The inclement weather that affected most of the country has been blamed for a series of multi-vehicle pile-ups on interstates in Pennsylvania, and across the nation. While residents are used to dealing with adverse winter weather conditions, they have not expected the torrential rainy downpours that have plagued our state.
However, one hazard that knows no particular season is fog. One recent accident that has been blamed, in part, on dense fog caused a massive pile-up of 20 or more vehicles on a northern interstate. Chain reaction accidents occurred in both the north and southbound lanes of the interstate, with a total cluster of five pile-ups occurring. One semi caught fire, and emergency first responders were unable to immediately get to the wreckage because the accident debris and wrecked cars blocked access. At least twelve were injured and sent to area hospitals, but there were fortunately no fatalities. The accident caused a six-mile stretch of the interstate to be closed for several hours while the scene was cleared and investigators sought answers for the crash.
All drivers should be aware of weather and roadway conditions and reduce their speeds accordingly. In foggy conditions, drivers should also refrain from using their bright lights and maintain a distance of several car lengths from the bumper of the car in front of them so that if braking is required, they will have time to slow down and avoid impact with another vehicle. A lower impact resulting from slower driving speeds is always preferable to a high-speed impact on the highway.
Multi-vehicle pile-ups are often the cause of fatal injuries to drivers and passengers. If your car is disabled in a multi-car accident and you can safely exit your vehicle and get clear of oncoming traffic, that may be preferable to remaining in your vehicle and potentially being in the way of further damage from other impacts. However, each situation requires individual assessment to determine the safest course of action. Another good idea is to document damages and the accident scene with cell phone cameras if it can safely be done.
If you are injured in an accident in Philadelphia, you may be entitled to compensation as a result. Make sure you receive a copy of any police report issued regarding the incident and seek medical assistance from a hospital or physician so your injuries can be documented as soon as possible after the accident. When contemplating filing an insurance claim without a lawyer, keep in mind that adjusters usually low-ball their settlement offers in the hope that drivers will be eager to accept a quick check. It's a good idea to arrange a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can review your claim and advise you on the best course of action. Commonly, there is more than one insurance policy available, and people without lawyers typically only look at one. Also, a personal injury lawyer will negotiate down all the liens. Unrepresented parties typically think they beat the system by settling a claim without a lawyer, and then find they owe tens of thousands of dollars in liens, wiping out their settlements, and sending them to the poor house.
Remember that all injuries and damages may not be immediately present and that once settlement is reached and payment is accepted, your right to seek additional compensation has ended. Make sure you retain a low contingency fee personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia to get the maximum possible compensation available.