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.
A motor vehicle crash kills someone every fifteen minutes. The U.S. Department of Transportation released 2016 crash fatality statistics earlier this month. 37,461 people were killed in traffic accidents. This was an increase of 5.6% over 2015 crash fatalities. Motorcyclist fatalities and pedestrian deaths accounted for more than a third of the increase. The 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities was the highest number since 1990. Motorcycle accident deaths rose by 5.1%. Another notable increase was an 8.6 % increase in large truck crash fatalities.
Passengers of cars and light trucks accounted for 36% of those killed in auto accidents. Together, they totaled 54% of the overall increase in fatalities. Pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-occupants account for 18% of the crash fatalities.
Risky behaviors behind the wheel cause crashes
The NHTSA reported that human choices are linked to 94% of serious crashes. This is evidenced in motor vehicle crash fatality increases in areas including speeding-related crash fatalities, drunk driving deaths and unbelted crash deaths. B up when driving is one of the safest choices both drivers and passengers can make. Seat belt use is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in the event of a crash. Yet, more than 27 million people in the U.S. still don’t wear seat belts.
64% of those surveyed said they were comfortable speeding
47% responded that they believe it is safe to text, either manually or by voice, while driving
71 % believe they can have up to three drinks before they are not safe or too impaired to drive.
A deadly motor vehicle crash trend
Motor vehicle deaths increased from 2014 to 2015 and then again from 2015 to 2016. The last time there was increase in motor vehicle crash fatalities of this magnitude was more than 50 years ago from 1963 to 1965.
Motor vehicle crashes are killing our youth at an alarming rate. Auto crashes were the leading cause of death for age 10 and every age 16 through 23 in 2015.
Alcohol-related driving was responsible for 10,497 motor vehicle crash deaths or 28% of the total fatalities in 2017. An average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurred every 50 minutes in 2016. Drivers age 25 to 34 years of age had the highest percentage (27%) of alcohol-impaired driving fatal crashes. Tragically, children accounted for 17% of those who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
If you’ve been injured or a family member killed in a car or truck accident, contact the Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen personal injury law firm. We may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries. This can include lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. Be sure to seek the legal advice of an auto accident lawyer before you settle with an insurance company. Call a Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyer today at 570-970-5400
Freezing temperatures have brought snow, sleet and icy road conditions to Pennsylvania and other areas of the country. This has caused many winter weather related crashes. Just this month, a crash involving more than 75 vehicles occurred on the Interstate 90 at the Pennsylvania Ohio border. On that same road, a 13-vehicle pileup occurred. Snowy driving conditions were said to have played a part in the crashes, according to CBS News. Another pileup involving 40 vehicles occurred in Michigan last week as well. This past weekend, a multi vehicle wreck also closed part of Interstate I 80 near Luzerne County.
Many motorists are killed and injured in winter weather related crashes every year. With the snowy weather just starting, hazardous road conditions and crashes will be all too common in months ahead.
Five winter driving safety trips
Slow down. Adjust your driving speed according to conditions. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
Increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. It takes longer to stop in snowy conditions.
Brake and accelerate slower than normal to avoid sliding.
Winterize your vehicle. Have tires, brakes, heater/defroster, wipers, battery and other items checked on your vehicle before driving this winter.
Keep on the lookout for slippery spots and black ice on the road.
Winter storms will continue to cause unsafe driving conditions in the northeast and throughout Pennsylvania. It is imperative that drivers prepare and stay alert. Snowy conditions can result in winter weather related crashes from minor fender benders to fatal multi-vehicle collisions. Be aware of the possibility of black ice when driving, especially when driving on bridges, on and off ramps, and at intersections. Be particularly carefully when driving near snowplows and tractor-trailers. Visibility may be low and trucks have blind spots.
The car accident lawyers at Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen encourage drivers to keep a winter emergency kit in their vehicles at all times when driving. The kit should include items such as jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, flares and water.
Winter accident statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 445,303 people were injured and 5,897 people killed in weather vehicle related crashes in a 10-year period from 2005-2014. Following safety precautions and being alert when driving in winter conditions can help reduce your chance of a car accident. Winter crash studies have found that a high percent of winter season crashes involve driving too fast for conditions. This can definitely be a factor when looking at cases of multi-vehicle pileup crashes.
If you have been injured in winter car accident or truck accident, call the car accident lawyers at Distasio Kowaslski in Wilkes-Barre today. Call 570-970-5400 if you need an attorney who is experienced in vehicle accidents to fight for your rights.
Starting this week, Pennsylvania motorists must be aware of a new PA child safety seat law. Drivers must be sure that rear facing car seats are used for all children under the age of two. The measure officially becomes a new PA law on Friday, August 12. Parents are cautioned to follow the manufacturers height and weight requirements on their seats. Sometimes children will still be within the ranges, even if they are 2 or older.
Rear facing seats are said to lower the risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% in infants and by 54% for toddlers. On average, three children were killed and 470 children injured every day in traffic crashes in 2013.
Pennsylvania is the fourth state to enact a rear-facing child safety seat law for young children. Similar laws have been passed in New Jersey, California and Oklahoma. Under the existing law, all children under 4 years of age must be restrained in an approved child passenger restraint system, and children between 4 and 8 years of age must be restrained in a booster seat. The new law requires children under age 2 to ride rear facing. The new regulations are based on 2011 recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Using an approved child safety seat correctly and according to the law is the best protection you can give your child. Be sure to use the correct type of car seat for your child’s age, height and weight. Child safety seats do save lives.
At Distasio & Kowalski, safety is our top concern.
Please take note of this new PA child safety seat law. If you or your child have been seriously injured in a car or truck accident, contact the injury lawyers at Distasio & Kowalski in Wilkes-Barre today at 570-970-5400 for a free consultation.
73% of all fatalities in a truck accident in 2014 were the occupants of other vehicles, according to the NHTSA. The immense size and weight of large trucks can result in devastation for a passenger vehicle and its occupants when it comes to a collision. This is especially true in the event of truck underride crashes.
Few truck accidents are more destructive than those that involve a passenger car getting lodged underneath a large semi-truck. The bed of a trailer is often higher than the hood of a standard car. In an underride or undercarriage crash, a car goes partially or completely under a truck or trailer. This dramatically increases the chance of severe injury or death. A car can go under the rear of a truck or may also get lodged under the side of a truck or tractor-trailer. This is referred to as a side underride crash.
Large trucks and semitrailers are required to have undererride guards. They are large steel bars that hang from the rear of a truck to prevent a passenger vehicle from getting lodged underneath in the event of a truck collision. Truck underride guards are not currently required on the sides of large trucks or on the rear of smaller trucks, such as garbage trucks.
Even in a low speed collision, a passenger vehicle can become lodged under a tractor-trailer. This happens often if the proper guards are not in place or if there are not adequate guard safety standards. Some existing guards are just not strong enough to prevent a car from sliding underneath the truck. Side underride collisions most often occur when a truck driver is attempting to turn across traffic onto a street, attempting a U-turn or backing across traffic. The driver of a passenger vehicle may not see the truck in its path until it is too late and a collision is unavoidable.
The top of the passenger vehicle is often ripped off or crushed in a truck underride crash. This often causes severe head and neck injuries or death to the passengers inside. Truck underride crashes also occur with bicyclists who don’t see a truck turning, crash and become lodged under the truck.
The NHTSA has issued improved rear safety guard standards for newer model large trucks. These standards are often not required on older model trucks. Existing guards may also not offer complete protection when a car crashes into one of the rear corners of a tractor-trailer. While lethal side underride crashes continue, there is still no law requiring side guards. Safety advocates have petitioned the NHTSA to strengthen laws and implement a new standard for underride guards. The NHTSA is moving slowly in taking action and implementing stronger truck underride guard standards.
How to prevent fatal truck underride crashes
There’s much that can be done to protect passenger car occupants from the dangers of truck underride crashes. This includes strengthening existing truck underride guards that might not be adequate in high-speed crashes. Expanding requirements to include guards on older model trucks will also help to prevent these deadly crashes. Legislation requiring side guards for all large trucks should be implemented as well.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck underride accident, call the truck accident attorneys at Distasio Kowaslski. Call the attorneys in Wilkes-Barre today at 570-970-5400. You need a lawyer who is experienced at litigating truck accident cases and in dealing with their insurance companies. The attorneys at Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen serve the Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Hazleton area in NEPA.