Blog

What Evidence do I Need for my Car Accident Case?
Posted On June 2, 2020
The best thing you can do for yourself after you have been involved in a car accident is to gather as much evidence as possible. There are many different documents a victim will need in order to prove that he or she was injured in a car accident. These documents protect the victim’s legal...
The Great Estate Podcast, May 7, 2020: Family Law Procedures During COVID-19
Posted On June 1, 2020
On this episode of the Great Estate Podcast, attorney Christopher Brown from Eckell Sparks sits down with his colleague Melanie E. Tunaitis, Esq. to discuss family law proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite court closures, there are still family law cases that need to be handled in a timely and efficient manner. Many of...
Congratulations to Our 2020 Super Lawyers
Posted On May 28, 2020
Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. is pleased to announce that several of our attorneys have been selected to this year’s Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers selects attorneys through a multi-level process that includes peer reviews, evaluations, honors and awards, as well as other legal merits. Each...
Advocate for Motorcycle Awareness Month
Posted On May 22, 2020
May is an exciting time of year. The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming and more time is spent outside. May is also Motorcycle Awareness Month, and a time to remind all motorists to be safe on the roads. Once the nice weather begins, motorcyclists’ dust off their bikes and use them as...
Tips for Safe Springtime Travels
Posted On May 20, 2020
Although the nationwide pandemic has many of us sheltering in place, spring can still be a good time for a road trip or leisurely drive. The weather is usually temperate and most people look forward to getting outside to enjoy the warmer weather. Drivers who believe there are less hazards on springtime roads are...
The Great Estate Podcast: Keep Your Estate Planning Updated
Posted On May 14, 2020
This week on the Great Estate Podcast, our host, Christopher Brown from Eckell Sparks, discusses complex issues in estate planning, specifically state administration. Estate planning can be incredibly challenging and needs a skilled litigator to ensure the process is done correctly. Handling your wills, trusts, and estates on your own can cause issues that...
The Great Estate Podcast: COVID-19 Impacts Civil Cases
Posted On May 13, 2020
This week on the Great Estate Podcast, our host, Christopher M. Brown from Eckell Sparks, speaks with our guest, Matthew J. Bilker, Esq., to discuss complex issues that the coronavirus has created in civil matters. Adapting to the coronavirus can be challenging, and it has impacted and delayed civil cases, especially personal injury claims....
Estate Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Posted On May 7, 2020
Until recently, most Americans viewed estate planning as something to think about down the road. The outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus, has altered that view for many. Law firms and financial planners are reporting a significant increase in the number of clients seeking advice about wills and advance directives....
Divorce Records Are Public
Posted On May 4, 2020
Separating couples who go through divorce proceedings may not realize what happens in court may become public record. This does not mean that it will be broadcasted on the local news. However, in some states, interested parties can request copies of divorce petitions and final divorce decrees from county clerks or obtain them through...
Delco Death Doula
Posted On April 30, 2020
The 4th episode of the Great Estate podcast is back with, Delco Death Doula. On this episode, Attorney Christopher M. Brown sits down with Gabriella H. Grosso Esq. to discuss the legal and moral aspects of death and dying. Gabriella is a certified death midwife who helps facilitate the death transition and ensures it...
Not(ary) a Problem
Posted On April 28, 2020
In this 3rd episode of the Great Estate Podcast, Attorney Christopher M. Brown is joined by Daniel R. Coleman from the Eckell Sparks wills, trusts and estates legal team to discuss notaries and estate planning. This pandemic has caused many people to stress about estate planning and assigning power of attorney, specifically healthcare agents....
What Should You Do If You Suspect a Driver Is Intoxicated?
Posted On April 22, 2020
It is certainly frightening when you realize you are sharing the road with a drunk driver. If you suspect a driver is inebriated, what should you do? Drunk Driving Signs There are various signs that can indicate someone may be driving under the influence. A driver may be under the influence of alcohol if...
Great Estate Podcast
Posted On April 20, 2020
Christopher M. Brown, Esq. is featured on the Great Estate Podcast with a new episode: Don’t Assume. Listen to the April 17, 2020 episode here. For more information, contact a Media estate planning lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. for help with all your estate planning needs. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or complete our online...
Podcast: Ashes – Planning for Your Future with Wills, Trusts, and Estates
Posted On April 10, 2020
Christopher M. Brown, Esq. has returned to podcasting with a new episode on wills, trusts, and estates. Christopher shares his knowledge on preparing a will, updating a living will, and the role of power of attorney. The ongoing COVID-19 quarantine is a great time to contact an attorney to set up or update a...
Estate Planning FAQs
Posted On April 6, 2020
The topic of estate planning confuses many people. From understanding the definition of an estate plan to figuring out how an estate plan protects wealth, would-be clients often present our estate lawyers with wide-ranging questions during initial consultations. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding estate planning and how it affects...
Private vs. Public Slip and Fall Liability
Posted On March 31, 2020
Slip and fall accident victims can face serious injuries and overwhelming medical expenses. If the injuries are very significant, it can prevent the individual from returning to work, and lost wages can complicate matters even further. The question of who is liable for these expenses presents itself after an accident occurs, especially if another...
New Unemployment Provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act
Posted On March 30, 2020
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES” Act) into law, which was the second large stimulus recovery bill passed by Congress, which is intended to provide direct financial aid to companies and individuals affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The text of the...
2020 ESTATE PLANNING 101 UPDATE
Posted On March 28, 2020
WILLS, TRUSTS, ELDER LAW AND OTHER THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER It is obviously important for you, and your family, to know that there are many estate planning choices and tools that are available to you and your family, and that there are limitations to most of them: A Will does not control some very significant...
Medical Marijuana and Child Custody
Posted On March 27, 2020
What is the impact of medical marijuana in a custody case?  With Pennsylvania legalizing marijuana for certain medicinal purposes, questions arrive how a parent’s use of medical marijuana will impact the Court’s award of custody.  In a recent case the Superior Court held that a parent’s use of marijuana, even if legally prescribed, may...
PUTMA Accounts Versus 529 Accounts: Why it Matters in your Divorce
Posted On March 27, 2020
The recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Brooks v Brooks highlighted a common misunderstanding that can frustrate the intent of people who are divorcing.  The case revolved around one party using the 529 Accounts of both children to pay for the post-secondary education of one child.  The parties, when married created both PUTMA (Pennsylvania...
AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COVERAGE SERIES – Part 2 Buying Auto Insurance? Make good decisions on stacking! By: Matthew J. Bilker, Esquire
Posted On March 26, 2020
With mandatory “shelter-in-place” orders affecting the better part of the five-county region, we are all looking for projects to do around the home that we have put off for ages and other ways to save some money.  Now is as good of a time as any to take a look at your automobile insurance...
How Does the Coronavirus Affect Child Support Payments?
Posted On March 26, 2020
The effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic could be long lasting on many families.  If you receive or pay child support, a change in your income or the opposing party’s income could impact the amount of support your pay or receive.  Even if you are currently receiving unemployment compensation, you may be eligible for a...
Coronavirus Update
Posted On March 25, 2020
The attorneys and staff in our Estates, Wills and Trusts Department have never worked harder to serve our clients than we are during this pandemic. Many of our clients are now taking the time to either review their estate planning documents or begin to plan for disability or prolonged illness.  We are here NOW...
Car Accidents in Pennsylvania
Posted On March 9, 2020
Car accidents lead to injured parties and property damage. Pennsylvania drivers may be wondering what steps to partake in after a car accident occurs. For a driver who has not been involved in an accident before, the steps to take can be daunting and overwhelming. The sudden trauma of an accident and getting treatment...
When Children are Injured at Day Care or School
Posted On March 4, 2020
No parent can supervise their child 100 percent of the time, so it is necessary to entrust their care to others in times of need. For families with working parents, it can start when the child is an infant and can last well into their teenage years. The youngest children may be the most...
Adopting a Child in Pennsylvania
Posted On March 3, 2020
Adoptive families are formed in various ways. In Pennsylvania, a child may be adopted through an agency or through a private adoption. Information sharing and personal contact between the adoptive parents and the birth parents can be defined in an open adoption agreement. Otherwise, parties may decide that a closed adoption is best. Stepparents...
Daylight Saving Time and Car Accidents
Posted On March 2, 2020
Daylight saving time (DST) is proving to be one of the most dangerous times of the year. Each March when the clocks springs forward, hospitals report a 24 percent spike in heart attacks. When the clocks turn back an hour, hospital visits due to heart attacks drop 21 percent. The clock shift shows just...
Car Accident Consequences
Posted On February 24, 2020
Car accidents can happen unexpectedly and can result in devastating consequences. Not only can you be physically affected by a car accident, there is also the possibility that you will be mentally impacted too. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to understand the possible long-term effects. Long-Term Consequences of...
Divorce Considerations for 2020 and Beyond
Posted On February 24, 2020
For some couples, the year of 2020 will not just mark the turn of a new decade, it will be the year they start their divorce proceedings. Although many aspects of getting a divorce stay the same from year to year, others tend to shift with times and regulations. For that reason, anyone contemplating...
Maintaining Privacy During Divorce
Posted On February 19, 2020
During a divorce, it is best for those involved to keep intimate details private; this is especially true if these details include children, assets, or sensitive information about each spouse. Maintaining privacy is crucial because details could be used as evidence in court. How Privacy Is Invaded During a Divorce Sadly, gossipers will sometimes...
Changes in Inherited IRA Rules
Posted On February 17, 2020
At the end of 2019, new laws arose that may affect people who have traditional IRAs. These regulations happened relatively quickly, but many with estate plans and trusts took notice. Specifically, the rules and language governing what happens to IRA accounts after they are inherited have been updated. Though not everyone with an IRA...
Pennsylvania Automobile Insurance Law
Posted On February 11, 2020
Pennsylvania drivers are legally required to maintain financial responsibility of their vehicles by purchasing automobile insurance. Under Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, car owners can choose to buy either “limited tort” or “full tort” coverage. In plain English, those selections ultimately determine whether—and when—someone can legally recover money damages for pain and suffering...
What is my Personal Injury Worth?
Posted On February 6, 2020
After being hurt in an accident, whether it is a slip and fall accident or a car accident, people often wonder what their claims are worth. Publications often focus and highlight multimillion-dollar settlements, but most victims realize they will likely receive significantly less compensation. In general, no personal injury lawyer can say with certainty...
Overcoming Fear of Divorce
Posted On February 5, 2020
Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most stressful events a person can go through in their lifetime, so it is no wonder why many people may remain in an unhappy marriage purely out of the fear of the divorce process. If the thought of going through a divorce causes you immense fear or anxiety,...
How Does the Secure ACT of 2020 Impact Your Retirement?
Posted On February 4, 2020
Americans are living longer and working well past the traditional retirement age of 65 years old. Approximately one-quarter of working Americans say they plan on not retiring, according to an Associated Press- NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. For many, the reason is because they cannot afford to retire, forcing them to stay...
Car Accident Insurance Process
Posted On January 28, 2020
The days after a car accident can be confusing and stressful. Unfortunately, most car accidents result in injuries and damages. Injured victims need to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer, especially if medical bills and lost wages are predicted to be high. However, even a moderate crash event should be reported to insurance...
January, The Month of Divorce
Posted On January 21, 2020
The holidays can be difficult, particularly for married couples. Unstable marriages seemingly cannot overcome the added holiday stress at this time of year. Perhaps that is why January is unofficially classified as the “divorce month”, where most divorces happen compared to any other time of the year. All marriages are different, and divorce can...
Charitable Trusts in Pennsylvania
Posted On January 20, 2020
Charitable trusts can be designed to avoid certain income taxes but often with frequently changing regulations; it can become difficult to maintain the tax-exempt status. As more and more banks merge and consolidate, trustees and administrators are faced with having to review older trusts and must work to integrate them in the newer systems....
Michael Davey of Eckell Sparks Quoted in The Legal Intelligencer
Posted On January 14, 2020
Attorney Michael J. Davey of Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. commented in The Legal Intelligencer on the feds targeting personal injury law firms to be held responsible for Medicare debts accrued by their clients, the plaintiffs. Outstanding Medicare liens present problems for many personal injury lawyers in that the...
Black Ice Accidents and Liability
Posted On January 14, 2020
Winter weather causes responsible drivers to adjust their driving practices to avoid car accidents. It is common knowledge that it is best to avoid the roads during a snowstorm or freezing rain; however, black ice is a less blatant road condition that is especially dangerous. Since black ice camouflages into the road, unsuspecting drivers...
Dangers of Left Lane Driving
Posted On January 13, 2020
Hazards of Slow Left Lane Driving In general, left lanes are supposed to be used for passing and turning only; vehicles should not be lingering in this lane. Right lanes are for slower moving vehicles. Drivers in the left lane can become frustrated when a slower vehicle is impeding traffic. Frustrated drivers may be...
How Should I Winterize My Car?
Posted On January 3, 2020
Winter is usually the most dangerous time of year to drive, and winters in Pennsylvania can prove brutal. Getting stuck in wintry weather is a frightening experience, and not always avoidable. Improve the odds that you and your car make it safely to your destination without issues by keeping your car well-maintained and performing...
Are Professional Degrees Marital Property in Pennsylvania?
Posted On January 2, 2020
The task of dividing up marital property can be complicated, especially when a detail presents itself that had not been considered before. Couples will expect to divide up savings accounts, furniture, and items they purchased together. There is another factor that some separating spouses will also need to think about, and that is professional...
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help in a Car Accident Deposition?
Posted On December 23, 2019
Often portrayed as highly dramatic on television and in movies, depositions are events that happen regularly in personal injury cases. Nevertheless, people expected to give a deposition for the first time may still feel a great deal of anxiety about being questioned by attorneys on the opposite side. Knowledgeable personal injury lawyers can help...
What is a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust?
Posted On December 20, 2019
Effective estate planning positions your assets to be shielded from tax liability while remaining accessible for the assigned beneficiaries. In traditional estate planning, that means tucking your money away for future distribution to your heirs in the event of your death. Some interesting options in estate planning allow your tax-exempt and liability-protected money to...
Keeping the Magic in Christmas in Separate Houses
Posted On December 12, 2019
Celebrating Christmas in two separate houses can be difficult for children with divorced parents. However, it can also be difficult on the parents as well, especially when it comes to giving gifts. It is important to avoid doubling up on toys, electronics, and clothes, but that may happen if you and your ex-spouse fail...
Holiday Safety Tips
Posted On December 11, 2019
The holidays should serve as a joyous time, but an injury can mar the season. Many of these accidents are preventable by taking extra safety precautions during certain holiday activities and avoiding distractions. No one wants to spend the holidays in the hospital or recuperating, so help protect you and your loved ones by...
Best Ways to Prepare for Road Trips
Posted On December 6, 2019
The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Because of the number of people out on the roads, it is also one of the most dangerous times of the year for driving. By preparing for road trips and reviewing some safety tips, you can ensure that you and your...
Most Dangerous Toys of 2019
Posted On December 5, 2019
With Christmas only a few weeks away, you may be wondering what the most appropriate gifts are for young children and what gifts may be too dangerous. There were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in the United States in 2017. The World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has released a list of the...
Dump Truck Accidents
Posted On November 27, 2019
A dump truck is an important tool in construction due to its ability to carry loose materials. However, these trucks often pose a safety threat. An accident involving a dump truck tends to have more disastrous outcomes than regular car accidents. This is due to the weight, size, and mobility of commercial trucks. However,...
Medical Marijuana Users Can’t Be Fired (not for that, at least)
Posted On November 25, 2019
Last week, in what appears to be the first decision from any Pennsylvania state or federal court on the issue, the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County held that Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (“MMA”) protects an employee from being fired simply because he or she is a licensed user under the MMA. Writing...
Avoiding Thanksgiving Accidents
Posted On November 22, 2019
The holidays can mean many things; it is a time for joyful moments with your family and friends but can also be overwhelming and stressful. The holidays bring overcrowded roadways and shopping centers, as well as families rushing around for last minute gifts. These hectic conditions lead to common accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, people...
How Can I Be Grateful on Thanksgiving During My Divorce?
Posted On November 21, 2019
For recently divorced individuals, it is difficult to manage holidays without their spouse. Many people are used to a holiday routine that included their ex-spouse and children. However, divorce often changes this routine. This might leave an individual uncomfortable and ungrateful during the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite these feelings, it is important to take steps...
What do I do if my ex is Not Following Our Divorce Agreement?
Posted On November 18, 2019
Your final divorce agreement outlines how you and your former spouse handle items such as alimony, child custody, child support, and how the martial property is divided. It is likely that a lot of planning and compromise went into the divorce agreement but is it not uncommon for one spouse to decide they are...
Why Unmarried Couples Cohabiting Need a Will
Posted On November 14, 2019
These days, more and more couples are living in quasi-marital situations without formally tying the knot. Whether or not to marry is a personal decision, but couples must realize if one of them dies unexpectedly without a will, their unmarried status puts the survivor at a distinct disadvantage. Laws of Intestate Succession No matter...
Will School Bus Cameras Reduce Unlawful Passing?
Posted On November 11, 2019
School buses are transporting students to school throughout the year. This method of transportation is considered relatively safe. However, drivers who unlawfully pass school buses put student safety in jeopardy. States are acting against drivers who practice this negligent behavior by using school bus cameras. State representatives are hopeful that the camera installations will...
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania?
Posted On November 8, 2019
Couples who tie the knot usually expect to stay married for a lifetime. However, that is not always the case. When divorce is the only option left, you and your soon to be ex-spouse may have questions about the process of going your own separate ways. To file for a divorce in Pennsylvania, one...
Increase in Pedestrian Accidents Due to Distracted Driving
Posted On November 7, 2019
Distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents involving pedestrians. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, from 2008 to 2017, pedestrian fatalities increased by 35 percent. A recent study from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) found that deaths of pedestrians and cyclists are increasing although motor vehicle deaths are...
Why We Need the Civil Justice System
Posted On November 1, 2019
Outside of recovering money for clients, trial attorneys often act as “the civil police” of the automobile and manufacturing industries By: Matthew J. Bilker, Esquire So often, when prospective clients call me for the first time or come in for a consultation on an injury claim, one of the very first things they all...
What is Transfer on Death Regarding Estate Planning?
Posted On October 30, 2019
Though it can be tough to talk about, death is a reality that no one can avoid. However, what can be avoided is probate court for some assets. This is the reason many people talk to their estate planning attorneys about the possibility of taking advantage of designating certain assets as transfer on death...
Finding Hidden Assets
Posted On October 24, 2019
The divorce process can be especially long and drawn out when couples attempt to hide assets from each other to avoid having them divided in court. Over 30 percent of U.S. adults who have combined assets with their spouse have admitted to being deceptive about money, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education....
School Bus Safety
Posted On October 22, 2019
Students taking the school bus are more than likely in safe hands. However, there are a handful of students who are killed each year while entering or exiting the bus. Therefore, students should learn school bus safety techniques. Ultimately, teaching students how to practice caution while taking the bus keeps themselves and others safe....
Can My Regular Doctor See Me After a Car Crash?
Posted On October 18, 2019
After being involved in a car accident, it is only normal to think of your primary care physician for medical treatment. However, many physicians will not see their patients after they have been in a car accident. This is because family practitioners bill medical insurance companies and not auto insurance companies. If you or...
Work Van Rollover in New Garden Leaves Three Fatalities, Eight Injuries
Posted On October 17, 2019
A work van rollover occurred in New Garden Township, Pennsylvania leaving three fatalities and eight victims with injuries. On Wednesday afternoon, around 2:30 pm, the crash took place on Route 1 near Newark Road. During the rollover, one passenger was ejected from the work van, and several others became trapped in the vehicle. No...
Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Benefits
Posted On October 17, 2019
Buying Auto Insurance? Don’t Let Brokers Talk You Into Waiving or Reducing UM/UIM Benefits By: Matthew J. Bilker, Esquire Whenever I meet with new and prospective clients who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions, amongst the documents I ask them to bring with them is what is called their “Declarations Sheet,” i.e., a...
Federal Trucking Regulations on Hours of Service Rules
Posted On October 16, 2019
Truck lobbyists have responded positively to the new proposed regulations for the Hours of Service (HOS) rules governing how long truck drivers and other commercial truckers can operate their vehicles. However, many people remain skeptical about HOS updates, voicing their concerns that lifting strict mandates may lead to a spike in highway truck accidents...
Are Handwritten Wills Valid in Pennsylvania?
Posted On October 11, 2019
Handwritten wills are legal in Pennsylvania if they meet certain requirements. The main requirement is for it to be signed. Even a will written by the hand of the testator, meaning the person whose estate is being regarded in the document, is invalid without an acceptable signature. Pennsylvania state code makes no distinction about...
Should a Stay-at-Home Mom File for Divorce?
Posted On October 9, 2019
Divorces, although difficult, are common. Each year, couples file for a divorce for different reasons. In 2017, approximately 9.5 million single parents in the United States were women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, approximately eight percent of those women were stay-at-home moms. If you are a stay-at-home mom and are looking...
Who is Liable for a Chain Reaction Accident?
Posted On October 4, 2019
Determining fault in a two-car accident can be tough enough, but in a chain reaction crash, it can be a nightmare to unravel who was negligent and caused the event. Every chain reaction is a unique occurrence, so figuring out what happened may take investigative legwork. Sometimes, several people may share the liability. Chain...
Link Between Distracted Pedestrians and Accidents
Posted On October 2, 2019
People who walk down the street with their eyes glued to their phone pose a danger to themselves and drivers in the vicinity. Though plenty of amusing videos show people falling into fountains or walking into objects, distracted walking is no laughing matter. In fact, accidents involving pedestrians who are not paying attention are...
The Secure Act
Posted On September 26, 2019
The House recently passed a new bill, known as Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which will make it easier for Americans to save for retirement. The bill passed the House nearly unanimously and makes major changes to the law governing retirement savings accounts. These include: Changing the age...
You Might Get a Raise in January!
Posted On September 25, 2019
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new rules effective January 1, 2020 that will raise the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $455 a week (currently) to $684 a week. Generally speaking, this means that after January 1, if your employer classifies you as a “salaried” employee who doesn’t get overtime pay...
Child Custody and Extracurricular Activities
Posted On September 18, 2019
Divorce comes with different issues. When children are involved, it could make the situation even more complicated, especially when the adult parties cannot come to an agreement regarding their children. When it comes to child custody and extracurricular activities, you may be wondering what you can and cannot do when scheduling activities for your...
Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Posted On September 13, 2019
No one wants to think too much about their own mortality, but estate planning can be a comfort to you and a godsend to those you leave behind. Going through the process of considering your assets and deciding how you would prefer them to be distributed after your death can provide a great sense...
Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
Posted On September 11, 2019
Drunk and drugged drivers still populate this nation’s roads and highways, even though the public is aware of the dangers it presents. The accidents they cause traumatize victims and ruin lives, and these drivers often flee the scene after the crash occurs. What if the driver who is clearly under the influence remains at...
How Can Parents Protect Their New Drivers?
Posted On September 4, 2019
Pennsylvania’s teens can receive a learner’s permit on their 16th birthday, followed by a full license at least a year after that. Though this lag time may make parents temporarily sigh with relief, parents must plan ways to protect their driving teens down the road. The following are some of the best ways to...
SUV Slams into SEPTA Bus in Philadelphia Injuring Multiple Victims
Posted On September 4, 2019
An SUV in pursuit by the police slammed into a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia, leaving multiple victims with injuries. Around 9:40 pm on Tuesday night, the police chased an SUV occupied by three teenagers who allegedly assaulted a worker from the King of Prussia Mall and stole her car. The SUV containing the suspects...
Deana’s Law Targets DUI Drivers with Multiple Offenses
Posted On August 29, 2019
Senator Tom Killion introduced Deana’s Law which targets DUI drivers that possess multiple offenses on Wednesday in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The law is named for Deana Eckman who lost her life in February 2019 after a pickup truck slammed head-on into her vehicle on Route 452 in Upper Chichester, Pennsylvania. After the fatal car...
Should I Tell My Child’s School About Our Impending Divorce?
Posted On August 28, 2019
Most teachers want to keep the lines of communication open between them and their students’ parents. However, some divorcing parents feel uncomfortable or unsure as to how much information they should tell their children’s instructors. While they certainly want to make the transition easier for their children, they may be hesitant to give too...
Intestate Succession Law in Pennsylvania  
Posted On August 23, 2019
Thinking about what happens to your assets when you pass away is not a pleasant or easy task. However, having an estate plan in place is the best way to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes, especially for large or complex estates. If a person is intestate when they die,...
Can Non-Biological Parents Be Granted Custody?
Posted On August 21, 2019
When it comes to child custody, there is no question that biological parents’ rights generally trump those of non-biological parents, such as stepparents. However, that does not mean non-biological parents are never granted custody. A court decides each custody situation on its merits, and there are times when a non-biological parent will receive custody...
Living Alone Post-Divorce
Posted On August 14, 2019
One of the biggest transitions for many people going from marriage to divorce is suddenly adjusting to life alone. All the changes and custody negotiations are stress-inducing and more consequential, yet one cannot discount the emotional adjustment of simply being solo for the first time again. Being alone can also mean having more time...
Estate Planning for Your Grandchildren’s College Education
Posted On August 9, 2019
Providing a college education for the grandchildren is a dream of many individuals. With thoughtful estate planning, grandparents can give this gift even if they are no longer alive to see it. Deciding on the best method of paying for college education costs is an important decision in the estate planning process. Avoiding Negative...
Helpful Hints to Win Your Tax Appeal
Posted On August 7, 2019
Appealing real estate taxes may sound like a no-win situation. However, people can and do successfully appeal property taxes that have increased after a recent assessment. Some of the ways to protest hikes in real estate taxes and win cases are surprisingly simple yet effective. Documentation of Negative Influences Just because a property includes...
When Misused Car Signals Lead to Accidents
Posted On August 5, 2019
Turn signals are important tools for drivers to use. These signals allow a driver to communicate with surrounding vehicles about upcoming turns or lane departures. However, drivers often misuse their signals while driving, leading to motor vehicle accidents. After an accident, drivers may wonder who should be held responsible. When a Driver Turns Without...
Should I Change My Name After Divorce?
Posted On July 31, 2019
Those who get divorced often wonder if they should keep or change their legal names. Everyone who gets a divorce should take into consideration a few factors before deciding what to do about their last name. What Happens to the Children’s Names? Many parents prefer the same last name as their children. This may...
Contesting a Will
Posted On July 24, 2019
Not receiving the inheritance you anticipated from a loved one can be devastating. Unfortunately, trying to overturn the wishes of the deceased is not an easy task. Determining whether to contest a loved one’s will can be a difficult decision for many individuals. Understanding what happens during a will dispute can help individuals make...
Smartwatches and Distracted Driving
Posted On July 18, 2019
Most people realize that distracted driving causes accidents, but still turn their attention away from the wheel, consciously or not. The long list of distractions includes cell phones, other passengers rubbernecking, eating, and now smartwatches, which are wearable technology. Smartwatches, like the Apple iWatch, are hi-tech and versatile, allowing users to text, talk, and...
Who is Liable for My Accident Caused by a Broken Streetlight?
Posted On July 16, 2019
Motorists expect traffic lights, traffic signals, and streetlights to function properly. However, safety equipment can and does malfunction. In the best of circumstances, this can lead to driver confusion. In the worst, it can wind up causing highway fatalities. It may seem straightforward to assume that a municipality is at-fault for a non-performing traffic...
Pennsylvania Probate Guide
Posted On July 10, 2019
Probate is the process used to determine how a deceased person’s assets will be distributed. If the decedent’s will names an executor, that person will oversee the process. If not, it is managed in probate court. Probate is one of several different ways an individual can pass their assets on to surviving loved ones;...
Delaware County Head-on Crash Seriously Injures Three
Posted On July 3, 2019
A head-on crash that took place in Delaware County, Pennsylvania seriously injured three victims. Around midnight on Wednesday the car accident occurred in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania behind the Philadelphia International Airport. All three victims were brought to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center for treatment of their injuries. One of the most serious car accidents...
What Should You Include in a Divorce Settlement?
Posted On July 3, 2019
A divorce settlement is more than just a part of the overall divorce proceedings. It is the core document the court uses to determine the ultimate terms of the divorce. Consequently, every divorce settlement should comprehensively cover several topics, including child custody and parenting time, child support, spousal support, and property. Child Custody and...
Firework Safety
Posted On July 1, 2019
Fireworks have been an important part of Independence Day for as long as our nation has been in existence. Many Americans see Fourth of July fireworks as a patriotic duty, while others treat the displays as a family tradition. Fireworks can range from consumer grade products, such as small-scale sparklers and firecrackers, to powerful...
100 Deadliest Days of Summer
Posted On June 28, 2019
For most teens and their parents, summer means a time to relax and recharge. To AAA, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend is known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. During this time, teen driving incidents tend to spike. Teens are often driving more to hang out with friends or...
Do I Need a Lawyer to Appeal My Property Taxes?
Posted On June 26, 2019
Taxes are a burden that all citizens endure. If you speak to your neighbors, you might all agree that you love where you live, despite the property taxes being notoriously high. You and your neighbor may also agree that appealing your high property taxes may be another headache to take on or the process...
Emergency Vehicle Accidents
Posted On June 21, 2019
When emergency vehicles speed down roads with their lights and sirens on, other drivers usually make room by pulling to the side or off the roadway. Police cars, fire engines, and ambulances must often ignore traffic rules when time is of the essence, and they act quickly to get where they are going. However,...
Do Not Compare Your Divorce to Others
Posted On June 19, 2019
Going through a divorce can take its toll on anyone. Divorce is a major life change and it is normal to worry about what people will think. However, it is important to avoid comparing your divorce to someone else’s. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, it is normal to...
Estate Planning and Family Dynamics
Posted On June 13, 2019
For many individuals in the process of estate planning, the decisions related to the distribution of assets or the creation of a trust can be made relatively easily. What often complicates matters is the unique family dynamics that can bring undue stress into the situation. This can be especially true in cases of blended...
Are My Property Taxes Too High?
Posted On June 11, 2019
Recent reappraisal programs in Delaware County have left some homeowners wondering if their property taxes are fair in comparison to other area homes. Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your home, so it is a good idea to verify that the amount you have been assessed is up to date and...
What is Parental Alienation?
Posted On June 7, 2019
Even congenial divorces involve moments of stress. In contentious divorces filled with anger and resentment, parents sometimes resort to behaviors that negatively affect their relationship with their children. Parental alienation is a prime example of conduct that divorcing parents should actively avoid. First identified in the 1980s, parental alienation occurs when the alienating parent...
Does a Living Will Expire?
Posted On June 5, 2019
Increasing numbers of individuals are using living wills to allow others to make medical decisions for them in cases of mental or physical incapacity. Directions regarding the use of extraordinary measures to prolong life, including the use of artificial respiration and ongoing hydration, are frequently addressed in living wills Appointing a representative to make...
Changes in Mortgage Payments Due to Property Tax Increases
Posted On May 29, 2019
Property taxes are an important funding source for local governments needing money to provide a wide array of public services. Although a tax hike can indicate an increase in the property value of a home, higher tax liability hits property owners where it hurts; their pocketbooks. For homeowners who pay their property taxes through...
Memorial Day Weekend Driver Safety
Posted On May 22, 2019
Memorial Day weekend will be here soon, and AAA estimates that close to 40 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles during this time. With so many cars and trucks on the roads, it is inevitable that there will be an increase in accidents. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that over 400...
What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?
Posted On May 21, 2019
Were you recently involved in a car accident? Whether you were involved in a minor fender bender or suffered a serious crash, a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience leaving you physically injured and in emotional distress. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may face costly medical expenses, which...
How to Include Your Home in Estate Planning
Posted On May 17, 2019
A family home is one of the largest assets that a person owns. The emotional ties to the home can dramatically increase the worth to heirs of an estate. Deciding how to include a home in an estate plan can be a complicated process. Working with an experienced estate lawyer can ensure that the...
Potential Impacts of Divorce on Your Business
Posted On May 15, 2019
Every year, more than 600,000 new businesses are opened. Although the survival rate for small to mid-sized companies is not high, many do thrive and become lucrative revenue streams. However, when the founder or co-founder of a business files for divorce, complications arise. Courts will consider the business’s assets and liabilities to fairly and...
Dangers of Low-Level Falls
Posted On May 10, 2019
Every year, more than 37 million falls require medical attention and are the second leading cause of accidental injuries worldwide. It goes without saying that falls from great heights are dangerous, but low and ground level falls can be just as risky, especially to elderly or medically-fragile individuals. Fall victims suffer painful and debilitating...
Ten Lawyers from Eckell Sparks Recognized by Super Lawyers
Posted On May 9, 2019
Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. is thrilled to announce that 10 of their attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is an independent referral service that chooses the most respected and successful lawyers from each state and area of concentration. Candidates are peer nominated and undergo a...
Understanding Assessed Property Value
Posted On May 8, 2019
Homeowners are often surprised to find that their property tax bill has increased. If the tax bill has increased for the home, then the value of the home has also increased. However, it is estimated that homes are often overvalued. Homeowners can appeal a home’s assessed value if they believe that their home has been overvalued to...
Who is Liable If I Am Injured at a Stadium?
Posted On May 2, 2019
Millions of people attend stadiums every year for sporting events to rock-and-roll concerts. While most individuals will go home with nothing but happy memories, some will be less fortunate as stadiums can sometimes offer dangerous situations and conditions. Determining liability after being hurt at a stadium involves several factors. First, it is important to...
Uncontested Versus Contested Divorce in Pennsylvania
Posted On April 26, 2019
Divorce is a common fact of life and happens across all ages and demographic groups. In the United States more than 827,000 people divorced in 2016, according to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) statistics. Divorce falls broadly into two categories, which are based on the level of agreement or disagreement between the...
Charitable Giving and Estate Planning
Posted On April 24, 2019
Charitable giving is a part of many estate plans, whether for philanthropic or tax-reducing purposes. Your giving strategy may vary depending on your financial circumstances and the tax benefits that come with each option for donation. It is therefore important to consider which assets you will donate, and how they will be left when...
Calculating Property Taxes
Posted On April 17, 2019
For many homeowners, news of a property tax hike can be a source of stress and financial uncertainty. Understanding how and why property tax increases occur can help property owners prepare for the financial impact of tax hikes while remaining alert for tax overcharges. Assessing Property Values To determine the amount of local or...
Challenging Property Tax Assessments
Posted On April 11, 2019
Property tax bills may amount to a lot of money and can be a burden for Pennsylvania residents. No one likes to pay high property taxes, and most pay it without thinking about any recourse. According to Forbes, just two percent of homeowners challenge their property tax assessments, even though the National Taxpayers Union...
Motorcycle Safety
Posted On April 10, 2019
Sometimes known as motorbikes, cycles, bikes, choppers, and even roadsters, motorcycles come out of hibernation when spring approaches. The open road calls out to motorcycle owners this time of year, and the roads get a little louder with two-and-three-wheelers popping up everywhere. Getting Ready to Ride After its winter break, a motorcycle needs a...
Child Custody and Substance Abuse 
Posted On April 4, 2019
Determining child custody encompasses many factors and must be handled with delicacy in the dissolution of any marriage involving children. One issue that may complicate matters and create concern over the well-being of the children may be a substance abuse problem afflicting one of the parents. Alcohol or drug abuse may disrupt a parent’s...
How to Help Older Family Members With Estate Plans
Posted On April 3, 2019
Many people put off creating an estate plan as long as possible. After all, it may seem like an unpleasant reminder that life does not last forever. As the Delaware County wills and estate lawyers at Eckell Sparks know, estate plans ensure that assets are handled appropriately after the death or incapacitation of a...
Catastrophic Injuries Involve Permanent Debilitating Injuries
Posted On March 29, 2019
Personal injury lawsuits usually involve physical injuries. However, some physical injuries are so grave that they are often characterized as “catastrophic injuries.” In these types of lawsuits, the aggrieved parties have suffered injuries that are severe, permanent, and include higher damages due to expensive medical procedures, long-term medical care, and loss of earning capacity....
Who Gets the Credit Card Debt and Who Gets the Credit Card Rewards?
Posted On March 28, 2019
Dividing marital assets is a major component of a divorce agreement, but so is dividing marital debt. When it comes to credit card debt in a Pennsylvania divorce, much depends on whether the credit cards are jointly held or only in the name of one spouse. Credit Card Debt and Divorce If your credit...
Wills, Estate Planning, and Technology
Posted On March 22, 2019
More and more, our lives revolve around technology. Increasingly, that includes end of life issues, such as creating a will and estate planning. While technology is a valuable tool in many areas of life, it also contains inherent risks. What was cutting edge technology a decade ago – like flip phones – is ancient...
Open and Obvious Defenses In Slip and Fall Cases
Posted On March 21, 2019
Property owners should know that they are legally responsible to protect pedestrians or visitors from unreasonable and dangerous site hazards. Winter hazards such as snow and ice on the premises are a common occurrence. But slip and fall accidents can happen year-round on and at all kinds of business and commercial sites. For those...
Residential Tax Assessment Appeals
Posted On March 15, 2019
The Delaware County Tax Reassessment Project, initiated in March 2017, commenced in November with mailers being distributed to residential property owners in several municipalities. The reassessment results will apply for the 2021 tax year and may significantly increase the taxes property owners will have to pay. When homeowners receive the new assessments, they may...
Fault in Rear-End Accidents
Posted On March 14, 2019
When people see a rear-end collision, they will likely assume that the driver of the vehicle in back was at fault. Although this is true in most of these crashes, there are situations where that driver is only partially at fault, or even not liable at all. Rear-end collisions are the most common kind,...
Paying the Debt of an Estate
Posted On March 11, 2019
When a person dies, assets owned solely in their name become part of their estate – and so do their debts. Should the latter exceed the former, the estate may prove insolvent. For most estates, the assets will exceed the debts; but heirs cannot receive assets left to them until the debts of the...
Should I Pursue Legal Action If I Slip and Fall on Ice in PA?
Posted On February 28, 2019
Pennsylvania winters bring snarled traffic, school delays, and snowy sidewalks and roads for pedestrians to navigate. Unfortunately, even with proper care and caution, people slip and fall on icy surfaces resulting in serious injuries. Winter brings regular calls to law offices with the frequent question: should I pursue legal action for my slip and...
Planned Gifting Within Your Estate Plan
Posted On February 27, 2019
Planned gifting and estate planning allow people to allocate their money and valuable assets to individuals or charitable organizations that they hold near to their heart. Careful planning can help alleviate stress and financial tax burdens on beneficiaries while allowing donors to continue to benefit from interest and dividends while they are still alive....
Who Can Change a Will?
Posted On February 22, 2019
Your last will and testament is supposed to contain your final wishes as to the disposition of your estate. This legal document is one of the most important plans you will ever make, and you should take considerable care when devising it. The following are some matters that you should take into account when...
What is Personal Injury Law?
Posted On February 21, 2019
Sometimes accidents or wrongdoings occur that result in harm to another. Personal injury law, a part of civil law, works to provide monetary compensation to those who have been injured by another. There may be one or more parties injured or responsible for the harm. A plaintiff, who is the individual harmed, may be...
What is the Difference Between a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney?
Posted On February 15, 2019
No one enjoys making decisions about the end of their lives. But if people do not act when they are still relatively healthy and mentally competent, they could end up in the kind of situation they would want to avoid. A few lucky people die at a ripe old age in their sleep –...
What if I Slip and Fall at a Restaurant?
Posted On February 14, 2019
Though most people do not think about getting hurt when they are out eating dinner, accidents do happen. Restaurants are public places, and tend to be filled with people throughout the day. Busy servers, impatient patrons, and other factors can lead to unsafe conditions that people might not even think about. Slip and fall...
When Should You Contact a Divorce Lawyer?
Posted On February 8, 2019
The answer to this question varies with the circumstances of each divorcing couple, and often depends on how willing they are to compromise on matters like the division of assets, alimony, child support, and child custody arrangements. Spouses who end things amicably have more options than those that do not. However, consulting a Chester...
Pennsylvania Lifts Uber’s Autonomous Vehicle Testing Ban
Posted On February 6, 2019
Human error is frequently cited as the cause of most car accidents. However, for the ridesharing powerhouse Uber, this time it was software that caused a serious accident. Though self-driving software is designed to eliminate everyday human error, just one glitch or hack can cause a severe accident, and could be the difference between...
Craig B. Huffman of Eckell Sparks Named President of Delaware County Bar Association
Posted On February 2, 2019
The Media, Pennsylvania law firm of Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. is proud to announce that attorney Craig B. Huffman has been named President of the Delaware County Bar Association. Craig B. Huffman, attorney with Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. in Media, Pennsylvania has...
Estate Planning for Young Professionals
Posted On February 1, 2019
Planning for the future is important. It is no less important when considering legacy planning, which is financial planning for future generations. Legacy planning is thoughtful management of wealth and assets both during life and beyond. This includes estate planning where one or more trusted individuals is put in charge of your assets so...
Who is At-Fault in a Merging Accident?
Posted On January 30, 2019
Driving comes with inherent risks. The operation of heavy machines moving at high-speeds opens itself up to severe injuries and consequences. Because humans operate these vehicles, there exists a wide margin for error, especially when merging. When driving on a road with more than one lane going in the same direction, it is common...
Delayed Injuries After Truck Accidents
Posted On January 25, 2019
After a motor vehicle accident occurs, its survivors can become very disoriented. Although physical trauma may not be immediately apparent or mentally registered by the victims, it can be very real. The resulting chaos from a truck accident can be much worse than in a car crash, since trucks are bigger, more powerful, and...
Estate Planning for Blended Families
Posted On January 23, 2019
When divorced couples marry new partners and there are children involved, they become blended families. These kids can be from one or both new spouse’s previous marriages. The term, blended family, was unfamiliar to most people many decades ago, but statistics show that their numbers are increasing. Close to half of the married couples...
Pedestrian Accidents
Posted On January 17, 2019
Pedestrians do not always get along well with motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 6,000 pedestrians were fatally injured in car accidents in 2017. Almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms after getting hit, equaling out to one pedestrian accident for every four minutes. During the...
Child Custody and Fathers
Posted On January 16, 2019
Child custody agreements can be among the more daunting aspects of undergoing a divorce. For men with children, there are many questions about how child custody is viewed by the legal system. In the past, child custody was traditionally awarded to the mother, but today, that assumption has begun to change. The general rule...
Estate Planning Basics
Posted On January 11, 2019
Estate planning is important to everyone and it does not have to be a complex or expensive undertaking. It can be performed all at once or piece by piece over time. The important thing is to avoid inaction because of confusion or misunderstanding. The following is a brief description of the main issues involved...
Accident Liability for Poor Road Conditions
Posted On January 9, 2019
Like any other state, Pennsylvania’s roads and highways need ongoing repairs and upkeep to maintain their safety. Although there is federal funding, every state has a specific budget that is set for ongoing, necessary maintenance, repair work, and construction. Even though taxes are used for road work, it is difficult to keep up with...
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Posted On January 4, 2019
Determining who is responsible for a truck accident is not always an easy task. This is because accidents involving trucks and tractor-trailers are often more complicated than an accident involving two smaller vehicles. For example, if a truck driver drifts out of the proper lane and hits a vehicle driving alongside the truck, most...
What Happens to Your Assets When You Die Without a Will?
Posted On January 3, 2019
Many of us think that creating a will is something that we do when we are older. Others may believe they have nothing substantial to leave behind, therefore a will is pointless. However, these misconceptions can lead to many unfortunate consequences, including the fact that the laws of the state where the deceased resides...
Driverless Cars Can Make Traffic Lights and Tickets Disappear
Posted On December 26, 2018
A recent University of Delaware study predicts driverless car technology could bring big changes to American roadways. With improved traffic coordination and fuel efficiency capacities, driverless cars may reduce the need for traffic lights and eliminate speeding tickets in the future. Researchers used simulation software and driving simulation facilities to explore the most current...
Choosing Your Executor
Posted On December 19, 2018
Too many people neglect to take care of proper estate planning while they are still of sound mind. Others may not realize that designating an executor for their estate is one of the most important tools for assuring that their final wishes will be carried out. There is a lot more to getting your...
New Pennsylvania Work Zone Law
Posted On December 14, 2018
Pennsylvania work zones just became safer for drivers and workers, thanks to a new law signed by Governor Tom Wolf last month. Targeted at reducing speeding in work zone areas, the recently passed Automated Speed Enforcement bill allows select state agencies to use radar and other recording equipment to monitor the speed of vehicles...
The Workings of Probate
Posted On December 13, 2018
When a loved one dies, family members are left with the task of handling the financial affairs of the deceased individual, referred to as the decedent. This includes settling debts, paying owed taxes, distributing the decedent’s property, and closing out bank accounts. These activities fall under the legal process called probate. State laws vary...
Avoiding Truck Accidents During the Holidays
Posted On December 7, 2018
Although parking lots at shopping malls are packed with cars during the holiday season, many people have turned to shopping online for gifts and supplies. This translates into more delivery trucks on the roads throughout December. They are on all the roads and highways, and these increasing numbers lead to more truck accidents during...
Custody Battles Impact Families
Posted On December 6, 2018
A bitter divorce can be the result of many factors, and it is easy for the spouses to lose sight of the big picture. Constant arguing, financial worries, and inconsistent behaviors can affect their loved ones, especially when children are in the picture. Children of divorcing couples can get caught in the middle when...
Power of Attorney and Siblings
Posted On November 29, 2018
It can be a complicated endeavor to deal with the needs of a parent. Issues like transportation, enabling social interactions to take place, monitoring medication schedules, attending to household tasks, and more will arise. In addition, they may no longer be able to handle paying the bills and other financial matters. The need to...
Establishing Guardianship
Posted On November 23, 2018
It is important for parents to establish guardianship for their minor children. Although it is difficult to think about, if something happens to you and your child’s other parent, you should ensure that someone you trust will take care of your child. Naming a guardian in your will or testament greatly increases your chances...
Roundabouts Reduce Traffic Accidents
Posted On November 21, 2018
Traffic circles, roundabouts, and rotaries can be a little intimidating for drivers. Yet, even though complaints are made, proponents of these rounded intersections make a good case for their safety. Studies have shown that roundabouts show a 10 percent decrease in bicycle accidents, 30 to 40 percent reduction in pedestrian accidents, 75 percent less...
Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Driving
Posted On November 20, 2018
Thanksgiving is the time to gather with family and old friends and celebrate our blessings. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst times of year for car accidents because more people are on the road, making driving extra dangerous. AAA estimated that over 54 million Americans will be on the roads over the...
Pedestrian Accidents
Posted On November 17, 2018
When you think of car accidents, you probably picture one car crashing into another. What you may not realize is that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 pedestrians are fatally injured in motor vehicle related accidents. This commonly occurs when a pedestrian tries to cross a highway. When a pedestrian...
Thanksgiving After Divorce
Posted On November 16, 2018
Holidays can bring both joys and stress in the best of times, but the first Thanksgiving after a divorce is far more complicated. Divorce is a life-altering experience, and adapting around the holidays during the first year is key to making it as smooth as possible for the children. Thanksgiving usually means that for...
The Danger of Wearing Headphones While Driving
Posted On November 9, 2018
It is an appealing idea to shut out the sound of traffic while driving and focus on your favorite music through headphones or earbuds. It gives you pleasure without annoying other people in the car. However, there is a problem. Earphones and headphones are among the most dangerous forms of distracted driving and have...
Distracted Driving is Still a Serious Problem
Posted On October 26, 2018
Although AAA and other road safety organizations have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the risks of distracted driving, drivers in this country still seem reluctant to put down their cell phone. In 2015, more than 3,400 fatalities were caused by distracted driving. Current research shows that nearly half of drivers admit to looking...
Financial Planning Month
Posted On October 25, 2018
Achieving financial goals is more attenable for people that carefully plan out specific steps and put them into action. It is good to save money, but the constant rise in the cost of living necessitates investing, documentation, and tax planning. October is Financial Planning Month, and it is a great time to either get...
New Tax Rule May Complicate Efforts to Divorce
Posted On October 19, 2018
Going through a divorce can be extremely challenging. With so much emotion and so many decisions to make, it can often be a recipe for disaster – or at least overwhelm even the most put together individuals. There can be a great deal of contention over distribution of assets, not to mention child custody...
Rideshare Vehicles with Recalls
Posted On October 18, 2018
Uber and Lyft are becoming a popular alternative to calling a local cab company. As many of us utilize this service to safely transport ourselves and our family members to the airport, special events, and other locations, we may not even consider the fact that the vehicle we are trusting to take us where...
Attorney Matthews Offers Continuing Education on Estate Planning
Posted On October 15, 2018
Recently, Guy F. Matthews, attorney at Eckell Sparks, led the Estate Planning 101 seminar sponsored by the Retirement Prosperity Group. Mr. Matthews offered guidance on wills, trusts, probate, powers of attorney, and more to a standing room only crowd. As part of the event, attendees were offered free consultations on the varied aspects of...
Estate Planning and Cryptocurrency
Posted On October 11, 2018
With the rise in popularity and use of cryptocurrency comes the need to include such investments in estate planning. However, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are more secretive in nature than traditional investments, resulting in the need for awareness and creativity on the part of estate planning lawyers. Currently, cryptocurrency exchanges do not require your...
College Students and Drunk Driving
Posted On October 4, 2018
For many young adults, college is more than the pursuit of higher education. It is the first time they leave home and experience newfound independence. For some students, this freedom leads to experimentation with alcohol and drugs. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism call harmful and underage college drinking “significant public health...
Estate Planning Under the New Tax Law
Posted On September 28, 2018
The tax bill passed by Congress in December of last year, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was the first revamp of the tax code in many years. One of the major changes made was an increase to the exemption amount allowed from estate tax. Prior to bill’s enactment, heirs to...
Autonomous Trucks
Posted On September 27, 2018
With companies like Uber, Google, and Tesla competing to produce self-driving cars, it is no surprise that autonomous trucks are now being tested. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently held a demonstration of an autonomous truck in one of their work safety zones. The truck, valued at $350,000, was manufactured by Royal Trucking,...
Crackdown on Aggressive Driving
Posted On September 20, 2018
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that aggressive driving is a common occurrence in the United States. Unsurprisingly, 80 percent of drivers surveyed expressed some level of anger, road rage, or aggression behind the wheel in the last year. In fact, aggressive driving was a factor in 1,840 crashes and 31 fatalities in...
Tips for Making Your Car Safer to Drive
Posted On September 14, 2018
No driver wants to experience the aftermath of a car accident. The toll a car accident can have on one’s physical and mental health can be devastating. Severe injuries, including loss of limbs, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and even death, can result from motor vehicle accidents caused by unsafe cars. Many...
How Can Social Media Impact Divorce?
Posted On September 12, 2018
Anyone with a smart phone most likely uses one social media site or another. Social media surely has its benefits, helping to connect us to friends and family near and far. It also has its pitfalls. “Oversharing” is a common social media problem – and when it comes to divorce, oversharing can be downright...
Main Line Today Honors 19 Eckell Sparks Attorneys
Posted On September 7, 2018
The legal team at Eckell Sparks is proud to announce that the prestigious publication, Main Line Today, a magazine that serves Philadelphia and the Western Suburbs, has named 19 Eckell Sparks attorneys as “Top Lawyers” for 2018. The attorneys who were honored were nominated through peer balloting, then vetted through the publication’s editorial process....
Is New Car Technology Safe?
Posted On September 6, 2018
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an estimated 3,500 people die in car accidents because of distracted driving every year, and it is estimated that some 400,000 are injured. Many of those who suffer due to distracted drivers are bicyclists and pedestrians. In an effort to combat this epidemic, car manufacturers...
Make Safety Part of Back-To-School Planning
Posted On August 31, 2018
Parents and young children alike are excited about the challenges of school starting. However, it is important to include safety during this time of planning. For parents, safety is a never-ending process. As a careful parent, you must pay attention to the clothes your child is wearing; whether the backpack straps fit properly; whether...
Overview of Alimony in PA
Posted On August 30, 2018
Alimony is a series of payments that one spouse makes to the other to provide financial support after divorce. Spouses may negotiate a spousal support plan on their own; however, if they cannot come to an agreement, the court may enter a support order if it finds that one spouse owes a duty of...
How to Share the Road with Motorcycles
Posted On August 24, 2018
When warm weather arrives, motorcycle enthusiasts hit the road. While riding a motorcycle is exhilarating, it is also dangerous. Crashes between motorcycles and cars are frequent, and the accident is generally the fault of the automobile driver. Historically, two-thirds of motorcycle/auto collisions occur because the driver of the car did not yield the right...
Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid
Posted On August 23, 2018
Even if you believe that you do not have the assets to justify creating a final will and testament, establishing an estate plan can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Not only will it allow you to make informed decisions concerning your assets, but it will allow you to avoid...
Do You Think Self-Driving Cars are Safe?
Posted On August 16, 2018
With Google, Tesla, and Uber rolling out self-driving cars, autonomous technology seems to be the way of the future. Yet, according to new research conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), Americans are not fully convinced that self-driving cars are safe. In a recent study, 73 percent of citizens polled said they were “too...
Car Accident Concussion
Posted On August 9, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied traumatic brain injury (TBI) statistics in the United States for the year 2013. They found that many TBIs occur as a result of motor vehicle crashes. That year, car accidents were the third leading cause of TBI hospital visits and fatalities among Americans of all...
Talking to Children about Your Divorce
Posted On August 1, 2018
No one wants to talk about divorce. But, if you have children, you need to work through the discomfort and explain to them, in terms they can understand, what is going on. Children need to talk about it, they need to appreciate the situation, and they need to be reassured that things will be...
Plumstead Car Accident Caused Fatality and Multiple Injuries
Posted On August 1, 2018
A car accident in Plumstead, Pennsylvania caused a fatality and multiple injuries on Tuesday morning. Around 11 am, the crash occurred at the intersection of Easton and Old Easton Roads when a pickup truck slammed into a minivan. An elderly woman who was a passenger in the minivan succumbed to her fatal injuries at...
Summertime Slip and Falls
Posted On July 25, 2018
Nothing can ruin summer fun like an unexpected injury caused by a slip and fall accident. Yet, every year, over one million people visit hospital emergency rooms to deal with the aftermath of a slip and fall, with many of these accidents occurring during the summer months. Summer weather can increase the likelihood of...
How to Contest a Will
Posted On July 23, 2018
Emotions can run high following the death of a loved one. In some circumstances, surviving family members of a deceased individual may question the validity of the deceased’s will. Whether the survivors believe the will is incorrect as a result of a drafting mistake or the consequence of a wrongdoing, they may seek to...
Drug-Related Crashes on the Rise
Posted On July 18, 2018
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently published a report that focuses on the increase of drugs in motor vehicle accident fatalities. The GHSA represents state highway safety offices that employ federal grant programs to improve behavioral highway safety. The report states that 22.3 percent of the victims that were tested showed positive for marijuana in 2016. This could...
Will Lowering the Driving Age Reduce Truck Driver Shortage?
Posted On July 12, 2018
America is amid a nationwide truck driver shortage. As companies like Amazon and Walmart’s delivery services continue to expand, the trucking industry cannot keep up. Experts say that nearly 15,000 more drivers are needed to fill the shortage. The truck industry estimates that over the next 10 years, trucking companies will need to hire...
Swimming Pool Accidents
Posted On July 5, 2018
When warm summer temperatures arrive, many people will flock to public and private pools to cool off and enjoy their free time swimming. As the season continues, it is a good time to remember that safety issues at pools must always be taken seriously, especially when it comes to small children. Drowning According to...
Rebuilding Your Financial Life After Divorce
Posted On June 28, 2018
It is no secret that divorce is expensive. But for many people, that is a reality that they are willing to accept to move forward with a new and better life. Nearly every divorcing couple will face major financial changes. After a divorce, you can no longer pool your resources to share household expenses....
Power of Attorney
Posted On June 27, 2018
Power of attorney is an important legal document that everyone should have, regardless of age or financial circumstances. It is not just for the elderly or those with significant assets. A power of attorney gives the person you have designated, known as your agent, the legal right to make decisions for you should you...
Summer Driving Risks for Teen Drivers
Posted On June 22, 2018
The summer can be an especially dangerous time for teen drivers. With more celebrations and the freedom that comes from not being in school, teens are more likely to be behind the wheel and thus more likely to be injured in a car accident. According to the highway safety advocacy group We Save Lives,...
Derry Township Bicycle Accident Results in Fatality
Posted On June 19, 2018
A bicycle accident with a car claimed the life of the bicyclist in Derry Township, Pennsylvania. On Monday night, around 11:24 pm, the fatal accident occurred on Hersheypark Drive when the bicycle and car collided. The bicyclist succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene of the Derry Township bicycle accident. Half of bicycle accidents...
Hit and Run Accidents at All-Time High
Posted On June 16, 2018
According to the AAA Foundation for Safety, 2016 saw a record breaking number of fatalities due to hit and run accidents. Although most of us think of a hit and run as one car hitting another and then speeding away, most hit and run deaths involve pedestrians, bicyclists, and highway workers. With an average...
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Posted On June 6, 2018
As the weather continues to warm, motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy taking to the roads more often. However, they should be aware that Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of motorcycle accidents. In 2016, the state had a total over 3,500 motorcycle crashes in which 192 people lost their lives. Those who intend to...
Backup Cameras Prevent Accidents
Posted On May 31, 2018
Backup cameras are an extremely popular feature these days. Also known as “reversing cameras” or a “rear-view camera,” they are attached to the rear of a vehicle so that the driver can see behind them while backing up. Backup cameras can help prevent a driver from striking a child, pet, or object that is...
Roles of Estate Administrators, Trustees and Executors
Posted On May 25, 2018
When someone that you care care about passes away, not only do you have to process the emotional pain caused by your loss, but you may also be responsible for managing their affairs. After a person passes away, a personal representative is responsible for managing their financial and other affairs. This person can be...
Memorial Day Weekend Safe Driving Tips
Posted On May 23, 2018
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and is one of the most heavily-trafficked weekends of the year. According to AAA estimates, more than 34 million people drove to their Memorial Day destinations last year. More traffic means an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. Consider these safe driving tips to ensure...
Congratulations to our Super Lawyers for 2018  
Posted On May 18, 2018
Eckell Sparks proudly announces a landmark year for their practice. Seven members of our legal team have earned the distinction of Super Lawyers for 2018. Partners Leonard A. Sloane, Guy F. Matthews, and David E. Auerbach were recognized. In addition,  Craig B. Huffman, Joseph E. Lastowka, Jr., Jonathan E. Becker, and Michael J. Davey...
Keeping Pedestrians Safe This Summer
Posted On May 16, 2018
Approximately 6,000 runners, walkers, and other pedestrians are fatally injured in traffic accidents each year, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Sadly, there is no sign of a decline any time soon. One reason for this could be the increasing occurrence of distracted driving. When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, motorcycle,...
Construction Zone Truck Accidents
Posted On May 10, 2018
Highway construction zones are a high-risk area for everybody, but especially for big trucks. The sheer size and weight of a truck makes for slower reaction times and increases the need for stopping distance compared to smaller vehicles. All of these issues become amplified in the confined lanes of a construction zone, leading to...
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Posted On May 3, 2018
Many bicycle accidents fall into one of a few common categories. Learning these situations and how to avoid them can help bicyclists stay safe and reduce the risk of injury. Bicyclists need to take care at intersections as 45 percent of all bike accidents with cars happen at an intersection. The following are common...
Two Seriously Injured After Bristol Motor Vehicle Crash
Posted On April 30, 2018
After the occurrence of a motor vehicle crash in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, both drivers sustained serious injuries. The car accident took place on Route 413/Veterans Highway and Ford Road on Monday morning around 5:30 am. Victims of the motor vehicle crash who required the help of rescue crews to extricate the individuals from their...
2017 Crash Deaths
Posted On April 25, 2018
The National Safety Council estimates there were 40,100 automotive fatalities in the U.S. in 2017. For the second consecutive year, this number reached over 40,000; in 2016 the estimated total was 40,327. Despite this small decline, statistics show that overall car crash deaths are on the rise. The 2017 estimate is six percent higher...
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Posted On April 19, 2018
Distracted driving continues to be a growing problem for Pennsylvania law enforcement according to new data from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. Since 2013, citations for distracted driving have increased 172 percent. In 2017 alone, citations were up by 52 percent. Distracted driving is a broad category that includes any activity that takes...
Avoid Probate Mistakes
Posted On April 17, 2018
Probate is the legal process that takes place to determine the validity of a deceased person’s will and how that person’s assets will be distributed. Estate administration and planning can be a complicated process and sometimes people make mistakes. For this reason, it is critical to hire an experienced and reputable wills and estates...
Overview of Personal Injury Laws in Pennsylvania
Posted On April 14, 2018
Personal injury is a broad category covering everything from car and motorcycle accidents to medical malpractice and wrongful death. A personal injury case does not just involve compensation for physical injury. You may have missed work, have future medical costs and needs, or suffered emotional trauma from your accident. Whatever your legal needs are,...
Dealing with a Contentious Divorce
Posted On April 13, 2018
Ending a marriage is stressful under the best of conditions where both parties are parting amicably. But a contentious or high-conflict divorce can exhaust both your finances and your emotional well-being. It is always best when a divorce can be settled without litigation. Litigation is costly for both sides and prolongs the entire process....
Daily Times Names Eight Eckell Sparks Attorneys as Best in Delaware County
Posted On April 5, 2018
The legal team at Eckell Sparks is pleased and proud to announce that eight of our attorneys have been named among the best in Delaware County in the annual Daily Times Reader’s Choice Best Lawyers List for 2018. This honor reflects the hard work and dedication our lawyers show to every client we represent....
Things to Consider When Writing a Will
Posted On March 28, 2018
Americans do not want have to think about their own death or plan for it as evidenced by the AARP statistic that two out of every five adults over the age of 45 in the U.S. do not have a will. If you do not plan for what happens to your estate after you...
King of Prussia Multi-Vehicle Accident Involved Police Car
Posted On March 23, 2018
On Thursday evening, a multi-vehicle accident took place in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and involved a police car and about five other vehicles. Around 5:45 pm, the multi-vehicle crash occurred on Route 202 and Henderson Road when a driver who was suffering from a medical emergency rear-ended a police car that was stopped at...
Trucks Damage Bridges Causing Accidents
Posted On March 23, 2018
The Philadelphia area is no stranger to bad traffic, but the advent of GPS apps has added another twist to the litany of traffic problems here – trucks crashing into bridges in the surrounding suburbs injuring people and snarling traffic for miles around. Most GPS apps plot a route without taking into consideration the...
Lower Blood Alcohol Limits to Reduce Accidents
Posted On March 13, 2018
Alcohol-related car accidents claim the lives of more than 10,000 people in the U.S. annually. A new report by a panel from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine offers recommendations for preventing more drunk driving fatalities, including lowering the blood alcohol content threshold nationwide. Alcohol impaired driving accidents are responsible for 28...
Accidents Spike After Daylight Saving
Posted On March 8, 2018
Numerous studies suggest that more fatal car accidents occur in the days following the change of clocks for daylight saving time. Every March, we set our clocks forward one hour and then move them back again in November. This shift in time, however slight, requires the body to adjust its sleep cycle — a...
Sleep Apnea Apparent Cause of Two Train Accidents
Posted On March 2, 2018
Screening for sleep apnea could have prevented two recent train crashes – the September 2016 NJ Transit train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey, and a Long Island Railroad (LIRR) crash in Brooklyn that happened in January 2017. A report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officially cited failure to screen for sleep apnea,...
Construction Fatal Four
Posted On February 22, 2018
Construction is a hazardous industry. One in five worker fatalities happen in construction. There are four types of accidents responsible for more than 60 percent of construction worker deaths. These are the so-called Fatal Four: falls, struck-by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between accidents. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), eliminating the Fatal...
Tax Reform Presents Historic Estate Planning Opportunities
Posted On February 20, 2018
The recently-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act) provides taxpayers with historic estate planning opportunities. The Act, which became effective on January 1, 2018, grants record high exemption amounts and other advantages for a limited time until December 31, 2025. The Act may also have unintended consequences on existing wills and trusts. Individuals...
Philadelphia SEPTA Bus Tractor Trailer Crash Causes Multiple Injuries
Posted On February 20, 2018
On Tuesday morning, a SEPTA bus and tractor trailer collided, causing multiple injuries for victims. Around 5:30 am, the crash occurred when the SEPTA bus hit the tractor trailer as it was turning from Orthodox Street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Passengers from the bus sustained a range of injuries and were taken...
Truck Technology
Posted On February 15, 2018
A recent report from the AAA concludes that installing safety technology on all large trucks could prevent more than 60,000 crashes each year and save lives. More than 3.5 million trucks travel U.S. highways. The study, titled “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains,” examined four types of advanced safety technology...
New Tax Law Alimony Effects
Posted On February 9, 2018
The new tax law introduces sweeping changes to the American tax code, including the way alimony payments are treated. For 75 years, the system enabled those paying alimony to deduct the payments from their taxable income. Beginning in 2019, that will no longer be the case. At present, the alimony deduction saves both spouses...
NSC Calls Out GM for Adding to Driver Distraction
Posted On February 7, 2018
The National Safety Council (NSC) had a clear reaction to car maker General Motor’s unveiling of its new onboard Marketplace app. In an interview with Bloomberg Technology, NSC president, Deborah Hersman said the app will contribute to the problem of distracted driving. Last year in the U.S., fatalities from auto accidents rose by 5.6...
Berks County Head-on Collision Leads to Fatality and Injuries
Posted On January 31, 2018
On Tuesday night, a man sustained fatal injuries during a head-on collision in Ruscombmanor Township, Pennsylvania. Around 10:03 pm, the car accident occurred when a 19-year-old man from Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania lost control of his vehicle in the ice and snow and hit a car. During the head-on collision, the passenger in the car that...
Leonard A. Sloane Attends Swearing in of Justice Sallie Mundy
Posted On January 29, 2018
On January 4, 2018, Leonard A. Sloane, Esquire, senior partner and chair of the Firm’s Litigation and Personal Injury Department, attended the swearing in of Justice Sallie Mundy to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Justice Mundy was initially appointed to the Supreme Court on June 13, 2016 and was then elected to a ten year...
Snow Plow Accidents  
Posted On January 27, 2018
As the first blizzard of the winter season hits the east coast, snow plows take to the roads, clearing the way for others to travel safely. Snow removal is an important job that is not without risk. Snow plow accidents can be particularly serious, especially when pedestrians and other vehicles are involved. As the...
Estate Planning for Blended Families
Posted On January 26, 2018
Blended families face special challenges when it comes to estate planning. The term “blended family” can mean a number of different things. Usually, it refers to a married couple where one or both spouses have children from a prior marriage. However, it can also refer to families whose children are remarried with children from...
Eckell Sparks Attorneys Give Back to Community
Posted On January 25, 2018
The legal team at Eckell Sparks proudly recognizes attorneys Michael Davey, Rachael Kemmey, and Matthew Bilker for their participation in a fundraiser for the Drexel Neumann Academy in Chester. The attorneys, along with other members of the Young Lawyers Section of the Delaware County Bar Association, held a Monte Carlo Night to raise funds...
January Is Divorce Month
Posted On January 18, 2018
According to a recent report, the number of divorce filings is highest between January and March of each year. The rate of filings begins to spike in January, reaching a peak in February and March. It is a fact that given the option, most people choose to wait until after the holidays to institute...
Slip and Fall on Ice
Posted On January 10, 2018
Winter weather conditions make slip and fall accidents more common. While some may think first of the elderly needing to exercise particular caution, the truth is a slip and fall can happen to anyone. When snow and ice are present the risk of a slip and fall increases, but whether or not the property...
Grandparents Child Custody Legislation
Posted On January 3, 2018
There are many reasons why some parents are unable to care for their child or children, either temporarily or on a permanent basis. In many of these situations, grandparents will step in to raise the child. In Pennsylvania, where there is an opioid epidemic, grandparent child custody is becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, the current...
Benefits of Having a Living Trust
Posted On December 27, 2017
Dealing with a family member’s death is difficult enough without the added pressure of complex and burdensome court proceedings. Once a person becomes incapacitated or passes away, their assets and estates must be distributed to their rightfully named recipients. If a living trust is created beforehand, this process can be far easier for all...
Holiday Season Drunk Driving
Posted On December 21, 2017
The holiday season is a time of celebrations and gatherings with friends and family. And of course, the office parties too. Many of these festivities involve alcoholic beverages with party goers getting into their cars afterwards to drive home. This makes the risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident much higher than...
Tips to Flourish after Divorce
Posted On December 20, 2017
Facing the unknown as a newly single person can be overwhelming – but it can also be wonderful. Every separation is different, but there are things you can do to not only survive after divorce – but to thrive during this transition. Mourn your loss: Even if you initiated the divorce, you may still...
Multi-Vehicle Crash Causes Injuries on PA Turnpike in Bensalem
Posted On December 19, 2017
A multi-vehicle crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike resulted in injuries to two people. On Tuesday morning, around 5:45 am, the multi-vehicle accident took place between the Bensalem, Pennsylvania and the Willow Grow, Pennsylvania interchanges, involving a dump truck, a tractor-trailer, and roughly three other vehicles. A hundred gallons of diesel fuel spilled from the...
Shopping Slip and Fall Accidents
Posted On December 14, 2017
A slip and fall can turn a trip to the grocery store or shopping mall into a lifetime of chronic pain if your injury results in nerve damage that does not heal. Safety hazards that are not removed or marked with proper signage can be an even bigger risk when holiday crowds arrive on...
Eckell Sparks Named in U.S. News “Best Law Firms” List for 2017
Posted On December 8, 2017
The legal team at Eckell Sparks proudly announces that the firm has been honored as one of the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for 2017. The firm received a First Tier ranking in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and was also highly ranked in Commercial Litigation. The...
Most Dangerous Toys of 2017
Posted On December 7, 2017
Every year for over four decades, child safety group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) publishes a list of the top ten most hazardous toys. According to the President of W.A.T.C.H., national toy safety standards are inadequate, as evidenced by the large number of toys that are recalled every year. The top ten most...
Modifying a Parenting Plan
Posted On December 6, 2017
Over time, a family’s situation is likely to change — you or your former spouse may get a better job, lose their job, have a desire to relocate, any number of things can occur. If you are divorced and have a parenting plan in place, know that it is not set in stone. However,...
Uncovering Hidden Assets During a Divorce
Posted On November 30, 2017
When one or both spouses have significant assets, complicated issues may arise during a divorce. As you begin to make a plan in favor of equitable distribution of assets in high net worth cases, unreported income and hidden assets may come to the forefront during divorce proceedings. For business owners and high-net worth families,...
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Posted On November 18, 2017
Millions of Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday. Driving is the transportation of choice for many travelers, resulting in busy roads because everyone is in a hurry. The increase in highway travelers comes with a risk in car accident rates. The busiest travel days are Wednesday and...
Eckell Sparks Podcast Episode 6 – Non-Probate Assets and Guest Meghan Tait of Financial Coach
Posted On November 17, 2017
After a brief discussion on the topic of non-probate assets, Eckell Sparks attorneys Christopher M. Brown and Rachael Kemmey introduce Meghan Tait of the Financial Coach.  Meghan shares her knowledge and insight as she describes the difference between Certified Financial Planners versus Certified Financial Analysts. Visit this link to listen to the podcast: Episode 6...
Co-Parenting During the Holidays
Posted On November 16, 2017
Co-parenting during any time of the year can be challenging, but the holidays present even more scheduling hurdles. Advance planning and thoughtful consideration from all parties involved can make the season less stressful for everyone. Above all, put the children’s needs first and try to keep emotion out of the equation. Make a Plan...
Eckell Sparks Releases Podcast Episode 5 – The Estate of Robert Baratheon
Posted On November 5, 2017
Christopher Brown and Rachel Kemmey of Eckell Sparks have released a new episode of their continuing podcast series, The State of Estates. In this lighter episode, Chris and Rachel are joined by litigation attorney Matthew Bilker to discuss the highly controversial (fictional) death of Robert Baratheon, a character on the popular HBO series, Game of...
Grandparents’ Rights in Pennsylvania
Posted On November 2, 2017
Divorce can be very complicated, particularly when there are children involved. One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce settlement is deciding on a custody arrangement, as it can be difficult to come to a consensus. The rights and responsibilities of the parents may only be part of the equation. Other family members,...
Motor Vehicle Accident Causes Fatality and Injuries in Chester
Posted On November 1, 2017
On Tuesday afternoon, a motor vehicle accident claimed the life of one driver and injured two others. Around 2 pm, the crash occurred when a Ford Explorer swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a Nissan Sentra. The crash took place in the intersection of North 2nd Street and Franklin Avenue in Chester, Pennsylvania. The...
Halloween Safety Tips 
Posted On October 28, 2017
Halloween is among the most anticipated holidays of the year – for children and adults alike. Candy and costumes bring out the kid in all of us. However, Halloween is also full of potential hazards. Follow these simple safety tips to keep your ghouls and goblins safe on Halloween.  Candy Most children will say...
Permanent Headlights Help Prevent Auto Accidents
Posted On October 18, 2017
Headlight use at night and during inclement weather is mandated by law in most states. Many lawmakers also feel that drivers should be required to use headlights during the day to improve visibility and prevent accidents. Recent studies suggest that permanent headlight use does make a difference in reducing car accidents, though not all...
Child Relocation and Custody Modification
Posted On October 12, 2017
Child relocation and custody order modification are among the most common issues discussed by family law attorneys. Several notable cases have reached the state Superior Court. One recent case provides important insight regarding both matters. The case involved a couple who had two children during the course of their marriage. Upon separating, the father...
New Cell Phone Use Study
Posted On October 7, 2017
A new study shows that drivers continue to use their cell phones at an alarming rate. In fact, drivers are using their cell phones to text, navigate, talk, and engage in social media during 88 percent of their car trips. The company ZenDrive has developed a cell phone app that measures cell phone use...
Schuylkill Motorcyclist Fatally Injured in Crash Involving Excessive Speed
Posted On October 3, 2017
On Monday afternoon, two motorcyclists crashed into a pickup truck, which caused a fatality and serious injuries. When the accident occurred around 3:10 pm in West Brunswick Township, Pennsylvania, the first motorcyclist, a 25-year-old man from Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, and a second motorcyclist, a 30-year-old man from Auburn, Pennsylvania slammed into a truck that...
Eckell Sparks Releases Podcast Episode 4 – The Role of Guardian Ad Litem
Posted On September 30, 2017
Attorneys at Eckell Sparks are proud to announce the fourth episode of our continuing podcast series, The State of Estates. In this latest episode, our special guest, Daniel R. Coleman, discusses the critical role of guardian ad litem, the person assigned to advocate for a person alleged in court to be incapacitated. Visit this link...
Eckell Sparks Announces Third Podcast Episode: Your Trusty Corporate Trustee
Posted On September 21, 2017
The third podcast episode, Your Trusty Corporate Trustee, in Eckell Sparks’s continuing series, The State of Estates, is now available for listeners. In their latest episode, estates and trusts attorneys, Chris Brown and Rachael Kemmey, interview Univest Trust Officer, Alex Magid, Esq., about the advantages of having a corporate fiduciary act as a trustee...
Staying Together for the Kids
Posted On September 20, 2017
A new study out of Spain centered on the effects of divorce on children. Many couples considering divorce worry about how their children will deal with the separation. Researchers studied 467 children aged two to 18 of both married/living together and divorced couples to track the emotional and physical health of the children and...
Eckell Sparks Releases Second Podcast Episode: Feel the Power (of Attorney)
Posted On September 15, 2017
Eckell Sparks is proud to announce the release of the second podcast in its continuing series, The State of Estates. In this episode, estates and trusts attorneys, Chris Brown and Rachael Kemmey, offer important information on the topic of Power of Attorney. The podcast touches on Living Will Healthcare Power of Attorney, providing insight...
Home Depot Fined for Selling Dangerous Products
Posted On September 14, 2017
Congress established the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1972 to protect consumers from dangerous household products. The CPSC recently charged Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. with selling and distributing previously recalled consumer products. The Atlanta-based chain agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5.7 million to settle the charges. The settlement does...
Proving Fault for a Car Accident in Pennsylvania
Posted On September 7, 2017
When seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, fault must be determined by the courts regardless of which driver has been ticketed. The current liability laws governing car accidents were sold to legislators under the assumption that insurance rates would be reduced, though this has not been the case. The injured may...
Issues in High Asset Divorces
Posted On August 31, 2017
When one or both spouses have significant assets, complex legal issues arise when it comes to divorce. Couples with high a net worth typically have a diverse financial profile that requires an in-depth understanding of asset valuation. For this reason, it is critical to have a divorce lawyer who has the experience and the...
Eckell Sparks Announces New Podcast, Inherited Wisdom
Posted On August 23, 2017
Eckell Sparks attorneys Chris Brown and Rachael Kemmey of the Estates and Trusts Department introduce the podcast and begin by discussing some basics regarding the Pennsylvania intestacy laws, specifically regarding what happens if you die without a Will. Our lawyers welcome anybody who is looking to learn more about estate law to tune in....
SEPTA Train Wreck Hurts 42 Individuals in Upper Darby
Posted On August 22, 2017
Forty-two individuals sustained personal injuries in a train wreck involving a SEPTA train on Tuesday morning. The accident in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, occurred around 12:15 pm when a train traveling from the Norristown High Speed Line crashed into an unoccupied train car at the Upper Darby Transportation Center. The train accident caused 41 passengers...
Prevent Drowsy Driving Accidents
Posted On August 11, 2017
Drowsy driving has become a frequent practice among vehicle operators, contributing to a staggering number of accidents and fatalities. Most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, but few know that drowsy driving can be equally perilous. Many drivers believe they can still safely operate a vehicle while drowsy, and downplay the...
Car Crash Fatally Injures Teenage Bicyclist in Bucks County
Posted On August 10, 2017
During a car crash on Tuesday afternoon, a teenage bicyclist sustained fatal injuries. Around 2:50 pm, an 18-year-old woman was driving her car when she struck a boy who was crossing the street on his bicycle in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania near the local elementary school. The teenage bicyclist sustained several personal injuries and...
Main Line Today Names 14 Eckell Sparks Attorneys as Top Lawyers 2017
Posted On August 3, 2017
We are very proud to announce that 14 lawyers at the law firm of Eckell Sparks were specially recognized as Top Lawyers by Main Line Today (MLT). The publication presented their 2017 Main Line Today’s Top Lawyers list in their August 2017 issue, which honored lawyers from firms in the area who practice various...
Planning Your Estate
Posted On July 31, 2017
For most of us, leaving a meaningful legacy for our loved ones after our passing is very important. Yet the process of considering what to leave our family members can be emotional. Estate planning does not have to be a difficult process. Planning your estate now prevents needless anxiety later. A well-planned will gives...
Pennsylvania Drivers Are Some of The Rudest
Posted On July 26, 2017
A recent campaign called “Drive Human,” conducted by K­ars4kids, determined that Pennsylvania drivers are among the rudest in the nation. Pennsylvania ranked 42 out of 50 states in various poor driving categories, such as failing to properly merge and tailgating. The survey asked drivers from across the country a variety of questions relating to...
Fatal Wreck Claims Man’s Life in Berks County
Posted On July 25, 2017
A fatal wreck claimed a man’s life on Tuesday morning in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. The accident occurred around 5:19 am on Route 61 at Tuckerton Road and involved two vehicles. A man was driving his car and apparently lost control, colliding into another car when he was approaching the intersection. The man...
Pennsylvania Child Custody and Relocation Laws
Posted On July 24, 2017
After divorce, people may decide to relocate for many different reasons. Maybe they move for a job, a new love interest, or to make a fresh start. When children are involved, the relocation process is a bit more complicated. Before making a move, parents should know Pennsylvania’s child custody relocation laws. Pennsylvania Child Custody...
When Township Fails to Act, Court Says Citizens May
Posted On July 20, 2017
Does a private citizen have the right to litigate a failure to comply with a township land development ordinance when the township, itself, refuses to enforce the ordinance?  Such was the interesting question recently decided by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Smith, et al., v. Ivy Lee Real Estate, LLC,...
Staying in Business After Divorce
Posted On July 11, 2017
The Census Bureau estimates that married couples own around 3.7 million businesses across the country. With the divorce rate currently hovering between 40 and 50 percent, a lot of divorced business partners are left wondering whether the business can survive the end of marriage. Do ex-spouses that own a business together divorce their business...
Retirement Benefits and Divorce
Posted On July 6, 2017
By, Craig B. Huffman, Esquire The United States Supreme Court decided a case involving a military pension which highlights the importance of understanding the nature of retirement benefits in divorce cases. While it is very unusual for the United States Supreme Court to address family law matters, the case of Howell v. Howell, 581 U.S....
What You Should Know About Wills
Posted On July 3, 2017
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and sometimes catastrophic events like an unexpected passing happen suddenly. Most people do not want to think about such life-altering events, so they choose to ignore them instead. Ignoring the inevitable can cause massive family rifts in deciding who will be responsible for medical bills for...
Fireworks Safety This Summer
Posted On June 30, 2017
Fireworks are synonymous with the Fourth of July. The spectacular displays of pyrotechnics thrill crowds all over the country annually, allowing communities to compete to put on the best and most extravagant displays. In many states, consumer fireworks are also legally available for home use, however these legal fireworks cause many injuries, most of...
Common Issues and Concerns in Child Custody Cases
Posted On June 23, 2017
Child custody can be a confusing and difficult process to go through. Many potential problems or concerns may arise during the process of child custody. Luckily, it is not a process that you have to go through alone. Common issues or sources of confusion in child custody cases include certain types and wordings of...
Several Injuries in Head-on Collision in Horsham
Posted On June 21, 2017
A head-on collision caused several personal injuries on Tuesday evening in Horsham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The collision occurred around 10:20 pm when a sedan and SUV collided in the intersection of County Line Road and Keith Valley Road. At least two individuals sustained injuries although there is no information about the severity of the...
Media Car Accident Lawyers: What to do After a Car Accident
Posted On June 15, 2017
It is difficult to know exactly what steps to take in the heat of the moment just after a car accident. From a simple fender bender to a serious pileup, the situations can vary wildly. However, there are always some basic procedures that should be followed that will help you in the long run....
Michael J. Davey Receives the Nicholas D. Vadino Memorial Award
Posted On June 15, 2017
Congratulations to Michael J. Davey, Esquire, who received the Nicholas D. Vadino, Jr. Memorial Award for Significant Contributions by a Young Lawyer to the Organized Bar at the 2017 Delaware County Bar Association’s Annual Bench Bar Conference. Presenting the award to Mr. Davey was the Chair of the Bench Bar Conference Committee, Robert Firkser,...
West Chester Personal Injury Lawyers: Recognizing Drowsy Drivers and Avoiding an Accident
Posted On June 9, 2017
Many know the dangers of drunk driving and distracted driving. However, despite the fact that drowsy driving is the most dangerous of the three, many drivers are unaware of it. If you catch yourself yawning frequently, having to make an effort to keep your eyes open, or find your mind wandering, you could be...
Media Personal Injury Lawyers: Common Summertime Accidents
Posted On May 30, 2017
  As the summer months approach, more Americans are venturing outdoors to enjoy the activities that come with warmer weather. Water and car accidents are among the most common causes of summertime injuries. Here are some of the reasons why they happen and what you can do to avoid them.  Accidents in the Water...
Eckell Sparks Attorneys Chosen as Super Lawyers 2017
Posted On May 17, 2017
Eckell Sparks, one of the largest full-service law firms in the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area, has been privileged to serve clients since 1964. All members of the team pride themselves on providing personal attention, compassion, insight, excellent resources, and an unparalleled reputation. These qualities and more are the reasons Eckell Sparks attorneys have been...
Media Wills and Estates Lawyers: Six Out of Ten Adults Without a Will
Posted On May 15, 2017
It is uncomfortable for many people to contemplate what would happen if they got into an accident where they were left unable to care for themselves, or worse, had fatal injuries. However, these are exactly the situations for which families should be prepared with a will, living trust, or at the very least a...
Media Divorce Lawyers: Forensic Accounting and Divorce
Posted On May 1, 2017
During a divorce proceeding, some of the most contentious issues arise out of financial disputes. When the marital estate is sizable and one spouse has always been in charge of a couple’s finances, it may be worth hiring a forensic accountant to aid in determining the value of assets in a divorce. Accountants are...
LOAD MORE POSTS

A Message to Our Customers About Coronavirus COVID-19:
PLEASE READ »

A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

We want to assure everyone that during this unprecedented and difficult time, we are still operating and will continue to meet all the legal needs of the residents of the Delaware Valley. While the Governor’s recent orders have restricted our ability to maintain and run our physical offices, Eckell Sparks has deployed a variety of applications and hardware that allows both our attorneys and our support staff to work remotely from home, prepare legal documents, confer with clients remotely, and provide consultations to those seeking legal advice. For more than 50 years, our Firm has been a force in the Delaware Valley legal community. And by leveraging technology, we will continue to do so both during, and after, the current public health emergency.

So, if you need us, we are here. Do you have a question about whether it’s more beneficial to file your taxes by April 15, despite the postponement of the filing deadlines? Are you an employer and don’t know what to do under all the new Corona-virus laws being passed in Washington? Were you injured in a car accident either before, or during, the current crisis? Call or email us. We can help. www.eckellsparks.com 610-565-3700.

Stay safe out there.