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Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

U.S. not equipped to treat uncommon strains of Lyme disease

Many Pennsylvania residents may know that ticks carry Lyme disease. In many cases, those who find that they've been bitten by a tick and contracted a disease can simply visit their doctor for treatment. What one Boston man found, however, was that the U.S. may not be equipped to deal with uncommon strains of the disease.

The man was reportedly in Spain for a music conference when he discovered that a tick had bitten his ankle. Two days later, he discovered a rash that looked like a bull's-eye at the location where he had been bitten. He then experienced classic symptoms of the tick-borne disease including a fever and headaches.

Accident in Bucks County injures 2

Pennsylvania State Police reported that a crash between a truck and a motorcycle left two individuals with injuries on the afternoon of June 6. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup and his passenger were both wearing seat belts at the time. The driver of the truck and his female passenger were not injured. He was cited for entering or crossing a roadway and failing to yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles.

According to authorities, the male driver of a Harley-Davidson was traveling on River Road in Nockamixon Township when the driver of the truck collided with his motorcycle while turning onto that roadway. Police said the driver of the motorcycle was taken to St. Luke's University Hospital. They also stated that the passenger was taken there, although the news source reported that the hospital had no record of her.

No bail for contractor charged in fatal building collapse

Two men who have been charged with murder for the Philadelphia building collapse that killed six people in June 2013 have been denied bail. The prosecutor and the judge in the case agreed that neither man is eligible for bail under Pennsylvania law.

Six people were killed when a wall of the building that was being demolished on 22nd and Market streets collapsed onto a Salvation Army thrift store on June 5, 2013. In addition to the deceased victims, 14 other people were injured. The demolition contractor and a worker were charged with third degree murder in relation to the collapse. The worker is alleged to have been operating demolition equipment while impaired by marijuana, and the contractor allegedly ignored warnings about hazardous conditions at the site.

Hospital sued by woman for surgical sponge error

People in Pennsylvania might find interest in a California case involving a 56-year-old woman who had to have part of her intestines removed because a sponge was left inside of her during a 2007 hysterectomy. Just a short three days after her hysterectomy, she had to go back to the hospital in pain. Following an x-ray, she was misdiagnosed as having severe constipation and then sent home.

Approximately one year later, she almost passed out at work and was transported via ambulance to the hospital. This time, the woman stated that the medical staff diagnosed her with a gastrointestinal issue and advised her to stop eating spicy foods. Again, she was sent home.

Duty of care may have been breached from time of initial contact

Health care is more than just medications and surgical procedures. When a patient contacts a medical facility about an issue, he or she expects that staff will document that communication and forward it to the appropriate personnel for action. 

Although hospitals may be understaffed, there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for what happened at one Veterans Affairs medical center. As part of a national network of over 150 VA medical centers, readers might expect intake procedures to be standardized. Yet just the opposite occurred: an estimated 1,700 service members were not placed on the appointment waiting list. 

A truck accident may involve complex liability questions

Although a victim of negligence deserves to seek compensation, it is important to name as defendants all of the potentially responsible parties.

When a truck accident occurs, there may be some important relationships to understand. First, if the driver is an employee, an attorney may need to review the contractual terms of that relationship. In fact, there may be various legal contracts involving the cab and trailer, the shipper, possible lease transactions that have occurred subsequent to those contracts, as well as a traditional employer-employee relationship.

Bus driver sentenced for fatal pedestrian accident

Every driver is expected to behave safely when behind the wheel. In the case of a bus driver, however, there are additional responsibilities. A bus driver is charged with the safe transport of his or her passengers.

Some of that extra responsibility is reflected in the additional licensing requirements imposed on bus drivers. A recent criminal sentence also indicates the high expectations for safety that society places on mass transit operators.

Rear-end collision causes chain reaction accident that kills 3

A recent chain-reaction car accident in Pennsylvania has resulted in three deaths and a dozen injuries. All told, there were seven separate vehicles involved in the accident, which began as a rear-end collision. Two of the three deceased individuals were in the same car -- a driver and a passenger -- and the third deceased victim was a driver in one of the other vehicles.

Apparently, a tractor-trailer was attempting to pass a box truck that was moving slowly. During this attempted pass, the tractor-trailer struck a car from behind. This resulted in a chain reaction that involved the tractor-trailer, the box truck, the car that was rear-ended and four other vehicles. Some of the vehicles caught on fire, making the chaotic scene even more dangerous.

Texting may elicit unsafe driving behaviors from self and others

Readers likely know examples of behaviors that might constitute negligent driving, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or texting behind the wheel. Other studies have compared texting behind the wheel to the level of impairment presented by drunk driving. A spokesperson for Allstate Insurance claims that texting and driving increases the rate of an accident by 23 times. With data like that, it’s easy to see why evidence of distracted driving may convince jurors of negligence in an auto accident case, resulting in a damages award to the crash victim. 

Yet even if a driver is not distracted or impaired, a recent article cautions that the higher volume of traffic over the Memorial Day holiday weekend may require extra patience. Indeed, negligent driving may result from something as simple as anger over another driver's road behavior. In that regard, the results of a recent Expedia survey may come as a surprise. According to the data, nearly 70 percent of drivers say that texting while driving is the leading behavior that might infuriate them. 

Legal loophole may endanger drivers in used cars or rental cars

Conscientious consumers may value both money-saving and safety features in a motor vehicle. A used car purchase might seem to balance both of those concerns. In fact, the marketing of used cars often emphasizes those very features. For example, CarMax, which is the country’s largest used-car seller, offers a certified quality inspection to customers. Yet one item is conspicuously missing from that inspection: fixing recalls.

Unlike new car dealerships, rental car companies and used car dealers are not required by federal law to fix recall defects. In fact, they don’t even have to inform customers of a recall notice pertaining to a vehicle. 

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