Edith Pearce Featured in Healthline

December 18, 2019 – Edith Pearce offers her legal expertise to Healthline Media in an article discussing Chipotle’s policy on paid sick days. The restaurant chain has been contracting with a healthcare provider that has nurses check if workers who call in sick are actually sick, rather than just hungover. Edith tells Healthline that under HIPAA, an employer — or a nurse hired by the employer — can’t directly contact the employee’s doctor or healthcare provider or discuss that employee’s medical condition.

Take a look at the full Healthline article for more of Edith’s legal commentary on Chipotle’s policy and employee rights.

Bicycle Accidents Involving SEPTA Buses In Philadelphia PA

Anyone traveling Philadelphia by bicycle has just as much right to the road as any motorist. It’s only common sense to keep anyone on a bike safe. It’s also the law. Drivers can forget this and what’s more, a city employee, paid to drive public transportation vehicles and trained in city traffic laws can also become careless and cause an accident.

The mistakes continue and each year it costs lives in Philadelphia. The Bicycle Coalition tracks the sad accident numbers for the city each month. In Philadelphia, in 2020, 153 people tragically lost their lives in traffic accidents. 51 of those cases involved pedestrians and another six victims were people on bicycles.

Bicyclist Tragically Hit And Killed By Philadelphia Bus

A bicyclist lost his life after being struck by a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia’s Torresdale neighborhood Wednesday night. WPVI-TV reported the accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Frankford Avenue on February 24, 2021.

Philadelphia Police say the male rider in his forties was traveling along the 9900 block when he was struck by the Route 66 SEPTA bus. He was taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead a few hours later.

The investigation continues into what led to the accident.

Support for SEPTA Bus Accident Victims and their Families

SEPTA bus drivers are supposed to show extra care to keep passengers, pedestrians, and anyone on a bicycle safe. When they fail in this duty, the city should be the first to step forward to help injured victims and in tragic cases, help families recover from the loss of a loved one.

Families who have lost a loved one in an accident involving a city vehicle can make sure they aren’t left on their own to face the consequences by filing a wrongful death claim. This claim asks the city of Philadelphia to help family members with medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and estate settlement fees. Reimbursement for the lost income and emotional support the deceased would have provided loved ones in the years to come can also factor into any settlement.

Any claim filed against the local government can make for a complex case and it’s important that families have legal representation to help them navigate the special legal rules that apply. The first difference will be in the statute of limitations to file a claim. Normally, families who have lost a relative have up to two years to file a claim over the accident. But in cases involving SEPTA families must notify the city within six months of the accident date. After that six months, a claim may become impossible to file.

Contact a Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you or a family member were the victims of a mistake by a SEPTA driver, don’t face the City of Philadelphia and their lawyers alone. Reach out to the Pearce Law Firm, P.C., for a free consultation on your family’s case.

Contact a Philadelphia SEPTA Bus Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce to protect your family in the wake of a tragedy. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.

New Bike Lane Coming To American Street In Philadelphia

As soon as dreary winter weather is hopefully behind us, cyclists will be traveling on a new and unique bike path in Philadelphia. The good news is, some adventurous cyclists are already pedaling the new route.

The new elevated and protected bike path on American Street, just north of Philadelphia’s Center City, is under construction and getting the final overlay for a grand opening in few months. It’s the first bike path in the city to boast a concrete barrier for protection from vehicle traffic. The much-anticipated leg will connect the Northern Liberties neighborhood with Fairhill.

New Philadelphia Bike Lane with Upgrades

Philadelphia has other bike lanes, but this track will have some differences that might take cyclists a few rides to get used to.

BillyPenn reports this 6 ½ foot lane will be raised a few inches above the road surface for vehicles and will also be protected by a wide curb. There’s another feature that may take riders by surprise. The bike lane runs down the middle of the street.

KYW News Radio talked to Philadelphia Streets Department chief engineer Darin Gatti about the choice not to go the traditional route by installing bike lanes along the sides of the street, “With all the driveways along this corridor, especially driveways where the trucks are coming in and out, it does create real safety conflicts for bike lanes and also bus stops. The bus constantly pulling in and out, that creates conflicts.”

Current Bike Path Obstacles

The two-mile project is still a work in progress, but parts of the line are able to accommodate bike traffic right now. That’s led to some great reviews and also some potential problems that may or may not melt away once the path is completed.

One issue is a constant problem on existing bike lanes and it involves an avalanche of sorts. Snow removal crews on city streets have been known to pile excess snow in bike lanes, making passage impossible for a week or more.

Another hitch was spotted by BillyPenn. With such a wide bike path, cars can enter the bike lane and have been parking on sections under construction. It remains to be seen if this problem will persist once lanes have been properly marked with paint and entrances are equipped with signs.

The Future of Cycling in Philadelphia

KYW reports that the American Street endeavor is a $26 million project, but the city is only footing the bill for about 20% of the cost. The rest of the expense comes from state and federal funding.

Construction and cosmetic touches are around 80% complete as of early February 2021. Depending on who you ask the project could be open to official rides by early spring or could get a grand-opening in late spring.

The hope is that this new, safer option for cyclists is just the start of a long string of projects benefiting Philadelphia’s cycling community. Mayor Jim Kenney’s latest plan calls for 40 miles of protected bike lanes all in place within the next five years.

Support for Victims Hurt in Bicycle Accidents

Philadelphia’s Pearce Law Firm is a strong supporter of cyclists’ rights to city streets. Drivers should be showing extra care to anyone on two wheels and when they don’t they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Their insurance companies should also be forced to step up to help victims.

If you were seriously injured as a result of a careless act by a driver, contact a Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Attorney. We want to defend your rights as a victim and make sure you are supported in your recovery until the moment you are able to get back on your bike again.

Pedestrian Accidents Involving Hit-And-Run Drivers in Philadelphia PA


The effort to get around Philadelphia leaves many pedestrians in vulnerable spots across the city. The danger is especially great at night when drivers need to show extra care to any potential pedestrians nearby. Unfortunately, drivers can become less focused on the road and their surroundings after the sun goes down, leading to a serious risk to anyone else on the road.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issues reports on these dangers every year. PennDOT details that across the state 37% of pedestrian accidents involving injury happened at dusk and after dark. What’s more, nighttime collisions led to many more tragic deaths. 70% of fatal pedestrian accidents overall happened at night. In Philadelphia in 2018, 42 pedestrians lost their lives. Another 29 people on foot lost their lives in 2019.

Woman Badly Injured by Strike from Car

A woman who had just gotten out of her car was struck by a hit-and-run driver early Sunday morning in Philadelphia. CBSN-TV reports the accident happened around 4 a.m. on the 200 block of East Cheltenham Avenue in the Oak Lane neighborhood on February 7, 2021.

Philadelphia police say the 25-year-old woman had exited her car because she believed she’d struck some parked vehicles. She was trying to find the cars she hit when another vehicle came along and hit her. The victim was taken to Albert Einstein Hospital where she was said to be in critical condition.

The driver involved left the scene. Investigators believe the suspect was at the wheel of a dark-colored sedan that may have front bumper damage. Anyone who may have information on the driver or the vehicle is asked to call the Philadelphia Police Department.

Help for Oak Lane Pedestrian Accident Victims

Pedestrian accidents can leave victims badly hurt and unable to do anything other than focus on recovery. During these difficult recoveries, victims and their families may face the extreme costs of medical care, all while monthly bills continue to show up as well. They may wonder if they’ll have to try to cover all of these bills by themselves.

Victims and their families should never have to cover their own expenses over an accident they weren’t responsible for, but finding compensation when a hit-and-run driver hasn’t be found can be a complex process.

If the driver is never located, victims and their families may have to file a claim for damages against the pedestrian’s own car accident insurance policy. The victim would hope to recover money from their protection against uninsured drivers. Even though this claim is with the victim’s own insurance agent, getting fair treatment can still be difficult. An insurance company may still treat their own policyholders like the opposition and try to get them to accept far less money than what will be needed. An attorney working on behalf of the victim and his or her family can make sure an insurance company knows the actual price of recovery and is held accountable for it.

If hit-and-run drivers are located, a claim for damages can be filed against their insurance firms. This civil claim can proceed no matter where the criminal case against the suspect stands. The compensation earned can help cover hospital bills now and any care required in the future. It can also reimburse victims for their lost time at work.

Contact a Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Edith Pearce of The Pearce Law Firm, P.C., specializes in defending Philadelphia pedestrian accident victims so that they can be free of financial worry while they work on healing and getting back on their feet. Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about people who have been victimized by hit-and-run drivers and you will not be treated like just another case or file.

After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at The Pearce Law Firm, P.C., to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of by an insurance company.

Biggest Threats To Lives In Philadelphia In 2020

2020 is finally behind us but the toll it took in Philadelphia will be something we carry with us for a long time. The City of Brotherly Love had good reason to live up to that name over the past 12 months as care for your neighbor became a requirement for everyone’s health and survival. It’s been an incredible challenge for residents in every section of Philly and we can only hope that we are on a slow, but steady climb back to our normal lives.

One of the true tragedies of 2020 was that the pandemic wasn’t the only danger for Philadelphia residents. Tragedies resulting from traffic accidents and criminal acts were still major threats to everyone in the city. In some cases, the damage the frequency of these dangers proved exponentially higher than in years past. This was during a period when for long stretches we were supposed to be quarantined in our homes so the increased risk from many hazards that can plague Philadelphia can come as a shock.

The true costs of COVID-19 may not be fully calculated yet, but looking back over 2020 can hopefully give us some perspective on the coming year. A look back can also make it less likely that we repeat the same mistakes.

COVID-19 Cases Across the Calendar in Philadelphia

There wasn’t a corner of Philadelphia untouched by the worldwide pandemic in 2020 and the news of new case counts and victims lost to the virus provided sad milestones each day.

The City of Philadelphia announced the first confirmed local case of the COVID-19 on March 10. The first report of a claimed life followed shortly after and was reported by the city on March 25. By the last day of March, there were 12 more heartbreaking deaths to report.

The Governor responded by first issuing a mass gathering ban for the city. Then took tougher measures and issued a stay-at-home order for the entire city. It began Monday morning on March 23, 2020.  It prohibited, with certain exceptions, public and private gatherings outside a single household.

From there COVID-19’s reach only grew. It may be helpful to see where the levels of COVID-19 cases started and where they ended up for the terrible year that was 2020. Here’s a breakdown of the number of cases documented in April for Philadelphia. The figures are provided by the City Of Philadelphia’s web page.

By the end of April cases in Philadelphia started to fall and steadily tailed off over the summer with case numbers ranging from 600-1,100 a week from June to October. In November, cases roared back with a vengeance reaching 7,000 and 6,000 positive tests a week through the middle of the month.

It’s discouraging to see that December looks a bit like where we started back in April, with even more daily cases to report as the year drew to a close.

Numbers from the early part of December included the surge of incidents predicted and seen after the Thanksgiving Holiday. People traveling across state lines and attending large family gatherings fueled a sudden uptick. Some of the heavy case numbers reported in the first week of December were partially a holdover from November when testing and tracking were slowed over the holiday weekend.

It should be noted that statistics reported in December count both confirmed positive tests and suspected positive tests in Philadelphia.

COVID-19 Claims Lives in Philadelphia Across 2020

The specter of the pandemic’s tragic reach was never clearer than in the monthly fatalities reported in Philadelphia. Families and communities were devastated by the news of loved ones lost each week. The sad fates of so many people were all the more heartbreaking when family members weren’t allowed to visit hospitals to see patients in dire conditions.

Again, it should be pointed out that December’s jump in tragic outcomes can be partially attributed to cases contracted over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Each month contributed to the tragic total of around 2,450 deaths by New Year’s Day according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. As of the middle of January, 2021 city officials were already reporting that the number had risen to 2,693 precious lives lost.

Philadelphia Traffic Accidents In 2020

It was clear early on that stay-at-home orders and fewer motorists on the road would, sadly, not mean that traffic fatalities would drop. Law enforcement in every state and in Philadelphia saw fewer cars on the streets but found that the drivers that were out and about were speeding more and making other reckless decisions when finding themselves on fairly empty roads.

With people stuck in their neighborhoods, the levels of cyclists and walkers using sidewalks and crosswalks also increased. This led to more confrontations between those using foot and pedal power and motorists in their big, fast vehicles.

According to local authorities, the alarming levels of traffic accidents were apparent early on. End of year numbers for 2020 weren’t needed to see the alarming trends.

The Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia posts traffic accident data all year long by tracking news reports and by breaking down bi-monthly crash data from the Philadelphia Police Department. Their unofficial numbers for the year show the sad course of 2020.

KYW News Radio talked to Philadelphia Police Accident Investigation Officers in September to learn that by August they’d investigated 25% more fatal crashes than over the same January to August span in 2019. By the end of October, police had confirmed 119 lives lost in traffic accidents. It was the worst period for the city since 1997.

Luckily, even in a year of work from home mandates, even for city employees, local leaders still managed to push forward with a bold plan to offer some breathing room on city streets. In November, CBS3-TV reported on Philadelphia’s new proposal to reduce traffic accidents across the board.

The hope behind “Vision Zero” is to end traffic deaths in Philadelphia by 2030. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney laid out the elements of the initiative:

  • Increased Speed Enforcement
  • 40 Miles of Additional Protect Bike Lanes
  • Street Redesigns

These three elements of the plan are scheduled to be done by 2025. It’s one more thing that shows promise of making Philadelphia a safer place in 2021 and beyond.

Philadelphia Crime Rates in 2020

Sadly, in a year of so many tragedies, the people of Philadelphia also had to confront a frightening jump in gun violence. Pregnant mothers, children, and innocent bystanders were all victims as the city erupted in senseless violence in the months during the pandemic.

By the last few days of the year, the number of homicide victims was at a devastating level not seen in 30 years in Philadelphia. 1990 was a tragic year when cases hit the 500 mark and this year, 2020 fell just one shy of that number.

The clusters of deadly incidents could be tracked in fairly predictable weekly spikes every month from the beginning of June all the way through November.  WPVI-TV reported on the shocking preliminary numbers for 2020 when compared to past years.

The largest part of these homicides involved the use of a gun. The Philadelphia Inquirer looked at figures just after the calendar flipped to 2021 and reported that 2,240 people were shot over the year. That’s 40% more than Philadelphia Police have ever responded to over a single year.

The rise in violence and murder in Philadelphia had gained the attention of the entire nation by the halfway point of 2020. In August, CNN ran a story sadly proclaiming Philadelphia as having the second-highest homicide numbers in the country by the end of July. Philadelphia was only behind Chicago in regards to homicide cases from January through July. To that point, Philadelphia numbers were already 32% higher than over the same period the year before.

In the Philadelphia City Council meeting CNN used as the basis for their article, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw listed a few reasons for the incredible increase in gun violence:

  • Existing rivalries between gangs.
  • Competition for drug dealer territory.
  • “Beef” between individuals.
  • A rise in the number of people carrying firearms.

The Philadelphia Inquirer also cited a police statement that confirmed Philadelphia Officers had logged more than 2,300 arrests for illegal firearm possession in 2020, double the total from 2015.

The Outlook for 2021 In Philadelphia

After such a disastrous year across the globe, Philadelphia residents must hold out hope for a better 2021. Some careless drivers and opportunistic criminals took advantage of the chaos that 2020 carried with it, but overall local families banded together (while remaining a safe distance apart) to teach our children, treat our sick, and provide aid to those who might not survive a brush with a dangerous virus.

We can hope that a new vaccine can do its job and continue to limit COVID-19 transmissions. As businesses, schools, services, and travel open back up let’s not forget the kindness that 2020 brought out in so many people. Not all of those selfless acts made headlines, but each good deed made it possible for Philadelphia to survive perhaps the greatest challenge of our lifetimes.