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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Large trucks prove to be dangerous to Pittsburgh motorists

Each year, thousands of people are killed as a result of big rigs on the roadways. Large trucks, including commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, cement mixers, and coal trucks, tend to be harder to navigate than passenger vehicles due to their size and weight.

While the sheer size of these trucks is partially to blame, truck drivers are also responsible for many of the accidents that occur. Many truckers behave negligently and recklessly behind the wheel, and expect other drivers to get out of their way or pay the price. The problem is that when a 60,000 pound truck runs into a passenger vehicle, catastrophic damage and injuries can occur.

Playgrounds and brain injuries in children

Traumatic brain injuries are often caused by car accidents or slip-and-falls. One common cause of TBIs in children is accidents on playgrounds. The number of children who suffer concussions at playgrounds has increased substantially over the past few years according to one recent study. The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analyzed data from 2001 to 2013 regarding playground injuries in kids 14 and under who were treated in the emergency room. The data shows that 10 percent of the 215,000 kids treated in the ER yearly had traumatic brain injuries. Only nonfatal injuries, including concussions, were counted. In 2005, about 23 out of 100,000 kids suffered TBIs. In 2013, the rate increased significantly to 48 out of 100,000. Researchers cited two major possible reasons for the increase. One is that parents are more knowledgeable about TBIs in general and are aware of the potential consequences of an untreated concussion, thereby driving them to take their children to the hospital when injured. Another possible reason is that a higher number of children are playing on playground equipment. A vast majority of the children with concussions were sent home after emergency room treatment. Boys between the ages of 5 and 9 were more likely to suffer head injuries. About 3 percent of those with concussions had to undergo additional treatment or were hospitalized. Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting consequences and can cause permanent disability. Some of the effects of a TBI are not seen until much later in life. That's why it is so important to seek treatment immediately if you or someone you love is exhibiting any signs of brain injury. Signs of a concussion after impact to the head can include dizziness, headaches, confusion and nausea.

Not all injuries are legally actionable. However, when a person is injured due to the negligence of another party, the injured can seek compensation for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The legal theory of premises liability can hold landowners liable if someone is injured due to the owner negligently failing to address a hazardous condition on their property. This could be an important legal concept in any case involving dangerous playground equipment. Similarly, product liability can be an important legal concept in cases involving defectively designed playground equipment. A lawyer can help the injured and their families to understand all their legal options.

Truck accident fatalities drop for the first time in years

Due to their large size and heavy loads, trucks can cause a great deal of damage and injury in a Pittsburgh accident. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently reported that the number of fatalities caused by collisions with large trucks has decreased nationwide. In 2014, the number of truck accident deaths dropped 5 percent, making the total number of truck accident fatalities for 2014 just over 3,900.

According to the data provided by DOT, the number of truck accident deaths has decreased over 25 percent since 2004. Experts say that these statistics indicate a trend toward fewer fatal truck accidents on the roadways.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against producers of Tom Cruise film

Plane crashes involving private planes can cause numerous deaths and serious injuries. Airplane accidents in Pittsburgh have left many families devastated.

The family of American film pilot, Alan Purwin, is now grieving the loss of their loved one after an accident. Purwin and Carlos Berl of Colombia were killed when a plane crashed in Colombia during the filming of Tom Cruise's upcoming film, "Mena." A pilot from Georgia was injured and hospitalized after the accident. The film is scheduled for release in January of 2017.

Lawsuit settled after toddler suffers brain injury in fall

Brain injuries can be some of the toughest injuries to overcome. In many cases, those who have suffered severe injuries to the head do not ever make a full recovery. A young Pennsylvanian girl is allegedly permanently disabled after falling out of a relative's row house window. Her mother filed a lawsuit against the owners of the row house and those involved with the renovation project.

In 2012, the then 3-year-old girl was watching TV and playing with other children while visiting relatives. She came in contact with a window screen, and she fell out of the window. As a result of falling nearly 30-feet onto concrete, the girl suffered a traumatic brain injury with numerous skull fractures. The lawsuit states that these severe injuries left the now 7-year-old with neurological impairment affecting her cognitive abilities, sight, speech and movements.

Wheelchair users more likely to be victims in pedestrian accident

Pedestrians are at risk every day when crossing the busy streets in Pittsburgh and other major cities. One study shows that pedestrians in wheelchairs face a number of dangers that make them 36 percent more likely to die in a fatal car accident than others.

The study, conducted by John Kraemer and Connor Benton at Georgetown University School of Medicine, analyzes the National Highway Safety Administration accident data from 2006 to 2012. In the journal BMJ Open Access, Kraemer and Benton indicated that each year, 5,000 pedestrians are killed and 76,000 are injured on public roads.

Sleep apnea in truck drivers could lead to accidents

Researchers have shown time and time again that truck driver fatigue can play a significant role in motor vehicle accidents. In fact, drowsy driving plays a role in 328,000 accidents each year, including many throughout Pennsylvania.

One common reason for this fatigue is a chronic disorder, known as obstructive sleep apnea. The United States Department of Transportation is addressing this condition, specifically in commercial truck drivers. The public is allowed to weigh in on the topic during the 90-day comment period before the issue is legislated.

AEB systems in vehicles could prevent Pennsylvania car accidents

Pennsylvanian families are torn apart every year by fatal motor vehicle accidents. Many of these car accident fatalities and serious injuries are caused by a delay in braking or braking with insufficient force. However, there are technologies available that could prevent some of these tragedies from occurring.

Brain Injury Awareness Month draws attention to concussions

The month of March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, which gives people an opportunity to take a closer look at common brain injuries and how they can be prevented. Concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI), are some of the most typical brain injuries suffered that are caused by a sudden jolt or impact to the head.

Study: unsafe behaviors cause over 30,000 car accident fatalities

Car accidents in Pittsburgh are on the news constantly. The countless lives lost are enough of a reason to look deeper into why these accidents happen. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, many of these car accidents are the fault of the driver. The study shows that close to 87 percent of drivers engage in at least one unsafe behavior while driving.

These unsafe behaviors include speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, driving while drowsy, not wearing a seatbelt and running red lights. These behaviors killed over 30,000 people in car crashes in 2014. This number increased 9 percent in 2015.

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