Understanding Car Accident Liability in Pennsylvania

When a car accident occurs, the first thing that comes to mind is the well-being of the driver and passengers. The second thing that comes to mind is what happened and who is responsible. A recent multi-vehicle accident that occurred on Interstate 81 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, shows how important and complicated those questions can become.

On a summer afternoon near the end of June, a driver traveling on Interstate 81 in south central Pennsylvania needed to slow down but noticed that a tractor trailer following behind was not responding. In an effort to avoid being rear-ended by the semi, the driver attempted to travel into the median of highway, but the tractor-trailer struck the car and caused it to spin around. According to WPMT News, the semi flipped onto its side because of the impact and hit multiple cars before it came to a stop in the median. The end result was a seven-car pileup that left one person dead and sent two people to the hospital. Determining liability in a multi-vehicle crash like that can be complicated. When a car accident strikes, an injured victim can begin his or her path to legal recovery by consulting with an attorney to sort out responsibility.

An individual who is injured in a car accident can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. When a car accident victim dies because of the crash, a family member may file a personal injury lawsuit, called a wrongful death lawsuit, on his or her behalf. The determination of responsibility for a personal injury case is generally based on the legal theory of negligence. Under this theory, a driver must operate his or her vehicle with reasonable care given the circumstances. A driver who fails to drive with due care is negligent and can be held liable for any injuries that result. The state of Pennsylvania has established certain rules of the road, such as speed limits, that set the standard of care for drivers. A violation of the speed limit or Pennsylvania's texting while driving ban helps to create a presumption of negligence against the violating driver.

Car accident victims have a right to seek compensation, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure a victim receives proper compensation.