On April 24, 2020, Boohoff Law paired with North Port’s Perkins Restaurant & Bakery to continue its efforts to support those impacted by COVID-19. 150 meals were donated to North Port residents between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The gratitude that the residents displayed was entirely rewarding.
In a T-bone accident, one car impacts the side of another, often at a high rate of speed. Many vehicles have less protection on the sides, which means these accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the victims. Undoubtedly, T-bone accidents involving large commercial trucks can cause extensive property damage and severe injuries.
How Do T-bone Truck Accidents Occur?
Victims of T-bone accidents often report feeling as if the impact came out of nowhere. Most often, T-bone accidents occur at intersections, where cars are traveling perpendicular to one another. Like other car accidents, a variety of factors may contribute to T-bone truck accidents. Some common causes of T-bone truck accidents include:
Distracted driving. Distracted drivers may be unaware they are passing through an intersection or may fail to observe a traffic light change in time to stop safely. Truck drivers, unfortunately, face a high risk of distraction. Because they spend long hours behind the wheel, truck drivers may engage in more activities while driving than other drivers. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving is considered a driving distraction. Cell phone use typically takes a driver’s eyes off the road for around five seconds. Although a seemingly short time, trucks can travel the distance of a football field in only five seconds.
However, cell phone use is only one of many activities that cause truck driver distraction. Other common distractions include:
Eating or drinking while driving. Eating messy food, in particular, can cause substantial distraction.
Checking or changing the GPS. On unfamiliar roads, especially roads with heavy traffic or road work, truck drivers may be dangerously distracted by GPS devices.
Adjusting the radio or controls within the vehicle. When drivers adjust the heating or air controls, they remove their hands from the wheel and are distracted from the road.
Zoning out. Truck drivers, in particular, face a high risk of exhaustion, leading to driver inattention and decreased focus on the road. Zoning out can cause a driver to lose track of time or fail to realize potential hazards. A driver who is tired and zoning out may be unaware of other vehicles in an intersection or that they are passing through an intersection at all.
Driver inebriation.Inebriated drivers may fail to properly navigate challenges on the road, including intersections. Impaired driving causes slowed reaction times. Inebriated truck drivers may fail to notice a changing light and struggle to stop in time. In general, impaired drivers may struggle to maneuver their vehicles safely or maintain their traffic lane. Inebriated drivers cause around 28 percent of traffic deaths across the United States each year.
Brake failure. Due to the sheer size and weight of semi trucks, they require significantly more time and distance to stop than passenger vehicles. If the brakes fail, the truck driver may have little recourse for stopping the vehicle. Often, truck drivers may not recognize a problem with the brakes until it’s too late.
Speeding. Truck drivers often struggle to meet tight deadlines due to limitations on the hours they are permitted to drive in a single day. Many truck drivers get paid by the mile, which may increase their inclination to speed to increase their pay. When traveling at excessive speeds, large commercial trucks become especially difficult to maneuver. Drivers may struggle to safely bring the vehicle to a stop, particularly when that stop is unanticipated. Excessive speeds may make it difficult for truck drivers to stop in time to avoid a T-bone accident.
Drowsiness. Driving while fatigued can cause impairment that is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As such, drowsy truck drivers can pose just as much of a hazard on the road as inebriated drivers. Drowsy drivers cannot maintain focus on the road or control of their vehicles. If a driver falls asleep behind the wheel, they may plow through an intersection without ever attempting to stop. If the truck strikes another vehicle that is properly passing through the intersection, the collision will likely cause extensive property damage and serious injuries.
Blind spot accidents. Truck drivers often have large blind spots making it difficult for them to see vehicles in front, behind and beside them. In addition, they often have to make wide turns. Unfortunately, failure to note the presence of a vehicle in a trucker’s blind spot can increase the risk of accidents. For example, wide left turns often result in T-bone collisions with smaller vehicles hidden in their blind spots.
Poor weather conditions. In poor weather conditions, big trucks require more time and distance to bring their vehicle safely to a stop. Both rain and snow can increase the risks of an accident for a large commercial truck. When a truck’s wheels fail to gain enough traction, it can make it impossible for the driver to come to a complete stop. Poor weather conditions coupled with speeding or other traffic law violations only increases the chances of an accident.
Failure to yield the right-of-way.When approaching an intersection, a big truck has no more rights than any other vehicle on the roadway. Some truck drivers, however, may fail to yield the right-of-way to other drivers, which can result in severe accidents.
Impaired visibility. While heavy fog, rain, and snow can all substantially decrease visibility, so can blind turns, intersections, and other vehicles on the road. Impaired visibility can make it difficult for truck drivers to see others in an intersection. Smaller vehicles may be even more difficult for truck drivers to observe.
Seven Ways to Decrease Your Risk of T-bone Collisions
When you drive a standard passenger vehicle, a T-bone accident with a big truck can cause catastrophic property damage and injuries.
While you cannot reduce your risk of accidents entirely, you can take several steps to help reduce the chances of being involved in a serious accident.
– Make sure you have plenty of time to reach your destination whenever you get behind the wheel. Driving on a tight timeline not only increases your stress, it can encourage drivers to speed or engage in other unsafe driving behaviors. Although not always practical, if possible allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination to significantly increase your chances of arriving safely.
– Take a second look before moving through an intersection, especially if you notice the presence of big trucks. Try to avoid flying through an intersection the moment the light changes. Instead, check to make sure the intersection has no vehicles moving towards it before you move your vehicle forward. An extra second can provide the time you need to avoid an accident.
– Pay careful attention to the presence of big trucks around you. Commercial truck drivers often bear liability for accidents caused by their negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel. Safely navigating around big trucks, however, requires care from everyone on the road. When you share the road with big trucks, carefully note their position. Try to stay out of the truck’s blind spot. Avoid entering into a truck’s blind spot while the vehicle is attempting a turn. When necessary, wait for the truck to complete its maneuver before passing alongside the truck.
– Avoid distractions at intersections. Ignore the urge to check your cell phone or to quickly adjust controls inside the vehicle at an intersection. Instead, pay attention to the other vehicles entering the intersection. While passing through an intersection, a simple distraction can result in a serious collision.
– Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. Do not engage in a rolling stop, where you only slow your vehicle rather than a complete stop before proceeding through an intersection. Instead, stop completely and ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding forward.
– Avoid speeding. When you speed, it changes your rate of movement in comparison to other vehicles around you. As a result, it can make it difficult for other drivers, to judge your rate of speed. Instead, maintain a safe rate of speed by staying at relatively the same speed as other vehicles on the road.
– Exercise particular care when inclement weather conditions impair visibility. Slow down and observe the actions of other vehicles before proceeding through an intersection. If it will increase the visibility of your vehicle, turn on your headlights. A little care can go a long way toward reducing the risk of accidents with serious injuries.
Four Steps to Take After a T-bone Collision
After a T-bone collision, you and other passengers in the vehicle may suffer severe injuries. The passengers occupying the side of the vehicle that sustains the impact are particularly at risk. Nonetheless, every passenger in the vehicle involved in a T-bone collision with a commercial truck is at high risk of injury.
Avoid any actions at the scene of the accident that could worsen your injuries or place you in additional danger. You may need to remain in your vehicle until emergency personnel arrive to help care for your injuries. If you are able, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to the vehicles. Photos from the scene may serve as valuable evidence should you decide to pursue legal action later. Of course, you should always prioritize your health and wellbeing following an accident. Even if you feel that you only sustained minor injuries, always seek an evaluation from a medical professional.
Do not leave the scene of a T-bone collision unless you must seek necessary medical care or call the police. If you feel it is dangerous to remain at the scene, drive to safety and immediately contact law enforcement.
Step One: Seek Medical Care
Even if you believe you suffered relatively minor injuries in a T-bone collision, you should seek an evaluation from a qualified medical professional. A doctor can help identify injuries you may not have noticed at the time of the accident. Some victims with severe internal trauma may not notice the full extent of their injuries immediately. Other victims with broken bones, chest contusions, or soft tissue damage may not be aware of the full extent of their injuries. Immediate medical care can also help provide valuable documentation of your physical condition immediately following the accident. Medical records may serve as evidence should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim later.
Follow all instructions and recommendations given by the medical professionals providing your treatment. If you require ambulance transportation from the scene, the EMTs may request that you lie still or allow them to strap you onto a backboard. The emergency room physicians may provide an extensive list of instructions for your recovery, including symptoms to watch for in the days following the accident.
Step Two: Contact Your Insurance Company
You may need to remove a totaled vehicle from your insurance policy or register a new vehicle following your T-bone accident. Your insurance company may also provide valuable assistance as you seek compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
Step Three: Contact an Attorney
Ideally, after experiencing a T-bone truck accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as you are able. While you may need to wait until your recovery has progressed before finalizing your claim, contacting an attorney early may provide you with valuable assistance. When appropriate, an attorney may help injured victims collect critical evidence.
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may need to access the truck driver’s log book or obtain footage from traffic cameras. Experienced attorneys regularly collect critical evidence to strengthen an injured victim’s personal injury claims. Not only do they know what to look for, they also know how to easily access it.
You should always consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer from the truck driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies often attempt to provide a low settlement offer to decrease the company’s financial obligation. After evaluating the unique facts of your case, an attorney may give you a realistic idea of the amount of compensation you should expect.
Step Four: Keep Track of Medical Records and Expenses
Because T-bone accidents often result in such serious injuries, you may have significant medical costs. In some cases, you may receive multiple bills for a single procedure. Keep track of all medical expenses related to the accident. Medical expenses may include home modifications that you require to maintain independence or mobility after your accident. Any rehabilitation recommended by your physician should also be tracked, including any physical, occupational, or psychological therapy. By keeping track of these expenses, you will make it easier to total your medical expenses as you evaluate your claim.
If you suffer injuries in a T-bone collision with a truck, you may need an attorney to help file your claim or determine the compensation you may be entitled to. Contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
If you’ve experienced a T-bone car accident, chances are that you’ve been left with a variety of questions. The experience is often painful, traumatic, and upsetting. If another’s negligence contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any resulting damages.
T-bone car accident victims may not even know where to begin when it comes to recovering from their injuries. The idea of worrying about compensation is typically not a priority when you are focused on regaining your physical health. Locating a trustworthy personal injury attorney to help you navigate the personal injury claims process may help ease some of your stress. When appropriate, an attorney may assist injured victims in identifying responsible parties and seeking compensation. While an attorney handles the legal complexities of your case, you can focus on your wellbeing.
Demonstrating which parties are at fault is a critical aspect of any successful personal injury claim. A variety of factors may determine the types of evidence required to prove fault. In addition, the types of injuries you suffer and their impact on your life will affect the decisions you make throughout the legal process. Below, we discuss some basic information concerning fault and recovery as they relate to T-bone car accidents. While reading, you should consider your unique circumstances.
Examples of Severe T-bone Accidents
By their very nature, T-bone accidents have a high probability of causing serious property damage and severe injuries. Because T-bone accidents involve one vehicle hitting the side of another vehicle, they have a high likelihood of causing occupant fatalities.
Some T-bone accidents, however, can be even worse than others. Like any other accident, numerous factors can affect the severity of a T-bone collision. The size of the vehicles involved can greatly influence the severity of the collision.
For an extreme example, a T-bone accident involving a semi-truck can be particularly devastating. Commercial trucks loaded with cargo can weigh as much as 40 tons. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause extensive property damage and serious or even deadly injuries. A passenger car T-boned by a semi-truck is much more likely to undergo significant damage than one T-boned by a similarly-sized sedan.
How to Prove Fault in a T-bone Car Accident
You must establish fault to seek compensation. State and federal courts, as well as insurance companies, rely on stringent requirements for determining fault. To ensure your personal injury claim is successful, you must have a strong case proving that the other driver was at fault.
When the damages exceed the coverage offered through your PIP or PDL insurance, you should consider filing a personal injury claim. Experienced attorneys regularly assist injured victims in identifying who was at fault after they sustain injuries in a car accident.
To establish that another driver was at-fault for the accident, injured victims must prove:
The driver performed a dangerous or negligent action OR
failed to perform a certain action which causes dangerous circumstances AND
The driver breached their duty to operate their vehicles as required by the standard of care.
Every driver is obligated to operate their vehicles in accordance with the standard of care. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a way that will ensure the safety of other drivers. Negligent and reckless driving behavior is a breach of this standard of care, and the driver may be liable for causing an accident.
When appropriate, personal injury lawyers may need to use several forms of evidence to build strong proof of the other driver’s fault. If necessary, an attorney may team up with industry experts who can provide testimony to support an injured party’s claim. Experts in the medical, automotive, and insurance fields may be helpful when proving fault. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the following types of evidence may be necessary:
Videos and Photos
If at all possible, it is ideal to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. However, the legal system understands that many accident victims sustain injuries that make it impossible for them to move about the scene. If you can’t document the scene of the accident, you will not be penalized. On the other hand, if you are able, photos and videos can provide valuable evidence of fault.
Many car accident victims lack the understanding of the law and experience that personal injury attorneys utilize to build strong cases.
Experienced lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Through years of practice, they have developed a keen sense of knowing which small details can make a big difference.
Beyond pictures of the damage to your vehicle, it may also be helpful to document:
Skid marks in the road (to indicate uncontrolled or panicked driving)
CCTV footage from nearby establishments
Videos or photos from witnesses
Don’t be afraid to reach out to any witnesses who observed the accident or nearby businesses. Personal injury attorneys may help injured victims acquire evidence that could prove critical to their cases.
Witness statements can help resolve disputes regarding fault in court. The science behind human nature teaches us that witness statements are not always accurate. However, they can still help to corroborate your version of how the accident occurred. Collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident.
If at all possible, you should ask witnesses to provide a statement of how the accident occurred immediately following the accident. Human memory of an event is much more accurate right after it occurs. As time passes, our memories inevitably begin to fade.
Car Accident Report
When a police officer responds to the scene of an accident, they will compile an accident report. The report will include information about the accident, including the vehicles involved, the injuries sustained, and whether any citations were issued. You can obtain a copy of the accident report from the local police department.
Potential Serious Injuries You May Experience After a T-bone Car Crash
As mentioned, the side impact that is characteristic of T-bone accidents makes them particularly dangerous collisions. The average passenger vehicle weighs over two tons. When one vehicle strikes the side of another, only thin metal doors protect the occupants. Because passengers are vulnerable, the injuries they sustain are commonly more severe than other accidents.
Some of the most serious car accident injuries include:
Limb loss and amputation | Limb loss and amputation are undoubtedbly physically traumatic to the body. In addition, limb loss and amputation been linked to a wealth of psychiatric disorders. Victims who suffer these injuries during a car accident must cope with immense physical and significant emotional distress.
Paralysis and spinal cord injuries | Our brains and spines can easily be injured in a car accident. The brain and the spinal cord communicate with each other to ensure our bodies are functioning properly. Car accidents victims who suffer spinal cord injuries may experience muscle spasms, loss of motion, sexual dysfunction, and more.
Head and brain injuries | Head and brain injuries obviously have the potential to devastate the human body. Numerous head and brain injuries regularly lead to severe long-term consequences and, in some cases, death.
What to Expect Physically After Your T-bone Car Accident
In the aftermath of a traumatic car accident, vitctims often feel confused, frightened, and overwhelmed. Injured victims should prioritize their physical health and focus on progressing toward recovery. Although your symptoms may not be immediately apparent, it is extremely important to seek a medical evaluation following an accident.
Watch out for Delayed Symptoms
Some of the most serious injuries commonly do not display immediate symptoms. For example, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not appear until days or weeks after the accident. A medical professional can perform diagnostic testing to rule out injuries that could be potentially life-threatening if left untreated. Pay attention to your body in the days following the collision. If you experience any delayed symptoms, seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible.
The most common symptoms of injury that may be delayed, include:
Headaches | In many cases, headaches are an expected consequence of a car accident. This is especially true if the accident resulted in an impact to your head. Even though headaches are common, oftentimes they are signs of more serious underlying damage. It may be helpful to keep detailed notes of your daily symptoms and pain levels. Be aware of any patterns or inconsistencies, so you can differentiate between residual pain and delayed symptoms.
Behavioral changes | Just as headaches may indicate traumatic brain injury, behavioral changes may also signify brain damage. Like other internal injuries, brain injuries are particularly difficult to diagnose. In some circumstances, behavioral changes may be signs of mental afflictions, such as PTSD, which can be common among victims of devastating crashes.
Neck or shoulder pain | Neck and shoulder pain tend to be common after vehicle collisions. A common car accident injury, whiplash, occurs when the head and neck move violently in a back and forth motion. Neck and shoulder pain are common symptoms of whiplash, however, they may also signal more serve spinal cord injuries.
What if I Contributed to the Accident?
Don’t make that assumption—fault may lie with the other driver, a government that failed to maintain roads or traffic signals, or a defective car part. Thus, even if you believe your actions may have contributed to the accident, keep these tips in mind:
Never apologize for the crash or anything that occurred. Of course, you do not have to ignore other parties involved in the crash, but be careful not to implicate the crash was your fault. We can all be helpful and empathetic without saying the words “I’m sorry.” Seemingly innocent conversation can be misinterpreted as an admission of fault.
Call the police as soon as possible to ensure that emergency medical services will respond soon and a police will file a report to document critical evidence at the scene. Police officers will collect evidence to compile an accident report that could be critical to your personal injury claim later.
Note witness contact information.
Contact your insurance company to inform them that you were involved in an accident. The law mandates that you must call your insurance company to notify them that you were in a collision. However, you should avoid telling your insurance company every detail. Insurance companies are motivated to payout the least amount possible for any claim. An experienced attorney regularly helps injured victims communicate and negotiate with insurance representatives. You may consider hiring an attorney before providing a statement to your driver’s insurance company, and definitely before talking with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you or a loved one were injured in a T-bone car accident, you deserve empathetic and informed legal counsel.
You may be entitled to pursue compensation that could help account for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and physical damage to your possessions.
The process of bringing or settling a case can be complex, however, a skilled lawyer with the skills to help simplify and expedite personal injury claims can help you understand your options every step of the way and fight to seek the compensation you deserve.
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
On April 17, 2020, Boohoff Law paired with Beef ‘O’ Brady’s North Port to feed community members who are financially struggling due to COVID-19. From the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, 150 meals were collected from the restaurant’s curbside pickup. The team put together this event to show those in need in the community that they are not alone during this trying time.
On April 14, 2020, Boohoff Law sponsored 150 free meals from Brandon’s Moreno Bakery for those impacted by COVID-19. From the hours of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., meals were given out. The team was happy to once again achieve its goal of assisting local businesses as well as those with limited resources in the community.
As a victim of a car accident that you didn’t cause, you may have suffered serious injuries—and huge medical bills to treat them. Creditors are calling. You have a wrecked vehicle, and need to repair it so you can get to work and the grocery store. In extreme cases, you need to pay for home modifications or purchase wheelchairs or prosthetics.
You hired a car accident lawyer, but the money from your claim hasn’t come in yet, and you wonder when it will so you can pay your bills and get out from under this mountain of debt. You also want to know why it’s taking so long.
Here, we answer those questions for you—but first, we pose a solution:
In personal injury cases like car accidents, your lawyer doesn’t get paid more if the case takes longer—your lawyer will get a percentage of the settlement or judgment, not an hourly fee. Consequently, it’s in your best interests as well as your car accident lawyer’s to work to reach a fair settlement as efficiently as possible—and a good car accident lawyer knows how to do just that. On the other hand, the defense often does pay its lawyers by the hour—and the longer the case takes to settle, the more it can cost them.
That’s why the other side probably offered you a quick settlement, and it seems like a lot of money. Chances are, however, it won’t begin to cover all of your costs. It may not seem like it now, but with a car accident lawyer working to get you a fair settlement, the wait is usually worth it.
Why Some Car Accident Cases Take Longer to Settle
Safety and Health Were Not Prioritized
There’s a reason that every attorney will insist that you make your health your top priority after a car accident.
It can be difficult to worry about your safety and recovery after a car accident. You’ve probably already viewed numerous articles that cite various steps you need to take after a crash. These steps are important and helpful.
However, the steps are only guidelines, which cannot be followed if your injuries prove fatal or debilitating. You should prioritize ensuring that you receive adequate medical attention as soon as possible after a crash no matter how minor you believe your injuries to be.
There’s another reason to prioritize your safety and health after a car accident. If you fail to seek a medical evaluation following an accident, your case may take additional time to reach a settlement.
The personal injury claims process may be delayed because:
Most personal injury cases only settle once the victim is recovered or a path to recovery is clear.
This can only be achieved if the victim’s injuries are properly diagnosed (thus allowing for adequate treatment).
The reason for this is simple: it’s easier to understand how much total compensation may be required.
Inadequate or delayed treatment can lengthen the recovery process.
You may not devote your full effort to pursuing your claim if you are not properly recovered from your injuries.
Insufficient Information Collected at the Scene
It is important to gather sufficient evidence at the scene of the accident to support your claim. However, the failure to do so is not always the fault of any party involved in a crash. Sometimes, due to damage or other circumstances, it’s all but impossible to spend time taking pictures or talking to witnesses after a car accident. A judge will not dismiss your case immediately if this evidence is missing. It is possible, however, that your case may take additional time to settle.
Some information to aim to collect from the scene of a car accident includes:
Contact details for other drivers involved | Name, phone number, and driver’s license information should all be noted, if possible. You should ask other drivers if they’re open to providing recorded statements, which can benefit the case later, but remember they are at liberty to turn down your request.
Witness’ contact information | The police who respond to your accident should take actual witness statements. All you need to worry about are their names and phone numbers. This allows for easy contact in the future should you or your attorney need to contact any witnesses.
Photographs and/or videos of damage | “Damage” includes property damage to your car and physical injuries to your body. If you have access to a camera, try to take pictures of whatever instances of damage or injury you can. Some other things can be helpful to photograph, too, like skid marks near the accident scene.
You’re Tangled up With an Insurance Company
What is the easiest way to handle insurance companies that try to speak to you after your accident? Avoid communicating with them entirely. However, this excludes any interaction where you report the accident to your own insurance company, which is legally mandated.
You’ll probably be contacted by insurance agents before you even realize you need an attorney. These experts move in quickly after an accident to try to leverage victims’ confusion and fear. The best course of action is to delay discussions with insurance agents until you’ve retained an attorney.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in discussions with these parties. Insurance representatives can add immense complexity to the legal process, make your attorney’s job more difficult, and give the insurance company more power in court.
Your Accident Was Unique or Severe
Some circumstances can lead to accident cases that require more time than average to settle. Crashes with very large vehicles, for example, often result in a considerable amount of physical damage. Significant damages may translate to a longer settlement process.
If you get into an accident with a commercial vehicle, that could extend the legal process, too. Semi-trucks operators, for example, often carry numerous insurance policies. Victims of rideshare accidents may need to deal with three, four, or even five insurance companies total to settle their claim.
In addition, injured parties must identify all potentially liable parties. The concept of liability, which may be shared among multiple parties, can become deeply complex. Not every crash only involves two drivers or parties. Some accidents involve commercial vehicles that may involve liability for:
Passenger car drivers
Commercial vehicle drivers
Commercial vehicle companies
Commercial vehicle maintenance workers and companies
While You Wait for Your Case to Settle
It can feel difficult to wait for your claim to progress through settlement negotiations. Once the legal process begins, it tends to involve a lot of back and forth between injured parties and insurance company representatives. It’s very rare that a case ever settles as quickly as a victim hopes.
There are some steps victims can take to help ease stress at home and expedite their cases, including:
Contacting medical providers’ billing departments to sort out medical bills, arrange payment plans, and so on.
Looking over your employer’s policies on subjects pertaining to time off and disability.
Getting in touch with your creditors to manage payments before they get out of hand. Mortgage and auto lenders, in particular, can help simplify intimidating expenses.
One factor that may influence a case’s time to settlement is the defendant’s desired compensation. More severe damages, which typically result in higher settlements, may translate to a longer legal process.
Your attorney can offer more insight into what damages you may recover after a car accident, but they may include:
Medical bills | This includes past, present, and future medical bills acquired as a result of the accident. It can also include specialty services like emergency transport. Physical therapy, medical equipment, and a range of other expenses are all potentially covered
Pain and suffering and mental anguish | Compensation given for these damages helps account for some of a victim’s mental and physical pain. Car accidents can lead to immense physical discomfort; the legal system recognizes that victims deserve some compensation for this
Property damage | This includes damage to your vehicle and any possessions inside of it
Lost wages or diminished earning potential | If your overall earning potential has lowered due to your accident or you can’t work
Vehicle repair and towing
Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Leading Causes of Car Accidents
In the United States, car accidents cause over 90 deaths every single day. Unfortunately, fatal car accidents have become commonplace on our roadways. When you are behind the wheel, whether driving in rural farmland or in a bustling city, you are at risk of being involved in an accident.
Most times, it is impossible to prevent accidents caused by other driver’s negligent or reckless behavior. However, understanding behaviors that commonly lead to car accidents may allow you to identify risky situations in the future.
A wide range of factors may lead to a car accident in a variety of circumstances. The following list offers some insight into some of the most common causes of car accidents. However, keep in mind that the list is not comprehensive. Common factors that contribute to car accidents include:
Driving Under the Influence
We are all aware that driving under the influence can be extremely dangerous and lead to fatal car accidents. However, some people, nonetheless, insist on driving after drinking anyway. Nearly 30 Americans die every single daydue to negligent drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence. In the United States, almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths are associated with impaired driving.
If you believe that you have encountered a driver under the influence on a roadway, you should first try to distance yourself from the vehicle. If you believe others may be in danger, you may want to contact local authorities. Cars that demonstrate a persistent inability to maintain their lanes are likely operated by inebriated drivers.
Many stimuli may contribute to dangerous distractions. Texting, eating, and turning to talk to a child in the backseat while at the wheel are all examples of actions that distract drivers. Of course, many of us refrain from browsing social media while speeding down the freeway. But many of us would also not think twice about turning to the backseat to smile at our child.
In one recent year, more than 3,000 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving in the United States. Thousands of Americans give into distractions while driving on a daily basis. At almost all times, there is a good chance that you are sharing the roadway with a distracted driver.
There’s no surefire way to pinpoint a distracted driver (unless you can physically see what is distracting them). The unpredictability and subtly of driver distractions makes them difficult to avoid. A driver displaying severe road rage is, in some ways, easier to spot than a distracted driver. Always maintain a safe distance from drivers who appear distracted and keep your own eyes on the road.
Reckless driving, much like distracted driving, is a pervasive issue on American roadways. A wide variety of practices qualify as reckless driving. Some behaviors may be considered to be reckless under certain circumstances, while in other circumstances they would not.
Reckless vehicle operation is no major offense that can cause serious consequences. Each state maintains its own laws concerning the penalties imposed for reckless driving. Typically, reckless drivers may be subject to fines, jail time, and probation. Reckless behavior on crowded roadways put other drivers in significant danger. Even one aggressive or poorly-planned move can lead to disaster.
Some common examples of reckless driving include:
Driving through crowded areas quickly or with little regard for space
Driving in the wrong place or area (restricted areas, the middle of the road, etc.)
Illegal or improper passing
Failure to scan for pedestrians
Keep in mind that not all reckless drivers are aggressive or angry. Just because a driver does not seem emotional does not mean that he or she poses no risk to other drivers on the roadways.
Poor Road and/or Weather Conditions
In some cases, poor road or weather conditions will contribute to a car collision. Unfortunately, in many other scenarios, poor conditions only exacerbate already troubling circumstances. A reckless driver, for example, is likely to drive even more recklessly if he or she is in inclement conditions.
The best course of action to avoid accidents caused by weather or road conditions is avoiding driving in conditions that prevent you from safely operating your vehicle. You might opt to stay home or arrange a ride when you know you cannot drive well in the circumstances. On the other hand, it could also mean avoiding traveling at all because you know other drivers may be driving negligently.
An Ounce of Prevention
Over 400,000 car accidents occurred across the United States in one year alone. There is no doubt that these catastrophes pose a serious danger to all of us on the road. What can we do about it?
In some cases, a little bit of knowledge may allow attentive drivers to avoid accidents. When attentive drivers identify signs that another driver is inebriated or distracted, they can safely navigate away from the danger and inform local authorities, if appropriate.
On the other hand, despite the most cautious driving, accidents are oftentimes unavoidable. If you are injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. In Washington, injured victims have the right to file a personal injury claim against the parties who are responsible for their injuries. An understanding of the factors that play into your case and its settlement can ease your mind during the legal process.
One of the most important elements in a successful case is an empowered victim. You deserve to have your pain and suffering acknowledged. You also deserve to work with a skilled, trustworthy personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Because every case is unique, it is impossible to guarantee the outcome of your case.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Accelerate the Process
An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to identify with the other party or parties are using delay tactics and how to push them to negotiate in good faith—by presenting strong evidence of negligence on the part of the other driver and strong evidence of the compensation the other party owes you.
An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to quickly gather and preserve that evidence, too. Finally, a car accident attorney knows how to get your creditors off your back while your case remains open.
Nobody knows how long a particular case will take to settle, but rest assured, a car accident lawyer will work hard to find an equitable resolution for you as quickly as possible.
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