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Category: Easton Car Accident Lawyer

Oct 10, 2018 - Car Accidents

Car Accident Lawsuits: A Brief Look at Negligence Per Se

If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident that was caused due to the negligence of another individual (or entity), then Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action against the defendant for damages as compensation for your losses. Litigating negligence claims — in a car accident scenario or otherwise — can be rather complicated, however.  Depending on the circumstances, it may be difficult to prove that the defendant was actually negligent (i.e., violated the applicable standard of care).  In Pennsylvania, as in other states, the doctrine of “negligence per se” enables injured plaintiffs to automatically establish negligence and thereby avoid the conflicts associated with such proof. Let’s take a brief look at the basics. What is Negligence Per Se? Negligence per se is presumed negligence associated with the violation of statutory law or some other codified ordinance or rule.  In other words, if you can show that the defendant-driver violated some law (and in doing so, caused you to suffer injuries), then you may not have to prove that they acted negligently — the court will presume negligence. Courts in Pennsylvania have long clarified the requirements necessary for application of negligence per se.  Simply put, negligence per se requires the following: That the defendant violated a statute or other regulation; That the purpose of the statute is (at least in part) to protect the interest of a particular group of individuals, as opposed to the general public; That the statute or regulation must apply to the conduct of […]

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Sep 28, 2018 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Hydroplaning and How to Avoid It

  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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Sep 12, 2018 - Car Accidents

Dram Shop Liability in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law — and in some other state jurisdictions — those who have been injured in a car accident by a drunk driver defendant may also be entitled to bring an action against the business or individual who provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver.  This is known as “dram shop liability” and the contours of such liability can be rather confusing for the plaintiff unaccustomed to or otherwise unfamiliar with the law in this respect. Let’s take a brief look at how it works. Business Liability Commercial and non-commercial parties are subject to different dram shop liability standards under the law.  In Pennsylvania, alcohol vendors — businesses — that furnish alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals may be held liable for the injuries that the intoxicated person subsequently causes. For example, if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver defendant, and you later discover that the driver was furnished alcohol by a bartender (despite being clearly and visibly intoxicated at the time), then you may be entitled to sue and recover damages from the bar itself. Importantly, Pennsylvania law also imposes dram shop liability on businesses that furnish alcohol to individuals in violation of some other liquor regulation.  This is a rather common scenario, in fact, and will give you an opportunity to recover damages from the business defendant even when they did not furnish alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual. For clarity, consider the following. Suppose that a liquor shop furnishes alcohol […]

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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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Mar 28, 2018 - Easton Car Accident Lawyer

Securing Compensation in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Multiple Defendants

Popular media has created a perception of civil litigation as a one-on-one game, of sorts, in which you aggressively and exclusively pursue a single defendant.  This does not reflect the reality of litigation, however.  In many personal injury cases, there is more than one defendant who is responsible for your injuries (and who is therefore liable for damages). Suppose that you are injured in a motor vehicle collision.  Upon first impression, you may believe that the defendant-driver is the “lone defendant,” and is solely responsible for your injuries.  After the case has been more thoroughly investigated, however, you may discover that your own car was defectively designed and therefore contributed substantially to your injuries.  You would be entitled to sue both the manufacturer and the driver for damages. Multiple defendants necessarily complicate a lawsuit, but it’s worth noting that suing multiple defendants can be advantageous, too — not every defendant has sufficient assets or liability insurance coverage to pay your damages in full.  By introducing additional parties into the lawsuit, you might gain access to defendants who have the means to pay your damages, at least partially. Pennsylvania law on shared liability (and compensation) between defendants has changed dramatically in recent years.  If you’re bringing a lawsuit against multiple defendants in Pennsylvania, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the rules and how it may affect your recovery. The Old Compensation Rules in Pennsylvania In the past, Pennsylvania implemented pure “joint and several liability,” which heavily favored injured plaintiffs.  […]

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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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