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Hermitage Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Car accidents and the risk of miscarriage

Pregnant women may face a variety of challenges during and after their pregnancy, whether they are impacted from an emotional point of view or they face physical or financial difficulties. Unfortunately, some unexpected problems can lead to serious consequences for pregnant women and their unborn children. For example, many pregnant women have been involved in motor vehicle collisions, which can cause them to sustain an injury or even lose the child that they are carrying. This highlights how important it is for pregnant women to stay safe on the road. Sadly, safe and responsible drivers cannot always avoid accidents, especially when reckless drivers are present.

When a pregnant woman is involved in an accident, she may have many concerns about the impact of the collision and which steps to take next. It is essential for those who are pregnant to make sure that the accident did not harm the fetus. In some instances, an accident may be so severe that it causes a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage. The emotional consequences of this loss may be completely devastating, and some people are never able to fully recover from a miscarriage.

Traffic congestion and the risk of a crash

There are countless risk factors to be aware of on the road but driving in congested traffic can be especially dangerous for various reasons. Sometimes, people associate traffic congestion with traffic jams and slow speeds. However, there are a number of hazards that drivers may encounter in these situations and accidents may be more likely to occur in certain circumstances. Furthermore, the consequences can be devastating, resulting in an injury or even the loss of someone’s life.

Many drivers cannot stand traffic congestion and become frustrated when traffic backs up. Congestion may be the result of many vehicles on the road during rush hour, or it may even be caused by a motor vehicle accident. Sometimes, a driver may behave erratically in an attempt to avoid other vehicles or move through the traffic jam faster, which can be dangerous. A driver behaving in such a manner may cause an accident that could leave an innocent driver or passenger injured when their vehicle is struck from behind.

Employment-motivated dstracted driving

For many people in Pennsylvania, the time they spend in the car driving to and from work can take a big chunk out of their daily lives. Some people choose to pass the time by listening to the radio or even perhaps enjoying an audio book. Other people use the time to essentially extend their workday by taking and making calls while driving. Even with hands-free options, the use of mobile phones can be dangerous for drivers and others on the road around them.

It seems that the desire to compete at work might be forcing more people to not only talk while driving but also to check and even respond to incoming messages. According to USA Today, this compulsion is seen most evidently among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34. Of these drivers, more than two out of every three people said they found it hard to avoid checking and replying to messages when they were driving. The rate of this urge is much lower for drivers in other age groups with only one out of every four people saying they felt pushed to check or respond to messages when behind the wheel.

Safe walking procedures that may help keep disaster at bay

As warmer weather continues to set in, you may prefer to stay off Pennsylvania roads and do most of your traveling on the sidewalk. With clearly marked crosswalks and traffic lights with walk signals at many intersections, it may seem like there has never been a safer time to be a pedestrian.

However, with growing concerns such as distracted driving, the threat to pedestrian safety remains ever present. While you may find it nearly impossible to react quickly enough to avoid a fast-moving vehicle, there are steps you can take that could help reduce the odds that a collision will take place.

What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

As summer approaches and you send your children back outside to play, you no doubt hope that they will no better than to avoid those things in Hermitage that can cause them harm. As an adult, you certainly know better than to go to another person's house or on their property in pursuit of an attraction you find interesting. With this comprehension also comes the knowledge that if you do so, the property owner will not be liable if you were on their land without permission. Yet is it realistic to expect the same comprehension from your kids? 

The attractive nuisance doctrine recognizes that there are features and attractions that can entice children (especially young children) to them despite their inherent dangers. For example, the thought of going swimming may override a child's apprehension of getting into a pool by themselves. Because of this lack of understanding on your child's part, the attractive nuisance doctrine allows you to hold property owners responsible of your kids are injured by features on those properties (even if your kids were there without permission). 

What is a personal representative responsible for?

If a loved one asks you to become his or her personal representative, it is important to understand the duties of a personal representative before you accept. In general, if you are named a personal representative, you will be responsible for making sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out after he or she passes away.

This may sound simple, but there are actually many steps you may need to take to legally fulfill this responsibility. If you do not correctly complete all of the required tasks, you could be held personally liable.

Accident fatalities in Pennsylvania

If you are like a lot of people in Pennsylvania, you may be concerned about the recklessness some drivers exhibit on area roads and highways. Despite strict laws, it seems that some people are simply not willing to make safety a priority. This does make it important for you to be extra vigilant and drive defensively but also to be aware that there may be times you need additional help if even your safe actions are not enough to avoid being hit by a dangerous driver.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving and speeding continue to claim many lives in Pennsylvania. In Mercer County alone, 21 people were killed at the hands of drunk drivers between 2013 and 2017. In that same five-year period, 33 lives were lost in accidents involving excessive speed. A total of 73 vehicular fatalities were recorded in the county over those five years.

What is assuming the risk?

If you or someone you know in Hermitage is seeking damages from being hurt on another person’s property, be aware that the property owner might make an assumption of risk argument. To counter a claim of negligence, some property owners claim that the injured party actually knew all along that the property was dangerous, or that the activity the victim participated in was potentially hazardous. This is called “assuming the risk.” However, you should not let a property owner make you think are at fault for your own injury if you were not adequately warned.

According to FindLaw, a proper case of assuming the risk is when someone understands that an activity or property poses the possibility of injury. This knowledge can be gained by observing an activity in motion, like an amusement park ride. It can also be acquired through reading nearby signage or a discussion with an authoritative official on the property. The process of assuming the risk is complete when a person decides to enter a property or perform an activity without any form of coercion.

Vehicular homicide charges filed in fatal accident

Some Pennsylvania car accidents are just the result of the perfect storm of events that ends in tragedy. Others can be more sinister and are often the result of the poor decision making on the part of a driver or passenger. This was the case in a recent accident that resulted in the death of a 45-year-old woman and vehicular homicide charges leveled against the driver who caused the accident.

According to ABC Action News, law enforcement officials say the accident occurred when a black vehicle traveling east struck another vehicle traveling southbound. The crash occurred early in the morning in Coatesville and the driver of one vehicle was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Government rule addresses fatigue among truckers

Driving any vehicle while tired can be dangerous. This is something people in Pennsylvania are well aware of yet this is something that commercial truckers, especially those who operate long-haul routes, may do on a regular basis. Fatigue can negatively impact a person's judgment and reaction times, thereby increasing the chance of making an incorrect action and getting into an accident. 

The federal government agency that oversees commercial trucking appears to have become aware that fatigued driving among truckers was a problem as it instituted new rules designed to address this issue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calls these regulations the Hours of Service rule. In essence, the HoS dictates when a trucker may or may not drive with the intent being to prevent operation while tired.

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