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Common Car Accident Types

Wide variety of auto accidents, one aggressive Pennsylvania law firm – Marcus & Mack

On average, 340 motor vehicle accidents happen every day throughout Pennsylvania. Three people die and 228 people are injured, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. When these accidents happen, people’s lives are turned upside-down. Knowing what to do after an auto accident can be confusing. Fortunately, you don’t have to go up against the insurance companies on your own.

At Marcus & Mack, we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your crash. But your accident is about more than just money. It’s about making sure you receive the attention you need, whether it’s medical treatment or dealing directly with insurance companies. We can take care of the details, no matter what kind of accident you’re dealing with. Founder Robert S. Marcus and partner Jonathan B. Mack have worked hard over the years to build a rock solid reputation throughout Central and Western Pennsylvania as a firm that delivers the results clients need. Click on the following links to read more about common car accidents in Pennsylvania. We represent clients throughout the region, including the counties of Indiana, Allegheny, Erie, Cambria, Bedford, Westmoreland, Clearfield, Elk, Cameron and Huntingdon.

Rear End Crashes

Rear-end accidents are among the most common types of accidents in Pennsylvania. One study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 28 percent of auto accidents were rear-end collisions.

In many cases, insurance companies dismiss rear-end accidents as being minor. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Crash Facts and Statistics, 2013, there were 26,893 rear-end crashes that year, resulting in 70 deaths.

If you’ve been rear-ended, you know firsthand just how serious such accidents can be in Pennsylvania. People involved in rear-end accidents often sustain serious injuries and significant damage to their vehicle.

In particular, rear end motor vehicle accidents often result in neck and brain injuries, including whiplash and concussion traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Such injuries can be very serious and affect a person’s ability to move or function normally.

In rear-end accidents, the rear-most driver is almost always responsible for the accident, but insurance companies for the at-fault driver may not be willing to pay out what you truly deserve. We can help sort out all the legal details.

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Hit-and-Run Accidents

Drivers flee the scene of an accident for many reasons. Often, it’s because they don’t have car insurance. Other times, it’s because they don’t have a driver’s license or they’re committing a crime, including operating under the influence of alcohol or driving a stolen car.

Never chase after a hit-and-run driver. You could put yourself – and everyone else on the road – in danger. Call 911 immediately and report your hit and run accident.

Try to remember as much as possible about the vehicle and the driver that fled the scene of your accident. Every detail matters. Tell the police critical details, including:

  • Type of car
  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Car color
  • License plate number
  • Direction vehicle was heading
  • Anything you can remember about the driver’s appearance

If the police find the hit-and-run driver, they can file charges and the driver could ultimately face criminal punishment. Victims of the hit-and-run driver also may be able to file a civil suit against the driver to seek compensation for damages.

If the hit-and-run driver cannot be tracked down, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance policy.

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Head-on Collisions

Because of the significant forces involved, the consequences of head-on crashes are often catastrophic. A head-on collision doubles the force of impact. The impact is the same as one car driving twice as fast straight into a wall.

That might explain why head-on collisions account for 10 percent of all fatal car accidents nationwide, even though only 3.3 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in 2013 in Pennsylvania involved head-on crashes. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Crash Facts and Statistics, 2013, there were 4,089 head-on crashes that year, resulting in 157 deaths. By comparison, there were 26,893 rear-end crashes in PA that year, resulting in 70 deaths.

Many head-on crashes happen on rural roads. Specifically, 75 percent of crashes are reported on undivided, rural two-lane roads. These and many other head-on accidents happen for many different reasons, including:

  • Driver inattention
  • Reckless driving
  • Passing illegally on two-lane rural roads
  • Speeding, especially during hazardous weather conditions

If you are injured or a loved one is injured or killed in a head-on collision, you will need someone who can meticulously investigate your accident to determine liability and strive to make sure you receive the money you rightfully deserve.

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Intersection Accidents

Intersecting streets and roads can be dangerous places, especially when several vehicles approach the same intersection at the same time. All it takes is one reckless driver to cause a serious intersection accident. PennDOT reported there were 47,300 intersection crashes in 2013.

Such accidents often occur when someone runs a red light or fails to stop for a stop sign. The reason? Many drivers fail to focus their attention on driving. Instead, they’re busy doing other activities like texting, eating or talking on a cellphone. Pedestrian or bicyclists often are victims of intersection accidents. They may be lawfully crossing a road when a distracted driver crashes into them.

Texting while driving is against the law in Pennsylvania. But that doesn’t stop some drivers from engaging in such dangerous driving habits.

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Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists in Pennsylvania often happen when the person on foot or on bike is entering or crossing a specified location. In many cases, a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing an intersection, a mid-block crossing or a driveway entrance. Whether you’re crossing a street in Allegheny County or riding a bike near Old Main Lawn in State College, pedestrian accidents and bicycle crashes can turn your life upside down in a split second.

Distracted driving often causes such catastrophic accidents. Speeding or reckless drivers are also often to blame. That’s why it’s important to contact an attorney immediately to investigate the cause of your accident.

PennDOT reports that pedestrian-related crashes represent 3.5 percent of all total reported accidents, but account for 12.5 percent of all traffic crash deaths. In 2013, 151 pedestrians died in Pennsylvania accidents. There were 11 bicyclist deaths and 1,374 injuries in that year.

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SUV, Pickup Truck and Other Large Vehicle Accidents

SUVs and pickup trucks and other large vehicles are popular throughout Central Pennsylvania. That’s why it might come as no surprise that light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles comprised nearly 24 percent of all fatal accidents in 2013, according to PennDOT statistics. Accidents involving heavy trucks in 2013 were the second highest since 2009, but the totals for deadly crashes have stayed consistent over the past several years. In some cases, larger vehicles are top-heavy and prone to rolling over. A comprehensive investigation often is necessary to determine any possible contributing factors. A defective vehicle design or faulty tires may have played a role in the crash, which may be grounds for a product liability lawsuit.

In some cases, occupants of small passenger cars might suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in crashes with a sport utility vehicle (SUV), pickup truck or another large vehicle. Injuries sustained by the driver of the car can also often be severe or even life threatening in certain cases.

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Accidents with Uninsured Drivers

By law in Pennsylvania, all drivers must purchase car insurance in order to legally drive on the road. Even so, some drivers flaunt such rules and regulations and refuse to purchase auto insurance like other law-abiding drivers. It’s estimated that about 6.5 percent of the drivers in Pennsylvania carry no insurance.

If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver – or underinsured driver – you have several legal options available to you. One of them includes filing a lawsuit against the driver that caused your accident. You might also be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.

Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania is an option to drivers. We recommend motorists purchase this coverage to protect themselves in the event of an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver. If you’re not sure about your coverage and were in an accident, talk to an uninsured/underinsured driver accident lawyer in Pennsylvania for a free consultation.

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