told that these cameras, which mount on the dash of your car and record everything that happens as you drive, often on a loop, are a great way to prove that you weren’t at fault if you’re involved in an accident. Are these the key to a court case, or are those claims overstated? The truth is that a dashcam absolutely can help in some situations, but it’s important to note that it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to win the case, as they can sometimes be unreliable or they don’t tell the whole story. For example, if you drive through a green light and slam into another car that is running the red light, that driver may claim that it was actually you who ran the light. Your video footage can show distinctly that the light was green when you went through it, meaning that the other driver must have been at fault. However, not all accidents are so simple. Dashcams are often considered unreliable because: — They only show a single shot in one direction.– They may not show the whole story.– They may not tell the court why the crash happened.– The view may not be wide enough to capture everything that is needed.– The dashcam may leave out some information, such as how fast you were traveling. Often, […]

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Oct 22, 2015 - Premises Liability

DOES YOUR PROPERTY HAVE AN ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, October 22, 2015. It’s very important for homeowners to know what an attractive nuisance is and whether or not they have these on their property. If a child is injured while playing on one, it’s possible that property owners in Pennsylvania could be liable for those injuries, even if they never told the children they could come on the property in the first place. Generally speaking, an attractive nuisance is something—usually man-made—that a child may notice and decide to explore. Examples include staircases, roofs, tunnels, swimming pools and more. It is understood that children may not always realize they are in danger, so they have to be protected from dangerous situations. The key to the whole thing is knowledge of a risk. If you have a swimming pool that can be seen from the street and you know that kids may come by it while you’re away, the court may decide you have some obligation to stop them by putting up a fence. You know it’s a risk and you need to take action. Of course, the counter-argument that people will often use is that they put up signs or simply didn’t give the children permission to be near the pool in the first place. How can they be liable for people who are on the property illegally? The lines here can be blurred a bit, but again, the court recognizes that children don’t […]

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Oct 15, 2015 - Wrongful Death

COULD SMOKE ALARMS LEAD TO WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Wrongful Death on Thursday, October 15, 2015. Smoke alarms have led to wrongful death lawsuits in the past, usually when it was found that the alarms were not working and that people were put needlessly in danger. In some cases, landlords have been forced to pay for faulty alarms on the grounds that they should have done better upkeep on the property.But what about smoke alarms that work, just not well enough? It’s an interesting question because there are some people who think that the standard smoke alarms that most people have, which are known as ionization alarms, are not actually helping to keep people from dying in fires. The issue, they say, is that ionization models typically detect the type of smoke created by a hot fire that burns very fast. These fires are less likely to occur at night and more likely in the middle of the day when something catches on fire on the stove, for instance. During the day, alarms don’t help nearly as much because people are far more likely to notice the fire on their own. The better type of alarm, the supporters claim, is a photoelectric alarm. It is better able to pick up smoke from a slow-burning fire, like the smoldering type of blaze that could start at night due to a faulty electrical socket. In fact, people have said that the only reason the unsafe ionization alarms have not […]

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Oct 7, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

MOST PEOPLE STILL DRIVE WHEN THEY’RE TIRED

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans are willing to drive when they’re tired. When the National Sleep Foundation asked people in 2005 if they drove when they were currently feeling drowsy, a full 60 percent claimed they done it in just the past 12 months. At the time, that meant around 168 million people had driven when they were feeling tired. On top of that, the study found that 37 percent of those asked, or 103 million people, had even been so tired they’d nodded off, falling asleep at the wheel. About 13 percent had not only done this in the previous year, but continued to do it each month. This is a huge issue because one of the biggest reasons that commercial drivers are involved in accidents is because they’re too tired. The industry has set regulations for how often drivers can be on the job and how many hours they can work, but not all drivers follow these regulations. Additionally, some drivers are worried to tell their employers that they can’t drive because they’re too tired. They may have been threatened with termination if they don’t keep working. Therefore, some drivers will stay on the road even when they don’t want to, when they know that it isn’t safe, just because they feel they have to risk their own lives—and the lives of other drivers—in order […]

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Oct 1, 2015 - Pedestrian Accidents

WHY IT’S SO HARD TO SEE PEDESTRIANS AT NIGHT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Thursday, October 1, 2015. When pedestrian accidents happen at night in Pennsylvania, drivers often claim that they never saw the people before hitting them. The most obvious reasons for this are that it’s dark, visibility is reduced, people and other objects become dim, and people who are wearing dark clothing blend right in. However, there are a few other issues as well. One is that drivers usually don’t look right at pedestrians, instead picking them out with their peripheral vision. If a pedestrian is walking to cross the street and the driver is looking in a straight line ahead, as he or she has been taught to do, the pedestrian comes slowly into this range. When it’s dark, peripheral vision is drastically reduced, making pedestrians seem to “jump” out of nowhere. Another issue is that the headlights on cars face the proper way to see other cars and the road, but they face the wrong way to see pedestrians. On top of that, headlights can’t be as bright as possible—which could help to expose pedestrians—because then they’d create such a blinding light that drivers coming the other way couldn’t see. With these low-powered headlights, it’s often possible for a car moving quickly to “overrun” the headlights, traveling to the maximum visibility distance before a driver has a chance to react. Naturally, these reasons do not mean that drivers are not responsible. They need to know […]

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