Car accidents happen. They happen all over the Pittsburgh metropolitan area including right here in Beaver County. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Beaver County’s car accidents totaled 1,265 in 2017. Our motor vehicle accident fatality numbers were concerning as they tripled, from 5 fatalities in 2016 to 17 fatalities in 2017. It is impossible to avoid every single potential car accident, but there are some steps we can take to lower our chances of getting into a car accident.
Driver safety tips
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides safe driving tips for Pennsylvania residents and visitors. By following these safety tips, you will reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident.
- Get adequate sleep and do not drive while drowsy. Take rest breaks during long trips.
- Exercise caution when passing slow moving vehicles and never pass if you are in a no passing zone. Do not pass unless you can see clearly in front of you and the vehicle you intend to pass.
- Do not drive more than the posted speed limit and do not drive faster than is safe for the conditions present.
- Put away your cell phone and other distractions. Distracted driving is a serious problem that contributes to many car accidents.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Frequently check your mirrors.
- Give yourself enough time to reach your destination.
Car accident injuries
Car accident injuries can range from minor to catastrophic and injuries can affect not only the injured person, but his or her family as well, especially when the victim’s injuries are debilitating or fatal. Short-term car accident injuries may include things like neck and back pain, stiffness, swelling, bruising, and headaches. Longer-term injuries may include healing and recovery from broken bones, whiplash, concussions, spinal injuries, and recurring or consistent back, neck, and shoulder pain. Permanent injuries include disabilities, disfigurements, amputations, and paralysis.
If you have sustained injuries and damages due to another driver’s fault, you are entitled to financial compensation for economic and non economic damages.
- Economic damages often include lost wages and lost future wages, property damages, medical expenses, and long-term care.
- Non economic damages often include recovery for disability, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
- More rarely, punitive damages may be recovered in car accident cases, but only when it can be proven that the defendant operated with reckless indifference or maliciousness. Road rage and driving under the influence cases may sometimes meet the punitive damage standard of conduct.