Articles Posted in Car Accident Injuries

Despite the fact that drunk driving rates have been steadily declining over the years, drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. Car accidents are always traumatic events, but this is especially so with drunk driving accidents – it’s hard to believe that someone would be so reckless as to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s one thing to endanger your own health and safety, but unfortunately, drunk driving usually results in the death or injury of an innocent person. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consider talking with a lawyer in order to understand your rights and protect your future.  

Who Do You Sue?  

The most obvious answer to this question is that you sue the intoxicated driver who caused the accident. Almost all car accidents involve negligence, but in a drunk driving case, you’re alleging that the driver was negligent by driving while intoxicated. Therefore, you are asking the court to hold that person liable for your injuries and other losses.  

The moments surrounding a car accident are often described as a blur. It can be incredibly difficult to sort out what happened, let alone know what to do. Thankfully, emergency responders and oftentimes, kind strangers, are there to help and keep us safe.  

Many people don’t realize that the days and weeks following the accident can be a critical time, even if they thought they were “fine.” Because every case is different, it can sometimes be difficult to say what you should do. After a car accident, actions can sometimes be as detrimental as doing nothing. Here are five things you should not do after your accident.  

1.) Do not give lengthy statements to the other driver’s insurance company. Limit your comments to confirm the date and location of the accident, your personal information (name, address, phone number), and insurance and vehicle information. Do not say things like “I’m fine” or that you aren’t injured. Anything you say to the insurance company employees could later be used against you.

You’ve been in a car accident but declined to get in the ambulance. You felt fine, maybe a bit stiff or sore, but you had no broken bones and you weren’t bleeding. Now, several days later, you’re still hurting and even have some new pains. Maybe you’re wondering if these new pains are related to the accident or maybe you slept wrong. But what if this pain is the result of your car accident, and could be signaling something more serious?

Thanks to modern vehicle safety features, people don’t suffer gruesome injuries as often as they used to, but the forces involved in a car accident can be tremendous. Because your body is moving at the same speed as the vehicle and then slamming to an abrupt stop, you can still suffer significant injuries that require medical treatment. Therefore, the first and most important thing you should do after an accident is to get checked out by your doctor, even if you don’t think you need medical attention. Your doctor can diagnose your symptoms and help ensure a full recovery.  

Soft Tissue Injuries

Car accidents are a trying experience. In addition to possible serious injuries, there is also the financial fallout – repair bills, unpaid medical expenses, and lost income, just to name a few. On top of all that, you may be experiencing significant pain and suffering. Some injuries can linger for quite a while, requiring extensive physical therapy and other treatment. Other injuries may not manifest themselves for quite a while. There is, unfortunately, a lot more to a car accident than the few seconds during which it occurred.  

If you’re considering legal action to recover from your injuries and financial harm, the first thing you will need to figure out is if the other driver was at fault. Most car accidents are the result of negligence, which is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” What is considered negligence in a car accident case?  

Here are some common types of negligence in car accident cases:

Automobile accidents can cause broken bones, burns, and other injuries, potentially costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. You need compensation to help you recover, and for this reason, it can be beneficial to sue the person responsible for the accident. But do you know how to prove to a judge or jury that the other side is to blame? To bring an effective case, you’ll probably need expert witness testimony.

Accident Reconstructionists

An accident reconstructionist helps bring the accident to life for the judge and jury. They listen to all testimony and review the evidence, such as the final resting places of the vehicles, before reconstructing what happened. For example, a reconstructionist can offer expert testimony on the following:

Victims of automobile accidents are usually focused on receiving fair compensation for their injuries. Unfortunately, the wheels of justice move slowly, and you might need to wait a year or longer before your automobile accident lawsuit goes to trial. On certain occasions, it might be better to settle with the party at fault so that you can receive your compensation faster. Because every situation is different, you should meet with a Georgia personal injury lawyer to assess your situation.

Why Lawsuits Take So Long

Unlike other parts of the world, the American legal system is based on making sure there are no surprises when you go to trial. To that end, each side can engage in extensive fact finding by questioning the other side and asking for documents. This fact-finding phase is called “discovery,” and its goal is to make sure everyone lays their cards on the table before trial. Discovery can be quite extensive, especially if you have serious injuries or multiple cars were involved in the crash. It’s not unusual to spend over a year in discovery.

After a car accident, you should write down your memories and identify any potential witnesses. But there are some things you absolutely should not do, because they will make it difficult to bring a lawsuit and receive just compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one is involved in a wreck, make sure to avoid the following.

Never Handle the Accident Without Police

After a crash, you might just want to swap insurance with the other driver, especially if the accident seems minor. Unfortunately, you can’t usually tell from a visual inspection of the outside of the vehicle whether your vehicle has sustained damage. Instead, call the police so that an officer can investigate and file a police report. Your personal injury lawyer will find the report helpful if you later sue.

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents every year in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,447 deaths and 3901,000 injuries due to distracted driving in the year 2015 alone. Among all types of distracted driving, texting is considered the most dangerous, since sending or reading one text can take your eyes off the road for a full five seconds. While texting is the most common and most dangerous type of distracted driving, there are many activities that can take your attention away from the road, including:

  • Eating
  • Grooming

Human error is the responsible for many traffic accidents and, in those cases, it’s fairly easy to allocate blame. Normally, the person who was responsible for causing the accident is liable for any damages he or she caused to other drivers. But what about accidents that were not caused by human error, but were instead caused by dangerous conditions on the road itself, such as potholes? In most cases, the entity liable for accidents caused by poor road conditions is the government agency responsible for maintaining the road on which the accident happened. However, suing a government entity is a bit more complicated than suing a person or a business.

Proving Negligent Road Maintenance or Construction

A person who is the victim of a car accident due to poor road conditions must first prove that the road conditions actually caused the damage to the car and resulted in their injuries. Second, the plaintiff must also show that the agency or company responsible for maintaining the road was negligent in its duty to provide a safe roadway or that they failed to adequately warn drivers of a potential hazard. And third, the plaintiff must determine if the agency responsible is allowed to be sued in court and whether too much time has passed since the accident. In order to prove that the agency in question was negligent in its duties, the plaintiff must show that the agency could and should have maintained the roadway but chose not to do so, or that the agency built the road in an unsafe manner. For example, assume that a state decides to cut down on roadway maintenance, which causes erosion of a roadway on a dangerous, steep curve. If a car goes off the curve because of this erosion, the agency may be liable for the driver’s damages.

A new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has found that older teen drivers experience more accidents and near misses than younger drivers. The study hypothesizes that this is because older teen drivers are often overconfident and perceive themselves as safer drivers than they really are. What is even more interesting is that parents may be unwittingly allowing this kind of behavior as consequences taper off for older teen drivers. Nearly 70% of teens aged 15 and 16 said they would lose their driving privileges if they were to get into an accident, while only 55% of older teens believe they would experience the same consequences.

Concerning high school seniors specifically, the study found that 75% of seniors feel confident in their driving abilities, but with age comes riskier behaviors. Older teen drivers (71% of whom were high school seniors) are more likely to use a phone while driving than younger teen drivers (55% of sophomores). These types of behaviors occur most often at red lights, stop signs, and while sitting in stop and go traffic, which are all situations in which the risk of having a rear-end accident are higher.

According to Dr. Gene Beresin, the senior advisor on adolescent psychiatry with SADD, “It’s natural for teens to gain confidence behind the wheel as they get older and log more driving hours…However, this age group is more likely to test the boundaries as consequences for bad driving behaviors decrease and their freedoms and responsibilities at home increase, making them feel more like adults. As a result, it is even more important for parents and teens to have conversations about safe driving practices to avoid potentially putting themselves and others at risk on the road.”

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