Over 10 million auto accidents occur annually in the Unites States. Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury. Auto accidents may also cause damage to vehicles and property which can be costly to repair. A personal injury claim may help auto accident victims to receive rightful compensation for damages and injuries.
Types of Auto Accidents
There are five main types of traffic accidents: head-on collisions, rollovers, rear-end collisions, side collisions, and road departure accidents. Of these, head-on collisions result in the highest percentage of fatalities. However, any type of accident can cause death, injury, and damage. Auto accidents may involve a single driver colliding with stationary objects or losing control of the vehicle, or may involve more than one driver colliding with one another.
Collision Contributing Factors
There are many different elements that may contribute to auto accidents, but studies show that human factors contribute to the majority of auto accidents. Speeding, driver impairment, and driver distraction are common human causes or contributing factors to accidents. Physical impairments, such as poor eyesight, may also contribute to auto accidents. Other factors that may contribute to auto accidents include:
- Condition of the asphalt or roadway
- Roadway alignment
- Weather conditions, such as snow or fog
- Lack of warning signs
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Debris in the road
- Wildlife in the road
After an Auto Accident
Drivers that are involved in an auto accident should contact police and other emergency personnel. Drivers should not admit fault while being interviewed by the police, ambulance, passengers, or other drivers. Judgment may be impaired by the emotional impact of an auto accident, and a driver may make statements that are affected by this emotional distress. Police will be able to view the details of the accident from an unbiased perspective and may be better equipped to ascertain fault.
Auto Accident Documentation
Drivers should compile documentation about the details of the auto accident. A copy of the police report and details about the other driver should be collected. Drivers should also take pictures of any injuries or damage and write down details about the accident and where drivers were heading when the accident occurred. These details may be important if it becomes necessary to file a personal injury claim.
Auto Insurance Coverage
Most states require that drivers carry a certain amount of personal injury protection insurance. This insurance may cover a certain amount or percentage of medical expenses and lost wages that are a result of an auto accident. Whether this coverage is provided by the driver that was at fault or by the driver that holds the policy may vary depending on state laws and the details of the accident. While this insurance may be helpful in cases where personal injury is minor, victims of auto accidents that have sustained severe injuries may wish to seek legal aid.
Orlando Auto Accident Lawyers
If the victim of an auto accident dies or suffers catastrophic injuries such as brain damage, paralysis, or disfigurement, an auto accident attorney may be able to assist the victim or the victim’s family members in recovering costs associated with the accident. These damages may extend beyond the initial medical costs and cause pain and suffering to the victim and the victim’s family members. The party that is responsible for covering these costs may vary depending on several different factors.
If another driver was deemed to be at fault for the accident, an attorney will first attempt to recover costs from the other driver’s insurance company. If the other driver was uninsured or underinsured for the amount of damages, the victim’s uninsured motorist coverage may help to cover these costs, although the assistance of an attorney may be required to receive these benefits. Depending on the state regulations and the severity of the accident, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Vehicle Manufacturer Responsibility
If an auto accident is determined to have been caused by a vehicle malfunction, the vehicle manufacturer or the manufacturer of the faulty part may be liable. In most cases, expert testimony will be required to prove that the injury was a direct result of a malfunction that was inherent in the vehicle or part and not caused by negligence or error on the part of the vehicle owner. A personal injury attorney may be able to help compile the necessary documentation and find a qualified individual to evaluate the claim and testify on the victim’s behalf.
“Accidents or Unintentional Injuries.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 3 June 2014.
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“Factors Involved in Fatal Vehicle Crashes.” Factors Involved in Fatal Vehicle Crashes | Bureau of Transportation Statistics. United States Department of Transportation, 1 Sept. 2010. Web. 3 June 2014.
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“First Steps Following a Personal Injury Auto Accident.” DMV.org, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 June 2014.
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