Resources

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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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 22, 2020 - Doylestown Personal Injury Attorney

Understanding Loss of Earning Capacity Damages

If you’ve been harmed in an accident that was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party, then the law may entitle you to compensation for your losses, which may include damages that cover the loss of future earning capacity.  Loss of future earning capacity damages describe the “difference” in lifetime earnings potential between your pre-accident self and your post-accident self.  Depending on your age, these damages can be significant — in some cases, it may form the largest portion of your total damages claim. Contact our Doylestown personal injury attorney today to discuss your case. Wage Loss, Earning Capacity, and Projecting Damages Wage loss damages are related to, but not the same as damages for the loss of future earning capacity.  Whereas wage loss measures the actual wages that are unearned due to one’s inability to work (i.e., days taken off due to injury), loss of earning capacity damages measure the difference in one’s wages over the long-term.  In some cases, if the plaintiff is so thoroughly impaired that they are unable to work at all, the loss of earning capacity will be equivalent to one’s lost wages until retirement. Loss of earning capacity damages require a projection of future earnings along two different timelines — one in which you were never injured, and the current timeline.  By doing so, you can (to a degree) accurately compare the two earning potentials.  You will have to project what a lifetime of salary raises, promotions, and bonuses would […]

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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 31, 2019 - Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Damages for Lost Financial Support

The loss of a loved one in an accident can be extremely damaging, and in a multitude of different ways.  Besides the emotional harm caused by the death, family members and other dependents may struggle due to the loss of significant financial support once provided by the deceased. For example, in the wake of an accident that causes the death of your spouse, you may lose access to significant financial resources (i.e., their salary) that was used to cover a range of expenses, such as food and rent. In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, wrongful death plaintiffs have a right to sue and recover against the liable defendant (whose negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct caused the death at-issue) for damages that they suffer as direct result of their loved one’s death.  This may include damages that account for the loss of financial support.  Damages available to the wrongful death plaintiff can vary quite significantly from case-to-case, depending on the nature of the relationship between the plaintiff and the deceased. Let our Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer help you with your case. Understanding the Loss of Financial Support Calculating the loss of financial support may seem straightforward, but the plaintiff must introduce evidence of consistent support over a specific period of time in order to secure damages for financial support.  “One-off” payments or gifts may not be sufficient to prove financial support. For example, if your uncle gave you two major and unexpected gifts of $10,000 (over a 12 year period), then you would […]

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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 25, 2019 - Car Accidents

OH, DEER, IT’S THAT SEASON AGAIN

  With hunting season upon us, I am reminded that I have killed more deer with a car than I have with a rifle. Today there are an estimated 1.5 million deer in Pennsylvania and November is the month most likely to have a deer-related collision. Last year in Pennsylvania alone there were 141,000 deer/vehicle crashes, which represented almost 10 percent of all deer related claims in the entire country. Only in West Virginia and Montana do you have a greater chance of striking a deer with your vehicle. 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 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 before, as deer often travel the same pathways. 3) If you see a deer crossing sign, know that the sign was installed by PennDOT because of prior reported collisions with deer on […]

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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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Nov 8, 2019 - Truck Accidents

Trucks Must Be Properly Loaded to Minimize the Risk of a Rollover

In Pennsylvania and throughout the country, rollover accidents are a serious problem that are particularly common in cases involving large trucks.  According to data gathered and reported on by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, nine percent of all large truck accidents involve rollovers. Rollover accidents can be avoided with the exercise of reasonable care.  Drivers and others who fail to exercise reasonable care thus risk exposing others to the dangers of a rollover accident.  If you have sustained injuries in a truck rollover accident, it’s likely that you are entitled to damages as compensation for your losses. How Improper Loading Can Cause a Rollover Accident Though rollover accidents have many causes (inadequate maintenance, suspension tuning issues, tire deterioration, and more), one of the chief negligence-related causes is improper cargo loading.  When the cargo load has not been properly secured, or has been unevenly distributed, then that can result in weight and balance problems that are difficult — if not impossible — for the driver to correct during maneuvers. For example, if a commercial delivery truck has been loaded with cargo that is not properly secured, then the cargo may come loose and slide to one side of the truck during a particularly sharp corner turn, thus causing the truck to overturn. Different Parties May Be Negligent Rollover motor vehicle accidents (that were caused by improper cargo loading) may expose multiple different parties to liability, depending on the circumstances. For example, though it may initially seem as though […]

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Nov 1, 2019 - Articles

TURNING OUR CLOCKS BACK INCREASES THE RISKS OF DRIVING AT NIGHT– Here Are Ten Tips to Stay Alive

  This Sunday morning, at 2 AM, Daylight Savings Time will end. We will move our clocks back one hour. While many will welcome the extra hour of sleep we gain, when Daylight Saving Time ends, many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are 3 times greater at night than during the day. Fatigue, compromised night vision, and impaired drivers are some of the risks we face when driving at night. These risks become especially pronounced moving into the weekend, with fatal crashes peaking on Saturday nights, according to NSC analysis of NHTSA data. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver. Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react, especially when driving at higher speeds. Ninety percent of your reaction time depends on your ability to see what’s around you. Since your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision decrease after sundown, your chances for a car accident tend to increase. According to the American Optometric Association, as we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult due to compromised vision as a result of cataracts […]

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