Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere and often occur when drivers and passengers least expect them. These accidents are prevalent when other drivers are reckless, careless, or negligent under the circumstances. Understanding the most common types of motor vehicle accidents is important.
When car accidents happen suddenly, drivers and their passengers often cannot prepare for the impact. Consequently, the impact thrusts their body around the interior of their vehicle, causing them to suffer serious injuries. Even if a driver or passenger has time to brace themselves, doing so can often cause fractures to the hands, wrists, or arms.
If you or a person you care about has suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you have legal options available. After calling the police to the accident scene, you should immediately seek medical treatment at a local urgent care facility or hospital emergency room. In addition, you should contact a knowledgeable Edmonton car accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible after your crash.
In addition to investigating the circumstances of your car accident, your lawyer can determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you are eligible to bring a legal claim for damages, your lawyer can file the claim on your behalf and work to negotiate a favourable settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company does not give you the total value for your car accident claim, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system and pursue litigation there.
Common Causes of Traffic Crashes
When drivers operate their vehicles carelessly, serious traffic accidents can happen that lead to debilitating injuries. Some of the most common causes of traffic accidents include road rage, distracted driving, road rule violations, drunk driving, and fatigued driving.
Road rage is a driver’s overreaction to a perceived or actual set of circumstances that occurs on the road. Some drivers are in such a hurry that they become upset when others drive too slowly. Consequently, they might aggressively honk their horn, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, or fail to use turn signals, causing a severe accident.
At other times, drivers engage in distracted driving. Drivers become distracted when they fiddle with cellular phones or GPS devices, roughhouse with others in their vehicle, or listen to loud music—instead of watching the road. But when a driver diverts their attention from the road onto something else, they may not see an approaching vehicle or a pedestrian in the vicinity, causing a severe accident.
At other times, drivers violate driving laws and cause accidents. Common road-rule violations include speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times. Speeding is especially dangerous in inclement weather when it is difficult for drivers to maintain control over their vehicles and stop quickly.
Moreover, some accidents happen when drivers fall under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol can significantly impair a driver’s concentration, vision, and reaction time. Therefore, a driver who becomes intoxicated or impaired may be unable to stop their vehicle before causing an accident. A passenger vehicle driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is legally intoxicated. However, drivers under 21 years of age or who operate commercial vehicles, including large trucks must follow stricter standards. Alberta imposes administrative penalties when the BAC is 0.05 percent and higher.
When a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer evidence shows that a driver is intoxicated, the driver may incur both criminal and administrative penalties. If the driver causes an accident that leads to injury or death, they and their insurance companies are responsible for paying various damages.
Finally, some accidents happen when drivers become fatigued. When a driver fails to take frequent breaks on long road trips and operates their vehicle while drowsy, they may lose concentration and even fall asleep at the wheel, causing their vehicle to careen out of control and collide with another vehicle or pedestrian. Even if the driver does not fall completely asleep, they may drive erratically due to their sleepiness, causing a severe accident.
If you or a person you care about suffered injuries in one of these accidents, you should talk with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area right away. Your lawyer can evaluate the strength of your claim and can pursue monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
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Accidents That Result From Driver Negligence
When drivers violate road rules, engage in distracted driving, and commit other negligent acts, they increase their chances of causing a severe traffic accident. Some of the most common types of traffic collisions include rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, sideswipe accidents, and broadside accidents.
A rear-end accident happens when the front of one car strikes the back of another car. These accidents may happen on busy highways, especially when traffic comes to an abrupt stop. Crashes can also occur when highway drivers tailgate—or follow other drivers too closely. The force of a rear-end impact may cause an accident victim’s body to lurch forward and backward abruptly, causing a soft-tissue whiplash injury.
Another common accident is head-on car collisions. These accidents happen when the fronts of two vehicles moving in opposite directions collide. A head-on accident can happen when a driver fails to watch the road or drinks and drives. Their lack of concentration may cause their vehicle to veer across the center line or median strip, striking an oncoming vehicle head-on. When these crashes occur at high speeds, they are likely to cause serious injuries and sometimes fatalities.
A sideswipe collision happens when the sides of two vehicles strike one another while traveling in the same direction. These accidents are common on highways equipped with several travel lanes. When a driver becomes intoxicated or fails to watch the road, their vehicle may cross the dotted line, enter a neighboring travel lane, and strike another vehicle. The collision force might even cause the impacted vehicle to careen out of control and off the side of the road.
Finally, broadside accidents—or T-bone collisions—occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of a vehicle traveling on an adjacent roadway. These accidents typically occur at traffic intersections where the at-fault driver fails to yield the right-of-way. In some instances, the driver may disregard a stop sign or yield sign—or they might run a red traffic light. The impact force from a broadside collision may cause a vehicle to overturn or spin around rapidly in the traffic intersection. These accidents may also occur at highway entrance ramps, where a vehicle driver fails to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic.
If you suffered injuries in one of these accidents that resulted from driver error, a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can explain your legal options and help you select the best choice for moving your case forward and recovering the compensation you deserve.
Injuries That Car Crash Victims Suffer
Car crash victims may suffer severe injuries that leave them needing medical treatment, operations, and physical therapy. In a forceful impact, the accident victim’s body can move around the interior of their vehicle, and a body part may strike something in the vehicle—such as the headrest, steering wheel, dashboard, or console, causing a bone fracture or other debilitating injury.
In some instances, the accident may be so forceful that it actually ejects a driver or passenger from their vehicle, causing a spinal cord injury or full/partial paralysis.
In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment after an accident, injured individuals should follow through on treatment recommendations from their emergency room doctor. For example, if their symptoms become worse, they may need to seek treatment with a family doctor, physical therapist, or medical specialist, such as a neurologist or orthopedic doctor.
Treating early and often for car accident injuries also shows the insurance company that your injuries are serious. Consequently, the settlement adjuster handling your personal injury claim may be more likely to offer you fair monetary compensation if they see that you took your medical treatment seriously.
While you focus your attention on recovering from your car accident injuries, a skilled car accident lawyer in your area can start to handle the legal components of your claim, including drafting a settlement demand letter, gathering the necessary medical/lost wage documents, and presenting a claim to the insurance company adjuster on your behalf. If the insurance company accepts fault for your accident, your lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement and, if necessary, pursue litigation against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
Potential Damages in Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits
When a car accident victim files a personal injury claim or lawsuit and they prove all of the necessary claim elements, they can recover various types of monetary compensation. All car accidents—and all car accident victims—are different. Therefore, the types and amounts of financial compensation that one car crash victim recovers from their case may be different from those another victim receives. These damages often depend upon the full extent of the accident victim’s injuries, the severity of the collision, and the availability of property damage photos and other evidence.
In car accident cases where a victim suffers a permanent injury, additional monetary compensation might be available. To establish that a particular injury is permanent, a medical provider must state in writing or testify at a deposition or jury trial—to a reasonable degree of medical probability—that the injury is unlikely to improve with time. Many individuals who suffer permanent injuries, such as traumatic head injuries and paralysis, may experience pain for the rest of their life.
Car accident victims may also make a claim for lost wages due to their inability to work after their accident. To prove a wage loss claim, the accident victim must introduce various documents from their employer that state the amount of money they lost and the number of days they missed from work. Accident victims may also need to introduce medical reports in which a provider authorizes them to be off work for a specific period.
In cases where the accident victim’s injuries are so severe that they cannot return to the same employment, the accident victim can claim loss of earning capacity. This is especially true if they had to take a pay cut at their new job due to their accident-related injuries.
In addition to economic damages, such as lost wages, car accident victims may also recover various non-economic damages. These damages compensate car crash victims for the pain, inconvenience, and suffering that they experienced due to their trauma.
If they saw a mental health counselor or underwent treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist, they can claim emotional distress and mental anguish. Finally, accident victims can claim the loss of use of a body part from a permanent injury, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of spousal companionship or consortium.
A skilled car accident lawyer advocating for you can pursue the maximum amount of compensation in your car accident claim. Your lawyer will do everything possible to recover the total damages you deserve for your car accident injuries.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today for More Information
If you suffered injuries in a dangerous car crash, you must speak with a knowledgeable lawyer right away. Time is of the essence in a car accident case and other personal injury cases since accident victims only have two years from their accident date to file a lawsuit in court.
If they don’t file their personal injury claim or lawsuit within that two-year time period, they waive their rights to recover damages at any later point. Therefore, the sooner you involve an Edmonton personal injury lawyer in your case, the better off you are.
A lawyer can help you investigate your accident claim and determine your eligibility for damages. If you are eligible to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can take the necessary legal actions on your behalf. Finally, your lawyer can assist during settlement negotiations and, if necessary, pursue litigation in your case.