VICARIOUS LIABILITY-MOTOR VEHICLES-SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT

February 28th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents

Auto accident involving employee.  It must be proven in order for vicarious liability to apply that the acts were committed during the course of and within the scope of employment.  Even if the employee was engaged in furthering the employer’s business at the time he was driving his personal vehicle, there is no evidence that the employer exercised actual or potential control over the vehicle or the use of the vehicle at the time and place of the accident.  It must be shown that the personal use of the vehicle was of vital importance in furthering the employer’s business.  Under such circumstances, the courts may infer actual potential control by the employer.  Liability, therefore, here cannot attach.  Ludwig v. McDonald, 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 150 (February 21, 2019) Stevens, P.J.E.

Drivers with Multiple DUI Offenses in Pennsylvania

January 11th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Criminal, Dram Shop Act

Drivers who repeatedly drive while intoxicated, even after getting multiple DUI convictions, put themselves and others at risk. Drunk driving is a major cause of car crashes that kill and maim people throughout Pennsylvania.  In 2017, the department of transportation (PennDOT) recorded 12,040 crashes where a driver was suspected of being impaired, a 2.1 percent increase from 2016. With the holiday drinking season in full swing, Pennsylvania lawmakers have voted to increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders. On December 23, 2018, a law went into effect that increases penalties for those with a third conviction of driving with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system, and for anyone with fourth DUI convictions. In addition, mandatory jail time for repeat offenders is longer. If you or a loved one was injured or if someone has died in a crash involving drunk driving, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses. This includes medical, hospital and rehabilitation costs, lost past and future wages, loss of wage horizon, and other economic expenses.  Compensation may also include the even more significant concept of non-economic damages such as loss…

Parking Shortages in Pennsylvania Plague Truckers and Endanger Motorists

November 19th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Truck Accidents

Parking Shortages in Pennsylvania Plague Truckers and Endanger Motorists
The shortage of legal parking spots for truckers is endangering everyone driving on Pennsylvania highways. On the Pennsylvania Turnpike alone, there is a deficit of 890 parking spots for trucks; as a result, frustrated truckers have been leaving their vehicles wherever they can find room, usually alongside the highways.  This creates problems for both truckers and motorists who have to navigate a maze of large vehicles parked where they do not belong.  In addition, trucks pulling back onto the road from unsafe parking can easily cause crashes. Since the Pennsylvania Turnpike is a popular route for many commercial drivers, the need to address the parking deficit is crucial for the safety of all drivers. The situation has become so bad that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is finally attempting to deal with the issue and discussing the need to create more parking areas for trucks. Other interstate roads crisscross Pennsylvania including Route 80, Route 81 and new roads running north and south through Williamsport Pennsylvania.   Some of these roads have little or no areas for parking or even refueling of trucks. Any crash involving largely trucks is likely to be devastating…

Limousine Safety in Pennsylvania

November 12th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Limousine Safety in Pennsylvania
It was a birthday celebration that turned deadly. A crash involving a limousine in Schoharie, New York, on the afternoon of Saturday, October 6, killed 20 people, including the driver, 17 passengers, and two pedestrians. The limousine failed to come to a stop and lost control while proceeding through a busy intersection. An investigation showed that the stretch limousine, a converted 2001 Ford Excursion, had failed safety inspections shortly before the crash and was not supposed to be on the road. In inspections made on September 4, Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service, the company which owned the vehicle, had its limos cited for defective brakes, lack of proper emergency exits, flat or balding tires, defective windshield wipers, and other maintenance problems. In addition, the driver was not even licensed to operate the vehicle, as he did not have a commercial driver license (CDL) with a passenger endorsement. Both the company and the vehicle had been watched by the New York Department of Transportation in the past, but the company still managed to put a defective vehicle on the road driven by a driver without a proper license. Factors like noncompliance with…

The Deadliest Times on Pennsylvania’s Roads

October 16th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

The Deadliest Times on Pennsylvania's Roads
When you take your car on the road, there is always a chance that you could be involved in a crash, no matter what the time of day or year. According to a 2015 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), there were more than 127,000 auto accidents in 2014 which caused the deaths of 1,200 people, while another 80,004 were injured. Those who survive a crash can wind up with serious injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, and paralysis that can maim, disfigure, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime. Still, there are times when it is more dangerous to drive than others and when motorists should take extra safety precautions. IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WAS INJURED OR SOMEONE HAS DIED IN A VEHICLE CRASH IN PENNSYLVANIA, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER SUCH AS CLIFF RIEDERS OF RIEDERS, TRAVIS, HUMPHREY, WATERS & DOHRMANN, REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.  If another party’s negligence or responsibility was involved in the accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your medical, hospital and therapy expenses, lost wages, property loss, disfigurement, and loss…

PA Ranked 29th for Texting Teens

October 11th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

PA Ranked 29th for Texting Teens
Texting while driving is a major cause of crashes; and teens, already inclined to take risks, are among the worst offenders. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania teens are worse than those in most other states for risky texting behavior. According to a study from the Journal of Adolescent Health that looked at teen texting while driving in the United States, our state ranked No. 29 out of the 35 states surveyed. The study found that 38 percent of the 200,000 teens surveyed reported texting while driving on at least one day; 22 percent reported texting while driving one to nine days; and 16 percent said they texted 10 to 30 days. The incidence of texting and driving rose sharply when kids legally drove unsupervised. It also is highest in states with a learner's permit age of 15 or younger. More than one in five students aged 14 or 15 reported driving before they were eligible for a learner’s permit, and one in six of these drivers had texted while driving. The rate doubled between ages 15 and 16 and continued to rise through age 17 and beyond, and white teens were more likely to…

More Than 20 Percent of PA Roads Deemed in “Poor Condition”

October 8th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents

More Than 20 Percent of PA Roads Deemed in "Poor Condition"
Pennsylvania roads are in bad condition, riddled with annoying potholes that can cause vehicle crashes that may damage property and result in serious injuries or even death. Those who survive a crash can wind up with injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, and paralysis that can maim, disfigure, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime. Conditions are so bad that a 2017 study by TRIP, a national research transportation group, ranked our state eighth in the country for rural roads in poor condition.  The report found that about 22 percent of Pennsylvania roads were rated as being in poor condition. Pennsylvania was also ranked third for structurally deficient rural bridges and 16th for fatality rate on rural roads. When poor road conditions and potholes play a part in causing accidents or cause damage to vehicles and injuries to their occupants, you may have a legal claim for damages against the state or local government responsible for maintaining the roads and highways. However, there are special rules for filing a claim against a government entity.  In order to ensure you get the settlement you are entitled to, you…

Drivers Are Addicted to Distracting Activities – Automakers Aren’t Helping

August 13th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Negligence, Personal Injury

Drivers Are Addicted to Distracting Activities - Automakers Aren't Helping
Emerging technologies are cool and useful, but they can also take drivers down a path of distraction that leads to increased crashes.  Driving while distracted is illegal in 47 states, including Pennsylvania; but people are addicted to their gadgets and technology, and new cars have more of these than ever. As a result, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been studying how to minimize the driving distractions they say kill 3,500 people and injure 390,000 in U.S. crashes every year. According to the Washington Post the study showed that new vehicle technology involving buttons, touch screens, gesture controls, heads-up displays, and voice commands are often not safe when used while the vehicle is in motion. For example, distractions from Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto shaved crucial seconds from the time that drivers could get their eyes back on the road. The AAA survey found that almost half of drivers said they make calls and 35 percent sent a text or email while driving. In the less than 4.5 seconds it takes to send a text, a vehicle going 55 mph covers more than the length of a football…

School Bus Safety Reminders for All Drivers

July 30th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

School Bus Safety Reminders for All Drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers school buses to be the safest way to transport schoolchildren, but tragic school bus accidents do happen. Thousands of children are injured each year in preventable school bus collisions that can result in serious and debilitating injuries and death. School bus drivers may not be trained professionals.  They may or may not have the requisite experience.  School bus drivers can be negligent like anyone else.  Crashes may be caused by other drivers, defective buses, poor weather, or by parents and children who do not follow safety rules. If you, your child, or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a school bus, you may be entitled to a settlement to cover medical, hospital and rehabilitative expenses past, present and future, current and future lost wages and loss of wage horizon, loss of life’s pleasures until the time of death, disfigurement and emotional distress. Property loss may be covered.  All negligent parties, including the school bus driver and the school district, may be liable.  Cases against school districts is difficult because of Pennsylvania’s sovereign immunity laws. Parents may sue on behalf of…

People Worry About Self-Driving Cars

July 17th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

People Worry About Self-Driving Cars
Does the idea of self-driving cars on the road send shivers down your spine?  You are not alone.  According to three different surveys, while most Americans are resigned to the fact that autonomous cars will be common within 15 years, 74 percent do not expect to have one, and two-thirds say they wouldn’t want to walk or ride a bicycle near one. The surveys show the misgivings people have about the expected increase in self-driving vehicles and the challenges that automakers face in marketing them. The results also point to a need for safety reassurances from federal regulators. Recent crashes involving the new technology have made the public even more skittish. One highly-publicized example occurred when a self-driving Uber SUV struck and killed a woman walking her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona. A test driver from Uber was behind the wheel of the car at the time, but the car was driving automatically. Also, in Arizona a Waymo test vehicle with a human at the wheel crashed when another motorist swerved into it last month. If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a crash that involved…