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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Apr 27, 2018 - Product Defects

Defective Products: Injured Individuals May Recover Damages

Everyday, we interact with dozens, if not hundreds of products that are designed and manufactured to perform certain functions.  When these products fail to perform their functions in a reasonably safe manner, or when they otherwise expose others to a heightened risk of injury, then the injury victims may be entitled — under Pennsylvania law — to sue and recover damages from the manufacturer. If you’d like to determine whether your product defect claim is worth pursuing, make sure to speak with an experienced Bethlehem product defect attorney here at Drake Hileman & Davis, PC.  We will evaluate your claims and develop a step-by-step plan for securing damages given the facts of your case. Product defect claims are not as simple as one might assume.  In many cases, the circumstances can be somewhat complex, and are not fully revealed until a more thorough investigation is conducted. For example, suppose that you are injured due to a defective blender product, which shattered upon normal use, thus flinging shards of plastic into your face.  You purchased the blender from a small local shop.  The case seems straightforward — the manufacturer either defectively designed or manufactured the product, and this led to your injuries. In reality, however, you may find out that the manufacturer isn’t liable at all.  In fact, it could be that the local retailer significantly modified the product, which is what led to the malfunction (and subsequent injuries).  You may still be entitled to recover damages, but against the retailer […]

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Apr 20, 2018 - Personal Injury

Personal Injury Liability: It Only Attaches if the Defendant Caused Your Injuries

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, personal injury claims may be defeated in a number of different ways — oftentimes, the defendant will attempt to undermine and potentially overcome the plaintiff’s claims by arguing that their actions (even if negligent, reckless, or intentional in nature) did not actually “cause” the plaintiff to suffer injuries. Causation is a fundamental element of all personal injury claims.  If you cannot link the defendant’s wrongful acts to your injuries, then you are not entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law.  As such, it’s critical that you understand how causation works, and how you can effectively counter the defendant’s arguments. Let’s start with the basics. Causation is Required for Successful Recovery Personal injury claims require that you — the plaintiff — prove that the defendant’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct proximately caused your injuries.  Establishing proximate causation requires proof that an unbroken sequence of reasonably foreseeable events resulted from the defendant’s conduct, and led to your injuries.  Further, you must be able to show that you would not have suffered injuries were it not for the defendant’s negligent or otherwise wrongful conduct. Suppose, for example, that you are driving on the highway and lose control, crashing your vehicle and suffering injuries as a result.  You sue another driver on the basis that they were speeding, and were therefore operating their vehicle negligently.  The court is likely to dismiss your case because — despite the fact that the defendant may have been negligently operating their vehicle — […]

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Apr 13, 2018 - Medical Malpractice

A Brief Look at Medical Malpractice Damage Caps in Pennsylvania

In many states, medical malpractice damages are statutorily limited so as to discourage injured plaintiffs from pursuing litigation against healthcare professionals — in the state of California, for example, there is a $250,000 cap placed on compensatory damages (the primary form of damages).  Damage cap limitations can have a significant effect on the cost-benefit analysis for an injured plaintiff.  If there is a set maximum on recovery, then the plaintiff might not only be prevented from being adequately compensated for their injuries, but they might also find that it simply isn’t worth going through the process of litigation. Medical malpractice damages have been capped in a very limited manner in Pennsylvania.  The cap is specific enough that it does not generally act as a barrier-to-entry for medical malpractice litigation.  If you have suffered legitimate and provable losses due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, then it is almost certainly worth bringing a lawsuit against the defendant for damages (or at the very least, having your claim evaluated by a qualified medical malpractice attorney). Pennsylvania Does Not Cap Compensatory Damages Compensatory damages account for the economic and non-economic losses sustained by the plaintiff, and are intended to “compensate” them for their various injuries — in other words, compensatory damages are intended to put the plaintiff in a position that approximates their status had they not been injured by the defendant. In a medical malpractice lawsuit (as in other injury-based lawsuits), these damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional […]

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Apr 13, 2018 - Articles

Seeing, But Not Perceiving: Why Other Drivers Don’t See Motorcycles- an Injury Lawyer Perspective

As a personal injury lawyer serving residents in and around Allentown, Doylestown, Bethlehem, Easton and Stroudsburg, with warmer weather upon us, we see motorcyclists getting back out on the road again. Unfortunately, with this increase, comes an increase in calls from motorcycle riders who were seriously injured; or from family members who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one — all due to another motor vehicle operator’s negligence. As a motorcycle accident lawyer, when we review police reports, we frequently read that the other driver told the investigating police officer, “I never saw him.” Sometimes, the insinuation is that because the other driver never observed the motorcycle, the motorcyclist “must” have been speeding. The reality is that the operator of the car or truck “saw” the motorcycle and its operator, but the human eye failed to “perceive” the motorcyclist. In his interesting article in Road and Track magazine entitled, “Why You Don’t ‘See’ Motorcycles on the Road”, cyclist and author, Jack Baruth, explores the biological workings of the human eye, relative to the phenomena of failing to observe motorcycles and their riders. Baruth asserts that when things are small enough and move quickly enough, our mind does not always “perceive” them, even though our eyes “see” them. In particular, since our eyes are only looking at a relatively small area, a motorcycle approaching head-on from a distance, occupies a very small part of a driver’s vision. If you don’t expect to see a motorcycle and you are only “looking” for cars, your […]

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