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May 20, 2016 - Car Accidents

EARLY-MORNING COLLISION BETWEEN A MINIVAN AND A TRACTOR-TRAILER

By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, May 20, 2013. Truck drivers often engage in late night or early morning driving. Pennsylvania residents often witness truck drivers traveling long distances throughout the late night hours. The increasing number of trucks and large vehicles on the road makes it more likely for these vehicles to become involved in a collision. When a car accident occurs and a truck is involved, not only is there a wreck, but there could also be seriously injured drivers and passengers. Often these types of crashes result in lane or road closures and increased traffic. A two-vehicle collision recently occurred in Bethlehem Township on Route 22. A minivan and a tractor-trailer crashed just before 4 a.m. The truck was hauling cement at the time of the accident. Emergency crews responded to the incident and assessed those involved in the wreck. A man was trapped in the minivan for a short amount of time and the van sustained a significant amount of damage to the front-end of the vehicle. It wasn’t clear if both drivers were injured, but the injuries suffered were described as being minor. Police are still investigating the accident and they have not determined the cause of the collision. A person injured in an accident like this might be able to file a personal injury claim if the negligence of the other driver contributed to the accident. An award from a suit could cover medical bills, […]

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May 13, 2016 - Premises Liability

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES ON A CRACKED SIDEWALK?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inPremises Liability on Friday, May 13, 2016. If the sidewalk outside of someone’s home is cracked and in poor repair, it may be slightly annoying. However, it may not be something he or she is really interested in fixing. The repair job may be too expensive, the person may be planning on moving — and therefore hesitant to make long-term repairs — or he or she may just not feel like putting in the time and effort. The homeowner may believe that it’s up to the city to make the repairs. The thing that people need to remember, though, is that repairing the sidewalk may subject them to liability if someone is injured on it If maintenance is not done, those who are injured may be able to seek compensation through a premises liability case. There is significant precedent for this in Pennsylvania. Back in 1998, a woman was walking along a cracked sidewalk when she tripped and fell. She hurt her shoulder and her wrist, and four of her teeth were knocked out. Considering these substantial injuries and the monetary costs that went along with them, she decided to sue the people who owned the adjacent house. The case was finally decided in 2004, and she won. The court ruled that the three family members who owned the house were primarily liable. If you’ve been injured because someone else did not take proper care of their property […]

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May 6, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents

CAN YOUR PASSENGERS DRINK IN THE CAR?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Friday, May 6, 2016. You know that you can’t actively drink while driving a vehicle, but what about your passengers? Is is legal for someone to be drinking in the back seat while you’re driving? In Pennsylvania, it’s not. The open container laws were created to stop exactly this type of situation, and they make it illegal to have any type of alcohol open in your vehicle. This means that a passenger who is holding an open beer, for example, would be in violation of those laws. This is important for people not from Pennsylvania to remember, as well, since open container laws are set on a state-by-state basis, and not all states have them. Activities than may not be illegal elsewhere could be in violation of the law in Pennsylvania, so never assume you know what you can and cannot do based on outside laws. These laws were originally set up to help stop drunk driving. If the container couldn’t even be open, it made it harder for drivers who were pulled over to just set a bottle aside and claim they hadn’t had anything to drink. Having the open bottle itself was still a violation. This is also the reason that some restaurants will put your wine in a sealed plastic bag if you order the whole bottle and then you don’t drink the entire thing. By sealing it, they’re allowing you […]

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Apr 27, 2016 - Car Accidents

IS THERE A DEADLINE TO FILE A CAR ACCIDENT INSURANCE CLAIM?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inCar Accidents on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering if there’s a deadline by which you have to file your insurance claim. While it’s true that insurance policies and providers vary—and so it’s incredibly important to check your own policy—there is generally not a time limit. The reason most people ask this question is simply that they’re worried that they waited too long. Maybe you were involved in a wreck last month, for instance, and you just got too busy to report it. Maybe you didn’t know your car suffered any damage, so you were just going to let it go, but now some damage is apparent and you want to look into your options. The same could be true for injuries. Whether it’s been a day, a week, or a month, you typically can still file your insurance claim. However, the statute of limitations of an injury lawsuit is two years, so be sure you know that these are two very different processes. Most experts advise you to file the claim as soon as you can. If the crash is one that warrants a police report, the police are going to want to know about it quickly. This report can help you if you’re seeking compensation. Waiting too long can make it hard to find the evidence that you need. When trying to show who was at […]

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Apr 22, 2016 - Pedestrian Accidents

SAFETY TIPS PEDESTRIANS CAN UTILIZE

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Friday, April 22, 2016. There is an incredible level of danger with any pedestrian accidents, so it’s wise to take steps to protect yourself. Even if you’re not at fault—if a driver hits you while you’re legally crossing the street, with the signal, for example—the ramifications for you are far worse than they are for the driver. Use these tips to stay safe. 1. If you’re out at night, it’s a good idea to wear bright clothes. You may even want to consider clothes with reflectors on them, which are often worn by cyclists. Some experts have said that it can also be wise to carry a flashlight. 2. Stick to the sidewalks as much as possible. This can’t be done everywhere, though, so be sure you face traffic when walking on the shoulder. 3. Look three times before going across the road. For example, start by looking to the left, then look to the right, then switch back to the left before stepping over the curb. 4. Don’t text while you walk. If crossing a road, don’t use your phone at all. Wait until you’re on the other side. 5. Be highly alert for any cars that are turning. Remember, even if the walk signal says you can walk, a driver may also be legally able to turn. He or she is supposed to stop for you in the crosswalk, but drivers sometimes don’t […]

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Apr 12, 2016 - Wrongful Death

READ THE FINE PRINT ON CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Wrongful Death on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous because, without a detector, you may have no idea that it’s in your home. Even when building up to deadly levels, you’re not going to see it or smell it. That’s why people often call it a silent killer. A carbon monoxide detector works much like a smoke detector, and there are even combination units that check for both at the same time. If the gas is found, it chimes and tells you to get out of the house before you suffer any harm. However, experts warn that you absolutely need to read the fine print. A lot of detectors are only rated to work at all for seven years. Don’t just assume that the detector is working because it’s not making any noise. After you get past that seven-year mark, it may have failed and it will stay silent even if your home is full of gas. Now, many detectors are set up to chime when they need to be replaced. This is to let you know in case you forgot—or if you bought your home with the detectors already installed and you have no idea how old they are. That being said, this function could break and you may not get any warning, so it’s best to keep track of the lifespan on your own. If you have lost a family member because of […]

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Mar 29, 2016 - Car Accidents

PARENTS MAY ACTUALLY BE SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS DRIVERS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inCar Accidents on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Teenagers often get stereotyped as the worst drivers. People assume that they are constantly talking to one another, playing the music too loudly, and texting while they drive. While all of these things can be true, interviews with some parents have shown that they can be dangerous, as well. Studies have demonstrated that children are incredibly distracting, and driving with them in the car can be as hazardous as texting and driving. One woman who was interviewed admitted to a whole host of offenses, including the following: — Driving with her knees– Giving out food and drinks for breakfast in the morning, while driving– Working to break up arguments– Stopping a child who felt carsick from throwing up while in a moving car The woman admitted that she knew these things were dangerous. In fact, she said that her own cousin had watched a child drop something on the floor and then reached down to try to pick it up. When she did, she was involved in a car accident and was injured so badly that she passed away. The woman admitted that this was eye-opening, but that she still made poor decisions behind the wheel. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety carried out a study and determined that babies were eight times as distracting as passengers who were adults, while children were four times as distracting as adults. Has a […]

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Mar 22, 2016 - Car Accidents

DRIVERS MAKE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF MISTAKES AT YIELD SIGNS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. One of the big reasons behind car accidents is that drivers often fail to do as they are instructed by the traffic safety devices that are in place. This includes stop signs, red lights, flashing lights, and much more. One device that seems to create a lot of confusion and different types of mistakes is the yield sign. A yield sign is intended to get a driver to slow down, look for other traffic, and then allow that perpendicular traffic to pass if necessarily. If there is no traffic, the driver does not have to come to a full stop, but he or she should still slow down and look both ways before driving into the street. These signs are often used in low-traffic areas were a stop-sign is deemed to be overkill, but where drivers do need to be alert regarding an intersection. The issue is that drivers will make mistakes that run from being overly cautious to completely ignoring the sign. Some drivers just come to a complete stop, as if they are going through a stop sign. This is incorrect, and it congests traffic. It could even lead to rear-end accidents. Other drivers, however, hardly slow down and just sail through the sign, knowing they don’t legally have to stop if the way is clear. However, this can be even more dangerous if they don’t see opposing traffic […]

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Mar 17, 2016 - Premises Liability

ROOT CAUSES CAN DETERMINE FAULT IN ACCIDENTS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, March 17, 2016. When an accident happens, to determine whether or not there is a premises liability case for those who are injured, it’s important to break things down and look at the root causes of the accident. Only by doing this can fault be determined in specific situations. A popular example of this is the tragedy that happened at the Kansas City Hyatt-Regency Hotel back in the 1980s. There was a dance contest at the hotel, people grouped up to watch it from pedestrian walkways, and the walkway on the fourth floor collapsed. It then hit the one below it and they both fell all the way to the ground floor. Over 200 people were injured and 114 perished. When looking for the root cause, what was found was that a longitudinal weld did not have the strength needed to support the walkway. That weld gave out as people stood on the walkway in groups, giving it more weight than usual, when people just walked across it. When the weld failed, a support rod from the walkway then tore through the box beam. That’s what made the walkway collapse, and the second one was destroyed by the impact with the first. Root causes can go even further when establishing fault. There were clearly design issues with the walkways, and it was later discovered that project management errors made it so that these issues […]

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Mar 11, 2016 - Wrongful Death

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE OF DOCTOR’S DEATH CONTINUES

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inWrongful Death on Friday, March 11, 2016. A few hours before a 26-year-old doctor died on May 29, 2013, of a brain hemorrhage, doctors and physician assistants were still trying to determine what was wrong. Some thought it was brain swelling, others thought it was an infection and still more thought that it was a blood clot or a platelet disorder. The woman died after a major vein in her head burst due to a blood clot. The woman’s attending physician testified in a court in the medical malpractice trail that she ordered a CT scan because the woman had a history of headaches and her platelets were dropping. Even though the physician put a rush on the CT scan, it would take another hour for it to be done. The doctor said she thought the woman was having some type of neurological emergency in her testimony given at a deposition. However, when she was on the stand, she said she didn’t think it was an emergency. It would take about four hours for the woman to have an MRI done. When the woman was first admitted to the hospital, her platelet level was “off the charges.” It’s not known why this test wasn’t repeated for two days. The physician’s assistant said that she thought the woman might have been having a stroke. Once the woman started to experience tunnel vision, the physician’s assistant said that was a […]

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WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING

"I was injured in an accident and my truck was totaled. The guy who hit me had a low insurance policy. I reinjured my neck and shoulder in the accident. I thought nothing could be done since the guy had hardly any insurance and I had a previous condition, but Jonathan Russell from Drake, Hileman & Davis was able to get me a nice cash settlement!"
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