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Category: Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

May 29, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Tips for Avoiding Road Rage When Driving in Pennsylvania

A mother driving with her two young sons in the car accidentally cuts off a driver. When she pulls into a mall parking lot, he pins her in, exits his car, screams at her, and then punches her in the face when she rolls down the window to apologize to him. Another Pennsylvania driver becomes so enraged with a teen who tried to merge into his lane that he shoots and kills her and gets sentenced to 20+ years for his crime. These are not hypothetical stories. They’re real road rage incidents that took place in Pennsylvania. What is road rage? Road rage is defined as “violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.” Road ragers make rude gestures at other drivers, sling insults, drive unsafely on purpose, make threats, and inflict physical harm upon other drivers in a confrontation. What causes road rage? Some believe that congested traffic, long commutes, stress, and aggressive drivers contribute to road rage. In fact, road rage is closely related to aggressive driving. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, road rage is often the result of aggressive driving behavior that escalates into an assault with a vehicle or other dangerous weapon. Are you an aggressive driver? Although road rage and aggressive driving are among the biggest causes of fatal car accidents in Pennsylvania, a lot of drivers don’t even realize that they’re aggressive drivers. You might be an aggressive driver if you regularly engage […]

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May 22, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Steps to Take After an Out-of-State Car Accident

You and your girlfriends decide to take a road trip.  You pull into a rest stop to get gas, coffee, doughnuts and chips for the road.  Before you pull out of the rest stop, you glance into the rearview mirror to make sure no cars are coming and it’s safe for you to go. As soon as you join the left lane, a car comes up fast from behind and proceeds to tailgate you.  You put on your right hand blinker and begin to move over into the right lane to let the tailgater pass. At the same time, the tailgater decides to illegally pass your car on the right. His car clips yours from behind and your car slams into the concrete median. Dazed and confused, the next thing you know, the tailgater is knocking on your window asking if you’re alright. What should you do? A lot of folks wonder what they should do if they have a car accident while they’re out of state.  The answer is simple.  Do the same things you would do after any car accident. Safety First Check for injuries.  Before you try to get out of the car, take a moment to see if you or the other occupants of the car are injured.  You don’t want to aggravate any serious injuries by trying to move too quickly. Turn your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.  You don’t want to take anyone by surprise. If your car is in the middle […]

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May 4, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Avoiding Hydroplaning Accidents

  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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Apr 22, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

IF A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST AND . . .

The last Friday in April, is National Arbor Day, a day set aside to celebrate the role of trees in our lives and to promote tree planting and care. J. Sterling Morton is considered the founder of Arbor Day. In 1854 Morton and his wife moved from Detroit to the virtually treeless plains of Nebraska. The Nebraska pioneers needed trees for windbreaking, fuel, building materials, and shade from the hot prairie sun. Morton decided to use his role as editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper to promote tree planting in Nebraska. In 1872, the Nebraska Board of Agriculture accepted Morton’s resolution to set aside one day to plant trees. The Board declared April 10, 1872 to be Arbor Day, and offered prizes to both counties and individuals for the largest number of trees properly planted. On that day alone, 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. Shortly thereafter the rest of the states began passing legislation to observe Arbor Day, with the actual date in April determined by the best time to plant trees in each particular state. While trees add to the visual landscape and provide many helpful benefits to people and the environment, they can present as hazards to motorists. Trees that are not properly maintained can block road signs and roadways. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, 1,581 fatal crashes in the United States were caused by obscured vision, including poorly maintained trees and shrubbery. Dead and diseased trees can also fall on cars and roadways, […]

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Sep 30, 2019 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Your Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claim is Subject to a Time Limit

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you may have a legitimate claim for damages. However, it’s worth noting that you do not have an unlimited period of time to sue.  In Pennsylvania — and all throughout the country — the applicable statute of limitations sets a deadline by which you must file your claims against the relevant defendants in your case. Many injury victims do not realize the fundamental importance of the statute of limitations deadline.  In many cases, excessive delays can lead to a dismissal of an otherwise legitimate injury claim.  As such, it’s absolutely critical that you get in touch with a qualified Pennsylvania personal injury attorney who can evaluate your claims and bring an action against the defendants in a timely manner. How the Statute of Limitations Works In Pennsylvania, personal injury claims have a statute of limitations period that is currently two years from the date of injury.  If you do not bring an action against the defendants within such time and the deadline passes, then you are deemed to have “abandoned” your claims.  Following that, you will no longer have the right to sue the defendant(s) and recover damages in a Pennsylvania court of law.  Unfortunately, injury victims often ignore the consequences of a delay, perhaps due to the other challenges posed by their injury. For example, suppose that you are seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident.  You may even have suffered lower-body paralysis.  In the wake […]

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Sep 2, 2019 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Injured Plaintiffs Must Mitigate Their Damages

In Pennsylvania — and in other jurisdictions throughout the country — injured plaintiffs must act responsibly in the wake of an accident to ensure that their personal injury claims are preserved to the fullest possible extent.  Plaintiffs are not entitled to negligently allow their losses to accumulate without taking action.  There is a broad “duty to mitigate” that requires that plaintiffs exert reasonable efforts to minimize their losses. Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania applies comparative negligence principles that allow an injured plaintiff to recover damages as compensation for their various losses, but only if the plaintiff is less negligent than the at-fault defendant. How does this work? Suppose, for example, that you have been injured in a car accident, and your damages total to $100,000.  You were also speeding at the time of the accident, however.  The court determines that you were 30 percent at-fault for your injuries.  Despite your own significant contribution of negligence, you would be entitled to recover the remaining 70 percent of the damages ($70,000).  You should also note that even if fault is deemed to be 50/50, you may still recover damages. On the other hand, if you were deemed 51 percent at-fault, then you would not be entitled to recover any damages. In a personal injury lawsuit, the duty to mitigate is fundamentally linked to the application of comparative negligence principles.  Failure to adequately mitigate damages (in the wake of an accident) constitutes negligence, and depending on the extent of such failure, it might […]

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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 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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Feb 18, 2019 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Several Reminders From Highway Safety Law Awareness Week

Did you know that this week (February 18- 25) is “Highway Safety Law Awareness Week?” By raising awareness regarding certain traffic laws, with which you may not be too familiar, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police hope to make everyone safer on our roadways. This year’s focus is on a variety of lesser know traffic laws, as well as some changes to our existing laws. These include, Pennsylvania’s Blind Pedestrian Law; the Use of Headphones While Driving; the Ride-on-Red law; the Unattended Motor Vehicle law (those with remote car starters should especially read this); the Clear Snow and Ice from your Vehicle Law (see our previous article here); the Steer Clear Law; the Turn Around, Don’t Drown Law; as well as penalty changes to our existing DUI laws. In addition to the “Clear the Snow from Your Vehicle Law,” we previously wrote about, we think that it is important to be reminded, about two additional laws that are the focus of this year’s Awareness Week. The first law we would like to look at in more detail is the “Unattended Motor Vehicle Law” and the second is the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown Law.” On a cold winter morning, who doesn’t want to wait in the house while your car is getting warmed-up before heading out on the road? But do you know what the laws are in Pennsylvania regarding leaving a vehicle running that is unattended? 75 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 3701, prohibits anyone who is “in charge” of a motor […]

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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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