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Category: Articles

Oct 30, 2017 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Small Cars Can Come With Big Risks

    When Purchasing a Car, Safety Should Be A Priority. As Personal Injury Attorneys, at Drake, Hileman & Davis, we often see the difference the size a vehicle makes in how seriously someone is injured in an accident.  Frequently, consumers look at price, style, fuel economy and color when making a car selection, when they really should be looking at vehicle safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS“) found that some of the smallest cars have the highest death rates during car accidents.  Chuck Farmer, President of IIHS, has stated, “If you hit something bigger than you, you are more likely to die . . .   Physics matter. The bigger the vehicle, the safer you are in an accident.”  Specifically, an IIHS’ study found that the Hyundai Accent had the most accident deaths (104), between 2012 to 2015, out of the 208 models of cars that were analyzed. Other small cars, such as the Kia Rio, Scion tC, Chevrolet Spark, and Nissan Versa also ranked very high for deadly car accidents.[1] Hyundai defended its Accent, saying, “The Hyundai Accent meets or exceeds all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set by the U.S. government and performs well in various safety tests and is rated a 4-star overall by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).” [2] Bigger is Actually Better  While meeting certain safety standards is a minimum, there is no question that larger cars perform much better than smaller vehicles,  in automobile accidents. Cars like the Jeep Cherokee, Mazda […]

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Jun 5, 2017 - Articles

What is Estate Planning and Why Should You Do It?

What Is Estate Planning? What on earth is estate planning? Many people don’t have a clue. Estate planning sounds like a rich person’s concern. However, estate planning is not only for the rich. It is also important for people with limited assets. Everyone has an Estate, and Everyone Should Make Plans to Protect It. So, what is estate planning? Everyone no matter how rich or poor has an estate. Your estate is made up of all the things you own. Your house, car, financial accounts, insurance accounts, jewelry, furniture, clothes, and pets are all part of your estate. Estate planning assumes that (at some point) you will no longer be able to make decisions about your things or how you will provide for the people you love.  So, estate planning allows you to decide in advance what you will give away, who will get your things, when they will get your them, and even what they have to do in order to get them. Estate planning also lets you plan how you and your loved ones will be protected when you become incapacitated. You can decide what end of life care you will receive, you can plan who will get your money, and you can protect your family from future creditors and unwise spending. A Simple Example: How Estate Planning Can Help Rufus. Let’s consider a simple example of estate planning. Imagine you have a beloved golden retriever named Rufus. What would happen to Rufus if something happened to you? […]

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Apr 11, 2017 - Articles

Sharing the Road: Six Tips for Motorists and Cyclists From a Personal Injury Lawyer

As a Doylestown personal injury attorney, this time of year brings with it awareness of an increased number of bicycles riders out on the country roads of Bucks County. Sharing the road with bicyclists, whether riding alone or as part of a cycle club, can be a challenge for many motor vehicle drivers. We thought this would be good time for both drivers and riders to be reminded of several tips in order to avoid accidents involving bicycles. Tips For Sharing the Road 1. Remember that operators of pedalcycles, including bicycles, when ridden on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. While cyclists cannot ride on freeways (limited access highways), they can on all other roads. Moreover, while cyclists have to ride on the right side of the road, they do not have to ride on the far right or shoulder of the road, unless they are moving slower than the prevailing speed of traffic at the time. Cyclists are not permitted to ride more than two abreast on any roadway. 2. Motor vehicle operators should always reduce their speed when approaching and passing a cyclist. Allow a sufficient amount of space, at least 3 feet or more between your vehicle and a cyclist. Be especially careful when approaching a hill or incline. Wait to pass a cyclist, only after you have determined that you can adequately see approaching traffic and yield appropriately. Always allow for an adequate distance when merging back into the desired […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - Articles

SHARE THE ROAD 101: PENNSYLVANIA’S BICYCLE LAWS

There are a number of laws in place in Pennsylvania to protect cyclists from getting injured from a crash with a motorist. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, 1,298 bicyclists in Pennsylvania suffered an injury due to a crash with a motor vehicle. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 19 cyclists lost their lives that year. Many of these accident may have been prevented, as the DOT states that the majority of the injurious incidents happened during daylight. Further, the majority of those who suffered injuries were at an intersection. Understanding how to share the road can keep cyclists and motorists safe. What are cyclists required to do? Under Pennsylvania law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and therefore must obey traffic laws the same way a car would. As such, a bicycle is also granted the same rights as a car when it comes tosharing the road or riding on a path designated for a bike. In general, cyclists must do the following: Ride along the shoulder in the same direction traffic is moving Ride in a single-file line unless riding on a designated bicycle path Have a front lamp for riding at night and a braking system Though only children younger than 12 are required to wear a helmet, the DOT urges cyclists of all ages to do so. What can motorists do? Though there is no specific law regarding how motorists should behave around cyclists, the common-sense approach is to obey […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - Articles

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW?

If you don’t know what an arbitration clause in a nursing home contract looks like, how do you negotiate about it? A man’s 100-year-old mother is found dead in her nursing home room. The suspect? Her 97-year-old roommate. The real cause of her death? Was it that the nursing home allowed her roommate to remain long after it was clear that she was a danger? So, you would expect the son would sue nursing home for that negligence in court. Except, he could not. When his mother entered the nursing home, he had signed the contract that contained a mandatory arbitration clause. The case would be decided by a private arbitrator. What is more, the arbitration firm had handled more than 400 arbitration hearings for the lawyers who represented the nursing home. Unsurprisingly, they ruled in favor of the nursing home, with a checkbox finding of no negligence. There were no written findings (probably not required by the contract of arbitration) and unlike a civil trial, there was no public record of anything. Which means when you are considering a nursing home, you would have no way of knowing that such events took place in the facility where your mother or father would reside. The fiction of contracts There are two problems with contracts like the one involved in this nursing home. Unless you hire an attorney to review the contract and advise you of any potential problems, like this arbitration clause, the average, intelligent educated person is ill-equipped to […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - Articles

WHY WOULD YOU NEED A LAWYER AFTER A FENDER-BENDER?

Car accident victims may not believe injuries from a minor crash are serious. However, whiplash can worsen over time. When most people think about a car accident, they often recall what they have seen in the movies, or on TV. They think of serious, life-threatening crashes, where a car is crushed or has flipped in the air. However, most car crashes in Pennsylvania do not occur this way. Most are what we have come to call “Fender-benders”. These accidents, while seemingly minor, can still result in significant injuries to the occupants of the vehicles. Fender-bender injuries may seem unlikely at first glance, but in reality these collisions can necessitate extensive medical treatment for permanent injuries. The painful issues surrounding whiplash Rear-end crashes are one of the most common types of auto collisionsthat cause injury to the cervical spine (neck). According to Consumer Reports, there is a rear-end accident every 17 seconds in the United States. Injuries can occur in these types of collisions, even in stop-and-go traffic, where vehicles are traveling under 10 miles per hour. Why might an attorney be necessary after a minor or low-speed accident? First, because of the common misconception of fender-benders, the insurance company is going to try to minimize the extent of your injuries. The most common phrase we hear from insurance adjustors after our client has been involved in a low-speed collision is : “How can she be that hurt? It was just a fender-bender!” Additionally, you need someone on your side who […]

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Oct 29, 2016 - Articles

MANDATORY INTERLOCK DEVICE REGULATIONS WOULD HELP TO SAVE LIVES

Pennsylvania could potentially save the lives of innocent motorists by requiring all convicted DUI offenders to use interlock devices. According to a Mothers Against Drunk Driving research study, more than 290,000 people were injured and over 10,000 people were killed as a result of drunk drivers in 2013 alone. . That equates to one injury every two minutes and one death every 52 minutes as a result of negligent drunk drivers. In Pennsylvania, over 30 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities involved drunk drivers. Approximately one-third of all drivers who are arrested or convicted of driving while intoxicated are repeat offenders. As a result, many states have turned to using ignition interlock devices as a way to keep drunk drivers off of the roads. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania lawmakers have not yet enacted legislation mandating such a requirement, leaving interlock device punishment in the Judge’s discretional alone. The facts about ignition interlock devices Drivers who are convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania will have their driver’s licenses suspended for a certain amount of time. This time period depends on whether the driver is a first-time offender or has multiple DUI offenders on their record. According to MADD, up to 75 percent of convicted DUI offenders who have had their driver’s licenses suspended continue to drive, despite the suspension. Ignition interlock devices offer a practical solution to this problem, as vehicles that are wired with IIDs will only start if the driver is not intoxicated. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease […]

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Oct 27, 2016 - Articles

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM THE VICTIM OF A HIT-AND-RUN?

Following a set of guidelines may help to properly navigate the aftermath of a hit-and-run. People should check auto insurance, understand the law, and report the accident. Hit-and-run car accidents in Pennsylvania happen far too often. Drivers and pedestrians who are victims of hit-and-run car accidents are usually left feeling vulnerable and alone. The law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis has developed several guidelines which may help when you or a family member find yourself the victim of a hit-and-run accident. The following steps will help to deal with the consequential effects on your health, well-being and financial condition should you be involved in a hit-and-run accident. Check your auto insurance One of the incentives for drivers to leave the scene of a hit-and-runaccident is that they may be uninsured or underinsured. For this reason, it’s important before you are involved in an accident to purchase what is called uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage provides hit-and-run victims with the ability to help pay for the cost of medical care, lost wages, and even allow an injured party to make a claim for pain and suffering. In the event that the driver who caused the hit-and-run accident is located but has no insurance, then a claim can still be made against your own policy, if you have uninsured coverage. Additionally, if the hit-and-run driver is located and has insurance, underinsured motorist coverage provides victims with the ability to be compensated when the other driver’s insurance is insufficient […]

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Oct 27, 2016 - Articles

DRIVER FATIGUE AMONG LEADING CAUSES OF TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

Truck accidents are often devastating and can be caused by a number of factors, including fatigue, intoxication and illness. Getting into an accident involving a large commercial truck is probably one of the most terrifying types of automobile accidents someone would ever face. Because of the size and speed of semi-trucks, they can cause devastating injuries and worse. Usually, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are the ones bearing the brunt of the injuries in a crash like this. Trucking accidents are also not rare: There were 166 fatalities related to large truck accidents in Pennsylvania in 2012, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Today’s many commercial industries mean that a large number of trucks can be sharing the state’s roadways at any time. According to Insurance News Net, each year about 100,000 people are seriously injured and more than 4,000 killed across the country in truck crashes. These accidents have markedly increased since 2009. Common reasons for truck accidents State Farm reports driver fatigue as one of the most common ways for a truck driver to cause a crash, and it’s no surprise: The trucking industry is known for its long hours, with truck drivers driving as many as 82 hours in a week. There are, of course, other factors that can contribute to an accident. These include: Driving under the influence of alcohol, medications or illegal substances. Improper load distribution or vehicle problems. Poor weather or road conditions. Speeding or careless driving. Distracted driving, including texting or […]

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Oct 27, 2016 - Articles

COMMERCIAL DRIVER DISTRACTION CAUGHT ON VIDEO, REVEALING A COMMON THREAT

Commercial truck drivers are tasked with a difficult job that requires experience, attention and good judgment to avoid catastrophic accidents. While most drivers do their best to focus on the road and prevent truck accidents, unfortunately, some drivers take their duties less seriously. A recent investigation caught commercial truck drivers engaging in a multitude of dangerous behaviors. Below is a summary of that investigation, which should serve to underscore the necessity of proper training for commercial truck drivers, and to remind others throughout Pennsylvania to always be diligent on the road. In particular, roads such as Route 22, in Lehigh County; Route 78 in Northampton County; Route 33 and Route 80 in Monroe County; Route 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) in Philadelphia County; Route 309 in Bucks County; and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Blue Route) in Montgomery Counties, can be particularly dangerous. Driver distraction documented During the investigation, cameras were positioned along highways. The footage captured truck drivers engaging in dangerous behaviors while driving these massive trucks, including manually dialing cellphones, talking on handheld cellphones and even texting. All of these behaviors are against federal regulations, and they also violate state laws, but that was not enough to deter the drivers. Sadly, when these drivers are negligent, the consequences for other motorists can be steep. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports the following troubling facts on large truck accidents: Trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. Trucks require a far greater distance to […]

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WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING

"I was injured in an accident and my truck was totaled. The guy who hit me had a low insurance policy. I reinjured my neck and shoulder in the accident. I thought nothing could be done since the guy had hardly any insurance and I had a previous condition, but Jonathan Russell from Drake, Hileman & Davis was able to get me a nice cash settlement!"
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Drake, Hileman & Davis

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