Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers: Beware of Winter Storms and Ice and Risk of Car Accidents
January 22, 2015
Old Man Winter has arrived in our area and no one feels it more than those who travel on snow and ice covered roadways. In just the first month of 2015, five multi-vehicle accidents on ice covered Pennsylvania interstates left five dead and almost 50 injured. Even though accumulating snowfall has been light across the state this year, cold temperatures and precipitation have made some roadways treacherous.
The most recent pile-up involved over 60 vehicles on Pennsylvania Interstate 76 leaving one person fatally injured and more than 30 injured. The cause of the crash was flash freezing, where light rain fell onto cold road surfaces, freezing immediately. Earlier in the month, an 18 vehicle accident occurred on Interstate 80 causing two fatalities and injuring 20 more. A sudden snow squall resulted in decreased visibility, causing nine trucks and nine cars to collide. One of the accident victims succumbed to fatal internal injuries after leaving his car to locate his children that had been ejected from the vehicle. The second victim was struck and killed by another car after he got out of his vehicle.
Drivers can help avoid multi-vehicle car accidents by checking weather conditions before getting behind the wheel. However, there are times when many drivers will encounter hazardous conditions that pop up suddenly and unexpectedly. If you find yourself in one of these situations, there are certain things you can do to help protect yourself and your legal rights. It is imperative that drivers and passengers stay in their cars following an accident caused by weather conditions. Ice, snow, and poor visibility can put you in serious danger as oncoming vehicles spin out of control, or are hit by another vehicle. Barring any fire or gasoline leaks resulting from the collision, the safest place to be in this situation is in your car.
Always be sure to exchange insurance and driver information with those involved in the collision and report your information to police at the scene. Even if you are at fault or partly responsible for the collision, you may still be able to collect compensation for your injuries or damage to your vehicle through a comparative negligence clause in your insurance policy. Even drivers who were obeying local speed limits can be partially responsible for accidents if weather conditions called for reduced speed. Drivers with poorly maintained vehicles can also be held accountable. Broken windshield wipers, inoperable brake lights and turn signals, cracked windshields, or dim headlights can contribute to a major pile-up.
It is a good idea to take pictures of the crash scene and of any damage to passengers or your vehicle if you can do so safely. These pictures can be very important in the investigation of the accident. In many cases, drivers have used their photos to prove that weather or another driver was responsible for the collision.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia help Victims of Car Accidents Claim Compensation for Injuries and Damages
Galfand Berger, LLP has been helping victims of car accidents recover compensation for their injuries for over 65 years. The team of dedicated Philadelphia car accident lawyers at the firm provide highly skilled legal representation and are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, call Galfand Berger, LLP at 1-800-222-USWA, or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today.