March 31, 2011

Congress Debates Increasing Tractor-Trailer Weight Limits

Penn Live reports that Congress is considering legislation that would increase the weight of trucks on interstate highways to 97,000 pounds, a 21 percent rise from 80,000, the current limit.

Those in favor of the proposed changes say that heavier trucks would mean fewer trucks on the road, which would also lead to cleaner air since less fuel will be consumed. However, opponents say that heavier trucks would make the roads less safe for other motorists and that accidents that involve the heavier trucks would be more deadly.

Currently, states set the weight limits for their own roads. Each state would need to pass legislation to allow heavier trucks on their interstates within their borders. This could complicate trucking routes should some states approve the weight increase and others do not.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has said it will review the effect heavier tractor-trailers would have on the state’s interstate highways. In Pennsylvania, trucks that weigh 100,000 pounds are able to travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike without a permit. However, unless they have a permit, they aren’t able to exit the turnpike to travel on interstates and other roads in the state. Tractor-trailers that weigh over 80,000 pounds are able to travel on state interstates only by permit. If that weight is exceeded, a government permit and an escort vehicle are needed, as is typically the case with flatbed trucks that are loaded with heavy equipment.

The proposed legislation would also require trucks to have more axles in order to better distribute the increased weight, and to have an improved braking system. Experts estimate it would cost between $6,000 to $10,000 per truck to add the additional axles and updated brakes to meet the new safety requirements for trucks with higher weight limits.

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Pennsylvania, contact the Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP. We can help you determine whether a truck driver’s negligence or defective truck part contributed to your accident, and we will compile a strong case on your behalf in order for you to obtain the compensation you need to continue living your life. For a free consultation, call 1-888-684-7192 today.

March 29, 2011

Indiana County Van Rollover Kills One, Another Critically Injured

Recently, a woman died in a car crash in Burrell Township, Indiana County in Pennsylvania, reports The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to the article, the woman was a front seat passenger in a minivan that was traveling on Route 22. Around 2 p.m., for unknown reasons, the van crossed the roadway’s median and then went down a steep embankment, rolling until it came to a stop at the bottom of the ravine. The woman, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene of the Pennsylvania car crash. The driver of the van, a male, is listed in critical condition at a local hospital. He also was not wearing a safety restraint.

The couple’s two children were also occupants in the van but were uninjured in the rollover accident. They were in child safety seats.

According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average for seat belt use in the U.S. is at an all-time high at 85 percent. However, about one in seven adults report they do not wear a safety restraint during every trip. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the U.S. among those aged five to 34-years-old, but using seat belts has greatly reduced injuries and fatalities, reports the CDC. Using a seat belt reduces the risk of a fatal injury by approximately 45 percent. Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the CDC says that if all states had stringent seat belt enforcement laws, in 2009, close to 450 lives would have been saved and 12,000 injuries prevented.

In Pennsylvania, seat belt use is required for those aged eight through 17-years-old in all seats in a motor vehicle, and those aged eighteen and older in the front seat are required to wear a restraint. The fine is $10 for the first offense of the state seat belt law.

At Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP our Pennsylvania rollover accident lawyers have successfully aided those injured in rollover crashes throughout the state obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and related losses. To learn how we can help you today, call 1-888-684-7192.

March 24, 2011

Bus Accident on New Jersey Turnpike Kills Two, Forty Injured

A night-time bus accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing two people, Philly.com reports.

According to the article, the vehicle was a luxury bus, and was traveling from Chinatown in New York City to Philadelphia when the accident occurred. Authorities believe the bus struck a guardrail and then a concrete abutment. The bus driver was killed, having been thrown through the vehicle’s windshield. Another passenger aboard the bus was also killed, and at least 40 people needed to be taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. It has not yet been determined why the New Jersey bus accident occurred and as such, remains under investigation.

The article notes that over 235 million vehicles travel on the New Jersey Turnpike every year, and typically has five lines in each direction. With so many vehicles traveling on the road, accident investigators may want to look into whether the bus driver was attempting to avoid a collision with a reckless or distracted motorist. It is also possible the bus driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Whatever the cause, those injured in bus accidents would have it in their best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney to learn what legal options are available to them following an accident.

The Philadelphia bus accident lawyers at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP have decades of experience successfully litigating on behalf of our clients who have been injured by another’s negligence. If you have been injured in a bus accident in Pennsylvania, call our attorneys at 1-888-684-7192. We can help you understand your legal rights as an injured victim and will carefully investigate the cause of your accident to determine how compensation can be obtained for your injuries and other related losses. Call our law office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly skillful lawyers.

March 21, 2011

Pennsylvania DOT Names Pittsburgh’s Most Dangerous Roads

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and news station WPXI recently released a report on the most dangerous roads and intersections in the Pittsburgh area. The roads named in the report were chosen for the high number of car crashes that take place at these locations.

According to WPXI, the number-one location for dangerous crashes in Allegheny County is Route 51, or Saw Mill Run Boulevard, in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, in Westmoreland County, the intersection of Route 66 and Beaver Run Road has seen 93 car crashes and three deaths in the last five years. The intersection is in a blind spot, making it invisible to drivers until they have come over the hill. Route 30, which runs between Colonial Manor Apartments and Malts Lane, saw 156 car accidents in the same five-year period.

Other area counties also sport dangerous intersections and stretches of road where Pennsylvania car accidents are common. For example, Route 40 near Uniontown in Fayette County had 32 car accidents in 2010, while Route 21 saw 42 accidents. By far the most dangerous stretch of road, however, was Route 119 outside Connellsville, where there were 87 collisions in 2010.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has begun making plans to make these intersections and stretches of road safer for motorists. However, not even the best transportation planning can prevent every accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident in Pennsylvania, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Pennsylvania car accident injury attorneys at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP to schedule a free case evaluation. Call 1-888-684-7192 today to learn more about your legal rights and options.

March 16, 2011

Man on Interstate 380 Struck and Killed by Tour Bus in PA Pedestrian Accident

PennLive.com reports that a man was killed recently after he was hit by a tour bus.

According to the article, the man had pulled his motor vehicle over to the side of the road after a minor accident around 11 p.m. on Interstate 380 in Clifton Township, near Scranton, PA. The 41-year-old man was standing outside of his vehicle when he and his vehicle were struck by the bus, causing the bus to roll onto its side.

Numerous bus passengers were injured in the rollover accident, but no injuries were reported to be life-threatening. Authorities have not yet released the number of those injured as they are still determining how many passengers were aboard the bus. Authorities have also stated they believe that icy weather conditions contributed to the fatal Pennsylvania pedestrian accident.

A study conducted in 2009 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that approximately 50 people die in accidents that involve either inter-city or cross-country buses in the U.S. every year. An additional 1,000 people are injured in these accidents. Annually, these kinds of bus crashes account for about 5 percent of the U.S.’s truck and bus accident-related fatalities.

It can be very difficult to determine liability in a bus accident, which is why it is critical you hire a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Besides investigating whether a bus driver acted negligently, an experienced lawyer should look to see whether the bus was defective or had any faulty parts. If it is discovered a defective bus caused an injury accident, the bus manufacturer as well as the bus company may be held responsible for the accident, injuries, and related losses of the victims. A knowledgeable attorney will also study whether the bus was regularly inspected by a competent mechanic, and whether it appears that a dangerous roadway was a factor in a bus crash in Pennsylvania. If so, local or state governments may be held partially responsible for a crash if it is concluded they created or failed to fix a dangerous roadway.

The Pennsylvania bus accident attorneys at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP have successfully helped numerous clients receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and related losses following a vehicle accident in Pennsylvania. To learn how we can help, call 1-888-684-7192 today.

March 14, 2011

Four Teens Seriously Injured in Ridley Township Pedestrian Accident

On Friday, March 11, Philly.com reports that a man from Darby Borough, driving without a license, was charged after he left the scene of a pedestrian accident in Ridley Township that seriously injured four teens.

According to the article, authorities detained the 52-year-old man approximately a mile away from the scene of the Pennsylvania pedestrian accident in a damaged van. It is believed the man ran a red light at the intersection of Morton Avenue and MacDade Boulevard shortly after 10 p.m. The teens were in the crosswalk and were struck by the van. The man, weaving and driving erratically, almost drove into oncoming traffic before he was pulled over several minutes later. When police spoke to him about the accident, he told them he thought he had hit a traffic cone.

The teens, one boy and three girls, are all between 14 and 15-years-old. They were all taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, with some requiring transport via helicopter. Since the pedestrian accident, two teens have since been released, but the other two remain in the hospital. One is under observation due to a concussion and the other is in intensive care.

The article states the man’s license was suspended last May due to an undisclosed medical condition. Following the pedestrian accident, the man was charged with causing an accident that involved injury and was held at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility instead of$150,000 bond.

At Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP, our Pennsylvania pedestrian accident attorneys have dedicated their practice to helping those who have been injured by another’s negligence. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania that you believe was caused by a driver’s wrongful actions, our lawyers can help protect your legal rights while working diligently to obtain the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and accident-related losses. To learn how we can help you, call our law office at 1-888-684-7192 to schedule a free consultation today.

March 10, 2011

New PA Legislation Proposed to Ban Behind the Wheel Cell Phone Use

The Delaware County Times reports that Senator Andrew E. Dinniman (Chester and Montgomery counties) plans to introduce a bill on March 4 in the Senate to address distracted driving. According to the article, the bill would ban hand-held cell phones and texting while driving, and would only allow hands-free cell phone use only for adult drivers age 18 and older.

The U.S. Department of Transportation describes distracted driving as any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. The three main types of distraction are visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction, since it causes a driver to take their eyes away from the road, their hands off of the steering wheel, and their mind off of what they’re doing.

Many states have added laws prohibiting the use of cell phones without hands-free devices. Distracted driving has become a large issue in the U.S. and states are constantly adding some form of cell phone talking or texting ban to make cell phone usage while driving a motor vehicle illegal.

Distracted driving is illegal and any activity that decreases your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is against the law. If you or someone you love has been in a serious car accident and you believe it was caused by the other driver who was distracted by using their cell phone to text or place a phone call, you may be entitled for compensation for your losses. For more information, contact the experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP today for a free consultation.

March 9, 2011

Toyota Announces Recall of 2.17 Million Vehicles due to Acceleration Problems

On February 24, Toyota Motor Corp. announced a recall of approximately 2.17 million vehicles in the U.S. because accelerator pedals could potentially become trapped in floor mats or jammed in driver’s side carpeting, causing the vehicle to accelerate unexpectedly and could result in a deadly car crash. According to Philly.com, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked Toyota to recall these additional vehicles after a review of Toyota’s documents.

For more information, go to http://www.toyota.com/recall.

Innocent consumers can be seriously injured or killed by a defect in an automobile. These defects often include seatbelt and seat back failures, defective tires and tread separation, defective air bags, and defective door latches. These defects can result in SUV rollover accidents, roof crushes, driver or passenger ejections, and gas tank explosions, all of which can be severe or even fatal.

The personal injury lawyers at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP represent clients in Pennsylvania who are the victims of an auto manufacturers’ negligence. We have a long, successful history of representing Pennsylvania auto product liability cases, including serious injury and wrongful death. Some factors that are important in making these determinations in an auto product liability case include known recalls, recognized safety standards knowledge of potential defects, warnings about auto use, and whether or not the operator was in any way negligent.

If you were injured or a loved one was killed because of an automobile’s defective part, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident as well as resulting injuries or death, in addition to related losses under Pennsylvania auto product liability law. The Philadelphia auto product liability attorneys at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP have the experience and knowledge necessary to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Call 888-684-2374 today for a free consultation.

March 8, 2011

Gas Well Site Explosion and Fire in Washington County, PA Injures Three Workers

On February 23, an explosion and resulting fire at a gas well site in Washington County in Pennsylvania injured three workers who were in the process of moving water from the well site that had accumulated due to melting snow. According to Post-Gazette.com, a fire broke out in some storage tanks that were holding fracking fluid, a chemical compound that is pumped underground as part of extraction process of Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

Of the 4,340 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2009, 113 were caused by fires and explosions, about 3 percent of all fatalities. There were five workers injured in fires and explosions in Pennsylvania that year. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that fires and explosions injure around 5,000 workers every year in the U.S.

The article reported that the workers suffered burns in the explosion and fire accident. Other common injuries from explosion accidents include exposure to toxic gases, fall injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, head injuries, muscle damage, lacerations, loss of sight or hearing, and even death. It is crucial that proper safety regulations and procedures are followed and companies train workers about safety rules and enforce them in order to decrease the chances of an explosion accident. There are rules and regulations in place for employers and contractors to follow when teaching employees how to handle and work near flammable and combustible liquids. When they are enforced and maintained, they can prevent explosion accidents from occurring.

If you have been injured in an explosion accident in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia explosion accident attorneys at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP will investigate the events that led to the explosion accident. Call us today for a free consultation.

March 7, 2011

1 Killed, 11 Injured in Four-Vehicle Car Crash in Burlco

A woman was killed and 11 people, including several children and one pedestrian, were injured in a multi-vehicle accident on February 21 in Burlco in South Jersey. According to Philly.com, four vehicles were involved in the accident, which occurred when an SUV rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz, pushing it into a bus stop. The car struck a person waiting for the bus and then hit a light pole. The SUV struck at least one other vehicle before it flipped onto its roof.

The article does not say what caused the SUV to rear-end the Mercedes. Multi-vehicle car accidents involve two or more vehicles and often cause severe injuries, fatalities, and extensive vehicle and property damage. Because of the number of vehicles involved, these types of car crashes can be very deadly.

An innocent pedestrian was injured in this multiple vehicle crash. Pedestrian deaths accounted for 10.8 percent of all traffic accident-related deaths in Pennsylvania in 2009. More than 70 percent of pedestrian deaths and 46 percent of pedestrian injuries occurred in areas other than intersections.

Distracted driving can lead to multivehicle crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving was the reason for 6,000 fatalities and over half a million injuries in 2008, making it a leading cause of auto accidents.

Distracted driving is illegal and any activity that decreases your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is against the law. If you or someone you love has been in a serious car accident in Pennsylvania and you believe it was caused by a distracted or reckless driver, contact the experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP today for a consultation. It is important to hire an experienced attorney who can prove that the driver was significantly distracted in order for you to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and related losses.

March 4, 2011

Scranton, PA Worker Injured at Construction Site by Falling Object

A construction worker in northeastern Pennsylvania was injured after a piece of a forklift fell six stories, hit the ground, and then hit him on the rebound. The Centre Daily Times in Scranton reported that the accident occurred at a University of Scranton construction site on February 23.

Workers in construction incurred the most fatal injuries of any industry in the private sector in 2009, with 818 workers killed. Ten of those construction workers were killed after being struck by an object. About 414 workers among all industries were killed by falling objects or equipment. There are many injury risks for construction workers. These risks include working with heavy equipment lifting, digging, moving construction equipment, and many more. There are power tools, trenches, heavy objects, scaffolding, chemicals, power tools, and many other hazardous objects and situations around them every day.

If you have suffered an injury while working at a construction site in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia construction accident attorneys at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP may be able to help. Our skilled lawyers will investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, determine if inadequate safety measures and equipment led to your injuries, and work hard to help you and your family receives the damages you deserve. We represent workers who have suffered injury in construction accidents that include malfunctioning machinery accidents (conveyers, forklifts, cranes, tractors, augers, etc.), faulty tools (saws, grinding wheels, sprayers, etc.), defective ladders, and scaffolding accidents, as well as the collapse of floors and walls. Call us today for a free consultation.

March 3, 2011

Fatal Chester County, PA Car Crash Caused by Excessive Speeding

One teen was driving and another was killed on February 19 in Chester County, PA. According to Philly.com, a 17-year-old was driving a pickup truck and drove into oncoming traffic, striking a 19-year-old woman driving a BMW. According to police, excessive speeding by the pickup truck driver was likely a factor in the fatal accident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., and account for more than one in three deaths in this age group. In 2009, eight teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from injuries sustained in car accidents. Teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.

In Pennsylvania, there were 29,091 drivers ages 16 to 20 who were involved in crashes in 2009. There were about 32, 669 speed-related crashes, with 538 fatalities. Speeding is a contributing factor in over 30 percent of fatal traffic accidents in the U.S.

Legislators have attempted to decrease the number of teen driving deaths by having DUI checkpoints, texting and cell phone legislation, limiting the number of teenagers allowed to ride in the car with a young driver, and more.

If your loved one was recently injured or killed in a car crash in Pennsylvania, you have the right to seek damages from reckless motorists on behalf of lost loved ones. It is in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced attorney who will examine all circumstances surrounding the accident to determine whether the other driver acted negligently or if there were other factors in the crash. Contact the Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Cherry Fieger & Marciano, LLP today for a free evaluation of your case.