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Erie, Pennsylvania, Legal Blog

Why medical debt leads to financial disaster for many Americans

Anyone who's had a visit to the hospital or an emergency room can testify that the cost can be shocking -- even if they have insurance. When people don't have adequate savings to cover these unexpected medical costs, the financial ramifications can be serious.

It shouldn't be surprising that medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. According to a report by The New York Times, one-fifth of Americans under Medicare-qualifying age reported that they had experienced difficulty paying medical bills within the last year.

Estate planning for parents with disabled children

If you are a parent to a child with some type of disability, then it's never too early to start coming up with an estate plan. Having a plan of this sort in place is particularly critical in this case because it ensures some degree of continuity of care for your child should you become unable to render necessary decisions yourself.

Relatives who've had the unfortunate honor of having to hunt down paperwork after a loved one has passed are acutely aware of how helpful it is when all important paperwork is nicely organized. Having a specially-designed box, folder or computer file that is clearly labeled as containing important documents is critical to effectuating this.

An Erie man dies after being hit in a hit-and-run

An 84-year-old Erie resident was discovered lying lifeless in the street along the West 38th Street nearest Lancaster Road around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 16, 2017. He later succumbed to his injuries upon arrival at the University of Pittburgh's Medical Center.

In terms of what claimed the man's life, it's believed he was first struck by a vehicle then dragged. That driver left the scene of the accident. A 27-year-old woman from Millcreek Township has since come forward. She has admitted to some degree of fault in the accident although it's unclear as to how much. Police have impounded her car as they continue investigating the accident.

Which bankruptcy chapter is right for me?

A common question that people who are struggling with debt ask our lawyers is if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better fit.

While the economy has improved for some, it is all too clear here in Northwestern Pennsylvania that there are many people left behind. Having to close a business, drug addiction, medical emergencies or a lack of good jobs are just a few of the reasons why people in Erie and throughout the region may need to seek bankruptcy protection to get a fresh financial start.

Teens, car accidents and facts everyone should know

Most people start driving on their own when they turn 16. It's fun, exciting and can open up a whole new world of possibilities for teens. However, there are a few facts about teen drivers that everyone should know.

First, they are the age group that is involved in the most deadly accidents. When considering the amount of vehicle miles driven, studies have found that drivers who are between 16 years old and 19 years old are about three times as likely to be involved in deadly wrecks as those who are 20 years old or older.

Conflicts between eyewitnesses lead to hung jury

What happens when two eyewitnesses vividly recount the scene of a murder but their descriptions don't match up?

For one Erie man, it meant a hung jury. A hung jury means that there was no consensus among jurors at all -- so the defendant couldn't be found guilty or not guilty.

Understanding impulsive behavior and teenage drivers

Statistics have long shown higher risk rates for teenage drivers. It’s reflected in higher insurance rates and in studies of driver behavior, such as the higher abuse of texting while driving among the age group.

A new study confirms that teen brains are more inclined to seek thrills and act impulsively than other age groups. The study explored impulsive behavior and the desire to curtail or control their decision-making. Studying teenagers in 11 countries across five continents, it concluded that environment and location plays a factor but, as a whole, teenagers engage in riskier behavior than those in their twenties and older.

Surprising Erie survey on self-driving cars, distracted driving released

A survey commissioned by Erie Insurance has found that nearly 60 percent of drivers believe that self-driving vehicles will eventually eliminate distracted driving. If autonomous cars do rid our streets of distracted drivers, it would dramatically reduce the numbers of motor vehicle accidents and related injuries and fatalities.

The president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that distracted drivers are going to continue to be a problem on America's streets, however. “The term ‘self-driving car’ suggests I can hop in my car, enter a destination and have it take me from point A to point B," he said. "But that car doesn’t exist yet."

Why collaborative law may be right for your divorce

For almost every couple going through it, a divorce is going to be stressful. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex agree on most things, you are likely thinking about money, child custody, the time commitment and what life will be like in the future.

That is why many divorcing couples in Pennsylvania are turning to the collaborative law process to help them get through their divorce with much less stress. The process may also be right for you.