The holiday season is a very popular time for family and friends to reunite. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that approximately 98.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes to be with their loved ones – a 4% increase from last year’s statistics. With 90% of travelers driving to their destinations, the probability of an automobile accident increases.
Holiday Drinking and Driving
Philadelphia area residents who are traveling to visit family members and friends should be extra cautious, as end-of-the-year holiday travel accounts for a significant number of automobile accidents resulting in serious injuries and/or death. Drivers must pay particular attention to the roadway given the increase in traffic, and possible inclement weather.
Helpful Holiday Travel Tips:
- Travel during off-peak hours in order to avoid holiday traffic;
- If you plan to drink at a holiday party or dinner that you are traveling to, pack an overnight bag or have a designated driver and do not get behind the wheel;
- Map out your route and check the weather forecast in advance;
- Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with a roadside assistance kit in case of an accident or other emergency; and
- Travel at safe speeds and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
Regardless of how well we prepare, or how safe we drive, other motorists often fail to take the same precautions. Another driver’s carelessness may cause a wreck. Your car insurance may compensate you for some of the damage to your vehicle, and pay for some of your medical bills, but it may not fully compensate you for your injuries and damages.
Talk to an auto accident lawyer in Philadelphia who can help you navigate these uncertainties and maximize your recovery.
Dram Shop Liability – Drinking & Driving Accident Liability:
Holiday drinking and driving is also a serious problem for Pennsylvania motorists. Reports published by the National Safety Council have identified New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day as among the most dangerous driving holidays because of the number of serious car accidents involving drunk drivers. A policy of automobile insurance will almost never fully compensate a drunk driving victim, or the victim’s loved ones, for the loss of a life, or a severe injury (e.g., spinal cord injury, brain injury, burn injury, loss of a limb, etc.).
Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop laws are merely one avenue that a personal injury attorney may investigate under these circumstances. Pennsylvania law allows a car accident attorney to help a drunk driving victim obtain compensation from the bar or restaurant who over-served the defendant driver. In fact, the Pennsylvania Legislature has enacted laws prohibiting bars and restaurants from furnishing alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, it is important that you contact an attorney promptly in order to preserve your rights. Auto accidents occur frequently. Insurers and other parties complicate matters, and are only looking out for their best interests. A skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced attorney will look out for your best interests. Slade McLaughlin and Paul Lauricella possess the skill, knowledge, and experience to provide the top-notch legal representation that accident victims deserve.