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State College Legal Blog

Helmet camera helps catch reckless driver

We've talked about motorcycle accidents on this blog before. They are a huge problem because the motorcyclists are often left with serious or fatal injuries. Motorcycles simply have very few safety features, and there aren't many protective options that motorcyclists have other than a helmet, gloves, and some padded clothing.

But there is one piece of equipment that motorcyclists can, and should, use to at least give them a new tool to use when they are out on the road: helmet cameras.

A truck's cargo: how it can be a critical factor in accidents

A few months ago, we wrote a post about truck accidents and how these incredibly serious wrecks can cause fatal injuries to innocent people. They are a real problem, and until self-driving technology truly takes over and eliminates a vast swath of common accident causes, truck accidents will always be an issue.

We would like to examine one particular factor with truck accidents today: the cargo. Any materials or objects that a truck is carrying could be a central reason as to why a truck accident occurred in the first place. So how could this be? 

How do we curb the rise of car accident fatalities?

It goes without saying that car accidents are dangerous. But what doesn't go without saying, at least until you hear a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is that the car accident rate is getting worse. Most people would just naturally assume with the improvements to car safety systems and the soon-to-be-realized dream of self-driving cars out on the road that the car accident rate is improving.

Unfortunately, the NHTSA's data on the 2015 year doesn't paint a pretty picture. In fact, it shows us that we should all have some very real concerns about where road safety is heading right now.

Driver suffers medical emergency, crash injures 5

An accident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania saw a car plow into a restaurant, leaving five people with injuries. Four people in the vehicle suffered injuries, as did on pedestrian that was tangled up in the wreck. None of their injuries were deemed life threatening. It appears that the driver of the vehicle, a 36-year-old man, suffered a medical emergency of some kind causing him to love control of his vehicle. Little else is known at this point about the crash.

What we would like to talk about from this crash is the true "accidental" nature of this particular wreck. Car accidents are called "accidents" for a reason, but it has become so commonplace to call a collision between motor vehicles an "accident" that the accidental nature gets lost. Many "accidents" are actually caused by negligent drivers who made intentional decisions.

Continuing the prenuptial agreement discussion, Pt. 2

In the last month, we have focused on prenuptial agreements and how they can impact a divorce. We want to finish that discussion today with a look at the provisions that can lead to a legal challenge against a prenuptial agreement leading to the contract being invalidated. This is a very important topic because many people may be under the impression that a prenuptial agreement can never be invalidated, or that the contract it is nearly impenetrable from a legal standpoint.
To the contrary, prenups can be challenged and they can be partially or wholly invalidated because of the provisions they contain. So what information or circumstances can lead to a successful challenge of a prenup? Consider the following:

Continuing the prenuptial agreement discussion

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a post about prenuptial agreements and the term "premarital planning." In that post, we dispelled some of the myths about prenuptial agreements and how the preconceptions some people have about these contracts can actually prevent a couple from securing a vital legal component of their marriage.

Today, we want to continue that conversation by looking at some of the things that you can -- and can't -- include in a prenuptial agreement. As with any legal contract, you need to make sure that all of the information contained within the prenup is correct and that the provisions are compliant with the law. But let's get more specific:

Using nonprescribed drugs can have serious consequences

College is stressful. You are likely juggling multiple classes, papers to write and tests to take. Managing all these responsibilities can be a lot to handle, and many students have found that indulging in prescription-only stimulant medications may help maintain their focus and performance. According to CNN, in fact, the use of so-called “study drugs” is continually on the rise.

There are several things students and parents should know, however, about the dangers of such habits. You may mistakenly think the use of commonly available medication is harmless, but there are several reasons why this is not the case. Learn why college students are much better off finding other ways to improve their scholastic performance.

On prenups and premarital planning

The phrase "prenuptial agreement" brings up immediate negative connotations in the minds of many people out there. The prenup definitely has a reputation, but sometimes reputations aren't fully deserved. In the case of the prenup, while it was branded as an "anti-love" contract that portended divorce more than it protected marriage, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Instead of calling it a prenup, think of the contract as "premarital planning." That sounds much better, doesn't it? And it is also true. A prenup bring two soon-to-be-spouses together and allows them to have difficult, but important, conversations about their life, their assets, and the way they see their marriage moving forward. Without considering a prenup, some of these discussions may not go as deep as they should -- or they may not be had at all.

Car accidents can have life-long impact on victims

Until the unrealized dawn of self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles becomes a reality, there will be negligent drivers and irresponsible people behind the wheel of motor vehicles. Even when self-driving cars become the norm, there will be technical problems and emergencies that could lead to a car accident. There is no version of the future where car accidents are completely eliminated. Mistakes will happen. So the most important thing we can do, as a society, is be prepared for these mistakes and take action when necessary.

Car accidents can deal terrible injuries to the people involved. Head, neck and spinal injuries could ruin a person. A brain injury could forever change their life. Broken bones and permanent scars could also drastically affect a person's future or career. These aren't hypothetical situations -- there are countless examples of people suffering like this due to car accidents.

Nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015

Motorcycle accidents are incredibly punishing to the motorcyclist. The likelihood that major injuries are suffered in an accident are high. And you don't have to take our word for it -- just look at the data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2015 year.

According to a report from the NHTSA, 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015. That number is much higher than in 2014, when 4,594 people died in motorcycle accidents. Additionally, a motorcyclist was 29 times more likely to die in an accident than occupants in a car, per mile traveled, and they were also five times more likely to be injured. Motorcyclists also accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015.