Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pittsburgh Personal Injury Blog

When you are hit by an underage drunk driver

Whenever someone gets behind the wheel while they are drunk, the consequences can be terrible. For some drivers, however, drunk driving can be especially dangerous, such as those who are under the age of 21. Underage drunk drivers may be especially likely to cause a crash because they are inexperienced with alcohol, or they have not spent very much time on the road and are inexperienced drivers. In some instances, they may be inexperienced in both regards. If you are ever hit by someone who was driving drunk, it is pivotal to stand up for yourself regardless of their age.

Sadly, people who have not reached the age of 21 drive drunk for all sorts of reasons. Some are pressured by their peers, such as friends and classmates who attend the same high school or college. Some young people may not be very familiar with alcohol or its effects on the body, and they may not realize that they are too intoxicated to drive even though some time has passed after drinking. Moreover, young drivers are also subject to zero tolerance laws which prohibit them from operating a motor vehicle with any level of alcohol in their system.

What is respondeat superior?

The accident expenses you could face following a collision with a semi-truck or other type of commercial vehicle in Pittsburgh can be enormous. They could even place you in the position of needing to seek compensation above and beyond what is available through insurance coverage. The question is who is ultimately liable: the trucker who hit you, or the company that employs them? 

The answer to this question might seem simple: since it was the truck driver that caused the accident, only they could be liable, right? Yet a strong argument could be made that they would have never been in a position to cause your accident were they not expected to fulfill the duties of their employment. The legal doctrine of respondeat superior takes this into account. This principle (as shared by the Cornell Law School) states that employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees if those actions fall within the scope of their employment. 

Recovering from an on-the-job drunk driving accident

Every single day, reckless drivers show no regard for the safety of others by getting behind the wheel when they are intoxicated. Some people may exhibit this behavior while carrying out their job duties, such as those who struggle with an alcohol addiction. Moreover, a responsible driver may be struck by someone else who is under the influence while they are trying to drive for work-related purposes. Workplace accidents happen for many reasons, but those which involve an intoxicated driver can be especially devastating.

Someone who is involved in a job-related drunk driving crash may have many different issues to work through. They could be injured, which can result in many different challenges (pain, hospital bills and even the inability to keep working). Some pass away, and even those who are able to walk away from the crash unharmed may have mental trauma and face other challenges related to their job.

Avoid distracted driving as if your life depended on it

When you are behind the wheel, your full attention should be on the road. However, that does not stop plenty of people from looking elsewhere while driving, and sometimes, it can have fatal consequences. In 2016, 3,450 people lost their lives due to distracted driving, reveals the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

GHSA Estimates 5,984 Pedestrians Were Killed in 2017 finding distracted driving to be a primary cause. 

Do you recognize these common signs of mesothelioma?

Although people have known about the dangers of asbestos for decades now, it is still prevalent in many structures. You can still find it in insulation, car parts and construction materials. This means that overexposure can happen even today.

Excessive exposure to asbestos can result in a person developing mesothelioma. This is a form of cancer that manifests as a tumor in the lining of the heart, stomach, lungs or another organ. Treatments are available, but it is vital for people to seek it out as soon as possible. Here are some common signs you may have developed mesothelioma: 

Hangovers and road safety

When it comes to drunk driving, there is no debating the dangers that are associated with this reckless behavior. Drunk drivers place many lives in danger, and they should be held fully responsible for getting behind the wheel in an inebriated state. However, some people dismiss the risks that are associated with driving while hungover. Some drivers may be inexperienced with alcohol, not realizing that they are still too inebriated to drive, while others may tell themselves that they are no longer drunk and are capable of driving safely.

Sadly, driving with a hangover can interfere with driving abilities in countless ways and has caused far too many drivers to cause fatal accidents. Even when a crash caused by someone with a hangover does not claim lives, those who are struck by a hungover driver could be seriously hurt. Drivers who are hungover may travel at very high speeds, or they may cross over the center line and strike a vehicle head-on. These are just some of the risks associated with driving during a hangover.

Are bugs a problem for motorcyclists?

From making sure their bike is easily seen on Pennsylvania roads to choosing a strong helmet to protect their heads, motorcyclists have a lot to worry about to stay safe while riding. However, many riders are probably not aware that insects can also be a problem, perhaps even a serious one, for motorcycles and their riders. Bug encounters can range from annoying to potentially dangerous. 

If you are riding a motorcycle, one of the facts of life is that you are riding at a high enough speed that impacting a flying insect is bound to be a messy business. As Esurance points out, a large fly like a June bug could strike the face shield of your motorcycle helmet and cause a mess big enough to block some of your vision. Such an obstruction could make it hard to see approaching traffic, a turning lane or a physical obstacle.

Pennsylvania tanker truck fire leads to injuries, road repairs

An accident involving a tanker truck in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, last Thursday sent two people to the hospital with critical injuries and required extensive repairs to an Interstate 95 off-ramp after the vehicle caught on fire.

It is not clear what the tanker was hauling or whether the cargo consisted of hazardous materials. The cause of the collision is still under investigation, but authorities report that the tanker crashed late Thursday morning on the off-ramp linking northbound I-95 to Woodhaven Road and caught fire. Firefighters required hundreds of extra feet of hose, as well as a water tanker, to fight the blaze as there were no fire hydrants in the immediate vicinity of the interstate exit. Establishing a water supply to the scene required a delay of over an hour, during which time the fire spread to a nearby wooded area. 

Drunk driving and poor road conditions

Those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol place lives in danger regardless of the time of year. However, on certain occasions, it may become even more risky for someone to drive drunk. For example, when road conditions have deteriorated due to bad weather, a drunk driver may have an even higher chance of losing control of their vehicle and causing a collision. In the winter months, this is especially true in some parts of the country which see a great deal of snowfall, ice and other weather hazards.

When someone drives drunk, they may go too fast for the road conditions. For example, if ice has covered the roadway, they may disregard common sense and drive as if the roads are ice-free. Or, they might fail to realize a snow drift. Some people may even get behind the wheel when there is very little visibility and it is snowing so heavily that driving is not a good idea altogether. Essentially, alcohol and bad weather are a terrible combination and these risk factors have led to a lot of fatal accidents over the years.

Signs your Uber driver could cause an accident

Uber has made headlines for testing a new autonomous vehicle. Pennsylvania recently allowed these self-driving vehicles to resume testing on state roadways.

While safety concerns exist for such vehicles, passengers still need to watch out for accidents caused by Uber drivers. Most Uber motorists are extremely cautious, but you need to watch out for the signs your driver could cause an accident. There are certain behaviors no one behind the wheel should ever exhibit. If you notice the following in your Uber driver, then you need to get out the car right away before an accident occurs

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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