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Category: Articles

Feb 17, 2021 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

WHAT IS A RESPONSIBLE PARTY HOST TO DO?

When you are hosting a private party, should you have to worry about the amount of alcohol your guests are drinking? Are you required to “cut them off?” Of course nobody ever wants anyone to get hurt, but is it your legal responsibility as a host to pay attention to everyone’s alcohol consumption? Currently, Social Host Liability in Pennsylvania is a legal concept allowing the host of a party to be held liable when a minor becomes intoxicated and ends up causing an injury to another person. Under the law, anyone under the age of 21 is considered a minor. Social hosts in Pennsylvania are not currently responsible for the intoxication of individuals over age 21. What is Dram Shop Liability? Dram Shop liability applies to commercial establishments when they provide alcohol to a visibly intoxicated persons. These businesses can be held legally responsible for injuries and damages that the intoxicated person cause. Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop liability is often utilized when a drunk driver causes a car accident with serious injuries or death. When Dram Shop liability applies, the injured party can sue for civil damages. Such damages are intended to compensate the injured person for losses suffered resulting from the accident. These damages include:                 • medical, hospital, rehabilitation, and pharmacy bills related to the injury,                 • lost wages and other compensation,                 • the value of […]

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Feb 4, 2021 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

TAKE A MINUTE. SAVE A LIFE.

As personal injury attorneys,  this most recent snow storm, reminds us again of the dangers of snow and ice flying off the back of moving vehicles.  The dash-cam video below shows how this dangerous this driving hazard can be.   Watching this video, you too must have thought, “That should be illegal.”    In some states, it is.   Sadly on Christmas Day, 2005, Christine Lambert and her family were traveling through Pennsylvania, to visit relatives, when an eight-inch chunk of ice flew off the roof of a tractor-trailer. The flying ice chuck broke through the windshield of the Lamberts’ sport utility vehicle and killed Christine. The police never identified the driver of the tractor-trailer. As a result of Christine Lambert’s death, legislation was passed to add criminal consequences to this behavior. See, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3720   Unfortunately, it only applies if the flying snow or ice actually injures someone or damages your vehicle. This is essentially the equivalent of only receiving a speeding ticket, if you caused an car accident.    It doesn’t prospectively curb the dangerous behavior before someone gets hurt. While this failure to remove ice and snow from the roof, trunk, hood, and windshield continues to be repeated following each snow storm, in Pennsylvania, there does not seem to be the “legislative will” to enact legislation that would require the removal of snow and ice from a vehicle before an accident occurs. Some members of the trucking industry consider the act of clearing ice and snow […]

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Nov 25, 2020 - Articles

A Season of Thankfulness in a Time of Pandemic

    Since celebrating that first Thanksgiving in 1621, our Nation has experienced many adversities and yet we have continued to find ways and reasons to be thankful. It is easy to be grateful when things are going our way. It is much harder, when life seems to be going badly. According to Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, not only is a grateful attitude helpful in times of adversity, it is essential. “In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope in hard times.” Professor Emmons has offered several tips to help cultivate a grateful heart: 1)  Remember the bad, then look to see where you are now; 2)  Confront your own mortality, in order to reevaluate what is really important in life; 3)  Realize the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity; 4)  Be grateful for that which is often overlooked; and 5)  Gratitude is a choice, regardless of one’s situation or circumstances. Emmons went on to state that it is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We can’t will ourselves to feel grateful, however, being grateful is a choice. Gratitude can provide a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances.  […]

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Jul 16, 2020 - Articles

BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME (OR A NICKEL OR A PENNY)?

Just when toilet paper is finally back on the store shelves, a new shortage is facing the nation. Change. That’s right, there is now a national shortage of coins– quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. From Starbucks to Wawa, stores are asking customers to pay with exact change or to use credit or debit cards. Evidently, the nationwide shut-down due to the novel coronavirus has caused a “disruption in the coin supply chain.” (Who knew that there was a coin supply chain?) With more people shopping on-line, using credit for delivery or curb-side pick-up, less and less people have been paying with cash and the supply of coins from consumers to banks has been disrupted. Additionally, those coin collection kiosks in supermarkets evidently were not being utilized by the public during quarantine. Moreover, many facilities where coins were frequently used, such as laundromats, amusement parks, bars and bowling alleys were all shut down removing places where consumers would typically use coins. Finally, from January to April, production of coins fell by a little more than 1/3 at the U.S. Mint, as a result of a reduction in employees per shift due to the need to maintain social distancing on the production floor. Apparently, the absence of sufficient coins in the marketplace has caused the Federal Reserve to establish a “U.S. Coin Task Force.” This task force is encouraging the use of social media to promote the circulation of coin using the hashtag #getcoinmoving. Some may recall that back in 1999 there […]

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May 5, 2020 - Articles

Bicycle Riding Resurgence Amid COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders. How to Stay Safe.

  In an effort to stay active during the stay-at-home orders, many people are going into the garage to dust off their once-forgotten bicycle. Many bike shops are reporting an uptick in business as people are looking for ways to get outside and get exercise.  Several years ago, we posted an article on “Six Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicycles“, however , with more and more people getting back on their bikes, a refresher on bicycle law and safety is in order. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, if riding a bike on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks and bicycle paths. You must give an audible signal as you approach and pass a pedestrian. Automobiles are not required to yield to bicycles being ridden across a crosswalk (at a trail crossing for example) as the bicycle is treated as a vehicle. A better choice is to dismount and walk your bike across. You are not permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a business district (except where permitted by official traffic control devices) or where there is a bicycle-only lane available. If you choose to ride your bike in the roadway, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road (in the same direction as the flow of traffic) but are not required to do so. Otherwise, the safest travel location for bicyclists is the center of the rightmost travel lane. Since it may have […]

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May 4, 2020 - Articles

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 28, 2020 - Articles

Considering Owning a Pet Tiger? What are the Legal Ramifications?

by Tom Blackburn, Esq. aka “Joe Mundane” We are now in the midst of the 2020 Covid-19 virus quarantine. As the months pass, it will be interesting to determine the winners and losers of this historical anomaly. The obvious winner in my household is my 6 year old Golden Retriever, Bree. Bree has benefitted substantially from the forced return and mandated house arrest of my college kids; along with the escalating opportunities for her to escort her family members in a parade like fashion around the neighborhood. When you pay attention, all the dogs in the neighborhood seem to confidently nod at each other with particular contentment. This makes you wonder if Covid-19 is related to a sinister world-wide canine conspiracy. The newscasters speak of the bats, but have we thought about investigating Fido? Another winner is Netflix. Very few folks could look the other way, after hearing the names “Joe Exotic”, or “The Tiger King,” or for that matter, the lady named “Baskin,” “Baskin,” I guess, could’ve, might’ve, allegedly, fed her loving husband, 20 years her senior, to a few of her rescued, though apparently still hungry, tigers. Well, we really had no choice in the matter. We all had to left click on that tiger icon to peer into what we very quickly realized was a bizarre, fast moving, train wreck of a documentary. Yet, getting back to the title of this article, if my eyes were not deceiving me, there were quite a few humans in that […]

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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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Apr 11, 2020 - Articles

BEWARE OF COVID -19 SCAMS

    When we as a nation face challenging times, most of us pull together to help one another out. Unfortunately, some people see any crisis as an opportunity for personal advantage. The current pandemic is no exception. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Small Business Administration have issued warnings alerting consumers to the nature of certain scams that are being used by criminals during this time of crisis. Listed below are some helpful tips for all of us. Ignore Online and Door-to-Door Solicitations For Vaccinations And Home Test Kits There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time. The FDA has stated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs or treatment products currently available to cure or prevent the virus. The FTC and FDA have issued joint warning letters to various sellers of products including teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver. Hang up on Robocalls Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes to help in processing your coronavirus stimulus check. A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless the company has your written permission to call you that way. Watch For Emails Claiming to Be From the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or WHO (World Health Organization) Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal […]

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Feb 15, 2020 - Articles

When (Not Just) The Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Piece of Pie

  This past Sunday was National Pizza Day, but who knew a slice of pizza could be so dangerous? The number of hospitalizations in the United States involving pizza increased more than 50% in 2018, when compared to 2017. These statistics came from medical service provider Babylon Health and mark the highest number of injuries since the company started keeping track. Babylon analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is run by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to this data nearly 4,000 people were hospitalized with pizza-related injuries in 2018. The injuries ranged from falling up stairs while carrying a delivery; to slashing a finger with a pizza cutter; to swallowing a tongue ring; to being stabbed in the mouth with a fork; to sustaining serious burns from eating pizza that was too hot. The average American eats 46 slices of pizzas a year– over a lifetime the average American will have eaten 6,000 slices. So be careful out there. Since 1985, the personal injury attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis, have been concerned for the safety of those in our community. Safety is no accident. We have a proven track record of results and satisfied clients. We’re ready to answer your questions and provide you with the legal help you need, when accidents happen. Contact us on-line or call us at 1-888-777-7098 to schedule your free consultation in the convenience of your home or at one of our five offices located throughout the region.

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