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State College Legal Blog

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.

Fatal crash closes westbound Pennsylvania Turnpike

An accident last weekend on the Pennsylvania Turnpike left one person dead and multiple vehicles damaged. The accident occurred sometime in the early morning hours, as the westbound portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed starting around 4 a.m. That portion of the turnpike was reopened before 11 a.m. No other details were presented in the source article for this post.

In the absence of any material to go off of, all we can do is speculate about the cause of this accident and the details surrounding it.

Drug crimes can change an accused person's life

Drug crimes are very serious charges, but the term "drug crimes" is also a vague term that doesn't fully describe what types of charges a drug offender could be facing. For the most part, there are only a handful of categories that will compose the term "drug crimes." Drug paraphernalia, drug possession, drug trafficking or distribution, and drug manufacturing.

Drug paraphernalia has to do with the equipment and tools used to prepare and consume drugs. So, as examples, syringes and pipes and bongs would qualify as drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia charges aren't as severe as some other charges, and there can also be mitigating circumstances with these charges.

How mediation and collaboration can help divorcing couples

As far as movie stereotypes go for divorce, the common trope is that both spouses are angry and upset to the point of farce. They can't agree on anything, and they vent their frustrations in court, embarrassing themselves and their family. Of course, this isn't typical of many divorces all across the country, but there are cases where the splitting spouses simply can't find common ground on certain issues, or there is too much emotional strife involved in the marriage to foster good-faith negotiations.

In these cases, there are some alternative approaches to divorce that can help the spouses settle their differences. One approach is collaborative divorce, which in Pennsylvania means that both spouses retain their attorneys and so about solving the issues pertinent to their divorce - but it doesn't play out in a courtroom. Instead, you get to come up with the solutions for yourselves, which frees you from the constraints of a judge's ruling, which may not work for you, or your spouse, or both.

Truck accidents are a major problem on US roads

Imagine driving down the road and seeing a large tractor trailer a few hundred feet in front of you. As you approach the truck, everything seems normal. You start to pass it on the left, and you think nothing of it. And then, all of a sudden, that truck starts merging into your lane without showing a glimmer of understanding that you are right there. An accident ensues, and you suffer terrible injuries as a result of the crash - and yet that makes you one of the lucky ones.

Truck accidents kill hundreds of people every year. Many more suffer severe injuries as a result of truck accidents. There are ways for you to drive safely around trucks. If you keep your distance and avoid their blind spots, then you greatly increase the chances of you passing a truck without any incident.

14 students injured in bus crash, at-fault driver flees

Lancaster, Pennsylvania is the location of our story today, where a school bus was struck by another vehicle that itself was clipped by a car. A sedan was trying to pass some tractor-trailers that had escort vehicles. The sedan clipped one of the escort vehicles, and that escort swung into oncoming traffic as a result. The escort vehicle collided with the school bus, which rolled over.

14 students were injured in the crash, two of which suffered injuries that were serious enough to require transport to a trauma center. The bus driver and another person were also hospitalized, but all the injured people other than the two trauma center patients were later released.

Serious financial penalties follow a DUI

There are two major consequences to a drunk driving charge: there are the legal consequences and the financial consequences. We covered the legal consequences in our last post, and they include things such as jail time, the loss of your license, the impounding of your vehicle and numerous other penalties. These are substantial forms of punishment that could change your life.

But the financial penalties are also life-changing, and they may even affect you for a longer amount of time. For example, tied in to your jail time are fees and costs. Getting your vehicle out of impound will cost you. You will also have to pay hundreds of dollars to reinstate your license and deal with court dates and other administrative events.

What kind of penalties do I face if I get a DUI in PA?

Getting a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction in Pennsylvania can come with serious penalties. It is important to note that the penalties that come with these kinds of charges are generally governed by state law. As such, the penalties that follow are specific to Pennsylvania.

Do more accidents occur during finals week?

Researchers in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University are studying ways to make driving safer using new technologies. Dr. Thomas Ferris, an assistant professor, says "Humans are not very good at problem-solving when the vehicle does something they aren't expecting, especially when under high stress, high workloads or while multi-tasking." With finals week approaching, you might want to consider how it can affect the driving habits of those around you on the road.