Common Causes of Car Accidents & Steps to Take After an Accident
The routine nature of driving each and every day leads many people to forget how serious operating a motor vehicle actually is. With so many distractions, there are many top causes of car accidents. Luckily, there are also ways to avoid them, and steps to take if you do get in an accident.
People sometimes forget how dangerous operating a vehicle is. This can result in drivers disregarding basic traffic laws and engaging in negligent behavior behind the wheel. However, accidents happen every few minutes in the United States which, at best, cause an inconvenience to the families affected by them.
In more serious cases, families suffer devastating losses that impact their financial and emotional well-being.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
Accidents commonly occur as a result of driver negligence while operating a motor vehicle. More specifically, common causes of car accidents include:
- 1. Driving under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol:
Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other recreational drugs impair one’s ability to safely control a vehicle and are known to cause delayed movement, reaction, and thinking. Driving under the influence is a major concern on California’s roadways. On Labor Day weekend alone, the California Highway Patrol reported that there were 2,017 individuals arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. While there are large efforts in place to curtail drunk driving, there are still more than 16,000 injuries that occur each year as a result of drunk driving.
- 2. Failure to Obey Traffic Laws:
The failure to obey traffic laws is a main cause of accidents within the state of California. California has more motorists on the roadway than many other states, which requires drivers to be extremely diligent to prevent accidents. However, speeding, failing to yield, running traffic lights, and failing to come to a complete stop when required to do so contribute to a number of motor vehicle collisions, many of which lead to serious calamities and wrongful death accidents.
- 3. Distracted Driving:
Distracted driving is another cause of many motor vehicle accidents in California. It is easy to get bored while traveling in a car, especially when you frequently travel long distances. Technology has made it easy to have entertainment at your fingertips. Cell phones, iPads, and other gadgets can make it difficult to pay attention to what is happening in front of you while operating a vehicle. Other distractions such as passengers, eating, and applying makeup create a safety hazard by shifting your focus from the road.
While there are many national and local efforts aimed to raise awareness and prevent car accidents from occurring, accidents still happen throughout the United States and in California each day. These accidents result in serious injury or death in many cases.
When you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by negligence, you will want to know about your rights to relief. The attorneys at Nehora Law Firm are experienced personal injury litigators who want to help you obtain compensation for damages sustained.
What constitutes negligence?
Negligence is: if the responsible party is found to have acted in a manner that ignored their duty to drive safely, which therefore caused an injury to the plaintiff party.
Driving under the influence, failure to obey traffic laws, and distracted driving are all causes of car accidents that illustrate negligent driving behavior.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
1. If you have been in a car accident, the first thing you should do is contact the authorities. Filing a report at this time isn’t mandatory, but you may have a better recollection of the accident immediately after.
2. Ensure that all vehicles and people stay put while authorities are on their way. During this time, try to gather as much evidence as possible.
3. Once authorities arrive and you follow all directions, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Injuries from motor vehicle accidents, such as brain injuries, are not immediately clear. A doctor can provide a thorough check up to ensure your injuries will heal.
4. During this time, do not admit any liability.
5. The last step after you get into a car accident is to contact a personal injury lawyer or, more specifically, brain injury lawyers where you engage fully with all parties of the accident.
6. After reaching out to a lawyer, make sure you keep all documentation.
Filing a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
In every personal injury case, there are certain requirements that must be met for you to successfully assert your claim. When asserting that another’s negligence caused you or your loved one harm, there are generally four requirements:
- Duty: Proving duty will establish that the individual being sued was required to act in one way or another. In car accident cases, this will require the injured party to establish that the defendant had an obligation as a motorist to act with a certain level of care toward other motorists traveling on the roadway.
- Breach: A plaintiff must also establish that the individual being sued failed to provide the required level of care. All of the evidence regarding the facts and circumstances that caused the accident is typically used to show that there was a breach in this duty.
- Causation: To successfully establish causation, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s failure to act with the required level of care was a direct cause of his or her injuries. This element can be established through the use of medical testimony, history of medical care, and other relevant testimony.
- Damages: After establishing all of the other elements of a negligence claim, the plaintiff will establish that he or she is entitled to relief as a result of the injuries sustained. In car accident cases, the plaintiff usually seeks an award of monetary compensation. Generally, monetary relief is awarded for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills and a replacement vehicle, as well as for the mental and emotional harm sustained as a result of the accident. In particularly reckless cases, punitive damages, which are solely meant to punish the defendant, will be awarded.
Nehora Law: Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident, you will want experienced counsel on your side. By selecting Nehora Law Firm, you and your loved ones can rest assured that you will receive the quality representation you deserve. To speak with one of our experienced lawyers, contact our office today.