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Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Law Blog

Sleep apnea a real concern in commercial truck accidents

Many of us have experienced becoming fatigued while driving over long distances. Most of us recognize the danger immediately and take affirmative actions to reduce the risk of harming ourselves and others. Now imagine the plight of a commercial truck driver who may not fully understand the dangerousness of certain medical conditions that promote fatigue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial truck drivers in the United States have an average life expectancy of only 61 years. That's 16 years less than the national average! The CDC has attributed certain lifestyle and job-related issues experienced by truck drivers as a reason for their reduced average life expectancy.

Filing a lawsuit over post-operative care in Pittsburgh

After an operation, you might think you're out of the woods and should be on the mend. Unfortunately, post-operative complications are always a possibility for patients, no matter how large or small the operation was. Sometimes, these kinds of side effects are expected, so patients are carefully monitored. The truth is, all patients should be equally monitored; even a minor surgery can lead to life-threatening dangers like allergic reactions or clotting problems.

Sometimes, the drugs you're given or the complications from unclean wounds can cause you ongoing pain and suffering. Minor complications can grow worse without immediate care, which is what your doctors and nurses are there for. If you aren't treated quickly when a complication arises, your life could be in danger.

22-year-old found guilty of DUI, killing Pennsylvania man

The family of a Pennsylvania man who was killed last December after a drunk driver crashed into his SUV is now one step closer to finding closure after the driver -- now 22 years old -- has been found guilty. According to reports, the guilty verdict was handed down by an Allegheny County jury on Dec. 4, almost a full year after the crash occurred.

According to police, the 60-year-old man was driving his two nieces and his daughter to a sleepover when the then 21-year-old crossed over the yellow line and hit the 60-year-old's SUV head-on. The crash occurred in Pittsburgh on Saw Mill Run Boulevard. Responders were able to rescue the three young girls -- who all survived -- but the 60-year-old succumbed to his injuries.

Medical malpractice and blood clots: Your right to compensation

When you go to see a doctor in Pittsburgh, you expect that he or she will help you get over what ails you, not make you worse. In some cases, the very techniques that doctors use to help you can hurt you if they aren't monitored carefully. For example, if you've just left surgery, doctors and nurses need to monitor your vital signs and make sure your anesthesia wears off properly. Your medications should be monitored for effectiveness, and you should always receive the medications you need on time.

One serious side effect that can take place after a surgery is a blood clot. When you have a heart surgery, for instance, you may have a stent or other item inside your body that could lead to a blood clot as you heal. Fortunately, doctors have medications, like blood thinners, that help reduce that risk. In the legs, you could have a graft or mesh put into place to prevent clots from traveling to the lungs.

What are the hours-of-service regulations in Pennsylvania?

New hours-of-service regulations were enacted in July 2013, which aim to reduce the number of crashes caused by dangerous, overworked and tired commercial truck drivers. These regulations control truck and commercial drivers by telling them exactly when they can and cannot drive their vehicles. These new hours were applied to help improve road safety with these large vehicles and to make sure drivers were getting the rest needed to be effective drivers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allowed trucking companies 18 months to adjust to the new hourly rules for their drivers. For instance, drivers were no longer able to work over 70 hours per week after the change to allow for adequate rest. Additionally, while this rule could affect some drivers, it's likely that around 85 percent saw no changes in their schedules.

Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit for an unemployed spouse?

The emotional impact caused by the unexpected loss of a loved one is always jarring to surviving family members. In many cases, that emotional toll is often felt even more acutely by the families of decedents who were killed due to the negligent or wrongful acts of others.

In many cases of wrongful death, those decedents were also major contributors to their families. Pennsylvania's Wrongful Death Act allows family members to recover damages based on an estimation of what decedents might likely have contributed to their families throughout their lifetimes. That estimation can be fairly adduced using the decedent's age at the time of his or her death, education skill levels and other factors to arrive at a fair amount of compensation.

Major truck accident after driver falls asleep behind wheel

Police near Kutztown, Pennsylvania, say that a truck driver is responsible for a major accident after he allegedly fell asleep while driving. According to members of the Northern Berks Police Department, the Nov. 19 accident caused a massive 10-vehicle pileup, which ultimately cost the lives of two people.

Officials say the 50-year-old truck driver was traveling south of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, on route 222 around 6:30 a.m., when the accident happened. Police say the truck driver fell asleep somewhere near Route 73, which resulted in his tractor-trailer smashing into a row of stopped vehicles. A police spokesperson indicated that the truck driver never applied the brakes throughout the entire accident.

Pennsylvania medical malpractice: You have a right to justice

A heart attack is a life-threatening condition. Many people who go undiagnosed could pass away from complications, while those who are diagnosed quickly have the potential to be saved. In a medical environment, you would think that heart attacks would be one of the most common ailments that doctors and nurses come across. Heart attacks should be easy to identify and treatment should be readily available.

Unfortunately, heart attacks aren't always recognized as they should be. Medical negligence can lead to a failure to diagnose the dangerous condition or conditions that could put a person at risk of a heart attack. For instance, coronary artery disease puts a person at a significant risk of suffering from a heart attack. Diagnosing this disease early is one of the best preventative measures for it, but it isn't always identified before the unthinkable happens.

Experts are key to proving negligence in birth injury claims

In a previous blog post, we discussed how one mother sued a hospital for allegedly committing errors that may have contributed to her child's birth injuries. That mother claimed that a doctor administered a labor-inducing drug that caused distress to her baby. She also alleged that the doctor later botched a subsequent cesarean section.

Modern medicine has advanced tremendously in recent times. However, despite those improvements, a certain amount of birth injuries occur each year. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health reviewed 13,870 births and discovered instances of a birth injury known as brachial plexus injury occurring at a rate of 1 in 385 single full-term live births.

Jury orders Giant Eagle to pay our client $2 million after being shot at GetGo

On Wednesday November 19, 2014, an Allegheny County jury ordered that Giant Eagle must pay a Pittsburgh man more than $2 million after being shot at the South Side GetGo in 2007.