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Who is Liable for a Car Accident When a Vehicle Slides on Ice?

Located on the chilly east coast, Philadelphia often receives heavy snow during the winter months.  When the snow starts to melt in the sunny afternoon, only to refreeze overnight, the streets are left coated in slick, treacherous sheets of ice, which can be almost impossible to see under certain lighting conditions.  As any driver knows, icy roads increase the risk of losing control and having an accident.  But who is at fault in this situation, and why?  Philadelphia car accident attorney Brent Wieand explains how liability is determined when ice causes a car crash in Pennsylvania. Snowy and Icy Road Car Crash Statistics in Pennsylvania, 2015 It’s a terrifying scenario that thousands of Pennsylvanians find themselves in each winter.  They’re driving slowly down an icy road, nervously watching their rearview mirror for that driver who seems a little too close for comfort.  Then, it happens, and their worst fears are realized: the car behind them suddenly loses control, growing larger in the rearview mirror by the second.  The driver ahead braces for impact, hoping the crash won’t be too severe.  If they’re fortunate, they’ll escape with expensive property damage – and if not, they’ll sustain a terrible injury, or even be killed. Even in winters with light snow and ice, this scenario is more common than you might think.  Perhaps it’s a scenario that you have personally experienced. If you have, you’re far from alone.  According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), exactly 9,860 auto accidents took place in snowy conditions during 2015, including sleet and freezing rain.  Only the period from November to March is cold enough to...
slip and fall attorney philly

Is My Landlord Liable if I Slip and Fall on Snow or Ice Outside My Philadelphia Apartment Building?

Winter is here, and so are messy sidewalks.  If you’re one of Philadelphia’s many renters, and you have a slip and fall accident on snow and/or ice outside your apartment building, your landlord might be responsible for your medical bills, depending on the circumstances that led to your injury.  Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyer Brent Wieand explains when landlords are liable for tenant injuries caused by ice and snow on the premises of an apartment complex. When Are Landlords Liable for Tenant Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice and Snow? Any Philadelphia resident will tell you that our winters can be brutal.  Some years are worse than others, but virtually every season brings a deluge of ice and snow, which create a major hazard for accidental falls.  With two to three months of winter weather still left to go before spring arrives, the unfortunate likelihood is that hundreds if not thousands of people will sustain injuries like broken bones, dislocated joints, and traumatic brain injuries due to slip and fall accidents caused by unshoveled and/or unsalted sidewalks, courtyards, entrance pathways, and parking lots. When a person is injured due to slipping on snow and/or ice, he or she may be able to get compensated.  This also applies to accident victims whose injuries occur on rental properties, depending on how, when, and why the injury occurred. Landlords are not automatically liable each and every time a tenant is injured.  Whether or not the landlord is liable for an accident – and in turn, whether or not the accident victim has a personal injury claim – depends on the answers...
nursing home abuse lawyers

Federal Government: Pennsylvania Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths Not Being Properly Investigated

It’s an unpleasant thought to consider, but the reality of the U.S. elder care system is that nursing home abuse is rampant.  And, while no single state has found a perfect solution to this problem, Pennsylvania nursing homes may be some of the nation’s worst offenders.  Following a journalistic investigation by Central Pennsylvania news outlet PennLive, which revealed numerous deficiencies in the state’s current system for categorizing and addressing violations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new guidance to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer Brent Wieand discusses some of the violations that were uncovered by PennLive – and what the Department of Health intends to do about the problem. PennLive Journalists: PA Dept. of Health Underreporting Severity of Deadly Nursing Home Violations, Federal Govt. Intervenes In 2016, PennLive began an ongoing investigative series titled “Failing the Frail,” which focused on violations and deficiencies in Pennsylvania’s system of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  PennLive has published more than two dozen reports as part of its Failing the Frail series – one of which revealed that, among the 46 “care-related deaths” that occurred in Pennsylvania nursing homes from 2013 to 2015, a total of 29 deaths – more than 63% – did not result in a penalty for the facility at fault. In one instance, a resident choked to death after she was fed a sandwich that didn’t meet her dietary requirements.  In another case, it took a nursing home more than 16 hours to respond to a doctor’s order to administer emergency fluids to a dehydrated resident, by which time it was...
philadelphia personal injury lawyer

How Does Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Work After an Accident?

You’re a careful, defensive driver.  You never thought it would happen to you, but you’ve just been involved in a serious car accident.  You know you have the auto insurance you’re required to carry by law, but you’ve never been in a crash before and don’t know what to expect.  Insurance can be a confusing subject, so it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Philadelphia auto accident lawyer if you have been hurt in a crash in Pennsylvania.  Thousands of dollars – or considerably more – could be riding on the line.  Your attorney can analyze your insurance policy and evaluate your options to make sure you don’t miss opportunities to pursue compensation. How Does Car Insurance Pay for Treatment Costs if I Am Injured in an Auto Accident? State law requires Pennsylvania drivers to carry insurance called PIP, which stands for Personal Injury Protection.  If you are compliant with Pennsylvania’s auto insurance requirements, you have at least $5,000 worth of PIP coverage.  You may have opted for a higher coverage amount at the time you purchased insurance. If you are injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, the good news is that your PIP coverage will pay for some of your medical expenses.  The bad news is that your medical expenses are likely to exceed your coverage, especially if you need surgery or ongoing care. Once your PIP coverage is exhausted, your health insurance may cover some of your remaining treatment expenses.  However, if you’re among the 33 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, you will be left paying for your medical bills out of...
philadelphia car accident lawyer

Enhanced Penalties for Texting While Driving in Pennsylvania Under New “Daniel’s Law”

On November 4, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 2025, nicknamed “Daniel’s Law,” to promote better road safety by reducing the number of auto accidents caused by distracted driving.  Named for Daniel Gallatin, a father, volunteer firefighter, and military veteran who was killed in a fatal motorcycling accident caused by a texting driver, Daniel’s Law increases Pennsylvania’s criminal penalties for texting while driving. Fatal PA Motorcycle Accident Prompts Tougher Penalties for Texting While Driving On May 7, 2013, 68-year-old Harlansburg resident Daniel Gallatin was riding his Kawasaki motorcycle down Route 956 in Hickory Township, a small town located in Pennsylvania’s Lawrence County.  Gallatin, who was returning home from a visit with his daughter, was killed in a fatal rear-end collision that occurred when an SUV struck his motorcycle from behind.  Despite paramedics’ efforts, Gallatin was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Police who responded to the scene reported that the SUV’s driver, 43-year-old Laura Gargiulo, was distracted by text messages when the accident occurred.  According to court documents subsequently filed in the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas, Gallatin “was slowing down to make a right turn” when the accident occurred.  After their vehicles collided, Gallatin “was pinned and dragged under the [SUV] approximately 100 feet,” causing his death. “This behavior, which has been allowed to go under-punished for far too long, has been demonstrated to be just as dangerous as drunk driving,” said Governor Wolf at the bill-signing ceremony.  “Distracted driving has fatal, irreversible, and grave consequences and by signing this bill, I hope to make our roads and highways safer for...
airbag defect lawyer

Does Your Vehicle Have One of the Top 5 Most Common Defects that Cause Car Accidents in Pennsylvania?

Most car accidents are caused by driver errors, such as speeding, following too closely, or running red lights.  However, deadly auto accidents can also be caused by vehicle defects.  Could one of the most dangerous defects be lurking in your car or truck?  Philadelphia car accident lawyer Brent Wieand sifts through PennDOT data to uncover the top five auto defects that cause the most crashes in Pennsylvania. What Are the 5 Most Common Auto Defects that Cause Car Crashes in PA? Every year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) releases a report on auto accident trends in Pennsylvania.  Though the 2016 report is not yet available, last year’s report provides valuable data about the role of auto defects in car accidents during 2015. Defects caused 2,558 accidents in 2015, which is just over 2% of the 127,127 total accidents reported for the year.  The nature of the defect was unknown or unspecified in 67 of the accidents, but in most instances, PennDOT was able to identify the defect which caused the crash to occur.  According to PennDOT data, here were the top five defects that caused the most car accidents in 2015. Suspension Defects – 89 crashes 07% of total crashes (127,127) 5% of defect-related crashes (2,558) Warning signs your car may have a problem with its suspension system include uneven tire treads, excessive bouncing while you’re driving the vehicle, greasy- or oily-looking shocks, and a sensation that the car is drifting or pulling when you try to make a turn. Powertrain Failures – 266 2% of total crashes 4% of defect-related crashes A vehicle’s powertrain, or powerplant, is...
pharmaceutical litigation attorney

Testosterone Lawsuits Allege Heart Attack, Stroke, Blood Clot

Millions of men in the United States are affected by low testosterone (“low T”) which is associated with effects such as erectile dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances, and even anemia (too few red blood cells). Testosterone-boosting medications have been marketed by drug companies as a remedy for these ailments. However, testosterone replacement therapy has also been linked to an increased risk of serious health problems such as blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and even death.  These complications have led numerous patients to file product liability lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these drugs. Some commonly prescribed testosterone-boosting drugs include prescription gel and patches, such as: AndroGel Axiron Fortesta Testim If you or your spouse has already experienced any of these complications while using a prescribed gel or patch testosterone booster, you should consult with a testosterone product liability lawyer about a filing a lawsuit. You may be able to get compensated for the medical bills and other expenses you incurred due to the medication. Thousands of people have already filed or joined lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that develop and market drugs for low testosterone.  The plaintiffs allege that manufacturers negligently marketed the testosterone replacement therapy, while also failing to warn patients about the potential hazards, leading to preventable blood clots and other injuries. Testosterone Drug Study Cancelled After Too Many Men Experience Health Problems These risks and hazards have been substantiated by multiple peer-reviewed medical studies.  Two of the more prominent examples are a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that “use of testosterone therapy was associated with...
medical malpractice lawyers

How Safe is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

Low testosterone, which is also called “low T”, is common in the United States.  According to a recent report by ABC News, as many as one in four American males over the age of 30 may have low testosterone, which can result in fatigue, depression, anemia, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and other negative effects.  Millions of low T patients have been prescribed testosterone-boosting medications, many of which are applied topically as gel or in patch form.  However, many patients are unaware that the FDA cautions that prescription testosterone products are approved only for men who have low testosterone levels caused by certain medical conditions, and that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may have serious side effects. Testosterone Medications May Increase Risk of Stroke, Heart Attack Every medication, whether prescribed or purchased over-the-counter, carries some risk of causing unwanted side effects.  Just turn on your television and listen carefully the next time you see a drug commercial – you’re likely to hear warnings about potential side effects like itchy skin, constipation, indigestion, seizures, and any number of other adverse events ranging from the mildly annoying to the imminently life-threatening.  Clearly testosterone boosters aren’t the only drugs that have side effects. However, lawsuits against testosterone manufacturers allege that these drugs were marketed to treat “low T”, a condition the FDA hasn’t recognized as a disease. In fact, testosterone is only FDA-approved to treat hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is characterized by a drastic hormonal decline caused by injury or disease. Testosterone lawsuits allege that drug companies have wrongfully marketed testosterone products to men for treatment of “low T” which is beyond its FDA approved...
nursing home citizen

Choosing a Quality Nursing Home Could Become Easier for Hospital Patients Under New Rule

Under current federal law, “[H]ospital[s] must not specify or otherwise limit the qualified providers that are available to [a] patient” who is being discharged.  Intended to ensure plentiful care options for patients, this law has had an unintended consequence: in order to avoid unintentionally restricting patients’ choices, hospitals provide patients with minimal information about nursing home facilities.  As a result, many patients unwittingly choose to enter facilities with troubling histories of abuse, neglect, and serious health violations.  However, that may be changing in the near future.  Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand investigates. Woman Dies After Hospital Refers Her to Poor Quality Nursing Home At age 88, Elizabeth Fee was admitted to California Pacific Medical Center, a hospital in San Francisco, for treatment of a pelvic fracture.  When Fee was ready to be discharged, the hospital provided her family with a list of options for continuing care.  Heading the list was the hospital’s own nursing home. “They handed me a piece of paper with a list of the different facilities on it, and theirs were at top of the page,” said Fee’s daughter, Laura Rees.  “They kept pointing to their facility, and I was relying on their expertise and, of course, the reputation of the hospital.” Seeing no reason to mistrust the information – which, after all, was supplied by a team of medical professionals – the family decided to place Fee into the hospital nursing home, where she developed an undiagnosed bowel obstruction and died in February 2012. “I feel we were misled,” said Rees, “because we believed that Mom was going to a facility that would...
slip and fall attorney philadelphia

How Long Do You Have to Go to the Doctor After a Slip and Fall Accident?

The actions you take in the days following a slip and fall accident can have a dramatic impact upon your ability to recover compensation for the medical bills and other losses resulting from your injuries.  Philadelphia slip and fall injury lawyer Brent Wieand explains why it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible following an accidental fall. Who is Liable for My Slip and Fall Injury? Unfortunately, thousands of people have slip and fall accidents every day.  An accidental fall can be caused by almost type of hazard, and can happen to any person in any sort of environment, from the young woman crossing an icy parking lot to the elderly man shopping at a grocery store. Whether the hazard that caused the fall was a wobbly railing, a crumbling stair, a slippery puddle, or insufficient lighting, the underlying cause is often negligence, or carelessness, on the part of a property owner and/or maintenance worker.  When a fall is caused by a property hazard that exists because of negligence – for example, the failure of a landlord to make timely repairs to a known hazard in the common area of an apartment building – the negligent party may be liable for the victim’s medical costs and other expenses. However, a fall victim is not automatically entitled to compensation, no matter how serious his or her injuries are.  In order to obtain financial compensation, the victim must file a personal injury claim – and in order for the claim to be successful, the victim must promptly seek medical attention. When to Seek Medical Attention After an Accidental...