Daniel Distasio Receives Legal Honors

Friday, August 9th, 2019

WILKES-BARRE, PA – August 8, 2019 – Daniel Distasio, a partner in the Wilkes-Barre personal injury law firm of Distasio & Kowalski, LLC, was selected to be recognized as a “Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent” by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC).

The NACD is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Less than 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States are members of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys.” Members are assessed by a research team, a blue-ribbon panel of attorneys and a judicial review board. Recipients of this prestigious award have demonstrated the highest ideals of the legal profession.

Attorney Daniel Distasio was also recognized as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®. Selection is by invitation only.  The Top 100 is comprised of the nation’s most exceptional trial lawyers for high stakes legal matters in each state. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the U.S. will receive this honor.

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is located in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The firm specializes in Auto & Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Product Liability, Personal Injury, and Wrongful Death.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit www.dklawllc or call 570-970-5400.

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Distasio & Kowalski included in 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

WILKES-BARRE, PA – May 13, 2019 – The Wilkes-Barre personal injury law firm of Distasio & Kowalski, LLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Daniel J. Distasio and Michael J. Kowalski have been named 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.

Daniel Distasio and Michael Kowalski are receiving this honor for the eleventh consecutive year. Both have been top rated in the category of Personal Injury Attorney. Super Lawyers are comprised of outstanding attorneys who have achieved the highest level of peer recognition and professional achievement.

“Michael and I are grateful to be recognized by our peers in this way. We pride ourselves on working ethically and passionately on behalf of our personal injury clients,” said Dan Distasio. “Our firm is committed to ensuring each and every client gets the best representation and the highest level of service.”

No more than 5 percent of all Pennsylvania lawyers receive this honor, which is bestowed by Super Lawyers magazine each year. Super Lawyers is a rating of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process. The process includes nominations, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews and evaluation by practice area.

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is located in Wilkes-Barre. The personal injury firm specializes in Auto & Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Product Liability, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit www.dklawllc.com or call 570-970-5400.

 

 

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Michael J. Kowalski to present at NEPATLA event

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Attorney Michael J. Kowalski is scheduled to present at the Northeastern PA Trial Lawyers Association Personal Injury Potpourri continuing education event on December 6, 2018. Speakers will provide an overview of timely and important personal injury topics for civil litigators in NEPA. The day-long seminar will feature topics including Nursing Home Litigation, Tips and Strategies for Effectively Representing Injured Workers, Effective Use of Arbitration & Mediation to Settle Personal Injury Cases, and many more. Atty. Kowalski is a partner in the Distasio Kowalski personal injury firm in Wilkes-Barre. He will present on the topic of Deposing the Defendant Doctor in a Medical Malpractice Case. The NEPATLA provides advocacy, education, resources and support for civil litigators in the Northeast Region of the State.

Distasio Kowalski is a personal injury firm that represents the victims of auto accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, birth injury cases as well as other injury cases.

 

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Lack of regulation for modified stretch limousines pose dangers

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

The horrific fatal crash of yet another modified stretch limousine this past weekend has us again talking about the lack of safety regulations for these vehicles. 20 were killed in the New York limousine crash, making it the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. in nearly a decade. According to news reports, a Ford Excursion limousine went through a stop sign and hit a parked vehicle before crashing into a ditch. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo died. Among those killed in the limousine accident were four sisters. Others included couples just starting their lives together and friends who came together to celebrate a 30th birthday. This limousine crash is an unspeakable tragedy that may have been prevented.

The dangers of modified stretch limousines

Why did not one passenger survive the limousine crash? It’s a question that investigators hope to answer. The concerning lack of safety regulations for these vehicles will certainly come into play. Modified stretch limousines are largely untested and unregulated. They often don’t have the strict safety measures that factory-built vehicles are required to have. This includes things such as side-impact airbags, reinforced rollover protection bars and accessible emergency exits. When limousines are first built, they must meet these strict safety regulations. After a vehicle leaves the factory, the oversight stops. When vehicles, such as this Ford Excursion are stretched and converted into a limo, the safety features are sometimes weakened or removed completely. This can result in serious danger in the event of a crash.

Although some automakers do produce stretch limos that are safer than many we see on the roads, there are many more out there that have been converted and are simply not safe. Some limos have been radically altered after factory and have not been properly safety tested. To modify a vehicle into a stretch limo, an ordinary car or SUV is cut apart and then lengthened with metal plates to create a much longer body. This often weakens the structural integrity of the vehicle. The modification may weaken the frame and reduce its ability to withstand the impact of a crash. Because of the way the seats are configured, most limo passengers are without the protection of seat belts and side airbags. Exits may have been blocked or removed during modification. This makes it extremely difficult to get out of the vehicle quickly and safely in the event of a crash. In addition, these long vehicles are extremely difficult for drivers to maneuver. Modifications may have created blind spots that prevent the driver from seeing properly. Limo drivers should also be properly screened, licensed and trained to drive this particular type and length vehicle. As seen in the New York tragedy, not all drivers are properly licensed.

More regulations needed for modified stretch limousines

Tragically, although they carry large groups of people, there is far less regulation and oversight of these modified vehicles than newly manufactured vehicles. Modified limos are often not engineered properly from the beginning and they often receive no testing and no quality control. Without adequate testing, dangerous structural deficiencies can be missed. Additionally, modified stretch limousines are exempt from federal seatbelt laws, because of their banquette seating. The lack of seat belts can prove deadly in the event of a limousine crash.

Many people who choose to hire a stretch limo are doing so because they are celebrating and want to be sure to be transported safely. They are doing what they believe is the responsible thing to do when celebrating, having a designated driver. Modified limos are carrying wedding parties, birthday celebrants and young prom-goers. They have no idea they may be putting themselves in harms way in a potentially dangerous vehicle. Without the protection of seat belts, airbags and other safety measures, even the slightest accident can cause serious injuries. Strong federal regulations must be put in place for modified stretch limousines to keep passengers safe. They need to be held to higher safety standards, so horrific tragedies like this don’t happen again.

The lack of regulations is concerning, so what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?

  • Do your research before hiring a limousine company.
  • Be sure the company is registered with the state and that all drivers are properly licensed. Ask if the limo has been modified or if it is a factory-built stretch limo, which is required to meet strict safety regulations.
  • Call the Better Business Bureau to check on the company and to check for any complaints or red flags.
  • Finally, the limo that crashed this past weekend had recently failed an inspection and the driver lacked the proper license for driving that vehicle. If you have a bad feeling about a company you’reD dealing with or the situation just doesn’t feel safe, don’t take any chances; look for another means of transportation.

Distasio & Kowalski is a Wilkes-Barre personal injury firm that specializes in representing the victims of auto accidents. Our clients are our top priority. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this fatal limousine crash.

 

 

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Five tips to stay safe in freezing temps

Friday, January 5th, 2018

We’re in the midst of a deep freeze in the northeast, with wind chills below zero. These frigid temperatures can be dangerous for many reasons. Freezing temps can cause frostbite and hypothermia to those not properly protected from the weather. Icy driving conditions can wreak havoc on highways and cause auto accidents. Bursting pipes can cause damage to your home. As the temperature dips, carbon monoxide poisoning is also more common. Here are five tips to stay safe in freezing temps and better protect you and your family from the elements this winter.

  1. Dress warmly with layers

    Stay indoors during severe weather conditions if possible. If you do need to venture out, wear a hat, gloves and a scarf or mask to cover your face. Wear several layers to help insulate from the cold. Limit your time outside and be sure you stay warm and dry. Beware of slippery sidewalks and overexerting with too much shoveling. Your children may be drawn to the idea of playing in the snow, but keep them inside and warm.

  2. Protect your home

    Be sure your home is properly insulated and free of drafts. During extremely cold weather, pipes may freeze or burst. Keep your roof free of too much snow to prevent a potential collapse. Fires are quite common in the winter months, because of the use of fireplaces and methods of helping to heat your home. Never leave an open flame unattended and keep paper, trash and other flammable materials far from open flames.

  3. Beware of carbon monoxide

    Don’t run your generator inside your home. It should be outside and more than 20 feet away from windows and doors. This goes for any gas-powered engines. Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home. Don’t sleep in a room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater. Never leave your vehicle running to warm up in your garage, even if the garage door is open. It’s best to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to monitor the level of gas in the air. If you begin to feel nauseous or dizzy and suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air and get help immediately.

  4. Prepare your vehicle for freezing temps

    Drive only if it’s absolutely necessary when the weather is bad. Be sure your car had enough gas, antifreeze wiper fluid and other fluids. Be sure your tires are in good condition. Keep a shovel and materials for traction in your trunk in case you get stuck. Keep a blanket, water and first aid kit in your vehicle as well. Be sure your cell phone is charged in case you get stuck and need to call for help. Finally, if you do need to set out during a storm, clean the snow from your car before leaving. It can be a hazard to other drivers as it blows off. Drive slowly and safely.

  5. Protect your pets

    If it’s too cold outside for you, it’s too cold for your pets too. Keep them inside. Take them out for very brief period to exercise and to relieve themselves. Animals can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite just like humans.

We hope you will follow these five tips to stay safe in freezing temps. Finally, if you have elderly neighbors, check on them to see if they need any help and to make sure they are safe and warm. Something as simple as a phone call or a quick visit can save the life of someone who does not have adequate heat or shelter from the cold. The injury attorneys at Distasio Kowalski want everyone to stay safe this winter.

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