Pennsylvania has more than 120,000 miles of highways and roads, including state highways maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and roads maintained by local municipalities and other entities. With more than a billion vehicle miles of travel on Pennsylvania each year, it’s no surprise that tens of thousands of traffic crashes occur in the state annually. In fact, there were 125,267 reported crashes in the Commonwealth in 2019 alone. Those accidents killed 1,059 people and injured another 76,243. While the 2019 fatality rate is the lowest ever recorded by PennDOT, the lives of the injured victims and those who lost loved ones were still upended. For some of them, our firm is working on helping them see justice.
When Pennsylvania highway accidents occur, those who suffer injuries or lose family members may seek compensation. The negligent party – whether an irresponsible driver, a municipality that failed to maintain road conditions, or someone else – can be held responsible for the losses those victims have suffered.
Since 1965, the highway accident lawyers at Gay & Chacker have represented thousands of people who suffered injuries or lost loved ones in highway crashes. If it happened to you, contact us for a free, no-obligation consult about your legal options.
Road Conditions that May Lead to Highway Accidents
Pennsylvania has a variety of weather conditions throughout the year. Dangerous weather that drivers often face on PA highways includes rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain, and even fog and smoke. These conditions can reduce visibility. Some can cause the roads to become slick and hazardous.
PennDOT noted a few road conditions that commonly lead to highway accidents:
- Wet roads
- Roads with snow and/or slush
- Icy roads or patches of ice
Sometimes, accidents happen because the state or local municipality failed to maintain safety in poor weather conditions. They might not remove snow or ice in a timely fashion or use warning signs. Reckless drivers also increase the risk of crashes, especially when the weather is poor. Those who are injured in highway accidents may be able to file an auto accident lawsuit against one or both of these parties for acting negligently.
Highway Accidents Due to Driver Negligence
Following traffic laws can help avoid collisions. When motorists disregard safe driving practices, crashes can happen that cause injuries and fatalities. Examples of dangerous driver behavior on highways includes:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Failing to turn on headlights at night or when driving in poor weather conditions
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failing to obey highway traffic signs and signals
- Passing or proceeding without caution
- Making an improper turn
After a highway accident that causes injuries or wrongful death, seeking the help of an attorney is advisable. An experienced lawyer can investigate the crash, determine who is at fault, and seek maximum compensation for the victims.
Getting Experienced Legal Help After a Highway Crash
The attorneys at Gay & Chacker are some of the top auto accident lawyers in Pennsylvania. Below are a few of our past cases involving highway crashes.
One of our clients was stopped in the shoulder of I-95 after a diesel fuel tank fell from a truck and spilled onto the road. The driver of an oncoming vehicle lost control after hitting the fuel slick and struck him. Our client sustained a traumatic brain injury and amnesia. We obtained $16.5 million from the insurance companies of the two defendants – a produce wholesaler and a trailer repair company – whose negligence had led to the fuel tank spill.
In another case, our client was rear-ended while at a Pennsylvania Turnpike exit ramp. The defendant had pushed his car into another car, causing our client to suffer injuries to his ribs, abdomen, chest, diaphragm, and back injuries. Our firm obtained a $725,000 settlement for him.
Our firm also represented a driver who was rear-ended by a van. As a result of the collision, she was thrown violently inside the vehicle, causing her to suffer from traumatic anxiety, nervousness, and other psychological and emotional disorders. We obtained a $94,500 settlement for her.
These examples show that highway accidents can lead to a variety of injuries and property damage. But no matter the situation, our attorneys work diligently to obtain maximum compensation for our clients, so they can focus on moving forward with their lives.
Contact Gay & Chacker for a free, no-obligation consult if you suffered injuries in a highway crash. We’ll explain the next steps and how we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to questions our highway accident attorneys commonly hear.
How much money can I receive from a highway accident lawsuit?
Every case is different, so how much money you will receive depends on the facts of your case. Compensation in Pennsylvania can cover many areas, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages and benefits (past, current, and future),
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of participation in family life,
- End-of-life expenses if a loved one was killed, and more.
You can also check out our featured personal injury case results page to read about our past cases and how much we were able to obtain compensation for those clients.
The insurance company already offered me a settlement, so why do I need a lawyer?
Insurance companies aim to pay nothing, or the lowest amount possible, to injured victims who file a claim. In fact, insurance adjusters are often rewarded for resolving claims for little or nothing as quickly as possible. So, the insurance adjuster who calls you may seem helpful and provide a lot of detail about the compensation they say their company will pay you. But their main goal is to pay out as little as possible. When they say they will cover your medical care, for example, they may only be referring to your first doctor’s appointment and not your future care. That’s not very helpful. Do not allow an insurance company to cheat you. An attorney with the right knowledge and experience can get you the highest payout possible.
What percent of fatal highway accidents are alcohol-related?
PennDOT classifies alcohol-related crashes as any reportable crash in which one or more of the drivers and/or a pedestrian was reported to have been drinking. Along with speeding, alcohol use continues to be a top contributor to fatal crashes in Pennsylvania. In 2019, there were 8,180 crashes that involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. So, 6.5 percent of the reported traffic accidents in Pennsylvania in 2019 were alcohol-related.
Contact Gay & Chacker for a Free Consultation
If you or a family member sustained injuries in a highway crash or lost a loved one, call us. Our firm offers free case evaluations to auto accident victims and their families. After speaking with one of our lawyers, if you hire Gay & Chacker, we will charge you absolutely no fee unless we recover financial compensation for you.