According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in excess of 2.3 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents during 2012. Car accidents are capable of leaving victims with serious injuries, some of which have the potential to result in life-long complications. In some cases, victims may even be unable to work or to care for themselves after an accident occurs. When car crashes are the result of someone else’s negligence, victims can often recover for their injuries by filing a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company or bringing a personal injury lawsuit. It is for this reason that anyone who has been hurt in a car wreck should retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
The American population is constantly traveling to other cities and states for various reasons. In some cases, people are required to go to an unfamiliar city or area in order to take care of some type of bureaucratic task or responsibility, others travel for work, while still others visit other cities and states simply for pleasure. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, most long-distance trips are taken by personal vehicle. As a result, there are many drivers on the road who are unfamiliar with the area in which they are driving, potentially exposing themselves and others to a risk of injury. There are a number of reasons that out-of-town drivers can cause accidents, some of which are detailed below.
Unfamiliar terrain and weather may confuse out-of-area drivers
The United States has a vast array of different climates and natural terrains within the contiguous 48 states. Each one of these areas presents its own set of difficulties and challenges to drivers who live in and visit them. For example, mountain passes in the Rockies can be extremely difficult to navigate for a person from the Midwest, and an Atlanta native may find driving in an inch of snow incredibly treacherous. As a result, people who visit other areas that have climates and terrain of which they are unfamiliar may cause accidents because of their lack of experience.
Visitors to Philadelphia may be unfamiliar with city driving
Philadelphia is a major American city with a significant amount of vehicle traffic at any given moment. Driving in a city is substantially different than rural or even small-town driving, and people visiting Philadelphia may have problems adjusting to the flow of traffic. Cities tend to have more one-way streets, intersections with restricted turns, pedestrian traffic, and narrow lanes than other areas. These characteristics can make it difficult for drivers who are inexperienced with city driving to adjust.
Tourists or guests may be unfamiliar with the idiosyncrasies of your area
Most American cities contain areas that have unique or otherwise strange roadway issues. Examples could include a road that suddenly becomes one way at a certain intersection, places where there is unexpected merging traffic, roadways that have sudden changes in speed limits, or particularly dangerous intersections or curves. Not being familiar with these issues is no excuse for driver negligence and, when drivers fail to observe traffic laws, victims can often recover for their injuries.
Can I sue an out-of-state driver after a car accident?
In almost every conceivable case, yes. If you are involved in an accident in Pennsylvania, the fact that the accident occurred within the state’s borders gives the state courts jurisdiction over the matter and the person with whom you collided.
Do I need to retain an attorney?
There is no law that says that a car accident victim is required to retain legal counsel. That being said, it is often highly advisable to do so. In many cases, the assistance of an attorney can help Philadelphia car accident victims obtain significantly more compensation than they would be able to obtain by representing themselves. In addition, in the event that liability in your case is contested, an attorney can investigate the way that the accident occurred and obtain evidence tending to show that the other party or parties involved were legally at fault. Examples of the types of damages that are often available in a Philadelphia car accident case include medical expenses, lost income, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage, and loss of future earning potential, as well as others. To determine whether you have a claim, call the Levin Firm today at 877-825-8542.
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