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Du Bois Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Will accident victim file personal injury claim?

Having a mechanical issue or a flat tire on an interstate here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere can be disquieting due to the speed at which traffic flows. Even when taking as many precautions as possible such as getting as far off the road as possible and watching for hazards, it may not be enough to avoid injury. Another driver could easily put a person's life in danger due to distraction, impairment or some other behavior behind the wheel that leads to injury and the possibility of a personal injury claim.

For example, sometime before 12:30 p.m., a 57-year-old man was recently forced to change a tire on the northbound side of Interstate 81. As he changed the tire, a water tank truck approached his location. For some reason, the truck veered out of its lane and slammed into the man and his vehicle.

Avoid multitasking while driving to lower the risk of accidents

As a Du Bois area motorist, you are probably aware that a leading cause of motor vehicle collisions is distractions. You may even be guilty of driving while distracted. Driving with just one hand on the wheel, looking at the GPS or reaching for a phone may seem harmless, but these types of activities often lead to catastrophic injuries and death. 

It is very easy to cause and become involved in a car accident when you take your eyes off the roads for a few seconds to multitask. Consider the following tips on how to avoid distracted driving accidents

Parenting plans: A particularly challenging part of family law

Sure, divorce involves a variety of issues that Pennsylvania couples need to resolve such as property division, spousal support and child support. Even so, you may agree with many other divorcing couples that dealing with child custody and parenting plans may constitute a particularly challenging aspect of family law. Both parents want to be as involved in their children's lives as possible despite the end of the marriage. Making that happen could take some work and planning.

The first step in creating a parenting plan is understanding what to address in it. These documents are often about much more than who has the kids on what days, which represents the physical custody portion of the plan. Legal custody also needs addressing, which is how you and the other parent will make the major decisions in the children's lives such as where they go to school, the religion they practice (if any) and how to handle health care decisions.

Consider what happens after distribution when estate planning

Taking care of family members beyond death is crucial to many Pennsylvania residents. This often comes through in estate planning as people leave instructions for how their assets are to be distributed to those they love. The primary goal of any estate plan is often to make sure that the person creating it retains control over who receives what upon death.

However, making sure that a particular loved one receives the intended inheritance may just be the first step. What happens after he or she receives it? How do you protect their inheritance from creditors, ex-spouses or others? These additional questions may require consideration during estate planning efforts.

Did St. Patrick's Day festivities lead to DUI?

St. Patrick's Day is known for its libations. Green beer, Guiness and other Irish alcoholic beverages make an appearance at numerous establishments across the country on that day, including many here in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the holiday's festivities may have put one man's future in jeopardy now that he faces DUI charges.

Reports indicate that at around 2:05 p.m. on that day, police received information about a suspected drunk driver. Apparently, someone witnessed a driver swerving in and out of his lane into oncoming traffic. At the same time, he was supposedly seen vomiting out the window of the vehicle while it was in motion.

Streamlining life in anticipation of probate

Through the years, many Pennsylvania residents accumulate personal items, accounts and other assets that they intend to pass on to their loved ones some day. The problem is that during the probate process, all of those assets must be sifted through, organized and somehow either disposed of or distributed. No matter how good a person's intentions may be, leaving a multitude of items for grieving family members to deal with may not be the best solution.

If there are certain items that an individual wants a loved one to have, it might make more sense to gift them during life. Of course, this does not mean giving away the house, a car or a bank account prematurely. However, giving away the heirloom china, helping with college tuition or bills or finding some other way to enjoy putting a smile on a loved one's face during life could do the trick.

Will personal injury claims be filed by accident victims?

Every day, Pennsylvania residents leave the relative safety of their homes in order to go to work, run errands and enjoy time with their families and friends. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the behavior of others. Suffering serious injuries due to the negligence of others can disrupt victims' lives, at least temporarily. Filing personal injury claims could provide much needed restitution for the financial losses incurred in both the present and the future.

One family may exercise the right to file such claims in the aftermath of an accident that injured two children and their mother. Reports indicate that the three were out walking on a recent Tuesday evening. At the same time, a man police suspect of being impaired was headed their way.

Have millennial drivers earned their bad reputation?

When many motorists picture millennial drivers, they envision inexperienced young people texting, talking on the phone and otherwise engaging in dangerous driving behaviors. Is this reputation accurate, though, or are young drivers getting an unfair rap? 

Per USA Today, many of today’s young drivers are admittedly engaging in potentially dangerous practices from behind the wheel, and many of these actions endanger you and anyone else in a driver’s path.

Don't neglect a living trust during estate planning

Figuring out the best way to provide for loved ones after death is not always an easy journey for many Pennsylvania residents. When they embark on estate planning, they may find that one way to make sure family members have access to what they need as quickly as possible is through the use of a living trust. The problem is that some people fail to make full use of their trusts by executing them and them putting them away for safekeeping.

The work is not done once a living trust is signed. In order for a trust to be there when needed, it must be funded. This means transferring assets into the trust in order to avoid those particular assets from going through probate upon death, which would allow those who need the support to have access to it much sooner, if not immediately. Otherwise, it is just paper.

Personal injury news: Drunk driving deaths down in Pennsylvania

The efforts of advocacy groups and law enforcement agencies seem to be paying off -- at least here in Pennsylvania. Data from PennDOT indicates that deaths due to drunk driving accidents are down in the state. Does this mean that personal injury and wrongful death claims decline as well? Perhaps not, but at least more lives are being saved than ever before.

Even though sources do attribute the decline in alcohol-related fatalities to the dissemination of information and education regarding drunk driving, other factors also play a significant role. For instance, new technologies in vehicles, such as air bags, also contribute to the drop in deaths. Another significant factor involves new criminal penalties being implemented by jurisdictions everywhere, including the use of ignition interlock devices that make it impossible to start a vehicle if a a driver has alcohol on his or her breath.

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