In recent news, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that PennDOT, our state's transportation department, can be held liable for vehicular injuries caused by dangerous guardrails on our state's highways. Usually, the state cannot be sued for damages due to negligence under an act called the Sovereign Immunity Act; however, it was ruled that exemptions can be made for state guardrails that were installed negligently and whose design creates a dangerous situation. This new ruling came after a case in which a person was in a car accident during winter. The snowy and icy conditions caused the driver to spin out and hit a guardrail. The guardrail ended up spearing the car and also caused injuries to the driver. Although this exemption cannot be assumed in all car accident cases on our highways, it is an important ruling to keep in mind.
As a heads up, you should know that on November 4th, Governor Wolf signed a bill known as "Daniel's Law" into effect. This bill enforces harsher penalties on those who engage in distracted driving. Within this bill, people who receive a distracted driving ticket will be punished similarly to those who engage in drunk driving. This law was proposed after a Pennsylvanian named Daniel Gallatin was killed when a distracted driver crashed into the back of his motorcycle and killed him. According to Governor Wolf, "This behavior, which has been allowed to go under-punished for far too long, has been demonstrated to be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Distracted driving has fatal, irreversible, and grave consequences and by signing this Bill I hope to make our roads and highways safer for our citizens, and everyone using them." (as quoted on PersonalInjury.com).