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Pittsburgh Injury Law Blog

A driver's license should symbolize a commitment to safety

Although renewing one’s driving license may seem like an administrative scheme designed to create hassle and generate state revenue, it is important to remember that licensing in this and other contexts often serves an important safety purpose.

Specifically, a license is a symbolic representation that the licensee possesses the requisite skills and knowledge to perform the regulated activity. Indeed, every individual that gets behind the wheel owes a duty of care to others on the road. He or she is expected to obey traffic laws and respond appropriately to traffic flow and road conditions.

Legal conseqences and remedies after drunk driving accidents

It may seem like no punishment is too great for a drunk driver that caused a crash resulting in serious injuries to one or more victims. What the law can offer, however, is a small sense of justice that a drunk driver has been held accountable for his or actions.

Typically, a serious drunk driving accident results in two separate cases. The driver may have to defend against criminal chargers, while in the civil forum; the victim may pursue a personal injury claim. The offending driver may indeed be facing serious criminal penalties, not to mention a sizable monetary obligation if he or she loses the civil lawsuit.

Drunk driving cases aren't automatic

The idea of drunk driving carries certain connotations with it. If you hear that someone has been accused of drunk driving, you inherently want to assume the person is guilty. "How could they do such a thing?," you think. "All you have to do is be responsible." 

There are two things wrong here. The first is that no one is presumed guilty until proven innocent -- it is the other way around. And the other thing is that there are actually many ways that someone can be cleared of wrongdoing in a DUI case. So if you have been hurt in a drunk driving accident, this information is important to realize. Your case may not be a slam dunk.

Could the sender of a text be held liable for a car crash?

Laws against texting and driving do not seem to be making enough of a safety impact. In our last post, we examined the problem of teenage distracted driving. Yet far too many drivers of every age in Pennsylvania and across the country continue to make the choice of using their smartphones behind the wheel.

That negligent behavior has prompted some lawmakers to consider a new law, where the senders of a text could be held liable for texting with a recipient whom they know is driving. The approach is similar to dram shop laws that encourage business owners or even hosts to think twice about serving a visibly intoxicated guest.

Teenage drivers and summer months can be a fatal combination

One might assume that the summer driving months, free from the unpredictable road conditions created by snow and ice, would be a boost for road safety in Pennsylvania.

Not so, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analyzed by the American Automobile Association. When it comes to the driving habits of teenagers age 16 to 19 who are on summer recess, the 100 days after Memorial Day are the deadliest of summer for one reason: cell phone use behind the wheel.

Car Crashes into Group of Motorcyclists-Kills One, Injures Five

On Sunday in Washington County, a car crossed over the center line and crashed into a group of motorcyclists.

The accident occurred on Route 136 in Nottingham Township. Authorities said a vehicle traveling down Route 136 crossed over the yellow line and crashed into a group of motorcyclists who were participating in the Washington Pennsylvania Hog Chapter Motorcycle Ride.

Seven Car Pileup Leaves One Dead in Salem Township

A tractor-trailer may to be blame for a 7-vehicle pileup in Salem Township. Reports indicated the tractor-trailer may have run a red light.

The accident happened yesterday afternoon along Route 22 near the Lamplighter restaurant. Police said a pickup truck entered the intersection of Mark Drive when it was then t-boned by the tractor-trailer. First reports believe the tractor-trailer may have run the red light. The pickup truck was pushed nearly 120 feet up the road.

Tip: Contact an attorney at the crash scene with your smartphone

A recent story profiled a driver who turned to a smartphone app after being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. The app, called the “Oh Crap App,” has a feature that advises users of when they can request a consultation with an attorney, including an on-call service.

The driver used the app to contact an on-call attorney, and informed the police officer that the attorney was en route. However, the police offer allegedly became impatient and proceeded with a breath test before the attorney arrived. An appeals court ultimately held that the test evidence was inadmissible because the officer had violated the driver’s procedural rights.

Can fraud be an allegation in a product liabiltiy lawsuit?

Convenience, reliability and affordability are common marketing slogans of American companies.  Startup Theranos also emphasized these qualities for its home blood testing product. The tests rely on a fingerprint method to gather blood samples. Consumers can then bring in the samples to a participating lab and get their test results.

Theranos seemed to be a great idea, and was even approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the company recently came under scrutiny from officials at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That ultimately led to Theranos informing federal lab regulators that it would have to reissue blood work results to tens of thousands of consumers. That implicates around two years of test results.

Injured While Vacationing Part Four: Aviation Accidents

Part Four of our Injured While Vacationing Blog Series will talk about Aviation Accidents. Many this summer will travel to popular vacation destinations by plane. Statistically, plane crashes happen far less than automobile accidents. However, when these accidents do occur, they are almost always catastrophic.

When a loved one is involved in a plane accident, it may be difficult to know where to turn. Determining the cause of a plane crash is extremely complex. That is why it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for support and guidance.

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