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Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

The dangers associated with texting and driving

Pennsylvania drivers might be aware of the fact that using a cellphone in certain capacities while driving is against the law in many states. One of the essential reasons behind this ban is the statistical relationship between using a cellphone behind the wheel and motor vehicle accidents that result in catastrophic and fatal injuries.

Nationwide, 18 percent of fatal traffic accidents in 2010 were causally linked to distracted driving, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Altogether, distracted drivers caused the deaths of 3,092 people that year. Furthermore, accidents attributed to distracted driving left some 416,000 people with injuries in 2010.

Liability in car accidents often turns on negligence

Pennsylvania readers may be surprised to learn that there were 5,615,000 car accidents reported by police during 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motor vehicle accidents lead to more personal injury claims than any other cause, and the crashes often happen because of negligence on the part of a driver. Other causes might include vehicle malfunctions or an unsafe roadway.

Generally, negligence is defined as a failure to exercise reasonable care. That failure may be used as evidence of liability for damages sustained by another party involved in the car accident. The legal system looks to the facts of the case to determine if a driver was negligent. For example, negligence may take the form of driving faster than the speed limit, ignoring traffic signals, driving inappropriately given weather conditions or any other factor suggesting a lack of reasonable care.

1 dead after van strikes motorcycle

A two-vehicle accident near Henry, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 29, left a New York woman dead. The fatal accident involved a motorcycle and a van.

Officials were called to the scene of the accident near Route 281, on Bruceton Road, just after 5:30 p.m. in reference to the accident. According to reports, a 55-year-old Glenville woman was riding on the back of a motorcycle being driven by a 49-year-old man. They were riding north on Bruceton Road when a southbound van crossed the centerline into their lane.

Family of injured girl files suit against former school coach

According to reports, a Philadelphia school district, the district's superintendent and a former coach are facing a federal lawsuit for injuries a female soccer player suffered during her involvement in a school soccer game on Aug. 20, 2012. In the claim filed on Aug. 20 of this year, the girl's Upper Uwchlan parents state that because of the injury, their daughter has suffered physically and academically, having missed 80 days of school.

The lawsuit states that the student's injury occurred as she was competing in a school soccer scrimmage and collided with an opposing team player. She claimed to have felt her neck snapping upon impact. She also said that the coach decided to have her stay in the game despite the opposing coach's insistence that she should be removed from the game and examined for a concussion. Two days after the incident, a doctor diagnosed the girl as suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

Man charged with 3rd-degree murder in road crash

A 29-year-old Pennsylvania man is charged with murder in the death of an 18-year-old woman in July. The New Providence man, according to arrest documents, was drunk and on heroin when the accident occurred.

The July 8 crash happened on Lampeter Road in Lancaster when the man hit the teenager's car. According to police, the man had used heroin before the accident and ingested vodka. Witnesses said he was passing on the right shoulder and speeding. Passengers in his vehicle, police said, asked him to stop prior to the accident. Empty syringes were found in the vehicle.

1 dead, 2 injured in tractor-trailer crash in Pennsylvania

An accident involving four tractors trailers left one of the drivers dead and two others injured in Southampton Township on Aug. 3. The chain reaction accident caused the closure of the road for several hours.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, the accident occurred on the northbound side of Interstate 81 just before 12 a.m. A tractor-trailer, driven by a 49-year-old man from Chatsworth, Georgia, did not stop for stopped traffic on the right lane and hit the rear of another tractor-trailer driven by a 33-year-old man from Newark, Ohio. This rear-end collision caused the second truck to collide with the tractor-trailer ahead of it, which was driven by a 51-year-old man from Newton, North Carolina. A fourth tractor-trailer, driven by a 43-year-old man from Rochester, New York, was slowly moving on the left lane and was also involved in the collision. Two of the trucks were on fire when emergency responders arrived at the scene.

Major car crash kills 1, injures 2

A single-car accident near Philadelphia in Chester County on July 30 left one individual dead and two others injured. According to the report, the incident took place on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Wallace Township at approximately 4 p.m.

Pennsylvania State Police stated that the crash occurred on the westbound lane of the Turnpike near milepost 307. It was not reported exactly how the accident happened, nor were details such as the names and ages of the victims disclosed. The nature and extent of the injuries the victims suffered were also unreported.

Deaths due to Legionnaires' disease lead to Pennsylvania lawsuit

Two men died and a third man became severely ill after contracting Legionnaires' disease at a medical facility in South Whitehall Township in 2013 according to a lawsuit recently filed in Lehigh County Court. The alleged source of the disease was bacteria found in an indoor fountain. Health officials had previously concentrated their efforts on other fountains inside and outside the building, plus the building's cooling system.

One of the men who died had twice visited the building containing the fountain in August of 2013 and began feeling ill shortly thereafter. He was admitted to a hospital suffering from pneumonia, was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease and died a few days later, the lawsuit says. The other man who died also visited the building about the same time and was also near the fountain. About a week later, he was admitted to a hospital and was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. He died in March of 2014. An Allentown man also contracted the disease but survived.

Big Tobacco hit hard with damages of $23.6 billion

Pennsylvania residents may have heard about a recent landmark verdict in which a Florida jury handed down an award of $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a cigarette smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. The July 14 verdict followed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June not to hear appeals from the cigarette makers who said that cases in which plaintiffs do not have to prove that the companies were liable for selling a dangerous product should be overturned.

Prior class action litigation initiated in 1996 established that, because of their addiction to cigarettes, the plaintiffs developed a range of medical conditions. It further established that the tobacco companies were intentionally fraudulent and hid the dangers of smoking, thus causing harm and emotional distress. The suit was certified and awarded damages to the plaintiffs.

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.

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EISENBERG ROTHWEILER WINKLER EISEBBERG & JECK PC

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