Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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

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.”

Multi-vehicle car accidents, also known as “pileups” occur when more than two cars hit each other and set off a chain reaction of rear-end accidents. Most often, they happen due to the force of the first collision; the last car in a line of cars (Driver 4) rear-ends the second-to-last in the chain (Driver 3), who then rear-ends Driver 2, who then rear-ends Driver 1, the first car in the line. If there were only two vehicles involved in this scenario—Driver 4 and Driver 3—then it would be clear who was at fault, since the vehicles behind are almost always solely responsible for rear-end collisions. With multi-car accidents, the issue of liability can be more difficult because it’s often tough to establish who did what and at what time. In this post, we’ll examine how liability in multi-car accidents works.

The biggest issue facing law enforcement officers who investigate multi-vehicle accidents is pinpointing causation. In cases where one driver admits to being distracted and being the first car to rear-end another car in line, then that driver will face liability for all of the accidents in the chain reaction. However, with multi-car accidents, there are often other issues involved, including bad weather, road construction, another car accident, and drunk driving.

When trying to get to the bottom of the causation issue in multi-car accidents, law enforcement will often focus on two questions:

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has more than doubled since 2013, federal and state data show. These trends coincide with the legalization of recreational marijuana in that state that began with adult use in late 2012, followed by sales in 2014. Coroners in the Denver area have been finding increasingly potent levels of marijuana in positive-testing drivers who die in crashes. Nearly a dozen in 2016 had levels five times the amount allowed by law and one that was at 22 times the limit. These levels were not as elevated in the years prior to Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. In response, police, victims’ families, and safety advocates say the numbers of drivers testing positive for marijuana use are rising too quickly to ignore and highlight the potential dangers of mixing marijuana with driving. “We went from zero to 100, and we’ve been chasing it ever since,” Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said of the state’s implementation of legalized marijuana. “Nobody understands it and people are dying. That’s a huge public safety problem.”

The 2013-2016 period saw a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado, from 627 to 880, according to the NHTSA data. Those who tested positive for alcohol in fatal crashes from 2013 to 2015 – figures for 2016 were not available – grew 17 percent, from 129 to 151.The 2013-16 period saw a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado, from 627 to 880, according to the NHTSA data. Those who tested positive for alcohol in fatal crashes from 2013 to 2015 – figures for 2016 were not available – grew 17 percent, from 129 to 151.

While recreational marijuana is not legal in Georgia, medical marijuana is, and there is evidence that the state is not immune from the negative effects of the drug that Colorado has faced. In fact, police estimate that the number of people being arrested for driving while high on drugs is up 20 percent in Georgia in the past five years. Despite this, Governor Nathan Deal signed a measure into law earlier this year that expands the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana to include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette’s syndrome. Although marijuana provides numerous medical benefits to patients suffering from a variety of conditions, it is still a mind-altering substance, and eligible patients should not drive while using it. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is treated as a DUI, and anyone doing so will face the normal consequences that DUIs entail, including criminal prosecution and civil personal injury and wrongful death suits.

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