The dedicated legal team of Caputo & Mariotti
Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Lawyer
The feelings that often follow auto accidents involve a combination of terror, shock, numbness, pain, anger, and loss. Even worse, the experience of chasing an insurance claim after a car wreck further deepens the crisis for the victims. Most personal injuries suffered from auto accidents can cause life-altering injuries that may manifest days after the collision.
Before you contact the insurance company about your accident, it is advisable to contact an experienced Wilkes Barre car accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Common Are Auto Accidents In Luzerne County?
It’s a certainty in life is that we’re going to have to deal with accidents. Unfortunately, car crashes are common in Wilkes-Barre, thanks to some heavily congested roadways such as I-81, the Cross Valley, Route 11, and the PA Turnpike.
According to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Transportation numbers, Luzerne County was one of the top ten counties in the state with the most traffic-related fatalities in 2019. Of the 3,418 reported motor vehicle accidents in the county, there were 30 fatalities, and 1,487 received injuries. These numbers are a giant leap over 2018’s numbers.
What are the Common Causes of a Car Crash?
In Wilkes-Barre, there are all sorts of reasons why someone may end up getting into a car crash. But when looking at the accidents that cause the most damage, a pattern can be easily seen.
Here are some common causes of car accidents:
Human Error Related Crashes
As humans, we are bound to make mistakes. It’s in our nature to do so. However, human error plays a significant role in accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some common risky behaviors include:
- Drunk and drugged driving: 29% of the car accident fatalities in 2018 were the result of drunk driving.
- Distracted driving: 2,841 people were killed in 2018 due to texting and driving.
- Drowsy driving: 795 deaths were caused by drowsy driving-related accidents in 2017.
- Lack of seat belt use: 2,549 lives could have been saved if the victim was wearing their seat belt.
The weather in Northeastern Pennsylvania can get quite frightful. With winters that could rival those of the Arctic, the roads are quickly easily affected by winter weather. Additionally, it gets difficult for PennDOT to constantly keep the roads safe to travel.
The biggest offender of some car accidents in Wilkes Barre can be black ice or clear ice. Black ice is a thin layer of ice “glaze” on a road. While the ice itself is not black, it is visually transparent or extremely hard to see allowing the usually black road below to be seen right through it.
In some areas locally, massive rain can lead to flooding of local rivers making road travel difficult. Downed trees due to wind also can affect roads around here as well. Mother Nature does not make it easier to drive around here.
Of the 52,000 crashes attributed to these reasons, here are some of the more common causes:
- Icy, sludgy roads
- Glare from the roads
- Obstructed views of the road
- Adverse weather conditions, such as fog and snow
- The design of the road itself
- Signs and signals on the road
Northeastern Pennsylvania is a beautiful area of the country people come from all over the place to live in. It’s great to see this kind of diversity in the local community. However, the lifestyle of certain areas brings about different driving habits.
This is absolutely understandable since one drives differently in New York City as they would in the remote sections of Luzerne County. As you can imagine, this can lead to an increase in accidents.
Many in our area, know the area and the roads well. When out-of-towners come into the area they could move slower or make quick turns and lane changes while trying to follow their map or GPS. This can cause locals to get frustrated and drive more aggressively when passing them off. Our Wilkes Barre car accident lawyer at Caputo & Mariotti has dealt with many of these cases over the years.
Much like the people that drive them, cars on the road aren’t always perfect either. Even when they’re brand new off the lot, sometimes cars have serious safety issues. Additionally, the cost of buying a car gets more and more expensive as income stays stagnant. According to market research firm IHS Markit, the average age of a vehicle in the US is 11.8 years old.
These numbers put the average car past most industry-standard car warranties of 5 years and 60,000 miles. Also, when you factor in just how much it costs to prepare crucial items on your vehicle, it’s fair to say many vehicles barely pass inspection.
Now it’s a little easier to see why about 44,000 car accidents per year happen due to issues related to the vehicle.
What To Do After A Car Accident In Wilkes Barre?
If you’re in stable condition, take a moment to get to safety. Once you’re no longer in danger or are not too injured, immediately dial 911 to report the accident.
While waiting for emergency personnel, get the contact information of the other driver and any potential witnesses. You’ll also want to take pictures of the scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries.
When emergency personnel arrives, seek medical attention immediately. Make sure you report every injury or area of pain.
When the police arrive, make sure you give a full account of what happened. Even the smallest of details matter.
Be sure to get a copy of the police report, damage estimates, and any medical records pertaining to the accident.
And most of all, do not give any statements to anyone else, especially the insurance company until you speak with our Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyer.
How Soon Should I Hire A Car Accident Attorney?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations states that car accident lawsuits must be reported within two years. The law restricts the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against another party. After two years, you can no longer file a claim to recover compensation for your injuries - a bad thing if your injuries show afterward.
As usual, the at-fault party’s insurance company will try to contact you right away for a statement claiming that they have your best interest at heart. The insurance company is a for-profit organization, and it’s really not looking out for your best interests. They do everything to under-compensate you to increase their profits.
Therefore, it’s always advisable to consult with an experienced Wilkes Barre car accident lawyer before giving your statement. This will help you maximize your financial recovery and protect you from an unfair insurance settlement.
Trust Our Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Lawyers
Caputo & Mariotti has helped many car accident victims obtain the compensation they are entitled to. Our decades of experience have helped us to get an understanding of how to get the best result for you.
Our team will always provide you with open and honest communication on your case. We keep you in the loop every step of the way so that you understand your case and claim.
Don’t wait another second. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys to tell us about your case.