Lawyer for Car Accidents on PA 476
Nobody should have to go through a car accident. Unfortunately, thousands of drivers face this frightening reality on a daily basis – and in many cases, the scene of the crash is a highway. With so many drivers fighting for a spot on a busy, high-speed road, an...read more
Pennsylvania is among the top twenty states with the most aggressive drivers. According to a recent study, aggressive driving events occur once every 9.7 minutes. Pennsylvania roads an also be dangerous. During the holiday period from December 2018 through January 2019, there were 642 crashes in the area of Pennsylvania that runs across Delaware and Montgomery counties. Of these, 64 of the collisions involved alcohol, 155 suffered injuries, and four people died. Conditions in PA 476 can become especially chaotic during winter storms. For example, In a winter storm of November 2018, there were reports of 120 car accidents in just one day.
The combination of hostile drivers and dangerous conditions can be lethal. PA 476 is a key highway for most commuters facing these dangers. It comprises the area known locally as the “Blue Route” consisting of Delaware and Montgomery counties and the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike connecting Philadelphia to the Lehigh Valley, the Poconos, and the Wyoming Valley. Traffic in these routes is almost inevitable for all residents of Philadelphia, the Main Line, Montco, Delco and other suburbs nearby.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash due to the negligence of another person, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses. Our Main Line, PA 476 personal injury practice is known for an unwavering commitment to pursuing our client’s rights. With over 80 years of combined experienced, the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of Jacobs & Fishman, P.C. are known for trustworthy and unwavering personal injury representation. For a free legal consultation, call (610) 941-4250, or contact us online.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Car Accident on I-476 in Pennsylvania?
Personal injury lawsuits are filed in civil courts. When the cases go to trial, the questions regarding the facts surrounding the accident are presented to a jury. The following are various areas of the law that can arise in cases of accidents in busy highways like PA 476.
Negligence is a legal theory for lawsuits related to injuries where the duties to maintain and promote safe roads come into question. There are cases of negligence of careless or reckless drivers that result in the driver being sued. There is also negligent maintenance of public roads. When this happens, the defendant in the lawsuit will be the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. While there is a general rule of law extending immunity from lawsuits to governmental agencies, the Pennsylvania legislature has instituted an exception for cases involving dangerous public roads and highways.
Dangerous road conditions include:
- Potholes, raised hardware, or inadequate signage
- Improper storm water drainage system or to pitch the road properly, causing flooding and/or ice
- Failure to remove ice or warn of slippery roads or dangerous weather-related problems
- Inadequate or defective signage to warn of a dangerous condition, or close the highway
- Failure to remove abandoned vehicles to remain on the highway
- Structures too close to the highway
- Failure to provide adequate guard rails
- Defective traffic control devices
The Doctrine of Crashworthiness for Pennsylvania Car Accidents
The Doctrine of Crashworthiness is related to the different liabilities that arise when car defects aggravate a car collision. It can involve liability for defective conditions in cars and consumer protection laws.
Under this doctrine, liability is imposed on a vehicle manufacturer if design defects cause additional damage in an accident, apart from the direct damage caused by the crash. When this doctrine is invoked, the basis of the lawsuit can be under various legal theories, including negligence, strict liability and breach of warranties. For example, there are instances when a car defect will be triggered by a collision. If a car gets hit on the road and the airbags don’t go off, then there is a negligence claim for the conduct leading to the collision and another for the potential defect of the airbag. This is known as the doctrine crashworthiness.
Most lawyers recognize that an experienced personal injury attorney will play an important role in handling these cases that combine multiple legal bases. A solid knowledge of how these mixed legal theories work and are distinguished will be critical for a successful result.
Premises Liability in the case of highways relates to the duty of states to ensure the roads are safe. The highways in Pennsylvania are the property of the Commonwealth. Dangerous premises can lead to slipping, falling, tripping, or having something hit or fall on you.
Who is Responsible for Accidents on PA 476?
Pennsylvania has the exclusive duty to maintain and repair of state highways. However, road accidents involve more than one responsible party. Sometimes private contractors and engineers have to be sued if there is a reason to believe they were responsible for defective design and construction of the road. There are also cases when abutting property owners can be responsible if they create a hazard on the road.
Also, in the cases involving commercial vehicles, responsibility can be imposed both on the business and the individual driver who operated the vehicle. For example, accidents can be attributed to a company’s failure to train the drivers sent on the roads or to maintain the vehicles in good condition. In those instances, the business and interrelated subsidiaries can be held responsible as well.
What Happens When I Get Into a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania has instituted a “no-fault” car insurance system. It’s important to note that Pennsylvania’s no-fault car insurance system applies to injuries caused by car accidents, but not to the vehicle damage. Under this system, medical treatment and other out-of-pocket losses incurred by anyone covered under the policy will be paid regardless of who caused the accident. Payments are limited to a maximum amount of coverage.
Pennsylvania residents can opt out of the no-fault system when they purchase a car insurance policy. Also, filing a lawsuit will remove the no-fault limitation. Lawsuits are typically filed when the injuries qualify as “serious” as defined under Pennsylvania statutes Title 75, Section 1705 requiring serious impairment of a body function, or permanent and serious disfigurement. Even head injuries may not be deemed “serious” unless there’s significant harm.
Pennsylvania also allows “Full Tort” coverage, which gives family/household members unlimited rights to getting financial compensation for injuries and other losses when another driver causes a car accident. Recovery includes medical treatment and other economic losses as well as pain and suffering and other losses stemming from the accident, even if the injuries don’t meet the statutory definition of injuries that are deemed to be “serious.”
Your I-476 Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Philadelphia, the Main Line, and Norristown
The law firm of Jacobs and Fishman is dedicated to serving the communities enveloped in the area of I-476 across Philadelphia, Delco, Montco, the Main Line and Norristown. We are known for our dedication to pursuing our client’s legal rights aggressively. Our approach is results-oriented and relentless. Call your PA 476 personal injury attorney at (610) 941-4250 to schedule a free consultation.