People aren't perfect, so it's no surprise that most vehicular accidents are caused by human error. Recklessness is when a driver knowingly takes a risk despite understanding the potential consequences of their actions. The driver disregards the safety of others, putting them in danger, which makes the driver guilty of the outcome. Forms of recklessness include speeding, mishandling cars with respect to the weather, disobeying traffic signals, failing to use headlights, and passing vehicles improperly.
The most common form of reckless and aggressive driving is speeding. Our speed limits exist for very good reasons: to keep drivers safe, reduce the number of accidents and casualties on the road, and help with the flow of traffic. Disobeying them decreases a driver’s reaction time, endangering them as well as others sharing the road, including other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In circumstances where road conditions change, it is more difficult to stay in control of your vehicle when excessive speeding is involved.
Fatigue and sleepiness are common causes of accidents. They're most common during late-night driving and among workers who drive long hours for a living, like truck operators. Driving tired is just as, if not more, dangerous than driving intoxicated. It makes the driver unable to give full undivided attention to the road, make sound decisions, and react to changes in the road in a timely manner. If you’re tired, pull over. Consequences may be severe if you don’t.
The poor decision to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated can end in catastrophe, with drunk-driving crashes leading to about 30 deaths in the United States each day. Substance abuse includes alcohol, non-medicinal drugs, and medications with impairing side-effects, like drowsiness, slurred speech, reduced hand-eye coordination, and confusion. All of these substances may slow a driver's reflexes and decrease their judgement on the road, resulting in accidents or even fatalities.
Amidst all of the distractions of today’s modern world, there are many drivers on the road who do not stay alert and focused behind the wheel. Phones, tablets, music devices, and even changing the radio can take attention away from the road. This can lead to dangerous driving practices and unfortunately, tragic consequences.
Often described as “road rage,” aggressive driving is very common among drivers and refers to when operators of a vehicle engage in reckless driving behaviors on the road, often with a complete disregard for the safety of others. Aggressive driving includes speeding in heavy traffic, tailgating, frequent lane changes, weaving, blocking cars from passing, running red lights, and failing to signal. These drivers may also intentionally force others off of the road, sideswipe vehicles, or throw objects.
Texting and Driving07
One of the worst forms of distracted driving is texting. While illegal in most states, people still choose to divert their attention to their phones instead of the road, endangering themselves and others. Within 5 seconds of sending or reading a text, a lot can happen, including a fatal accident. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 out of 4 car accidents results from texting while driving, with 1.6 million occurring a year. Common signs of texting while driving include sudden braking, swerving, and looking down.
Defective Car Parts08
When you purchase a car, you expect it to keep you safe as you travel from point A to B. Unfortunately, there are instances when car parts become defective, affecting how the car operates. This can result in serious consequences, including a crash. Defects can be common in both design and manufacturing. Accidents due to defective auto parts can be caused by brake failure, a faulty steering system, car wiring, sudden acceleration, defective airbags, and more.
Mechanical malfunctions are often results of a product or manufacturing defect. A defect in product design can consequently cause many cars to experience a malfunction, while a manufacturing defect usually affects very few. When vehicle parts don't function properly, they endanger the driver and can cause a potential car accident. Some types of mechanical malfunctions include defective tires, airbags, seatbelts, and brakes. It is common for vehicles to be recalled due to mechanical issues that can or have compromised the safety of drivers.
Rather than a driver’s own negligence, hazards in the road may sometimes cause a driver to swerve or lose control of their vehicle, resulting in a serious car accident or collision. Common road hazards include rough roads, potholes, debris, animals, poorly maintained bridges, standing water, materials left behind from a construction zone, adverse weather conditions, and more. Different entities can be liable for an accident occurring depending on the type of hazard that was involved.
Unexpected medical emergencies can occur while a driver is operating a vehicle, which can put them in danger of being in a car accident, causing harm to themselves and others on the road. Under the sudden emergency medical defense observed by most states, drivers who have suffered an unforeseen medical emergency may not be liable in the event of an accident due to their lack of control. Examples of such medical emergencies include unconsciousness, heart attack, seizure, and more.
Drivers who have a known medical disability must adhere to state traffic laws, as well as any addendums to their license. Restrictions are placed on their license in order to keep both them and others on the road safe. In the event of a car accident of any kind, a disability may not be used to avoid liability, unlike a sudden medical emergency. In fact, failure to comply with legal restrictions on a license is strong evidence towards negligence.
A head-on collision is a type of accident that occurs when the front of two vehicles crash into one another when traveling in opposite directions. They are reported to be responsible for about 10% of crash-related deaths in the United States. Some common causes of a head-on collision include driving while intoxicated, fatigue, distracted driving, and road hazards. Drivers involved in this type of accident can sustain serious injuries, or even worse.
One of the most common types of car accidents is a fender bender. While this is considered a minor accident, it typically causes vehicle damage, with rarely any serious injuries sustained by the drivers and or passengers. Those involved in the accident may experience whiplash, injuries to the arm and wrist, and back pain. Fender benders occur at low speeds and are a result of distracted driving, navigating crowded spaces like parking lots, and more.
A rear-end collision is the consequence of one vehicle crashing into the back of another vehicle. In most instances, the driver who rear-ends another is at fault due to unsafe driving behaviors like tailgating. However, there are some situations where the vehicle in front acts with negligence. This includes when a driver decides to reverse suddenly and without warning, fails to fix broken brake lights or other mechanical malfunctions, and brake-checks.
With more people utilizing rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft, as well as taxis for travel, traffic has increased on the roads. Different types of accidents involving a passenger can range in severity, and accident liability is determined by whose vehicle hits whose. Accidents involving rideshare companies or taxis can become a little complicated when it comes to obtaining compensation, which is why it's important to hire an expert attorney.
When two vehicles are driving next to each other and the left side of one vehicle collides with the right side of the other, this is what is called a sideswipe accident or collision. The culprits of these accidents are changing lanes without checking blindspots, merging into another lane without caution, distracted driving due to texting, eating, or drinking, driving with intoxicated, aggressive driving, and fatigue. This type of accident can involve multiple vehicles, resulting in critical injuries.
Rollover accidents are among some of the most severe and can result in traumatic injuries and fatalities. While it’s true that larger vehicles tend to be involved with rollover crashes, vehicles of any size have the capability to rollover given the circumstances. Some causes that lead to this type of accident include tripping (striking into soft soil, a guardrail, or curb), inclement weather conditions, speeding, driving while impaired, design and manufacturing defects, and poor road conditions.
Side Impact Accidents07
Also referred to as a T-bone accident, a side impact accident happens when the front of a driver’s vehicle hits another vehicle from the side. Severe injuries as well as fatalities may occur due to the lack of a structural barrier at the point of impact. Side impact collisions are commonly caused by driving while intoxicated, engaging in distracted driving behaviors, poor weather conditions, failing to obey traffic signals and signs, and speeding.
Failure to Yield Accidents08
When drivers fail to adhere to traffic laws, serious ramifications can transpire. Yielding to other drivers in certain situations is not only the law, but also prevents accidents and serious injuries from happening. Examples include failing to yield to oncoming traffic when making an unprotected turn, engaging in aggressive driving while merging onto a freeway or highway, disobeying flashing yellow or red lights, and more. It is typical for the victim of the crash to collide with the vehicle that has failed to yield.
Chain Reaction Accidents09
A chain reaction accident involves multiple vehicles and may occur because of the carelessness of more than one driver. Rear-end accidents are the outcome of a vehicle forcefully colliding with one car, causing it to hit another. These accidents usually involve more than two vehicles. Causes of chain reaction accidents include distracted driving, aggressive driving, impaired driving, and inclement weather. Oftentimes, drivers do not keep a safe distance from other vehicles, which can also contribute to the impact of a chain reaction accident.
Teen Driver Accidents010
Teenagers are given the opportunity to receive their driver’s license at 16 upon taking their permit test and passing their driving test. Many teenage driving accidents occur because of lack of experience, forms of distracted driving like texting, eating, or changing the radio station, reckless driving, driving with other teenage passengers, and more. It has been reported that car accidents are the leading cause of fatalities among teenagers in the United States.
Elderly Related Car Accidents011
As seniors age, operating a vehicle can become more challenging due to various health conditions. Although they may want to exert their independence, they are more at risk of endangering themselves and others on the road. While most states require elderly drivers to renew their license and undergo vision tests, accidents can still occur that can consequently cause serious injuries or even fatalities. If another driver is responsible, the elderly driver or their family may receive compensation.
Self-Driving Car Accidents012
Self-driving vehicles navigate the road without human input. While they’re supposed to operate safely without the need of human intervention, these vehicles, like any other, can still be subject to accidents. Most self-driving car accidents are, in fact, due to human error. In the event that there is a road hazard or another traffic situation, the car may not be able to respond properly, which may result in an accident. Determining who is liable for the accident can often be difficult as there are different factors to consider.
Uninsured Car Accidents013
When purchasing a car, drivers are responsible for making sure they are covered by an auto insurance policy. This type of insurance protects drivers when unexpected events occur, including car accidents. In situations where there is an accident and one driver fails to provide insurance information, an uninsured motorist claim may be filed on the other driver’s car insurance policy. Some drivers don’t purchase insurance because they simply can’t afford it. In these circumstances, it is important to have help from an expert attorney.
Employer Liability for Car Accidents014
When an employee is performing a job-related task and gets into a car accident, the employer may be responsible if any injuries are sustained by a victim. This is often referred to as vicarious liability. Many professions that drive on behalf of their employers include food delivery drivers, truck drivers, construction workers, bus drivers, and more. Though a driver may not be operating a company-owned vehicle, the employer may still be liable.
Hit and Run Accidents015
Hit and run accidents happen when a driver of a vehicle hits either another vehicle, pedestrian, or object and flees the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident without providing proper identification or seeking medical attention for those affected is a crime. Drivers may choose to leave after a hit and run accident due to being uninsured, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, being previously convicted of another crime, experiencing fear of confusion, or being involved in a car chase.
Buses help numerous people commute to their destination every day and unfortunately, they are not insusceptible to car accidents. Bus accidents can cause serious injuries, as many do not provide safety equipment, like seatbelts, and oftentimes passengers are forced to stand due to the lack of available seating. The size of buses makes them more at risk for rollover accidents. Common causes of bus accidents include poor road conditions, bad weather, reckless driving, and more.
Call 911 (if emergency)01
In the event of a serious car accident, it is important to call 911 right away if possible. Police officers can arrive at the scene and gather information regarding the accident. They can also assist with redirecting traffic if the drivers involved were unable to pull off to the side. First responders may also be necessary if medical attention and treatment are required as well as if victims need to be extricated from their vehicle.
Seek Medical Care (if needed)02
Receiving appropriate medical attention and care is crucial after being involved in a car accident. Serious injuries need to be attended to in a timely manner, so those involved in the accident should call for help immediately. In circumstances where drivers and or passengers are unable to do so, a bystander can be of assistance. Even if a victim believes they don’t need immediate medical attention, it is possible that symptoms of an injury may appear later, which is why it’s important to see a doctor or healthcare professional.
Exchange Insurance Information03
Following an accident, it is important for the parties involved to exchange insurance information. An insurance card contains the name of the insured, their address, the insurance company and policy number, the make, model, and year of the vehicle, vehicle identification number, and the date the policy went into effect as well as the expiration. If an officer is at the scene, they can help document the accident and later provide those involved with a report.
Photos of Scene04
If possible, capture photos of the accident and the location in which it happened. Photos may include the damages sustained by the vehicles involved, any hazards that may have been present, the conditions of the road, the weather, traffic signs that are visible, and any injuries that are apparent at that moment. Visual evidence of the damage will be helpful when reporting the accident to your insurance company, helping you receive the compensation you deserve.
Identity and Contact Information of Witnesses05
Witnesses can be extremely vital in car accident cases as they may have seen exactly what occurred. They can provide drivers with valuable information on what they saw happen, which can prove to be helpful when insurance companies are trying to determine who was at fault. It is important to get the names of any witnesses and their phone numbers, so that they are able to report their version of the accident to an insurance claims adjuster.
It is important to document the accident in order to be able to provide your insurance company with the necessary information when filing a claim. After an accident occurs, make sure to take note of the accident's date, time, location, road conditions, weather conditions, damages, injuries, number of vehicles involved in the collision, drivers and passengers involved in the collision, numbers and names of witnesses, and information regarding any responding police officers at the scene.
Report the Accident07
Once you have documented the car accident, it is time to file a claim with your insurance company. However, before reporting the accident, it is in your best interests to get in contact with an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accident cases. A lawyer can help guide you through the claims process and ensure you are fairly compensated for any injuries and damages incurred. Their goal is to help you receive the most favorable outcome.
Call Davis Law Group08
When you are ready to receive legal support for your accident, it is important to call the experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Davis Law Group. It is our priority to mitigate the stress that comes with the legalities of restoring your family and livelihood. Our firm will stand by your side, navigating your personal injury case with diligence to ensure that you are awarded the financial compensation and justice that you deserve.
What should I do if I’m involved in a car accident?
In serious accidents, immediate medical attention and treatment is necessary. When appropriate, it is important to gather all information about the accident, including the names of any drivers and witnesses, insurance information of those involved, and photo evidence of any damage. Hold on to medical bills, and hold off on car repair until an attorney makes sure you’re being fairly compensated.
What can I receive compensation for?
Car accidents range in severity and different factors are considered when determining compensation. Depending on your case, your compensation may cover any physical injuries, pain and suffering inflicted, cost of medical bills, prolonged medical care, property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, as well as any miscellaneous expenses that are applicable.
What if the accident was my fault?
If you are at fault for a motor vehicle accident, it is still in your best interest to contact an attorney. An attorney can help handle the logistics of your case and protect your rights in the event that you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
Do I need a lawyer if the accident wasn’t my fault?
While hiring a lawyer isn’t required, it may be beneficial to you as a lawyer can fight for you to avoid liability for the accident as well as receive compensation for property damage, injuries, etc. Having a lawyer by your side can eliminate stress, allowing you to focus on healing.
What if the other driver has no insurance?
If you find yourself in a situation where the other driver is uninsured, your insurance company will likely cover any damages if you are protected by uninsured motorist coverage. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, it is important to speak to an attorney about potentially filing a personal injury claim against the other driver.
Should I accept a settlement?
If an insurance company offers you a settlement, you do not have to accept, especially if you believe you are not being fairly compensated. Insurance companies do not always have your best interests in mind and typically offer less compensation in order to maximize their own profits. Work with a lawyer to make sure you receive what you are entitled to.
Should I get medical attention even if I feel ok?
Regardless if you feel fine, it is important to get examined by a medical professional. It is possible that you may not experience pain or other injury-related symptoms until a few days following the accident. Not seeing a doctor could affect your chances of receiving compensation for any injuries that may worsen.
Should I still hire a lawyer for a minor accident?
Again, although hiring a lawyer is not a mandatory requirement, there are several advantages to having one when navigating your accident. A lawyer can help you with filing your insurance claim, which can often be complex. He or she can offer support and guidance, and work to ensure you are financially compensated for any damages.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for personal injuries/property damage?
Under a statute of limitations, drivers involved in a car accident, who wish to file a lawsuit, must do so within a certain period of time. In Texas, you are given two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injuries and property damage.
Will I have to go to court?
While most lawsuits are resolved before going to trial, if a settlement can not be agreed upon or liability cannot be determined, a personal injury claim may be taken to court. A jury will be selected and they will make a decision based off of the evidence presented to them.
Why do I need a lawyer?
A lawyer is necessary following car accidents because your insurance company is not always on your side. Companies may short-change your claim, withholding compensation you deserve. Legally, proving liability can be difficult, settlement options are confusing, and filing lawsuits is complex. An attorney assures that you don’t miss out on financial compensation.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
There is no definitive answer for how long a case will take. Even the most simple of accidents may take longer than a year. However, this fact should not deter you from seeking legal action. Longer cases tend to rule in favor of the plaintiff and result in higher compensation.