Chester County Car Accident Lawyers
Traveling through the Philadelphia area may bring drivers into Chester County, just west of both Delaware and Philadelphia Counties. A driver might visit the rural parts of Chester County that abut the Delaware border such as Kennett Square and its numerous mushroom farms. There are other rural areas with wineries and breweries. There are even outlying suburbs in the area that make the roads a little bit more congested than normal. The Pennsylvania Turnpike passes through Chester County, and other heavily traveled state or national routes go through the area.
Anyone who passes through Chester County should be prepared to contend with rural roads, heavy traffic, commuters coming in and out of Philadelphia, and those who are driving to and from Delaware or Maryland. Because there are unique challenges involved with these routes, drivers must be aware of how to remain safe.
Additionally, drivers should reach out to a Chester County car accident lawyer today if they have been hurt. Accidents often require compensation, and a lawyer will ensure that compensation is paid via a settlement or judgment. Families or victims may be traumatized by these accidents, and they must be given assistance because someone else’s negligence must be brought to light so that everyone can move on from the accident.
Types of Car Accidents Unique to Chester County
Car accidents are not unique to Chester County, but certain types of accidents are especially common to the area. Because the county stretches into rural areas of Eastern Pennsylvania, drivers encounter farm vehicles, cargo trucks, large trucks, rural drivers, and tourists who are driving through the area for leisure.
Farm vehicles in Chester County often use the roads to move from one location to another. This might be surprising to drivers who are not accustomed to traveling in rural areas. Passing a farm vehicle is acceptable as long as there is a dotted line on the road. However, maneuvering around these vehicles can be difficult because it is hard to see around them.
Therefore, someone who is approaching a farm vehicle coming the other way should be aware that someone might try to pass. Drivers should slow down to prevent a head-on collision. If another car is trying to pass and running out of space, drivers should slow down, pull off to the side, or even flash headlights at the other driver so that they know someone is approaching.
Cargo trucks and large trucks must access these large farms, breweries, or wineries every day. These vehicles move slowly, and they cannot drive up hills as fast as a passenger vehicle. Drivers should not tailgate a large truck because that vehicle must remain in first gear for long stretches. Large trucks should be passed only when there is a dotted line, high visibility, and enough space to drive around the truck.
Rural drivers and tourists often move slowly because they do not know where they are going, or they are not willing to speed down these roads. Tourists are often easy to spot because they have out-of-state plates. These drivers should be allowed to move slowly, and they should be passed only when it is safe to do so.
Rural drivers might haul large equipment on trailers, and these trailers are often hitched improperly or seem as though they are not held down properly. The local authorities should be contacted if it appears that a trailer or piece of equipment might cause an accident. When passing one of these vehicles, drivers must ensure that visibility is adequate. Motorists should not tailgate these vehicles, as their loads could fall off their trailers at any time.
Moreover, drivers have a duty of care to other motorists if they plan to haul a trailer or transport large items in the back of a pickup truck. These trucks and trailers are outfitted with hooks, loops, and spaces where bungee cords and straps can be used to secure the load. A driver who has not secured their load is responsible for all the accidents they cause.
If one of these vehicles causes an accident, a car accident lawyer should be contacted for a consultation. Reviewing evidence from the case helps victims and their families determine what can be done to help them recover.
What are the Unique Driving Challenges in Chester County?
Chester County presents some unique challenges for urban and suburban residents who drive through every day. The county is more difficult to drive through than a suburban or urban location. Additionally, the county is so vast that drivers can go from very rural areas to congested suburbs in a short period of time. Unique challenges in the area include the following:
- Low visibility
- Hilly or circuitous roads
- Speeding drivers on empty roads
- Frequent stops from mail and delivery vehicles
Low visibility in the area is a concern for any driver. Low visibility at night or on curvy roads makes it difficult for drivers to know where they are going. Motorists need to slow down when driving a circuitous route. Dark conditions make it difficult for drivers to see the road. Although drivers may be tempted to turn on their high beams, they should turn off their high beams if there are other drivers in the immediate vicinity.
Low visibility causes another problem for which drivers unfamiliar with Pennsylvania roads are unprepared. Deer and other wildlife will cross the road at will. Although a small woodland animal will not damage a vehicle, it might cause the driver to swerve and crash. Deer are large and unpredictable. They can total a car and even kill people inside the vehicle.
Drivers are often advised to look out for deer on rural roads, but drivers must be constantly vigilant while driving. Deer have the glare in their eyes that people see in all wild animals. Drivers should look out for that glare, slow down at night, and allow deer to cross if they are already in the road. Even more troubling is that most deer can jump into the road in one bound. Drivers must not assume the road is safe just because a deer is not moving. Motorists should also remember that if one deer is seen, others are probably in the area.
Hilly and circuitous roads often have signs to indicate when there are extreme curves. Not all curves in the road, however, are marked. Drivers need to slow down when it is not clear where the road is going. Speeding drivers on these roads might know where they are going, and they can make those turns with confidence. Although what these drivers are doing is dangerous, they are familiar with the roads. Someone who is not familiar with their route must slow down to avoid accidents and/or dangerous turns.
Mail and delivery vehicles stop frequently, but they often do not have a shoulder they can use. These vehicles might stop while still occupying their lane and approaching drivers must slow down and pass carefully. This may be an inconvenience, but it is even more inconvenient if the driver is involved in an accident caused by improper passing on rural roads.
Drivers should all a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. The circumstances of the accident and any evidence collected must be reviewed by a lawyer before a lawsuit is filed against any responsible drivers.
What are the Common Causes of Car Accidents in Chester County?
Although hilly roads, deer, and large vehicles make driving in Chester County challenging, they are not the most common causes of car accidents. Drivers in Chester County are often endangered by speeding, distractions, and inexperience.
Distracted driving is prevalent throughout the United States. Nine people die every day in distracted driving accidents across America, and distractions make the roads in Chester County even more dangerous. Car accident deaths in Chester County rose to 27 in 2019 along with almost 1300 injury accidents. Distraction causes these accidents in many cases, and drivers must set down their phones, focus on the road, and look out for any signs of danger.
Drivers should also focus on who is coming the other way when using rural roads. As drivers move closer to Philadelphia, they must be prepared to slow down as congestion rises.
Congested roads are common on regular commuter routes. US 1 passes through the middle of Chester County. US 322 crosses the county as it approaches South Jersey, and I-76 crosses over the northern edge of the county. Because I-76 is part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike network, it can get congested at any time. There are drivers coming into Philadelphia for work along with those who are crossing the state from locations as far west as Pittsburgh.
US 30 and 202 also add traffic to the central portions of the county. Anyone who encounters heavy traffic or congested roads should slow down, leave a safe stopping distance, and remain in the right lane except to pass.
Although speeding is a factor in several accidents across the United States every day, speeding most often causes problems on narrow rural roads and congested highways that are under construction. Work crews, stopped drivers, and construction zones are common. Drivers must slowdown in these areas and look out for distractions, people, vehicles, or machinery. A construction crew must mark its work areas properly, but drivers are responsible for slowing down and remaining in a narrow lane.
Inexperienced drivers are common as teenagers get their learner’s permits or licenses. About 26 percent of the population is under 18, and many of those youngsters are high school students who drive to school. There are approximately a dozen school districts, several more private schools, and seven universities just in Chester County. A high number of inexperienced drivers live in the county during much of the year, and they often cause accidents because they have not driven as much as everyone else.
Poor weather conditions make Chester County roads worse because heavy snow in the winter, ice, and winds make curvy roads and highways dangerous. Heavy rains throughout the year can flood these roads, leave puddles, or cause hydroplaning when vehicles are driving on bald tires. Drivers are more likely to lose control when driving downhill, speeding, or when their vehicles are very tall. A large truck can tip over if it is hit by a heavy gust of wind, and imbalanced loads will also tip over when the driver does not have complete control.
A car accident lawyer can be hired for assistance with any lawsuit or accident investigation. Most people who are hurt in these accidents need to recover compensation, but they cannot do so alone.
Can Motorists Avoid Driving Through Chester County?
Chester County is a major thoroughfare for travelers in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. In many cases, it is impossible for drivers to avoid the county. Commuters who travel from Maryland and Delaware must come through the county to access Philadelphia, and those who are leaving for a vacation might drive through as they head west.
Driving through the county is made even more complicated by the lack of interstates. Anyone who lives in the southern regions of the county cannot use an interstate to get to where they need to go. Drivers must rely on state and US routes. When drivers are taking long trips, they should choose larger roads with more lanes. Although these roads are more congested, they are much easier to drive. Using rural routes to cut through the county can be dangerous because these roads are not meant for fast driving. Shortcuts in this area can be deadly.
Can I Sue for Damages?
Suing for damages requires help from a lawyer who knows how to investigate an accident and file a lawsuit. Because lawyers file these suits as a part of their work, they know how to quickly file when a case has been built. Most accident victims take too much time to file because they are focused on their recovery.
It makes much more sense for the family or the victim to speak to a lawyer immediately after the accident. Some people even call a lawyer from the scene of the accident. When suing for damages, the victim or their family is allowed to request the following compensation:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of recovery such as therapy, surgeries, and medication
- Lost income
- Lost income potential
- Pain, suffering, emotional turmoil, etc.
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death expenses such as burial, probate costs, will administration, etc.
Each lawsuit will require a different amount of money to be satisfied. Lawsuits are very specific because they compile medical bills, extra expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs that arose. A car accident lawyer will use documentation to file the lawsuit and make the most compelling case possible. Victims should talk to the lawyer as soon as possible and provide all the information that the lawyer has requested. Lawyers know that victims and their families have access to certain pieces of information that will make the case stronger.
Who can Be Sued for Damages?
Suing for damages requires a subject who can be blamed for the accident. Assigning blame in an accident is the task of the lawyer. The lawyer will determine who caused the accident, who caused the situation that resulted in an accident, and any other entities that might have been involved. Although drivers or their passengers might have an idea of what occurred, they should not make accusations or talk to anyone involved in the case. Common subjects of car accident lawsuits include these individuals and entities:
- Other drivers
- Large truck drivers and their employers
- Construction crews and companies
- Government offices
- Business owners
Other drivers are negligent when causing these accidents, and it can be difficult to explain precisely how the accident occurred. A police report and investigation will shed some light on what happened. This means that most people who are involved in accidents are surprised by what the other driver has done.
Large truck drivers can be blamed for these accidents because they have been negligent, or their employers have not serviced or maintained these vehicles appropriately. A vehicle that is not serviced properly could break down at any time. If the driver is not following inspection protocols, they could be held liable for the accident. Companies that lease large trucks might not service those trucks in between rentals, and the truck could fail in transit. Employers may also force their drivers to break rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Construction crews take up large sections of the road, and they have a duty of care to motorists to post signs, speed limits, barriers, and keep their equipment out of the road. This is not always the case, and the construction crew or foreman can be held accountable when they have not posted these signs. The construction company might also be held accountable because their executives or managers might have made decisions that caused an accident.
Business owners can also cause situations that result in car accidents. These are car accidents that are caused by business owners when they post barriers, block off roads, or prohibit access to parking lots or spaces. A business owner should be held accountable when they engage in dangerous behavior, and a car accident lawyer can investigate the accident and prove that these businesses, government offices, construction crews, truck drivers, or motorists are involved.
How are Wrongful Death Lawsuits Structured?
Wrongful death lawsuits are structured such that the family will obtain the compensation needed to pay for the victim’s injuries, pay for their burial, and probate their estate. Although these lawsuits are similar to personal injury claims, the victim is not there to file the lawsuit. The immediate family members of the deceased should file a lawsuit, and that lawsuit will benefit certain members of the immediate family based on local intestacy laws. For example, a father who also supports his elderly parent or disabled sibling dies in a car accident. When the wrongful death suit is filed against the at-fault driver, the man’s spouse, children, or executor will file the suit as representatives of his estate.
When the lawsuit is settled or a judgment is made, payments from the lawsuit will go to the decedent’s estate. The money is then divided among immediate family members based on priorities set by Pennsylvania law. For example, this man’s wife will inherit half of everything, and the children receive equal divisions of the rest of the settlement. If the man died with children but no spouse, the children inherit everything. Conversely, a spouse inherits everything if there are no children.
Why Do Victims Need a Lawyer?
Accident victims need a lawyer as soon as the accident scene is cleared. Some people call from the scene of the accident because they need advice. Others will schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer, and they can collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Victims and their families cannot build a case on their own or argue this case in court. Information from the scene of an accident that is helpful for lawyers includes the following:
- Eyewitness statements
- Police reports
- The police officer’s name and badge number
- Anything that was said about the accident
Although this information is handed over to a lawyer, the family will receive phone calls from people who want to settle quickly, pay less money, and make the case disappear. These representatives might produce documents to be signed or attempt to begin a settlement negotiation. Victims and their families need lawyers under retainer who will negotiate with representatives from liable parties.
A settlement negotiation can begin when a lawyer is retained, but that is not a guarantee that the case will settle. A lawyer may need to go to court and argue before a judge or jury. When a lawyer has been retained, they are willing to argue the case before the local court or state appellate court if necessary.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Help Victims Injured in All Types of Car Accidents
If you have been hurt or lost someone in a car accident, reach out to the Chester County car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. After reviewing your case, our experienced lawyers will understand what can be done to help you and fight aggressively for your rights. Those who have been hurt deserve to receive compensation for their injuries. We provide excellent client care for every victim or their family. Call us today at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.