Resources

Sep 21, 2018 - Personal Injury

Breach of Express Warranty Claims and Product Defects

If you have been seriously injured due to a product failing to perform in the manner advertised by the seller, then you may be entitled to damages under Pennsylvania law. Product defect injury lawsuits are typically associated with strict liability issues that arise out of certain implied protections granted to products — for example, claims arising from injuries sustained due to a product failing to meet its implied warranty of merchantability (i.e., the product must reasonably conform to ordinary expectations).  Importantly, however, those who are injured by a product may also bring a lawsuit on the basis of a breach of an express warranty. So, how do express warranties work in the product liability context?  Let’s explore the basics for a clearer understanding. Breach of Express Warranty Basics In Pennsylvania, express warranties are formed in two instances: When a promise or affirmation of fact is made by the seller relating to the goods, and that promise becomes part of the basis of the bargain; or When a description of the goods becomes part of the basis of the bargain. When the express warranty has been formed, the product at-issue must conform to the warranty — either the promise, affirmation of fact, or description — or else the court will determine that there has been a breach.  If this breach caused you to suffer injuries, then you will have an actionable claim for damages under Pennsylvania law. Breach of warranty claims can be somewhat confusing for plaintiffs who do not have […]

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Sep 19, 2018 - Personal Injury

Hurt in an Accident? Beware: You Might Be Under Surveillance

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another party, then you may be entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law.  It’s important to point out, however, that injury lawsuits do not typically proceed in an obvious or straightforward manner.  Depending on the circumstances of your injury and the particularities of your claim, the defendant may conduct surveillance and attempt to undermine your claims by gathering evidence that is inconsistent with your claims. Though surveillance tactics are most commonly associated with disability claims, defendants in personal injury lawsuits have a right to conduct surveillance.  In Pennsylvania, surveillance video and related evidence is deemed relevant and may be introduced into evidence pursuant to discovery — as such, injured plaintiffs must exercise great care to prior to litigation to ensure that the strength of their claims are preserved. How Surveillance Can Impact Your Injury Lawsuit Surveillance can have a significant and negative impact on your ability to secure damages in a personal injury lawsuit, if you’re not careful.  What many plaintiffs do not realize is that — even if you have a legitimate claim, and you are not exaggerating your injuries — the defendant can misconstrue supposed “inconsistencies” and create substantial doubt in the minds of the jury with regard to the seriousness of your injury. Let’s clarify with a quick example. Suppose that you are injured in a car accident involving another negligent driver.  Due to the accident, you sustain a […]

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Sep 14, 2018 - Personal Injury

Suing for Injuries Caused to Your Children by a Negligent Supervisor

Though many parents might want to be able to supervise their children at all times, there are times when children must come under the supervision of another adult, whether in a school setting or through some other arrangement (i.e., childcare center). Children are naturally curious, and as such, they tend to “attract” injuries.  These tendencies often give rise to situations where children sustain injuries while under the care of a non-parental adult.  Generally speaking, for minor injuries — cuts and scrapes and scratches — this is a non-issue, but in cases where your child has suffered severe injuries, Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action to secure damages on behalf of your child. What Qualifies as Negligent Supervision of a Child? Liability for negligent supervision of a child will attach only if there is a duty of supervision that connects the child and the caretaker. For example, if your child runs off in the supermarket and hurts themselves crawling on a shelf while in the vicinity of a stranger, you cannot hold that strange liable for failing to supervise or otherwise “negligently” supervising your child, as the stranger has no duty to supervise your child. On the other hand, if you paid a nanny to supervise your child, and he or she crawled on a shelf and injured themselves, then you might be entitled to hold the nanny liable for negligent supervision — the nanny has a clear duty of supervision. Failure to meet the standard of care […]

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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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Aug 31, 2018 - Personal Injury

You May Be Entitled to Damages for Slipping on Ice

In Pennsylvania, snow and ice accumulation is a fact of life and the time to pull out the snow boots and shovels is quickly approaching.  Nearly every season, residents and visitors are likely to encounter the dangers of such conditions, and some may slip-and-fall and injure themselves — perhaps even severely — and depending on the circumstances, the slip-and-fall injury could give rise to a significant, actionable claim for damages under Pennsylvania law. Let’s take a brief look at the basic rule (the “Hills and Ridges” rule) that applies to such disputes. Application of the Hills and Ridges Rule Unlike the courts in warmer weather states, Pennsylvania courts have had to modify the rules of premises liability somewhat to account for the universal injury threat posed by snow and ice conditions during winter months.  Simply put, it would not be reasonable for property owners to be held liable for injuries caused by natural snow and ice conditions in most cases, as the imposition of liability would force property owners to invest enormous amounts of money and effort into spotlessly maintaining their properties throughout the season. The Hills and Ridges rule implemented by Pennsylvania courts attempts to carve out a reasonable “slice” of liability that allows injured claimants to obtain compensation in cases where the defendant has clearly violated a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors. Essentially, the Hills and Ridges rule allows injured plaintiffs to impose liability on the defendant property owner only if: […]

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Aug 24, 2018 - Doylestown Personal Injury Attorney

The Collateral Source Rule: Recovering for Medical Expenses After Reimbursement

If you have been seriously injured in an accident that resulted from the negligent, reckless, or wrongful misconduct of another party, then Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action to sue and recover damages for the suffered losses.  Many plaintiffs with legitimate claims are concerned about their right of recovery, however, given the likelihood that many of their losses will be reimbursed thanks to their insurance coverage. Simply put, injured plaintiffs may be confused as to whether they are entitled to damages if the losses giving rise to such damages are actually covered by a third-party source (i.e., through insurance or other benefits).  For example, if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, then you may have significant medical expenses — perhaps $300,000 in total, considering various treatments and surgeries and rehabilitative engagements over a multi-year period.  Now, what if all your medical expenses were covered by your insurer?  In total, then, your out-of-pocket medical expenses would be zero.  Claiming the pre-reimbursement expenses as a loss is entirely within your rights as an injured claimant, but this can be confusing for first-time plaintiffs. Pennsylvania imposes the collateral source rule, which — as in many other states — heavily favors the injured plaintiff by prohibiting the introduction of evidence regarding third-party reimbursements and benefits that cover the losses at-issue. Let’s take a look at the basics for a clearer understanding. Basics of the Collateral Source Rule in Pennsylvania Stated succinctly, the collateral source rule prevents the introduction of evidence […]

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Aug 21, 2018 - Articles

FIVE TIPS FOR OCEAN SAFETY

  When we think of summer, we typically think of the beach. For those of us who live in the greater Philadelphia area that means going to the Jersey Shore. However, a relaxing trip to the ocean shouldn’t cause you to relax when it comes to safety. Drowning is the number one accidental cause of death for children ages 1 -4 and the sixth leading cause of accidental death for all ages in the United States. Ten Americans die by drowning every day. And nearly 80 percent of people who drown in the United States are male. Listed below are five simple tips to help you be safe on your end-of-summer trip to the ocean. 1. Only Swim on a Beach Protected by a Lifeguard The chances of drowning on a beach without a lifeguard are almost five times higher than your chances on a beach with a lifeguard. You should swim between the flags positioned on either side of the lifeguard stand. The colors of the flags indicate both the nature of the surf that day and what activities are permitted in the water. A red or yellow flag typically means no swimming or restricted swimming. A green or orange flag means swimming is allowed. As you swim in the ocean, you need to be mindful that currents will move you along the shore. By continuing to swim within the boarder of the flags you can ensure that the lifeguard on duty is able to see you. 2. Never […]

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Aug 17, 2018 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

Suing a Vehicle Owner for Damages

In Pennsylvania, if you have suffered injuries in a car accident in which the defendant-driver was operating a vehicle that was not their own, then you may not only have a legitimate claim for damages against the driver, but you may also have a claim against the owner of the vehicle pursuant to the theory of negligent entrustment. Negligent entrustment imposes liability on vehicle owners for permitting a person — who they know (or should know) is unfit to drive — to use their vehicle.  This is separate and independent from vicarious liability, which imposes liability on employers for the negligence committed by their employees. For example, if you are injured in a car accident by an intoxicated pizza delivery driver employee, then you might be entitled to bring a claim against the employer under vicarious liability and separately for negligently entrusting the company vehicle to the driver despite being aware of the intoxicated status of the driver-employee. Same as with vicarious liability claims, legitimate negligent entrustment claims are a strategic boon of sorts in that they enable you — the injured plaintiff — to “spread liability” across multiple parties, particularly those who may have the insurance coverage or personal assets necessary to adequately cover your damages. Negligent entrustment claims are fairly straightforward, though it can be something of a challenge to prove each necessary element to the claim.  For now, let’s explore some of the basics. Elements of a Pennsylvania Negligent Entrustment Claim Negligent entrustment claims in Pennsylvania require […]

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Aug 10, 2018 - Car Accidents

What Happens If You Are Injured by an Uninsured Driver?

In Pennsylvania (and elsewhere), the risk of encountering an uninsured or underinsured driver is rather high.  According to a report conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, roughly 13 percent of motorists across the United States at-large lacked insurance coverage altogether, not accounting for a significant portion of motorists who have minimal insurance coverage that would likely be inadequate to cover all losses sustained in a serious motor vehicle accident. Uninsured and underinsured motorists expose injury victims to a substantial damage recovery problem.  If the defendant does not have adequate insurance coverage to resolve your various losses, then you could be left without the means with which to be compensated — for example, if you have $100,000 in medical expenses, and the defendant-driver only has $50,000 in total insurance coverage, then you may be forced to resolve the difference on your own (out-of-pocket). If you find yourself involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, don’t be alarmed.  All is not lost.  With the assistance of a qualified attorney, there are alternative strategies that can be pursued to maximize the possibility of a full recovery, even in situations where the defendant-driver is uninsured or underinsured. Obtaining a Lien on Personal Assets It’s possible — though administratively challenging — to sue an uninsured or underinsured defendant and obtain a successful verdict or settlement, and thereby secure a lien against their personal assets to compensate you for your losses.  This is a realistic choice in situations where the defendant-driver has significant […]

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