Cases arising out of car accidents are by far the most common type of personal injury case. This is not surprising, since every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is involved in a car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What is Negligence?
Car accident cases are typically governed by the law of negligence or “the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances.” A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay for any damages, either to a person or property, caused by his or her negligence.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
The injured party, known as the plaintiff, is required to prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries. As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent. Factors considered include:
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to signal while turning
- Driving above or below the posted speed limit
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Failing to drive on the right side of the road
- Driving under the influence
How Can Attorney Dwayne L. Brown Help?
In many cases, your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist or pedestrian acted carelessly but not what rule or rules that person violated. Attorney Dwayne L. Brown will look to a number of sources to help you determine who was at fault for your accident, such as police reports, state traffic laws and witnesses and then work to see that the responsible party is held accountable.
There are other causes of car accidents that may result in a claim including:
- Reckless Driving
- A driver may also be liable for a wreck due to his or her intentional or reckless conduct. A driver who is reckless is one who drives unsafely, with “willful and wanton disregard” for the probability that such driving may cause an accident.
- Drunk Driving
- Every 30 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol-related crash. In a lawsuit arising from a drunk driving accident, in addition to the intoxicated driver being held liable for the injuries he or she caused, a bar or social host may be liable for damages if they served an obviously intoxicated guest, who then drove and caused an accident. Attorneys are aware of the many laws governing legal responsibility and can help you identify who might be held responsible for your injuries, including people or businesses you might not have considered.
- Other Factors
- In certain cases, cars accidents are caused by factors unrelated to the conduct of any particular driver. For example, an automobile accident may occur due to a defect in someone’s automobile. In such a case, an automobile manufacturer or supplier may be responsible for injuries caused by a defect in the automobile under the law of product liability. Maybe a mechanic fails to properly repair a vehicle, and this failure causes an accident. In such a case, the mechanic, and his employer, may be liable for injuries sustained. Other factors, such as poorly maintained roads and malfunctioning traffic control signals can contribute to or cause a car accident as well. Improper maintenance, construction, signage, lighting or other highway defects, including poorly placed trees and utility poles, can also cause serious accidents. In cases such as these, government entities may be potential defendants.
Car Accident Facts
Did You Know?
Statistics compiled in 2007 by NHTSA showed that 41,059 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. According to NHTSA, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,040 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes.
Did You Know?
Large commercial truck travel has more than doubled over the last 15 years. In 2005, 8,000 people were killed and an additional 150,000 were injured in truck crashes in the United States.