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May 5, 2020 - Articles

Bicycle Riding Resurgence Amid COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders. How to Stay Safe.

  In an effort to stay active during the stay-at-home orders, many people are going into the garage to dust off their once-forgotten bicycle. Many bike shops are reporting an uptick in business as people are looking for ways to get outside and get exercise.  Several years ago, we posted an article on “Six Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicycles“, however , with more and more people getting back on their bikes, a refresher on bicycle law and safety is in order. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, if riding a bike on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks and bicycle paths. You must give an audible signal as you approach and pass a pedestrian. Automobiles are not required to yield to bicycles being ridden across a crosswalk (at a trail crossing for example) as the bicycle is treated as a vehicle. A better choice is to dismount and walk your bike across. You are not permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a business district (except where permitted by official traffic control devices) or where there is a bicycle-only lane available. If you choose to ride your bike in the roadway, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road (in the same direction as the flow of traffic) but are not required to do so. Otherwise, the safest travel location for bicyclists is the center of the rightmost travel lane. Since it may have […]

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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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May 1, 2020 - Doylestown Car Accident Lawyer

Truck vs. Car Accidents in Doylestown

Truck accidents typically involve a motor vehicle crash with a “big rig,” semi-truck, tractor-trailer or some other commercial vehicle. There are many differences between truck accidents and car accidents. For instance, there are a lot more car accidents than truck accidents. More than 7.2 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, but less than 300,000 truck accidents occur yearly. To put that into perspective, that means hundreds of truck accidents take place every day in the U.S.  While truck accidents occur less often than car accidents every year, they pack a larger punch. Commercial truck accidents account for 287,000 insurance property damage claims and result in more than 77,000 personal injuries and 4,300 deaths in the U.S. each year. This is probably because trucks are much bigger than cars and thus, make a bigger impact.  While the average car weighs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, a tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Since trucks are so much larger and heavier than cars, truck accidents are much more likely to result in catastrophic injuries and death. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact our Doylestown accident lawyer today to discuss your legal rights and options. Another factor that may contribute to the deadliness of truck accidents is that trucks are allowed to carry flammable and hazardous materials – a condition that would certainly make a potential collision more dangerous. Moreover, if cargo isn’t properly secured in a truck, it could break loose in traffic and […]

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Apr 28, 2020 - Articles

Considering Owning a Pet Tiger? What are the Legal Ramifications?

by Tom Blackburn, Esq. aka “Joe Mundane” We are now in the midst of the 2020 Covid-19 virus quarantine. As the months pass, it will be interesting to determine the winners and losers of this historical anomaly. The obvious winner in my household is my 6 year old Golden Retriever, Bree. Bree has benefitted substantially from the forced return and mandated house arrest of my college kids; along with the escalating opportunities for her to escort her family members in a parade like fashion around the neighborhood. When you pay attention, all the dogs in the neighborhood seem to confidently nod at each other with particular contentment. This makes you wonder if Covid-19 is related to a sinister world-wide canine conspiracy. The newscasters speak of the bats, but have we thought about investigating Fido? Another winner is Netflix. Very few folks could look the other way, after hearing the names “Joe Exotic”, or “The Tiger King,” or for that matter, the lady named “Baskin,” “Baskin,” I guess, could’ve, might’ve, allegedly, fed her loving husband, 20 years her senior, to a few of her rescued, though apparently still hungry, tigers. Well, we really had no choice in the matter. We all had to left click on that tiger icon to peer into what we very quickly realized was a bizarre, fast moving, train wreck of a documentary. Yet, getting back to the title of this article, if my eyes were not deceiving me, there were quite a few humans in that […]

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Apr 22, 2020 - Allentown Car Accident Lawyer

IF A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST AND . . .

The last Friday in April, is National Arbor Day, a day set aside to celebrate the role of trees in our lives and to promote tree planting and care. J. Sterling Morton is considered the founder of Arbor Day. In 1854 Morton and his wife moved from Detroit to the virtually treeless plains of Nebraska. The Nebraska pioneers needed trees for windbreaking, fuel, building materials, and shade from the hot prairie sun. Morton decided to use his role as editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper to promote tree planting in Nebraska. In 1872, the Nebraska Board of Agriculture accepted Morton’s resolution to set aside one day to plant trees. The Board declared April 10, 1872 to be Arbor Day, and offered prizes to both counties and individuals for the largest number of trees properly planted. On that day alone, 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. Shortly thereafter the rest of the states began passing legislation to observe Arbor Day, with the actual date in April determined by the best time to plant trees in each particular state. While trees add to the visual landscape and provide many helpful benefits to people and the environment, they can present as hazards to motorists. Trees that are not properly maintained can block road signs and roadways. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, 1,581 fatal crashes in the United States were caused by obscured vision, including poorly maintained trees and shrubbery. Dead and diseased trees can also fall on cars and roadways, […]

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Apr 11, 2020 - Articles

BEWARE OF COVID -19 SCAMS

    When we as a nation face challenging times, most of us pull together to help one another out. Unfortunately, some people see any crisis as an opportunity for personal advantage. The current pandemic is no exception. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Small Business Administration have issued warnings alerting consumers to the nature of certain scams that are being used by criminals during this time of crisis. Listed below are some helpful tips for all of us. Ignore Online and Door-to-Door Solicitations For Vaccinations And Home Test Kits There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time. The FDA has stated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs or treatment products currently available to cure or prevent the virus. The FTC and FDA have issued joint warning letters to various sellers of products including teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver. Hang up on Robocalls Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes to help in processing your coronavirus stimulus check. A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless the company has your written permission to call you that way. Watch For Emails Claiming to Be From the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or WHO (World Health Organization) Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal […]

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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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