All You Need to Know About Auto Accidents in Pennsylvania
According to NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) auto accidents continue to rise throughout the country, including in Pennsylvania. And this is clearly evident
from the facts and statistics shared below. Reports show that:
- There were 27,650 fatal car accidents in the first 9 months of 2017 in the US.
- In Pennsylvania in particular, there were 1,188 fatal auto accidents in 2016 and 54% of these crashes involved a single vehicle.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported 355 traffic accidents each day in 2016 which resulted in fatalities and seriously injures.
Back in 2014, Pennsylvania was in the top 5 states for auto accident fatalities and still continues to be among the top states for the most number of accidents and fatalities? That’s shocking and
With the soaring increase in auto accidents in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand what the factors that cause fatal accidents are. Let’s take a look…
Leading Factors that Contribute to Fatal Auto Accidents in Pennsylvania
One of the top reasons behind fatal traffic accidents in Pennsylvania is definitely traffic congestion. Pennsylvania highways and roads including I-76, I-80, I-81, I-95, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and others are always highly congested, and that is what makes them frequent locations for auto accidents.
Besides traffic congestion, other factors that have been cited as the causes for PA accidents by the local police include:
Talking and texting on the phone while you’re driving is a major risk. It’s bound to distract the driver, who can then lose focus, fail to make the right judgment, and eventually get into an accident.
Driving above the speed limit is a crime for a reason. It’s highly dangerous because failure to pull the brakes when at those high speeds is a real possibility. One small false move can cause an accident. In 2014, speeding resulted in 32,000 auto accidents, and of those, 434 were fatal collisions.
This is usually the top cause for truck accidents. The trucking industry and drivers are under continuous pressure to push the limits of endurance and the law to churn profits. Therefore, they end up violating traffic rules and regulations ultimately putting lives of other people at risk.
As drivers are compensated by the mile and the load they carry, they push the limits of law and drive for long hours without rest breaks. This leads to driver fatigue. Furthermore, to try and stay awake they often rely on drugs, which can lead to errors in judgment.
Driving during the winter time in PA can be extremely dangerous because of the ice and snow accumulating on the roadways, which lead to slippery driving conditions.
Auto accidents are occurring because of:
- Driving under influence,
- Teenage drivers,
- Unsafe lane changing,
- Improper vehicle maintenance,
- Violated traffic rules,
- Driver’s negligence, and
- Defective auto parts.
So, even when you’re driving a modern vehicle with all top notch safety aspects, you’re unfortunately still not 100 percent safe from auto accidents. Somebody’s negligence, weather conditions or error in judgment can put your life at risk.
Common Injuries in Auto Accidents
Due to the force and momentum at which two vehicles collide, it can lead to serious injuries and wrongful deaths. Serious injuries often include:
- Broken bones,
- Joint strains,
- Spinal cord damage,
- Neck and back injuries, and
- In some cases permanent disability.
Understanding Your Legal Rights as a Victim of Auto Accident in PA
Auto accidents are mentally, physically and emotionally traumatic. It can throw your life into chaos and put you in pain and agony. Serious injuries can require weeks of hospitalization, costly surgeries and ongoing medical treatments, thereby putting financial burden on you especially if you’re not covered by health insurance.
Apart from that, bed rest, temporary disability and a long recovery time can also result in missed days of work, loss of income and earning capacity, decline in quality of life and strained familial relationships.
In such a situation it really helps if you know your legal rights as a victim of an auto accident in Pennsylvania. Many victims often feel hopeless and helpless as they assume that they can’t do anything about it and settle for limited tort insurance as they don’t know much about their rights.
Well, the truth of the matter is that by law you have the right to get compensation for the pain, suffering, injuries and property loss that you have experienced due to the accident caused by someone else’s negligence. It is your right to secure your present and future by getting compensated so that you can pay for medical expenses and move on with your life with financial stability at least.
As Pennsylvania is a choice no fault-state, this means that you have the option to select between full or limited tort insurance. As many victims don’t understand the difference between the two, they opt for limited tort as it is cheaper. However, limited tort prevents the victim from suing the party at fault for pain and suffering. So, it is advisable to opt for full tort so that you can get compensated for all damages. It is slightly expensive but worth it, as it saves you money in the long run.
You can avoid full or limited tort coverage if the accident was caused by other party and you were not at fault.
Furthermore, accident law in PA also combines no fault and at fault insurance claims. So, under “no fault” insurance benefits, you can get compensated for medical expenses and income loss, while under “at fault”, you can get compensated for pain, mental anguish and suffering.
What to Do After the Accident?
Once you’re in a traffic accident, the first thing you should do is call 911 for ambulance. Your health should be your top priority; therefore you must immediately seek medical assistance. Make sure to get proper checkup from the doctor, even if you do not feel any pain, because your adrenaline rush could be masking your injuries. Adrenaline floods the brain in such situations blocking the pain. However, you may start feeling the effects after a few hours or days.
The next step is to hire an experienced auto accident lawyer in Pennsylvania, like us, for legal representation. We can provide you with a strong legal representation, and handle all aspects of your case on your behalf while you focus on recovery.
By leveraging on our extensive experience, knowledge and negotiation skills, we can aggressively pursue your case and get you a full and fair compensation that you rightfully deserve. By filing a compensation claim against the liable party, you can get:
- The financial support that you need to pay for costly medical treatments,
- Compensation for lost income,
- A sense of closure and restore your sense of justice
So, call us at 215-675-2400 to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyer will investigate your case in-depth to collect all crucial evidence to build a strong case to get you rightfully compensated. And that’s a promise we love to keep.