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Conshohocken Personal Injury Law Blog

Do higher home insurance rates for dog owners suggest liability?

Should dog bites be a serious concern for homeowners with dogs? The answer might be found in how home insurance companies view this issue. Aggressive dog breeds are often ineligible for coverage, according to one insurer. Yet even owning a dog might result in higher premiums as a safeguard against the risk of the dog biting a guest or invitee.

The approach taken by the home insurance industry is also relevant in the context of a premises liability lawsuit. At a minimum, dog owners should acknowledge the higher potential for harm coming to invited guests.

Mass transit crash raises issue of negligence, but whose?

The combination of construction workers and high-speed traffic can be a recipe for disaster. In a recent example, two maintenance workers operating a rail-mounted backhoe were struck by am Amtrak train that had left Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station and was headed to Washington, D.C. The train engineer and 30 passengers were also treated at local hospitals for minor injuries.

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. One theory is that the train may have been on the wrong track. Otherwise, it would make little sense for workers to operate machinery on a live track. The investigation will benefit from the recording technology in the train’s engine cab, including an event data recording as well as both forward and inward facing video cameras. 

Could a premises liability claim backfire against the plaintiff?

With warmer weather and sunshine come spring vacations. Families might be going to amusement parks or beachside resorts in warmer climates. College students, although also seeking warmer destinations, might be in less structured environments. Could that be an invitation for a premises liability lawsuit?

Assuming that a guest was an invitee or a licensee, that status comes with a legal expectation of being free from unsafe property hazards. However, there are defenses that could be raised against a victim, especially one who may have been a little careless at a spring break party. Comparative negligence is generally not a bar to establishing premises liability in Pennsylvania, provided the plaintiff was not more negligent than the property owner. However, any damages awarded might be reduced by a percentage if the court agrees that the plaintiff failed to exercise a reasonable degree of care. 

Do you need an attorney if you are in a car accident?

If you are in a car accident, you may wonder whether you need to hire an attorney to handle your case. You may start receiving offers from insurance companies and think that it would be a good way to save time and money by negotiating and accepting the offer yourself, rather than go through the trouble of hiring an attorney.

Unfortunately, this could be a terrible mistake, because you will not have an expert on your side to look out for your best interests. As a result, it is a wise decision to engage the services of an attorney for three main reasons.

Are wrong-way drunk drivers a serious threat to motorists?

The risk of a motor vehicle accident and resulting injuries may be present whenever a motorist fails to obey a traffic law. However, one of the deadliest violations is driving the wrong way. Although entering a freeway entrance ramp on the wrong side may seem like a really stupid mistake, it unfortunately is a common traffic offense of drunk drivers.

According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board, around 60 percent of wrong-way collisions nationwide involve drunk drivers. Unfortunately, a recent local example illustrates that very pattern. According to authorities, a Pennsylvania man with an alleged blood alcohol content of almost two times the legal limit drove his vehicle a whopping seven miles on the wrong side of Interstate 81. 

Will new technology help to reduce rear-each crashes?

Rear-end motor vehicle accidents may result from a variety of negligent behaviors, such as following too closely, braking too late, failing to pay attention to traffic flow, simple distraction, or other factors. However, technology may have a partial solution to such driver errors.

According to a recent study, features in newer motor vehicles like forward collision warnings and automatic braking may provide an additional protection against rear-end crashes. The study compared police-reported crash data involving the same make of vehicles: those equipped with the technology and those without. On average, autobrake systems lowered the number of rear-end crashes by around 40 percent. Even forward collision warning systems, taken alone, resulted in a reduction of crashes by over 20 percent.

Are construction sites an increasing danger to pedestrians?

A recent construction accident in Manhattan involving a 15-story crane resulted in the fatality of one pedestrian and injuries to several others. In addition, motor vehicles parked along the street were also damaged. 

The crane collapse might have caused more devastation if city workers hadn’t responded quickly to the scene. Specifically, responders shut down the gas in the surrounding buildings as a precaution against potential gas leaks. According to one official, underground gas mains can sustain pipe damage after impacts, such as the force created by a crane boom falling from over 500 feet in the air. 

Pennsylvania dog bite law: "severity" is an important factor

Pennsylvanians who are interested in animal-related matters might not know that there are material variances among the states in laws addressing animal bites and victims' resulting injuries.

We're primarily talking dogs here, of course, although man's best friends are from being the only animal to inflict bite injuries and other harms upon people. Horses come to mind, as do cats, various reptiles and any number of other animals that are generally found in the wild rather than being in a domesticated environment.

Who is liable if I slip and fall on an icy sidewalk or walkway?

The coming of winter brings slippery streets and sidewalks. Unfortunately, this means that people are at an increased risk of slip-and-fall injuries on slippery sidewalks and walkways. If you are injured after slipping on the sidewalk of another's property, you may wonder who is liable for your medical bills and other losses sustained as a result of your fall.

Staying safe on Pennsylvania roads this winter

Although winter brings a certain beauty to the landscape of Pennsylvania, it also brings snowy and icy roads. Unfortunately, it is a common sight this time of year to witness drivers that have seem to have forgotten how to drive on these conditions. As a result, it is important for all drivers to re-familiarize themselves with how to drive safely to avoid car accidents during the winter months.

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