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Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Blog

What risks face teen drivers?

While it can be exciting to get a license for the first time, teen drivers are faced with a myriad of risks when on the road. Whether you have a teen driver in your family or are sharing the road with younger motorists, it's important to be aware of just how inexperience can cause accidents and lead to careless behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain how teens can stay safe behind the wheel and what might happen if they don't. 

Approximately 292,742 drivers aged 16 through 19 required emergency care as the result of a motor vehicle accident in 2016. Up to 2,433 in the same age group were killed as a result of their accidents. Male drivers in this age range face a two times greater risk of dying when compared to females, and teens of both genders are likely to experience a crash within the first few months after receiving their license. 

Should your business be an LLC or a sole proprietorship?

If you want to open a business in Pennsylvania, one of the first things you must do is register with the state. Before you register, you should decide what sort of business structure you want to use. Certain legal and tax considerations may be different depending on which type of business structure you choose. If you are the only one who works at your business, chances are you will register as either a sole proprietorship or an LLC.

The Pennsylvania state government provides information on different types of business structures. Most small businesses usually fall into one of four categories: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company and corporation. According to the state, a sole proprietorship is the simplest type of business structure, which may be a good choice for you when you are just starting your small business. In a sole proprietorship, you maintain complete control and responsibility for the business. This structure requires few registration forms, and it is simple to discontinue the business if you need to. Although you would generally retain all the profits from your business, you would be personally liable for all business debts and legal issues.

Is your doctor spending enough time with you?

Like most in Pennsylvania, you likely hope that your visit to the doctor is a quick "in-and-out" exchange. Whether that stems from your desire to not have to pay any more than is necessary for your visit to a general discomfort of being in a doctor's office, there are any number of reasons why you may not want your visit to linger. Yet at the same time, you hope that your doctor does not feel the same way. Your expectation is that they will spend enough time as is needed with you to resolve (or at lease diagnose) whatever illness or injury you are experiencing. 

Yet is that expectation being met? It is easy to forget that in many cases (particularly those involving private practices or physicians groups) doctors may also be business owners. Seeing as many patients as possible, then, is good business. Yet the desire for a healthy bottom line for a clinic or practice should never prompt doctors to adopt the practice of "treat and street." 

Things to consider before entering into a partnership

If you are looking to start a business in Pennsylvania, you may be thinking of getting a partner. While entering into a partnership can be very beneficial for both parties, it can also be a disaster if both sides are not on the same page. Ask yourself and your potential partner some hard questions before making it official. discusses some of the benefits of taking on a business partner. These include:

  • Shared risk in the business
  • Split tasks and responsibilities
  • Increased access to professional expertise and financial backing

Distracted driving has to be proven for a conviction

We all know the trope “innocent until proven guilty,” but it proved to be true in a recent case of alleged distracted driving.

Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles or any other passenger vehicle can be deadly if the driver isn’t paying attention. This was reportedly the case in a 2015 collision in Monroe County that resulted in the deaths of three people.

Botched transplant surgery results in malpractice lawsuit

When a child is suffering from symptoms that are compromising their health, parents rely heavily on the medical providers in Pennsylvania to thoroughly analyze their child's condition and provide a proper diagnosis. Once a treatment plan is articulated, they place heavy trust in their doctor and other medical professionals to provide care that is safe and effective. 

For one family in Washington, their situation was less-than-ideal and resulted in their daughter being severely injured in a situation they are now claiming was medical malpractice. The girl was 12 when she initially underwent surgery for a heart transplant. A few years later, her doctors found that a stent needed to be replaced and they scheduled a surgery to operate. However, in an oversight that eventually caused significant injuries, an inadequate number of stents were available and the surgery had to be altered while staff members sought additional stents from another hospital. 

How to protect a real estate transaction

Most people in Pennsylvania would not hesitate to hire a lawyer for a business transaction that was in the hundred-thousand-dollar range. However, not everybody decides to look for legal representation when the same amount of money is at stake in real estate purchases.

One possible explanation for this is that trained agents are there to advise home sellers and buyers. However, it is not uncommon for these agents themselves to be party to a real estate transaction dispute.

Driver inexperience and the risk of a crash

Motor vehicle accidents have many causes, from crashes which are the result of intoxicated driving to icy roads and speeding. In this blog post, our law office will take a closer look at driver inexperience, which can be problematic for drivers of all age groups. Many people recognize that teens and young drivers who have spent little time behind the wheel may be more likely to cause an accident due to inexperience, but older drivers may also run the risk of a crash caused by inexperience.

There are different reasons why an older driver may be inexperienced. For example, some people may not drive until their 20s or even later in life, such as those who previously lived in a major city and found that public transportation was more convenient. Moreover, someone may be inexperienced when it comes to driving a particular type of vehicle. For example, someone may not have driven a truck before, and they may have difficulty managing a larger truck while on the road. Or, a driver may not be familiar with a particular vehicle model and they might drive erratically as a result of their unfamiliarity.

How can I stay safe on roads in the winter?

In many parts of the U.S., the winter months can be a dangerous time of year to get behind the wheel. With snows, ice and winter storms that bring heavy rainfall and strong winds, there are a number of weather-related hazards to watch out for. In some instances, it might be smart to avoid driving until conditions have improved. Some people, however, have to drive to work or take to the road for some other important reason. You should never drive when you are worried the road conditions being unsafe, but there are some hazards to watch out for throughout the winter and a number of tips to stay safe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published an informational piece which covers some of the different strategies that drivers can employ to stay safe when driving during the winter. For example, drivers should always be prepared for dangers that may lie ahead, from planning their routes properly to clearing windows and checking their vehicle beforehand. It is also helpful to have a shovel on hand in case you get stuck and a working flashlight, especially since days are shorter.

Pennsylvania car crash stats reveal 1,137 deaths

With more than 120,000 miles of roads, Pennsylvanians have no shortage of opportunities for automobile accidents. However, recent statistics show the 2017 traffic fatality rate was the lowest since the commonwealth started keeping records in 1935.

In a recent publication, Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation found that there were 1.12 fatalities per 100 million road miles.

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