While we all know in theory that fatal car accidents happen countless times a day — every day — across the country, we tend not to think about the possibility that one of these accidents will happen to us or someone we love. Even the act of putting on a seat belt has become automatic. Most of us do it not because we’re afraid of crashing, but because it’s a well-ingrained habit. But the unfortunate truth is that none of us is guaranteed an accident-free journey through life. Driving carefully is important, but it doesn’t prevent a fatal collision with a driver who might not be as cautious.

The two individuals who lost their lives in a car accident in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, over the weekend couldn’t have anticipated it when they started out on the road. The 41-year-old Whitehall Township woman driving the car was carrying a 16-year-old boy as her passenger, though their relationship isn’t yet clear. But as they turned onto Route 145, a truck said to be traveling at high speed suddenly crashed into their car, causing it to catch fire. Neither the woman nor the teenage boy was able to escape the wreck in time, and both perished in the burning car.

Two people inside the truck also suffered serious injuries but are expected to recover. But it may take them a longer time to heal from the shock of such a horrific accident. Unfortunately, such collisions happen on a regular basis. Some happen due to distracted driving. Other times one of the drivers simply failed to look carefully enough for oncoming traffic.

Whatever the reason for the accident, the lives of the injured and those of the fatal victims’ family members have been altered dramatically — not only emotionally and physically, but possibly financially as well. In accidents where a family’s primary breadwinner dies or becomes too disabled to work, the other family members may be eligible for a financial settlement from the crash, especially if it was caused by another driver’s negligence. To learn whether they might recoup losses from medical, funeral or burial expenses or even lost wages, dependents of accident victims should contact a personal injury attorney.

Source: WFMZ, “Officials ID woman in fiery fatal Lehigh Co. wreck,” Feb. 23, 2013

  • Our firm handles personal injury and wrongful death cases for Pennsylvania residents. To learn more about our practice, visit our Harrisburg car accident page.