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Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Technology may make backing up safer for drivers and bystanders

Readers of this personal injury blog know what can happen when drivers fail to practice an appropriate standard of care when driving. As today’s story illustrates, that duty of safe driving begins the moment an individual gets behind the wheel -- even if he or she has only begun backing up.

In fact, back-over accidents affect a tragically large number of Americans each year, according to data estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In a 2010 report, the NHTSA asserted that drivers hit about 15,000 individuals each year when backing up. An estimated 210 people die from this type of accident. 

To err is human; to cover up is negligence

Car designs have changed over the years, reflecting both scientific advances and consumer preferences. For example, aerodynamic principles are an expected feature in many car design ideas. Other features, like oversized grilles, beautiful surfacing, or detailing may be hard to justify as anything more than current consumer tastes.

Yet when an automaker discovers a potentially dangerous aspect in a car design, it is legally required to take steps to avoid that defect from causing personal injury to consumers. This requirement makes the response of automaker General Motors to a faulty ignition switch seem all the more negligent.

Forming good habits is essential for safe driving

Are teenagers who get their license early, such as in the 10th or 11th grade, incapable of safe driving?  Could they lack the psychosocial and cognitive development to practice the standard of care expected of everyone who gets behind the wheel?

A recent study explored a narrow slice of this issue, following the drinking or drugged driving habits of a national sample of teenagers. Researchers collected data from the teens in the tenth grade, and followed them through their senior year. Researchers specifically sought to examine the extent to which early licensure and/or poor role models might influence impaired driving choices in the teens.

Distracted driving leaves a mark on national crash statistics

For daily Pennsylvania commuters, chances are that drivers have seen some interesting behaviors behind the wheel. In the name of multitasking, such activities may have included eating, texting, talking on cellphones, applying makeup, or other potentially distracting actions.

When questioned, drivers may agree that it’s generally not a good idea to take one’s eyes off the road for repeated or extended periods of time. From a personal injury attorney’s perspective, a driver’s license could be interpreted as an obligation upon each license holder to apply a reasonable standard of care when driving.

Former neurosurgeon accused of medical negligence

Injuries may form the basis for any personal injury claim. Yet a personal injury attorney knows that it takes more than an accident to obtain compensation for injuries. Through a civil lawsuit, an injury victim can present proof to a jury of how the other party was negligent or deviated from the applicable standard of care. If a jury agrees that the evidence proves negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, a victim may be able to recover damages and compensation for his or her injuries.

Yet determining the applicable standard of care can be subject to dispute, even among experts in the field. A recent profile of a neurosurgeon illustrates this problem. According to the record of the hospital where the former neurosurgeon used to practice, his record is clean. 

Pennsylvania elderly at risk from bed rails

A 94-year-old Pennsylvania woman died recently after she slipped and got trapped between the railings on her bed and her mattress. The woman was living at a nursing home facility, but it is unknown how long she had been stuck before nursing home officials realized there was a problem.

While some people may think that this is an unusual accident, the risk of asphyxiation for elderly patients that use beds with railings has been known for at least 20 years. According to government data, the Food and Drug Administration has known about at least 500 similar deaths in recent years. Experts say that the elderly are particularly prone to this problem because the suffocation can lead to unconsciousness so quickly, and often these individuals are not strong enough to free themselves.

Experts try to stop post-brain injury epilepsy from developing

Devastating accidents occur all the time in Pennsylvania that affect people's ability to live normal lives. While these accidents may be frequent, few injuries are as frustrating as brain injuries. Brain injuries cause long lasting damage that can affect every aspect of a person's life. People can spend years trying to gain normal function but never be able to get back to where they were before the accident occurred.

One devastating side effect to brain injuries that some Pennsylvania residents might not understand is epilepsy. According to some research, as many as 50 percent of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury can develop epilepsy following the accident. Epilepsy can cause more damage for a person already trying to recover from a difficult ordeal.

100-car pileup on Pennsylvania turnpike leaves 30 injured

Car accidents are rarely simple affairs. They often involve multiple cars, multiple stories, injuries, property damage and more. It is often up to police to sort out the complicated series of events to determine what happened and why.

This task may be extremely difficult for local investigators following a recent Pennsylvania car accident. In this case, a massive pileup occurred on the Pennsylvania Turnpike involving as many as 100 cars. Police are investigating the accident which they believe started with a 25-car pileup and chain reaction. At this point, police are speculating that drivers who were going too fast in the snowy, icy and windy conditions caused the initial accident to occur.

Wrongful death suit can compensate family when charges can't

A Pennsylvania woman has been criminally charged following a fatal car accident that occurred last year in Allegheny Township. According to police, the 32-year-old woman had been driving a Nissan Pathfinder erratically when she caused an accident that killed a 58-year-old woman.

Following the accident, police conducted an investigation and concluded that the Pathfinder had to have been traveling between 81 and 84 mph at the time of the collision. The speed limit on the road where the fatal car accident occurred is 65 mph. Furthermore, witnesses claim that the woman had been abruptly changing lanes prior to colliding with the back of the victim's car. The victim died an hour after the accident of blunt force trauma.

Pennsylvania girl compensated for birth injuries

In Pennsylvania, residents aren't always in a position to help themselves when they are sick. Common people don't often have the knowledge or the expertise to make informed medical decisions in a time of crisis. Therefore, people rely on the helping hand of skilled doctors and nurses. This is especially true during the birth of a child.

These medical professionals have years of schooling and education that allows them to make decisions in a timely manner to help their patients. However, all too often, doctors and nurses fail to live up to these expectations and people get hurt.

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