Motor Vehicle Accidents – Not as simple as you think

Every year millions of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents – many very seriously. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 10 seconds someone in the United States is involved in a car accident. In 2014, there were an estimated 6,064,000 police reported traffic crashes, in which 32,675 people were killed and 2,338,000 people were injured. Other startling facts are as follows:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States for people ages 1-34.
  • Motor vehicle crashes took the lives of over 1,700 teenagers and 1,000 children in 2014. Older adults, as a group, are also at higher risk of dying from motor vehicle crashes.
  • In the United States, 4,884 pedestrians died from traffic-related injuries and another 65,000 pedestrians sustained non-fatal injuries in 2014.
  • In 2014, 31% of traffic fatalities were alcohol related; either the driver or an affected person (e.g., a pedestrian or a bicyclist) had a blood alcohol concentration of at least a 0.08 blood alcohol level).

The Law of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Automobile accidents are generally decided using the law of negligence. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay damages caused by their negligence, either to person or property. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances.” Failure to use reasonable care is the basis in most lawsuits for damages caused by an automobile accident.  Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent. Some examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Driving too fast or too slow
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to drive on the right side of the road

All of these concepts are contained in the Pennsylvania statutes for the “rules of the road”.

In all automobile accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries.

If you or a loved one is a victim of an automobile accident, call The Law Offices of William J. Gagliardino now, at 412-837-2505. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is an award or recovery of funds.

The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar with all the facts and circumstances of a particular, specific case and the relevant law.