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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Mar 29, 2019 - Doylestown Car Accident Lawyer

Involuntary Intoxication as a Civil Defense in Pennsylvania

Doylestown Accident Lawyer If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a drunk driver, or by an intoxicated defendant in some other accident scenario, then you may have a right to sue and recover damages under Pennsylvania law.  When pursuing litigation, however, you may come into conflict with the defendant over the issue of “involuntary intoxication.”  Involuntary intoxication is an affirmative defense that may be asserted if the defendant was not actually responsible for their intoxication at the time of the accident, thus shielding them from civil liability. When a defendant asserts the defense of involuntary intoxication, it’s important not to panic or become overwhelmed with the prospect of a more complicated lawsuit.  It is rather difficult for a defendant to successfully avoid liability on the basis of involuntary intoxication, in Pennsylvania or elsewhere. Let’s take a closer look. Involuntary Intoxication is a Complete Defense to Negligence In Pennsylvania, the defendant can make use of the involuntary intoxication defense if they can show by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that it is more likely than not) that they became intoxicated through no fault of their own.  There are a variety of circumstances that can give rise to involuntary intoxication, including, but not necessarily limited to the following: The defendant was forcibly intoxicated, either physically (by another party), or by duress, undue influence, fraud, or some other misconduct; The defendant made an innocent mistake regarding the intoxicating product; The defendant has a unique medical condition […]

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Mar 22, 2019 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Seatbelt Use and Car Accident Liability

Allentown Car Accident Lawyer There is little debate about the effectiveness of seatbelts for preventing injury or death in the car accident context.  According to data reported by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seatbelt use reduced serious crash-related injuries and death by roughly 50 percent, with proper seatbelt use having prevented about 15,000 motor vehicle deaths in 2016 alone.  The CDC noted that while airbags were beneficial as added protection, they were not enough on their own — the combined protection of an airbag and seatbelt worked to significantly improve safety outcomes. If you’ve been seriously harmed in a car accident due to the fault of another, then you may be entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law.  Car accident litigation is not always straightforward, however, particularly if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Let’s brief explore some of the liability issues associated with a failure to wear a seatbelt. Failure to Wear a Seatbelt Could Create Barriers to Complete Damage Recovery Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state.  In accordance with section 7102 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, injured plaintiffs — in car accident lawsuits and otherwise — may only recover damages if they are not more than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries.  If the plaintiff is entitled to recover damages (i.e., they are 50 percent or less at-fault for their own injuries), then their contribution of fault will reduce their damage recovery accordingly. For example, suppose that you are injured […]

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Mar 15, 2019 - Personal Injury

What is the Difference Between Economic and Noneconomic Damages?

Bethlehem Personal Injury Lawyers If you’ve been harmed in an accident that was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another individual or entity in Pennsylvania, then the law may give you a right of action for damages. When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, however, there is a significant difference between merely winning a case and winning a case while securing full and adequate damages to cover your losses.  For example, it’s possible for the court to agree with your arguments and impose liability on the defendant, but for the jury to award limited damages.  The jury may not believe that you have done enough to establish the “certainty” of your various losses or may believe that you are exaggerating your losses. Understanding personal injury damages is therefore critical to ensuring that you are able to achieve your litigation goals.  Let’s take a closer look. Two Primary Categories: Economic and Noneconomic Damages Damages are meant to “compensate” the injured plaintiff for their losses, and as such, the standard damages available to an injured plaintiff are termed compensatory damages.  Their purpose is compensatory in nature — they are intended to position the plaintiff (recipient of the damages) in a manner that most accurately projects their status had the accident not occurred in the first place. Compensatory damages can be further subdivided into two categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages describe losses that are purely pecuniary in nature.  These damages may include compensation that covers losses such as: […]

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Mar 11, 2019 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

The Most Dangerous Week of the Year

With the loss of an hour due to daylight savings time, during the week of March 10th through the 16th, we can expect an increase in everything from car accidents to heart attacks. With regard to safe driving, according to a 2014 study by the University of Colorado, auto accidents increase, due to the fact that it takes about 6-7 days to adjust to the darker morning commutes, coupled with the fact that the loss of an hour of sleep causes drivers to be less alert. According to the study, there is a 6.3% increase in traffic fatalities in over the six days following the March time change. Additionally, in 2009 a Journal of Applied Psychology study concluded that mine workers experience 5.7 percent more workplace injuries in the week daylight savings time was implemented, than in any other week of the year. The researchers attribute this increase in injuries to a lack of sleep. For those workers with less strenuous jobs, in 2012 the same journal found that “cyberloafing” significantly increased on the first Monday after daylight savings time. This was attributed to both a lack of sleep and a lack of workday focus and motivation. Finally, a 2016 study by the American Academy of Neurology found that the overall rate for a stroke was 85 higher on average in the two days after daylight savings time started. And a 2012 study at the University of Alabama found that in the first days after daylight savings time begins, there […]

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Mar 8, 2019 - Truck Accidents

Unique Injury Risks Posed by 18-Wheelers

Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney If you’ve been harmed in a Pennsylvania truck accident due to another party’s fault — such as a trucker’s reckless driving — then you may have a right to bring a lawsuit against the defendant and secure significant compensation for your losses. Effective strategies for litigating a claim vary depending on the details of the case itself.  In a case where the defendant’s vehicle was an 18-wheeler (otherwise known as a “big rig,” trailer truck, or semi-truck), there are a number of unique injury risks that may be useful to consider when moving forward with litigation.  Drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility not to expose others to an unreasonable risk of harm, and in doing so, they must be considerate of the inherent injury risks posed by their fleet of 18-wheelers. Let’s take a closer look. Large Blind Spots 18-wheelers have significant blind spots, making it more difficult for their drivers to identify whether they are going to cause a collision with a simple lane-change or other basic traffic maneuver.  Many people understand that 18-wheelers (and other large trucks) suffer from blind spot issues and make efforts to either fall back to a reasonable distance or overtake the 18-wheeler truck so as to avoid remaining in the blind spot. Maneuverability Challenges 18-wheelers can weigh up to 40 tons, making it nearly 15 to 16 times the weight of the average motor vehicle.  The significant weight of an 18-wheeler, in conjunction with its unique structural profile […]

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