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Monthly Archives: September 2018

Sep 28, 2018 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Hydroplaning and How to Avoid It

  Given the almost daily deluge of rain we have been experiencing, hydroplaning is a very real problem for which all drivers must be prepared. Hydroplaning occurs when the vehicle’s tire-to-road traction becomes separated by water. This grip separation results in a loss of control (braking and steering), which can result in a violent accident. While hydroplaning can happen on any wet road surface, tire tread, tire inflation and speed are the key factors in causing hydroplaning to occur. According to the American Automobile Association, “when driving through just one-twelfth of an inch of water, each of your tires has to displace one gallon of water per second.” So, when the road surface is wet, you need to choose an appropriate speed that will displace enough road surface water, that allows your vehicle to maintain proper traction.  “At 30 mph or less, properly inflated tires with good tread will maintain contact.” While low tire pressure causes the tread to “squeeze together, narrowing the tread channels and reduces the tire’s ability to wipe or channel away water,” even with good tread and properly inflated tires, a vehicle can begin to hydroplane at speeds above 35 mph.   Below are six tips every driver should remember when driving on a wet surface. Avoid driving in the outer edges of a roadway. Most roadways have a slight “crown” in the middle of the road which causes water to accumulate on the edge of the roadway. Try to stay more toward the middle of […]

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Sep 21, 2018 - Personal Injury

Breach of Express Warranty Claims and Product Defects

If you have been seriously injured due to a product failing to perform in the manner advertised by the seller, then you may be entitled to damages under Pennsylvania law. Product defect injury lawsuits are typically associated with strict liability issues that arise out of certain implied protections granted to products — for example, claims arising from injuries sustained due to a product failing to meet its implied warranty of merchantability (i.e., the product must reasonably conform to ordinary expectations).  Importantly, however, those who are injured by a product may also bring a lawsuit on the basis of a breach of an express warranty. So, how do express warranties work in the product liability context?  Let’s explore the basics for a clearer understanding. Breach of Express Warranty Basics In Pennsylvania, express warranties are formed in two instances: When a promise or affirmation of fact is made by the seller relating to the goods, and that promise becomes part of the basis of the bargain; or When a description of the goods becomes part of the basis of the bargain. When the express warranty has been formed, the product at-issue must conform to the warranty — either the promise, affirmation of fact, or description — or else the court will determine that there has been a breach.  If this breach caused you to suffer injuries, then you will have an actionable claim for damages under Pennsylvania law. Breach of warranty claims can be somewhat confusing for plaintiffs who do not have […]

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Sep 19, 2018 - Personal Injury

Hurt in an Accident? Beware: You Might Be Under Surveillance

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another party, then you may be entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law.  It’s important to point out, however, that injury lawsuits do not typically proceed in an obvious or straightforward manner.  Depending on the circumstances of your injury and the particularities of your claim, the defendant may conduct surveillance and attempt to undermine your claims by gathering evidence that is inconsistent with your claims. Though surveillance tactics are most commonly associated with disability claims, defendants in personal injury lawsuits have a right to conduct surveillance.  In Pennsylvania, surveillance video and related evidence is deemed relevant and may be introduced into evidence pursuant to discovery — as such, injured plaintiffs must exercise great care to prior to litigation to ensure that the strength of their claims are preserved. How Surveillance Can Impact Your Injury Lawsuit Surveillance can have a significant and negative impact on your ability to secure damages in a personal injury lawsuit, if you’re not careful.  What many plaintiffs do not realize is that — even if you have a legitimate claim, and you are not exaggerating your injuries — the defendant can misconstrue supposed “inconsistencies” and create substantial doubt in the minds of the jury with regard to the seriousness of your injury. Let’s clarify with a quick example. Suppose that you are injured in a car accident involving another negligent driver.  Due to the accident, you sustain a […]

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Sep 14, 2018 - Personal Injury

Suing for Injuries Caused to Your Children by a Negligent Supervisor

Though many parents might want to be able to supervise their children at all times, there are times when children must come under the supervision of another adult, whether in a school setting or through some other arrangement (i.e., childcare center). Children are naturally curious, and as such, they tend to “attract” injuries.  These tendencies often give rise to situations where children sustain injuries while under the care of a non-parental adult.  Generally speaking, for minor injuries — cuts and scrapes and scratches — this is a non-issue, but in cases where your child has suffered severe injuries, Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action to secure damages on behalf of your child. What Qualifies as Negligent Supervision of a Child? Liability for negligent supervision of a child will attach only if there is a duty of supervision that connects the child and the caretaker. For example, if your child runs off in the supermarket and hurts themselves crawling on a shelf while in the vicinity of a stranger, you cannot hold that strange liable for failing to supervise or otherwise “negligently” supervising your child, as the stranger has no duty to supervise your child. On the other hand, if you paid a nanny to supervise your child, and he or she crawled on a shelf and injured themselves, then you might be entitled to hold the nanny liable for negligent supervision — the nanny has a clear duty of supervision. Failure to meet the standard of care […]

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Sep 12, 2018 - Car Accidents

Dram Shop Liability in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law — and in some other state jurisdictions — those who have been injured in a car accident by a drunk driver defendant may also be entitled to bring an action against the business or individual who provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver.  This is known as “dram shop liability” and the contours of such liability can be rather confusing for the plaintiff unaccustomed to or otherwise unfamiliar with the law in this respect. Let’s take a brief look at how it works. Business Liability Commercial and non-commercial parties are subject to different dram shop liability standards under the law.  In Pennsylvania, alcohol vendors — businesses — that furnish alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals may be held liable for the injuries that the intoxicated person subsequently causes. For example, if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver defendant, and you later discover that the driver was furnished alcohol by a bartender (despite being clearly and visibly intoxicated at the time), then you may be entitled to sue and recover damages from the bar itself. Importantly, Pennsylvania law also imposes dram shop liability on businesses that furnish alcohol to individuals in violation of some other liquor regulation.  This is a rather common scenario, in fact, and will give you an opportunity to recover damages from the business defendant even when they did not furnish alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual. For clarity, consider the following. Suppose that a liquor shop furnishes alcohol […]

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Sep 7, 2018 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

DO YOU STOP FOR A SCHOOL BUS ON A DIVIDED HIGHWAY?

With our schools back in session, it is a good time to refresh our understanding as to when motorists must stop for a school bus on a divided highway. We have found that even experienced motorists still have some uncertainty when determining whether they are required to stop for school bus on the other side of a multi-lane roadway. Does it matter if the lanes on the roadway are divided by a turning lane, a jersey barrier, a grassy divide or a median strip? Do you know what the law in Pennsylvania requires? The general rule is that all motorist must stop at least 10 feet away from a school bus that has its red lights flashing and “stop arm” extended, whether if you behind the bus, meeting the bus from the opposite direction, or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. You must remained stopped until the red lights have stopped flashing. If children have exited the bus, you must not move your vehicle until all the children have reached a place of safety off of the roadway. If you observe the amber lights of the school bus flashing, this is an indication that within 150 to 300 feet the school bus will be activating its red flashing lights and stopping. Drivers can proceed past a school bus if only the amber lights are flashing, but drivers must be prepared to stop when the red lights are flashing and “stop arm” has been extended. While these rules seem straight […]

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