When it comes to topics carrying equal weight nationally and in Pennsylvania, few compare with concern about negligent driving. As we note elsewhere on our site, vehicle crashes are arguably one of the most significant causes of injuries and deaths.
When one factors in the anxiety, pain and grief at the loss of a loved one or the ability to enjoy life to the fullest, fair compensation may seem to be nearly incalculable. Yet seeking monetary recovery is about the only means available under our legal system, and obtaining compensation that truly reflects the scale of one's loss and holds the responsible party accountable tends not to happen left to insurers. Sometimes, the negligent driver lacks any coverage at all.
Experts generally agree that the key to making a successful claim is in proving that the driver who caused the crash failed to exercise reasonable care. Another way of saying that is that they failed to pay proper attention to the task at hand.
Unfortunately, the problem of inattention only seems to be getting worse with every passing year. As a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted, that's something to which local police can attest. But it's also reinforced by surveys and reports.
In one, the National Safety Council showed that traffic deaths in 2015 and 2016 increased by 14 percent. And, in a poll conducted by AAA, nearly 70 percent of drivers admitted to running a red light in the previous 30 days. Worse, nearly 90 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 acknowledged they had done so. The figures prompted the AAA to declare the younger drivers the least cautious of all groups.
However, those with experience dealing with vehicle accidents know that risky behavior knows no age, gender or race. To paraphrase one police officer cited in the Post-Gazette story, to be human is to be unsafe. And, as he said, nearly every accident can be traced in some way to distracted driving.
Proving it, however, can be a challenge, which is where an experienced attorney can help.