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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Winter weather can cause devastating car accidents

With the treacherous winter weather conditions of the past month, many Pittsburgh families have been involved in accidents on the road. The icy roads have caused a number of car accidents, many of which resulted in serious injuries and tragically even fatalities.

While the weather can contribute to these accidents, many accidents are caused by negligent drivers. When a driver hits the roadways, they have a responsibility to other travelers to adhere to the rules of the road. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to ignore these rules.

Severe weather conditions: A scapegoat for fatal plane crashes?

One of the biggest news stories of last year had to do with an AirAsia flight seemingly disappearing into thin air. The plane, along with its 162 passengers, vanished from the radar while flying to Singapore from Indonesia. Recently, though, parts of the flight have been located in the Java Sea. What caused this crash to happen? The investigation is ongoing but severe weather may have played a role in this tragedy. According to some reports, the plane was subjected to lightning and storm clouds, as well as strong winds. Still, countless flights are subject to these same conditions all over the globe, and aviation accidents remain relatively rare.

Poor weather conditions are often listed as a cause of airliner accidents in Pittsburgh, as well as all over the world. However, the number of incidents caused by weather may be lower than expected. In the 1950s, weather was responsible for approximately 16 percent of large airliner accidents according to PlaneCrashInfo.com. That percentage dropped to only six percent in the 2000s. A study by aviation industry giant Boeing shows that there was only one fatal aviation accident due to weather from 2004 to 2013.

Truck drivers responsible for many accidents on the road

While all road accidents can be have tragic results, those involving commercial trucks can be particularly devastating. Trucks are harder to control and therefore harder to stop than other vehicles due to their large size and heavy weight. When a 50,000-pound truck crashes into a small passenger vehicle, the damages are likely to be severe.

The Department of Transportation requires that truck drivers and trucking companies follow numerous regulations to ensure that the trucks are in good enough condition to take the road. Trucks need to undergo regular inspections and their safety features, including the brakes, need to be serviced regularly. Loads need to be properly secured before driving.

17 Car pileup on Interstate 80 leaves 2 dead, injures 30

A horrific 17-car pileup on Interstate 80 this afternoon in Clarion County left two people dead and injured at least thirty more. It has been reported that the visibility was nearly zero after back-to-back white out snow squalls from Lake Effect snow. Car accidents like this must be thoroughly investigated so that all parties involved are evaluated for their

The accident involved eight tractor trailers and nine cars. It was reported that one of the big rigs involved was carrying hazardous materials, but no spills were reported. The accident happened near mile marker 65 in Strattanville, Clarion County around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon and shut down Interstate 80 for several hours.

New safety measures in place to help prevent brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, could be suffered in a motor vehicle accident as well as by a collision on the football field. Pittsburgh football players at every level face the risk of suffering a TBI every time they step out on to the field.

On average, research shows that professional players will get hit in the head anywhere from 900 to 1,500 times during a season. That means that about 60 percent of football collisions are head-to-head, and some of these collisions lead to permanent disability. Once a player suffers one concussion, they are more likely to suffer more concussions in the future. The most tragic cases are ones like that of Ohio State University defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge, who had a history of concussions and died of a self-inflicted gunshot.

How safe are trucks on Pennsylvania roadways?

Truck accidents on the Pittsburgh roadways have unfortunately become all too common. Since 2009, 14,000 people have died as a result of big-rig truck accidents. Accident rates vary between states due to differences in terrain and weather patterns, as well as irregularity of enforcement.

While Pennsylvania is closer to the bottom of the list, with only .18 crashes per million miles traveled by heavy trucks in the state, there are still many people are dying unnecessarily. What makes things worse is that many of these deaths may have been preventable. Close to one quarter of the trucks involved in these fatal crashes had been previously cited for safety violations.

All-terrain vehicle accidents can cause serious injury

Accidents involving vehicles of any kind can cause serious injuries, particularly to children. Car accidents involving various types of vehicles have become a problem in Pennsylvania. In 2009, over 130,000 United States emergency room visits were attributed to all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children under the age of 16 were involved in a quarter of these visits. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that, from 2007 to 2011, Pennsylvania had 97 rider deaths on public highways, the second-highest number in the country.

ATV vehicles are used by young people all across the country, but after seeing so many injuries caused by ATV accidents, many don't think that these powerful machines should be used by children. According to The Safety Institute, ATV accidents injure or kill approximately 40,000 children under 16 every year. In fact, the Safety Institute also reported that ATV driving has a higher risk of hospitalization than many popular sports and activities for children including basketball and skateboarding. Surprisingly, the risk of serious injury when driving an ATV is 61 percent greater than for football, which is widely considered to be one of the riskier sports.

Recovery from wrongful death lawsuits can help you move forward

No one wants to imagine a day when a loved one will have to go into surgery. Unfortunately, this is something most of us will experience at some point in our lives. We trust that the Pittsburgh medical professionals in charge of our loved one's procedure will take good care of them and live up to their duties as health care professionals. In most cases, that's exactly what happens. However, in a few cases, medical professionals and hospital staff behave negligently on the job, causing injury to their patients. One mistake can cost a patient his or her life. In these cases, victims and their families may be able to file a successful wrongful death suit against those responsible.

Gismondi & Associates has years of experience representing patients and their families in wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. The attorneys on staff will help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. If the attorneys determine that you have a case, they will do everything in their power to give you a chance to receive fair compensation for all your financial, physical and emotional suffering. Many victims and their families are dealing with mounting medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.

Mother-to-be killed in Pittsburgh accident with elderly driver

Whenever a deadly crash occurs, authorities, as well as the family of the victim, will likely want to know what caused the accident. Lately, various individuals have been concerned about elderly drivers causing car accidents. Many people plan to drive until they die, but unfortunately, that is not always a safe option.

One woman was recently killed in a Pittsburgh accident involving an elderly driver. The incident occurred when an 88-year-old man crashed his vehicle into the woman while she was leaning against a wall outside a Rite Aid pharmacy on the North Side. Investigators believe that he was attempting to pull into a parking space but accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake. It is unknown whether the driver will face criminal charges.

Who can file a wrongful death suit in Pennsylvania?

Pittsburgh families who have lost loved ones know how painful it can be to resume day-to-day life after tragedy. It can be even more painful knowing that the person's death could have been prevented if it wasn't for the negligence or misconduct of another person. Fortunately, there is a way for families to get some justice and begin to move forward with their lives.

Families can file successful wrongful death suits in civil court even if the defendant was found not guilty in criminal court. Wrongful death suits can take place in civil court after a criminal trial. In criminal court, a defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However in civil court, lawsuits are held to a lower standard of proof. A defendant could be held civilly liable if the jury finds him at fault by a preponderance of the evidence.

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