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July 17, 2018

Deadly Motorcycle Accidents in Philadelphia

Motorcycle and Wrongful Death Attorney in PA

As temperatures heat up, its natural to want to spend more time on your bikecruising the open road. Its important to recognize, however, that motorcycle accidents are some of the deadliest on our roadways. When youre on your motorcycle, after all, theres absolutely nothing other than your helmet and gear to protect you from the impact of an accident. If another drivers negligence has left you or someone you care about injuredor worsein a motorcycle accident, seek experienced legal counsel.

Deadly Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents

On one Thursday in June, Philadelphia saw two separate deadly motorcycle accidents. The first involved a woman motorist who made a U-turn into the path of a 27-year-old biker, who died from the injuries he incurred. The second accident involved a biker who was riding in a pack of bikes. When the motorcyclist attempted to change lanes, another biker hit himcausing the 41-year-old man to lose control of his bike and crash into a tree. The man later died in the hospital. When motorists fail to exercise appropriate caution, their negligence can lead to deadly motorcycle accidents in the blink of an eye.

Wrongful Death Claims

When someone elses negligence causes your loved one to be killed, you could have a wrongful death claim. In Pennsylvania, the victims spouse, parent, or child can bring a wrongful death claim. With such a claim, you seek compensation for those losses you suffered because of your loved ones untimely demise. Such losses can be both financial and emotional. While no settlement amount can ever bring your loved one back to you, just compensation can help you and your family to better navigate the path toward emotional and financial recovery.

If youve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another drivers negligence, you know how devastating that is, and you need experienced legal counsel. Losing a loved one in a case of wrongful death is exceedingly difficult to process, but the dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is here to work with you through this process. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys have the determination, skill, and compassion to fight for your just compensation.

Financial and Emotional Damages

If youve lost a loved one to a fatal motorcycle accident that was caused by another drivers negligence, youve likely suffered considerable financial losses, including the medical expenses incurred. Further, if the victim was the primary breadwinner (or a breadwinner) in your family, youll also suffer from wages lost and from earning potential that has been cut short. The financial damages associated with wrongful death claims are often exceedingly high.

The emotional damages associated with these claims, however, can be even more staggering and difficult to endure. Your family has lost the deceaseds love, companionship, parenting, and comfort (to name but a few relationship roles), and its impossible to put a price on that. Juries are instructed to come up with values that they consider fair in relation to the circumstances of the claim. Its a difficult but important calculation.

The Statistics

Motorcycle accidents are exceedingly dangerous and are often deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) forwards several grim statistics related to motorcycle accidents that occurred in 2015:

  • Motorcycle fatalities were up by 8 percent (over the 2014 fatality rate).
  • Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic-accident deaths, 4 percent of all traffic-related injuries, 17 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities (including cyclists and passengers), and 4 percent of all vehicle occupant injuries.
  • Motorcyclists are nearly 29 times more likelyper vehicle, mile traveledto die in traffic accidents than are drivers and occupants of cars.

These dire statistics highlight just how treacherous motorcycle accidents can be. When you ride, always make riding safely your top priority.

Negligent Drivers

Negligent drivers (and even other bikers) sometimes cause serious, often deadly, motorcycle accidents. Negligence refers to driving without appropriate concern for the safety of others on the roadincluding motorcyclists. There are many varieties of negligent driving:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Driving aggressively, including speeding
  • Ignoring traffic signal, lights, and signs
  • Failing to accommodate for the condition of the road, including the effects of inclement weather

Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers are so prevalent and so dangerous that its important to take a closer look at the issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any driving in which the motorists attention is focused on anything other than the paramount task of driving safely. Distractions come in many forms, but the pinnacle of distractions is the ever-popular smartphone. As we become increasingly attached to our smartphones, distracted driving continues to skyrocket.

The NHTSA forwards several grim statistics related to distracted driving:

  • In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers.
  • In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers.
  • During daylight hours, about 481,000 motorists are engaged with their smartphones while driving.
  • When drivers text, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds at a time, which is tantamount to driving blind for the length of a football field (when traveling at 55 miles per hour).

Start Looking for Motorcycles

When you ride, you have the obvious disadvantage of not being as visible as other vehicles on the road. Some drivers simply fail to look for or see motorcycles in their midst (distractions dont help). An important element of driving safely is paying attention to other vehicles on the road, including motorcycles.

If Youve Lost a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident, Talk with an Experienced Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by another drivers negligence is tragic, and youre likely not to have any idea how to proceed. You arent alone, however. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is here to help. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have the skill, determination, and compassion to help guide your claim toward just resolution. Were here to help, so please contact or call us at (215) 825-5183 today.

August 11, 2017

Is There a Difference Between Survival Actions and Wrongful Death?

Wrongful Death Attorney in PA

Losing a loved one is often devastating and a life-altering experience. If that death was caused by the actions of another, you may have to face some challenging legal issues, as well. There are two types of actions in civil litigation for the family of someone who died due to negligent or intentional circumstances: wrongful death and survival. Navigating this legal situation and understanding the differences between these two claims is crucially important. Pennsylvania permits the recovery of damages due to an accidental death caused by someone else’s negligence or other conduct under two statutes: the Wrongful Death Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8301, and the Survival Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8302.

Wrongful Death Suits: Only Spouses, Parents or Children May Bring a Suit for Wrongful Death

Pennsylvania law only provides a cause of action for the spouses, parents or children of a fatal accident victim. If the there are no such parties the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring such a claim.

The damages in wrongful death claims are the damage directly incurred by the specified family member. That is, the loss of income and support the decedent would have provided but for the death, medical and funeral expenses for the family, as well as the loss of companionship and related contributions to the family. This can all be difficult to prove in court, especially the last and most powerful loss of companionship, and lay and expert witnesses will likely be needed to demonstrate the loss.

Survival Actions: Only Brought by the Decedent’s Estate, i.e. the Personal Representative

Survival actions seek damages on behalf of the decedent, his or her self, and seek to recover damages had they had survived the accident. This includes the conscious pain and suffering that the decedent was subjected to throughout from the time of the incident until their time of death.

Again, such damages are not always easy to measure or prove in court. Lay and expert witnesses will likely be needed to fully demonstrate.

Talk to an Experienced Survival Action and Wrongful Death Attorney Now

If you have lost a loved one, you need an attorney that can take the pressure off of you and who understands the legal challenges you are facing. Call attorney Gabriel Levin at The Levin Firm today to talk about how we can help. Call (215) 825-5183 and so we can understand your situation, and how we can begin to help.

November 18, 2014

How do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Arise?

scared driver after crashThe sudden, unexpected loss of a family member or other loved one is always difficult. The loss can be even more tragic, however, if your loved one died due to a preventable accident or intentional act of violence. If another party’s negligence or violent act caused the death, Pennsylvania law gives [1] surviving family members the legal right to hold the responsible party liable for their actions in court. Though financial recovery can never bring a loved one back, it can help for you to find a sense of justice and also receive compensation for the losses you suffered.

Types of acts that commonly cause wrongful death

Wrongful deaths may occur in a wide variety of situations that involve negligence. Negligence occurs when a party—generally an individual, company, or government entity—has a duty of care to act in a certain manner in the situation, breaches that duty, and causes actual injury or death. Common examples of incidents arising from negligence that cause wrongful death include the following:

  • Auto accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Drowning incidents
  • Dangerous or defective products
  • Dangerous conditions on premises
  • Dog bites
  • Burns
  • Workplace injuries
  • Hotel injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Construction site accidents
  • Falls from heights

In addition to negligence, wrongful death acts also arise out of intentional acts. Such acts include police brutality, assaults, vehicular assault, and more. In addition to criminal charges, people who commit acts of violence may also face wrongful death lawsuits in civil court as well. This gives the surviving family members the opportunity to hold the responsible individual financially responsible in addition to any penal consequences they may face in a criminal case.

Wrongful death cases can help a family recover for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income and other financial contributions the deceased would have made to the household, loss of love, companionship, and other intangible losses. Valuating damages [2] in a wrongful death case can be extremely complicated, so you always want to make sure that you have an attorney handling your case who understands the nature of wrongful death claims.

[1] http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/231/chapter2200/chap2200toc.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damages

 

 

September 25, 2014

Can I Recover Compensation for a Wrongful Death at a Construction Site Accident?

Construction SiteConstruction sites are dangerous places, as the ground is unstable, structures are usually incomplete and unsteady, and many tools, objects, materials, and debris may fall or be scattered on the ground. As a result, construction workers suffer the most workplace injuries of any occupation, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and many of those injuries are sadly fatal. If you have lost a loved one in or around a construction site, you should always contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss a possible case against the responsible party.

When discussing construction accidents, OSHA refers to the “Big Four,” which are the four most deadly hazards causing injury at construction sites. These four hazards are as follows:

1. Being struck by an object. People in or around construction sites may be struck by flying objects, falling objects, swinging objects, or even by equipment or objects at ground level. For example, a worker who is on scaffolding may drop a hammer that hits the head of another worker; a nail gun may malfunction and shoot a nail into someone else’s head; someone may be hit by materials on the end of a crane; or a person may be hit by a bulldozer on the ground.

2. Construction Fall Injuries. Construction workers often work at great heights, whether they are on a ladder, scaffolding, operating a crane, or simply standing on a roof. Anytime people work at heights, there is the risk of falling to their death.

3. Caught-in accidents. These accidents occur when a person becomes trapped. People may be trapped between two pieces of large building materials, a piece of large equipment and a wall or other structure, in a trench or hole that collapsed, and many more. These injuries are often fatal because the victim may be crushed or suffocated.

4. Electrocution. Construction sites often involve ungrounded wires or unfinished electrical systems, which cause a large number of fatal electrocutions each year.

If your loved one was killed on the job on a construction site, worker’s compensation may not provide adequate relief for you and your family. The Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act allows you to try to receive additional compensation for the sudden death of your spouse, parent, or other family member.

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