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

Can I sue my home inspector for undetected defects?

Buying a house in Pennsylvania or West Virginia is one of the most expensive purchases anyone will make in their lifetime. Many people scrimp and save, sometimes for years, before paying a hefty down payment on a property while others may be buying a high-priced property.

One of the essential steps any homebuyer takes is finding a reliable home inspector to assess the quality of the property and look for any major or minor defects that might exist, especially those that may not be disclosed by sellers.

How Uber is Expanding Their Fleet for Riders

Forms of transportation for getting around in a large city metro area has just gotten even more interesting—Uber interesting to say the least.

Earlier last month, Uber has officially added their latest project known as “Uber-Copter” to their portfolio. The helicopter transportation services will begin to operate out of Lower Manhattan to JFK, but have plans to expand to major cities nationwide.

How to spot an aggressive driver

Losing your temper while behind the wheel is often a right of passage. It is often hard to keep your cool while stuck in traffic, especially if you are rushing to a meeting or appointment. If you have ever found yourself in such a situation, you are not alone. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, at least 80% of drivers admit to driving in an aggressive fashion at some point within the past year. The problem lies in the fact that more than 56% of auto accident fatalities involved aggressive driving behaviors. Not only is it important to avoid engaging in these behaviors, but you should also be on the lookout for other people who are driving aggressively and report them if necessary. 

Aggressive driving behaviors may include any of the following:

What should drivers know about the deadliest days of summer?

Summer is well underway and Pennsylvania residents are celebrating, especially those who are on break from school. While the summer months can be a time of relaxation and fun under the hot sun, you and others should understand that the months of June through August are also considered to be the most dangerous months of the year for drivers and their passengers.

According to We Save Lives, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, for good reason. These two key holidays, plus Independence Day, can increase the incidents of drunk and distracted driving on the roads. There are also more drivers, whether they are embarking on road trips or driving down to local beaches and parks for summer-related activities. You may find it interesting to learn that approximately 26% more teenagers are killed in motor vehicle accidents during the summer than other times of the year, but the top cause may surprise you. Instead of drunk driving and texting while driving - which are also serious and common accident causes - other passengers in the car are the main factor involving accidents among teenagers.

Pennsylvania's construction zone merging puts many at risk

Now that the summer is here, more roads are starting to get slower thanks to the amount of construction zones they are placing on the major highways. This means traffic is arguably at its worst during the hottest season of the year, and many drivers will put others in danger through reckless actions to evade it or pure road rage.

One of the biggest problems that most construction zones face this summer is how drivers will merge into the proper lanes. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has recently recognized that many impatient drivers are making this process a lot harder than it needs to be with how well they handle zipper merges. Drivers who don’t know how this system works could potentially injure other motorists and construction workers in the vicinity.

Assessing if refinancing would benefit your situation

When you purchase a home in Pennsylvania, chances are you are filled with mixed emotions including excitement that you have just made a worthwhile investment, and maybe a bit of anxiety about putting your money toward something so big and important. At Gesk Moritz LLC Attorneys at Law, we understand the hesitations that people make when they are considering various real estate transactions. 

When you initially sign on your home and sign the paperwork for the loan you have agreed to pay back, your financial situation may have been a bit different than it is now. After spending some time in your home and acknowledging that your situation has progressed, you could be desiring to make the payment of your mortgage more efficient. One option you may consider is refinancing your home loan. If done correctly and at the right time, this strategic move can make a considerable difference in how quickly and effectively you are able to pay back your lender. 

Is it better to renovate or rebuild a home?

You might think a renovation project is just what your home needs. However, not all Pennsylvania renovation projects are all that they are cracked up to be. Sometimes they turn into money pits, reveal new problems, and by the end the homeowners involved may wish they had torn down the house and rebuilt it from the ground up. Forbes explains different factors that can make either renovation or rebuilding a home a more attractive option.

Your finances may influence your decision. At first glance, tearing down a home and rebuilding it might cost more money than a simple renovation. However, some homeowners do not know what they are getting into when they start a remodeling project. The moment a wall is knocked down, more problems may be revealed, like rot, poor structural support, or bad electrical wiring. The result is that your renovation suddenly costs much more and takes more time than a simple home reconstruction would have.

How can you prevent jungle gym accidents on your property?

During the summer months, many Pennsylvania families take advantage of better weather and longer days to spend as much time as possible out of doors. Sometimes, however, accidents happen on your property involving recreational equipment. You may be wondering whether there are ways to prevent premises liability from happening. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, despite the fact that the industry keeps making playground equipment safer and safer, treatment in emergency rooms for traumatic brain injuries from these accidents increased greatly between 2005 and 2013. With that in mind, certain steps should be taken to keep your own children and others safe on any swing sets or jungle gym equipment on your grounds. 

Is getting mortgage approval harder if I am self-employed?

According to Bankrate, the number of people who are self-employed in the United States is on the rise, which means an increasing number of people who own their own business are going to approach banks for mortgage loans for their new homes. However, being self-employed may make it more difficult for a Pennsylvania lender to approve your mortgage loan. This is because lenders want you to prove that you have a steady income and that your business is stable. 

To prove income, self-employed workers generally have to provide more paperwork to a mortgage lender. For instance, a person who is regularly employed may only have to provide a standard federal tax return from one year. However, a self-employed individual will likely have to hand over at least two years of tax returns, particularly if that person is a contractor who generates income from commissions or bonuses.

Survey highlights dangers of distracted driving

For most people in Pennsylvania, a cell phone is all but an essential part of everyday life. It goes everywhere a person goes and has even replaced landlines in many homes and businesses. However, it also has exposed drivers to yet another way to focus on something other than the act of driving safely. Simply put, distracted driving has today become a serious problem throughout the country.

According to a report made recently by USA Today, the vehicle insurance quoting website called The Zebra conducted a survey this spring that took a look at the views of drivers around the country as they pertain to distractions and technology when driving. For drivers who are 16 or 17 years old or over the age of 34 years old, an average of one in every four people said they felt compelled to look at their phones when a new message was received while they were driving.