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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Car accident kills one, causes serious injury to another

Anytime a driver heads out onto the road in Pittsburgh or throughout the state, there is a chance that a car accident will happen. While the majority of drivers adhere to all traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely, crashes happen. These auto accidents might occur for a multitude of reasons, including drivers operating their vehicles recklessly, drivers under the influence or unforeseen circumstances. Regardless of the reason, the aftermath of these accidents can be life-changing.

A car accident involving three vehicles led to the death of one man, while another suffered serious injury. The accident occurred at approximately 7:00 p.m. as an SUV stopped at a red light was rear-ended by a red minivan. The SUV was sent into the opposite lane, where it crashed into another car at the stop light. One of the vehicles ignited in flames. The driver of the minivan, a 67-year-old man, died at the hospital and the driver of the SUV was taken to the hospital with injuries that were said to be serious. The accident investigation is ongoing.

Truck accidents responsible for injuries on Pittsburgh roadways

Many accidents, unfortunately, occur on the streets and highways of Pittsburgh. While some of these accidents involve passenger vehicles, but many of the more serious accidents involve commercial trucks. Truck accidents involving tractor-trailers, cement mixers and coal trucks cause a number of severe injuries and deaths of many people every year.

These types of trucks are responsible for carrying a variety of goods across the country. They are large in size and weigh much more than the average passenger vehicle. The size of these trucks makes them a danger to other drivers on the road. Many of these truck drivers do not take the size of their vehicles into account when driving.

New study says that lawsuits do not lead to "defensive medicine"

You often hear doctors or hospitals complain that the prospect of being sued by patients causes them to practice "defensive medicine," i.e., to order more tests and drive up costs that would otherwise be avoided if they were not worried about medical malpractice lawsuits. A recent study by the Rand Institute published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine says that is not true. The study looked at thousands of patients who were treated in the Emergency Room in three states (Georgia, South Carolina and Texas) that had recently changed their law to make it much harder to sue a doctor or a hospital, and they compared the number of tests ordered to a similar group of patients in states that made it easier to sue doctors. If physicians truly where practicing "defensive medicine," then you would expect that the number of tests and medical costs to go down after the state passed laws to reduce the threat of a lawsuit. However, this new study showed that the change in the law did not cause doctors to order less tests; instead, the number of tests ordered was generally the same both before and after laws were passed which made it harder to sue doctors.

State trooper hit by SUV and suffers severe injuries

A number of car accidents in Pittsburgh tragically involve innocent pedestrians. These accidents can result in severe injuries that leave the victim struggling for the rest of his life. One Pennsylvania State Trooper experienced some serious injuries himself when he was involved in a car accident in late October. Police say the crash occurred in Westmoreland County in the East Huntingdon Township.

The trooper received a call requesting him to clean up wood pallets on Route 119. He activated his emergency lights and got out of his vehicle to clear the debris. Most drivers slowed down when they saw the scene, but one driver was unable to stop and swerved in between the stopped car and the traffic in the left lane. The trooper was hit by the SUV and was thrown over his patrol car.

What are traumatic brain injuries and how are they treated?

Every year, many Pittsburgh car and truck accidents lead to severe injuries and even death. Some of the most serious injuries involve traumatic injury to the brain. When an accident occurs, drivers and passengers may suffer from a traumatic brain injury. This type of injury typically occurs when a person's head violently strikes an object or when an object penetrates the cranium and enters the brain tissue.

Victims of traumatic brain injuries may suffer from mild, moderate, or severe symptoms depending on the severity of the brain damage. Milder symptoms include a loss of consciousness for a few seconds, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, loss of memory and confusion. Those with more severe brain injuries can experience seizures, long-lasting headaches, vomiting, slurred speech and a loss of coordination.

Woman files wrongful death suit after officer fatally shot son

A mother filed a lawsuit against two Pittsburgh police officers who allegedly wrongfully shot her son to death in March 2009. Now, that lawsuit has been tentatively settled, though the financial details of the settlement have not been disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement.

The woman filed the federal lawsuit five years ago, alleging that a state Trooper and a Pittsburgh officer wrongfully shot the boy after bars were emptying following St. Patrick's Day festivities. The officers say that the man was drunk and under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident, and that he had an extensive criminal record. An autopsy was conducted and toxicology tests revealed that he was drunk and had Xanax, morphine and cocaine metabolites in his system. The lawsuit was filed before this information came to light.

Truck accidents can cause fatalities and serious injuries

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9.7 percent of vehicles involved in deadly accidents in Pennsylvania were large trucks. These trucks make up nearly 5 percent of the nation's total number of trucks involved in fatal accidents. Truck accidents have become concern all over the country due to the number of fatalities. Statistics show that approximately 3,921 people were killed and over 100,000 people were injured in 2012 large truck accidents.

Both injuries and fatalities have increased in accidents involving large trucks. The fatalities in large-truck crashes are mostly occupants of other vehicles. However, the number of large-truck occupants killed appears to be on the rise. The number of large-truck occupant fatalities increased 9 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Football-related brain injuries means trouble for the NFL

Sports fans everywhere are well aware of the NFL's recent legal battles involving players who suffered concussions while playing football. A recent study examined 79 former players and discovered that 76 of these players had a degenerative brain disease. The study indicates that the occurrence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy has more than doubled.

CTE can only be determined posthumously. Many of the deceased players had donated their brain for research because they suspected while they were alive that they had the disease. The disease occurs as a result of repetitive head trauma and brain injury, which causes the brain to produce abnormal proteins referred to as "tau." The disease can have a negative impact on functioning and kill nerve cells. Severe cases of the disease can result in memory loss, advanced dementia and confusion. Less severe cases can cause depression, rage and mood disorders.

Determining liability in a Pennsylvania car accident

When a Pennsylvania resident is involved in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages to cover medical expenses and other costs. Your damages will partially depend on who the court finds liable for the accident. Courts will look at various factors to determine who was negligent in the accident.

Courts will typically look at whether a driver disobeyed the traffic signs, failed to signal while turning or drove above the speed limit. If the driver was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or disregarded road conditions, he may be found liable. Courts will look to various sources to determine fault, including police reports, state traffic laws and witnesses.

Brain injuries can have a long-lasting impact on families

One of the most devastating things that can occur as a result of a car accident is a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by various other types of accidents as well, including work injuries. The brain can be injured as a result of external trauma or internal conditions. These internal conditions can cause hypoxia or a loss of oxygen. A cerebral edema, which involves swelling in the brain, can also occur.

In more severe accidents, brain injuries may be immediately visible, with outward sides of injury to the head. However, a brain injury isn't always obvious from the outside. In many cases, the victim's skull may not show signs of damage outwardly, but the victim may be suffering from headaches, dizziness and sensitivity to light. Because of this, many brain injuries are difficult to diagnose. Doctors may request a CT scan, but a brain injury may not show up or may just appear as a bruise. It is important to note that many brain injuries can be diagnosed by looking at symptoms. If you have been in an accident, your friends and family should keep an eye on you and report any abnormal symptoms to doctors.

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