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Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Blog

What to do after a potential medical misdiagnosis

The danger of misdiagnosis in the healthcare industry is alarming. A misdiagnosis can occur when a physician incorrectly diagnoses a patient’s injury or condition, delays diagnosis or misses a diagnosis entirely. Misdiagnosis means needless suffering for patients and families, and sometimes, even lost lives.

Annually, 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed. Furthermore, misdiagnosis is the third leading cause of death, causing at least 250,000 deaths every year. Some errors might be detected and cause no harm to the patient, but this is not always the case.

Legal business structures in Pennsylvania

An individual who wants to start a business in Pennsylvania must follow several steps to ensure the venture complies with state and federal regulations. One of the first things entrepreneurs must do is decide what sort of legal structure they want to use. There are several factors that may affect the choice of legal structure, including the size, tax considerations and operational model of the business.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, the state recognizes four types of business structures: corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited liability companies. An individual who runs his or her business alone may choose to operate as a sole proprietorship or to create an LLC. Both options may allow the business owner to operate without employees, but an LLC may prevent the liabilities and debts of the business from affecting the owner's personal assets. Filing Pennsylvania taxes is similar for LLCs and sole proprietorships; in most cases, entrepreneurs report business income on their personal tax returns.

Common issues with the closing of a house

After spending a lot of time searching for a house, putting in an offer and having it accepted, soon-to-be homeowners in Pennsylvania may think everything is great. However, many things can happen in the days leading up to the closing, and some of them can actually put the final sale in jeopardy.

According to, some surprises that crop up along the way are not major and just require communication. For example, the new buyers may think that certain household items, like ceiling fans, appliances and fixtures, are part of the sale and then they find out at closing this is not the case. A contract that specifically outlines what stays and what goes can prevent this misunderstanding at the last minute. Another minor issue that can cause a slight delay is a misunderstanding about how to transfer money. They buyers should ask their lender or agent if they should bring a cashier's check or electronically transfer the money. 

Five strategies for safe driving throughout the fall

Autumn is a beautiful time of year. With the temperature dropping and leaves changing colors, you might enjoy shopping for a new sweater or taking your children to pick apples.

With the change of season, however, can come different driving challenges. You may drive to, and home from, work in the dark and school buses might test your patience by repeatedly stopping in front of you.

Tips to avoid litigation

Business owners in Pennsylvania have a lot on their plate, and dealing with a litigation suit is expensive, time consuming and it takes focus away from building and running the business. Smart owners take steps to avoid any chances of litigation, and they understand that prevention is the best course of action.

The Nevada Business Magazine outlines some tips to keep lawsuits at bay. One important one is to document everything. Even before opening, expectations and rights of employers and employees need to be in written form, and everyone should sign to indicate they understand. There should be an internal audit of the company that examines potential weak areas or risks, and the owners should take action to fix them. 

Insurance to protect your business during liability lawsuits

Many entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania worry about business litigation. If they run a brick-and-mortar business the possibility of getting sued after an unfortunate accident may weigh heavily on a person’s mind. The unfortunate fact is that no matter how much a company remains committed to safety, an accident is always possible.

In spite of this, Forbes estimates that fewer than three business owners out of ten purchase business insurance. Thus, when faced with an expensive lawsuit, many small businesses lose their assets and may have to shut their doors for good. Many entrepreneurs may opt out to keep operating costs low and take the risk.

What are the most common medical errors?

Some medical or hospital errors in Pennsylvania are minor. However, the ones that make the news and create nightmarish experiences for people are far more serious. These include bad reactions to prescribed medication, operating on the wrong limb, a wrong diagnosis or even sewing up a tool inside a patient’s body after surgery.

According to WebMD, medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, researchers estimate that anywhere from 250,000 to 400,000 people die every year from medical errors. This no doubt seems ironic to Americans who trust in doctors to prolong their health and save lives. Here are the most common mistakes occurring in health care in America.

When a small business cannot repay its debts

Businesses of all sizes in Pennsylvania struggle with liquidity. This is especially true for companies that sell a product as opposed to a service. Products are assets, but they do not bring in cash until they are sold. If they are sold on credit, then they do not bring in cash until the other company settles their debts. It comes as no surprise then that many companies turn to business loans to make ends meet or cover temporary gaps in the budget.

But, what happens when those gaps become permanent and the company cannot repay its debts in time? NerdWallet differentiates between a missed payment and defaulting on a loan. Defaulting is what happens when a business has failed to pay its debts for a period of time. The time depends on the lender. Common examples include a 90-day span or 150 days. But, what can an entrepreneur do if they suspect they cannot keep up with loan payments?

New changes in the real estate market and transactions

Homebuying in Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States is facing a decline. Experts put forward several reasons for this. From new homes flooding the market to higher interest rates and high student loan debt, there are many reasons Americans are not currently purchasing new homes at the rate they once did.

According to Forbes, there was a 6.4% decline in December of 2018 compared to just the month before. The professionals who take the greatest hit when this happens is real estate agents. These professionals rely on real estate transactions to make money, usually from commission. Even so Pennsylvania remains one of the top states to earn an income in the real estate business as an agent. In 2017, agents in Pennsylvania made a mean salary of $66,550.

Can you use a cellphone while driving in Pennsylvania?

In the last few years, many states—including Maryland, New Jersey and New York—have been cracking down harder on drivers using cellphones while behind the wheel. In fact, those states now ban drivers from even having a cellphone in their hands: they instead must use hands-free technology and get their GPS units programmed before starting their route.

Twenty other states already have adopted a no-handheld-phone-use behind the wheel stance because in 2017, more than 3,100 people were killed in distracted driving accidents, about 10% of all crash fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also, about 1 in 4 teen drivers admit to typing or receiving a text message within the last month.

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