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Why do I need a personal injury attorney?

To maximize the value of your case

  • With over 50 years of combined experience handling personal injury claims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the attorneys at DiSandro & Malloy have handled countless cases with varying factual circumstances and injuries. This experience gives us the ability to value each individual case to ensure that our clients receive the best result possible.
  • For example, our attorneys recently secured a $150,000 arbitration award for a rear end collision resulting in the aggravation of a degenerative condition of the cervical spine.  That result was the product of a host of factors, including choosing the right forum, client preparation, witness selection, the manner in which the case was presented, and simply knowing recent results involving similar injuries and circumstances.

To safeguard against giving damaging statements

  • It is our policy to advise our clients to refrain from giving recorded statements to insurance companies unless in the presence of one of our attorneys.  We do this because even a seemingly inconsequential statement regarding the happening of an accident or the injuries sustained can have a very Continue reading

Pennsylvania Bike Accident Lawyers and Philly’s Bike Share Program

As a follow up to a previous post, Philly.com has reported that the launch of Philadelphia’s bike share program has been postponed until the Spring of 2015.  Our initial blog post on the program can be found here.   Although we will have to wait another year for Philadelphia’s bike share program to debut, local riders have already begun to take advantage of the nice weather here in the Delaware Valley.

Thus, it may be a good time to review some of Pennsylvania’s bicycle laws:

  • A person shall not ride a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk in a business district unless permitted by official traffic-control devices, nor when a usable pedalcycle-only lane has been provided adjacent to the sidewalk.  Chapter 35, Section 3508 (b).
  • A pedalcycle may be operated on the shoulder of a highway and shall be operated in the same direction as required of vehicles operated on the roadway.  Chapter 35, Section 3505 (b).
  • No person shall ride a pedalcycle on a freeway.  Chapter 35, Section 3511 (a).
  • Any person operating a pedalcycle upon a roadway which carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.  Chapter 35, Section 3505 (d).
  • A person under 12 years of age shall not operate a pedalcycle or ride as a passenger on a pedalcycle unless the person is wearing a pedalcycle helmet meeting the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standards for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling or any Continue reading

Testimonials

  • I have come to know you and your staff very well.  The personnel attention you have provided me was the strength that kept me going.  Giving round the clock contact numbers made me feel secure that I had someone on my side.  I want to thank you for your professional excellence and to extend it to Kevin Malloy as well. Thank you so much, from my family to yours. -TR

 

  • Doug and Kevin were with us every step of the process. Their counsel and support resulted in a positive outcome to a difficult situation. – Bob

 

  • Just thought we’d drop you a note to thank you for all of your efforts on our behalf.  We were all stunned at the financial result you  Continue reading

Shoveling your Sidewalk and Slip and Falls on Ice and Snow

As the Philadelphia region braces itself for yet another major snow event, we thought it would be helpful to review some of the local rules regarding snow removal and potential liability associated with failing to remove snow and ice from a sidewalk.  A good starting point for those who reside in the city is Philadelphia Code 10-72, which requires the owner, agent, and tenants of any building or premises to clear a path “not less than 36 inches in width” within 6 hours after snow has ceased falling.  The Code provides for “a minimum fine of fifty dollars ($50) to no more than three hundred dollars ($300) for each violation.”  Each township/municipality in the Delaware Valley has different requirements.  For example, Local Ordinance #656 for Upper Dublin Township in Montgomery County requires residents to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks within 24 hours after a winter storm has ceased.

The next issue to address here is whether liability can be premised on the failure to clear snow and/or ice from a sidewalk.  Pennsylvania courts apply what is known as the “hills and ridges doctrine” after a recent, general accumulation of snow and/or ice.  Specially, the hills and ridges doctrine provides that a plaintiff must show:

1)         the snow and ice on the sidewalk had accumulated in ridges or elevations of such size that they unreasonably obstructed travel;

2)         the property owner had actual or constructive notice of the condition; and Continue reading

Facebook and Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claims

With over one billion users, Facebook has become an integral part of many people’s lives.  From posting pictures of their most recent dinner concoction to informing the world of what time they plan on attending the gym tonight, a good segment of our society enjoys posting the daily happenings of their lives on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Although Facebook postings are usually benign, they can significantly impact your personal injury case.   When it comes to personal injury claims in Pennsylvania, a single posting has the potential of threatening the success of an injury victim’s case.

Recent Pennsylvania cases have given us some insight into how Facebook postings, even though intended to remain private, can become discoverable during the course of a case.  In Trail v. Lesko (2012 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 194), a 2012 case out of Allegheny County, a common pleas court stated that “the party seeking the discovery needs to show only that the discovery is reasonably likely to furnish relevant evidence, not available elsewhere, that will have an impact on the outcome of the case.” 

A good example of this rule in practice is a 2010 case out of Jefferson County, McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway, Inc. (2010 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 270).  There, the court examined whether the plaintiff was required to produce his Facebook password to the defendant.  Important to the court’s ultimate Continue reading

Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers

According to the CDC, approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year.  Of those bitten, approximately half require medical attention.  One of the most common injuries seen by our firm is permanent facial scarring, which can be a very traumatic injury for anyone.

Continue reading

Philadelphia Cab Accident Lawyers – Dealing with Minimum Coverage

Our firm handles a substantial number of cases wherein the client has been injured through the negligence of a Philadelphia cab driver.  Unfortunately, it is our experience that Philadelphia cabs often carry minimum insurance coverage, meaning their liability limits are low.  In Pennsylvania, the minimum amount of liability coverage one can carry is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per automobile accident.  The result is that injured individuals who do not carry their own quality automobile insurance often do not receive the compensation to which they are entitled.

On a related note, The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that about one-quarter of Philadelphia cabs are insured with a company that is currently undergoing liquidation.  That story can be found here.

All of the above highlights the importance of carrying adequate underinsured and uninsured automobile insurance coverage, which can help compensate car accident victims for unpaid medical expenses and pain and suffering in the event that the tortfeasor (negligent party) does not carry sufficient coverage.  In Pennsylvania, your underinsured/uninsured coverage limits cannot exceed your liability limits.  Thus, our office recommends to our client that they carry at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in both liability and underinsured/uninsured coverage.  Relatively speaking, the cost of this coverage is minor.

A final related issue that our office often encounters deals with the law regarding Continue reading

Philadelphia’s Bike Share and Rules of the Road

The City of Philadelphia recently announced its plans to pursue a bike share program, which will provide city residents and visitors with access to bikes for short distance trips.  According to its website, http://www.phila.gov/bikeshare, the program will begin in the fall of 2014.  Specifically, the plan calls for “a system of 150 to 200 bike share stations and 1,000 to 2,000 bikes [that] will serve an area that stretches from the Delaware River into West Philadelphia, from the Navy Yard through Center City to North Philadelphia beyond Temple University’s main campus.”  The official press release can be found here.

The plan appears to be similar to New York City’s bike share program, which has been in operation since May of this year.  Bike share programs have been springing up in major cities throughout the United States, promoting healthy lifestyles and easing automobile traffic in congested city centers.

With about one year until the launch of our city’s bike share program, we thought it might be helpful to go over a few of Pennsylvania’s bicycle laws, which are contained in Title 75 of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statues, otherwise known as the Vehicle Code.  The first, and most important, rule to note is that bicyclists must obey the same rules of the road – and shall have the same rights – as those operating motor vehicles, with a few caveats.  Listed below are some of those special rules that should be kept in mind if at this time next year you Continue reading

Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act

In Pennsylvania, if you are injured while on the job you are most likely entitled to benefits under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act.  In part, the Act states: “Every employer shall be liable for compensation for personal injury to, or for the death of each employee, by an injury in the course of his employment, and such compensation shall be paid in all cases by the employer, without regard to negligence, according to the schedule contained in sections three hundred and six and three hundred and seven of this article.”

Benefits under the Act mainly consist of (1) lost wages and (2) payment of medical expenses.  Although workers’ compensation may appear clear-cut on its face, the reality is that navigating Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation statutes can be an overwhelming and confusing task.  For example, the employee must meet certain deadlines for reporting, fill out appropriate forms, and meet continuing reporting obligations.  In addition, there can often be disagreements as to whether the employee was in the course of employment at the time of injury or even whether the employee fits within the statutory definition of “employee.”

Here at DiSandro & Malloy, we can guide you through the process to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.

New Jersey Court: Don’t Text Drivers

In a decision that has garnered national attention, a New Jersey appellate court has held that civil liability may attach to a person who texts another he or she knows, or has special reason to know, is driving.  The case, Kubert v. Best, involved an 18-year-old driver who crossed the dividing line into opposing traffic while texting and driving, resulting in a collision that seriously injured the plaintiffs, a driver and passenger of a motorcycle.  Another named defendant was a seventeen-year-old friend of the driver who was not present at the scene of the accident.  The court noted that the two had texted 62 times on the day of the incident, including 3 texts that were exchanged while the eighteen-year-old was driving immediately preceding the accident.

The court framed the issue: “We must determine as a matter of civil common law whether one who is texting from a location remote from the driver of a motor vehicle can be liable to persons injured because the driver was distracted by the text.”  The court held  “that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.”  Ultimately, however, the court affirmed the Continue reading