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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Truck driver fatigue can cause tragedies on the road

From 18-wheelers to tractor-trailers, trucks of all kinds traveling along our East Coast highways are at a risk to be involved in a fatal accident. These trucks are often much larger in size than passenger vehicles. They also tend to carry large quantities of goods, making them much heavier than the average passenger vehicle. These differences in size and weight can turn otherwise minor road accidents into serious, life-threatening accidents. Many accidents occur because a truck driver fails to safely operate his vehicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation has implemented regulations to ensure that truck drivers and trucking companies don't put other motorists at risk for injury.

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. The Department of Transportation requires that truck drivers take regular rest breaks while working. They also must keep logbooks to prove that they took adequate breaks. However, many trucking companies provide incentives for drivers to drive without breaks.

Truck accident on S.C. highway kills Johnstown, PA couple

It may still be months before South Carolina investigators will learn what happened to cause a five-vehicle accident involving commercial trucks that killed five people, including a 7-month-old and a couple from Johnstown, PA.

Two commercial semi-tractor trailers and three passenger vehicles collided at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The accident closed I-95 in Florence County, S.C., according to a spokesperson from the S.C. Highway Patrol. The spokesperson told reporters that everyone wants to know how the accident happened, so that the families of the victims will have their questions answered. As such, a "Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team" will have to determine the course of event causing the accident that took place slightly before the northbound exit ramp of mile 170, just about thirty miles from the North Carolina border.

Motor vehicle deaths in Pennsylvania car accidents

Accidents on the road have taken countless lives in Pennsylvania and across the nation. In 2013, there were over 30,000 fatal car accidents in the United States resulting in over 32,000 lives lost. In Pennsylvania specifically, there were 1,117 fatal accidents and 1,208 deaths as a result of those collisions.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System collects accident data all across the country. According to their 2013 findings, there is a road accident death rate of 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people. The findings showed that there are 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. In Pennsylvania, the death rate is 9.5 deaths per 100,000 people, which is lower than the nation's average. However, there are 1.22 deaths per 100 million miles, which is higher than the nation's average.

Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting impact on life

For those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, March is a special month, as it is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to, traumatic brain injuries are responsible for more than 50,000 deaths a year. For people between the ages of 1 and 44, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability. Traumatic brain injuries impact the lives of many accident victims and victims of physician negligence all over Pennsylvania. These injuries also have a profound effect on those responsible for the care of these victims.

Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe. But even the mildest TBI can have a profound impact on your life. While men are twice as likely as females to experience a TBI, both women and men can experience TBIs. In fact, it is approximated that nearly 2 percent of the U.S population has a disability as the result of a TBI.

Wrongful death settlement reached after fatal shooting

Altercations between police officers and civilians have become all too common these days. Unfortunately, some of these altercations turn deadly. In 2011, a Pennsylvania man was shot and killed by two policemen outside an apartment building in Farrell.

A woman, the administratix of the man's estate, filed a wrongful death suit against the officers, which was recently settled for $150,000. Half of the settlement will be put into a fund for the man's three children. The woman will receive a total of $27,456, and the rest will be paid to her law firm.

We proudly serve aviation accident victims and their families

Every year, many Pittsburgh residents take to the friendly skies and travel all over the world. While traveling by airplane can be extremely convenient and enjoyable, some flights sadly result in tragedy. For people that have lost a loved one in an aviation accident, there may be more questions than answers. The attorneys at Gismondi & Associates have helped a number of families throughout Pennsylvania get through this difficult time in their lives.

Plane crashes are often severe and result in serious injuries or death. For victims and their families, this can mean lost wages, pain and suffering, and a steady stream of medical bills in the mail. Worst of all, it can mean the loss of a relationship. This is why many people decide to file a lawsuit against those who may be responsible for the accident. A lawsuit may be able to provide full and complete compensation and force those responsible to make changes to ensure others' safety in the future.

Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents

Each year, far too many individuals are injured and killed in motor vehicle crashes all across the United States. Though these accidents can be caused by drunk drivers and those who operate their vehicle inappropriately, distracted driving, where the driver is focused on something other than the road, is another common cause of car accidents that deserves attention.

Motorists who take their eyes and/or minds off the road, or take their hands off the wheel, have proven to be dangerous to Pittsburgh drivers and pedestrians. Younger, less experienced motorists seem to be even more dangerous. Studies show that drivers under the age of 20 are at an increased risk to be involved in a distracted driving-related fatal accident.

Wrongful death suit filed against Pa. assisted living facility

Senior living facilities are required to adhere to a standard of care when it comes to treating their residents. One Pennsylvania facility, however, has been accused of not doing so. One woman filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against the corporate owner of the facility after her father died in the center in August 2012. Her father allegedly weighed 134 pounds when he was first admitted to the facility, but weighed only 120 pounds four days later. He made several visits to the emergency room for various ailments and injuries, including a clogged feeding tube and a MRSA infection. The man was then moved to a new facility, but ended up passing away only eight days later.

The lawsuit claims that the Altoona facility was understaffed and not equipped to handle her father's health issues. The suit also claims that the center's owner purposefully admitted more patients than it could handle, and failed to hire additional staff.

Four-car collision hospitalizes 4 people

Car collisions in Pittsburgh are frequent occurrences. While many accidents may be minor fender benders with no injures, there is always the possibility that there will be serious injuries or even fatalities. It's not just the automobile accidents that are problematic -- the aftermath may also have long-lasting effects. Knowing how to navigate the difficult terrain after a crash is one of the most important factors in making a full personal and financial recovery.

A recent accident involving four vehicles sent four people to the hospital with injuries ranging from minor to serious. According to the police, the chain reaction began when one vehicle allegedly failed to negotiate a curve, and ran into the opposite lane and oncoming traffic. One vehicle was sideswiped, and there was then a head-on collision with a third vehicle. After that, a fourth car was hit. The driver who allegedly caused the collision was hospitalized with back pain, and the driver and passenger in the sideswiped car suffered back and leg pain. The driver who was hit in the head-on collision suffered serious leg injuries and was also hospitalized.

Traumatic brain injuries and the tragic consequences

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is typically caused by a blow to the head that interferes with normal brain activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40 percent of these injuries from 2006 to 2010 were caused by falls, but many were also caused by assaults, motor vehicle accidents and being struck by an object. Various sports and other types of recreation also caused a number of TBIs from 2001 to 2009, particularly in children and young adults.

No matter what they are caused by, traumatic brain injuries can result in death and disability for a large number of people in Pittsburgh. According to the CDC, TBIs play a role in approximately 30 percent of deaths by injury.

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