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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

What are log book rules for truck drivers?

This blog recently discussed the importance of legal protections for victims of truck accidents. The nature of a truck driver's work requires sometimes long hours on the road. Tired and inattentive truck drivers can be hazardous on the roadways which is why the U.S. Department of Transportation regulates the industry and truck drivers to help ensure the safety of everyone sharing the roadways.

The number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel without a break is limited and truck drivers are required to maintain a log book that records and tracks their hours. A log book is used to demonstrate that the truck driver is in compliance with the law. Drivers are required to have a certain amount of rest time and are also required to take a certain amount of time off from driving and being on duty within a certain period of time. Drivers are required to have 10 consecutive hours off between driving shifts.

Victims of fatigued truck drivers have legal protections

Unfortunately, truck drivers are sometimes incentivized not to get enough rest and remain on the road long past when they need rest and sleep. Errors become more common when overtired truck drivers and drivers suffering from truck driver fatigue are on the road. Some truck drivers do not abide by legal hours of service requirements but others do and are still overworked and fatigued.

A truck driver suffering from truck driver fatigue can be a danger on the roadways. Truck driver fatigue can lead to commercial trucks drifting into the wrong lane, following too closely, failing to signal when merging or changing lanes and performing inappropriate driving maneuvers that can all result in serious truck accidents and harm to victims.

5 reasons doctors misdiagnose cancer

Why too many doctors are getting it wrong.

When cancer is waging a war on a person's body and they're doing everything possible to fight it, a prompt and accurate diagnosis can literally be the difference between life and death. So why do doctors continue to miss important warning signs and fail to properly diagnose cancer?

According to the New York Times, doctors misdiagnose about 28 percent of cancer patients - nearly three in 10. With the devastating harm that a missed diagnosis can cause, it is critical that we understand why diagnostic errors happen and work to prevent them. 

Spotting the signs and symptoms of brain injuries

It is important to be able to spot the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries but at times, such as following a car accident, their impact may not be immediately visible or apparent. As a result, it is important to know what to watch for if a traumatic injury is suspected following a car accident or other type of traumatic accident. If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, legal options may be available to help victims.

Traumatic brain injuries can result from closed head injuries so that there are no outward signs of the trauma the victim has suffered. The impact of a traumatic brain injury, however, can be serious and debilitating. Signs and symptoms of a brain injury may be subtle and difficult to detect and may not appear until days or weeks following a traumatic accident such as a car accident. Following a car accident, it is important to watch closely for the symptoms of a brain injury.

Legal options are available following nursing home abuse

The expectation when elderly individuals enter a nursing home is that they will be well cared for. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, elderly residents of nursing homes may sometimes be physically or emotionally abused. Nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse situations can sometimes lead to injuries or even death. Loved ones of victims of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse may have legal protections to consider following an incident of nursing home negligence.

Nursing home negligence may lead to a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages. In circumstances when a nursing home employs poorly trained staff; inadequately trained staff or staff with a history of violence, or a nursing home is inadequately staffed, and harm results to victims, it may create a claim of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse.

What options are available following an aviation accident?

Aviation accidents can be catastrophic for victims and their families and may leave victims and their families wondering what resources are available to them following an aviation accident. Depending on the circumstances of the aviation accident, and the cause of the aviation accident, different parties may be liable to compensate victims for the damages they have suffered.

If the aviation accident was caused by human error, the owner or operator of the airplane may be responsible for the harm victims have suffered and liable to compensate them for their damages. If the aviation accident was caused by some type of mechanical failure, the manufacturer of the plane or others such as the maintenance supplier involved in the manufacturing process may be responsible for the harm victims have suffered and liable to compensate them for their damages.

Traumatic brain injuries can have a dramatic impact on victims

Brain injuries contribute to a significant number of deaths and disabling injuries each year. In total, during 2012, 2.5 million victims suffered brain injuries. TBI injuries account for 30 percent of all injury-related deaths. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can be open or closed injuries and closed-head injuries can sometimes be difficult to spot so it is important to watch for the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury following a car accident, for instance.

Traumatic brain injuries can have a lasting and unexpected impact on the lives of victims. TBIs can impact functions including thinking, memory, movement, sensation and emotional functions. Unfortunately, a traumatic brain injury victim may not be recognizable to themselves or their family members following a traumatic brain injury. As a result, TBIs can be especially costly and challenging to treat as they may last a lifetime.

What is the discovery rule?

When thinking of cases of tragedy, you may be surprised to learn that there is a statute of limitations in place for a variety of crimes. This would bar an individual from pressing charges against another party after a certain time period has lapsed. A wrongful death case surprisingly does.

In the state of Pennsylvania, an individual has only two years to file a claim for wrongful death, beginning with the date of death. However, there are factors that give cause to alter this beginning date for the statute of limitations. So, while two years may seem like a more than sufficient amount of time to file a claim, it may pass by without you even knowing it.

Victims of distracted driving are protected by the legal process

Distracted driving is an increasingly common problem. Increases in cell phone use, texting while driving and other types of distracted driving lead to car accidents that can result in significant injuries and harm to victims. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that 11 percent of car accidents were caused by distracted driving. In addition, distracted driving-related car accidents led to 300 fatalities in Pennsylvania.

AAA reports that one in four drivers engage in distracted driving in Pennsylvania. Distracted driving includes a variety of behaviors and the most well known is texting while driving. Distracted driving can also include operating a GPS device or radio while driving; eating while driving; putting on makeup or engaging in other grooming activities while driving; reading while driving; interacting with passengers while driving; and attending to children, pets or other passengers while driving.

Chain of custody and physical evidence

Pennsylvania residents who have been injured in a truck accident will need to rely on evidence if they want to pursue a personal injury claim against the truck driver who harmed them and that truck driver's employer. After all, for many truck accident victims, winning on one of these claims is the only way to recover compensation for damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Yet, although it may seem relatively easy to gather and present evidence in a persuasive fashion, the rules of evidence, trial and case law can make the matter rather complex.

For example, in some situations it may become necessary to put on evidence establishing a chain of custody for a particular piece of evidence. "Chain of custody" is the procedure by which evidence is collected and cared for. Most commonly chain of custody issues can arise in the criminal context, but they can also present problems in a civil case.

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