Category: Car Accidents

Aug 28, 2015 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, August 28, 2015. Injuries caused by car accidents can be devastating enough to change a person’s life. However, a Pennsylvania case demonstrates just how life-changing and ultimately life-ending, such injuries can be. A man who was injured by a car 50 years ago when he was a child was still undergoing treatment as the result of his injuries when he died from them on Aug. 24. The victim was just 8 years old when he and another boy were hit by a car in July 1965. The other boy sustained only minor injuries. However, the man who died this week suffered broken legs and massive head injuries. According to a deputy coroner, he “required a lifetime of treatment and basically he was paralyzed” by the crash, which occurred in Allentown. His death was determined to have been caused by the injuries he suffered when the car hit him. The deputy coroner said that he never fully recovered from them. As unusual as this case seems, it’s not unprecedented. This year a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, man succumbed to injuries that he sustained when he was hit by a car in 1980. No one can know with certainty how injuries sustained in a car accident will impact them in the future. That’s why any civil litigation against the at-fault driver needs to take into consideration medical treatment, physical therapy, lost wages and other expenses that may occur further […]

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Jul 10, 2015 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, July 10, 2015. Pennsylvania laws regarding motor vehicle insurance are like making a deal with the devil. The decisions you make when buying car insurance could have lasting repercussions for the rest of your life. Basically, consumers face two choices when purchasing car insurance: full tort insurance and limited tort insurance. Tort is a fancy legal term that refers to a wrongful or negligent act. Essentially, when motorists choose to purchase full tort car insurance they are also buying the right to sue for additional damages if they are injured in a car accident. Alternatively, motorists purchasing limited tort car insurance are barred from suing wrongful or negligent parties for their pain and suffering. This can be important to you for several reasons, but especially if you have experienced additional adverse effects after your car accident. A good example of this might be the humiliation or embarrassment you may feel as a result of a limb that required amputation after your accident. Or perhaps the burns and scarring you suffered from your car accident has caused you to stay at home all of the time, frozen with anxiety about going out in public. Another type of so-called “noneconomic loss” is known as a loss of consortium. Basically this type of damage centers on how your spouse or children might have been affected by your accident. For example, your children may have lost the guidance […]

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May 27, 2015 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Ask any group of random people about distracted driving and the chances are that at least a few of them will mention cellphones. While it’s true that the use of cellphones to talk or text while driving is dangerous, it’s also important to remember that distracted driving comes in many other forms. Basically, anything that draws a driver’s attention away from operating one’s vehicle could potentially become a source of distraction. This is important because according to a 2011 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, distracted driving played a role in over 387,000 vehicle accidents involving injury. Even worse, that agency claims that distracted driving was a factor in the deaths of over 3,000 motorists that same year. Besides cellphones, the use of other electronic devices such as GPS navigational systems, tablets and now smart watches are all examples of things that could potentially steal focus away from drivers. Additionally, drivers reaching for objects under their seats or in other areas of the car are potential hazards. Applying makeup, dealing with an excited pet or fastening children in car seats are some other avoidable forms of distraction. Pennsylvania law allows injured motorists to seek recovery for their injuries from drivers who cause those preventable accidents. The fact of the matter is that even a relatively minor fender bender can result in victims requiring medical treatment. Those accidents might even cause them […]

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Feb 5, 2015 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Pennsylvania is considered a “limited tort” state when it comes to car insurance coverage. In a nutshell, this means that motorists can choose between insurance coverage which will limit their ability to claim damages for pain and suffering and bodily injury, and one which will not. Generally, car insurance companies offer motorists the limited tort insurance at cheaper rates than the full tort insurance. As a general rule, insurance companies make more money when they have to pay out fewer claims. This is why insurers would rather consumers take the limited tort insurance which will prevent them from making expensive claims following a car accident. What is important to remember is that under Pennsylvania law there are a few exceptions which allow individuals with only limited tort coverage to pursue those larger claims. For example, a pedestrian or a bicyclist who is hit and injured by a car is not bound by the limited tort option. The reason for this is because a person walking or biking is not operating a motor vehicle and therefore those victims should not be bound by the type of car insurance they happen to carry for their cars. That same logic also applies to individuals who are an occupant of a non-private passenger vehicle. That scenario would typically mean that you are either driving or riding in a commercial vehicle being used for some business […]

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Oct 29, 2014 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, October 29, 2014. It is impossible to watch TV, listen to a radio or even drive along our Pennsylvania highways without being bombarded with advertising warning against drunk driving. However, each year a fair number of Pennsylvania residents are killed in alcohol-related accidents despite the use of expensive advertising campaigns and random DUI checkpoints. According to the Pennsylvania DUI Association, alcohol was a factor in 11,956 accidents during 2012. At least 404 people were killed that same year as a result of drunk driving. One of the most alarming trends in recent DUI statistics is an uptick in the number of young people dying in alcohol-related car crashes. Statistics from 2012 indicate that at least 18 percent of drivers who died between the ages of 16-20 were intoxicated at the time of their deaths. Another young age group, 21-25 years old, accounted for 40 percent of all drinking driver deaths. On average, there are roughly 33 alcohol-related accidents occurring throughout the Commonwealth every day. Additionally, out of those 33 accidents an estimated 1.1 individuals will die as a result of those crashes. The time of day when the majority of people will be killed by drunk drivers occurs between 8:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m. Becoming involved in any car accident is always an unpleasant experience, but it is made several times worse when it has been caused by the careless or reckless actions of […]

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Sep 3, 2014 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. As previously reported on our law blog, the growing trend of distracted driving has been fueled by the popular appeal of handheld electronic devices. In June 2014, Just Drive PA, a Pennsylvania organization dedicated to increasing public awareness about distracted driving, launched a publicity campaign related to that effort. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Just Drive PA’s campaign was that it brought attention to the fact that distracted driving is more than just when someone looks at their cellphone. It’s also caused by eating, smoking, applying makeup, reaching for something in the back seat and more. Now, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reporting that distracted driving accidents are on the rise. Even worse, those statistics fly in stark contrast to the fact that in 2013, the number of highway deaths occurring throughout the Commonwealth recently fell to 1,208. That’s the lowest number of traffic deaths ever reported since Pennsylvania started keeping track back in 1928. According to PennDOT, fatalities actually increase in distracted driving related crashes. There were 64 such crashes in 2013 resulting in death. That number represents a total of 57 additional fatalities than the previous year. As these numbers demonstrate, the chances that Pennsylvania motorists will be injured by distracted drivers have grown exponentially. If you have been injured as the result of a preventable accident caused by a distracted driver-related car accident, you […]

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Aug 1, 2014 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, August 1, 2014. The widespread appeal of handheld electronic devices such as mobile phones has led to a dramatic rise in distracted driving. A Pennsylvania organization known as Just Drive PA, has launched an effort in June to increase public awareness about the link between distracted driving and car accidents. Just Drive PA has collected data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and created a website to get its message out to the public. Perhaps one of the most surprising details about distracted driving is that some states only require that new drivers refrain from texting while behind the wheel. Pennsylvania has taken a more strict approach. Drivers of all ages are prohibited from texting while driving. However, it’s a mistake to think that texting while behind the wheel is the only form of distracted driving. The driver is considered distracted when their attention is taken away from driving. That means anytime that their eyes are diverted away from the road or their hands are removed from the wheel. Here are just a few examples of activities that constitute distracted driving: — eating, drinking or smoking — grooming, applying makeup — interacting with a pet that is moving around loose inside the car — reaching into the back seat for something — adjusting mirrors and headlights Of course, this list is not exhaustive and used mostly to demonstrate activities that could constitute distracted […]

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Apr 4, 2014 - Car Accidents


By Drake Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, April 4, 2014. It’s springtime in Pennsylvania, and the April weather allows us to finally escape the difficult driving conditions of the past winter. Authorities are quick to caution drivers not to become complacent, however. Car accidents can happen in any weather, and they can occur for any number of reasons. Distracted driving is a significant cause of car accidents in Pennsylvania and across the country. The dangers are such that April has been declared Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a factor in more than 387,000 motor vehicle injuries in 2011. It also contributed to more than 3,000 deaths. Modern technology has made it easier to be distracted. Cellphone and smart phone use on the roads has skyrocketed in recent years, contributing to the dangers. Particularly concerning is the practice of texting while driving, which involves not only visual distraction, but manual distraction as well. Many drivers try to reduce the risks associated with cellphone use and driving by using a hands-free headset, but research has shown these are ineffective at improving safety. The American Automobile Association recently released a list of things drivers can do to avoid becoming distracted behind the wheel. Avoiding cellphone use is on the list, but so are other activities such as personal grooming, snacking and securing children and pets. In general, AAA warns that any activity that takes your […]

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Dec 31, 2013 - Car Accidents


By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. It is common for Pennsylvania residents to experience bad driving conditions during the winter months. Icy and snow covered roads could be the stage of a multi-vehicle collision. If a vehicle is traveling too fast or the driver is not properly paying attention, a serious car accidentcould ensue. During inclement weather, it is important that resident avoid driving if possible, but if driving is required, they should take extra precaution. Authorities were recently called to multiple accidents on the Pennsylvania Turnpike caused by a sudden snowstorm that affected the area. Due to the accidents caused by the winter storm, Interstate 78 was closed between mile marker 35 and 40 going eastbound. The westbound side of the Interstate was shut down around mile marker 40 as well. Emergency crewmembers that arrived at the scene assessed everyone involved in the massive wreck. It was reported that 44 people were injured in the multi-vehicle crash. Of those injured, 25 were transported to the hospital for treatment. Details about the collisions and the causes were not immediately available. Although the winter weather played a huge role in the massive and multiple crashes, it is not clear whether a negligent driver caused the crash. Dangerous road conditions can often cause a car accident, but a driver who speeds or is not attentive could also cause a crash. If a driver is at fault, they could be liable […]

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