Given the number of cars on the roads, it should not be surprising for Pennsylvania residents that no matter how careful an individual is, car accidents resulting in injuries, and even death, routinely occur on Pennsylvania roads. But, many people may not know what to do in the event they are involved in a car accident.
Pennsylvania residents might find it helpful to learn that car accidents are generally governed by the law of negligence. To prevail on a negligence claim four elements must be shown by the injured party. These include the fact that a negligent party had a legal duty, that this legal duty was breached by either an act or failure to act, and this action or inaction resulted in an injury, and because of this injury the harmed party is entitled to damages. Every driver has an on-going duty to exercise reasonable care when operating his or her vehicle. Thus, when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care under the given circumstances, that driver might be deemed negligent, and may be held liable for damages resulting from the negligent act.
When determining if a driver was negligent or not, a judge or jury considers various factors. These include factors such as disregarding road signs, traffic signals, driving at high or excessive speeds, driving under the influence or distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration every ten seconds someone is involved in a vehicular accident, and while many of these crashes may be due to negligence, in some situations that may not be the case. Instead, a car accident may be the result of a manufacturing or product defect. In these instances where a car manufacturer has recalled a vehicle due to a safety concern, drivers who have been injured in an accident may be able to hold the negligent manufacturer responsible for damages.
Source: Findlaw.com, “Car Accident Basics,” accessed on August 5, 2014