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News And Reflections On Legal Issues In Western Pennsylvania And West Virginia

Suggestions for effective car accident prevention

For many Pennsylvania drivers, the freedom of being able to get in their car and travel from one destination to another provides an unlimited degree of flexibility, convenience and enjoyment. However, because there are distracted motorists, bad weather conditions and even poorly designed vehicles, every driver is at risk of danger no matter how careful he or she may be. 

According to the Huffington Post, there are several reigning causes of car accidents. Peoples efforts to recognize these dangers and understand how to properly address each one can aid in preventing unnecessary crashes from occurring. Some of these causes include the following:

  • Driving during the nighttime when reduced visibility is prevalent.
  • Failing to recognize changes in traffic patterns in busy construction zones.
  • Inexperienced teenage drivers who are still learning the rules of the road.
  • Rain, snow and other inclement weather.
  • Distraction as the result of eating, manipulating electronics, talking to passengers and personal grooming among other things.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

How long should a car seat be kept rear facing?

As a parent, you likely do everything you can to keep your children safe. This includes using the proper car seat when you are traveling in Pennsylvania. However, the recommendations about car seats seem to be changing quite a bit. You may not be completely up to date on what the rules are, especially when it comes to keeping your child rear-facing.

The general guidelines and professional opinions about car seat use come from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The most current recommendation is you should keep your child rear-facing until he or she is at least two years old. However, this does not supercede that manufacturer's recommendations. For example, a seat may not be made for a child who is over 20 pounds. If you child reaches 20 pounds before his or her second birthday, then you would need a new seat. The seat may also be designed to only offer protection in a rear-facing position until a child is a certain height. After he or she reaches that height, you would then need to turn it around. Following the manufacturer's guidelines is the most important because it ensures your child is best protected.

Can real estate investors save on next year's tax bill?

Optimism is the word for real estate investors these days. As sales of existing homes continue to rise, and interest rates for home loans stay relatively low, some investors are poised to enjoy their best year in quite some time. But if there is one thing that can derail an investor’s success, it is tax liability.  

This is because real estate investors may not be taxed in the same way compared to other self-employed business owners. Essentially, a business owner running a hair salon, for example, may pay 15 percent in taxes on business income, and possibly 15 percent in self-employment taxes. At the same time, a real estate investor may fare better after applicable deductions and depreciations if much of his or her income stems from rents and short term capital gains.

Why you need an attorney after a trucking accident

Whether you are driving on I-79, I-376 or the Turnpike, you know that Western Pennsylvania highways do not have a shortage of tractor-trailers on them. Unfortunately, these behemoths are still causing far too many accidents in our region. Many of these accidents result in catastrophic injuries or even death to innocent drivers and passengers.

After you or a loved one is in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, one of the most important things you can do is talk to an attorney. Do not accept a quick settlement offer from the trucking company’s insurance company before talking to an attorney first.

What is a short sale?

There are a range of real estate transaction types in Pennsylvania. Whether you are buying or selling, it helps to become familiar with the different options. One that is becoming more popular is a short sale. As explained by bigger Pockets, a short sale is when the home is sold for less than the amount that is owed to the bank. If you are the seller, you may make an agreement with the bank to settle your account for the full sales price, meaning you would not have to pay the remaining balance on your mortgage. This does not always happen, though. You may be liable for the remaining balance depending on what the agreement you make with the bank says.

The bank must approve a short sale for you to be able to engage in this type of transaction. Banks may agree if you have been struggling to make your mortgage payments. It is preferable to sell for slightly less than the money owed than for the bank to have to deal with a foreclosure situation, which can be time consuming and usually ends with a large financial loss for the bank. A short sale benefits you and them.

Common car accident injuries

When it comes to car accidents in the Carnegie area, it is hard to believe how disruptive they can until someone becomes injured in one. According to, 40,200 car accident fatalities occurred in 2016. Many accident victims do not get the opportunity to make a full recovery from their injuries. They may have fractures, brain trauma and other serious conditions that can result in disability and death. 

Because no two accidents are the same, various factors including speed, time of incident and driver error often determine the severity of collision and injuries. It is not uncommon for a minor fender bender to result in serious and life-threatening injuries and a major collision to end with little to no injuries. Here is a brief overview of common car accident injuries. 

What are Pennsylvania's car insurance requirements?

When you are involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, one of your first concerns will be about car insurance. Most people cannot afford to pay for damages sustained in an accident out of their pocket, so you will naturally want to know if insurance will cover any costs associated with the crash. To prevent you from being stuck paying the bills, the state requires all drivers to carry a minimal amount of insurance.

The Department of Motor Vehicles sets strict requirements for auto insurance coverage. You must carry liability insurance, which covers vehicle and property damage, along with medical coverage, for those injured in a crash you cause. You are required to carry $5,000 for property damage, $30,000 for medical per accident and $15,000 medical per person. You must carry this insurance on any vehicle that is registered in the state. If you do not have insurance, you must turn in your license plates to the vehicle to the DMV. Your insurer will alert the DMV if you have a lapse in coverage, which may result in punishment due to non-compliance with the law.

Why you need an attorney when buying a house

The law in Pennsylvania does not require you to hire an attorney when you are looking to buy a home. However, you need to remember that buying a home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your life (until you decide to buy a bigger home down the road).

And buying a house is not as simple as shaking hands with the seller and handing them a check. The buying process has numerous steps, many of which come with mountains of paperwork. It is essential that you have someone in your corner who knows the law and is looking out for your best interests.

What are some common types of construction accidents?

Many people who work in the construction industry in the Carnegie area do so because of the high pay and endless supply of job opportunities. They may not realize that there is a dark side to the industry. Construction workers must work in environments that are full of hazards. These hazards often cause serious accidents that can significantly alter the lives of contractors and their families in mere seconds. 

Many laws and regulations have been implemented throughout the years to reduce the number of risks that construction contractors face while they are on the job. Despite those changes, construction accidents continue to happen at an alarming rate. According to the Fortune, in the private construction sector, 937 workers were involved in fatal worksite accidents in 2015. Common types of construction accidents that lead to serious worker injury and death include: 

What is premises liability in a slip-and-fall accident?

Many people in Carnegie assume that when they become injured on someone else’s property, they have the right to hold them accountable for damages. According to FindLaw, that is the basis of premises liability. However, there are certain requirements that must be met validate a person’s claim.

There are many types of accidents that fall under premises liability, such as slip-and-fall incidents, dog bites, fires and swimming pool accidents. However, slips and falls are the most common. Anyone who owns or manages property may be held liable for any accidents and injuries that occur on their properties, regardless of their presence. Here is a brief overview on premises liability and slip-and-fall accidents.