Car accidents can be devastating. If you are involved in one, you could feel shaken to your very core. Victims may suffer injuries ranging in severity from mild and temporary to severe, disabling, and permanent.
Even in milder accidents, you can suffer emotional trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which can affect the quality of your life. If you have been in a car accident and want to file a lawsuit, it is important to know the main causes for which you can sue.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving ranks as one of the top causes of car accidents. There are several ways in which a driver can become distracted. Anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road – even for a few seconds – can lead to a deadly crash. Some of the most common distractions include:
Using a handheld cell phone to talk or text
Fiddling with the stereo
Eating or drinking
Engaging in conversation with passengers
If you were injured by a distracted driver, a car accident lawyer in Carmel can help you prepare your personal injury claim. Engaging in a lawsuit can be a lengthy and stressful process. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can ease the burden of bureaucracy. Knowing that you have a specialist handling your case will allow you to focus on your recovery.
2. Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving occurs whenever a driver engages in unsafe habits on the road. The reasons for engaging in dangerous driving vary greatly depending on the person and the situation. Nevertheless, there is no real excuse for engaging in unlawful or dangerous driving.
Some people engage in speeding to reach a destination in time, while others tailgate and make sudden moves for lack of patience. Aggressive driving commonly leads to instances of road rage, which can easily lead to a serious traffic accident. This is one of the main reasons to file a lawsuit for a car accident.
3. Driving Under the Influence
Being involved in a car accident with a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be devastating. When a driver is intoxicated, they no longer maintain good judgment or control over their vehicle.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving, in particular, is responsible for around 10,000 deaths each year. While there is an increasing number of campaigns drawing the public eye to the real dangers of driving under the influence, the problem refuses to go away.
Unfortunately, when you are sharing the road with an intoxicated driver, it is not always possible to avoid them. Despite your best efforts, they might take a sudden or unpredictable move, causing a collision.
If you suspect that you are near a driver under the influence, slow down and take evasive measures. You could also contact the authorities to report the suspect. During your phone call, specify your current location and offer information about the car to help police identify the driver.
If you are injured in a car accident with a driver under the influence, you can hold them accountable and file a lawsuit. Make sure to contact the police after the accident so they can write up a report. Police intervention can make proving that the other driver was intoxicated much easier.
4. Speeding or Racing
Some drivers don’t take traffic laws seriously and use common roads to speed or race. This has become an all too common problem on roads all across the country. In fact, there was a reported surge in street racing during the pandemic.
Whether another vehicle is doing several miles per hour over the speed limit or actively drag racing, it can put everyone else around in danger. An accident with someone speeding can be particularly deadly due to the sheer impact that can occur once the speeding car hits someone else’s vehicle.
If someone crashed into you while speeding or racing, you can file a lawsuit against them to recover damages. You are entitled to recover damages from your claim, including the following:
Medical expenses (including ongoing treatment and hospital visits)
Lost wages and lost earning capacity
Repairs needed on your car and other property damage
Pain and suffering
5. Vehicle Defects
Cars are supposed to be built sturdily to withstand ordinary use. However, some vehicles or components may end up being defective. While auto manufacturers often realize this problem and issue recalls, this usually happens after accidents have already happened.
The most common vehicle defects include:
Door latch mechanisms
In this case, you would file a product liability lawsuit to recover damages for any injuries you suffer as a result of your car accident. For example, if your vehicle’s airbags were defective and you ended up badly injured, you could file your lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car or the airbags.
One notable recent incident was the Volkswagen emission scandal of 2014. It all started as U.S. regulators have observed certain irregularities while running emissions tests on VW vehicles.
The high point of the scandal was when officials from the firm have admitted to manipulating data to paint a more favorable image of the car’s emission. The scenario ended in large fines and a high number of recalls.
Another famous case is the defective Takata airbags. These faulty items were installed in over 40 million cars of different models and for various car companies. Twenty deaths and hundreds of injuries were reported relating to airbags that exploded. The eventual recall went down in history as one of the largest actions of its kind and a highly complex case.
To Sue or Not to Sue
Car accidents can dramatically change your life. If you have been involved in one that involved any of these causes, speak with an attorney at your earliest convenience. Inquire about the recommended course of action and the ramification of a lawsuit. Make sure to get all the information you need from a legal authority before making an informed decision.
Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.
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