January 2012 | Console & Hollawell Blog Archive

10 Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians

By Richard Console on January 31, 2012 - Comments off

Accidents involving pedestrians can be particularly traumatizing. When up against a motor vehicle a pedestrian is almost guaranteed to suffer serious injury or even death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2009 there were 4,092 pedestrians killed and another estimated 59,000 were injured in the United States. That equates to one pedestrian killed every two hours and one injured every nine minutes in traffic-related crashes. Pedestrian fatalities accounted for 12 percent of all traffic fatalities.

The following list was compiled using data from the NHTSA. It illustrates the 10 most dangerous states in the country for pedestrians based on the number of pedestrian fatalities along with the fatality rate based on state population.

10. Delaware

Pedestrians Killed: 15
Population: 885,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.69

9. New Jersey

Pedestrians Killed: 157
Population: 8,708,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.80

8. Arizona

Pedestrians Killed: 120
Population: 6,596,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.82

7. New Mexico

Pedestrians Killed: 39
Population: 2,010,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.94

6. South Carolina

Pedestrians Killed: 89
Population: 4,561,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.95

5. Mississippi

Pedestrians Killed: 58
Population: 2,952,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.96

4. Maryland

Pedestrians Killed: 113
Population: 5,699,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 1.98

3. District of Columbia

Pedestrians Killed: 14
Population: 600,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 2.33

2. Louisiana

Pedestrians Killed: 107
Population: 4,492,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 2.38

1. Florida

Pedestrians Killed: 466
Population: 18,538,000
Pedestrian Fatality Rate (per 100,000 Population): 2.51

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an auto accident attorney in Philadelphia. The lawyers at Console & Hollawell have more than 17 years’ experience defending the rights of accident victims, and we will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.


Cancer Survivor Suspended from School for Hair He’s Planning to Donate

By Richard Console on January 31, 2012 - Comments off

J.T. Gaskins was diagnosed with leukemia when he was only 2 months old. He went through five years of chemotherapy and countless tests and checkups since. Gaskins, now a senior in high school, decided that he wanted to give back and help another child who is battling cancer. So he decided to grow his hair out in order to donate it to Locks of Love, a charity that accepts hair donations to be made into wigs for cancer patients.

His school, the Madison Academy, has strict guidelines in regards to their students’ hair, particularly the boys. Their hand book states that boys’ hair must be neat, cannot be distracting colors, has to be off the collar, and can’t be over their ears or eyes. Gaskins has been growing his hair since last summer, he’s at about 2 1/2 inches on his way to the 10 inch requirement for donation, but the school has suspended him because his hair violates school code.

Gaskins’ mother, Christa Plante, launched an online petition for her son. The petition is calling for an amendment to the school regulations about hair, asking that they make an exception to the rule for students who want to donate their hair to a charity. They are not asking that this be implemented in a way that anyone can hide behind it, they want there to be a requirement that students wishing to donate must sign a promissory note and keep the hair maintained while they are growing it out.

The petition, found here, has already grown in the past day from 4,700 signers to more than 37,000. They are looking to get 50,000 signatures to present to the school. Yahoo News spoke with the teen and he doesn’t plan to stop because of his school.

“I fought cancer my entire life—I’m going to keep fighting this,” he said. “I’m not going to not give back just because my school says no.”

He went on to explain that he is not trying to cause trouble but he does feel the school should make this exception. “I’m fighting for them to make it an option for kids to grow out their hair for Locks of Love, to make it a part of the school and raise awareness for all cancer charities out there that can help patients.”

Our New Jersey personal injury law firm has signed the petition and we now ask that you do the same. Charity and giving back to others should not be punished but praised. We applaud Gaskins for sticking to what he feels is right and we hope that the school allows him to continue his plan to help those in need.

Photo credit: WND.

Posted in: Personal Injury


Three Injured in Auto Accident on Swamp Fox Road

By Staff on January 31, 2012 - Comments off

Two people, Larry A. Wiest and Wendy E. Woodbury, both 47, were injured in a Pennsylvania car accident which officials say was caused by another woman who made an unsafe left turn. According to a news report in The Record Herald, the injury collision occurred the evening of January 29, 2012. Officials say 21-year-old Hollie A. Schultz was driving her 2004 Dodge Stratus east on Swamp Fox Road when she tried to turn onto the northbound ramp of the Interstate 81. Blinded by another vehicle turning off the ramp, Schultz struck a 2000 Chrysler Voyager, which was carrying the two victims. Wiest and Woodbury were transported to an area hospital for treatment. Schultz was charged with a left turn violation.

My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this crash. I’m glad to hear that their injuries were not life-threatening. I wish them the very best for a quick and full recovery.

Read the rest »

Accident statistics

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s 2010 Crash Facts and Statistics, there were a total of 1,397 car accidents in Franklin County. Of those, 707 resulted in injuries and 16 were fatal.

Left Turn Violation

This news report says the driver was cited for making an unsafe left turn. Under Pennsylvania law, drivers who are about to make a left turn or a U-turn are required to yield the right-of-way to all oncoming vehicles and must make the turn only when it is safe to do so.

According to Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Chapter 33, Section 3322: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close as to constitute a hazard.”

Fault and Liability

If it is determined that Schultz caused this accident, she could be held responsible for any injuries and damages caused. In such cases, injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.

Posted in: Car Accidents


5 Most Dangerous Recalled Toys

By Richard Console on January 30, 2012 - Comments off

You hear it all the time; another popular toy is being recalled because of a health hazard posed to kids. There are many different reasons a toy can be recalled such as a choking hazard, fall hazard, lead paint, laceration risk, and more. Playtime should be free of hazard so that children can have fun and grow without the risk of injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission works diligently to make sure any products that are dangerous for the consumer are removed from shelves and that the situation is remedied.

While there are numerous toy recalls each year, these five recalls are not ones we will ever forget. The large scale of the recalls in addition to the injuries that resulted landed them on this list of the most dangerous toy recalls ever.

5. Easy Bake Oven


Recalled: February 6, 2007

Hazard: Entrapment and burn hazard.

Injuries: Second and third-degree burns, hands getting stuck in the machine, one girl underwent a partial finger amputation as a result.

By the time the recall was issued 29 children had gotten their hands or fingers caught in the oven and there were 5 reports of burns. This version of the classic toy was meant to look more like a real oven and loaded from the front.

4. Sky Dancers


Recalled: June 27, 2000 and October 24, 2002

Hazard: Injury Hazard

Injuries: Eye injuries, broken teeth, mild concussions, broken ribs, and facial lacerations.

The doll had the ability to fly, you would pull the draw string and the dolls rose into the air and spun around. There was no way of controlling the movement once in the air and as a result the dolls struck many children and adults on their way down.

3. Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids


Recalled: “Voluntary recall program” January 6, 1997 and May 9, 2005

Hazard: Laceration hazard.

Injuries: Fingers and hair getting caught in the doll’s mouth causing lacerations.

The doll boasted the ability to eat snacks. The idea was you would put one of the snack sticks that came with the doll into her mouth and that would trigger an internal mechanism that mimicked chewing. The danger was that there was no on off switch so anything put into the dolls mouth triggered the gears to turn there were reports of children getting their fingers caught causing injury as well as the hair becoming stuck in the doll’s mouth.

2. EZ Sales Hammocks


Recalled: August 8, 1996

Hazard: Strangulation and death hazard.

Injuries: Death, brain damage, and strangulation.

The mini hammocks sold by more than 10 manufacturers did not have spreader bars. When children got in or out of the hammock it could wrap around their neck and strangle them. As of the recall report there had been 12 deaths.

1. Aqua Dots


Recalled: November 7, 2007

Hazard: Beads coated in toxic chemical.

Injuries: Ingestion of the beads could and did result in comas, respiratory depression, dizziness, and seizures.

What seemed like a great kid’s craft quickly turned tragic when it was found that there was a chemical on the beads that mimicked the effects of a dangerous drug, GHB. There were two incidents where children fell into comas before the recall was made.

Injuries that stem from defective or dangerous products can be very serious and the responsible parties should be held accountable. If you or a loved one was injured by a defective product contact Console & Hollawell’s injury attorneys in Philadelphia. Together they will guide you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve. Be sure to check saferproducts.gov for all the latest recalls and information.

All images from CPSC.


What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Protection Insurance

By Richard Console on January 30, 2012 - Comments off

Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) has been getting a lot of attention recently due to rising costs of auto coverage and cries for reform. When PIP was initiated back in 1972 it was meant to help victims of auto accident get the medical treatment they needed without legal delays no matter who was at fault for the accident. PIP is sometimes referred to as “no fault insurance” for that reason.

While PIP really does benefit those who have been injured in an accident, abuse of this system has led to the demand for an overhaul of the system. Fraudulent or staged car accidents have become an all-too-common occurrence in some areas of the country which is leading to higher PIP costs and in turn increased car insurance premiums.

Florida, who boasts the highest amount of fraudulent reports in the country, has a bill working its way through the legislature that they hope will curb this issue. However, while this law would help decrease fraud it would make it more difficult for those who legitimately need it to get the help they need. Part of the bill proposes a 72 hour limit on when someone needs to seek medical treatment in order to collect their PIP. This sounds fair enough, after all who would wait longer than 72 hours if they are injured, but the truth of the matter is that many car accident injuries will not present that early.

Common accident injuries such as soft tissue damage (herniated discs, etc.) can take days or even weeks to present. If this 72 hour limitation is implemented people who sustain this type of injury would not get the benefit of PIP to help with their medical treatment or lost wages. In the long run it seems that this bill will discriminatorily effect those who need it as far as costs.

CBS reported that Florida PIP fraud costs are nearly $1,000,000,000. They went on to tell the story of Christine Donovan, a car accident victim who sustained soft tissue damage. Her insurance company investigated her for insurance fraud when she tried to collect her PIP for her injury. Since the injury was not something affecting her immediately following the accident the company thought it was suspicious when she later sought treatment. This is how it is without the 72 hour limit, imagine how much harder it will be for those who need it most to get treated after an accident.

New Jersey drivers can relate with the frustrations of PIP as it is the third most expensive state to insure a vehicle in according to National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). It was reported by the NAIC that PIP counts for 50 percent of the recent rises in car insurance premium, which is enough to frustrate anyone. The problem is that since people are getting so frustrated about their bills they are not seeing the bigger impact new legislation would have. Only when someone really needs to utilize their PIP will they realize how much these regulations would adversely affect them.

PIP coverage can be confusing and frustrating, even more so when you have to utilize it. If you’ve been injured in a crash speak with a New Jersey car accident attorney. The lawyers at Console & Hollawell will guide you through the process and make sure you get the help you need.

Photo credit: FL Chamber.


Driver Critically Injured in New Jersey Car Accident

By Staff on January 30, 2012 - Comments off

Jacob H. Halle, 22, of New City, was critically injured in a New Jersey car accident, which officials say involved a head-on collision. According to a news report in the Mahwah Patch, the injury collision occurred on Route 202 the morning of January 30, 2012. Officials say Halle’s 2007 Honda Civic was weaving several times between lanes when it crossed over to opposing lanes of traffic where it hit a 2003 Dodge Durango head-on. The driver of the Durango, 43-year-old Kerri Ende, was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. Officials are looking into why Halle drove into opposing lanes of traffic.

My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this crash. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Read the rest »

What Caused This Crash?

Based on this news report, it is unclear as to how or why this head-on collision occurred. There are a number of unanswered questions here. Why did Halle lose control of his vehicle? Did he suffer a medical condition? Were alcohol and/or drugs involved? Was distracted driving or cell phone use a factor? Did Halle fall asleep at the wheel? Did a product defect or mechanical malfunction in his vehicle cause or contribute to the accident? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

Laws and Liability Issues

N.J.S.A. 39:4-88 states: “When a roadway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic, drivers of vehicles shall obey the following regulations: a. A vehicle shall normally be driven in the lane nearest the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway when that lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn.”

If Halle is determined to have been at fault, then, he can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.

Posted in: Car Accidents


Englewood Man Charged in Fatal DUI Crash

By Richard Console on January 28, 2012 - Comments off

An Englewood resident faces multiple charges regarding a drunken driving accident on Friday, January 20th that ended in the death of two passengers and injured two others. Shortly after 2 a.m. 50-year-old Heriberto Calles was unable to navigate a curve on Liberty Road and crashed his 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor near Latana Avenue. Two passengers, 23-year-old Miguel Molina and 32-year-old Elmer Rodriguez were killed in the fatal New Jersey car accident. Two other passengers, Javier Hernandez and Jose Duran, were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center to receive treatment for injuries related to the crash. Calles suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung and was charged with vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane.

Our most sincere condolences go out to the families of Miguel Molina and Elmer Rodriguez, who were killed in the crash. We hope that Javier Hernandez and Jose Duran are able to make a full recovery from the injuries they sustained in the car accident.

According to NJ Statute 2C:11-5: “criminal homicide constitutes vehicular homicide when it is caused by driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly.” The statute continues to include that vehicular homicide is a second degree crime “if the defendant was operating the auto or vessel while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or with a blood alcohol concentration at or above the prohibited level.”

If you have been injured in a car accident, NJ injury lawyers can provide you with more information about your rights. As a victim, you may be entitled to financial compensation for damages suffered as a result of the accident. For over 17 years, the award-winning personal injury attorneys at Console & Hollawell have been protecting victims and their families in NJ and PA. With a 97% success rate, Console & Hollawell have the experience and dedication to obtain the maximum compensation for each victim.

Photo Credit:123RF

Posted in: Car Accidents


Lawyer’s Perspective: Barnegat Cop Injured

By Richard Console on January 27, 2012 - Comments off

In a recent Barnegat incident Patrolman Thomas Behrens sustained a hand injury when Christine Favro hit the officer with her vehicle. She is now facing several motor vehicle and criminal charges.

The first charge she is facing is driving while intoxicated. In New Jersey someone is guilty of this offense if they are operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The penalties if found guilty vary depending on a number of circumstances. First, it is unknown whether this was her first offense of DWI or not. If it is there are varying penalties depending on how high her BAC was.

The punishment for being convicted of a DWI with a BAC higher than .08 but lower than .10 is a license loss of three months as well as upwards of $3,500 in fines, fees, and surcharges. This includes a surcharge of $1,000 that must be paid every year for three years. There is also a possibility of facing up to 30 days in prison and 12 to 48 hours of community service at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).

An offense where the suspect’s BAC was .10 or higher the penalties are more severe. They would face a suspension of their license for anywhere from seven months to a year, the $1,000 surcharge for three years, five other fines and fees, and up to 30 days in prison. In addition to that they face 12 to 48 hours at the IDRC, and if their BAC was .15 or higher they will have to install an ignition interlock device while their license is suspended and continue using it for six months to a year after restoration of driving privileges.

If this is a repeated conviction for the suspect penalties increase exponentially. A repeat offender (depending on how many previous convictions) faces two to 10 years license suspension, $4,000 to upwards of $6,000 in fines, 48 hours to 180 days in prison, and varying degrees of community service requirements and ignition interlock device usage.

Favro has also been charged with reckless driving which if convicted could be five points on her license. In addition to the traffic charges she is facing several criminal charges including resisting arrest, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and obstructing the administration of law. Favro was sent to the Ocean County Jail and her bail was set at $15,000—she was released Monday after posting a bond.

We send our very best wishes to Patrolman Behrens and hope for his full and speedy recovery.

Photo credit: Asbury Park Press.

Posted in: Personal Injury


Use of Stun Guns Raises Concern

By Richard Console on January 27, 2012 - Comments off

The Asbury Park Press reported that the possibility of New Jersey police departments utilizing stun guns may become a reality in the near future. Last November officers from across the state gathered at the State Police Academy and learned how to use the electroshock weapons.

According to the APP report, New Jersey is the last state in the country to utilize this technology for law enforcement agencies. It is said that the standards established for the use of stun guns is extremely limited and strict. The approval for these weapons was made back in 2009 under Jon Corzine’s administration and 2012 marks the year that we will start seeing municipalities investing in the stun guns.

It is said that stun guns would only be used in instances that require a suspect be taken down without using deadly force. A spokesman from the state Attorney General’s office, Peter Aseltine assured that the stun guns would only be used in limited circumstances.

“There are situations where less than deadly force is needed, but limited circumstances,” he said.

The restrictions only allow use of electroshock weapons when an officer is in a situation where they need to prevent a suspect from seriously harming or killing themselves, the officer, or others. They will not be allowed to be used in a case where a suspect is only resisting the officer in a nonviolent way.

This brings up many questions of what will result from the initiation of these weapons. There have been cases across the country where police have excessively used the tasers such as one case in Florida where an officer took a college student down with the gun when he shouted, “Don’t tase me, bro!”

There is no way of knowing whether or not certain law officers will abuse this weapon or not, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out once some departments invest in them. The idea behind the stun guns seems a reasonable alternative—when you can take down a suspect in a nonfatal way it is an improvement.

New Jersey personal injury lawyer Richard Console expressed concern of misuse of the technology. “It is good to see police departments seeking ways to apprehend suspects without serious injury or death, but I am apprehensive about how they will regulate its use, making sure that there is no abuse of the stun guns.”

Only time will be able to address these concerns, but it seems with New Jersey’s strict regulations they will not be utilized in many instances.

Photo credit: Wikia.

Posted in: Personal Injury


Pedestrian Fatally Injured in Philadelphia Car Accident

By Staff on January 27, 2012 - Comments off

A 43-year-old woman was killed in a Philadelphia car accident after a vehicle struck her as she tried to cross the roadway. According to a CBS news report, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred the morning of January 27, 2012 on Roosevelt Boulevard near Welsh Road in Northeast Philadelphia. Officials say the woman was attempting to cross Roosevelt Boulevard when she was struck by the vehicle.

Police say she was crossing against the red light at the time. This is the third fatality in the area involving a pedestrian since May. In September, a 44-year-old woman died when she was struck while walking with her 4-year-old son at Roosevelt Boulevard and Strahle Street. In May, 33-year-old Joshua Hess was struck and killed at Roosevelt and Welsh Road. Friday’s accident remains under investigation.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of this deceased victim for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your prayers.

Read the rest »

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s 2010 Crash Facts and Statistics, pedestrian accident represent 3.7 percent of the total reported traffic accidents statewide. However, they account for 11.2 percent of all traffic accident fatalities. Also, during the same year, 79 fatalities and 1,698 injuries were reported as a result of accidents involving pedestrians crossing a roadway.

Laws and Liability Issues

Based on this news report, police suspect that the woman was crossing outside a crosswalk. Under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Chapter 35 Section 3542 (a): “When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that no pedestrian “shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.”

If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, then, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. If a dangerous condition on the roadway caused or contributed to the incident, then, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will better advise victims and their families about their legal rights and options.

philadelphia, car accident, pedestrian accident, personal injury, lawyer


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