Auto accidents are a fact of life. With millions of people living in our cities and ever-growing traffic clogging highways and streets already badly in need of expansion, we take our lives in our hands each time we get behind the wheel.
In fact, auto accidents lead the nation and contribute to deaths in the tens of thousands each year. Millions more suffer injuries and permanent disabilities.
The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that a car accident happens every ten seconds. One percent of those accidents results in death and one third in injury. More than 50% of those accidents involved a driver who ignored posted speed limits, and more than one third involved alcohol.
If you drive daily, perhaps with your family in the car, those statistics make for some sobering thoughts about the safety of our roads. But you may not think about it too deeply until a car accident happens to you.
When it does, will you be prepared?
In the majority of car accidents, negligence must be determined. This is not always a simple matter, however, and may require the experience and skill of a qualified auto accident attorney. Aside from understanding your rights and deciding how you will proceed against the responsible party, you have your own injuries to recover from. Perhaps you’re temporarily or permanently out of work. You may need ongoing medical care. All of these issues and more need to be managed properly. Your attorney can ensure you receive the help and care you need during recovery and that you obtain full compensation for your injuries so you can get back to living your life.
Drivers are required by law to exercise ‘reasonable care’ when operating their vehicles. Drivers who fail to observe safety rules are considered negligent under the law. These drivers can be held liable for damages to you and your vehicle. First, however, you must prove the driver’s negligence was responsible for your accident. In some accidents, that responsibility is shared. In other words, both drivers acted in ways that contributed to the accident.
Common Reasons for Car Accidents
Generally, accidents happen because one or more drivers:
· Fail to obey traffic signals and signs
· Ignore the speed limit, driving too fast or too slow
· Fail to use their turn signals
· Use drugs or alcohol while driving
· Drive recklessly (excessive speeds, passing or changing lanes improperly)
Automobile defects, poor road or weather conditions, road obstructions and malfunctioning traffic signals also play a part in motor vehicle accidents.
Regardless of whether your car accident was caused by a negligent driver, the auto maker or local government, each of those parties can potentially be held liable for expenses and damage to you and your vehicle. But the right representation is key to developing the most comprehensive plan for full recovery.
If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life in a car accident, seek the knowledgeable services of a qualified personal injury attorney. And seek that advice as soon as possible, since there are statutes of limitations that apply.