Goodwin Como, P.C.

Uniontown Legal Issues Blog

Is it legal to use headphones while cycling in Pennsylvania?

You’re riding your bike down the road, listening to your favorite jams. As you enter an intersection, a car riding through the crossroad slams on the brakes and honks their horn at you. However, your music prevents you from hearing their warning, and you crash. Can you be held to blame?

Of course, many context-specific factors go into establishing fault in an accident—such as whether either driver was disobeying traffic rules, inebriated or driving recklessly. However, if you’re riding a bicycle while wearing headphones in Pennsylvania, the other driver may be able to make a case against you in the event of an accident.

Sleepy? Listen to your body before you get behind the wheel.

Everyone knows you shouldn’t get behind the wheel after drinking. And we’ve discussed in previous posts the growing safety issue of texting while driving. However, a third type of driving behavior—which is less commonly discussed, but which pose real risks—is fatigued driving.

You’ve probably done it before. Maybe you stayed up all night cramming for your history final. You show up to class the next day exhausted—but the rush of adrenaline keeps you going through the exam, and you end up getting an A. Perhaps your good grade was worth the trade-off of a night of sleep deprivation. However, the decision to drive yourself to class is one you should have reservations about.

What happens to alimony if an ex-spouse quits their job?

You and your ex divorced earlier this year. He’s a doctor, and he earns considerably more than you do. Consequently, the court ordered that he pay you a sizeable sum in alimony each month. However, your ex just announced that he’s decided to quit his private practice and travel instead to Rwanda to volunteer for Doctors Without Borders.

You’re all in favor of philanthropic work, but what does this turn of events mean for your bottom line? Once your ex’s income takes a nose dive, is he off the hook for paying your alimony?

Restaurant workers and the workplace hazards they face

Restaurant workers often are under pressure to work fast. Customers need to be served, food must be prepared, and the business needs to be tidy and clean. But while they’re doing their utmost to keep the restaurant running and the customers satisfied, wait staff, bussers, cooks, kitchen workers, dishwashers and maintenance staff are susceptible to injury.

Slipping on wet floors, hot oil burns from the deep fryer, severe cuts from a knife while preparing food, and back strains from excessive or awkward heavy-lifting are some of the hazards faced by restaurant staff. Their causes run the gamut from carrying heavy trays filled with customer food orders to preparing and cutting ingredients with food processors and sharp knives in the kitchen.

What are your rights when your friend loans you their car?

You and your friend decide to go on vacation to Florida together. You fly to Ford Lauderdale, and your friend rents a car. It's cheaper if you only put one driver on the rental contract, so you agree to keep yourself off of it.

But then one night you go out to a club, and your friend has way too much to drink--she's in no position to drive back to the hotel. You're still sober, so she gives you the keys. However, on the way back, a cop pulls you over.

How the breathalyzer results are subject to error

You spend the afternoon at your buddy’s barbecue. You have a couple hotdogs, wash them down with a couple beers, then head home. You feel perfectly fine behind the wheel—you only had two beers over the course of several hours, and you were careful to stay hydrated too.

When you see the police lights flashing behind you, you’re not worried. You know you’re in good shape. The officer makes you walk in a straight line and stand on one foot—which you’re able to do easily. Then he brings out the breathalyzer test, and to your shock, the results indicate you’re over the legal limit.

Calling it quits: common law marriage vs. cohabitation agreement

We’ve posted a lot of articles discussing the ins and outs of marriage. But what about non-traditional unions between couples? In such cases, is there a divorce requirement if the relationship heads south?

In today’s post, we examine two such non-traditional forms of commitments: common law marriages and cohabitations agreements.

The power of the ping: why our phones make us act recklessly

We’ve reported in previous posts on the dangers of distracted driving. The most common—and most rapidly worsening—form of this infraction is distraction associated with cell phone use.

In this era of almost unlimited connectivity, we seem to have an insatiable urge to be digitally involved with each other. The moment our phone pings, our heart jumps. We have a burning desire to find out what new text came in or what new photo got posted on Instagram.

The dangers of eating while driving

When you think of dangerous driving behaviors, the obvious ones that may jump to mind are driving while intoxicated or driving while distracted. There has been a nation-wide push to reduce distracted driving in recent years, and many states have implemented laws banning texting or using hand-held devices while driving.

Consequently, when the topic of distracted driving comes up, many people automatically associate this term with cell phone use while driving. However, distracted driving is broader than that. It refers to any activity that:

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