Pittsburgh car accident lawyers explain what to do after a winter driving crash
Hazardous winter weather often goes hand-in-hand with car accidents. While such accidents can happen anywhere, certain states have more weather-related accidents than others. And right near the top of the list is Pennsylvania, which was recently ranked the second-deadliest state for weather-related winter car accidents.
ValuePenguin, an insurance comparison website, reviewed weather-related accidents nationwide between 2013 and 2017. It then ranked each state based on the number of weather-related motor vehicle fatalities involving snow, ice, and other hazardous winter weather.
During that five-year period, Pennsylvania had 197 winter driving deaths, the second-most after Michigan. Certain cities and highways in Pennsylvania also had more weather-related winter accidents than others. Pittsburgh topped the list with six deaths and I-79 near Pittsburgh had four deaths.
Why do accidents happen in winter in Pennsylvania?
While hazardous weather can play a role in many winter-related car accidents, it’s important to realize that the reckless actions of other drivers are often a major contributing factor. Examples include:
- Speeding or driving recklessly during a snow or ice storm.
- Not cleaning snow or ice off the windshield, making it impossible for drivers to see.
- Driving too close to other cars, resulting in a rear-end accident.
- Illegally passing slower vehicles, resulting in a head-on collision or intersection accident.
- Not paying attention while driving, whether it’s texting while driving, looking up directions, or engaging in other distracted driving behavior.
Drivers need to be responsible on the road. This is especially true during hazardous winter weather. They need to slow down, drive smart and respect other motorists. When they don’t, they need to be held accountable for their actions. That’s why it’s important for people injured in winter car accidents to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about their legal rights.
What should I do if I’m involved in a winter accident?
If you’ve been involved in a collision caused by another driver in winter, you need to make sure you take certain steps as soon as possible after your accident, including:
- Seek immediate medical attention. This is important for two reasons. One, you might have an injury and not realize it. Two, if you don’t go to a doctor, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely dispute your claim since they might question whether you’re actually hurt.
- Contact the police department that investigated your crash and ask for a copy of your official accident report. It’s critical that you verify that all of the information is accurate and reflects what actually happened.
- Call your insurance company and tell them you have been in an accident. Keep your comments brief. You can always say more later.
- If the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, don’t talk to them. Anything you say can be used as evidence to reduce or deny your injury claim. Tell them to talk to your attorney.
- Call a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the better.
Why do I need a lawyer?
You might think you don’t need an attorney. But the reality is most car accident claims turn out to be complicated legal cases. The other driver will likely blame the weather and try to claim there was nothing they could do. Or the other driver’s insurance company might try to claim you somehow caused the crash. That way, they don’t have to pay you the money you rightfully deserve for your accident-related expenses.
We know the games insurance companies play. That’s why we want to help. When you have an experienced Pittsburgh car accident attorney from the Romanow Law Group on your side, you can take an aggressive approach right from the start. Instead of insurance companies telling you what to do, you can dictate what happens next. That’s our job and we take pride in standing up for the rights of injury victims and their families.
Discover what we can do for you after your winter car accident. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer focused on results. Schedule an appointment at our Pittsburgh office today.