Archive for August, 2010

PA Pit Bull Attack Victims Often Victimized Twice

Posted on: August 29th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

Seemingly every week we read about another pit bull attack in Pennsylvania that leaves the victim with serious injuries, including permanent facial scarring.  Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not have any law that requires pit bull owners to carry insurance.  As a Pennsylvania dog bite attorney, I often find that pit bull owners who rent rarely pay for renters insurance.

Without renters insurance coverage there is no source of funds to pay for past, present and future medical bills.  Nor is there any compensation available for all of the pain and suffering endured by the pit bull attack victim.  In January of 2010, a 22 year-old woman was attacked by a pit bull that charged through the front door of an apartment on 6th Street in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

The Bucks County PA dog bite victim was bitten on the face, lip and nose.  Plastic surgery was performed at Abington Hospital.  70 stitches were needed to close all the wounds.  As a PA dog bite lawyer, I was hired to represent the victim.  The pit bull owner was a young woman who did not have renters insurance.

The landlords did not live at the property and had no knowledge of any prior vicious propensities of the pit bull.  They correctly took the position that they were not responsible for the actions of their tenant’s dog.  Without insurance coverage there was no money available to pay for the personal injury claim.

Why not sue the renter individually?  In 2008, your PA dog bite attorney filed a lawsuit in Monroe County, Pennsylvania against a pit bull owner whose dog attacked a young boy.  While trying to escape, the boy fell and broke his hand.  The pit bull owner’s homeowners insurance policy lapsed before the attack.  Within days of the filing of the lawsuit, the dog owner filed for bankruptcy and the personal injury claim was eliminated through the bankruptcy court.  Without a change to the Pennsylvania Dog Law, PA dog bite victims will frequently be victimized twice.

If you have been injured in a PA dog bite attack, please contact Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842 or online at Attorney Newell has been representing Pennsylvania personal injury victims since 1981.

Route 33 Car Accident Fatalities Continue

Posted on: August 29th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

The Summer of 2010 has seen one fatal car accident after another on Rt. 33 in Monroe County PA.  Your Pennsylvania car crash attorney has reviewed the many newspaper accounts of these car wrecks and has identified 3 characteristics of the fatal accidents:  excessive speed, driver inattentiveness and/or driver inexperience.

On June 24, 2010, a tractor-trailer driver drove into the rear of a Mini-Cooper stopped at the intersection of Route 209/Route 33 and Shafers Schoolhouse Road in Stroud Township.  The driver of the subcompact was killed instantly.  The truck driver was charged with multiple crimes – including homicide by vehicle.

The next day, an Easton PA driver died in a multi-car accident on Route 33 between the Lehighton and Saylorsburg exits.  As reported in the Morning Call, the Northampton County driver veered from the northbound travel lanes of Rt. 33 into the southbound lanes.  Initially she hit a truck, then crashed into a SUV head-on.

Unfortunately, your PA auto accident lawyer must note that a July 5, 2010 crash took the life of another driver on Route 33 and injured nearly a dozen others.  As described in the Pocono Record, a tractor-trailer driving south on Rt. 33 veered over the median and struck a car going northbound.  That driver was killed.  Soon thereafter, a van with 12 occupants then slammed into the tractor-trailer with all of its occupants suffering injuries.

The latest Route 33 fatal accident occurred on August 16, 2010 at 3:12 a.m.  A teenage driver from Tobyhanna PA drove off of Route 33 in a part of the highway between Wind Gap and Saylorsburg.  The automobile crashed into a tree and burst into flames.  An 18 year-old student from Pocono West High School died.  Four other teenage occupants managed to escape the burning car wreck.

Attorney Thomas Newell refers his readers to a July 25, 2010 editorial in the Pocono Record which pleaded with Monroe County drivers to slow down and save a life.  Their unofficial radar speed checks identified motor vehicles traveling up to 87 mph on Route 209 and a 93 mph clocking on Route 33.

If you have been involved in a Pennsylvania car wreck, please contact Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842 or online at  Attorney Newell has been aggressively representing PA car accident victims for nearly 30 years.

Will a proposed PA law lower teenage deaths in Pennsylvania car accidents?

Posted on: August 29th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

A July 16, 2010 one car crash in Chester County Pennsylvania resulted in the death of 2 teenagers from Honey Brook PA and seriously injured 2 others.  This tragic accident is the latest fatal crash involving a young driver and multiple passengers.  As a Pennsylvania car accident attorney, I am aware of many cases where teenagers are killed or critically injured in 1 car accidents.  The combination of lack of driver experience, as well as interactions with many passengers all too often results in Pennsylvania automobile accidents.

Our elected officials in Harrisburg are working on new legislation designed to lower the mortality rate for teenage drivers.  Senator John Rafferty is the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee Chairman.  On July 22, 2010 your PA car accident lawyer reviewed with a staff member the status of House Bill 67 known as “Lacey’s Law”.  This proposed bill would limit the number of passengers under the age of 18 who are permitted to ride with a junior driver license holder.  The law would also prohibit junior drivers from using a cell phone or texting while operating a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania.

Lacey’s Law passed in the PA Senate.  A slightly different version was approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  The disagreement centers on whether the cell phone/texting ban will be a primary offense or a secondary offense.  A primary offense is a violation which permits a police officer to stop you without any other charges being necessary.  Attorney Thomas Newell hopes that an agreed upon bill can be presented to the Governor for signing as soon as possible.  A law with appropriate sanctions that limits the number of teenage passengers and bans cell phone/text messaging use can be a positive step in reducing the number of tragic accidents on Pennsylvania’s highways.

If you have been involved in a PA car crash, please contact Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842 or online at Attorney Newell has been representing Pennsylvania car accident victims since 1981.

Pass the Anti-Tethering Bill Now to Prevent Needless PA Dog Bite Attacks

Posted on: August 26th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

Legislative bills are pending in Harrisburg that would limit the time and conditions in which dogs can be chained or tethered in Pennsylvania.  Advocates of House Bill 1254 and Senate Bill 1435 are stressing the need to diminish the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs subjected to constant tethering.

While your Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer fully supports this admirable goal, he also firmly believes that a reduction in the tethering of dogs will prevent needless dog bite attacks here in PA.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) authored a study that concluded that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to attack humans than dogs that have not been chained.  That percentage increases even more when discussing un-neutered males.

“Chaining” or “tethering” a dog refers to the concept of attaching a dog to a stationary object, such as a stake on the owner’s property in order to keep the dog under control.  Dogs are instinctively social animals who love interaction with humans and other dogs.  A chained dog is deprived of that interaction and frequently becomes aggressive and unable to distinguish between a threat and a routine social encounter.

Your PA dog bite attorney is well aware of the tragedies caused by tethering.  In January of 2009, eight year-old Brianna Shanor began living with temporary guardians in Beaver County.  The homeowners owned a rottweiler mix dog that was chained to/in a camper.  On Jan. 19, 2009 the 8 year-old  wandered near the chained dog.  The dog owner later found the girl mauled to death inside the camper.  She died a horrific death – blood loss due to multiple dog bites to the neck.

Attorney Thomas Newell believes that dogs’ rights advocates and victims’ rights proponents should be working together to promote public support to pass an effective anti-tethering bill in Pennsylvania.  Improving the lives of dogs here in PA will reduce the number of senseless dog bite attacks.  By limiting tethering, as the States of Connecticut, California and Texas have done, we can help prevent the tragedies that have taken lives such as Brianna Shanor.

For more anti-tethering information I refer you to and  If you or a family member has been injured due to an unprovoked dog bite attack, I suggest you contact me, Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842 or online at  I represent dog bite attack victims throughout Pennsylvania.