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Berks County Legal Blog

Liability for damages from hit-and-run accidents

Motorists in Berks County who negligently injure others may be required to pay compensation to their victims. Negligence may be found when a defendant breaches a duty he or she owed to the victim. There are a number of bad acts that could be determined to breach a duty to a victim. One of these is the act of improperly leaving the scene of a car accident. This is often called a hit and run.

Specifically, a hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver is involved in a wreck with another car, a fixed object, or a pedestrian and that driver leaves before identifying himself or herself and before rendering aid to others who need help. Even if a driver is not at fault for an accident, he or she may have committed a hit-and-run if the driver improperly left the scene of a crash.

What to do right after a car accident

A car accident can be a very confusing, even traumatic experience for a Berks County resident. Even if a person hasn't suffered any obvious injuries, it can be hard to deal with. And if a person has been injured, it is that much more challenging. How does one help the injured while taking care of oneself and fulfilling one's legal responsibilities? This blog post will discuss this in a little more detail.

After an accident, it is important to remain at the scene until it is appropriate to leave. By staying at the scene, a driver can render aid and not run afoul of Pennsylvania's laws against hit-and-run driving.

We have a solid record of success with medical malpractice cases

Medical malpractice is the legal term for when a medical professional commits a harmful act of professional negligence against a patient. One way to seek resolution in a medical malpractice case is to file a claim against the medical professional believed to be liable. Many patients, in an effort to resolve the matter expeditiously, may choose to seek resolution in other ways first.

Not long ago, we discussed the various ways resolution can be sought through means other than filing a claim. Contacting the medical professional and contacting the professional's licensing board are two alternatives that may make sense depending on the specific circumstances.

The settlement of a car accident claim: pros and cons

When a Berks County resident suffers injury in a car accident and the injury is due to the fault of another party, there are a number of ways that the situation could be resolved. If the parties do not agree on the amount of damages that the responsible party should pay, the situation could be resolved either with a trial or with some other form of dispute resolution. Alternatively, the parties could negotiate with each other the amount of damages that should be paid. If the parties reach an agreement on this issue, it is called a settlement. This blog post will discuss settlements in a little more detail.

Why do people choose to settle car accident claims? Depending on the specifics, settlements can be a win-win for everyone involved. The injured party will ideally get adequate compensation without having to wait for the successful resolution of the trial. The insurance company can save money they would have had to spend defending the claim. And both parties can avoid the uncertainty that exists in any trial.

Did a work-related accident leave you with brain injuries?

Suffering from a severe injury can result in your facing many difficulties. In some cases, the injuries are not permanent, and after recovery, individuals can go back to living their lives as they did before. However, you may not have been so lucky. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury while on the job, you may know that your life will never be the same.

Brain injuries could occur as a result of a job-related accident in a variety of occupations. If you work in the construction industry, you face the highest risk for suffering such an injury on the job. One way this injury could have come about is from falling from a considerable height and hitting your head on the ground or other objects. Similarly, building materials or machinery could have potentially struck you in the head. Now you may wonder what negative effects you may face.

What damages may be available in a wrongful death suit?

Whenever a person in Pennsylvania is killed as the result of the wrongful act of another, it may be possible for the victim's family to recover from the responsible party by means of a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death suits are a relatively recent development. Before the Keystone State enacted its Wrongful Death Act and its Survival Act, survivors had a difficult time recovering for the loss of their loved ones. The Wrongful Death Act and the Survival Act lay out the kinds of damages that may be available in a wrongful death suit. This blog post will give a brief rundown of these possible damages.

Under the Wrongful Death Act, survivors can recover from a liable party all medical, hospital, funeral, burial and estate administration expenses incurred. The act also makes it possible for survivors to recover for contributions that they would have received from the victim had the fatal incident not occurred. These include sums that the victim would have spent on food, shelter, medical care, clothing, gifts, education and recreation.

Who bears liability after a truck accident?

Earlier on our Berks County legal blog, we summarized the events surrounding a recent multi-vehicle crash in which a Pennsylvania woman lost her life. One of the vehicles -- the one that hit her car from behind -- was a dump truck, or in other words, a commercial vehicle.

What difference does it make when a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, versus a passenger vehicle? The answer is that additional parties besides just the driver may be liable, and therefore victims may be able to pursue compensation above and beyond what they might otherwise have obtained. Let's look at how this is determined.

Dump truck accident claims life of Pennsylvania woman

It was recently reported that a Pennsylvania woman was among two victims of a fatal multi-vehicle crash involving a dump truck in a nearby state. We'll take a look this week on our Berks County legal blog at what happened, and what our readers should understand about the legal implications of a truck accident like this.

The accident occurred on a Wednesday afternoon. Traffic was backed up in the right lane of the interstate, and a tractor-trailer had pulled to a halt. Behind it, two women in their seventies had also stopped in their car.

Don't let a negligent property owner's insurer push you around

Earlier, we examined an accident case from a neighboring state. The victim was walking outside of a commercial building when he fell on an icy sidewalk and suffered serious brain injuries. He was eventually provided with $750,000 in compensation as part of a settlement.

One notable detail in that story that the average Berks County reader might have overlooked was the parties that actually paid the victim: the insurance companies, not the property owners themselves. Why should this matter?

Victim gets $750,000 in settlement of premises liability suit

As the leaves change and the nights grow longer and cooler in Berks County, residents are beginning to prepare for the winter months. While many look forward to the holidays and winter sports, shoveling snow is something grudgingly accepted as a responsibility. But make no mistake, a responsibility it is -- especially for commercial property owners who need to keep their sidewalks and parking lots safe for their customers and other passersby.

Just a few years ago, a premises liability suit in a neighboring state arose after a man in his mid-fifties and his wife left a restaurant and were walking down an icy sidewalk that had not been cleared properly. The man slipped and fell, hitting his head. He suffered brain injuries in the accident and has experienced symptoms ranging from loss of memory and mood swings to a partial loss of his sense of taste and his entire sense of smell.

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The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller
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Hamburg, PA 19526

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