How car mishaps occurCar collisions and crashes may be caused by a driver’s negligence or inexperience. A poor design or defective part could cause or contribute to the crash. There can be other outside factors, such as poor roadway maintenance, improper mechanical repairs, or faulty tires or brakes. In congested traffic, it only takes one driver to be careless or negligent in any manner to cause an unfortunate mishap resulting in serious injuries.
Why they happenEven careful drivers can make errors in judgment, and careless drivers can be a traffic hazard on the congested roadways. Careless drivers include those who talk and text on cell phones even though this is not permissible, are otherwise distracted, weave in and out of lanes of traffic, run red light signals, do not stop at stop signs, speed, or drive while under the influence. In addition, inexperienced drivers, generally between the age of 16 and 20, have a higher number of mishaps.
What to do after a car crashWhile there may be no way to avoid a traffic mishap, there are some steps that can be taken after the collision when the other driver is at fault. In the event you are injured, there is more at stake than property damage to your vehicle, because of the high cost of medical treatment (Read More.)
The first thing to do after being involved in a crash is to try to remain calm. Stay at the scene even if there were no injuries, because leaving the incident scene is a serious offense. Make sure everyone is all right, call the police, and make certain a police report is made. Get immediate medical attention, even if you do not believe you have been seriously injured. Some injuries do not have immediate symptoms; there can be symptoms hours, days or even weeks after the incident.
If anyone involved in the accident complains of head neck or back pain, do not move them. This can be extremely serious. If they are unconscious, wait for emergency medical care personnel to arrive at the scene. In the event that there is no choice but to move them because of an outside factor such as a possible vehicle fire, move them as carefully and steadily as possible, while supporting their neck and back.
If you have not sustained serious injuries, exchange information with the other drivers involved in the collision. Get their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. Inquire as to the names, addresses and phone numbers of any passengers in the vehicles. Ensure that everyone is all right while trading information.
When speaking with the other drivers and passengers involved in the crash, do not admit any fault or apologize for anything at the scene.
This can be taken as a form of legal liability. You may actually have been only partially at fault, but admitting fault or apologizing may result in you being considered completely responsible for causing the accident. Check with any witnesses, ask what they saw, and get their names, addresses and telephone numbers. Report the accident to your insurance company, cooperate with them, and explain the extent of injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Word of cautionWhen a collision occurs in an under-traveled area and your vehicle is hit, but the accident is not serious, do not stop the vehicle. Call 911. In this situation it is permissible to use a cell phone and travel to a more populated area or to a police station. Go to a safe area before stopping, especially if your vehicle was struck in the rear, but not enough to cause damage. There have been incidences where this type of accident has been caused in order to rob or carjack the driver whose vehicle is struck. If it turns out that it was an actual driving error by the other driver, it might be embarrassing to have taken this precaution, but that is understandable in today’s world. Being cautious can keep you safe.
Motor vehicle accident lawUnder the law, every driver is obligated to use “reasonable care” when operating a motor vehicle. When they do not exercise reasonable care, drivers are negligent in the “owed duty” to other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Most car accident lawsuits are based on the governed laws of negligence, which means that the driver at fault did not exercise reasonable care and may be required to pay damages. The driver who was injured is referred to as the plaintiff and will be required to prove the defendant (the at-fault driver) was negligent and the negligence was a proximate cause of the accident, resulting in the plaintiff’s injuries.
Car collision cases are settled in one of three ways: a negotiated settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, through arbitration, or by taking the case to court to recover financial compensation for injuries, losses and property damage. In proving negligence, an attorney representing you will use a number of different sources, such as the state laws, police reports, medical reports, eye witnesses, and in some instances, an accident reconstruction expert’s opinions.