Pittsburgh, PA: 7 Safe Driving Habits That Reduce Car Accident Injuries

You might think you are a reasonably safe and experienced driver, but there could be seemingly harmless things you do every time you drive that increase your risk of a car accident.

All of us get in a hurry, get distracted, or make poor judgment calls that put ourselves and others at risk on the road. Knowing how to avoid some common unsafe driving practices can make all the difference!

Below you’ll find 7 daily driving practices that you can make a habit to decrease your risk of serious car accident injuries in Pittsburgh.

Safe habit #1: Never drink and drive.

  • Now, this might seem obvious and you might think you have never been guilty of drunk driving. But did you know that even having one drink can impair your ability to drive safely? Drinking and driving doesn’t mean you are staggering to your car, dropping your keys, and almost passing out before getting behind the wheel. Drinking and driving can mean you feel totally fine and unaffected by the alcohol. Just a little alcohol can go a long way when it comes to hindering your ability to drive safely. According to experts at WebMD, no amount of alcohol is safe for driving. Not only does drinking and driving put the safety of yourself and others at great risk, but it also puts you at risk of very serious legal consequences. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you drink, ask a friend to drive or request an Uber!

Safe habit #2: Always wear a seatbelt.

  • Again, this might seem obvious. But how many times do you take off your seatbelt while driving to remove a sweater or reach for something in your car? Car accidents can come out of nowhere and you want to always be prepared! According to the CDC, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45% and reduce the risk of serious injury by 50%.

Safe habit #3: Assume someone will run a red light.

  • This is a little less intuitive. If you stop at a red light, shouldn’t other drivers? Unfortunately, over two people are killed every day on U.S. roads because impatient and reckless drivers run red lights, says AAA. Drive defensively by anticipating someone breaking the law by running a red light. After your light turns green, look in every direction before proceeding through an intersection.

 Safe habit #4: Never take both hands off the wheel while driving. 

  • How many times have you taken both hands off the wheel to eat, put sugar in your coffee, apply makeup, or even dance along to a song? Maintaining control of your vehicle is essential to avoiding accidents.

Safe habit #5: Always be scanning 12 seconds ahead. 

  • Concentrating your attention on the area you’ll be covering within the next 12 seconds helps give you time to swerve, stop, or slow down as necessary to avoid an accident.

Safe habit #6: Never tailgate! 

  • Do you tailgate because you’re in a hurry or because the driver in front of you is driving too slow for your preferences? Always leave a 3-second space between you and the car in front of you. You can follow the 3-second rule by picking a landmark such as a sign or tree. After the car in front of you has passed the landmark, count how many seconds it takes for you to pass the same marker. If it’s less than 3 seconds, you need to slow down and allow more space. And if you have a bad habit of tailgating because you’re impatient, then start a new habit of leaving a few minutes early so you won’t be worried about making up time.

Safe habit #7: Be patient and pay attention when pulling into traffic.

  • There’s no such thing as rush hour when it comes to safely merging into traffic! Always take your time, even if the car behind you is getting impatient or honking at you. Wait until you are confident that it’s safe to merge or turn into traffic. Remember the rule of “stop, look, and listen” before entering traffic. Pay attention to the blind spots of other vehicles – especially large trucks, and always look twice!

It’s up to all of us to make our roads safer. But accidents still happen. If you were injured because of another driver’s negligence or reckless driving behavior in Pittsburgh, you’re protected under personal injury law. The personal injury attorneys at Scanlon & Wojton, LLC can help you prove the other driver’s fault and support you along every step of the way in your case. Claim the compensation you’re entitled to after your car accident injuries! Contact Scanlon & Wojton, LLC: Attorneys at Law by calling (412) 918-1241 or messaging us online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Pittsburgh, PA: How Truck Companies Cause Accidents By Breaking the Law

If you were injured in a car accident that involved a large truck, you are likely suffering overwhelming damages. To make matters worse, trucks are often owned or managed by large companies that have powerful legal resources in place to prevent them from being held responsible for an accident.

But if you were injured by a truck, you don’t need to be intimidated out of seeking justice. Truck companies often cause accidents because of illegal, negligent practices. Scanlon & Wojton, LLC are attorneys at law who have extensive experience in personal injury cases involving trucks. We can analyze your case, discover ways that the other party was at fault, and help you successfully claim the compensation you deserve.

In a personal injury case, whichever party was proved negligent will be held at fault. Sometimes fault is shared, and if the person filing a lawsuit is partially at fault, their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of their fault. However, sometimes the innocent party is unfairly accused of fault. If you were injured because of the negligence of a truck company or truck driver in Pittsburgh, we’re here to make sure you don’t get wrongly blamed or cheated out of compensation.

When you work with a personal injury attorney on your case, you’ll have the benefit of a legal professional digging into the details of your case to find evidence in your favor. The attorneys at Scanlon & Wojton have access to information from truck companies that could work in your favor. If you’re accused of fault, you can work with an attorney to present the other party’s negligence as a defense.

Possible Ways to Prove a Truck Company’s Negligence

  • If the truck company violated “hours of service” laws. For the very purpose of preventing accidents, federal laws prohibit truck drivers from working beyond a certain number of hours each day. This is common sense. If you drive too much without sleep or rest, you will drive unsafely. Drowsy driving is a contributing factor in many accidents. Unfortunately, truck drivers do often drive more than federal law permits within a period of time. They might do this to make up for lost time if they are behind schedule. They might be pressured by the truck company to fill a certain quota or meet certain requirements that violate safety procedures. A personal injury attorney can review the truck driver’s time logs to see if you were injured because of drowsy driving. 
  • If the truck company violated driver health requirements. Again, as common sense would suggest, federal laws require truck drivers to meet certain health requirements. Certain health conditions might cause unsafe driving or require drivers to take medication that interferes with driving abilities. Truck companies are required to make sure their drivers are healthy enough to drive safely. Unfortunately, these health tests are not always administered frequently enough. And sometimes, companies might negligently overlook a driver’s dangerous health condition. An attorney can look into the truck company’s standards and methods for monitoring the health of their drivers. 
  • If the truck company failed to prevent drivers from driving while intoxicated. Truck companies have a responsibility to ensure that their drivers aren’t driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication that could prevent safe driving. If a truck company fails to test their drivers frequently or fails to promote a responsible company culture, they could be at fault for your injuries! 
  • If the truck company violated maintenance laws. Commercial trucks are required to meet certain federal maintenance standards to ensure that they’re not a hazard on the road. However, sometimes truck companies are negligent in holding their vehicles to these standards. Trucking companies often care more about their bottom line than the safety of other people on the road. An attorney can discover if proper maintenance procedures were done. 
  • If the truck company violated weight limits. Just like the federal maintenance laws, commercial trucks cannot legally operate if they exceed federal weight limits. A truck that exceeds safe weight limits can become harder to control and more prone to accidents. However, many trucking companies will try to get around the law in order to transfer more goods at once and save money. An attorney can confirm if the truck that injured you exceeded the federal weight limit. 

Were You the Victim of Negligence?

Were you injured because of a negligent truck company or truck driver? You deserve to hold the at-fault party responsible for what they’ve done. The attorneys at Scanlon & Wojton are here to make that justice accessible! We promise dedication to every aspect of your case. Let’s discover what your case is worth and how to move forward. Our Pittsburgh office can be reached at (412) 918-1241 or online

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Top Causes of Amusement Park Accidents

Content warning: this post and the embedded links contain descriptions of graphic deaths and injuries at amusement parks. 

Amusement parks have started to reopen across the U.S. with special precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While this year is going to look different in terms of summer vacations, families still have the option to visit parks such as DisneyWorld and Cedar Point while maintaining health protocols such as limited capacity, enforced use of masks, and occasionally, health screenings.

Amusement park reopenings are no doubt a relief for many families hoping to make some good memories after long periods of quarantining and business closures. However, while following procedures to stay safe from COVID-19, amusement park goers should also be aware of how to prevent serious injuries and what to do if injuries happen.

CNN Health reports that there were an estimated 30,000 injuries resulting from amusement parks in 2016.

Amusement Park Horror Stories

Horrifying amusement park accidents have happened all over the world – from Disneyland in California to DreamWorld in Australia to Lightwater Valley Theme Park in England. Hitting close to home was a 2016 accident at the Idlewild & Soak Zone Amusement Park here in Pittsburgh. In this tragic accident, a 3-year old boy was ejected from the “Rollo Coaster” and suffered serious injuries. PennLive reported that factors contributing to the accident included unsecured riders, no secondary restraints, modifications to the original equipment, height of riders, and maintenance and structural conditions.

Most Common Amusement Park Injuries

According to Nolo, common injuries resulting from amusement park accidents include:

  • Head, neck, and back injuries stemming from the impact of bumper car rides or from being whipped around on spinning rides and roller coasters.
  • Stroke from trauma to ligaments in the neck.
  • Traumatic brain injury from G-forces and other stresses experienced by the brain during extremely rapid speeds or from detached objects hitting the rider’s head.
  • Brain aneurysms from roller coasters or other fast rides.
  • Lacerations, broken bones, and torn ligaments from various causes.
  • Drowning from water slides, “lazy river” rides, and other water rides.
  • Death due to falling or being thrown from a ride

Top Causes of Amusement Park Accidents 

The CPSC reports the top contributing factors to amusement park injuries and fatalities. Injuries most frequently occur due to:

  • Mechanical failures. Mechanical failures can result from a manufacturing defect or negligence in the park’s maintenance. Mechanical failures can lead to lap bars detaching mid-ride, a roller coaster car detaching, or structural component breaks.
  • Improper operation of the ride. Ride operators can lead to accidents by stopping the ride at the wrong times or incorrectly latching seatbelts or lap bars.
  • Passenger negligence. By misusing rides or failing to follow instructions, passengers can cause accidents that injure or kill themselves and others. Intentionally rocking a car, standing up mid-ride, unlatching safety restraints, sitting improperly, or holding a child above the safety restraint can result in serious accidents.
  • Inherent nature of the ride. Even without mechanical defects, negligence, operation error, or misuse, amusement park rides sometimes cause injuries just due to the intended elements of the ride. Passengers can end up with cerebral and retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, loss of consciousness, headaches, and dizziness. Passengers should always read the ride warnings and avoid rides that might aggravate a pre-existing condition.
  • “Freak Accidents.” Sometimes investigators can’t find any negligence, errors, or inherent problems to a ride that was the scene of an accident.

Tips for Amusement Park Safety 

Usually, simply following the rules and common sense can keep everyone safe. CNN Health shares some important guidelines for staying safe at amusement parks and fairs:

  • Always follow all posted height, age, weight, and health restrictions.
  • Always adhere to any special seating orders and/or loading instructions.
  • Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
  • Ensure that children keep hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
  • If you don’t think your child will be able to follow the rules, keep him/her off the ride.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel concerned, don’t ride!
  • Avoid “mall rides” if they are over a hard, unpadded surface or if they don’t have a child restraint (such as a safety bar or seatbelt).

What Are Your Rights If You’re Injured at an Amusement Park? 

If you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. You can claim compensation for your injuries – including medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of abilities, lost income, and much more! But even if you know you are innocent, proving fault and gathering strong evidence can be challenging. Scanlon & Wojton, LLC is a legal team highly experienced in dealing with amusement park accident victims. Contact our Pittsburgh office at (412) 918-1241 or online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Were You Injured Because Of A Defective Product in Pittsburgh?

We’ve all read news stories about defective products causing serious injuries and huge lawsuits. A few years ago, GM made headlines when it’s faulty ignition switches caused car accidents and deaths.

In 2002, tobacco product manufacturers had to pay $28 million to a woman who claimed that she developed lung cancer because the company didn’t warn her of the health risks associated with smoking, reports Investopedia.

Another famous product liability case happened when a woman was severely burned by coffee from McDonald’s. She claimed that the coffee was being served at a hazardous temperature.

Pharmaceutical companies are constantly involved in lawsuits regarding health issues that their products cause.

Unfortunately, something like this could happen to you!

If you were injured because of a defective product in Pittsburgh, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for your damages.

Keep reading for your guide to product liability in Pittsburgh, PA, and what to do if you’re injured because of a faulty product.

What Kind of Defects Can You Sue For? 

Whether you were injured because of medication side effects, or a problem with your vehicle, or spoiled food product, it’s important to understand what kind of defects you are suing for.

  • Manufacturing defects: This applies if you were injured because of an error in the assembly of the product. If the part of the product that harmed you was not intended to be part of the product, then you were harmed by a manufacturing defect. Usually, these kinds of defects only occur in a small amount of the manufactured products. Even if the manufacturer claims to have taken care throughout the manufacturing process, they are still responsible for any flaws in manufacturing, under the law of strict liability. According to the Legal Information Institute, “strict liability exists when a defendant is liable for committing an action, regardless of what his/her intent or mental state was when committing the action.” To successfully sue for a manufacturing defect, you need to be able to prove that the defect which caused your injury was present when the product departed the production factory.
  • Design defects: In these cases, the defect that caused your injury was part of the original design blueprint of the product in question. In contrast to a manufacturing defect, this aspect of the product was intentional. Also different from a manufacturing defect, a design defect will most likely be present in all of the manufactured products of the same make and model.
  • Failure to warn: If the manufacturer failed to warn you of a foreseeable risk of using the product, you can claim that failure to warn resulted in your injuries.
  • Inadequate warning labels: This refers to the clarity and accessibility of a product’s warning label. If you didn’t see, understand, or have access to the warning label, you might be able to sue for inadequate warning labels.

What is “Strict Liability?” 

If you’re pursuing a lawsuit regarding injuries from a defective product, it’s most likely that your situation will operate under the “strict liability” law. LegalZoom explains that under strict liability, if a product is defective or causes injury, the manufacturer or seller of the product will be liable.

What Evidence Do You Need in a Strict Liability Case? 

  • You must be able to show proof that you were injured
  • You must prove that the actions of the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of the product caused the injury (and not a previous accident).
  • You must prove that the defendant (the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer) had control over the product and/or acted in a hazardous way.

Who Can You Sue?

You might have grounds to sue the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer. Depending on the details of your case, you might be able to sue one or more of these parties. An attorney will help you understand who was really at fault and how to argue your case. For example, if you become sick with severe food poisoning after eating spoiled food, this might be the fault of the retailer storing the product improperly rather than a manufacturing defect.

What Can You Claim in Your Lawsuit? 

In most lawsuits, you’ll have the option to claim the following:

  • General damages (sometimes called non-economic damages) such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible losses.
  • Special damages (sometimes called economic damages) such as hospital bills and loss of income.
  • In some cases, you’ll be able to also claim punitive damages, which act as an additional “punishment” on the at-fault party.

What’s Next? 

Injured in Pittsburgh because of a defective product? It’s time to get justice by claiming your compensation! Scanlon & Wojton, LLC can help you discover your options! Call (412) 918-1241 or message us online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Injured in Pittsburgh? Understanding Maximum Medical Improvement Is Critical!

Whether you’ve been injured in a car accidenttruck accident, or other kind of personal injury accident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you’re going to want to claim compensation for your injuries. After all, being injured because of someone else’s negligence is a huge injustice. It’s only fair that you ask for some elements of justice to be restored through a personal injury lawsuit.

And it’s not just a matter of fairness. You need the money to cover all these unexpected expenses you’re being hit with.

But it’s imperative that you slow down and consider the full scope of your situation. Otherwise, you could make a serious mistake that many personal injury accident victims make: walking away with a settlement that is way too low.

This article will explore how this mistake happens and one major tip for avoiding it.

How Do Unfair Settlements Happen? 

There are a lot of ways that accident victims could end up accepting an unfair settlement. Some reasons include: not having competent legal representation, not gathering appropriate evidence, and giving up the fight too soon.

Many accident victims are (understandably) anxious to get compensation quickly so that they can start paying for the medical bills that are waiting in stress-inducing stacks. The problem is, insurance companies count on this and use it to their advantage. In order to protect their bottom lines, insurance companies will often try to convince vulnerable accident victims into accepting a settlement that is unjustly low.

All of these are common mistakes in personal injury claims, but one of the biggest mistakes that victims make is failing to wait until Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

You can avoid falling for an unfair settlement by understanding more about MMI and working with a personal injury attorney to understand the full scope of your case.

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement? 

HG Legal Resources defines Maximum Medical Improvement as “the point at which a patient is likely to have made as much of a recovery as possible from their injuries, with any ongoing issues classified as either a permanent disability or impairment.”

When you reach MMI, doctors can tell you what your medical future will look like. MMI can help doctors evaluate what treatments and other requirements you will need in the future, and what those treatments and requirements will cost in Pittsburgh. Without waiting for MMI, you won’t know how much money you are entitled to claim for your damages.

MMI doesn’t just affect medical expenses such as surgeries, physical therapy, or medications. These kinds of medical expenses are called “economic damages” – and refer to damages that have an objective dollar amount connected to them. Something like a car replacement would also be a claimable economic damage. But personal injury claims can also cover non-economic damages. These are damages that do not have a predetermined value, but rather are given a value based on what your attorney argues and what a judge accepts. Non-economic damages can include accident repercussions such as PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and more – all of which can be better understood by waiting for MMI.

After having your life turned upside down by a serious accident, you probably know that you deserve a high insurance settlement or compensation award. But Pennsylvania personal injury law can sometimes make it hard to claim justice without certain types of evidence. Waiting for MMI can give you the evidence you need – in the form of statements from medical professionals, hospital bills, and more.

How To Get Started On A Successful Case  

While waiting for MMI can help significantly, there’s much more than goes into building a winning case. Your personal injury attorney will need to analyze every potential economic and non-economic damage that you might be able to claim. Your attorney will need to gather evidence that will tell your side of the story in a believable way. And your attorney will need to establish that the other party was indeed negligent. This can sometimes be the hardest part, especially if the other party wants to shift the blame to you. But don’t risk getting blamed for injuries that you’ve suffered because of someone else. Get the legal support that helps you move forward with confidence.

You’ve suffered enough injustice, now it’s time to make things right. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, you can rest assured that the legal team at Scanlon & Wajton is here to help! With 45 years of combined experience and a commitment to the peace of mind of our clients, we’re your solution for caring legal assistance in Pittsburgh.

Call (412) 918-1241 today for a free consultation! Or set up an appointment or make an injury by messaging us online.

Truck Accident in Pittsburgh? Your Next Steps Explained

Were you injured in a truck accident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Weighing in at up to 40 tons, semi-trucks can create considerable damage. Sometimes truck accidents are caused by driver negligence, other times it’s the fault of the trucking company for violating laws or regulations.

Either way, it’s your legal right to claim compensation for your damages. However, a personal injury claim involving a commercial truck is different than a claim against another private driver. As a law firm that specializes in truck accidents, we’re here to competently guide you to the compensation you’re entitled to.

Being involved in a serious accident is overwhelming, but here are some important tips to help you focus:

  1. Don’t discount the possibility of certain injuries just because you don’t notice the symptoms. Many serious injuries such as internal bleeding, head trauma, spinal damage and more are not always apparent right away. Always get thorough medical examinations and let your doctor know immediately about any pain.
  2. Contact a personal injury attorney. Navigating truck accident law is confusing without experienced legal assistance. To matters more complex, the at-fault party will often try to get you to accept less compensation than you deserve. Without an attorney’s advice, it can be difficult to even know what your claim is worth. In a personal injury claim, you often have the option to collect both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are relatively straightforward – they include the money for medical expenses and property damage. But non-economic damages – such as emotional trauma and “pain and suffering” are significantly harder to calculate. A personal injury attorney can make sure you aren’t negatively impacted by this nuanced and highly subjected area of the law.
  3. Don’t accept insurance settlements until talking to a personal injury attorney. If you’re injured by a commercial truck, the truck company will often try to get out of paying your full damages by offering you a quick and “convenient” settlement. But patience is key because these first settlement offers are often far lower than what the law entitles you to.
  4. Talk to your attorney about waiting until Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) to make a claim. MMI refers to the point in your recovery when doctors know what your medical future will look like and what costs will be associated with your future medical care as a result of the accident. If possible, waiting until you reach MMI can present a much clearer picture of the medical compensation you can claim.

If you’re been injured in a truck accident, you might feel lucky to be alive. But getting a second chance at life doesn’t mean you should be stuck with overwhelming medical bills and other costs. Getting justice starts with holding the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. But don’t fight alone! Scanlon & Wajton are here to put their 45 years of combined legal experience to work for you. Contact our Pittsburgh office at (412) 918-1241 or online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Claiming Lost Income After A Personal Injury Accident

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, you’re likely feeling the stress of physical injuries, emotional trauma, medical expenses, and even lost income because you can’t go to work. But did you know that lost wages are one of the many types of compensation you can claim as a victim of a personal injury accident? Keep reading to understand how!

Claiming Past and Future Lost Earnings 

There are two types of lost wages you can claim in your personal injury case:

  1. Past Lost Income – income lost because of your injuries up until the point of your case being finalized
  2. Future Lost Earnings – income that you may lose in the future as a result of your injuries.

According to HG.org, past lost income is relatively easy to prove. You will typically need your employer to confirm your absences from work due to the accident and the earnings that you would have received if you had been able to come to work.

HG.org goes on to say that future lost earnings are the most complicated to claim because your future ability to earn wages is usually quite ambiguous. Most personal injury accident victims will experience some form of recovery over time and will be able to return to work either full-time or part-time. But in many cases, victims experience a “loss of earning capacity.” Because this aspect of the law is very nuanced, assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential.

Reasons You Might Not Be Able to Earn Income After An Accident

Many possible scenarios could entitle you to a compensation claim for lost wages.

  • You might not be able to work at all (or in the same capacity) for a time during your recovery. While you might eventually be able to return to your previous job, you can still claim the wages lost during your recovery time.
  • Your physical injuries might not prevent you from going to work, but your emotional injuries do. It’s quite common for accidents to leave victims with psychological damage or PTSD. Emotional damage can prevent you from performing your normal work tasks, which is also ground for claiming lost wages.
  • Your injuries might impact your future so that you can’t go back to your previous job, but you can perform some kind of work. You might be able to claim lost wages if the only work you can perform after the accident doesn’t pay as much as your previous job.

Have you been in an accident that has caused or will cause you to lose income in Pittsburgh, PA? Let’s get the justice you’re legally entitled to. At Scanlon & Wajton, we can help you calculate your lost income and successfully claim what’s yours! Get started by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer today!

Contact our Pittsburgh office at (412) 918-1241 or online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241