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Doylestown Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law Blog

Pennsylvania resident dead after motor vehicle accident

When a new year begins, everyone is filled with a sense of joy and excitement about the coming 12 months. No one expects a tragedy to strike and rob a family of a beloved member of the clan. Unfortunately, not all new years begin they way people expect. Any number of tragedies can mar what is otherwise a happy time, including fatal motor vehicle accidents.

One Pennsylvania family is suffering during these early days of 2019 after a motor vehicle crash claimed the life of a loved one. On Jan 6, just five days into the new year, a 53-year-old man died in a vehicle crash that occurred in New Jersey. The accident occurred on Route 80 in Sussex County at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The 3 most common injuries for motorcycle drivers

Motorcycles are an efficient way to get around. They are compact, easy to park, use very little fuel and are exhilarating to ride on a beautiful day.

But, according to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 80 percent of accidents that involve motorcycles cause injury or death. In any accident, it's almost always the motorcycle driver or their passenger who suffers the greatest injury. The three most common injuries for motorcycle drivers and riders are:

Keeping dads involved in a child's life after a divorce

Fathers in Pennsylvania can take comfort in knowing that courts today typically give equal weight to the roles of both parents in a child's life when making custody decisions. Even so, it's still common for children to end up living with the mother if parents aren't able to make co-parenting or joint custody work. However, there are some steps that fathers looking to stay involved in their child's life may be able to take to ensure that their rights are upheld during and after a divorce.

For starters, dads are advised to be reasonable with child custody and visitation requests. This may require a father seeking custody to be honest about how much time he can spend caring for his child. Dads are also encouraged to keep the best interests of children in mind by facing their own emotions about the relationship with the mother. A dad looking to stay involved in a child's life may need to let go of lingering pain or bitterness related to past interactions with his ex.

A personal injury often comes with long-lasting consequences

Suffering a serious personal injury typically has a devastating effect on the injured party, and it can impact the victim's entire family as well. Along with the pain and trauma associated with a serious injury, victims and family members suffer a range of consequences. We wanted to take a moment to talk about these issues to help prepare you should you or someone in your family suffer an accidental injury due to someone else's negligence.

Recovery issues

Finding the best way to divide a co-owned home

When a couple is contemplating divorce in Pennsylvania, they will likely begin to think about the assets they own and strive to determine the best way to divide these assets. With some things, such as savings accounts, it's pretty cut and dry because they can be divided equally. Other things, like a co-owned house, cannot quickly be divided in two. The option exists to sell the home and then divide the profits. However, personal attachments to the home, wanting to raise a family in the home, and one's inability to pay for the home on a single income could impact that decision.

To avoid making regrettable real estate decisions during divorce negotiations, it is practical to create a divorce agreement that has clear and precise language. Some divorcing couples have decided to allow one person to buy the other one out of the home. This usually requires that the property be appraised and then one spouse pays the other in cash. When the payment is made, the deed will be transferred to the sole ownership of the spouse who is paying for the home.

The impact of driving under the influence

Drivers in Philadelphia may be interested in learning about the impact that drunk driving has throughout the country. It is estimated that drinking fatalities account for one third of traffic-related fatalities. Individuals under the age of 24 are affected at a greater rate than others.

The cause of death varies based on how the accident unfolded. Head trauma, damage to internal organs and heavy blood loss can all occur during traffic accidents. Younger individuals run a greater risk because many are inexperienced drivers, young people often travel with others in the car, and young people are more prone to be distracted while driving.

Recalled vehicles and repairs: What you need to know

American consumers can usually trust that the cars they purchase will be free of serious problems, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, automobiles are plagued by potentially dangerous and life-threatening defects. When this occurs, auto manufacturers need to repair and replace the defects or face the threat of being financially liable in the event that their defects cause injury or death to others.

Once a serious vehicle defect is discovered, that makes a car unsafe for drivers and their passengers -- or other people on the road -- the vehicle could be recalled, either by the automaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When a recall happens, the owners of affected cars can usually take their vehicles into a local dealership for a free repair or replacement. To avoid the threat of getting hurt, vehicle owners should comply with all recalls as soon as they possibly can. They might even want to avoid using and driving a potentially-dangerous car until the necessary repair or replacement has been made.

Avoiding accidents when merging into truck traffic

As you approach a highway merge point, there's no question you'll feel a bit anxious. This is particularly true if you look in your mirror and realize there are several large tractor-trailers moving toward you at a high rate of speed.

Proper merging is essential in remaining safe, so it's important to follow these three tips:

  • Use the entire ramp to your advantage: Look at the ramp ahead to better gauge how much time you have to get up to speed. You'll typically have plenty of time, so use the ramp accordingly.
  • Prepare to enter the highway: As you get up to speed, flip on your turn signal and begin your search for an open spot in traffic. The trucks and other vehicles already on the highway have the right of way, so don't feel pressured to pull out in front of them. When merging in close proximity to commercial trucks, take the size of the vehicle into consideration. This will change the way you search for an open space.
  • Make your move: One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hesitating, as this puts you and others at risk. For example, if you hit your brakes at the end of the ramp, the car behind you may find it difficult to stop. Keep in mind that trucks require even more braking time than cars.

Car accidents are a leading global killer

Car accidents aren't only a major safety concern for people in Pennsylvania. Around the world, traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young people between the ages of 5 and 29, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Not only do car crashes disproportionately take the lives of young people, they are the eighth leading overall cause of death on a global level. The WHO released these statistics as part of its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, which noted that 1.35 million people were killed in 2016 in traffic incidents, outstripping the death tolls associated with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

The report noted that some progress has been made around the world to address roadway safety issues but noted that the United Nations was unlikely to achieve its goal of cutting traffic accident deaths in half between 2016 and 2020. The number of deaths is continuing to grow each year, but the death rate in relation to the overall world population has remained relatively stable. That rate has hovered around 18 per 100,000 people for 15 years.

External airbags could make car crashes less dangerous

For many people in Philadelphia, improving vehicle safety is a top priority. Car accidents can cause devastating injuries and even take lives, so using technology to make deadly crashes less likely could be highly beneficial. One company is working to develop external airbags that, unlike traditional airbags, sit on the outside of a vehicle. According to tests, external airbags could make crash injuries 40 percent less severe for people in equipped cars.

The company's external airbags are designed to emerge from the side of a vehicle, essentially expanding the crumple zone of a car after impact. After it has expanded, an external airbag looks like a large pillow or cushion on the side of the car, meant to absorb some of the impact of a side crash. However, there are some technical issues that have kept them from becoming standard equipment. Cars will need to detect a crash before it happens in order for the airbags to have the proper protective impact. While preventative systems are in place that note sudden driving behaviors, including seat belt tightening, the deployment of an airbag is a far more significant event.

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