Oct 22, 2014 - Motorcycle Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inMotorcycle Accidents on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Most Pennsylvania residents are aware that motorcyclists are not currently required to wear helmets throughout the Commonwealth. Certainly, the lack of helmet regulations have led to an increase in traumatic brain injuries during motorcycle collisions. However, the relatively smaller size of motorcycles compared to cars, SUVs and trucks ensures that many motorcyclists will nevertheless receive extensive injuries, regardless of helmet usage. A review of 2013 motorcycle crash statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation supports that theory. According to the report, there were 3,427 total crashes involving motorcycles throughout the state in 2013. Here is a breakdown of the other motorcycle crash stats: — At least 175 of those motorcycle-related accidents resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. — Another 3,034 of those motorcycle accidents resulted in injuries. — The majority of motorcycle accidents involved two-vehicle collisions with cars, light-trucks and SUVs. At least 498 were attributed to cars, and 358 with trucks or SUVs. — There were 94 deaths attributed to motorcyclists not wearing helmets, and 82 deaths attributed to helmeted riders. — Out of all of the motorcyclists involved in accidents, 57.8 percent of them were wearing helmets at the time. Pennsylvania motorcyclists need to know that they have a right to share the road with other vehicles. Motorists are required to keep a lookout for the presence of motorcycles before they merge into another lane or when […]

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Oct 16, 2014 - Premises Liability


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, October 16, 2014. On Oct. 9, a bar fight in Delaware County, Pennsylvania left one man in critical condition and another man fleeing from arrest at a local bar. The incident occurred inside the La Cantina Bar in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, which is located in the 6800 block of Market Street. According to police, the victim’s throat was slashed by a knife wielded by another patron who was also visiting the bar at the same time. The victim was hospitalized in extremely critical condition following the stabbing, yet died four days later on Oct. 13 from injuries suffered in the attack. Investigators say the person suspected of stabbing victim is originally from Honduras. He is still on the run although he has been identified. The police are now considering the incident as a homicide. Pennsylvania residents have a right to expect not to be harmed when visiting their favorite restaurants are nightclubs. As discussed in a previous blog post, property owners can incur premises liability when they fail to take reasonable measures to mitigate dangerous property issues. Usually, premises liability cases directly involve the property owner and the injured customer. An example of this might be a landlord’s failure to keep sidewalks free of ice which results in a slip and fall injury to a customer. However, in some circumstances property owners can also be liable by not taking adequate security measures to ensure […]

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Oct 9, 2014 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Thursday, October 9, 2014. When many of us think about vehicle accidents, we instantly conjure images of the smoking and crumpled remains of cars or SUVs on the highway as we travel to and from our destinations. Most of us forget that we also share the roads with fleets of commercial vehicles that also become involved in similar accidents. Commercial vehicles are vehicles hired to move people and things along our roadways. A few examples of these are taxis, chartered motorcoaches, cargo and utility vans and even airport shuttles. The point is that commercial vehicles can be found among nearly every class of vehicle using Pennsylvania roadways. A comprehensive 2012 study of traffic crash statistics reviewed accidents that occur throughout the Commonwealth based on vehicle type. Although the study only singled out commercial buses for its report among the various types of commercial vehicles, there is still much we can learn about the potential frequency of accidents and those types of vehicles. The following are some of the relevant statistics from that report: — Passenger vehicles accounted for the majority of the total 124,092 reported accidents in 2012. Cars were involved in a whopping 89,509 accidents or 72.1 percent of all accidents that year. — Light trucks, vans and SUVs were involved in 59,112 accidents or 47.6 percent of all crashes. — There were 393 accidents involving school buses in 2012, accounting for 0.3 […]

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Oct 2, 2014 - Pedestrian Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Thursday, October 2, 2014. If you or someone you know has been injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian, then there are a few things you should know about Pennsylvania’s laws regarding pedestrian accidents. Most of us are already aware that pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks and intersections where there are no lights or signals. However, there are also many other situations in which pedestrians also enjoy right-of-way privileges. Some of these include sidewalks that cross driveways and alleyways. Many accidents that involve automobiles and pedestrians quickly devolve into a dispute over which party has the right-of-way at the time of the accident. Establishing this liability is usually the most hotly contested component of many auto vs. pedestrian accidents. Perhaps the reason for this is that Pennsylvania law allows for injured pedestrians to recover non-economic losses for their injuries in such accidents. This means that pedestrians injured by autos can sue for pain and suffering, both past and in the future. For example, a pedestrian injured by an auto might claim damages for disfiguring scars suffered as a result of the accident that results in a lower quality of life. Additionally, plaintiffs might also sue for the potential embarrassment or humiliation that those scars have caused them since the accident and might cause them in the future. Our law firm would like you to know that we have been assisting clients in personal injury […]

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Sep 17, 2014 - Premises Liability


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. A recent fire that claimed the lives of four children in Roseland, Illinois, earlier this month is a reminder that landlords play a significant role in reducing the dangerousness of the properties they rent. Speculation is now growing that the four dead children, ranging in age between 7 and 15 years old, may have perished in the second-floor apartment where they lived due to a lack of working smoke detectors in the dwelling. Sadly, the apartment did have smoke detectors in the apartment’s hallway. Although it has not yet been established whether the lack of fire alarms played a significant role in the Chicago, Illinois, area fire, similar questions remain about other deadly fires. Just as recently as July, an eerily similar tragedy occurred when four children died in a fast-moving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, fire. The young victims in that heartbreaking catastrophe were only between the ages of 1 month and 4 years old. Authorities did manage to locate two smoke detectors near the area where the children perished but were unable to determine whether the smoke detectors were functional at the time of the fire. In still another fire here in Pennsylvania, a home in Bethlehem claimed the lives of another four young children back in 2008. In that tragedy, firefighters managed to locate only one smoke detector in the entire building. The device did not have any batteries installed in […]

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Sep 12, 2014 - Motorcycle Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Friday, September 12, 2014. On September 5, a group of Meadville, Pennsylvania, military veterans and bikers participated in a motorcycle rally organized to pay tribute to a fallen comrade. Roughly 25 veterans on motorcycles and other supporters participated in the event. Their primary goal was to escort the family of a deceased veteran who died in a California hit-and-run accident as they recovered his remains. It remains unknown whether police in California have discovered the identity of the hit-and-run driver. The body of the victim, a 22-year-old active-duty Marine sergeant and former resident of the Meadville-Saegertown area, was sent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after the young man was killed in California on Aug. 28 while riding his Suzuki GSXR motorcycle. Family members, friends and other supporters of the event gathered at a Meadville funeral home before setting off for Pittsburgh. A former Iraq veteran helped organize the event. A limousine was provided for the victim’s family, along with a hearse for the retrieval of the young man’s body, and other assorted vehicles to help transport friends and mourners to and from the Pittsburgh International Airport. The convoy was expected to pick up more members of other veteran’s groups wishing to participate in the ride in support of their fallen comrade. The convoy received a police escort as it left Meadville. That escort was later replaced by another out of Vernon Township as the convoy made its […]

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Sep 3, 2014 - Car Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. As previously reported on our law blog, the growing trend of distracted driving has been fueled by the popular appeal of handheld electronic devices. In June 2014, Just Drive PA, a Pennsylvania organization dedicated to increasing public awareness about distracted driving, launched a publicity campaign related to that effort. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Just Drive PA’s campaign was that it brought attention to the fact that distracted driving is more than just when someone looks at their cellphone. It’s also caused by eating, smoking, applying makeup, reaching for something in the back seat and more. Now, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reporting that distracted driving accidents are on the rise. Even worse, those statistics fly in stark contrast to the fact that in 2013, the number of highway deaths occurring throughout the Commonwealth recently fell to 1,208. That’s the lowest number of traffic deaths ever reported since Pennsylvania started keeping track back in 1928. According to PennDOT, fatalities actually increase in distracted driving related crashes. There were 64 such crashes in 2013 resulting in death. That number represents a total of 57 additional fatalities than the previous year. As these numbers demonstrate, the chances that Pennsylvania motorists will be injured by distracted drivers have grown exponentially. If you have been injured as the result of a preventable accident caused by a distracted driver-related car accident, you […]

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Aug 29, 2014 - Pedestrian Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Friday, August 29, 2014. Pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania resulted in the deaths of 122 residents 2011. At first glance, that number seems high but it actually represents a steady decline from the previous years. In fact, in 2001 there were 195 fatal pedestrian accidents. Pennsylvania has identified crosswalks as being a problem area for pedestrian accidents. For this reason, in 2001, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation began placing signs in high pedestrian traffic areas that are specifically developed to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians. The so-called “5300” signs are bright yellow-green and slightly larger than a traffic cone. They have a heavy base and are intended to be placed in the median of the road. Research has shown that drivers operating in areas where the 5300 signs are in place show a 30 to 40 percent increase in motorist’s compliance with pedestrian laws. PennDOT believes the signs may have contributed to as much as a 10 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities when compared to the average over a five-year period. Additionally, Pennsylvania has partnered with the national Safe Routes to School program in an effort to promote safety, awareness and participation of children between kindergarten age through the eighth grade to walk or bike to and from school. The primary goal of SRTS is to get children to be more physically active each day. It is also designed to help communities improve safety […]

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Aug 22, 2014 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Friday, August 22, 2014. Chances are that you see commercial vehicles every time you take to the road. In Pennsylvania, medium and heavy trucks, buses and school buses operate daily throughout the Commonwealth. These are the package delivery trucks that deliver your online purchases, the chartered buses that shuttle gawking tourists through Amish country and even the bread trucks that deliver doughnuts to your favorite coffee shop. The sheer number of this commercial fleet and their frequency on the roads ensures that there are always a fair number of accidents caused by their use. The good news is that Pennsylvania has specific regulations that govern these vehicles and attempt to limit commercial vehicle accidents. Here are a few examples of those rules taken from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Subchapter F”: — Steering wheels of commercial vehicles must have a minimum outside diameter of 13 inches. — Commercial vehicles are prohibited from using radial ply tires on the same axle with tires having a bias or belted design. — Any commercial vehicle in which the driver’s view from the rearview mirror is obstructed must have two outside rearview mirrors, with one on each side of the vehicle. For vehicles under 10,001 pounds, the reflective surface of these mirrors must be 19.5 square inches. For vehicles over 10,000 pounds, the required reflective surface must be at least 50 square inches. — The fenders and flaps […]

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Aug 15, 2014 - Truck Accidents


On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Friday, August 15, 2014. In what could only be described as something close to a miracle, Pennsylvania State Police say that a bicyclist survived after being struck by a tractor-trailer operated by suspected drunk driver. The accident occurred in East Rock Hill Township, Pennsylvania, along Route 313. According to records of emergency police broadcasts, a call came in to police from a motorist at about 3:48 a.m. on Aug. 10. The caller was reporting finding a bicycle wheel on Route 313, which is also known as Dublin Pike, near North Fifth Street. Subsequent radio dispatches described how the bicyclist ended up off of the road after presumably being thrown over a guardrail. State police based at Dublin, Pennsylvania, responded to the scene of the truck accident and soon located a tractor-trailer situated roughly a mile away. Upon discovery of the big-rig, police found its driver whom they suspected was under the influence of alcohol. They arrested that defendant under charges of drinking and driving, although additional charges may be added pending the results of a toxicology test. Authorities have not yet released the identities of either party involved in the crash. However, it was revealed that first responders took the bicyclist to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania via ambulance. The victim’s medical status is described as critical. Commercial tractor-trailers are already dangerous enough due to their enormous weight and massive size. When […]

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