The Top 7 Causes of Truck Accidents, and How An Attorney Can Help
Karen was distraught. Her 22-year-old son Mike was recently involved in a horrible auto
accident while driving back home from a friend’s place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A heavy
truck crashed into Mike’s car leaving him serious injuries.
His arm was broken, he had lacerations on his face and had suffered a concussion as well. Mike’s car was so severely damaged, it was beyond repair.
Between trips to the hospital, Karen was not sure of what she should do. Whether it was a good idea to file a claim, or should she file a lawsuit?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the number of accidents involving heavy trucks has increased steadily every year from 2012 to 2015. While the number of crashes in 2012 was 5,891, this number went up to 6,916 in 2015.
This is definitely a cause of concern for the authorities. Accidents involving heavy trucks can be quite deadly , owing to the sheer size of the vehicle involved. Casualties are higher as is the extent of damage to property.
Some of the common reasons behind heavy truck accidents in Pennsylvania are:
The Distraction of drivers: Truck drivers are on the road pretty much every day. While driving
for long hours, monotony can lead to boredom. If drivers get distracted and take their attention
away from the road for even a split second, the results can sometimes be disastrous.
Driving under the influence (DUI): Truck drivers driving while under the influence, with blood alcohol levels beyond the permissible limits can cause accidents as alcohol impairs judgment and slows down reflexes.
Badly maintained vehicle: If the tires and brakes haven’t been checked before the truck hits the road, accidents are more likely to happen. It’s even more difficult to control a sudden tire burst for a heavy truck than a relatively smaller car.
Driver exhaustion and sleep deprivation: Despite strict regulations that have fixed the number of hours truck drivers can drive in a day, driver exhaustion is a reality. Due to lack of sufficient sleep and rest, truck drivers risk causing accidents by falling asleep
at the wheel.
Speeding: A truck being driven over the speed limit can cause accidents of disastrous proportions.
Damaged roads: A broken patch on the road is likely to increase the chance of an accident, especially at night.
Extreme weather: Poor visibility or slippery roads due to snow or rain can result in crashes.
Auto accidents involving heavy trucks are likely to cause significant damage to the smaller vehicle involved in the accident. If you or a family member is an affected party, get in touch with an attorney right away.
A skilled attorney can help you recover some of your losses. A lot of times, the exact reason behind the crash is not known immediately.
Did the accident happen due to driver negligence? Was the truck driver driving under the influence? Was the driver fatigued?
An attorney can help get hold of the evidence and point the investigation in the right direction.
In case of personal injury or damage to your car, an attorney can help build a strong case for you. Make sure you reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible so that you don’t lose any evidence.
Also, in such cases, time lost is money lost. Attorneys can work towards getting you the compensation you deserve against the losses suffered by you.
The insurance policies for truck accidents are quite different from regular auto accidents. Attorneys can help you file the right claims and make sure that the trucking company or the insurance company does not weasel out of paying compensation.
A truck accident can be devastating to you and your family, but a good attorney can help protect your interests.
Contact the Law Offices of Alvin de Levie at (844) 777-2529 to find out more information and to find the right attorney for you.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers: What is a breach of the standard of care?
Monetary compensation for medical malpractice can be won if the patient (plaintiff) is able to prove four legal elements:
If you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim , it will bode well to understand a few important points before we explain the term “breach of standard of care.”
Now let’s talk about what amounts to a breach of standard of care in medical terms.
What is standard of care and breach of standard of care?
While states may differ in their definition of what is an acceptable standard of care in medical malpractice cases, the commonly-accepted definition is “standard of care generally refers to that care which a reasonable, similarly situated professional would have provided to the patient.”
Standard of care is extremely subjective and depends on the following:
In the absence of consensus among experts to establish a universally accepted standard of care to be adhered by all physicians, the onus to prove that harm was done to a plaintiff lies with her attorney. Preparing a compelling medical malpractice case requires domain knowledge that comes from years of pertinent experience.
Even if a plaintiff is dissatisfied with the state court’s verdict or with her compensation amount, a skilled attorney can help in overturning or revising the verdict by appealing to a higher court.
If you've been a victim of medical malpractice, you will require a team of seasoned lawyers by your side to bring the perpetrator to justice. The evidence and the reasoning to back your case should be airtight for you to have a chance to receive the right amount of compensation. Give us a call at 844-777-2529 to find out how we can help you out during these troubled times.
How Do I Select a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney to Represent Me?
Choosing the personal injury lawyer who will represent you in your claim is the most critical step toward achieving the compensation you deserve. Choosing the wrong attorney can lead to a catastrophic loss of time and energy, and keep you from getting just compensation. There are thousands of personal injury lawyers in Pennsylvania, and they are all clamoring for your case. To help you sort through the noise, we have put together this list of the five most important things to consider when choosing a personal injury lawyer.
1. Make Sure The Attorney Specializes in Personal Injury
While many lawyers in Pennsylvania will accept your personal injury case , you will want to make sure the attorney you select specializes in personal injury. Personal injury law involves a wide range of specialized law and intricate rules. You will often find lawyers who specialize in other kinds of law, such as criminal law, family law or trusts and estates, that take personal injury cases on the side. These lawyers are not likely to know all of the ins and outs of a personal injury case, especially in cases where a more nuanced understanding of the law is necessary.
At the Law Office of Alvin F. de Levie, Esq., we specialize in personal injury law. Whether your case involves a trucking accident, a birth injury, or medical malpractice, we have decades of experience representing clients who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries throughout the Commonwealth.
There are many different kinds of personal injury claims . Each kind of claim comes with its own body of law and requires a specialized strategic approach. We work with an elite team of talented specialists and lawyers with experience in all manner of catastrophic personal injury claims.
2. Make Sure the Attorney Has a Great Deal of Experience
You do not want your attorney to be using your case as a means of continuing his or her education. You want an attorney who knows the law that applies to your case and knows how to use it to your advantage. An experienced attorney will be able to fully investigate your claim, knowing what information to look for, where to find it, and how it is relevant to your case.
Even when your attorney knows the law, personal injury cases require a thorough knowledge of the practical aspects of handling your case. Your attorney will need to make important strategic decisions, such as:
-Deciding how to present your claim to an insurance company;
-Determining the value of your case;
-Deciding when to continue negotiations and when to file suit;
-Choosing the best venue in which to file suit; and
-Knowing when the other side is playing games and how to force them to play by the rules.
These are all things that aren’t taught in law school. Knowing how to properly handle a personal injury case comes from experience. At the Law Office of Alvin F. de Levie, our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers has decades of experience handling all manner of catastrophic personal injury claims throughout the Commonwealth.
3. Make Sure the Attorney has a Proven Track Record of Getting Good Results
In the end, the point of hiring an attorney is to get a better result than you could obtain on your own. You want to make sure the attorney has a proven track record of getting results for his or her clients both in and out of court.
At the Law Office of Alvin F. de Levie, we have achieved numerous significant verdicts and settlements over the years. We fight hard for the rights of our clients and work to get the compensation they deserve.
4. Make Sure the Attorney Has a Stellar Reputation with Judges and Other Lawyers
Your attorney’s reputation is key to achieving a just result in your case. It often helps to resolve your case more quickly and fairly when the judges and defense lawyers know you are represented by an attorney who is known for zealous, yet ethical and respectable representation.
Alvin F. de Levie has consistently been voted by the Judiciary and his peers in the Bar to receive Martindale Hubbel’s “AV Preeminent” 5.0 out of 5.0 rating . The Martindale Hubbel ratings are based on confidential interviews of peers in the legal industry, including members of the Judiciary and the Bar. Attorney de Levie was evaluated by his peers for his legal ability in the areas of analytical capabilities, legal knowledge, judgment, communication ability and legal experience, and general ethical standards such as adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, including reliability and diligence.
An AV Preeminent rating is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. The AV Preeminent rating is the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous peer review rating process that is managed and monitored by the world’s most trusted legal resource.
5. Make Sure the Attorney Has the Resources to Handle Your Case
Finally, it makes no difference how good your attorney is if he or she does not have the resources to handle your case. Personal injury litigation is notoriously expensive and time- consuming. Cases involving catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice , and other complex situations often involve an extraordinary amount of time and investigation. Your attorney will often need to obtain and review thousands of pages of documents and other materials. Experts are often required to help prove your damages or that the other party was negligent. Complex cases can cost tens of thousands of dollars to pursue and often require the attorney to marshal a great deal of assistance. Even the most basic trials can cost thousands of dollars. A lack of resources may force an attorney to accept less for your claim than you deserve.
At the Law Office of Alvin F. de Levie, Esq. , we have decades of experience handling cases for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries throughout the Commonwealth, including birth injuries like Erb’s palsy. We have handled cases from Philadelphia and the surrounding counties to Allegheny County, including Blair County, Centre County, Lycoming County, Montour County, Mifflin County, Cambria County, Cumberland County and Dauphin County.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical malpractice, please call our firm – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – at 844-777-2529 (Toll -Free) for a consultation. One of our team members will be in immediate contact with you. We maintain offices throughout Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, State College, Bellefonte and Lock Haven, and we are willing to meet any clients throughout the Commonwealth.
Auto Accident Attorney: Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigued Drivers
A recent article in USA Today highlighted the dangers posed by road-weary truckers. USA Today’s reporters engaged in a four-year investigation and found that some truckers were working shifts of up to 20 hours per day, six days per week. The reporters also found that, on average, truckers were driving without taking breaks required by federal law up to 470 times per day. When this data was compared to federal crash data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration , USA Today found these drivers were involved in over 180 crashes within one day of driving without taking a break.
According to the American Trucking Association , there are over 3.6 million trucks on the road in the United States at any given time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration claims over 18,000 trucking accidents per year are caused by driver fatigue. Further, the US Department of Transportation estimates 4,000 people die each year from large truck crashes, and the leading cause is driver fatigue . With so many fatigued drivers on the road, it is important that you know what to look for and what to do if you are involved in an accident with a truck or tractor-trailer.
Are There Laws and Regulations to Prevent Truckers from Driving While Fatigued?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for regulating our nation’s truck drivers and trucking companies. Federal “hours of service” regulations require that truck drivers may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty, with a 10-hour off-duty period between each 14-hour on-duty period. Within each 14-hour period, the driver may only drive 11 hours and must take a 30-minute break after 8 hours. This 14-hour period includes all breaks and gas-stops.
Despite these laws, many truck drivers continue to drive their vehicles beyond the 11-hours approved by law and fail to take the required breaks. While truck drivers sometimes decide to drive long hours on their own, many trucking companies either expressly or indirectly push their drivers to violate the regulations to increase their bottom line.
Both the driver who violates these regulations and his or her employer are subject to fines and other penalties, including criminal prosecution, for violations of the hours of service regulations. Violations of the hours of service regulations may also be used as evidence of negligence in a civil case if the driver’s violation caused an accident.
What Are the Signs That a Truck Driver is Driving While Fatigued?
Fatigued drivers experience many of the symptoms suffered by anyone who has gone for long periods without sleep. These include:
Signs that a truck driver may be fatigued include:
Drivers who notice any of these signs of truck driver fatigue should stay clear of the truck to avoid an accident.
What Should I Do If I Am in An Accident With a Truck or Tractor-Trailer?
Sometimes, no matter how vigilant we are on the road, there is nothing we can do to stop a trucking accident. If you are involved in a trucking accident, you need to contact an experienced attorney immediately . DO NOT DELAY! There is a Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania requiring that any trucking accident lawsuit be started within two (2) years of the date of the accident which has caused your injuries. If you do not bring a lawsuit within the applicable two-year period, any claim that you may have will be forever barred.
Trucking accidents are often much more complicated than your average motor vehicle accident. The truck driver and the trucking company responsible for the accident are often from another state, or even another country. There may also be several individuals and entities who may be responsible for the accident, including the driver, the owner of the truck, the driver’s employer and the company whose freight was being hauled by the tractor-trailer. Additionally, truck drivers are governed by special federal and state laws and regulations which do not apply to other drivers. You need an attorney who has the experience and resources to fully investigate the accident and identify all those who are responsible.
These cases can also pose complicated jurisdictional challenges, making it hard to bring your lawsuit in your home state. For example, in one of our recent tractor-trailer cases, our client, a Clearfield County resident, was involved in a tractor-trailer accident in Virginia. The trucking company and the driver were both from out of state. By filing a Freedom of Information Act Request and obtaining information that showed the company operated more often in Pennsylvania than almost any other state in the country. We were also able to obtain information on the large amount of taxes and registration fees paid to Pennsylvania by the trucking company. This information was critical to keep the case in the Federal Court in Pennsylvania, saving our client from having to file his suit in Virginia or another inconvenient state.
At the Law Office of Alvin F. de Levie, Esq ., we have years of experience handling cases for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of tractor-trailer accidents throughout the Commonwealth. We have handled cases from Philadelphia and the surrounding counties to Allegheny County, including Blair County, Centre County, Lycoming County, Montour County, Mifflin County, Cambria County, Cumberland County and Dauphin County. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, please call our firm – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – at 844-777-2529 (Toll-Free) for a consultation. One of our team members will be in immediate contact with you. We maintain offices throughout Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, State College, Bellefonte and Lock Haven, and we are willing to meet any clients throughout the Commonwealth.
Personal Injury Lawyer: What to Learn from IKEA's Product Recalls
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has recently recalled over 29 million chests of drawers and dressers that were unstable and posed a serious risk of injuries, particularly to children.
There are various things that we do to create a safe environment for our children within our homes. We install baby locks on cabinets, use doorway guards to keep small children out of certain areas, keep small items that babies might put in their mouths out of reach, even install latches on the toilet as an extra precaution. Still, hundreds of children are tragically killed or injured in their own homes. Every hour, a child in the U.S is injured by furniture tip-over accidents.
Recently catastrophic accidents involving IKEA furniture claimed the lives of 3 toddlers who got trapped under an unanchored MALM chest which tipped over.
In February 2014, Curren Collas, a two-year-old boy tragically died when a six-drawer MALM chest tipped over and crushed him. His mother found him trapped between the dresser and his bed. The IKEA dresser that caused this fatality was not anchored to the wall.
Later in 2014, 23-month-old, Camden Ellis, also died after getting trapped beneath a 3-drawer MALM chest that tipped over. His dresser was also not anchored to the wall.
It was in February 2016 that cruel fate struck again leaving 22-month-old, Theodore McGee, dead after a set of unanchored drawers fell and crushed him. Apart from these deaths, IKEA also received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving the MALM chests and dressers, which resulted in 17 injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old.
IKEA claims the failure of the pieces to meet the performance requirements of voluntary U.S. industry standards. These wrongful deaths and injuries could easily be prevented. IKEA acknowledged the danger these pieces of furniture presented, specifically to children and recalled a massive amount of these defective products. It serviced or refunded the purchase of more than 1 million dressers. Lives could have been saved if IKEA had acted sooner.
Eventually, IKEA ended up paying a whopping $50 million as settlement after the death of Three Toddlers. The settlement will be divided evenly among the three families. The company will also donate $150,000 to their memorial funds and $100,000 to Shane’s Foundation NFP, a children's safety organization focused on furniture tip-over prevention and education.
How common are furniture tip-over accidents?
Furniture tip-over refers to accidents in which a piece of furniture tumbles over onto a person, usually a child, resulting in various kinds of injuries, sometimes fatal. It is estimated that 1 child dies every two weeks or is injured every 24 minutes in the U.S. from furniture or TV tip-overs.
How do these accidents occur?
A majority of the victims who are injured by tip-over furniture are under the age of 5. Toddlers tend to get trapped under tipped furniture, leading to suffocation, damaged organs, broken bones, and other serious injuries . Tip-over accidents can also impact adults in the same way.
Furniture tip-overs occurs because the product was defectively designed or manufactured. For instance, a chest of drawers should be designed and manufactured so that the back and bottom sides are heavy enough to prevent it from falling forward when drawers are opened and a certain amount of weight is placed on the drawers. Some manufacturers don't adhere to the safety norms while creating their furniture making it unsafe and more likely to tip over. In the case of IKEA, the makers claim that the dressers are safe when attached to the wall according to the assembly instructions.
Furniture tip-over accidents are under the purview of personal injury. Give our expert personal injury lawyers a call at 844-777-2529 or contact us if your child has been injured due to furniture tip-overs. After taking into consideration the type of injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident, your personal injury attorney will be able to help you claim the right amount as compensation for medical bills and future medical treatments. A strong lawsuit can also persuade the producers and manufacturers of furniture to create safer products in the future.
How Do I Know if My Medical Injury is a Valid Malpractice Case?
You should visit a medical facility or a doctor when you have serious problems with your health. Unfortunately, the treatment may leave you feeling worse or even seriously impaired due to the negligence of a medical professional or caregiver.
The instance of Julie Andrews , the legendary actor/singer springs to mind here. She lost her mellifluous voice after a surgery for removing nodules on her vocal cord backfired in 1997. Not willing to bear with it, she sued the authorities for medical negligence and was relieved to find it settled in her favor three years later in 2000.
You do not have to be a celeb to ask for justice. Any kind of medical injury caused due to the neglect of doctors, nurses or other medical caregivers makes them liable for malpractice. However, it is best to have all your facts clear in the first place. It's normal to be grieved and angry at the outcome of the negligent handling initially. You must, however, be prepared to be able to substantiate the following when you feel the need to press malpractice claims .
Professional - Patient Relationship- You simply cannot sue a doctor for taking his casual advice to heart when he had not been treating you for a specific condition/injury. Fortunately, this can be proved conclusively when you have the doctor’s prescriptions and records of visiting the said doctor in your possession. This issue arises most often the professional was not the only one treating you directly or had only been indirectly responsible.
Negligence- Simply being unsatisfied with the outcome of the treatment is not going to help. The medical neglect cases need to be proved in a court of law. The concerned medical professional should not have harmed you by deviating from the standard process of treatment or failing to take care as a skilled medico would have done in identical circumstances. It is not important for the doctor to be the absolute best in the trade though. However, he/she needs to have the requisite skills for treating the condition and must have been fastidious while taking care of the patient. This happens to be the crux of valid malpractice claims more often than not.
Cause – Causing serious harm to a patient cannot always be the onus of a doctor though. In fact, there are many instances where the patient had been severely ill or indisposed prior to visiting the doctor. This prompts the legal experts representing the doctor to question the validity of the claim. Drawing an inference about the doctor’s role in causing harm or death is not always effective. You must be able to prove that it had been the doctor’s negligence that is more likely to have damaged your health. It is best to seek an expert’s counsel and have him testify in court.
Damages – You are not likely to be vindicated by suing for malpractice even if you prove that the concerned doctor had been inept. You need to be able to prove that the actions of the doctor had resulted in grievous injury to your person. However, you are well advised to seek compensation if you have:
Medical malpractice suits are not simple . The nature of the cases vary widely and might include everything from a faulty tubal connection to failing to remove the stitches in time. The law differs from state to state as well. It is, therefore, mandatory to check before deciding to file such a claim. Here are the categories that make a medical malpractice suit valid.
It is imperative to get in touch with a medical malpractice lawyer as a medical negligence claim happens to be complex and needs to take cognizance of diverse stipulations that may include the following as per the State laws.
Alvin F. De Levie & Associates is supported by an elite team of lawyers, industry specialists, and experts who can assist you in the legal process.
Call us for a free consultation at 844-777-2529 today, to find out whether your case is a valid medical malpractice case.