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

Multi-vehicle Pennsylvania crash claims 3 lives so far

More vehicles involved in a roadway collision generally means more people who may sustain injuries or fatalities. A recent three-vehicle collision in Pennsylvania has so far claimed the lives of three victims and left a fourth with head injuries. 

The crash occurred last Thursday afternoon on Route 145 in Lehigh Township. Vehicles involved included two cars and a motorcycle. A 91-year-old male driver of a southbound vehicle allegedly caused the accident by colliding head-on with a motorcycle and another car after a sudden swerve. His 86-year-old wife, who was riding alongside him as a passenger in the vehicle, died at the scene, and he followed her in death at a local hospital the next day as a result of multiple blunt force traumas. 

What duty of care do you owe to visitors?

People may be coming and going on your property in Carnegie all the time. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that they remain safe while there. Yet just how far does that responsbilty extend? The answer to that question depends largely on what type visitor a person found on your land is determined to be. While you (and one who is is injured while on your property) may not currenlty understand such formalities, they may go a long way in protecting you in the event if a liability claim. 

There are generally three legal classifications of visitors: invitees, licensees and trespassers. Invitees are those that you have invited to come on to your property. Licensees are parties who may enter on to your property during the course of their wwork. Trespassers are people who come on to your property without your persmission. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has set the following standard for assigning property owner liability: 

  • You have a legal duty of care to visitors on your property
  • You failed to conform to that duty
  • There is a causal connection between that failure and the visitor's injury
  • The visitor sufffered actual loss or damages

Electrocution deaths call for an increase in awareness training

Electrocution continues to be one of the leading causes in construction worker deaths as part of the “fatal four.” Like the other fatal causes, electrocution deaths can be entirely preventable. The workers need to maintain a safe distance when operating near power lines and must use properly inspected and insulated power supplies to avoid any serious accidents.

However, many continue to suffer despite the numerous warnings. This year, two construction worker electrocution deaths in Pennsylvania had a sufficient amount of media coverage to warrant examination. These accidents can serve as a warning to construction workers on how to approach the ongoing issue.

A reliable construction manager may reduce problems with defects

With any construction project in Pennsylvania regardless of its size, there are so many moving pieces and parts that have to be coordinated for a successful outcome. Often, many projects have several components that are contracted to third-parties who are responsible for using their competencies to guarantee that a project is safe, functional and built in accordance to specifications for local zoning ordinances as well as the buyer's requirements. 

A construction manager assumes a large amount of this responsibility and is in charge of overseeing a majority of the project's components to ensure that everyone is doing their job and not cutting any corners. A large part of their responsibility is to be in regular communication with all parties as a sort of liaison who makes sure that no specifications have been missed along the way.

City raises awareness on gateless railroad crossings

Train accidents are one of the most devastating types of crashes that could happen to a driver. The high speeds and sheer strength, durability and size of the vessel almost guarantees that a driver will suffer major injuries from the impact if they do not die from it.

While there are a number of railroad crossings that have flashing lights and gates on them, many contain only a sign to warn them of the incoming danger. The city of Wilkes-Barre has recently decided to update some of their signs on their crossings after multiple reports and close-calls of railroad crashes in their areas. Their response to the issue should serve as a warning to other Pennsylvania drivers about the precautions a driver needs to take at any railroad crossing.

Can having your own dash camera help in an accident?

You have probably seen dash cameras for sale online and in stores around Pennsylvania. They are becoming quite popular among drivers who want to protect themselves when on the road. You may wonder, though, if these cameras and the footage they capture can really help you in an accident. The short answer is yes, they can help in an accident, according to USA Today.

The main benefit is they provide you with evidence. If you capture an accident and the video is clear, you could provide that as proof of who was at fault. It could save you a lot of time and money. These cameras also can be handy if your vehicle is vandalized or if it is damaged in a hit and run type situation. You may help law enforcement to find the person responsible.

Advice for homeowners unhappy with hired contractors

Owning a home includes tailoring it to match the landscape of your imagination. Transforming your kitchen, bathroom and any other much anticipated home project requires expertise from the construction industry. However, homeowners want to ensure they are getting what they paid for and agreed upon in the consultation and contract.

Unfortunately, you may see the project not turning out the way you thought or discussed. Perhaps your hired contractors are not making adjustments or listening to your requests. You are not alone when it comes to encountering difficulties with a construction crew and its leader.

Can a contractor take on a job that is too big?

As somebody who is a construction contractor in the state of Pennsylvania, you might be considering avenues to grow your enterprise. Contractors that are eager to establish a favorable reputation will look for big projects that, once completed, they can take to the public as proof that they are ready for large scale, high paying construction jobs. However, rushing into a project that is too big for your company could be a mistake.

Construction Business Owner explains that a contractor that agrees to a contract that is far larger and more complicated than jobs it has undertaken in the past is a likely recipe for failure. Among the problems associated with taking on a job that is too big for your company to handle include the following:

  • You do not have the resources to carry out the job or you end up diverting so many resources into the job that your other projects are deprived.
  • The bigger job eats up much of your budget and your other jobs do not provide enough cash flow to compensate.
  • You end up in a relationship with a bigger contractor and find the relationship hard to navigate.
  • You do not have experience with the type of project you signed up for and run into problems you are not equipped to handle.

How important is the debt-to-income ratio?

If you struggle with debt, you may wonder how it will affect your ability to buy a home in Pennsylvania. When it comes to how lenders decide if they will help you or not, it often comes down to one thing. This is your debt-to-income ratio. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a debt-to-income ratio is the result of dividing your monthly debt by your monthly income.

You use your gross income to figure the ratio. For example, if you earn $1000 after taxes each month and your debt is $100, then your debt-to-income ratio is 10 percent. This means you spend 10 percent of your monthly income on debt. You have 90 percent left over for other expenses, which looks good to a lender. If your debt is $600 a month, though, your debt-to-income ratio would be 60 percent, which is not as attractive to lenders.

How can I prepare my home for sale?

If you're thinking of selling your Carnegie home, presenting it in the best possible light is a must. Even an amazing home can be hard to sell if you don't take the right steps, which will allow you to attract a greater number of potential buyers. Forbes offers the following tips so that sellers will rest assured that their homes stand out.

Choose neutral colors when painting