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Altoona Personal Injury Blog

PA Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise across the country, and PA is no exception. According to nationally compiled data via the Governors Highway Safety Commission, Pennsylvania saw over a 40% increase in pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2018 as compared to the first half of 2017. If this trend continues, 2019 will prove to be a deadly year for pedestrians, too. According to the data, almost 100 pedestrians were killed by drivers in Pennsylvania during the first half of 2018 as compared to 64 during that same stretch of time in 2017.Nationally, these numbers reflect the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 30 years.  Many people believe that this increase is due to heightened instances of distracted driving, more SUVs on the road (which data suggests is correlated with an increase in pedestrian accidents), and an increased number of walkers in areas where most people used to drive.  By the numbers, most accidents involving pedestrians overwhelmingly occur at night (about 90%) and over half of these accidents occur on local streets and neighboring highways. In PA, pedestrian fatalities account for roughly 10% of all traffic-related deaths. 

Potential Warnings Of A Subpar Nursing Home

According to a US and World News report, there are several warning signs you can look for to see if a loved one in a nursing home is receiving subpar care.  Many of the warning signs the article noted involve examining your elderly relative's reaction to people and aspects of the home.  In this way, substandard care may become apparent through your loved one's emotional or physical changes, including looking unhealthy, sudden changes in appetite, and becoming easily agitated or fearful around certain people.  Additionally, if your relative mentions that they don't want a particular person to take care of them, that might be a sign of a serious problem, such as abuse or neglect.  If your relative also appears malnourished or dehydrated, that is a definite warning sign of a potential problem.

Chronic Pain After An Injury

Chronic pain is often a blanket diagnosis used to explain pain that persists consistently over a period longer than 3-6 months.  However, chronic pain can result from many different disorders and injuries.  Unfortunately, many of these problems come from common accidents, such as motor vehicle accidents or slip and falls. 

Freezing Rain on Winter Roads

In these harsh winter weather conditions, many car drivers across our state of Pennsylvania, as well as the country, are dealing with less than desirable road conditions.  According to news source Syracuse.com, the phenomenon of "flash-freezing" is causing major problems on both roads and sidewalks across the East Coast this winter. 

Flying Winter Debris Causes Damage on Road

Unfortunately, winter is not over yet.  We still need to take care when driving on the roads in our icy winter conditions.  Recently, there was a report on a PA road involving an accident due to icy conditions. According to news reports, a car was driving on the highway when ice from a nearby tractor-trailer hit the car, shattering most of the windshield and injuring a passenger inside. The injured party had to be taken to a nearby hospital.  Local police are stating that the accident is a hit and run.  

PA Accidents Are Trending In A Negative Way

Pennsylvania is in the midst of an unsettling trend in recent years.  PennDOT reports that about 4,000 people are hit by cars each year in our state.  These pedestrian/car encounters seem to increase during the winter months, where drivers appear to be more aggressive, especially in the afternoon.  Many of these accidents also appear to involve distraction, either on the part of the driver or the pedestrian.   To increase visibility, it is recommended that pedestrians stay off of their phones, wear reflective clothing, walk against the flow of traffic, and cross only at designated areas.  Drivers need to be alert, not distracted by mobile devices, and anticipate pedestrians on the road with them. 

Top Personal Injury Areas

Sometimes, general trends for certain types of lawsuits come and go.  However, in the world of personal injury, there are several big areas that tend to make up the bulk of personal injury claims.  Can you guess what they are?

Child Sustains Significant Injury in Gym Class, Lawsuit Reviewed by PA Supreme Court

When your child faces an unforeseen injury, it can be a parent's worst nightmare.  Recently, a child suffered an injury while in gym class in a PA school.  According to reports, the 9-year-old student was running in gym class, could not stop, tripped, and fell into an unpadded concrete wall.  He hit the wall so hard that he lost consciousness.  He missed a great deal of school and began to develop memory problems and chronic headaches, even several years after the accident occurred.  The student's family sued the school for negligence by failure to properly pad the walls in the gym.  The PA Supreme Court reviewed the case recently and found that a school can be held liable for the injuries that the child sustained. 

College Athletes and TBI

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can result from many things, including car accidents, sports injuries, and some types of repeated trauma.  TBIs have been making the news recently due to many student athletes suing the NCAA and their respective colleges/universities. According to news sources, the NCAA has received over 300 legal claims from former college athletes, mostly football players. These athletes state that concussions they received while playing sports were not always handled correctly in college. As a result, they now have lasting effects including mental health issues, early onset Parkinsons, Alzheimer's Disease, and chronic headaches.  This is not the first time that the NCAA has been sued to head injury concerns.  One former class action lawsuit against the NCAA led to $75M for students who claimed they had injuries.  Another stipulation within that lawsuit was an agreement that any potential class-action personal injury lawsuits couldn't be held against the NCAA, but students could pursue their own lawsuits at their individual schools.  

New PA Initiative To Combat Distracted Driving

A Pennsylvania legislator is starting a new initiative to keep drivers safer this week called "STASH and Avoid a CRASH".  This iniative is meant to draw awareness and reduce incidences of distracted driving in PA.  STASH encourages drivers to put their cell phones in the glove compartments while they're driving, or use a GPS docking system on their dashboard to avoid handheld use while driving.  Although texting while driving is illegal in PA, distracted driving is still a huge problem across the state. 

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