Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers
Entering and exiting Bucks County, Pennsylvania gives drivers access to the beautiful woodlands of Eastern Pennsylvania, along with the city of Philadelphia. Although Bucks County is a beautiful place to live and work, it can pose problems for drivers no matter where they are going. This fact is especially important to remember when car accidents occur.
Drivers hoping to avoid accidents should be especially careful when driving in this area, and there are tips below that make that endeavor safer for everyone. If an accident should occur, drivers must know how to react because they may need information from the accident scene to recover compensation.
There are some unique issues for which drivers should be aware in this area. Also, drivers should consider how they can change poor driving habits; help their teens learn to drive; and avoid accidents with large trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. Motorists who are involved in an accident should speak to a Bucks County car accident lawyer for assistance after an accident.
How Often Do Car Accidents Occur in Bucks County?
Bucks County’s population in 2019 was a little more than 628,000. The county experienced 44 fatal crashes, 2,788 injury crashes, and 3,271 pedestrian crashes. Drivers must be aware that they are at risk because the county is large, has a sizable population, and abuts a major city. Rural roads in the county invite walkers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
Bucks County hosts several large businesses that employ thousands of people. Delivery vehicles, large trucks, visiting clients, and service vehicles visit these companies every day. Tourism is also a large part of the local economy, as Bucks County features 12 covered bridges, beautiful landscapes, and historic towns. The county features a theme park, casino, racetrack, and several shopping malls.
In addition to these locations, Bucks County contains large sections of major highways that allow more traffic to enter the area. New Jersey’s capital, Trenton, sits just across the Delaware River. Given the large amount of activity in the county, drivers should slow down and avoid distractions. Drivers in the area can go from a quiet country road to a highway in a matter of a few moments, and it helps to be prepared for any eventuality.
What Makes the Roads Problematic in Bucks County?
The roads in Bucks County often follow a path that is not convenient for modern vehicles, but drivers must adapt as they go. These roads cause the following problems for drivers, especially when urban and suburban drivers move to the area.
Wooded areas. The woodlands in the area can make certain roads very dark, and trees often trap rain from storms. Although a highway or surface street might dry quickly, roads covered by trees can remain wet long after it stops raining, and leaves falling from these trees can be just as slippery as ice. Low lighting makes it difficult to see sharp curves, and drivers may need to use their high beams to increase visibility. Although high beams help illuminate the situation, drivers must turn off these beams when other vehicles approach.
Wooded areas also cause drivers to feel as though they are lost, or these areas can affect their cell phone service. Drivers who get lost on these roads are advised to pull over, use their hazard lights, and plot a course to the destination before setting off.
Circuitous roads. Curving roads in the area can change elevation quickly, and drivers may not realize how much they will accelerate when driving downhill. Drivers should not ride their brakes when leading a large truck, as those drivers cannot afford to ride their brakes and risk brake failure. Speed limits on these roads are much lower to prevent accidents.
The curving roads in the area may also reduce visibility when they crest or dip. Head-on accidents can occur when drivers do not time their turns properly. Stop signs on these roads are often difficult to see, and no-passing zones are marked for everyone’s protection. Motorists should not attempt to pass unless the road is straight, and no one is within at least 300 yards of the driver’s current position.
Inclement weather. Inclement weather in the area causes accidents every year. A little more than 25,000 crashes occurred in 2019 in Pennsylvania because of some form of inclement weather. Snow and ice in the region make rural roads much more treacherous, and ice is difficult to see when visibility is already compromised. Some drivers do not know if these roads will be plowed or salted, and it is important to avoid travel during storms.
Heavy winds in the area make these roads more difficult to drive because a gust can push a car out of its lane. Although drivers may have room to correct on the highway, they could be pushed off the road on a country road. Motorists need to slow down or stop when the winds are too strong for driving.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid While Driving?
Drivers often make mistakes because they do not realize the danger of the situation or how much danger they are creating for other people. There are a few mistakes that drivers should avoid, and this is especially important when drivers are in the car with their children. Young drivers mimic the driving style of their parents, and teenagers need a good role model as they learn to drive.
Distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs every day, even if drivers believe they are safe behind the wheel. It only takes one missed turn or emergency stop to cause an accident. Distracted drivers can travel several hundred feet on the highway while looking away from the road, and they could miss turns on country roads.
Distracted driving accidents are easy to avoid when drivers commit to eliminating distractions. Something as simple as setting the Do Not Disturb function on a cell phone helps drivers focus. Drivers can set the phone down where it cannot be reached or use hands-free systems in the car. Drivers can also use these systems to receive driving directions in the vehicle. If drivers must use their phones, they should pull over.
Drunk driving. Drunk driving is still a serious issue in Pennsylvania, and despite focused enforcement efforts, the state sees about 14 percent of its drunk driving deaths impact the 16 to 20-year-old age group. A total of 299 drunk driving deaths occurred in 2019, and the overwhelming majority of those injured or killed in these crashes were in the vehicle with the drunk driver. These crashes occur most often at night.
Additionally, PENNDOT reports that Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Years, Independence Day, and Christmas are popular holidays when drunk driving accidents tend to spike. Residents of Bucks County must be aware of tourists who might come to the area to party and drink excessively. Drivers should avoid anyone who appears impaired or seems to not have control of their vehicle.
Speeding. Speeding plays a part in one-fourth of all accidents across the United States. Anyone with driving experience knows that they can lose control when the vehicle is going too fast. Speeding accidents in Bucks County can be more severe as drivers exit the roadway and strike trees or other fixed objects. In the most extreme cases, drivers may fall into a ravine where their vehicle is difficult for passing cars to see. Drivers should slow down when they do not know the speed limit. Some modern vehicles display the speed limit for the driver.
Not using headlights. Driving without headlights is an issue for drivers in Pennsylvania because visibility can drop at any time. The skies can become gray due to overcast throughout the fall and winter, and drivers should use their headlights to remain visible. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires drivers to use their headlights when they cannot see something that is about 1,000 feet away, even during the day.
Ignoring rules for work zones. Drivers who do not take work zones seriously must slow down and realize that these areas are filled with equipment, vehicles, and workers. Even if it appears that no one is there, there might be a few workers handling special projects. When drivers speed through these work zones, they could injure or kill a construction worker. Drivers might also strike debris left on the road, drive into potholes, hit barriers, or skid on standing water. Motorists must slow down in work zones to avoid a tragic accident.
Drowsy driving. Drowsy drivers can fall asleep at the wheel despite their best efforts to stay awake. They might not have the reflexes to avoid accidents, and they might not have the depth perception to make appropriate turns on rural roads. Drowsy driving is easy to avoid when drivers carpool or use ridesharing services. Motorists should never drive when it is clear staying awake is a problem. Sleeping the car on the side of the road is safer than driving while disoriented.
Driving without insurance. In an accident, when drivers realize the other driver does not have insurance, they should take a picture of the other driver and their vehicle. Someone who is afraid of the consequences of driving without insurance might leave the scene. A police officer will cite drivers for operating a vehicle without insurance, and that driver is subject to fines and other penalties.
Cutting off motorcycles and bicycles. Drivers should never cut off motorcycles or bicycles. These vehicles have a right to use the road and passing them requires great care. Motorists should give these vehicles plenty of space while passing or sit behind them until they change course. Slowing down also helps drivers see these vehicles because they are often small, and the rider might not have any reflective gear or clothing. When victims believe the offending driver in their accident is guilty of any of these behaviors, they should gather as much evidence as possible, take pictures of the accident scene, and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. All this evidence should be brought to a lawyer for review.
What Types of Compensation can I Receive for My Injuries?
Recovering compensation helps victims move forward, and it is important that they understand how they may receive remuneration for their pain and suffering. Drivers may be eligible to receive the following types of compensation:
Medical costs. Medical care can be quite costly because the victim might take an ambulance from the scene of the accident, receive emergency care, undergo surgery, and incur other expenses. Repayment for medical costs goes beyond the days following an accident. Victims may need to go through physical therapy, take medications, undergo further surgeries, and continue their medical care because of a disability.
Costs for recovery. Recovery costs range from counseling to medical equipment and transportation. It is vital for victims to recover from their injuries and return to their lives as much as possible. Victims should review these costs with a doctor or psychologist who can explain how long the victim requires care.
Loss of quality of life. This includes the loss of relationships, ability to work, and an ability to enjoy life. Victims should consult with a lawyer so that they can review the value of these damages.
Loss of earnings. Lost earnings should include all the money the victim lost when they missed work as a result of the accident. The victim may require further compensation if they lose their job and no longer have medical insurance or incur other costs. If the victim cannot go back to their original job at all, they can recover the money they would have made. At the same time, the victim may not have any chance of returning to work in any capacity. In this case, the victim deserves compensation for all the money they would have made in the future.
Punitive damages. Punitive damages in Pennsylvania cannot exceed 200 percent of the compensatory damages in the case. The judge or jury awards these damages if the misconduct was so willful or wanton that the court has no choice but to award these damages. Although the plaintiff may receive a large settlement as a result of a punitive damages award, the bulk of their case involves their pain and suffering.
If someone dies in a car accident, the dependents of the deceased or the executor of the will may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate. A wrongful death suit ensures that the family can receive payment for medical expenses incurred before the victim died, payment for the victim’s potential earnings, and pain and suffering for the family. The family is eligible for burial and probate costs, and they can request additional compensation if additional dependents exist, such as parents or adult siblings.
What can a Car Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Hiring a car accident lawyer places the case in qualified hands. A lawyer files the lawsuit and negotiates a settlement, if necessary. The victim can approve a settlement to close the case, or they can choose to go to court. A lawyer can bring suit against the at-fault driver, the manufacturer of a faulty vehicle, an errant truck driver, the trucking company, or a construction company that did not manage its work area properly. Determining who is liable may take the most time to gather the facts of an accident.
Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Assist Victims Injured in All Types of Car Accidents
Speak to the Bucks County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC if you suffered injuries in a car accident. Our experienced legal team provides personalized representation to every one of our clients. We will review your case and aim to recover the compensation you need to help you move forward. Call us today at 732-660-1200 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, as well as Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve car accident victims throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.