Bethlehem Accident Attorney for Car Accidents
Though safety standards and technology improve with each passing year, both passenger and commercial motor vehicles — cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other types — continue to pose a significant injury risk to others on the road. In their 2016 Crash Facts and Statistics report, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation revealed that there were 129,395 reportable traffic crashes leading to 1,188 fatal injuries and 82,971 non-fatal injuries overall. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and can demonstrate that the defendant caused you to suffer harm due to his or her negligent, reckless, or wrongful conduct, you may be entitled to recover significant damages as compensation. You don’t need to prove this on your own though. An experienced Bethlehem motor vehicle accident attorney will handle everything with compassion and commitment to your case.
Motor Vehicle Accident Negligence Explained by Our Top Bethlehem Accident Attorneys
Motor vehicle claims often involve multiple defendants, each having contributed to the accident in unique ways. For example, if you are injured in an accident by a reckless driver in Bethlehem, you may not only have a claim against the reckless driver, but also against your car manufacturer (if your seatbelt was defective or your airbag failed to deploy). As such, motor vehicle accident causes vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the case.
Driver negligence is the most common form of negligence in motor vehicle accidents. Examples of driver negligence include, but are not necessarily limited, to:
- Reckless driving
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to adhere to road rules
- Road rage antics
- Fatigue and/or lack of sleep
- Driver is unlicensed
- Failure to use turn signals
- Failure to use prescription glasses required for driving
When Employers and Third Parties Can Be Liable for Bethlehem Car Accidents
Accidents involving Bethlehem employee-drivers (i.e., commercial truckers, delivery drivers, etc.) may expose the employer to personal injury claims under a theory of vicarious liability, but also to separate claims such as negligent hiring and supervision. Examples of employer negligence in the motor vehicle context include, but are not necessarily limited, to:
- Inadequate training of drivers
- Negligent scheduling of drivers such that drivers are sleep-deprived
- Inadequate supervision of drivers to ensure that there is no drug abuse
- Improper loading of cargo, leading to tipping/rollover accidents
- Failure to adequately inspect and maintain vehicles to ensure that the they are in a reasonably safe condition
Some Bethlehem motor vehicle accidents are caused — at least in part — by the negligence of those who are responsible for designing, installing, inspecting, and maintaining the roadways, whether the relevant party is private or public (i.e., the City). Examples of car accident negligence include, but are not necessarily limited, to:
- Negligent design of roadways
- Creation of a pedestrian trap
- Dangerous conditions of property
- Failure to adequately inspect roadways
- Failure to install necessary traffic signals
- Failure to correct hazards, despite extensive prior accident history on the relevant roadway
Our Bethlehem Accident Attorney Reminds You What to Collect at the Scene of Your Car Accident
After an accident, taking care of your injuries or your injured passengers is your primary concern. If you are well, however, you do need to try and collect some information to help preserve your right to a lawsuit and compensation. The important information you should gather includes:
- The date and time of the accident
- The exact location of the accident
- The contact information of any other drivers involved
- The license plate number of any other drivers involved
- The driver’s license number of any other drivers involved
- The insurance carrier’s name, phone number, and policy number of any other drivers involved
- The names and contact information of any witnesses
- Any remarks made by witnesses, the other drivers, or the police that seem important or related to fault
- Photos and/or video of the scene, the vehicles, and any injuries
- The names and contact info of all the occupants in both vehicles
- A copy of the police report and any tickets that were issued
- The police officer’s name and badge number
- Consider simply taking pictures or videos of all of this information. It’s much quicker, undeniably accurate, and easier to track
Remember, the information you gather will help the experienced Bethlehem accident lawyers at Drake, Hileman & Davis handle your insurance and legal claims and recover all of the compensation you’re entitled to.
5 Car Accident Mistakes You Need to Avoid
If you are entitled to financial compensation for your car accident, you must be very careful to protect your legal rights. In addition to taking all of the steps that are required in order to secure coverage, this also means avoiding mistakes that the insurance companies will be able to use against you. Here are five examples of all-too-common mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Waiting to See a Doctor
If you were injured in the accident, you need to obtain a diagnosis and begin treatment right away. Not only can waiting to see a doctor negatively impact your physical recovery, but it can negatively impact your financial recovery as well.
In order to secure insurance coverage for your injuries, you need to be able to prove that your injuries resulted from your motor vehicle accident. If you wait to seek treatment, the insurance companies may try to argue that either: (i) your condition is worse because of the delay (and therefore isn’t fully covered); or, (ii) your injuries could have happened after the accident (and therefore aren’t covered at all).
2. Waiting to Talk to a Bethlehem Accident Attorney
Due to all of the challenges involved in recovering financial compensation after a motor vehicle accident, it is important to consult with a Bethlehem accident attorney as soon as possible. If you wait to seek legal advice, you could end up making mistakes you cannot fix. As we mentioned above, this list of mistakes just covers some of the most-common examples. There are many more mistakes you need to avoid in order to protect your legal rights.
3. Making Assumptions
Making assumptions after a motor vehicle accident can prove incredibly costly. For example, many people assume that the insurance companies will pay what they owe. However, the insurance companies put their own financial interests first; and, if you do not do everything that is necessary to prove your claim, you will not receive the full compensation you deserve.
4. Sharing Too Much Information
When you have an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident, you need to be very careful about sharing too much information. While you can speak freely with your Bethlehem accident attorney, you should not share more with your insurance adjuster than is strictly required. You will also want to avoid discussing the accident with your friends and coworkers, and you should not post anything about the accident on social media.
5. Making Uninformed Decisions
Perhaps most important of all, you need to avoid making uninformed decisions. This applies to all aspects of your motor vehicle accident claim—from choosing a doctor to deciding when (and if) to accept a settlement. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your medical needs, if you don’t know what information you are (and aren’t) required to share with your insurance adjuster, or if you don’t know how much you are entitled to recover, you won’t be able to make smart decisions with your long-term best interests in mind.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Bethlehem Accident Attorney Right Away
Motor vehicle accidents can be complicated by numerous factors as litigation proceeds, from the introduction of aggressive corporate defendants (such as vehicle manufacturers), to conflicts with public defendants on matters such as inadequate traffic signals, among other things. To succeed in motor vehicle accident litigation, you’ll want to consult with a skilled Bethlehem car wreck attorney who has a track record of success in helping clients secure compensation for their injuries. Call in today at 888-777-7098 to schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC.
We look forward to speaking with you.