Car Accidents

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Car Accidents

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Car accidents occur every minute of the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The most common types of car injuries include collisions, such as head-on collisions or rear-end collisions, rollovers, particularly SUV rollovers, tire blowouts, single car accidents and multi-car accidents, and pile-ups.

These automobile accidents often occur due to a driver’s negligence, such as speeding, failing to use turn signals, failing to obey traffic signs, reckless driving, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If someone is injured or killed due to a drunk driver, the state will likely become involved and prosecute. Some of these auto wrecks can be caused because of defects to the car, defects to the highway, poorly maintained roads, or traffic signal malfunctions.

The most common car accident injury is whiplash. However, the most serious injuries involve head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, permanent disabilities, or death. You may be entitled to damages for injuries, medical expenses, loss of wages, and claims against an uninsured driver.

What are the Statistics on Car Accidents?

Any commute involves some risk, but car accidents are among the most common types of wrecks and arguably the most avoidable if all drivers paid attention to safe-driving practices.

With that in mind, let’s go over some important automobile accident statistics from the NHTSA and CDC:

  • On average, 6 million car crashes occur every year in the United States, with half of those crashes resulting in injuries, and two-thirds of those injuries being permanent.
  • More than 90 people die in car crashes in the United States every day, with the causes of these fatalities attributed to just a few significant driver safety errors.
  • The causes of car crashes resulting in fatality are split pretty evenly, with 40% attributed to alcohol use, 30% to speeding, and 33% to reckless driving with some overlap between them.
  • Any person is, on average, 23 times more likely to crash if they are texting and driving, with 1 out of 3 people admitting to text and drive.

Who is Responsible for a Car Accident?

The litigation process for car accidents is usually fairly straightforward, aside from some exceptions which may add a step to the process: If a car accident happened in a work vehicle, for example, or if the driver at fault for the accident doesn’t have insurance, in which case the victim may have to apply to their own insurance company to see what can be done right away. Depending on the particular circumstances of the accident, several parties may be involved in your particular case.

These parties may include:

  • You. Car accidents are often caused by the driver’s negligent operation of their own vehicle, including during incapacitation as the result of DUI or DWAI or texting while driving. While it’s possible that you were completely innocent in the accident, sometimes both drivers are at fault to different degrees, which in most states means you can still file even if you contributed to the conditions in which the accident occurred, as long as you are 50% or less at-= fault; this may alter the amount you are to be compensated. Additionally, drivers may violate traffic controls, fall asleep at the wheel, or have their attention diverted by distractions such as cellphones and even other passengers in the vehicle causing their own accident. In these cases, when there was no structural, environmental, or mechanical error at play, the driver may be held personally accountable for the crash and its resulting injuries or fatalities.
  • The other driver. If the crash was the result of another driver’s negligence, then that driver may be held personally responsible for resulting injuries, on grounds of negligence, reckless driving, DUI/DWAI, or any of the elements of unsafe driving mentioned above. In instances where the driver was not at fault, but the accident occurred because of an issue of the car’s manufacturer, that company may be held accountable instead. Furthermore, a driver’s employer may also be held liable if the driver was operating the car while performing their work duties.
  • The car manufacturer. From accidental oversights to gross negligence, car accidents may occur when the car manufacturer knowingly or unknowingly sends a defective vehicle out on the road that is unfit for safe use. If a mechanic hired to repair the car behaves similarly, they too could be liable for the damages incurred in a car accident resulting from their safety oversights.
  • The government. Government fault may exist when on-going road construction is in place or the road/lights/signage are damaged or lacking, making it impossible to safely navigate an area that should be easily passable for any car. Government agencies could also be responsible if the road was poorly maintained or designed, i.e. never fixed a pothole or made a turn in the road too sharp.
  • The property owner. If the accident occurs on someone’s property as a result of an unavoidable safety issue or warning regarding the issue in place, and a crash occurs, the property owner may be liable for damages.
  • The employer. If either vehicle is a work vehicle, and especially if either party was on work-related business when the accident occurred, the employer of that person may be liable for damages incurred in the accident as well. Workers’ comp or a third-party claim may apply here.

Do You Have a Claim for a Car Accident?

Depending on the nature of your or your family member’s injuries due to a car accident, your lawyer may identify possible claims for:

  • Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a car accident may include: whiplash; scrapes and cuts; head injuries; broken ribs; broken bones and/or fractures; internal bleeding; herniated disc; knee trauma; head, neck or back trauma; spinal cord injury; loss of limbs; brain injury; disfigurement; burns; tissue trauma; paralysis; PTSD; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
  • Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a car accident victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
  • Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
  • Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship
  • Wrongful death.
  • Funeral expenses.

If you were injured or if a loved one was injured/killed in an automobile accident, you need a personal injury attorney to give you trustworthy advice regarding your situation. An experienced lawyer will understand the emotional and physical toll this accident took on your life and will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.

Learn More About Car Accident Law


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