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Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Law Blog

A look at semi-trucks and compliance with federal regulations

You have probably seen a commercial tractor-trailer weigh station along the side of a Pennsylvania Turnpike or highway over the course of your life. These seldom noticed, yet important facilities are vital to protecting public safety and reducing the numbers of unsafe tractor-trailers and their drivers from our roads.

In accordance with state and federal regulations, commercial tractor-trailers that operate in Pennsylvania must submit to periodic vehicle and driver inspections. During these stops, inspectors trained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration look for discrepancies in both the drivers and their vehicles. They hope to identify hazardous situations and remove them from the roadways before they become life-threatening.

Negligence and your wrongful death case in Pennsylvania

If you want to claim negligence in a wrongful death case in Pennsylvania, then you need to know what it is first and what is required to claim it. Negligence has to be proven in a case before anyone can be held accountable. Negligence is generally said to be when someone acts carelessly and causes a person to be injured.

There are four main parts to a negligence claim. These include duty, breach, causation and damages. With duty, the defendant owed a legal duty to the person who was injured. A breach is caused when the defendant doesn't act in a certain way. Causation means that the defendant's actions or lack of action caused the injuries. Finally, damages are defined as being the injuries that the plaintiff suffered due to the defendant's actions.

Pennsylvania hit-and-run accident turns fatal

On Oct. 13, a Turnersville, Pennsylvania, woman became the victim of a fatal hit-and-run accident after her car left the roadway along I-95. The accident occurred around 3:45 in the afternoon as the 44-year-old victim was traveling southbound on interstate in her 2003 Jeep liberty.

News reports have surfaced indicating that the victim was near I-95's Woodhaven Road on-ramp in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, when another vehicle reportedly moved abruptly into her lane of traffic before applying its brakes. Pennsylvania State Police say that the unexpected lane change caused the victim to swerve in an effort to avoid colliding with the vehicle in front of her.

Inattentive drivers and your rights in Pittsburgh

There are all kinds of car accidents that you could be involved in, from pedestrian crashes where you're hurt crossing the street to bus accidents. When you suffer a trauma in an accident caused by someone else, you deserve to receive as much compensation as allowed. That compensation can be used for medical bills, rehabilitation costs or even just to make your life a little easier while you learn to live with an injury or disability.

After an accident, you may want to look into legal help. If you do, then the evidence can be gone through, allowing a case to be built in your favor. You may need to have your injuries looked at by a second medical professional for confirmation or have another investigation of the crash to collect evidence and to arrange the facts of your case.

Military report offers insight on medical malpractice

In 2010, former Pennsylvania Congressman and retired Marine, John Murtha, died at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, following an operation to remove his gallbladder. Murtha's death was attributed to surgical complications and came on the heels of a 2007 scandal in which the treatment of patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center had come under fire.

The subsequent fallout of those two incidents prompted a year-long investigation by the New York Times into issues of medical malpractice and Veterans Administration hospital deaths. Subsequent incidents involving the access of patient care at VA hospitals eventually compelled the Pentagon to order an unprecedented review of its entire military health system earlier this year in May.

Why are truck accidents so deadly in Pennsylvania?

Truck accidents can be the cause of serious injuries and deaths. Commercial trucks, known as big rigs or tractor-trailers, include all vehicles such as 18-wheelers, delivery trucks, freighters and other models. Commercial trucks tend to be very large, and they require a commercial driver's license to drive them.

When fully loaded, a large commercial vehicle could weigh 80,000 pounds or more. That, in comparison to the average 3,000 pound weight of a passenger vehicle, is incredibly heavy and able to damage vehicles significantly. The size disparity between commercial and passenger vehicles means that when they collide, the passengers in the passenger vehicles are in particular danger of being badly hurt or even killed.

Pennsylvania medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits

Pennsylvania residents have a right not to be injured or killed as a result of negligence caused by medical professionals. Throughout the Commonwealth, residents are enabled by laws that allow them to sue healthcare providers responsible for the negligent deaths of their loved ones. These eligible individuals are known as beneficiaries, and they are limited to surviving spouses, children or parents of the deceased.

There is also an exception for a personal representative of the deceased to file a claim on behalf of the deceased in situations where none of the previously mentioned parties have filed a similar claim within six months of the wrongful death.

Your child's right to compensation after a birth injury

If a birth injury left your little one suffering or disabled in Pittsburgh, then you have every right to want to seek compensation and to ask for answers. Your child could have been hurt at several times during pregnancy or delivery. Did your child suffer because of a C-section that took place too late or due to the wrong medications being prescribed during pregnancy? There are many factors to look into, but with help, you can prove your case and get what you need to move on with your life.

Birth injuries come in many forms, from mild cases to those that are most severe. There are a number of injuries that happen somewhat commonly, including Erb's palsy, Klumpke's palsy, spastic cerebral palsy, brain damage, a broken collarbone, a broken arm, traumatic brain injuries and several forms of cerebral palsy. A number of these injuries are life-changing and can result in excessive bills over the course of your child's life.

Some interesting facts about drug-related accidents

The National Institute of Drug Abuse considers the use of any mind-altering drug while operating a motor vehicle just as dangerous as drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel. According to NIDA, the effects of drugs on a driver might even have a more measurable effect on driving ability depending on the type of drug used. Depressants such as opiates may have a considerably different effect on a person's driving ability than stimulants such as cocaine.

Perhaps not surprisingly, THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, is listed as second only to alcohol as the substance most frequently found in the blood of car accident participants. Crash studies indicate positive THC results for roughly 4 to 14 percent of drivers injured or killed in traffic accidents.

What are birth injuries; are they common?

Some commonly asked questions about birth injuries in Pennsylvania include these. If you find yourself answering that you are in a position to seek a lawsuit, then looking closer into your legal options may be something you want to do.

The difference between a birth injury and defect can be difficult to determine in some cases. For instance, birth injuries are typically caused by something going wrong during a child's delivery. Birth defects, on the other hand, tend to happen to a child before or during pregnancy.