Resources

Category: Personal Injury

Nov 11, 2020 - Car Accidents

OH DEER, IT’S THAT SEASON AGAIN: Six tips to avoid striking a deer and what to do if you do

  With the opening of bow season last month, together with greater activity due to mating season, we need to be reminded that deer accidents are most common from October through December.    Today there are an estimated 1.5 million deer in Pennsylvania.   November is the month in which you are most likely to have a deer-related collision.  If you drive in Pennsylvania, you have a 1 in 70 chance of being involved in a deer-related accident.   Only in West Virginia and Montana do you have a greater chance of striking a deer with your vehicle.  The most common time to strike a deer is between 6 PM and 9 PM and unfortunately deer kill approximately 120 people each year. So what can you do to be safer on the road during this season? Here are six tips. 1) Remember that deer travel in groups. If one deer successfully crosses the road in front of you, be sure to be looking for others that are soon to follow. Most people miss hitting the first deer they see and hit the second one. 2) Travel with a heightened state of awareness during this season. While deer cross roads at all hours of the day, they are more active at dusk and at dawn. If you are traveling when it is dark, use your high-beams as much as possible in order to see as much of the sides of the roadway as possible. Be aware of areas where you have seen deer […]

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Sep 30, 2020 - Personal Injury

Preventing Swimming Pool Accidents in Pennsylvania: Let Our Bethlehem Accident Attorney Help

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): From 2005-2014, there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the U.S. or about ten deaths per day. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care, compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning; in other words, permanent vegetative state. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the U.S. If you have been involved in a swimming pool accident or other water-related accident in Pennsylvania, let a Bethlehem accident attorney help. Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents Swimming pool accidents are particularly tragic because they most often involve children and are preventable., leaving grieving parents with a lifetime of guilt. The most common causes of swimming pool accidents include: Lack of Adequate Supervision. Lack of supervision is the most common cause of swimming pool accidents, especially when children are involved. If there is no lifeguard, or if a lifeguard is not properly trained, the chance of an accident increases dramatically. It is critical to keep a watchful eye on […]

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Sep 23, 2020 - Doylestown Personal Injury Attorney

Our Doylestown Injury Attorney Works to Help Prevent Elder Abuse

Elder abuse includes the physical, emotional, or sexual harm inflicted upon an older adult, their financial exploitation, or neglect of their welfare by people who are directly responsible for their care.  It has been estimated that: As many as 5,000,000 elders are abused each year. One in 10 elders over the age of 60 has been abused. As many as 24.3% of residents experienced at least one instance of physical abuse while in a nursing home. Only one in 14 incidents of elder abuse are formally reported. The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study suggests this number is even more severe, with only 1 in 25 cases of abuse reported. These figures are low, as many elder abuse victims are unable or unwilling to report their abuse. Data from Adult Protective Services (APS) indicates a rising number of reported abuses in recent years. If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of elder abuse in Pennsylvania, let a Doylestown injury attorney help. Types of Elder Abuse The National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse: Physical Abuse. The use of physical force that results in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. Sexual Abuse. Any kind of non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly person. Emotional Abuse. Any verbal or non-verbal acts that inflict anguish, pain, or distress. Financial/Material Exploitation. Illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets. Neglect. The refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations […]

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Jul 23, 2020 - Motorcycle Accidents

Bicycle Safety

Bicycling, or cycling, or simply biking, is an increasingly popular leisure activity, as well as an inexpensive and convenient mode of transportation. According to Statista, around 12.4 percent of Americans cycled on a regular basis in 2016. The number of bikers in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past three years from 43 million in 2014 to 47.5 million in 2017. While the number of cyclists in the U.S. between six and 17 years old has decreased over the past ten years, the trend among young adults; i.e., people aged between 18 and 24 years old, is somewhat different. The number of young adults who participated in bicycling has remained relatively stable at around four million.  The relatively recent success of American riders in the Tour de France, a 23-day race covering 2,200 miles around France that has been run for over 100 years, has helped boost the popularity of the sport in the U.S. Still, as can be seen on the Tour, even the best bike riders are sometimes involved in accidents, often leading to serious injuries, and often caused by unwitting car drivers who are simply not looking out for cyclists. If you have been injured in such an accident, Bethlehem personal injury lawyers can help. How to Cycle Safely According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 857 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. in 2018. These deaths are particularly tragic because most often, it’s the vehicle driver at fault, yet it’s […]

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May 29, 2020 - Car Accidents

Choosing a Safe Vehicle

Our Stroudsburg personal injury lawyer knows all too well that car accidents are the most common way in which the average person may suffer a personal injury. With that in mind, it makes sense to take precautions and do as much as we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. One precaution we can take is to buy a safe vehicle to drive. But how do we know which vehicles are safe? What to Consider When Shopping for a Car in Stroudsburg or Elsewhere In researching which cars are safe, there are four factors you should consider: How the vehicle performs in crash rate tests The vehicle’s weight The vehicle’s center of gravity The vehicle’s safety features  Crash-test ratings There are two entities that conduct crash tests and rate new vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the “NHTSA”) – a federal agency – conducts crash tests on vehicles, rates them using a 5-star rating system, and provides the results to consumers.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the “IIHS”) – a non-profit organization funded by automobile insurance companies – also conducts crash tests.  It has tougher crash protection standards than the NHTSA, regularly updates them, and gives the safest vehicles its “Top Safety Pick” rating. Before buying a car, you should make sure it gets good crashworthiness ratings from the NHTSA and is an IIHS “Top Safety Pick.” Vehicle Weight It almost goes without saying that the heavier your vehicle is, the better it will protect you and […]

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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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Jan 29, 2020 - Personal Injury

Damages for the Aggravation of an Existing Injury

Seasoned Allentown Personal Injury Lawyer If you’ve been seriously harmed in an accident due to the fault of another party, then Pennsylvania law may entitle you to compensation.  Personal injury litigation is not always as straightforward as one might initially expect — quite often, litigation can be complicated by circumstances that are beyond your control, such as the presence of a pre-existing injury or condition. The Thin-Skull Doctrine In Pennsylvania, and other jurisdictions, an injured plaintiff is only entitled to compensation if they can prove that the defendant’s misconduct (whether due to negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm) caused them to sustain losses.  The defendant can avoid liability entirely by introducing evidence that shows that the plaintiff’s supposed injuries actually predated the accident.  For example, the defendant might show that the neck stiffness symptoms suffered by the plaintiff are actually due to a pre-existing spinal condition that have nothing to do with the case-relevant accident. Fortunately, the thin-skull doctrine (also known as the eggshell plaintiff doctrine) provides for recovery in situations where the plaintiff did, in fact, suffer from a pre-existing injury or condition, but that was aggravated by the defendant’s misconduct.  Under the thin-skull doctrine, the defendant cannot avoid liability simply because the defendant is uniquely weak or fragile. If the defendant suffers from pre-existing nerve damage, for example, and the symptoms are substantially aggravated in a car accident caused by the defendant, then the defendant cannot avoid liability simply because the seriousness of the plaintiff’s injuries were enhanced by […]

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Jan 15, 2020 - Personal Injury

The Standard of Care is Variable Depending on the Circumstances

If you’ve been harmed due to the negligence of another individual or entity, then you may be entitled to bring a right of action against the liable defendant to secure damages as compensation.  In the wake of an accident, it’s important to consult a qualified Allentown personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that your legal claims can be filed and your rights properly advanced under the law. Personal injury litigation is quite a bit more nuanced than many people expect, however — the defendant may attempt to minimize (or altogether avoid) liability by arguing that they did not violate the standard of care applicable to the circumstances.  Simply put, the success of many negligence-based injury lawsuits turns on the standard of care, which itself can vary substantially from case-to-case. Let’s take a closer look at the standard of care and how it works in a negligence-based injury lawsuit. Understanding the Reasonable Person Standard Whether a defendant is found liable for negligence depends on the standard of care.  If the defendant violated the standard of care (applicable to the circumstances), then they will be deemed to have acted negligently, and could be held responsible for the damages arising out of their negligent conduct. So, what is the standard of care? It is perhaps best explained through the fiction that is the “reasonable person.”  Essentially, the standard of care is whatever conduct a reasonable person — with ordinary prudence — would have engaged in under the same or similar circumstances.  […]

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Dec 17, 2019 - Personal Injury

Understanding Contingency Fees in Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve been injured in an accident — whether a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall, or some other scenario involving the fault of another party — then you may have a right of action against the defendant for damages.  Despite the fact that an injured plaintiff may be entitled to compensation under the law, however, they sometimes choose to avoid legal action on account of cost concerns. This concern is not borne out in reality, however. Personal injury litigation services rarely require any up-front fees.  Our Bethlehem personal injury lawyers provide litigation services on contingency.  This is a very good thing for prospective plaintiffs, as the use of contingency fees creates an attorney-client dynamic that is favorable to them. How does it all work?  Let’s examine the basics. Contingency Fees Are Not Owed Unless You Win Contingency fees are quite simple.  When you enter into a contingency fee arrangement with a personal injury firm, the firm is offering to represent you and cover all the out-of-pocket costs associated with litigating the claim (i.e., retaining experts, conducting an investigation of the facts, securing evidence, courtroom appearances, time spent on negotiating with the opposing side, etc.).  You pay nothing, and the firm advocates on your behalf throughout the dispute process. Now, if you do not obtain compensation for your injuries, the firm will absorb those costs and you will not have to pay anything. However, if you do “win” by successfully obtaining compensation for your injuries (whether through a negotiated settlement or in […]

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Nov 15, 2019 - Doylestown Personal Injury Attorney

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in Pennsylvania

Negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) claims are often asserted as supplementary claims in the personal injury context, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.  For example, if you are injured in a car accident and your relative is killed in the seat next to you, then you could bring a number of different claims against the defendant-driver, including a standard injury cause of action as well as one that is tied to the emotional distress you suffered as a result of the accident. Many first-time plaintiffs are not fully aware of how NIED claims work, however.  Let’s explore some of the basics for clarity. Basics of an NIED Claim In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs may be entitled to damages if they suffer severe emotional distress due to an accident that was caused by the defendant’s negligent acts.  There are a number of specific rules and exceptions that define NIED liability.  Consider the following. Physical Impact Rule Traditionally, Pennsylvania law required (by default) that the NIED plaintiff also been physically impacted in some way by the defendant.  If the plaintiff only suffered emotional distress, then that would not be enough.  As the law progressed, however, several exceptions were carved out. Zone of Danger Liability Zone of danger liability allows an NIED plaintiff to recover damages if they could reasonably argue that they felt a fear of injury due to being in the “zone of danger” near the point of impact.  For example, if a construction team negligently secured a concrete block and it fell on […]

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