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Archive for the ‘ Court Radio ’ Category

It’s the Fourth of July Weekend: Let’s be Careful Out There

The deadliest holiday on America roads each year isn’t New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day, both of which are typically tied to drinking and celebrating. Instead, the deadliest holiday on roadways in the United States by far is July Fourth, according to government statistics.

With that in mind, we here at MyPhillyLawyer want to take a few minutes to remind everyone that we all need to take care as we travel, celebrate and enjoy the upcoming four-day July 4th holiday weekend.

In a sobering safety advisory on its Website, the non-profit National Safety Council announced June 29 that an estimated 409 people will die on American roads this holiday weekend between 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, all due to drinking and driving, inattentive or distracted driving, excessive speeds and other hazards. That death toll estimate is the highest made by the group for the holiday since 2008. Some 49,500 injuries requiring medical attention are also expected to occur this holiday weekend, the group said.

A July 4th fireworks display. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/PapaBear

“Drivers always need to be vigilant, but this weekend, focus on the safety of your family,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a statement. ”A few precautions can help ensure a memorable weekend. Spending the holiday with family is preferable to spending time in the ER.”

To protect yourself and your friends and family members, be sure to buckle your seat belts in every vehicle you travel in to add a layer of security. At least 155 lives will be saved during this holiday weekend due to the wearing of seat belts, the group said, while another 99 lives could be saved if everyone buckled up.

Drivers should also reduce their vehicle’s speed for safety since more speed-related fatalities occur during the summer months than any other time of year, the group added. Drivers should also ditch their cell phones while driving, even if they are hands-free, since drivers talking on cell phones are up to four times as likely to crash, the group said.

A huge reminder by the group is that all drivers should be sure not to drink alcohol when they know they will have to operate a motor vehicle. If a driver wants to drink, they should designate a non-drinking person who will operate the vehicle or arrange for a taxi or other safe alternative form of transportation. You are literally putting yourself and others in danger if you drive while intoxicated and creating huge liability risks for yourself and your family if you hurt someone else when you are drinking and driving.

And, of course, there’s more to July 4th safety than vehicle crashes and drunk driving. There’s also the potential for serious accidents and injuries and personal liability issues involving fireworks, cookouts, swimming and other recreational hazards when people are not using common sense.

Cookout safety:

Even barbecue grills can cause injuries if they are used improperly or mixed with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Improper equipment, poor safety rules, carelessness and other factors can cause injuries to adults and children who come near hot grills and outdoor cooking areas. Be sure to check your gas grill’s propane tank and hoses for leaks, dents, cracks or corrosion, and never use a grill indoors or under any structures that may catch fire, such as patio covers. Avoid loose clothing while grilling, especially long sleeves, to prevent burn injuries and be sure to keep all children away from the grill while it is being used and still hot.

And don’t forget about the potential dangers of food poisoning when dining outdoors in the heat of summer. Be extra careful to make sure that foods made with mayonnaise, including coleslaw and potato salad, are kept chilled and out of direct sunlight so they don’t spoil and cause illnesses to guests, and don’t leave uncooked meats out in the summer heat for long periods of time before that are cooked. Many a holiday has been ruined at private parties, restaurants and other facilities due to food that has spoiled and caused serious illnesses for guests, while raising serious legal claims that you certainly want to avoid.

Fireworks safety:

Children and adults love to watch fireworks on the July 4th holiday, but the serious dangers of these holiday traditions cannot be stressed enough. Every year, thousands of people are injured and several people die from fireworks accidents in the days before and after July 4, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The latest annual report from the CPSC report found that there were 11 fireworks-related deaths and an estimated 10.500 hospital emergency room treated injuries across the nation during all of 2014. In 2009, the CPSC reported two deaths and an estimated 8,800 injuries.

For safer fireworks activities, consumers should never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, while fireworks that are packaged in brown paper should be avoided because this is often a sign that they were made for professional displays and could pose serious dangers to consumers, according to recommendations from the CPSC. Adults should always supervise fireworks activities, including the use of sparklers, the commission also recommends. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, the group said.

When using fireworks, you should never place any part of your body directly over the fireworks when lighting the fuse, and users should quickly back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks, the group recommends. Users should also never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully or point or throw fireworks at another person. And for safety, a bucket of water or a garden hose should be kept handy in case of fire or other mishap while fireworks are being launched. .

Swimming pool safety:

Swimming pool safety and your rights and responsibilities as a pool owner or guest is also important to keep in mind this holiday weekend. Here are five key swimming pool safety tips for you to remember this holiday weekend:

*Completely fence the perimeter around your pool to prevent accidental drownings and protect yourself from liability if someone would wander into your yard and fall into the pool.

*Be sure that all young children playing near a pool on your property are wearing life vests so they are protected if they should accidentally fall in.

*Never leave children unsupervised near a pool. If children are to be around or in a pool, they MUST be properly and adequately supervised by an adult who can swim and is trained in rescue techniques.

*Keep rescue equipment by the pool at all times, including a life ring and rope, a first aid kit and flotation devices, so that any emergency can be handled if needed.

*Homeowners should learn CPR so that in the event of an emergency they can protect their guests and themselves before rescue workers ever arrive.

Have Fun and Be Safe:

Remember this holiday weekend to enjoy yourself with friends and family, but also use caution to prevent tragedies and legal liability from accidents and injuries that can occur in a wide variety of ways.

Don’t drink and drive, be sure to drive safely, use caution when cooking out, watch your children and guests in your swimming pool and be extra careful around fireworks.

From all of us here at MyPhillyLawyer, we send you our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday. We stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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Florida Motorcyclist Receives $900K Settlement in Trash Truck Crash

As he headed to work in Tallahassee, Fla., on Oct. 2, 2009 on his motorcycle, Mark Sawicki was run over by a garbage truck that was making a right turn at Call and Monroe streets. The garbage truck had made a right turn in the spot where he was waiting at a stoplight, crushing him and breaking more than 20 bones in Sawicki’s body, according to a June 12 story by WCTV Channel 2 television in Tallahassee.

Now Sawicki is getting an additional $700,000 settlement in connection with the crash after the state Legislature approved a measure that increased the amount of money being paid to the plaintiff over the state’s liability limits, the story reported. He previously had received an initial $200,000 settlement back in February 2012 with the stipulation that another $700,000 would also be paid to him following eventual approval from the state Legislature. The two payments total $900,000 in damages he is receiving.

A hospital emergency room sign sits outside a hospital. Image credit © iStockphoto.com/sshephard

Sawicki, a state engineer who formerly ran marathons and was a competitive cyclist and triathlete before being struck, had to re-learn how to walk, run and ride his bicycle after being seriously injured in the crash, the story reported. “Running is very difficult and very, very, very slow, and I do it seldom anymore, but I still do it,” he told the television station.

The City of Tallahassee allegedly admitted responsibility for the crash, according to a June 11 report by The Famuan, a student newspaper at Florida A&M University. The crash victim suffered severe injuries due to the incident, including a crushed pelvis, a broken right leg and internal injuries, and has faced more than $250,000 in medical expenses so far, the story reported.

It took some five-and-a-half years for Sawicki to be fully compensated for his serious injuries from the crash, and meanwhile his pain and suffering are ongoing as his healing and recovery continue. The legal fight for his compensation was only completed after the Florida Legislature completed its work in approving the full settlement in the case.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$3.97M Settlement Reached in Death of N.Y. Trucker Killed in Crash

The family of an Albany, N.Y., truck driver who died in January 2011 when his tractor-trailer rig smashed into the rear of another tractor-trailer that had crashed in front of him on a snowy highway has reached a $3.97 million settlement with the defendants in the case.

The settlement in the wrongful death case was reached on May 13 in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, according to a June 16 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

The driver who was killed, Mark Kowalski, was driving a 2011 Freightliner with a double trailer east on Interstate 80 in South Centre Township in Lackawanna County, Pa., when a 2002 Peterbilt truck and its trailer being driven ahead of him by Patrick L. Webb, 41, of Marshall, Texas, went out of control on the snow-covered highway, according to a Jan. 21, 2011 story from The (Sunbury, Pa.) Daily Item newspaper.

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

Allison Kowalski, the widow of truck driver Mark Kowalski, sued Webb, his employer, PBM Logistics LLC and Republic National Industries, which leased the truck to PBM, The Legal Intelligencer story reported. The settlement was reached just before the case was set to go to trial.

As Mark Kowalski drove his truck behind Webb’s truck, the trailer of Webb’s crashed vehicle blocked the left and right lanes of the highway, according to the complaint. “On or about the same time and place, Mark Kowalski, who was traveling behind the vehicle driven by Patrick L. Webb in the right lane of traffic, through no negligence of his own, could not avoid the trailer of the tractor-trailer rig driven by defendant Webb, which was blocking the lanes of traffic,” the complaint said.

Kowalski’s truck cab was ripped from the tractor by the impact of the crash and the truck cab rolled into the guide rail, broke through the rail and came to rest off the shoulder of the road, according to The Legal Intelligencer story. Kowalski was trapped in the wreckage for about 45 minutes and died soon after rescue workers were able to remove him from the vehicle, the story continued.

After an investigation into the crash, Webb was ticketed by police for driving too fast, careless driving, false report and driver’s record of duty status, driving more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period and driving more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$6.25M Jury Verdict in Child’s Medical Malpractice Death

A Luzerne County family has been awarded a $6.25 million medical malpractice jury verdict in connection with the 2009 death of their two-year-old daughter following a stomach ailment.

The child, Lauren Marie Readler, died Oct. 26, 2009, after being treated for stomach troubles and released from Harrisburg Hospital months before in July 2009, according to a May 21 story in the (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Citizens’ Voice newspaper. The child’s parents, Thomas and Lori Readler, filed a lawsuit after the girl’s death against doctors at Pinnacle Health at Harrisburg Hospital, Geisinger Partners in Pediatrics-Nanticoke and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, where the child died, according to the story.

The plaintiffs alleged that the doctors “failed to diagnose that Lauren’s stomach had gotten twisted and she was sent home without surgery or any specific instructions for her care,” the story reported. “Doctors and medics repeatedly failed to pick up on cues that something was dangerously wrong,” the plaintiff’s argued, the story continued. The child later died of sepsis caused by a ruptured stomach, according to the report.

Legal documents for a lawsuit are pictured with a stethoscope. Image credit © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

X-rays taken at Carlisle Medical Center in Carlisle on July 28, 2009, where the child was first taken before being transferred later to Harrisburg Hospital, showed the child was suffering from an out of place stomach, which indicated “there was a problem with the ligaments that should hold it in place,” the story said. The problem required surgery to keep it from happening again, but it was not treated, the story reported.

After hearing the testimony in Luzerne County Court in a four-week trial, the jury awarded the deceased child’s family $3.7 million in wrongful death damages, $2.5 million for future loss of earnings and lost earning capacity and $50,000 for mental and physical pain and suffering, the report continued.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$32.5M Jury Verdict to Brain Injury Victim in 2006 Car Crash

An Indiana woman who suffered severe brain injuries and partial paralysis when the car she was riding in struck a jackknifed tractor-trailer on an icy road at night in January 2006 has been awarded a $32.5 million verdict by an Indiana jury.

The victim, Kristen Zak, who was 31 years old at the time of the Jan. 17, 2006 crash, was a passenger in a car that was traveling on Interstate 65 near Remington, Ind., when the car slid on an icy patch and collided with a tractor-trailer truck, according to a May 22 story in the Gary, Indiana, Post-Tribune newspaper.

A severely damaged car is pictured in this stock crash photo. Image credit © iStockphoto.com by creatingmore

The J.B. Hunt Transport truck, which was being driven by Terry Brown Jr., had jackknifed and crashed into a median an hour before it was struck by the car Zak was riding in, the story reported. At the time of the crash, Zak was in a car being operated by a driver identified as Matt Robinson.

In a lawsuit against the trucking company and driver the plaintiffs alleged that the tractor-trailer was traveling too fast for the wintry conditions when it jackknifed and became disabled. The lawsuit also alleged that the truck driver “failed to abide by safety regulations” that would have required him to turn on emergency flashers and set up reflective safety devices to warn other drivers of his crashed truck, the story reported.

“The impact of the collision caused serious damage to the left side of Zak’s brain, causing paralysis on her right side and serious cognitive deficits,” the report continued. The crash also left her wheelchair-bound, unable to care for her 6-year-old daughter and incapable of recognizing her fiancé right after the crash, according to the story. She was in a coma for about a month after the incident.

After a three-week trial in Lake Superior Court in Indiana, the jury reached its verdict and awarded $32.5 million to Zak for her severe injuries. The jury found that the trucking company and truck driver were each found to be responsible for 30 percent of the verdict, while Robinson was found to be responsible for 40 percent, the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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Bicycle Crash Victim, Struck by Truck, Gets $2.6M Settlement

A 42-year-old bicyclist has reached a $2.6 million settlement from several defendants after he was struck and seriously injured by a mattress truck as he was riding his bicycle on a street in Radnor Township, Pa., in March 2012.

Chester McKee had come to a stop sign at an intersection and had the right of way when he was struck by a Sleepy’s bedding store delivery truck, according to a May 19 story in The Legal Intelligencer. The truck driver, Alexander Berrios, “was speeding and distracted by a GPS when he ran the stop sign” according to McKee’s lawsuit.

The victim suffered several major injuries from the crash, including a traumatic brain injury with intracranial hemorrhage, fractured ribs, a fractured left humerus, chronic lower back pain, a punctured left lung, right axillary vein non-occlusive thrombus, spinal injuries, friction burns and abrasions, a broken pinkie, neck injuries, anxiety and depression, the story reported.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/Svenler

McKee’s lawsuit also said that a six-foot-high fence on the adjoining property of Sriram and Fareez Krishnaswany blocked the truck driver’s view at the crash scene and violated township laws, contributing to the crash, the story reported. Under Radnor Township codes, fence heights are limited to four feet in height. The property owners argued that the fence was there when they moved in and was permitted when it was installed in 1990.

The lawsuit also alleged that Sleepy’s and its delivery contractor, FAV Transportation, “negligently hired Berrios, who had prior criminal convictions, vehicle accidents and moving violations,” according to the story.

After the crash, McKee sued Berrios, FAV Transportation, Sleepy’s Reorganization Inc. and the Krishnaswanys, seeking $9 million in damages, the story reported.

The settlement was reached before the trial began in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, with McKee receiving $1.23 million from FAV, $475,000 from Sleepy’s and $85,000 from the Krishnaswanys, the story reported. The settlement also included $675,000 from North East Risk Management Services Inc. and $135,000 from wholesaler Sovereign Group International Inc., both which were not parties to the case, according to the story. FAV had alleged professional negligence on the part of North East Risk Management Services. The victim also received a $25,000 underinsured motorist coverage payment from Erie Insurance Exchange, the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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